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Cartoon: December 16, 2014

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The Press Pass – Sunday, January 31

first_imgRay Stubbs was joined by Matt Hughes and Dean Jones to cast their eye over the main sporting stories, including reaction to John Terry’s proposed departure from Chelsea.last_img

Pillar gets his first rest since joining Giants

first_imgSAN FRANCISCO — Center fielder Kevin Pillar was out of the starting lineup for the first time Friday night as the Giants opened a three-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.Pillar, acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays on April 2, had started 31 consecutive games and has provided a spark both with his bat and ability in the outfielder.Given the power provided of late by Mac Williamson and Tyler Austin, manager Bruce Bochy had both in the lineup, moving Williamson from left field to right …last_img read more

Genetics: Alternate Reading Frames May Be Common

first_imgImagine a book written in a language where there were no spaces, and every word was three letters long.  Now imagine that you could get one story by starting at the first letter, and a different story by starting at the second letter, and another by starting at the third letter.  That’s the situation with some genes in the genetic code.  DNA can code for one protein in the first reading frame, but a different protein in an alternate reading frame.  Since the DNA language has three nucleotide “letters” per codon “word,” and since the opposite strand has three more reading frames, there are potentially six reading frames per gene.  How commonly are alternate reading frames used by an organism?    A paper in PLoS Computational Biology hints that there may be widespread examples of alternate reading frames (ARFs) in mammalian genomes.  ARFs were thought to be rare in eukaryotes.  An international team, using new statistical techniques, found 40 cases in the human genome, but says that this may be a significant underestimate, since their analysis was very conservative.  Their author’s summary asks and answers why these alternate reading frames were not found before:A textbook human gene encodes a protein using a single reading frame.  Alternative splicing brings some variation to that picture, but the notion of a single reading frame remains.  Although this is true for most of our genes, there are exceptions.  Like viral counterparts, some eukaryotic genes produce structurally unrelated proteins from overlapping reading frames.  The examples are spectacular (G-protein alpha subunit [Gnas1] or INK4a tumor suppressor), but scarce.  The scarcity is anthropogenic in origin: we simply do not believe that dual-coding genes can occur in eukaryotes.  To challenge this assumption, we performed the first genome-wide scan for mammalian genes containing alternative reading frames located out of frame relative to the annotated protein-coding region.  Using a newly developed statistical framework, we identified 40 such genes.  Because our approach is very conservative, this number is likely a significant underestimate, and future studies will identify more alternative reading frame-containing genes with fascinating biology.    They said there was an almost zero probability these ARFs were due to chance: in fact, one section of the paper is subtitled, “Dual Coding Is Virtually Impossible by Chance.”  Finding so many ARFs was surprising, they said, because maintaining ARFs by natural selection is “costly” – i.e., mutations in one reading frame could disable the information in the alternate frame.    Often, the proteins that result from alternate reading frames are related to the same function or process in the cell.  The researchers compared the well-known ARFs between humans, mice and some other mammals and found them to be highly conserved (i.e., unevolved).1Chung, Wadhawan, Szklarczyk, Pond, and Nekrutenko, “A First Look at ARFome: Dual-Coding Genes in Mammalian Genomes,” Public Library of Science: Computational Biology May 18, 2007.Try writing a message that could be read three different ways depending on which letter was the starting point.  It is extremely difficult.  If this turns out to be a common mechanism in genetics, it reveals an astonishing level of intelligent design.  How, and why, would a blind process do such a thing?  Notice how geneticists were not even looking for this amount of complexity because they did not believe it was possible.    This technique of “data compression” could expand the functional information of the genome significantly.  ARF!  The hunt is on.  Sic the design community on this fascinating puzzle.  They won’t be tied up and muzzled from announcing the return of the Master to biology.(Visited 104 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Sohail blames Afridi for World Cup semis loss

first_imgPakistan’s captain Shahid Afridi reacts after misfield by a fellow team member, unseen, during the Cricket World Cup semifinal match between Pakistan and India in Mohali on Wednesday.Former Pakistan captain Aamir Sohail has blamed Shahid Afridi’s “defensive captaincy” for the team’s World Cup semifinal loss to India, saying the skipper succumbed to pressure in the high-voltage game.”The match began in earnest in the 11th over and there is no room for sentiment in this game. It was pivotal for Afridi and his team to attack and take wickets but that didn’t happen,” Sohail said after the 29-run defeat to India.”Even while Sachin struggled the slips were removed and he snatched singles at will and chances went abegging which increased the pressure on the team,” he noted.He said even though Afridi was aware of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s struggle for form in the tournament, he didn’t attack him.”Once again we failed to go for the jugular. Saeed Ajmal was bamboozling Sachin and should have been kept on. However, Afridi thought otherwise,” he said.Pakistan’s former Test batsman Basit Ali also slammed the defensive approach.”In the past we never won against India because of a defensive approach we always attacked them and put them under pressure. In the semi-final it was the other way around,” Basit said.Basit criticised Waqar Younis for not adopting a good game plan.”It really amazes me that our management was unaware of when to utilise the batting powerplay even though Abdul Razzaq was promoted in the order and at one stage Misbah was batting with Afridi.”advertisementFormer Test leg-spinner Abdul Qadir also felt that the Pakistan team management needed to learn from the defeat and take measures to deal with the problem of inconsistent batting.No Pakistani batsman managed to get a hundred in the World Cup with the highest run-getter being Misbah-ul-Haq with his 248 runs from eight matches.”Overall the team’s performance can be termed as satisfactory as it reached the last four stage against the odds but we need to address the issue of inconsistent batting and the good thing is we have found couple of good young batsmen now,” Qadir noted.A disgruntled citizen in Lahore also filed a civil petition in the High court on Thursday alleging that the government of Pakistan and its functionaries had gifted the semi-final to India in a bid to improve relations with India.The petitioner prayed to the court in his application that the telephone conversations of Shahid Afridi, Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani and interior minister, Rehman Malik be investigated and their recordings produced in court to verify his claims.- With PTI inputslast_img read more

A TRIBUTE TO THE HEART OF THE TEAM…

first_imgThe Eagles Mens 20’s have suffered enormously as a team in recent weeks. Their son, their friend, their brother, their team mate, Kieran Luland was killed in a tragic car accident in late January.Team mate Anthony Cowan was also involved in the accident, not long after he had attended the Australian Under 18’s camp and the accident sent shock waves around the Australian Touch community. The Eagles players, their team management, friends and family banded together, supporting their young men, as well as their mentor and assistant coach, Ricky Luland, Kieran’s father.On Monday night they honoured their lost team mate in the best way they could, with the 2006 National Touch League Mens 20’s title.Wearing leg bands with the words ‘Kieran Luland, 8, Kakadu’, the crowd who had stayed for the final were witness to a team intensely focused and committed to each other, a team with a desire to honour their friend and a team that performed in such a way it brought tears to the eyes of all.In honour of ‘Kakadu’ (Kieran’s nickname) and his number 8 jersey, the Eagles amazed the crowd with their silky smooth skills and incredible pace. With great support from family members and local viewers, the side capped their most difficult time together with an 8-5 title win.For those who stayed to watch the presentations and the celebrations, they were like no other gone before them.Anthony Cowan was named as Player of the Final, scoring two touchdowns and setting up several others, a remarkable feat considering the time he spent in hospital recovering from injuries sustained in the accident.He also spoke as team captain, explaining to all how Kieran was the heart of their team, how they had played for him, that they knew he was there watching. The depth of passion and respect these young men held for Kieran was made incredibly obvious. It was fantastic to see the family and friends supporting their side, the young children following them around like heroes, the cameras and videos well in hand.For the team, the meaning in each handshake and hug, the relief, the passion, the emotion as all let their guards down and hugged and cried together was an honour to witness.For Ricky Luland, the moment was understandably emotional, as he hugged and spoke privately with all of the players. It was the added emotion of caring deeply for the group of boys that have been playing and growing together for several years, seeing them develop as a team that can now call themselves national champions.For coach David Scholes, himself a quiet achiever, the win was a result of the hard work of his team, the way they had pulled together and stuck by each other through the most difficult of times.For the spectators, it was a privilege to see the hearts of these players, these coaches, these family and friends and it will never be forgotten. It was an honour to the team and most importantly, it was an honour to Kieran.last_img read more

a month agoEvra: Man Utd must rediscover arrogance

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Evra: Man Utd must rediscover arroganceby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United hero Patrice Evra has called for them to get their “arrogance” back. United face West Ham – two of the Frenchman’s former clubs – this weekend.Evra told United’s official website: “West Ham is a good club and I think Manuel Pellegrini is doing a great job.”They will go for it. I remember I was still playing for West Ham and they played against United. “During the week, actually all the players were so focused in training and not one of them was thinking they were going to lose against United.”They were like we are going to beat them and win against United. I was a West Ham player but a United fan and I was a little bit hurt to say: “Wow, my club is getting really down”, if they don’t think even one per cent they are going to lose that game. “The problem is they won that game 3-1, West Ham, so I was happy but really upset. Wow, we need to fix my club and it’s why we are Manchester United.”We played against Leicester and many people said it was going to be a tough game because they’re in form but it’s what I’m talking about. “Where is the respect for Manchester United? I want people to fear us again and people have to go out and play better and win the games.” last_img read more

2016 Big 12 Tournament Bracket, Schedule, Analysis

first_imgBig 12 Team logos around the center big 12 logo.Twitter/Big 12The regular season is over, and we’re now jumping into one of the great events on the sports calendar: March Madness. The major conference tournaments kick off next week, with things kicking off on Wednesday, March 9. Kansas State and Oklahoma State open things up from the Sprint Center in Kansas City, with the winner advancing to face regular season champion Kansas. West Virginia finished a wild regular season in second place, and will get the Texas Tech-TCU winner. Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, and Texas have also all spent time in the polls this season. Kansas is the definite favorite here, but all of these teams are capable of making a run. Ticket information for the Big 12 Tournament is available here.Here is the full tournament bracket:2016 big 12 tournamentEvery Big 12 Tournament game will be broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU.Favorite: Kansaskansas logoThe Jayhawks ran away from the pack in February to lock up an astounding 12th straight Big 12 title. At this point, a Kansas regular season championship just feels like a certainty. The tournament has provided a bit more drama in recent years, but right now the Jayhawks are playing the best ball in the league. Veteran forward Perry Ellis mans the frontcourt for KU, averaging 16.5 points, tops on the team. He’s surrounded by a very talent group of guards. Juniors Frank Mason III and Wayne Selden Jr., and sophomore Devonte’ Graham all average over 11 points per game, and all shoot over 40-percent from three point range. They make for a very difficult group to shut down, because of their scoring balance. Kansas is currently a favorite to land the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. With a decent showing in Kansas City, they may lock it up.Sleeper: TexastexasIt took a little while for the Longhorns to adjust to Shaka Smart’s “Havoc” system. Texas dropped a number of non-conference games early, and even fell to lowly TCU early in Big 12 play, 58-57. At that point, Smart’s team was 9-6, and looked like a great bet to miss the NCAA Tournament. Three days later, the Longhorns upset No. 17 Iowa State, and they’ve been competitive since. They split the season series’ with the Cyclones, Baylor, and Oklahoma, and swept West Virginia. Kansas handled Texas in both of their games, including a blowout 86-56 win on February 29, so running into the Jayhawks may make things tough, if that match-up comes to fruition in the Big 12 semifinals. We never count out Shaka Smart in a tournament, though. The system can be very hard to prepare for with quick turnarounds, and the Longhorns get better at playing in it by the game.last_img read more

Miami Women’s Basketball Coach Blasts Texas A&M

first_imgKatie Meier poses in front of a Miami basketball poster.Twitter/@CoachKatieMeierMiami women’s basketball coach Katie Meier was not happy with the sexist slides from the Texas A&M football women’s clinic, which have gotten the Aggies criticized nationally and led to the suspension of two staff members.Last night, Meier blasted A&M on Twitter for the slides. She also expressed disapproval for only punishing offensive line coach Jim Turner and special teams coordinator Jeff Banks with two-week suspensions.Miami women’s basketball coach Katie Meier fires back at the Aggies’ presentation.This cannot be REAL life in 2016 college athletics. We are EDUCATORS. We WORK in higher education. W set standards https://t.co/WMvuRgXn8e— Katie Meier (@CoachKatieMeier) July 30, 2016 The actual slides are degrading and offensive. I have seen them. 2 week suspension is a joke. Change the culture https://t.co/586e9HTevu— Katie Meier (@CoachKatieMeier) July 30, 2016Meier is a well-respected coach, having compiled a 283-188 record (.591 winning percentage) at Charlotte and Miami. She has taken the Hurricanes to five NCAA Tournaments in the last six years.One of the suspended A&M coaches, Jim Turner, has been in hot water before. Turner was the offensive line coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2012-13 and was a major figure in the team’s bullying scandal.A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin released a statement apologizing for the action’s of his staffers.“There is absolutely no place in our program or in our University community for inappropriate conduct or degrading comments towards women, or anyone, regardless of intent.[…]“On behalf of Aggie football, I want to apologize for the comments at Chalk Talk and also for my failure to review their individual presentations. I want to thank the almost 700 women who came out this week who not only participated in the program but who supported a worthy cause in the Twin City Mission.”For a coach rumored to be on the hot seat, this is probably the last thing Sumlin needed.last_img read more