The Durant yin & yang: Reintegrating his game not without its challenges

first_imgJust like they did in the 2016 offseason, the Warriors are about to welcome a star to a team that had won plenty without him. This time, the Warriors are not making a free-agency pitch to Kevin Durant during their visit to the Hamptons. Instead, the Warriors are expected to welcome Durant back after missing the past five playoff games because of a strained right calf.When will that be? Nothing is official yet. The Warriors plan to reevaluate Durant and DeMarcus Cousins in hopes both could be …last_img read more

D’Angelo Russell and Draymond Green to sit Monday vs Lakers

first_imgGuard D’Angelo Russell and forward Draymond Green will rest for the Warriors in Monday night’s preseason game against Lakers at Staples Center.Russell and Green are expected to be back in the lineup, while Curry will sit Wednesday’s matchup. Curry is expected to be the lone star player participating in Monday’s exhibition.“I mean, it’s just more of the same, just continuing to build habits. We have a couple things we want to focus on, just common Warrior themes like taking care of the ball …last_img read more

Did Haeckel’s Defunct Recapitulation Theory Influence the Supreme Court?

first_imgOne of our readers uncovered an amicus brief from the American Psychological Association (q.v. on American Bar Association website) encouraging the Supreme Court to overturn capital punishment for minors (see 03/04/2005 entry).  One of the key arguments in the brief is that “Neuropsychological research demonstrates that the adolescent brain has not reached adult maturity.”  Zeroing in on scientific evidence, the brief claimed “Of particular interest with regard to decision-making and criminal culpability is the development of the frontal lobes of the brain.”  (Emphasis added in all quotes.)    For support, the brief cited a 2004 paper by Gogtay et al. from PNAS,1 describing results of MRI scans of 13 young individuals undergoing various activities; the team concluded that juvenile frontal lobes were not as well developed as those of adults.  Yet this team’s conclusions leaned heavily on evolutionary assumptions, particularly those of Ernst Haeckel, author of the now-defunct “recapitulation theory” (often stated in its pretentious prose, “ontogeny recapitulates phylogeny,” meaning, the development of the embryo imitates its evolutionary history).  The paper contains subtle references to recapitulation theory in making the claim that teenagers are too immature for responsible behavior:The superior temporal cortex, which contains association areas that integrate information from several sensory modalities, matured last. Furthermore, the maturation of the cortex also appeared to follow the evolutionary sequence in which these regions were created.In mammals, the inferior temporal cortex, along with parts of the STG, posterior parietal cortex, and prefrontal cortex, are high-order association areas, which are also most recent evolutionarily.  Our observation of these areas appearing to mature later may suggest that the cortical development follows the evolutionary sequence to some degree.Similarly, gender differences in brain maturation could not be explored, because there are only six males and seven females in the sample.  However, our findings uncover key information on the maturational sequence of early brain development and its relation to functional and evolutionary milestones.Phylogenetically, some of the oldest cortical regions lie on the inferior brain surface in the medial aspect of the temporal lobe… The maturation process in the vicinity of these areas appeared to have started early (ontogenetically) already by the age of 4 years…  (Bullets added.)In The Mismeasure of Man (W. W. Norton, 1981), Stephen Jay Gould catalogued the history of the recapitulation theory, which “By 1920… had collapsed.”  He says that it “ranks among the most influential ideas of late nineteenth-century science” and gives examples of its abuse to justify racism and sexism.  Gould claims that the scientific evidence actually supports the opposite conclusion: the young and the embryo are more advanced than the adult, a concept termed neoteny.  If so, this turns the racist and sexist interpretations of the recapitulation theory upside down:Under recapitulation, adults of inferior races are like children of superior races.  But neoteny reverses the argument.  In the context of neoteny, it is “good”—that is, advanced or superior—to retain the traits of childhood, to develop more slowly.  Thus, superior groups retain their childlike characters as adults, while inferior groups pass through the higher phase of childhood and then degenerate toward apishness.  Now consider the conventional prejudice of white scientists: whites are superior, blacks inferior.  Under recapitulation, black adults should be like white children.  But under neoteny, white adults should be like black children.This demonstrates how a misguided scientific claim can have profound cultural effects, sometimes polar opposites from the same data.1Gogtay et al., “Dynamic mapping of human cortical development during childhood through early adulthood,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences PNAS 101: 8174-8179; published online before print as 10.1073/pnas.0402680101.This is scandalous.  If the Supreme Court was snookered by baloney offered up by the pseudoscientific APA in making its decision, then every family member of every victim murdered by juveniles, every suffering witness to Columbine High School’s mass murder spree, should point an angry, accusing finger at Ernst Haeckel, and Pope Charlie who encouraged him, and all the current charlatans who still invoke Haeckel’s phony “biogenetic law” of recapitulation, and accuse them all of co-conspiracy to divert attention from the Constitution and onto pseudoscience.  (Read the 03/04/2005 entry and commentary also.)    No other society has deemed teenagers as incapable of morally responsible behavior; on the contrary, good societies have stressed the importance of moral training early in life, and the need to correct misbehavior from childhood.  MRI scans have nothing to say about the moral character of minors, much less so whether the development of their frontal lobes is recapping some presumed animal ancestry.  Read Gould’s steaming indictment of recapitulation theory and its promoter, the fraud Ernst Haeckel, who practically worshipped the ground Father Charlie walked on.  Folks, you have just seen Darwinian mythology sway the highest court in the land on a matter of life and death.  What are you going to do about it?(Visited 58 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Stem Cell Science Can Proceed Ethically

first_img(Visited 20 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 With adult and induced pluripotent stem cells in abundance, it should not be necessary to destroy human embryos to understand stem cell science.Research with adult stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) is continuing to produce amazing discoveries.Self-healing heart:  The heart has a store of stem cells that is capable of natural regenerative capacity, scientists at Kings College London found (Medical Xpress), promising new treatment for heart failure:The study, published today in the journal Cell, shows that if the stem cells are eliminated, the heart is unable to repair after damage. If the cardiac stem cells are replaced the heart repairs itself, leading to complete cellular, anatomical and functional heart recovery, with the heart returning to normal and pumping at a regular rate.Also, if the cardiac stem cells are removed and re-injected, they naturally ‘home’ to and repair the damaged heart, a discovery that could lead to less-invasive treatments and even early prevention of heart failure in the future.Reprogramming iPSC mutations:  For patients with a blood disease, researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia found they could take skin cells, create iPSCs from them, fix the mutation that causes the blood disease, re-inject them, and cure the disease (Science Daily).  “The technology for generating these cells has been moving very quickly,” the hematologist said.Bad teeth?  Urine luck:  Science Daily reported a “number one source” for new teeth: stem cells in a patient’s own urine.  There’s potential in that liquid that is flushed down the drain to regenerate iPSCs that can be coaxed into creating hard parts of teeth structures.  “The system mimics normal tooth development, which results from an interaction between two different cell types; epithelial cells, which give rise to enamel, and mesenchymal cells, which give rise to the other three main components of teeth (dentin, cementum and pulp).”  iPSC technology is good news, because “their derivation avoids the controversial use of embryos” and the cells are not rejected by the patient.Functional blood vessels:  Scientists at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital succeeded in growing functional blood vesses in vivo from iPSCs, Medical Xpress reported with the headline, “Patient, heal thyself.”  By overcoming several challenges with the method, they have shown that it is no longer necessary to rely on human embryonic stem cells to do the job.   According to a researcher, “the use of vascular precursors from human embryonic stem cells pose ethical and immunological concerns that are averted with the use of iPS-derived vasculogenic cells.”Understanding adult stem cells:  European scientists are learning how stem cells in human skin differentiate, according to Science Daily.  By making proteins “shine,” they can monitor the developmental pathways as the stem cells form different tissues and organs in the skin, such as sweat glands, fat, or hair follicles.  They found that the cells do not follow a simple hierarchy from primitive stem cell to finished tissue, but “there are differentiated levels of stem cells and that it is their close micro-environment that determines” the tissue generated.  These findings will help regenerative medicine avoid “waking up” cells in the wrong place or time that might result in cancer.Understanding embryonic stem cells:  Scientists are trying to understand the expression of embryonic stem cells – in mice.  Science Daily explored the paradox of how these cells can be marked with “on” and “off” regulatory marks simultaneously, like seeing a red and green light at the same time.  A more “nuanced” view of the genetic code is showing a method in the paradox: stem cells can be maintained in a “bivalent state” that allows them to go down either path, depending on context.Understanding the differences:  By studying the substances in zebrafish cells that can convert body cells back to stem cells through a kind of “eraser” that removes the body cell’s memory of what it was, scientists are finding out how to make induced stem cells resemble embryonic cells more closely, Science Daily reported.  And why is this good?  “These multi-talented cells are the focus of much attention in biomedical research because experts hope to use them to regenerate damaged organs without having to resort to embryonic stem cells.”Learning from flatworms:  Flatworms (planaria) have an uncanny ability to regenerate their heads (students sometimes create two-headed planaria in science lab).  At MIT, Medical Xpress reported, scientists made the discovery that muscle cells in the flatworm have the ability to communicate with their nearby stem cells, informing them what kind of tissue is needed.  Certain “position control genes,” which are “highly conserved and many are found in other animals, including humans,” are controlled by particular proteins in the muscle cells.  When wounded, cells alter these proteins to control which PCGs are made, signaling pathways that direct the stem cells to know what kinds of repairs are needed.  “Because the muscle fibers are long, when you cut the animal, it can immediately respond by contracting to close the wound, turning on wound-induced genes at that site, and eventually changing the pattern of expression to respond to the missing tissue.”  Understanding that flow of information “opens whole new areas of research,” the article said.It was just in time.  In 2007, when Japanese scientists learned how to create iPSCs from adult tissues (a Nobel prize discovery), they took the wind out of embryonic stem cell research.  Throughout the Bush and early Obama administrations, scientists were clamoring for rights to destroy human embryos in order to understand stem cells, pulling at the public’s heartstrings to claim patients were dying without them, because conservatives didn’t care about people.  Now that iPSCs and adult stem cells are plentiful and just as effective, why use ESCs at all?  Researchers can learn all they need to know about them from mice and zebrafish.  A subtext we hope you noticed in these stories is that many scientists today would prefer to avoid the ethical controversies.  They want to help patients “without having to resort to embryonic stem cells.”  That’s a welcome change of heart.The miracle cures possible with adult stem cells and iPSCs are at the doorstep.  We have much to look forward to: new hearts, new teeth, new blood vessels and much more.  This will be healthy, morally good, practical research that has nothing to do with evolution.  We need more of that kind of science.last_img read more

Gregory names SA Hockey World Cup team

first_img12 May 2014 South African men’s hockey coach Fabian Gregory announced the team to contest the World Cup in The Hague from 31 May to 15 June on Friday. The return of penalty corner specialist Justin Reid-Ross is expected to provide the team with a big boost. Reid-Ross possesses one of the most powerful drag flicks in the game, but he is much more than a penalty corner specialist alone. He last played for South Africa at the London Olympic Games in 2012 before taking time out to establish a career outside of the game. Playing in The Netherlands for Dutch Hoofdklasse club Pinoke, he enjoyed a very good second half of the season and has just signed for Amsterdam HC, the most high profile club in the country.‘A massive force’ “We welcome Justin back,” Gregory said in a statement. “He has been playing some outstanding hockey, has matured as a player and is a massive force at penalty corners. He is probably flicking even faster now and has added another weapon with a disguised flick, which gives him more variety [and will keep penalty corner defenders and goalkeepers guessing].” Besides his effectiveness as a penalty corner flicker, Reid-Ross’s presence also gives South Africa variety at penalty corners, as alongside him will be the team’s lynchpin and captain Austin Smith. With the talismanic Smith back after a foot injury sustained in the Hockey India League, the options open up considerably as far as variations are concerned.‘Austin adds so much’ “Austin adds so much and his influence will be important as we will focus on our defensive patterns in training games against Holland, India and four Hoofdklasse teams in the final stage later this month,” Gregory said. Cutting the team down from 30-odd hopefuls after a week-long training camp in Pretoria was a difficult task, he added.‘It’s been tough’ “It’s been tough having to tell those who missed out on selection, and to hear the disappointment that is so apparent on hearing the news, it is hard to deal with, but generally the guys took it pretty well, as I emphasised that this is not the end of the road. They come back into the selection picture for the Commonwealth Games,” he explained. Gregory is nonetheless pleased with the combination of youth and experience in the 18 players he has chosen to do duty in The Hague‘A nice balance’ “It is always difficult trying to match youth with experience, but we have a nice balance and based purely on performance at camp this is the best group we have,” he said. The team jets off on 20 May after a two-day training stint in Gauteng, which will include an apparel presentation by kit sponsors Mr Price Sport at a World Cup Launch hosted by the team’s co-sponsors Mugg & Bean.SA WORLD CUP TEAM Goalkeepers: Rassie Pieterse (Southern Gauteng); Gowan Jones (KZN Coastal Raiders) Defenders: Rhett Halkett, Austin Smith (capt), Dylan Swanepoel (all Western Province); Lloyd Madsen, Jethro Eustice (both Southern Gauteng); Justin Reid-Ross (Northern Blues) Midfielders: Wade Paton, Taine Paton, Tim Drummond (all KZN Coastal Raiders); Clint Panther (Southern Gauteng), Jonty Robinson (Northern Blues) Strikers: Julian Hykes (Southern Gauteng), Lungi Tsolekile, Lloyd Norris-Jones, Pierre de Voux (all Western Province); Ignatuis Malgraff (Eastern Province) SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

ReadWriteWeb Events Guide, April 9 2011

first_imgWe’re always on the lookout for upcoming Web tech events from around world. Know of something taking place that should appear here? Want to get your event included in the calendar? Let us know in the comments below or email us. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Tags:#events#web 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market ReadWrite Sponsorslast_img read more

Effective Military-Extension-Community Partnerships

first_imgFor this weeks Friday Field Notes we are offering some reflections by Jim Deidrick, Military/Extension Program Specialist, DoD-USDA Partnerships, Extension Center for Youth Development, University of Minnesota Extension.For the past 11 years I have had the honor and privilege of working with USDA military partnerships: first as a State 4-H Military Liaison and then nationally with the Department of Defense and Army Child, Youth and School Services.  I have been privileged to see first-hand the value added benefit that can be achieved through this national partnership focused on supporting geographically dispersed school age children and youth through the deployment and reintegration of their loved one.Through partnerships with state and local military communities, Extension staff nationwide have expanded and refined their expertise in working with military youth and families.  And in true Extension fashion, built effective community outreach teams with non-military partners for launching local and statewide support efforts.   Working together with military partners, Extension staff trained and supported local outreach teams in creating and implementing strategies for supporting military youth and families within their own communities; i.e. offering training to public school teachers, guidance counselors, administrators, and other youth organizations; developing local support programs; hosting recognition events,  etc.As I reflect on and generalize some of my observations, seven important themes come to the surface in building and supporting effective partnerships:Community awareness of the need and of the partnership – It is important that the community be able to see that this is a need in their community. Why should they care?  Why is public support necessary? And they need to know that there is a team that they can connect with in addressing this need.Intentional recruitment of key community stakeholders – As a core group begins to form it is important to not only rely upon those that voluntarily come forward but to also develop an ongoing strategy for the recruitment of other key community stakeholders.A champion to monitor and support a balance between partner relationships and outcomes – To sustain an effective team, it is important that healthy relationships are built among partners. Partners need to learn about each other, how to work together effectively, and that they can depend upon each other.  But having good working relationships is not sufficient.  The team needs to be actively doing something to address the reason they came together.  The partners need to know that their investment of resources is making a difference.  A skilled “champion” is needed that constantly pays attention to balancing team relationships and outcomes.  Swinging too much one way or the other will have an impact on team effectiveness and sustainability.  This balance is constantly changing as teams gain experience, new partners join, and as personnel change.Active commitment to common mission among all partners – It is important that all partners share in a common mission and see an active role on the team for themselves and their organizations. But, active commitment does not mean the same thing to each partner and the team needs to honor and respect what each partner is able to contribute.Leadership provided at some level by all partners – It is both highly effective and motivating for partners to provide leadership for team efforts within their area of expertise/resource.Utilize existing and new resources to fill gaps, reduce duplication, and make a tangible difference – Effective teams systematically scan for needs, gaps and duplication of available supports for military connected youth and families in their community. They strategically assess and utilize resources at their disposal in planning and delivering impactful programming.Celebration of impact (in order to celebrate, need to evaluate effectiveness) – It is important that teams recognize and celebrate the good work they are doing. In order to know if programming is making a difference, some form of evaluation must be done.  Not every effort needs a formal quantitative evaluation.  Collecting comments, feedback and stories from participants are also effective.One of the resources that we developed to assist teams in many of these areas was the Operation: Military Kids Ready, Set, Go! Implementation Guide 2nd DRAFT available on the 4-H Military Partnerships website.  Included are many tools that can be adapted for use with a variety of teams.last_img read more

Schoolteacher arrested for molesting six-year-old

first_imgA six-year-old student was allegedly molested by a teacher at a government-aided girls’ school in south Kolkata. The incident led to a major protest by parents of students outside the school on Tuesday. The protesters threw stones at the police team which reached the spot for investigation, forcing the police to resort to baton charge to disperse them. The accused teacher was arrested and four persons were taken into custody for throwing stones at the police. The school authorities could not be reached for comments.Two separate casesJoint Commissioner of Kolkata Police (Headquarters) Supratim Sarkar said two separate cases were lodged regarding the alleged molestation and assault on police. “We have lodged a case against the accused teacher under Sections 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), 354 (assault or criminal force to woman with intent to outrage her modesty) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act,” he said.A brawl broke out in front of the school between the police and the guardians when the latter tried to break open the school gate. Both sides allegedly traded blows and a section of the protesters tried to pull off the helmets of the police personnel who retaliated with baton charge. Several guardians and police personnel were injured in the clash. “Eight police personnel, including two officers incharge, were injured,” said Mr. Sarkar. He denied allegations that there was not adequate deployment of women police personnel to deal with the situation.A section of guardians eventually broke open the main gate of the school and ransacked several rooms inside the premises. They also allegedly heckled other teachers when they tried to leave the premises. The situation was such that some of the teachers had to be taken out of the area in police vehicles.West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights chairperson said that the commission will monitor the probe and seek the CCTV footages of the school from the police if required.last_img read more