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Plant Patterns Prolong Perplexity

first_imgPlants perform a wonder that has attracted the admiration of scholars from ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome to modern times: the ability to reproduce mathematically perfect patterns.  This ability, called phyllotaxis, can be described mathematically with the Fibonacci Series and the Golden Angle.  The beautiful spirals in sunflowers, artichokes, cacti, dandelion heads and other plants continue to fascinate children and adults today, but those are not the only examples.  Leaves on a stem can emerge in phyllotactic patterns like a spiral staircase, and depending on the environment, plants can switch patterns at different stages in development.  Scientists have learned a lot about the players in the phyllotaxis game, but still do not understand the script.  The details of how genes and proteins produce the patterns remain elusive. In Current Biology,1 French biologists Jean-Christophe Palauqui and Patrick Laufs recounted some of the theories that have tried to explain phyllotaxis.  Scientists know that the plant hormone auxin becomes concentrated in the shoot meristem where new organ primordia emerge, and that the PIN1 auxin transporter is able to polarize the localization of auxin.  New work reported in the same issue of Current Biology implicates the PLETHORA (PLT) gene family, known to be active with root formation, with the processes going on in the meristem.   Tinkering with the players can enhance or inhibit pattern formation. Just how these players interact, though, is not well understood.  It’s not a simple case of gene turning on protein turning on hormone; each of the players signal each other back and forth in a complex choreography.  In addition, the PLT genes seem able to stimulate mechanical forces in the primordia by the way they regulate PIN1 polarity and hence auxin distribution.  There are also time delays between gene expression and downstream effects, such as 4 hours from the time PLT genes activate to the time PIN1 transcript levels are seen to increase.  But then, auxin level can also feed back to regulate PIN1 expression.  It appears, therefore, that the intra-player signaling is indirect and complex. The authors stated that the bewildering interactions of these players keeps biologists busy: “Elucidating the mechanism underlying PLT-mediated control of phyllotaxis will be challenging and likely depend on quantitative descriptions and modeling of PLT expression, PIN1 levels and polarization, auxin distribution, growth and mechanics,” they said.  Even if these problems are solved with mechanistic theories some day, questions may still remain about how a seed with no phyllotaxis results in a mature plant with it.  And beyond that, philosophers of aesthetics may continue to ponder how plants – and many other phenomena in nature unrelated to them, like spiral galaxies, hurricanes, conch shells, and the cochlea in the human ear – reproduce “divine proportions” that humans find beautiful (see article by Fred Willson at ICR and the 11/20/2003 entry). 1. Jean-Christophe Palauqui, Patrick Laufs, “Phyllotaxis: In Search of the Golden Angle,” Current Biology, Volume 21, Issue 13, R502-R504, 12 July 2011, DOI 10.1016/j.cub.2011.05.054. Explaining the mechanics of something does not explain its origin.  You can understand how a robot on an assembly line works, and describe its structures and functions with flowcharts, equations and blueprints.  That knowledge will not explain why it produces a Mercedes.  Wikipedia trivializes the explanation as a consequence of natural selection, claiming that the solution was found within a decade of Darwin by Wilhelm Hofmeister.  “Questions remain about the details,” the entry oversimplifies.  If that were true, the scientists publishing in this week’s Current Biology would not remain baffled by it.  The devil is often in the details.  Hofmeister knew nothing of PIN1 and PLT, let alone the genetic code.  His simplistic model of competing mechanical forces is so 1896; it cannot satisfy observers today, with our newer knowledge of genetic codes, proteins, and cell signals. If evolutionists do some day get all the mechanics worked out, the questions stated above will still remain.  Considering that not all plants employ phyllotaxis, and that the patterns seem unnecessary for survival, unguided evolution reduces to an empty hand-waving story that “amazing stuff happens sometimes.”  The same criticism can be leveled at any explanation employing impersonal, material causes.  Take a deeper look at that sunflower.  Here is a natural wonder that calls out for better science, deeper philosophy, and perhaps most of all, sound theology.(Visited 38 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Brand South Africa nominated for international award

first_imgBrand South Africa’s efforts in promoting the country as a great place to visit and invest is getting the global recognition it deserves. The City Nation Place Global conference takes place in London on 9 November 2017. Brand South Africa will join over 150 delegates from 30 countries to discuss and highlight shared objectives and challenges of developing strong brand strategies for nations and cities. (Image: City Nation Place Global)Brand South Africa reporterCity Nation Place is a global forum for the strategic branding and marketing of cities and countries.The City Nation Place Awards, now in their third year, recognise the most creative and effective city and country marketing, tourism promotion and foreign direct investment engagement.The global body for nation and city branding, has nominated Brand South Africa for one its major awards. Brand South Africa’s nation branding initiative has been named a finalist in the 2017 City Nation Place Awards and has been nominated in the Best Expression of Place Identity through the Design category, which recognises the effective ways countries communicate their unique offerings through media and design.Winners will be announced at the City Nation Place Global conference in London, UK, on 9 November 2017. Brand South Africa will join over 150 delegates from 30 countries to discuss and highlight shared objectives and challenges of developing strong brand strategies for nations and cities.Watch Brand South Africa’s showcase video below for more details on the awards.For more information visit the City Nation Place website here. Source: City Nation Place GlobalWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Why the Hard Close Isn’t Working

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now The salesperson was struggling to “close” his prospect’s business. The presentation went well, and the prospect understood the value the solution would create for her. But at the end of the call, when the sales person asked his prospect to buy, she hedged. She said “I’d like to think it over. Can you get back to me next week?”The salesperson’s manager insisted that his team push hard to close. The salesperson, doing what he was directed to do, pushed the prospect. He said, “You need this. Your business needs this. If you don’t do this now, you know you never will. What credit card are you going to put this on.” That failed, and he tried again with even more aggressive language.The last thing the salesperson heard was the sound of his proactive client hanging up.How to Lose a DealThe sales manager is wrong. He’s not wrong for directing that his salespeople ask for the business at the end of their presentation. He is wrong in believing that the hard close is the right strategy for winning business.Attempting to push the prospect into buying screams self-orientation. This approach ensures that the prospect knows that this deal is all about the salesperson and their company and that it has very little to do with serving her or her needs. The sales manager is trying to use a sledgehammer to turn a doorknob; you may get the door open, but you’ll break it in the process.Equally important, ignoring a prospect’s real needs is no way to win customers. The prospect isn’t ready to buy because she has concerns. She’s concerned about spending the money. She’s not sure she is going to use the product enough to capture the value. She doesn’t know what her partner is going to say. Whatever her concern, for her it is real.No one needs time to make a better decision. They need more information. Pretending that the prospect’s concerns aren’t real or that it isn’t your job to resolve those concerns is one way to alienate would-be clients while ensuring that they tell everyone they know that your name belongs right behind Hitler’s, Stalin’s, and Mao’s.Not Liked or TrustedNo one has to buy from you. They’re going to buy from someone they know, like, and trust. It’s a poor strategy to make people know they don’t like or trust you.Force is the choice of those who are truly weak. Influence is the choice of the powerful.last_img read more

Asa Miller finishes in top 70 of men’s giant slalom

first_imgBrace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC MOST READ Read Next Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH AFP official booed out of forum Philippines’ Asa Miller competes in the Men’s Giant Slalom at the Jeongseon Alpine Center during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 18, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Fabrice COFFRINIAsa Miller made a huge leap in his second run to finish 70th overall in the men’s giant slalom event in alpine skiing Sunday in the 2018 PyeongChang Winter OIympics at Yongpyong Alpine Centre.Seeking to improve his time of 1:27.52 after finishing 81st in Run 1, the Fil-Am alpine skier performed better in Run 2, completing the course in 1:22.43, the 68th-best in the round.ADVERTISEMENT Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises View comments LATEST STORIES That showing hiked his total time to 2:49.95, still 31.91 seconds behind the leader but enough to get him a spot in the top 70 among 108 competitors.Marcel Hirscher of Austria claimed the gold medal after topping the field with a total time of 2:18.04.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutHenrik Kristoffersen of Norway made a huge run in Run 2 to take home the silver with his 2:19.31, while Alexis Pinturault of France settled for bronze with his time of 2:19.35.Miller will compete in the men’s slalom event on Thursday. UE should have a ‘win now’ mentality, says Adorador Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics PLAY LIST 00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:29Police 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 NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Globe Business launches leading cloud-enabled and hardware-agnostic conferencing platform in PHlast_img read more

Five players to watch at the Asian Cup

first_imgIs Luis Manzano planning to propose to Jessy Mendiola? SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion BREAKING: Corrections officer shot dead in front of Bilibid Hotel management clarifies SEAG footballers’ kikiam breakfast issue Five players likely to catch the eye at the Asian Cup, which starts on Saturday in Abu Dhabi:Son Heung-min, South KoreaADVERTISEMENT PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH 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 City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss After failed playoff bid, Phoenix looking to play better, disciplined basketball in 2019 TS Kammuri to enter PAR possibly a day after SEA Games opening SEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completion Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. center_img LOOK: Joyce Pring goes public with engagement to Juancho Triviño LATEST STORIES Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting MOST READ UAE Al-Jazeera club player Ali Mabkhout Al Hajeri (L) and Iranian Perspolis FC club player Shojae Khalilzadeh, vie for the ball during their AFC Champions League football match at the Mohammed Bin Zayaed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on May 7, 2018. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP)Prolific striker Mabkhout’s five goals saw him bag the top scorer award at the last Asian Cup as the UAE reached the semi-finals. He scored the winning goal in the third-place playoff and went on to be named the 2015 Asian Player of the Year. Mabkhout lit up the group stages in Australia with the fastest goal in Asian Cup history, just 14 seconds into the UAE’s group stage win against Bahrain. The 28-year-old, who plays for Al Jazira in Abu Dhabi, has a phenomenal strike rate, having bagged 44 goals for his country in 65 appearances. He will have the extra burden of carrying home hopes — the UAE reached their only previous final as hosts in 1996, losing to Saudi Arabia — in the absence of injured star playmaker Omar “Amoory” Abdulrahman, the 2016 Asian Player of the Year.Maya Yoshida, JapanJapan’s defender Maya Yoshida takes part in a training session in Kazan on June 30, 2018, during the Russia 2018 World Cup football tournament. (Photo by Benjamin CREMEL / AFP)As coach Hajime Moriyasu puts his faith in Japan’s hungry, young players at the Asian Cup, captain Maya Yoshida’s experience will be crucial. The 30-year-old Southampton centre-back has been a regular feature in the Japan side since making his debut in 2010, helping the Blue Samurai win a record fourth Asian Cup the following year. A no-nonsense defender, Yoshida is a popular member of the Japan set-up and will be a calming influence when the going gets tough in the UAE. The 89-cap veteran played a key role as Japan reached the last 16 of the 2018 World Cup but had a game to forget as they squandered a two-goal lead in a dramatic 3-2 defeat by Belgium. Yoshida won’t have to face Belgium’s firepower at the Asian Cup but Iran, South Korea and holders Australia will be serious threats. Japan will need all their skipper’s sang-froid to go the distance.Mathew Ryan, AustraliaAustralia’s goalkeeper Mathew Ryan and team mates from Autralia’s national football team attend a training session at the Park Arena in Sochi on June 25, 2018, on the eve of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup Group C football match between Australia and Peru. (Photo by Nelson Almeida / AFP)Mat Ryan has fast established himself as a first-rate goalkeeper in the English Premier League and is one of the truly top-class players at the Asian Cup. He might be one of the world’s smaller shot stoppers, at six foot (1.84 metres), but he stood tall for newly-promoted Brighton last season to help them avoid relegation, and has been equally impressive this year in their mid-table campaign. The Sydney-born Ryan rose to fame with the Central Coast Mariners in Australia’s A-League, earning a move to Belgium’s Club Brugge before a switch to Valencia in La Liga and then Brighton in July 2017. He made his Socceroos debut in 2012, succeeding Mark Schwarzer. The 26-year-old has played at two World Cups and was a key part of Australia’s winning team at the 2015 Asian Cup. He recently told reporters he was “doing everything I can to replicate that this time”.ADVERTISEMENT Tottenham Hotspur’s Son Heung-Min celebrates after scoring his side’s second goal during the English League Cup 4th round soccer match between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at the London stadium in London, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2018. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)After a string of eye-catching performances in 2018, lightning-quick Son is looking to add Asian Cup honours to the Asian Games gold he won in Indonesia in September. At the World Cup, Son scored a left-footed stunner against Mexico and the injury-time clincher to send holders Germany out. He has been in scorching form for Tottenham, scoring seven goals in his last seven league appearances. Among them was the Premier League’s November goal of the month — a quicksilver piece of individual magic against Chelsea — a rocket at Leicester and doubles in the 6-2 rout of Everton and 5-0 Boxing Day thrashing of Bournemouth. Son first caught the eye four years ago as South Korea reached the Asian Cup final in Australia, prompting Spurs to pay Bayer Leverkusen £22 million ($28 million) for the twinkled-toed forward who has a deadly shot with either foot. He won’t figure in South Korea’s first two matches, under a deal done with the north London club, but class act Son can take the Asian Cup by the scruff of the neck once he touches down.Wu Lei, China FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionShanghai SIPG’s Wu Lei celebrates during the Chinese Super League (CSL) football match between Shanghai SIPG and Beijing Renhe in Shanghai on November 7, 2018. (Photo by STR / AFP) / China OUTIf China are to spring a surprise and reach the latter stages of the tournament, they will need Wu to fire for his country. The forward hit 27 goals in 29 games to top the scoring charts in the Chinese Super League (CSL) and play a major part in Shanghai SIPG’s first title triumph. But with little else in attack for the national side, Wu has been nowhere near as prolific for his country (13 goals in 59 games) and often looks a shadow of the player he is for SIPG. Wu was voted CSL player of the season, and with his speed and direct running has the potential to be one of the stars of the tournament. Linked with a move to Chinese-owned English Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers.Ali Mabkhout, UAE Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more