Woodpeckers Have Multiple Protections Against Brain Injury

first_imgAny one of these adaptations would challenge Darwinian evolution, but all of them together in head-banging bird?How do you protect your head against 1,400 G’s when your life’s work requires you to bang your head repeatedly to find food in wood? Woodpeckers don’t die of concussions. Surely they must suffer some brain injury, don’t they?At Live Science, Mindy Waisberger reports on examination of brain tissue in woodpeckers. Three scientists, publishing their results in PLoS One, found the presence of tau protein in the tissue. Since that is often associated with brain injury in humans, they initially thought this shows that woodpeckers do suffer from the repeated pounding to the head. Another possibility, though, is that the tau protein cushions the birds’ brains.The presence of tau proteins in woodpecker brains shows that their brains are not invulnerable to the effects of forceful pecking. Nevertheless, the tau proteins aren’t necessarily hinting that woodpeckers suffer from pecking-related neurodegenerative disease or brain damage, the scientists wrote in the study.“Something — tau — was there that shouldn’t necessarily be. But whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing, we don’t know,” Farah said.Pileated woodpecker by Lorax (Wikimedia Commons)Woodpeckers have numerous specialized traits that work together to enable them to peck holes in trees. Waisberger and the authors only mention the first five:Skulls with spongy layers, particularly in frontRobust neck musclesThick inner eyelids that close for each strikeA bony plate that protects the optic regionSharp beaks with upper and lower components which can move independently of each other while peckingToes adapted for gripping trees: two pointing forward, two pointing backward, with tendons for each oneSenses geared to finding bugs behind the hard wood, so they know where to peckA long tongue that wraps around the skull that can be extended into the pecked holeSticky glue on the tongue to catch a bugGlue dissolver so the tongue doesn’t stick inside the bird’s mouthWith this new study, another specialization may have been found. “In fact, tau might even serve as a protective adaptation,”Waisberger writes, “providing a buffer around the birds’ neurons that insulates them against harm, according to the study.” One of the authors suspected this might be true for ‘evolutionary’ reasons:“I wonder if what we’re seeing in the woodpeckers may be a protective mechanism for the neurons,” Cummings added. “You have skull modifications, tongue modifications —why would that stop at the brain? Why would the brain not participate in that process of evolutionary adaptation, and molecularly do that by the expression of a protective protein that may help stabilize neurons during that pecking procedure?”And yet according to Darwin’s theory, any one of the functional adaptations listed above would require millions of years of lucky mutations to be selected for any advantage. How many pre-woodpeckers had to die of concussions before the first one succeeded in pecking a hole in a tree and finding a bug for all the trouble? As Dr Jobe Martin likes to point out in his films Incredible Creatures That Defy Evolution, all the parts have to be there at the same time to work. The ability to peck a hole wouldn’t help if the bird didn’t have a tongue long enough to reach inside. Glue on the tongue would starve the bird after its first meal if the tongue got stuck inside the mouth. All the brain protections wouldn’t help if the bird’s feet couldn’t cling to trees, and so on.Waisberger glibly says that “the woodpecker lineage has been around for about 25 million years” (Darwin Years, that is), but neither she nor the three scientists address the puzzle of how all the necessary traits arose at the same time to allow pecking to work. One thing we do observe: they work exceptionally well. Waisberger says,A woodpecker hammering away at a tree experiences forces up to 1,400 times that of Earth’s gravity, or 1,400 G’s. To put that into perspective, humans can withstand about 8 G’s of continuous momentum before eventually blacking out, and a sudden application of 50 G’s would detach most of our organs. Even relatively small amounts of g-force in people can cause concussion, lingering pain in the neck and back, and red dots on the skin from ruptured capillaries — known as “G-measles” or “geasles” — according to Go Flight Medicine, a website for aviation and medical professionals.In short, watch woodpeckers with amazement, but do not imitate them. Football helmet designers have taken inspiration from woodpeckers, the authors note: “Due to it’s [sic] assumed resistance to neurotrauma, the woodpecker has become a model for the development of safety equipment such as football helmets and neck collars.”Don’t you wish someone, somewhere, would realize that evolution (the Stuff Happens Law) is powerless to explain the superlative abilities we find in the living world? Oh, wait: we do here at Creation-Evolution Headlines. This story is another example of why you should stop trusting the Fake Science Media when they approach every wonder of nature with the worn-out lie, “It evolved.” (Visited 527 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Panama Canal Ups Neopanamax Reservations to Seven

first_imgzoom The Panama Canal will increase the number of daily booking slots available for Neopanamax vessels from six to seven effective December 1, 2017.With this measure, the Panama Canal said that it is embracing the additional capacity allowed for by the new, larger locks. The seven daily booking slots for Neopanamax vessels are offered in addition to the 23 slots available each day for transit through the Panamax locks.“This increase is the direct result of our efficient, streamlined use of resources and effective collaboration as we meet the growing demand for transits through the Expanded Canal,” Jorge L. Quijano, Panama Canal Administrator, said.The additional slot is now available for ships transiting northbound, from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean, and was first offered beginning September 26 through a special competition in the first booking period in adherence to Panama Canal regulations.Container vessels will have preference over other vessel types when allocating these additional slots, the Panama Canal said. If no container vessels are interested, the slot will be awarded to any vessel that participated in the special competition, based on the Panama Canal Customer Ranking. After the special competition, the slots will be available to all vessels on a first-come, first-served basis.The Neopanamax Locks can transit additional ships beyond the number of daily slots allotted. The Expanded Canal transited a record 10 Neopanamax ships on November 17. The canal’s daily performance far exceeds the three to four daily transits originally expected.The Panama Canal informed that it will continue to explore ways to expand its capacity, working toward the goal of offering eight Neopanamax reservation slots by the end of the first quarter of 2018 and gradually implementing additional measures to increase capacity through 2019.last_img read more

Lenders invoke IBC norms to keep stressed assets in NCLT

first_imgNew Delhi: Lenders will cite one day default clause under Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC) to defend their action against erring promoters taken to insolvency under the now defunct February 12, 2018 circular of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Sources said promoters of about half a dozen stressed power entities referred to National Company Law Tribunal have approached the bankruptcy court to quash insolvency proceedings against them as it has become non-maintainable following the Supreme Court order declaring the RBI circular ultra vires. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscalBut banker’s are confident that stressed assets referred to NCLT will continue to face bankruptcy proceedings as IBC clearly states such referral even if there is one day delay or default by any entity in meeting its loan commitments. “There is no question that stressed assets referred to NCLT will come out from there following the apex court’s ruling. These assets continue to remain stressed and lenders are sure that resolution under IBC framework would work best for all stakeholders,” said chairman and managing director of a leading state-owned financial institution asking not to be named. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”If need be, lenders would also file an affidavit with NCLT to continue the bankruptcy proceedings in the case of companies that faced such action over the earlier RBI circular,” he added. Five stressed power producers, including 3,600 MW KSK Mahanadi Power Co. Ltd., 1920 MW Lanco Amarkantak Power Ltd., 600 MW Avantha Power (Jhabua), 1350 MW Rattan India Nashik Power Ltd. (formerly Indiabulls) and 1,350 MW Rattan India Power (Amravati project) are preparing to oppose insolvency proceedings as lenders filed petitions against them as per February 12 RBI circular. The projects owe about Rs 50,000 crore to banks. Lanco Amarkantak has sought time from the NCLT to submit documents that suggests that Axis Bank had initiated insolvency proceedings against it under the now-defunct RBI circular. KSK Mahanadi and Avantha Power have also cited the apex court order in earlier NCLT hearing. The other projects are also thinking of taking up the matter in the court. The February 12 RBI circular had also mandated resolution process by lenders even if there was one day delay in repayment by debtors. This stands annulled by Supreme Court. However, IBC gives powers to any creditor to take a company to NCLT even if there is one day delay in repayments and the outstanding amount is in excess of Rs 1 lakh. As this provision stands, lenders want to maintain bankruptcy proceedings against assets that remain in stress. In all about 70 cases with total bank exposure of about Rs 4 lakh crore was declared as stressful by the banks post the RBI circular. This included 34 stressed power projects worth 40,000 MW having total bank of close to Rs 1.8 lakh crore. Its not that institutions, including PFC did not try to resolve certain power projects, but none of the attempts remained successful. In the case of KSK Mahanadi, Adani Group showed interest but it soon withdrew from the race as lenders were divided on the level of hair cut and UP state regulator sought cut in tariff for the project. In case of an Rs 600 crore one time settlement scheme worked out for Lanco Amravati, the sole investor backed out from the race at the last minute. With relation to Avantha Power (Jhabua) an Rs 100 crore settlement for PFC got stalled after one of the operational creditors took the asset to NCLT.last_img read more

Taapsee combats mysterious identity in Game Over

first_imgChennai: In the teaser of the upcoming multilingual thriller Game Over, which was released recently, Taapsee Pannu plays a wheelchair-bound gamer combating a mysterious identity. The minute-long teaser, which mostly unfolds inside a house, looks chilling and intriguing. The teaser features the text “We all have two lives; the second one starts when we realise we only have one”. It indicates that the film is shrouded in mystery and a lot of questions will be answered when the film releases on June 14 in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi. Directed by Ashwin Saravanan, Game Over has been produced by Y Not Studios in association with Reliance Entertainment. Last week, Anurag Kashyap revealed that he will present the Hindi version of Game Over, which has music by Ron Yohann. Having already seen the film, he said he is kicked about presenting the film in Hindi. “I am very kicked about presenting this game-changing film in Hindi. This film proves yet again that the quality of filmmaking from the South is just outstanding and it’s great to see how Ashwin Saravanan has pushed the boundaries and has made a genre-bending film, something that we all have never seen before,” Anurag said in a statement. Earlier, Ashwin described the film as a “quirky thriller” that mostly unfolds inside a house. “It will feature very few characters. Ever since I saw Pink, I’ve wanted to work with Taapsee. I’m glad everything fell in place for this project,” he saidlast_img read more

Frey Tomkins to battle for OSU mens hockey goalie spot once again

OSU then-sophomore goalie Christian Frey (30) during a game against Nebraska-Omaha on Nov. 8 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Lantern File PhotoImagine, as a student, that you have to take a test every Friday.You begin preparation each Monday, getting yourself as ready as you can be for the challenge soon to come — but there’s a catch.Your professor tells you that your Friday tests will only be given if he says so. He might give you the test, he might not.You just have to be ready.This has been the case for Ohio State junior goaltenders Christian Frey and Matt Tomkins for the better part of the past two seasons.Frey’s journey at OSU began midway through the 2013-14 season after Collin Olson left the program and Tomkins was injured.The emergency call-up proved successful, as Frey would end up backstopping the Buckeyes to the championship of the inaugural Big Ten Tournament.OSU then-sophomore goalie Matt Tomkins (31) during a game against Michigan on Jan. 16 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Lantern File PhotoHeading into the 2015-16 campaign, Frey carries a record of 18-16-5 accompanied with a 2.72 goals against average and a .917 save percentage.Tomkins has had his own shining moments throughout the course of his OSU career.Through 31 games played, the 2012 Chicago Blackhawks draftee has a record of 11-14-3 complemented by a 3.01 goals against average, a .897 save percentage and two shutouts.Since Frey’s arrival on campus, the man between the pipes in Game 1 of the typical Friday-Saturday matchups for the Scarlet and Gray is decided on Thursday after a full week of practice is completed.It’s not an uncommon situation for a collegiate team to utilize two goalies throughout the season.Fortunately for Frey and Tomkins, they’re in a comfortable routine, as this has been the status quo for a while now.“It’s the way things are,” Tomkins said. “It kind of gives you an opportunity when you don’t know throughout the week to prove yourself. It feels like you have an opportunity to maybe change the coaches’ minds a little bit.”OSU assistant coach Joe Exter is entering his fifth season with the Buckeyes. He coached former OSU goaltender Brady Hjelle to first-team All-American accolades in 2012-13, the first Buckeye to be named to the first team since 1998.A former netminder for Merrimack College and the Wheeling Nailers of the ECHL, Exter knows the mindsets of his goalies better than anyone. He said he expects them to be ready to go, playing or not, and he understands their situation from a mental aspect.“We anticipate having a good goaltender once we step on the ice each game,” Exter said. “They’re human. They know that there’s one net. We’re not writers, we’re goaltenders. If you want the script to play out the way you feel or the way you hope, you better focus and take care of your job.”So what’s the secret to being on top of your game when you’re unaware if you have the starting job?“Acting every day as if you’re going to be the starter is key to consistency, and even if you’re not in, you still have to be ready,” Frey said. “When the other guy’s in, we’re right there cheering for him, hoping he does well, and when I’m in, he’s cheering for me and hoping I do well.”That relationship and the camaraderie between Frey and Tomkins allows the system to flow as smoothly as a one-on-one battle can.Whoever gets the nod for that first game of the weekend welcomes the challenge, but he also knows how quickly things can change.“Obviously you’re hoping to hear that you’re playing every Thursday, so when you do hear that, that you’re going to be the guy going on Friday night, it’s exciting, but at the same time you have to keep an even keel,” Tomkins said. “You can’t get too high when you’re playing and too low when you’re not.”Once again, it all comes back to just being ready.“If Thursday comes and you’re not the guy going on Friday, you still have to prepare on Friday and on Saturday as if you were going,” Tomkins said. “You never know.”   Either Tomkins or Frey is set to make the first start of the year when OSU opens the regular season at home against Bowling Green on Oct. 9. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m. at the Schottenstein Center. read more

Mayor Faulconer appoints San Diego FireRescue Veteran as new Fire Chief

first_img Posted: July 11, 2018 July 11, 2018 KUSI Newsroom 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) – After a three-month national search, Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer today announced the appointment of Heartland Fire & Rescue Chief Colin Stowell as the next chief of the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department (SDFD).Stowell began his firefighting career at SDFD in 1988 and served in every rank in the department, including Assistant Chief, before leaving in 2016 to lead Heartland Fire.Stowell, who was strongly recommended by both the community and professional interview panels, brings a wide-range of experience that will benefit the department and its more than 1,200 firefighters, lifeguards and support staff.“Chief Stowell was born and raised here in San Diego and spent the majority of his firefighting career protecting our neighborhoods and our residents,” Mayor Faulconer said. “He has the right experience at the right time to continue the major investments we’re making in public safety and lead this department into the future. It’s great to bring Chief Stowell back to SDFD where it all started.”Chief Stowell will take over the department following recent significant investments made by Mayor Faulconer and the City Council, including new firefighting helicopters and the construction or renovation of nine fire stations over the last three years.As San Diego’s Assistant Fire Chief, Chief Stowell oversaw the Emergency Operations division, which includes 48 fire stations, lifeguard services, the training division, emergency medical services, and special operations comprising hazardous materials, air operations, the bomb squad, and fire investigations. He led more than 845 sworn personnel and 240 full-time or seasonal lifeguards.“My career in the fire service began as a member of this great organization. There is no higher honor, personally or professionally, than to have the opportunity to build on this history by leading this esteemed department and its dedicated members in the coming years,” Stowell said. “As Fire Chief, I recognize the critical importance of continuing to provide compassionate and professional emergency services that distinguish this department, and ones that citizens and visitors to our city both deserve and expect. Fortunately, the city leaders and elected officials are tremendous advocates of the fire service in San Diego, and I feel extremely optimistic moving forward with such support and shared commitment to these priorities.”Chief Stowell previously held leadership roles in the SDFD’s operations and emergency medical services divisions. As a Captain, he served as the department’s Wellness Officer and developed the initial concept and procedures for SDFD’s regional Wellness Program. As a Deputy Chief and Assistant Fire Chief, he served on the San Diego All-Hazards Incident Management team as Incident Commander and Operations Section Chief.“Colin Stowell is lauded by his peers, and respected by other fire agencies,” said City Councilmember Chris Cate, Chair of the Public Safety and Livable Neighborhoods committee. “I’m excited for what will come under Colin’s leadership.”Chief Stowell spent the past few years as chief of Heartland Fire & Rescue, which serves the cities of El Cajon, La Mesa and Lemon Grove. There he has been responsible for management and oversight of 127 sworn and civilian fire department staff, policy administration, development of four separate operating budgets as well as capital improvement projects, contract negotiations and oversight, and emergency management coordination with other city departments.“I am pleased to welcome Chief Colin Stowell back to the City of San Diego. We are fortunate to have such an experienced and capable manager for our Fire-Rescue Department,” said City Councilmember Lorie Zapf. “I look forward working with Chief Stowell to deliver the best public safety services to the residents of San Diego.”Feedback from community and professional panels were important factors in Mayor Faulconer’s ultimate decision to appoint Chief Stowell.Community and professional officials who participated in the interview process were:Dimitrios Alexiou, Hospital Association of San Diego CountyRonald Cho, Park and Recreation BoardGeorge Durado, San Diego City Firefighters Association Local 145Jim Geering, Chula Vista Fire ChiefStephen Groce, Human Relations CommissionSusan Jester, Citizens Equal Opportunity CommissionRick Robinson, Oceanside Fire ChiefWendy Robinson, San Diego Fire-Rescue FoundationChris Vanos, Teamsters 911Nick Wright, Municipal Employees Association.Chief Stowell will succeed Kevin Ester, who has served as Interim Chief since April when former Chief Brian Fennessy left the department for a similar position in Orange County. Ester will remain in a leadership role within SDFD.The City Council is expected to hold Stowell’s confirmation hearing later this month.Chief Stowell earned his Bachelor’s degree in Public Administration from San Diego State University, holds an associate’s degree in fire science from Miramar College and completed the Executive Fire Officer Program at the National Fire Academy. He is a native San Diegan who lives in San Diego with his wife and two teenage children. Mayor Faulconer appoints San Diego Fire-Rescue Veteran as new Fire Chief KUSI Newsroom, Categories: Good Morning San Diego, Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more