Binnie climbing to the top

first_imgJamaica’s top-ranked squash player, Chris Binnie is on his way to joining the global elite of the sport. The Jamaica and Caribbean men’s squash champion for the last seven years, Binnie, 27, has also improved his Professional Squash Association (PSA) ranking to number 89 among the world’s best players as of this month, from 93 in March. This improvement came after he signed a one-year sponsorship agreement with JN Fund Managers Limited at the firm’s New Kingston office recently. “My goal is to be ranked as one of the top 50 players by December,” he said. “I believe I can do it.” The top 50 players form an elite of the sport, travelling the world to compete in the main events. Having a better ranking means the players get better placed in competitions and also have more options in choosing the competitions they find more attractive. Binnie has come a long way since April of 2012 when he had PSA ranking of 389. He progressed to a ranking of 131 by October 2013 joined the top 100 in November last year. Binnie’s optimism is also based on the success he is having with his new coach, Australian Rodney Martin, a former winner of the World Open Squash Championship who once ranked second in the world. Along with three other teammates, he has been going through a tough training programme to improve his overall match preparedness level, with his new coach. He said the sponsorship by JN Fund Managers would also help him achieve his goal. Based in Connecticut in the United States of America, he coaches at Trinity College in Hartford, and had been limited to playing matches mainly in North America. “This sponsorship allows me to go to more tournaments and select ones in Europe and Asia,” he said. “I need to take on the best players in the most competitive tournaments globally if I am to improve. And it requires funding to get to the matches and maintain myself while competing.” Brando Hayden, general manager of JN Fund Managers, said: “We admire what Chris Binnie has done for himself and for Jamaica. He has invested his time and talents, making him one of the top 100 squash players in the world. “We want to help him fulfil his dreams because his success will also pave the way for others,” Hayden said. Binnie himself launched the Jamaica Squash Association’s Grassroots Clinic to students of Papine High School and New Providence Primary School on March 20. And the programme at the University of Technology is noteworthy for the players who have emerged from that facility.last_img read more

Public invited to share views on the future of Ards Forest Park

first_imgA Public Consultation Day will be held at Ards Forest Park this month ahead of a review of the tourism and recreation opportunities at the park.The popular beach and forest attraction is set to undergo redevelopment to enhance its potential.Coillte and their strategic partner Fáilte Ireland, have appointed a team of consultants led by The Paul Hogarth Company who have identified a proposed vision for the park as well as the actions required to achieve it. And they want to hear what local people have to contribute to the plans.If you’d like to have your say, come along to the public meeting at Ards Forest Park Car-park on Saturday 29th June, between 11am and 3pm.Public invited to share views on the future of Ards Forest Park was last modified: June 26th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare 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) Tags:Ards Forest Parklast_img read more

Science Writer Advocates Debate with Creationists

first_img(Visited 11 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The Darwinist monopoly on science has backfired, suggested Michael Balter in the Los Angeles Times in a Sunday commentary.  A human evolution writer for Science magazine (e.g., 09/09/2005, 03/04/2005, 11/12/2004, 02/27/2004, 02/15/2002), Balter advocated engagement with the opposition.  “A national debate over how best to explain the complexity of living organisms would better serve our children, and adults too.”    Balter is confident that “science” (evolution) would win such a contest, but cited several reasons why a national debate is necessary.  “Most scientists don’t want any debate,” he wrote.  To them, evolution has already won, and deserves a monopoly in science classrooms.  The success of the Discovery Institute in finding hundreds of scientists unconvinced of Darwinian evolution, added to the consistent findings of polls that the majority of Americans do not accept evolution, Balter argues, “suggests that scientists have won few converts during at least the last two decades – despite a 1987 U.S. Supreme Court decision banning the teaching of creationism in the classroom.”    The failure of evolutionists to win “converts” is only partly a reflection of the continuing influence of religion, he said.  “Yet it also implies that scientists have not been persuasive enough, even when buttressed by strong scientific evidence that natural selection alone can account for life’s complexity.”  Part of their lack of persuasiveness has been their very reluctance to engage their opponents.  It’s time for a change, Balter argues:Pro-evolution scientists have little to lose and everything to gain from a nationwide debate.  Let’s put the leading proponents of intelligent design and our sharpest evolutionary biologists on a national television panel and let them take their best shots.  If biblical literalists want to join in, let them.  Let’s encourage teachers to stage debates in their classrooms or in assemblies.  Students can be assigned to one or the other side, and guest speakers can be invited.  Among other things, students would learn that science, when properly done, reaches conclusions via experimentation, evidence and argument, not through majority view. (Emphasis added in all quotes.)To those who worry about injecting religion in science class, Balter said it’s too late.  “Religious faith and thinking are already in the classroom, as the opinion polls strongly suggest,” he wrote.  “And the courts should stay out of it because educators would not be required nor allowed to advocate a religious point of view.”    Balter spoke of a long history of “bitter debates between religion and science,” and claimed that after Darwin seemed to have refuted the arguments of William Paley, “Darwin’s theories were rigorously tested and criticized before they won over the majority of scientists.”    For these reasons, today’s evolutionists should not break tradition, but engage the critics.  “The best way to teach the theory of evolution is to teach this contentious history.  The most effective way to convince students that the theory is correct is to confront, not avoid, continuing challenges to it.”    Balter’s surprising declaration of support for “teaching the controversy,” a policy the intelligent design movement has long advocated, goes against the grain of positions taken by scientific institutions like Nature (see 04/27/2004).  He argues, though, that evolutionists should engage the debate with gusto: “Bring it on.”Anyone watching the controversy over evolution should see this as a major shift in strategy by someone pretty high up in the Science establishment.  It’s good that Balter wants this to be a debate in the open marketplace of ideas rather than the courts, and if the Darwinists are really willing to put their best arguments toe-to-toe with those of intelligent design, that would be a refreshing change.    Watch out for stealth tactics, though.  Incumbent presidents, for instance, have been known to rig debate rules to give themselves the media advantage.  We don’t want to see twelve Nobel Laureates go against Kent Hovind on national TV with a Darwinist moderator, and subject the results to biased editing the way the last episode of PBS Evolution rigged the contest, and have the Darwin Party announce afterwards, “So there.  There was your debate, and you guys lost.”  But the fact that Balter encourages this kind of debate in school classrooms and assemblies should preclude that, if his advice takes hold.    His history is flawed; Darwinism did not take hold because it was rigorously tested.  It won a huge propaganda blitz intentionally conducted by Charlie’s Four Musketeers (01/06/2004), Asa Gray, Thomas Huxley, Charles Lyell and Joseph Hooker, with help from Darwinist radical Ernst Haeckel on the continent.  It won also because leading Darwinists obtained power over publishing and gained leadership of prestigious universities and museums, where they controlled the curriculum and content.  Darwin’s own theory of natural selection went through a long period of eclipse after his book, until it was resurrected as neo-Darwinism more by consensus than by rigorous testing.  Creationism and design science has always been a strong influence bucking this current of usurpation by the philosophical materialists.    Balter is confident that “students would learn that science, when properly done, reaches conclusions via experimentation, evidence and argument, not through majority view.”  That would be a great lesson.  Currently, students are learning that “evolution is a fact because all scientists agree it is a fact.”  Balter believes that engagement will remove the claim that Darwinian theory is shielded from “challenges that, when properly refuted, might win over adherents to evolutionary views.”  When the views are compared, however, each Darwin convert is likely to be outnumbered by converts to the other side, based on the history of creation-evolution debates.  And if the Darwinists are finally forced to “reach conclusions via experimentation, evidence and argument,” it will be their downfall.  Balter may have unintentionally heralded the end of the Darwin Party Storytelling Welfare State.  Bring it on.last_img read more

Cells Perform Nanomagic

first_imgThe cell is quicker than the eye of our best scientific instruments.  Biochemists and biophysicists are nearing closer to watching cellular magic tricks in real time but aren’t quite there yet.  They know it’s just a trick of the eye, but it sure is baffling how cellular machines pull off their most amazing feats.  Think, but don’t blink:Knot Wizardry:  Proteins needing a fold go into a private dressing room (05/05/2003).  The most glamorous and well-equipped room, the GroEL-GroES chaperone, helps the star emerge just right.  How it does this is as puzzling as watching a magician untie a Gordian knot under a kerchief.  There are thousands of wrong ways a protein could fold; how does the chaperone always perform the trick correctly?  Some of the bonds between domains (disulfide bridges) are a long way apart.  What brings them together, and what keeps the wrong bridges from forming?    Some scientists at Howard Hughes Medical Institute, writing in PNAS,1 cheated and built the chaperone with one door open so they could peek inside.  They still couldn’t figure it out completely.  Something in the chaperone creates conditions that favor the correct “native” fold, but also fix the mistakes before the prima donna protein emerges.  Somehow they do this without any ATP energy cost.  “We conclude that folding in the GroEL-GroES cavity can favor the formation of a native-like topology, here involving the proper apposition of the two domains of TG [trypsinogen, the enzyme in the experiment]; but it also involves an ATP-independent conformational ‘editing’ of locally incorrect structures produced during the dwell time in the cis cavity.”Speed Solve:  Maybe you’ve watched a blindfolded man solve a Rubik’s cube in seconds and wondered how it was done.  You can imagine the bewilderment of German and Swiss scientists watching a protein fold in far less time.  Protein chains of hundreds of amino acids have to explore a vast space of possible folds yet arrive at the one correct fold, often in fractions of a second.  These scientists, writing in PNAS,2 used lasers to try to figure out in slo-mo how this happens.    As with a Rubik’s cube, there are billions of ways a protein could fold incorrectly.  Parts of a nascent protein chain form loops in the process of solving the puzzle.  “Exponential kinetics observed on the 10 to 100-ns time scale [ns=nanosecond, a billionth of a second] are caused by diffusional processes involving large-scale motions that allow the polypeptide chain to explore the complete conformational space,” they said.  “The presence of local energy minima [e.g., loops] reduces the conformational space and accelerates the conformational search for energetically favorable local intrachain contacts.”  To catch these loops, they had to look fast.  “Complex kinetics of loop formation were observed on the 50- to 500-ps [picosecond] time scale,” they noted.  A picosecond is a trillionth of a second.  Good thing they had lasers that could flash up to a femtosecond (quadrillionth of a second), or it would all be a blur.Levitation:  With a feat better than defying gravity, “Cytochrome c oxidase catalyzes most of the biological oxygen consumption on Earth, a process responsible for energy supply in aerobic organisms,” wrote a Finnish team also publishing in PNAS.3  To do this trick, the enzyme has to go against the force.    Scientists like to talk in dispassionate language, but they called this enzyme “remarkable,” so they must have liked the magic act.  “This remarkable membrane-bound enzyme also converts free energy from O2 reduction to an electrochemical proton gradient by functioning as a redox-linked proton pump,” they remarked about the remarkable.  The way this pump works has “remained elusive,” even though most of the structure has been known.  With special spectroscopic and electrometric techniques, they were able to observe the trick in real time.  Abracadabra led to eureka: “The observed kinetics establish the long-sought reaction sequence of the proton pump mechanism and describe some of its thermodynamic properties.”  OK, tell us.  What’s the secret?The 10-microsecond electron transfer to heme [iron complex] a raises the pKa of a “pump site,” which is loaded by a proton from the inside of the membrane in 150 microseconds.  This loading increases the redox potentials of both hemes a and a3, which allows electron equilibration between them at the same rate.  Then, in 0.8 ms, another proton is transferred from the inside to the heme a3/CuB center, and the electron is transferred to CuB.  Finally, in 2.6 ms, the preloaded proton is released from the pump site to the opposite side of the membrane.So, there.  Now you know the trick.  Uh, how’s that again?  Actually, they only figured out part of the trick; “some important details remain unsolved,” they confessed, “e.g., the identity of the proton-accepting pump site above the hemes.”  Their diagram of the enzyme looks for all the world like magician’s tightly-cupped hands, with the active site secreted within.  Maybe this could be dubbed sleight-of-enzyme.In the introduction to this last paper, the authors described how the enzyme is essential to all life.  It is a key player in the transfer of electrons and protons that feed the ATP synthase motors that produce ATP – the universal energy currency for all living things.  Water is produced in the process that generates oxygen (in plants) and consumes it (in animals).  These reactions would not occur without the machinery to drive them against the physical forces of diffusion.    The scientists are converging on a mechanical description of how the pumping action works.  “Each of the four electron transfer steps in the catalytic cycle of CcO [cytochrome c oxidase] constitutes one cycle of the proton pump, which is likely to occur by essentially the same mechanism each time,“ they said.  “Here, we report on the internal electron transfer and charge translocation kinetics of one such cycle, which is set forth by fast photoinjection of a single electron into the oxidized enzyme.”1Eun Sun Park, Wayne A. Fenton, and Arthur L. Horwich, “Disulfide formation as a probe of folding in GroEL-GroES reveals correct formation of long-range bonds and editing of incorrect short-range ones,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0610989104, published online before print February 5, 2007.2Fierz, Satzger et al, “Loop formation in unfolded polypeptide chains on the picoseconds to microseconds time scale,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0611087104, published online before print February 6, 2007.3Belevich et al, “Exploring the proton pump mechanism of cytochrome c oxidase in real time,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0608794104, published online before print February 9, 2007.We may not be able to tell how it’s done, but we all know that a stage magic trick is just an illusion.  But a good trick doesn’t just happen, either.  It takes a lot of intelligent design to put on a good show.  Split-second timing, carefully engineered props, trained assistants, planning, and precise manipulation are all required.  If and when we figure out all the cell’s tricks, it should produce even more awe than a childish belief in magic.  It should produce a deeper respect for the planning and execution of a well-designed show – and a hearty round of applause.    Need we say how disappointing it was for Nature to submit this Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week about the same time as this last paper appeared: “The invention of oxygenic photosynthesis was a small step for a bacterium, but a giant leap for biology and geochemistry.  So when and how did cells first learn to split water to make oxygen gas?” (John F. Allen and William Martin, “Evolutionary biology: Out of thin air,”  Nature 445, 610-612, 8 February 2007).  Shamelessly, they continued on and on: “Biologists agree that cyanobacteria invented the art of making oxygen, but when and how this came about remain uncertain.”    It appears that some childish scientists still believe in magic.  We hope the growing brightness of design emerging from cell biology will not cause too much pain as it shatters their illusions.  If they maintain their illusions in spite of the evidence, though – well, willful blindness is its own punishment.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Comboy, FEU rule first UAAP 3×3 tournament

first_imgGoogle honors food scientist, banana ketchup inventor and war hero Maria Orosa FILE – Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netWendell Comboy caught fire when it mattered the most, towing Far Eastern University to the first ever UAAP Season 80 men’s 3×3 basketball title with a 21-13 victory over University of the East Sunday at SM Mall of Asia Music Hall.The third-year point guard uncorked 10 points, while perfectly partnering with Richard Escoto for the title-clinching bucket with 2:06 remaining as the Tamaraws ruled the men’s tournament.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. View comments Typhoon ‘Tisoy’ threatens Games Pussycat Dolls set for reunion tour after 10-year hiatus Meanwhile, NU displayed their dominance in the halfcourt, topping Adamson, 15-6, to reign in the women’s division.AdChoices广告inRead invented by TeadsRia Nabalan carried the Lady Bulldogs with seven points, while Afril Bernardino got four markers.Jack Animam added three points, while Annick Tiky had one in the victory.The Lady Falcons went to Nathalia Prado, who had three markers in the runner-up finish.NU eviscerated Ateneo, 10-5 in its Final Four date, while Adamson downed UST, 15-8 to set up the titular clash.ADVERTISEMENT UE upsets Adamson for 1st win Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university PLAY LIST 01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 City LOOK: Iya Villania meets ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ cast in Mexico Families in US enclave in north Mexico hold sad Thanksgiving Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH MOST READ John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Read Next Escoto had five markers, Ken Tuffin got four points, while Michael John Casiño got a pair for FEU.Alvin Pasaol put the Red Warriors on his shoulders with 10 points in a losing effort.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutComboy’s hot streak wasn’t only prevalent in the finals as he was also pivotal in the Tamaraws’ 15-12 win over La Salle in the Final Four.The Red Warriors, on the other hand, rode Pasaol to clinch its ticket to the finals with a 19-16 thriller over National University.last_img read more