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Campbell ton puts Melbourne in strong position

first_imgJohn-Ross Campbell’s century has put Melbourne in pole position to beat the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) in their Jamaica Cricket Association Senior Cup quarter-final clash at Up Park Camp.Sent to bat, Melbourne capitalised on a flat wicket by posting 423 for seven before declaring early in the post-tea session on yesterday’s first day.The JDF, back-to-back defending champions, thereafter closed the day on 45 for one, 388 runs behind.The hard-hitting Campbell, batting in the unfamiliar position of number seven as a result of what coach Robert Samuels said was a team decision, scored an unbeaten 115. His knock included seven fours and a six.Fellow Jamaica batsman, Andre McCarthy, 67; Sadiki Bolt – the brother of sprint icon Usain Bolt – 63; and opener Trevon Griffith of Guyana, 46, also scored well for Melbourne.There was also 40 from United States batsman Steven Taylor, who was playing in his second game for Melbourne.RETURNINGFROMINJURYNational left-arm spinner Dennis Bulli, with four for 90, led the bowling for the army men, with Sheldon Cottrell, returning from a knee injury, ending with none for 51 off five overs.National opener Jermaine Harrison, 21, is the batsman to be dismissed so far for the soldiers.Joseph Palmer, 21, and Rasheed Outar, 12, will resume batting on today’s second and final day.”I think we are ahead in the game as we have a good amount of runs,” said Melbourne’s captain Nikita Miller. “But we can’t just sit back on our laurels. We need to go out there and get the balls in the right areas and get the required wickets.”JDF’s captain Damion Grey said they intend to put up a fight.”They have the upper hand as 400-odd runs is a lot of runs,” he said. “But we have a long batting and tend to bat deep, so the aim is to try and bat out the day and see if we can get the runs.”Meanwhile, at the Goodyear Oval, the other semi-final between St Thomas CA and St Ann CA had the latter leading on first innings.St Thomas first made 201, then St Ann replied with 226. Batting a second time, St Thomas closed on 19 for two.last_img read more


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Classy Aviator upsets at 9-1 in feature

first_imgCLASSY AVIATOR, running at odds of 9-1 with Aaron Chatrie aboard, scored a mild upset in yesterday’s Titania Trophy feature over 1,100 metres for three-year-old fillies, flooring the odds on 4-5 favourite BIRD CATCHER, who was second.Trained by Gary Subratie for owners Test Pilots, the chestnut filly by Seeking The Glory out of Classy Chanel was held just off the early fractions as POISON GAS and LIKE A LADY carried the pace into the straight ahead of BLUE MOON and BIRD CATCHER.With no fewer than four in with a chance leaving the furlong pole, CLASSY AVIATOR got into top gear midway the last furlong to beat BIRD CATCHER by 11/4 length.disqualifiedThere was a lengthy stewards’ enquiry into the running of the race resulting in third past the post, BLUE MOON, with apprentice Jerome Innis riding for champion trainer Wayne DaCosta, being disqualified, and placed fifth, this for causing interference to LIKE A LADY in the straight. BABY P, who was fourth past the post was promoted to third.CLASSY AVIATOR, who had previously won by a wide margin over 1,200 metres in maiden company on March 12 with Chatrie aboard, has shown a preference for sprints over middle distances and could make her mark in non-winners of three when next at the races.Inform jockey Robert Halledeen and trainer Dwight Chen highlighted the 10-race programme with two winners each.Like he did on the previous Saturday, Halledeen took the first double comprising Peter McMaster’s progressive American 3-y-o filly CHOO CHOO BLUE, who again romped the day’s opening race over 1,200 metres in the smart time of 1:12.1 going wire to wire and 8-1 chance BLUE PEPSI LINKS for trainer Ryan Darby in the 3-y-o maiden special over 1,200 metres. CHOO CHOO BLUE is owned by Elaine McMaster (Miss Suckie), wife of the winning trainer.Chen posted seventh-race winner SONG BIRD at 2-1 with former champion Wesley Henry in the saddle as well as CHIEF PROSPECT at 4-1 in the eighth with Jevanne Erwin aboard.Only two favourites obliged on what was a difficult day for form players, the notable upset coming via the fleet-footed AUNT HILDA at 14-1 with Renaldo McNaughton riding for trainer Patrick Fong in the ninth race over the round-five course.last_img read more


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Warriors’ Draymond Green unfiltered about Russell Westbrook fan incident

first_imgHOUSTON — Perhaps at some point, Draymond Green and Russell Westbrook will exchange some sharp words when the Warriors (46-21) visit the Oklahoma City Thunder (42-27) on Saturday. Those two players often consider that development both inevitable and necessary to fuel their competitive juices.As far as fans exerting that same behavior, though? Green found it completely unacceptable for a Utah Jazz fan to yell reportedly offensive and racist language toward Westbrook in a game earlier this …last_img


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Human Cloning Is Back

first_imgIf you thought work on human cloning and embryonic stem cell research went out of style with the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells, watch out.  The pro-cloning people, who never lost their lust for toying with human embryos, are back.Writing for Science Magazine, Gretchen Vogel titled an article, “Human Stem Cells From Cloning, Finally.”  She seems delighted that researchers may be able to treat humans like farm animals:This time it looks like it’s for real: Researchers have made personalized human embryonic stem (ES) cells with a method similar to how Dolly the sheep was cloned—though with an added jolt of caffeine.The success, which produced stem cells carrying DNA belonging to a baby with an inherited disorder, comes 9 years after South Korean researchers claimed in a famously faked paper that they had achieved a similar feat. After their story unraveled, a handful of researchers continued trying, but human eggs, or oocytes, responded poorly to the techniques that have worked in sheep, mice, cows, pigs, and other animals.Now, thanks to years of work in monkey cells, a group led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Beaverton reports a recipe that works for human cells.Of course, there are those people troubled by the ethics of such research:While welcomed by many researchers, who envision creating personalized stem cells for therapies or research, the achievement is also likely to stir up old ethical debates about human SCNT [somatic cell nuclear transfer], including whether it should be regulated to prevent attempts at reproductive human cloning. In the short term, that shouldn’t be a worry, Mitalipov says.Who’s worried?  After all, the scientists don’t really want to clone human beings for a Star Wars army — at least not in the short term.  They just want to get their hands on those precious embryonic stem cells (ES), and this “success” opens the door for them.  Even so, “the team had surprisingly good success generating embryos,” Vogel said.But this begs the question: who needs ES cells, when induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) are just as good without the ethical problems?This high efficiency could mean that SCNT is not as impractical for creating personalized human stem cells as many observers had expected. But it faces stiff competition from the current method of making genetically matched pluripotent cells, called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. By adding extra copies of several genes to skin or other cells, scientists can reprogram them to behave like ES cells. That technique is much easier than SCNT, and it doesn’t require a supply of human oocytes. (The oocytes used in Mitalipov’s experiments were donated by healthy volunteers for research purposes; donors were paid $5000 for their time and trouble, the local rate paid to egg donors for fertility treatments.)Some researchers have found evidence, however, that there may be subtle but potentially significant differences between the genes expressed in iPS cells and ES cells derived from embryos. The chance to compare SCNT-derived human ES cells with iPS counterparts is one of the most important aspects of the new advance, Daley says. “There may be advantages to SCNT-ES cells, but this must be rigorously proven,” he says. In practice, he says, making iPS cells “remains considerably easier.“So just on the supposition that there might be a difference, some researchers are willing to destroy human embryos to find out.  Does that sound ethical?  She quoted a researcher who thinks both methods are “useful” — the language of pragmatism, not ethics.  Vogel had no further ethical qualms.To the editors at New Scientist, it’s “back to the future” all over again.A few years ago, therapeutic cloning looked like the future of medicine. It promised to realise the dream of repairing damaged tissues and organs using a patient’s own cells. But it also had a dark side: producing its supply of stem cells required the creation of human embryos which were later destroyed.What did Nature say about this?  David Cyranoski wrote in Nature this week wearing ethics on his sleeve from the first paragraph:It was hailed some 15 years ago as the great hope for a biomedical revolution: the use of cloning techniques to create perfectly matched tissues that would someday cure ailments ranging from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease. Since then, the approach has been enveloped in ethical debate, tainted by fraud and, in recent years, overshadowed by a competing technology. Most groups gave up long ago on the finicky core method — production of patient-specific embryonic stem cells (ESCs) from cloning. A quieter debate followed: do we still need ‘therapeutic’ cloning?Mitalipov’s experiment “is sure to rekindle that debate,” Cyranoski continued.   He described how Mitalipov used a “university advertising campaign” to attract women to donate eggs for his lab at the Health and Science University in Beaverton, Oregon.  (He first practiced on skin cells obtained from fetuses.)  His method sounds a little Frankensteinish, using electric jolts and caffeine to coax the stubborn skin cells to form stable stem cell lines.  It took longer to get human cells to work than monkey cells, he said, because much of the time was spent “navigating US regulations on embryo research.”Mitalipov is apparently most concerned about making his process more efficient, why? to attract funding:Such improvements might be necessary to convince people that SCNT research is still worthwhile. Egg donors for the experiment received US$3,000–7,000 in compensation. This is expensive and, according to some bioethicists, risks creating an organ trade that preys on the poor. Because the technique requires the destruction of embryos, funds from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) cannot be used to make or study SCNT-derived cell lines, hampering further clinical research. (Mitalipov maintains a separate laboratory for NIH-funded research.)Another “sticking point” is public fear of human cloning.  Stem-cell opponents might “capitalize on” such fears, the article says.  Mitalipov is trying to convince opponents that creation of a human clone, like Dolly the sheep, is not possible (at least, at this time).But other stem-cell researchers are wondering why Mitalipov is wasting his time.  “Honestly, the most surprising thing [about this paper] is that somebody is still doing human [SCNT] in the era of iPS cells,” said a specialist in regenerative medicine.  Watchers will be waiting to see whether iPS and ES cells really differ in significant ways.New Scientist thinks the ethical battles will be muted during the Obama era:Will we now see a revival of the stem cell culture wars in the US? Probably, but they should be less polarised this time round. The Bush-era laws were relaxed by President Obama in 2009 to no great hullabaloo. The fact that the breakthrough work was done in Oregon may also help: home-grown success has a way of changing hearts and minds. What is clear is that we have entered a new phase in the long-running stem cell soap opera. Expect drama aplenty.But if this is a “soap opera,” it’s one where innocent human lives are at stake — and not only the lives of fertilized human embryos, but potential adult clones.  Live Science asked if this might lead to human cloning someday.  What worried reporter Rachael Rattner more, the pragmatics, or the principle of the thing?Although it would be unethical, experts say it is likely biologically possible to clone a human being. But even putting ethics aside, the sheer amount of resources needed to do it is a significant barrier.Rattner concentrated on practical problems with human cloning.  “It’s like sending your baby up in a rocket knowing there’s a 50-50 chance it’s going to blow up,” she quoted one researcher quipping.  “It’s grossly unethical.”  Practical problems, though, can be remedied with enough research.  If Rattner is willing to put ethics aside rhetorically, the day could come when unscrupulous, pragmatic researchers with government funding will put it aside for real.This story is very disturbing on the heels of the Kermit Gosnell trial.  Remember that abortion was sold in the 1970s in terms of concern for poor women who needed access to “reproductive health” needs.  The callous disregard for human life that resulted from that slippery slope has shocked the nation with revelations about Gosnell’s and other abortion mills described as “houses of horror” by investigators, who found abortion doctors twisting the heads off babies born alive, leaving them struggling for 20 minutes before severing their spinal cords with scissors, and telling mothers that the dead baby in the womb after chemical abortion is just “meat in a crockpot.”  Horrified nurses would find babies swimming in toilets and packed in bloody bags in refrigerators.  Do you think for a minute that “sanctity of human life” will fare any better among those who want free rein with human embryos?Speaking of abortion, Tanya Lewis wrote an interesting article for Live Science about ultrasound and how it has changed attitudes about abortion.  While ultrasound can backfire in cultures that want to use it for sex selection (aborting many female babies), for the most part it has given expectant mothers a view the abortionists never told them about: their baby is a living human being.Ultrasound has enjoyed an enthusiastic reception by pregnant women. In addition to revealing the baby’s health, the images themselves provide a keepsake. “Overwhelmingly, pregnant women expect to be scanned, and are moved and excited by seeing the fetus,” Nicolson said — especially if the baby moves. In fact, Nicolson said, some women report not feeling pregnant until they’ve seen the ultrasound image.Seeing a developing fetus has a humanizing effect, too. Donald, the physician who helped develop the technology, was a devout High Anglican, and knew the images carried moral significance for women contemplating having an abortion.Lewis cited anecdotal evidence that expectant mothers who see their baby with ultrasound are less likely to terminate their pregnancy.  Each moving baby that the mother rejoices to see on the ultrasound scanner was a single cell just a few months earlier.  The DNA for a full human is there in both cases; the difference between a moving baby in the womb and a fertilized cell is only a matter of time. 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Microsoft to premiere OneApp in SA

first_img25 August 2009 “With a GPRS-enabled cell phone, consumers can now be part of the app experience, which is taking the world by storm,” says Blue Label Telecoms joint CEO Mark Levy. “While this opens up a whole new world of opportunity for any and all users, advertisers and developers, we’re particularly excited by the technology’s capacity to transform nearly any cell phone into a highly sophisticated, cost-effective and user-friendly transactional device,” says Levy. As a result of a strategic relationship with Microsoft, Blue Label Telecoms’ upcoming release of its mibli consumer mobile service, powered by Microsoft OneApp, will ship with more than a dozen new applications. ‘Transform any cellphone’ Microsoft OneApp will begin to be offered through partners worldwide, and software developers can write new applications for OneApp using industry standards such as JavaScript and XML. Software giant Microsoft is partnering with local firm Blue Label Telecoms to premiere OneApp – a new application that enables feature-rich phones to access Facebook, Twitter, Windows Live Messenger and other popular applications and games – in South Africa. According to Microsoft, OneApp will result in a better mobile experience for the many people around the world who want to do more with the phones they already own, while complementing the company’s strategy of bringing mobile applications and services to feature phones in emerging markets. Better mobile experience Among other things, OneApp boast that:center_img Its lightweight (150KB) on-phone footprint makes installation easy and fast.It dynamically launches just the parts of a mobile app that a person wants to use, eliminating additional installation time and the need to store all of the mobile apps on the phone.It includes “cloud” services that help offload processing and storage from the phone to the internet, improving overall performance.It uses data networks efficiently to reduce data access charges, saving money for the customer. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material “Microsoft OneApp will be able to help people do things they couldn’t do before with their feature phone – anything from paying their bills to helping diagnose their health issues or just staying connected with friends and family,” Mital said. Consumers in South Africa can download and install mibli for free, though network service fees will apply for data usage. Additional applications will be available in the future, focusing on areas such as health care. The OneApp software developer kit is expected to be available for developers by the end of 2009. “We believe mobile technology plays a pivotal role in addressing people’s everyday needs and creating new opportunities for local industry to grow,” Microsoft’s Amit Mital said in a statement this week. OneApp was designed “from the ground up” to enable mobile applications to be accessed by feature phones with limited memory and processing capability. For users, OneApp appears on their phone as a single application, whence they can easily access all of their mobile applications. Lightweight applicationlast_img read more


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Kaizer Chiefs: every match a festival

first_imgView the full photoset on FlickrShare your own Football Friday thoughts, photos and videos Vuvuzelas, makarapas, colour – and lots of noise! Supporters of South African glamour club Kaizer Chiefs turn every football match into a festival. Kaizer Chiefs fans don’t hold back when it comes to the the makarapa – the modified, decorated miners’ helmet unique to South African soccer fans. (Photo: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com) Kaizer Chiefs fans at the final of the Vodacom Challenge between Manchester United and Kaizer Chiefs at Loftus Versfeld stadium in Pretoria, 26 July 2008. Manchester United won the match 4-1. (Photo: MediaClubSouthAfrica.com) Posted on SouthAfrica.info on 16 September 2009.last_img