Mourinho says current Chelsea side have potential to be better than his title winners

first_imgJose Mourinho says his current Chelsea side have the potential to surpass the team he built and led to back-to-back Premier League titles during his first reign.The Blues face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday lunchtime and Mourinho’s table-toppers could go 15 points clear of the Reds after just 11 games.“The other team won titles, won everything – not just with me but after me with the same basic team. They were European champions,” Mourinho said.“This team is a good team that plays well and has conditions and evolutions to keep going and get better than the previous team. But the reality is this team has done nothing yet.”Mourinho’s first spell in charge saw him guide the club to domestic titles in 2004/05 and 2005/06, as well as the League Cup in 2005 and 2007 and FA Cup in 2007.The Blues will face Liverpool having had 24 hours less to prepare than their hosts.Chelsea are hoping to repeat last season’s win at AnfieldChelsea played out a 1-1 Champions League draw in Slovenia against Maribor on Wednesday, while Liverpool opted to rest several key players for their 1-0 away defeat against Real Madrid on Tuesday.“We will be mentally right, even if physically the players could have a problem. But mentally is more important (than physically). We have to be ready for it,” said Mourinho, who also insisted he will be looking for a win and not playing for a draw.“Our intention is to win. When we have the ball, we want to try to score and when they have the ball we have to try to stop them.“It is the ABC of football.  I will do this to my last day.”Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

Your Senses Awe Scientists

first_imgThe ear, the eye, the nose, and the mind itself continue to display wondrous capabilities.The EarIn a paper meant to argue for evolution, Science described the phenomenal capabilities of the human ear, likening it to a piano:In mammals, the chain of auditory biophysical events starts with the transformation of airborne acoustic energy into the mechanical vibrations of an eardrum. The lever action of delicate middle ear bones passes these eardrum vibrations to the oval window (Fig. 1), generating force gain via surface area ratio. This is the critically important step of impedance conversion that enables the efficient transfer of acoustic energy from airborne vibrations to the liquid-immersed mechanosensory hair cells in the cochlea. A second salient feature of many auditory systems is their capacity to analyze the frequency content of incoming sound waves. This process makes use of the mechanical anisotropy of the fluid-bathed basilar membrane to spatially decompose the acoustic signal into its frequency components, a biological form of the Fourier transform. Cochlear hair cells receive mechanical inputs at specific frequencies, depending on their position along the stiffness gradient of the basilar membrane. This “piano keyboard” mapping, or tonotopic organization, is the canonical mechanism for frequency selectivity in mammals.The authors found a similar chain of acoustic-mechanical-fluid energy transfers leading to frequency selectivity in a katydid ear, leading them to claim it was an extreme case of “convergent evolution.”  Ronald R. Hoy in his summary of the paper in Science actually used an illustration of a piano keyboard to portray the frequency selectivity mechanism.  See also the 11/15/2012 entry.The NoseA short article on Science Daily described a new finding about the sense of smell.  How are odors mapped to the brain? In “How Cells in the Nose Detect Odors: Braking Mechanism in Olfactory Neurons Helps Generate Amazing Diversity of Sensors,” the article introduced some of the complexity involved:The human nose has millions of olfactory neurons grouped into hundreds of different neuron types. Each of these neuron types expresses only one odorant receptor, and all neurons expressing the same odorant receptor plug into one region in the brain, an organization that allows for specific odors to be sensed.Scientists at UC Riverside studied the olfactory mechanisms in insects, and found another convergence: both insects and mammals – far removed from any possible evolutionary relationship – use a similar and very complex “braking” mechanism to repress genes until they should be expressed.  The article compared the mechanism to another human device: a typewriter –Ray explained that one way to understand the mechanism in operation is to consider a typewriter. When none of the keys are pressed, a spring mechanism or “brake” can be imagined to hold the type bars away from the paper. When a key is pressed, however, the brake on that key is overcome and the appropriate letter is typed onto the paper. And just as typing only one letter in one spot is important for each letter to be recognized, expressing one receptor in one neuron lets different sensor types to be generated in the nose.“If this were not the case, a single cell would express several receptors and there would be no diversity in sensor types,” Ray said. “Our study then attempts to answer a fundamental question in neurobiology: How do we generate so much cellular diversity in the nervous system?”But the nose’s “typewriter” is much more elaborate, because it can modulate the response level of the inputs.The EyeImitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  That’s why scientists at Case Western Reserve University are working to imitate the human eye’s lens, reported Science Daily.  A crucial trait of the lens’s effectiveness is its graduated index of refraction (GRIN), a property difficult to replicate in glass.  The researchers at Case Western have now achieved the fabrication of GRIN lenses by stacking thousands of nanoscale layers.  This “visionary design” promises a “new, more natural lens technology” that can begin to duplicate some of the benefits of biological lenses for those needing lens replacement surgery.  And that’s not all:Drawing heavily upon nature for inspiration, a team of researchers has created a new artificial lens that is nearly identical to the natural lens of the human eye. This innovative lens, which is made up of thousands of nanoscale polymer layers, may one day provide a more natural performance in implantable lenses to replace damaged or diseased human eye lenses, as well as consumer vision products; it also may lead to superior ground and aerial surveillance technology.It’s good they said “nearly identical” instead of identical, because polymer-based lenses only duplicate the graduated index of refraction.  They are not capable of self-repair and genetic self-replication.  It is, though, an important step in trying to replicate something natural that many of us take for granted as we read articles like this one.  “The human eye is a GRIN lens,” Michael Ponting, who is applying the research to a spinoff industry. “It’s a very efficient means of controlling the pathway of light without relying on complicated optics, and one that we attempted to mimic.”The BrainA remarkable story was posted on Medical Xpress: doctors in Canada have apparently succeeded in communicating with a man thought to be in a “vegetative state” for 12 years following an accident (a vegetative state is defined as inability to communicate or respond, even though an EEG shows brain activity).  Though Scott Routley is incapable of body movement, his brain and hearing are still apparently responsive.  Using functional MRI (fMRI), the scientists found an ingenious way to make contact:To try to communicate with Routley, doctors asked him to try to visualize himself playing tennis and recorded the way his brain responded using fMRI. They then asked him next to try to visualize himself walking around in his house and recorded the way his brain responded to that exercise as well. Then, they asked Routley to use the visualizations as a means of responding to questions – to visualize the tennis match as a means of answering yes to a question, for example…. team lead Prof Adrian Owen, said tests were run multiple times using the same question and answer process and he reports that the results indicate that Routley was definitely communicating with him and his team.Some are not yet convinced, doubting the interpretation of the scans.  If confirmed, though, serious ethical issues arise: “such research raises the possibility that science will discover that some people have been left to lie immobile for years under the assumption that they are unaware of the reality of their situation – a situation that would have to be addressed if it’s determined that they are and have been, capable of conscious thought.”  The BBC is making a documentary about it.  This is definitely a story to watch.  Doctors may have found a key to communicating with patients once thought to be out of touch with reality, giving them a way to reach out and express their pains and pleasures simply by thinking about them.Wonderful stories that speak for themselves.  Darwinism is useless to all this.  It’s like ugly fat that clogs the arteries of science.  Let’s put science on a fitness program.  The future could be bright for open minds running a lean, mean, well-designed machine. 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SA launches nanotech centres

first_imgSouth African Science and Technology Minister Mosibudi Mangena has launched the country’s first two national nanotechnology innovation centres. The launch forms part of the government’s plan to ensure South Africa remains competitive in the international research community in the fast-developing field of nanoscience and nanotechnology.Nanotechnology is a field of applied science and technology which manipulates materials on an atomic or molecular scale, particularly in the construction of microscopic devices such as robots.The two innovation centres have been established at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and Mintek in Pretoria.Mangena said South Africa, as a developing nation, will benefit from nanotechnology. “We therefore have to create an environment conducive to harnessing the potential benefits of this promising field of science,” he said.“Theirs will not be blue sky research but one with identified, tangible measurables. They will have to be at the forefront, the tone-setters and catalysts of the country’s research and development programme in Nanotechnology.”The focus of the CSIR centre is on the design and modelling of novel nano-structured materials, while the centre at Mintek focuses on water, health, mining and minerals.These areas have been identified in the department of science and technology’s (DST’s) National Nanotechnology Strategy as key in the development of nanoscience and nanotechnology in order to effect social development.Both centres will have a strong focus on human capital development by training and developing young scientists who will stimulate growth in South Africa’s emerging nanotechnology industry.Dr Daven Compton, head of nanoscience and nanotechnology at Mintek expressed pride at Mintek’s selection to host one of these centres.“We are confident that the Mintek consortium will be able to build on to its existing strengths to, ultimately, provide nanotechnology-based products that will find commercial favour in the global arena,” he said.The Mintek consortium consists of the DST, the Medical Research Council, the Water Research Commission, the Universities of Johannesburg, the Western Cape and Rhodes.“Through the synergies achieved by means of this powerful partnership, the DST/Mintek Nanotechnology Innovation Centre will initially have three focal areas which will be represented in the fields of sensor, biolabel and water nanotechnology,” said Compton.Dr Suprakas Sinha Ray, chief researcher and leader at the CSIR centre, said that “we are still in the initial wave of nanotechnology, in which most of the nanotechnology-based products on the market are linked to defence and national security applications or to sporting goods and consumer-convenience items, is currently being experienced.“last_img read more

Young guns vital for Queensland’s defence in women’s open

first_imgBy BEN HARRISThey weren’t involved in Queensland’s historic win two years ago but Kim Sue See and Brooke Walker could play a big part in their state’s defence of the women’s open title.Queensland ended New South Wales’ grip on the women’s open title when they won the three-game series 2-1 in Port Macquarie in 2012 following victories in match one (5-3) and match three (3-1).It was Queensland’s first series win in the women’s open division since 2002.Now back on home soil at Sunshine Coast Stadium, Queensland are looking to go back-to-back in the division for the first time in State of Origin history.If they do, a big reason for it could be their six debutants including Sue See and Walker.Both have represented Australia via premiership-winning stints with Queensland Secondary Schools Touch at the National Youth Championships.Sue See made her international women’s open debut on her 18th birthday in the first Trans-Tasman Test at Mudgee on ANZAC Day earlier this year.“I’m really nervous but I’m not as nervous as I would be if I hadn’t already played for Australia. It really helped. It calms me a bit,” Sue See said.Coming from Bribie Island, Sue See is playing in her backyard at Sunshine Coast Stadium.She knows New South Wales won’t be pushovers.“New South Wales have some of the best players in the world,” she said.“But as a team hopefully we can play to our strengths and we will see how we go.”Walker, 19, expects all three matches to be physical and challenging.She said it was surreal to be making her debut in the open’s team alongside the likes of Peta Rogerson and Kelly Woods.“They have experience behind them and to be able to debut alongside them it is a dream really,” Walker said.“We have the potential to win definitely. We’ve got people like Peta and Woodsy to guide us and the rest will have to step up and hopefully we can come away with a win.”The first match of the women’s open series begins at 5.20pm on Friday, September 19.The second and third matches are on Saturday at 10.45am and 4.15pm respectively.There are plenty of ways to keep up-to-date with all of the latest results, news and information from the 2014 State of Origin. The Touch Football Australia and State of Origin websites will be updated regularly throughout the event with all of the latest information and can be found by clicking on the links below: www.soo.mytouchfooty.com www.touchfootball.com.au All of Touch Football Australia’s social media pages will be regularly updated throughout the NYC event, so be sure to ‘like’ and ‘follow’ us by clicking on the links below. Facebook – www.facebook.com/touchfootballaustralia Twitter – www.twitter.com/touchfootyaus (be sure to use the hashtag #soo2014) Instagram – www.instagram.com/touchfootballaustralia (be sure to use the hashtag #soo2014) The TFA YouTube channel will also have highlights and live games streamed throughout the event. Please click on the link below to be taken to the channel, and be sure to become a subscriber to the channel – www.youtube.com/touchfootballausRelated LinksSOO women’s openlast_img read more