Happy Birthday to… Ballybofey!

first_imgThe town of Ballybofey is 400 years old this weekend and the locals are celebrating in style.In 1619, a charter was granted for a market to be established on the banks of the River Finn.  While there certainly were people already living along the River’s banks, this is the first record of a formal gathering in BallybofeyIn celebration of this, a big weekend of family-friendly activities has been planned for all the enjoy from 27th to 29th September. “The weekend of events celebrates Ballybofey’s rich culture and history,” explains Leah Fairman of BASICC (Ballybofey & Stranorlar Integrated Community Company). “We’d like to thank everyone who has been in touch with ideas, organised events and volunteered their time. The weekend is a huge community effort and we’re so proud of our towns!”  Leah adds that almost all the events are free to attend. “Everyone is welcome to come along and join the fun.”Highlights of the weekend include: Friday Evening Launch: Joe Mulholland of the McGill Summer School, a Twin Towns native, will open our weekend of events.  The launch will begin at 6.45pm in College Court for the opening of our special art and photography exhibition, before moving to the Villa Rose Hotel at 7.30pm for an evening of reminiscing and storytelling. Big Birthday Bash Fair Day – The main event for the weekend is a Fair Day from 10am to 2pm in Navenny Car Park.   There’s something for everyone as locals look to recreate the fun and memories of this big day out. Also on the agenda is art events and exhibitions, children’s historical trail and evening entertainment in many pubs and venues around the town.Keep up to date with all the news about the event on the website – www.ballybofeystranorlar.com. On Facebook and Instagram @basicc.twintowns   Phone: 074 9190909 Email: leah@thebaseenterprise.ie   Happy Birthday to… Ballybofey! was last modified: September 24th, 2019 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ballybofey birthdayBASICClast_img read more

MLB Winter Meetings: Possible catching options for the Oakland A’s

first_imgOn day one of the Winter Meetings, a controversy was re-hashed and quick player laundry lists unfurled. On day two, the news out of the Oakland A’s camp in San Diego came to a nice halt.“It’s pretty slow,” Vice president of baseball operations Billy Beane said on Tuesday with reporters. “We don’t have a lot. It seems like a lot of the air is filled with free agent talk. You guys are here, too. So it’s a bit slow. But I think that’s a function of us not having to re-invent ourselves at these …last_img read more

Snake Bites Darwin

first_imgThe origin of snakes and snake venom has become more puzzling to believers in Darwinian evolution.(Note: For explanation of our usage of Darwin, Darwinism and Darwinian, see footnote.)If snakes evolved from lizards, there should be fossils showing the transition. There should also be genetic changes evident between lizards and snakes. Often in biology, things turn out too complicated for simple stories.Does Darwinism Explain Snake Limblessness?Research explains how snakes lost their limbs (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo). Scrutiny is advised whenever science claims to “explain” something. Writer José Tadeu Arantes begins not with an explanation, but an assertion:Snakes and lizards are reptiles that belong to the order Squamata. They share several traits but differ in one obvious respect: snakes do not have limbs. The two suborders diverged more than 100 million years ago.The Brazilian researchers at FAPESP, led by postdoc Juliana Gusson Roscito under the supervision of Miguel Rodrigues, Professor at the University of São Paulo’s Bioscience Institute (IB-USP), compared genes between snakes and one species of lizard, the tegu lizard, as well as some other animals. Roscito also compared genes of species that lost eyes. That’s when things got messy. These stories of lost organs did not involve genetics alone, but also epigenetics: issues of gene regulation. Instances and functions of cis-regulatory elements (CRE’s) are more difficult to discern.From a computational standpoint, CREs are not as easy to identify as genes. Genes have a characteristic syntax, with base pairs that show where the genes begin and end. This is not the case for CREs, so they have to be identified indirectly. This identification is normally based on the conservation of DNA sequences among many different species.Gene conservation, though, entails belief in evolution: i.e., that “conserved” genes were so important that they were preserved by natural selection over millions of years. Already some Darwinian circular reasoning is involved in the conclusions, because genetic differences could be due to other causes than common ancestry. The method used by the team seems reasonable only when evolution is assumed.“Using the tegu genome as a reference, we created an alignment of the genomes of several species, including two snakes (boa and python), three other limbed reptiles (green anole lizard, dragon lizard and gecko), three birds, an alligator, three turtles, 14 mammals, a frog, and a coelacanth. This alignment of 29 genomes was used as the basis for all further analyses.”The researchers identified more than 5,000 DNA regions that are considered candidate regulatory elements in several species. They then searched the large database using ingenious technical procedures that are described in detail in the article and obtained a set of CREs the mutation of which may have led to the disappearance of limbs in the ancestors of snakes.They found mutations in one particular CRE in snakes they believe is involved in the loss of limbs, because mice with the snake version were born almost limbless. The classical neo-Darwinian approach of looking for mutations in selected genes is now complicated by looking for mutations in epigenetic factors.“A regulatory element can activate or inhibit the expression of a gene in a certain part of the organism, such as the limbs, for example, while a different regulatory element can activate or inhibit the expression of the same gene in a different part, such as the head. If the gene is lost, it ceases to be expressed in both places and can often have a negative effect on the organism’s formation. However, if only one of the regulatory elements is lost, expression may disappear in one part while being conserved in the other,” Roscito explained.Sounds simple enough; but Roscito cautions, “However, this CRE is only one of the regulatory elements for one of several genes that control limb formation.” It appears premature to say that this finding “explains how snakes lost their limbs.”To see why, consider a mutant snake born without limbs. Would it survive? And even if it survived, would it mate with a limbed lizard, and pass on limblessness to all the offspring? How could a limbless male mount a female? Why would such a physical deficiency become established in a lizard population? In the case of blind cave fish, eyes are no longer needed, and other existing organs take on the needed senses for viability. The mouse with the snake CRE, however, was definitely impaired in “fitness” for its environment.Along with limb loss, the snake would have to evolve new behaviors and new methods of locomotion. The capabilities of snakes are staggering in their variety and complexity, from flying through the air, to living in the ocean, and inhabiting environments as diverse as deserts and tropical jungles. They also exhibit enormous variations in color, patterns and sizes. If a mutation in one regulatory element caused loss of limbs in snakes and yet led to tremendous success, why aren’t there thriving examples of limbless dinosaurs, limbless birds and limbless primates? Remember, too, that the mutations had to affect the germ line or would vanish when the first snake died.The paper in Nature Communications shows that Roscito and the co-authors realize that a single CRE change is inadequate to explain why snakes lost their limbs. In the paper, “Phenotype loss is associated with widespread divergence of the gene regulatory landscape in evolution,” they can only say that the candidate CRE they studied appears to be “associated” with limb loss in snakes. There are many complications, like pleiotropy (a change in one gene affecting other genes) that must be considered when trying to turn association into causation – or into explanation.The loss of a complex phenotype is one extreme case of morphological evolution. Upon phenotype loss, we expect a different evolutionary trajectory for the genetic information underlying this phenotype. On the one hand, the integrity of developmental genes should be maintained over time due to selection on those gene functions that are not related to the lost phenotype. On the other hand, modular cis-regulatory elements associated specifically with this phenotype may directly contribute to its loss and are expected to evolve neutrally afterwards. This should result in sequence divergence and thus decay of regulatory activity over time…. However, recent studies found that numerous other limb enhancers are nevertheless still conserved in snakes, despite limb reduction in this lineage dating back to more than 100 Mya, possibly due to pleiotropy of regulatory elements that drive expression in other non-limb tissues. Thus, it remains an open question whether phenotype loss is generally associated with widespread divergence of the cis-regulatory landscape.While they may have accounted for conservation of a genetic loss, nowhere in the paper do they use the term “positive selection” to account for the many other phenotypic innovations that had to occur for limbless lizards to thrive as snakes. Is it not just as scientific to infer that snakes came fully formed as thriving creatures, with their different CRE’s and all?Does Darwinism Explain Snake Venom?Misti Crane writes for Ohio State that “Rattlesnake venom” comes in forms that are “mild, medium and wicked hot.” Even within a species or genus, “Lizard-killing ability varies from snake to snake.”In a surprising evolutionary twist, a new study suggests that while one rattlesnake may routinely feast on lizard meat, its seemingly identical neighbor snake might strike and strike and never kill its would-be reptilian prey.The first-of-its-kind research reveals significant venom variation within populations of Florida pygmy rattlesnakes, showing that effectiveness against one type of prey differs widely among individuals and opening up questions about why this variation exists.Evolutionists usually had accounted for the differences in snake venom by studying the prey available in different environments. Crane says “that made good intuitive sense, because they were living in different environments, with different dietary options at the ready.” Consequently, herpetologists spent their time comparing species rather than watching for differences within species. H. Lisle Gibbs, the senior author of the study, shared the surprise.“This is a whole new way of looking at how evolution operates on venom that we haven’t considered,” he said. “There’s a new act in this evolutionary play that we didn’t know about until now.”For evolutionists, this must be baffling, because snakes diverged from lizards 100 million Darwin Years ago. Why aren’t the less-fit snakes long extinct? Individual pygmy rattlesnakes differ by as much as fourfold in their ability to kill prey with their venomous bites. Admittedly, these evolutionary biologists have no explanation.Gibbs and team could turn from their evolutionary focus and work to help mankind. “Aside from broadening scientific understanding of evolution, this work could one day help inform efforts to develop drugs based on venom – an area of pharmaceutical research that has already shown benefit in cardiovascular disease and could prove important in the treatment of pain and neurological disorders, as well as other human diseases, Gibbs said.”Snakes are wonderfully designed, yet fearsome, creatures. Their colors, varieties, sizes and behaviors astonish all who learn about them. Some snakes can be kept as pets and held in the hands with perfect safety; others cause great pain and suffering and death. Creationists struggle to explain these realities, too, from the brief Biblical account provided. Everything was very good in the beginning; did some species of snake exist then? It seems unlikely that “the serpent” in chapter 3 was the father of all snakes (where was the female?). As with all cases of “natural evil” from viruses to man-eating tigers, we don’t know everything. In last year’s film The Riot and the Dance, Dr. Gordon Wilson showed many fearsome creatures and discussed some of these questions. Viewers watched as he came dangerously close to some deadly cobras and held other organisms that, if not handled carefully, could kill. In many creatures, we observe fascinating design coupled with extreme danger. Given what has been revealed about the curse due to sin, and the creation groaning in pain in the current epoch (Romans 8:18-25), and the promise of a new heaven and new earth without pain and suffering, we have enough general information to trust God and wait for the redemption of creation. But for any mockers who think the Stuff Happens Law created snakes by mistake, the articles above show that evolutionists have no answers. When it comes to snakes, we can all agree on one thing: while explaining them is hard, observing and learning about them to help alleviate suffering and create cures for disease is a better way to spend our time.Footnote on use of “Darwin” in CEH: The term Darwin serves as a shorthand metonymy for all that his view entails, much as the term Newton serves as a convenient shorthand for all that Newtonian physics entails. We realize that evolutionary thought has come a long way since Darwin’s Origin of Species, just as physics has progressed far beyond Newton’s Principia. It could be argued that Newton was not a Newtonian in the way some of his followers were, and Darwin was not a Darwinian in the way some of his followers feel. Nevertheless, there are certain features of Darwinism that all modern evolutionists believe: namely, universal common ancestry by unguided material processes, such as natural selection. “Darwin” becomes the face of those beliefs. Our criticisms of “Darwin,” including the cartoons, are not personal attacks on Darwin the man, since he is long dead, but on the worldview by which he made it possible to become (to mutate Richard Dawkins’ statement), an intellectually fool-filled atheist.(Visited 559 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Bafana squad set for Brazil camp

first_img8 March 2010Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has named a 29-strong squad, including only two overseas-based players, for a World Cup training camp in Brazil. Another camp is scheduled for April in Germany.Both under-20 players, Kermit Erasmus and Daylon Claasen, starred for South Africa at the Fifa Youth World Cup in 2009, helping the team to reach the round of 16, where they lost 2-1 to eventual champions Ghana after extra time.Thanduyise Khuboni, who was singled out by Parreira for his strong recent performances, was named in the squad at the expense of former Newcastle United midfielder Matthew Pattison, who is currently with Mamelodi Sundowns.The Pretoria club had more players named in the squad than any other team, with eight. Six players were called up from Orlando Pirates.RecalledSundowns defender Matthew Booth, who made a good impression during the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup, was recalled to the national squad.The camp is an opportunity for Parreira to scout players to strengthen the depth of his squad. No doubt, he has a clear picture of the core of his selection, and that core will include a fair number of foreign-based players.It will also allow him a chance to mould the team into its own identity. Speaking at a press conference last week, he said that with some other international teams, their style and identity is clear. That, he continued, is something South Africa does not have, but he hopes to instill it.Parreira added that Bafana Bafana also needed to work at using their speed and skills, because physically they are a small team.Similar campsHe said that he had previously held similar camps for Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates prior to World Cups. All of them, he said, were successful.Parreira said it had been difficult to organise the camp, as it falls during the Brazilian football season. Nonetheless, Bafana Bafana will face four top clubs on: 13 March versus Volta Redonda 14 March versus Fluminense 17 March versus Cruzeiro 20 March versus Botafogo South Africa will wind up their match schedule on 31 March, when they take on fellow World Cup finalists Paraguay.Further pre-World Cup internationals have been scheduled against Argentina at Soccer City in Johannesburg on 27 May, and against Denmark on 5 June at a Gauteng venue that has not yet been announced.BAFANA BAFANA SQUADGoalkeepers: Emille Baron, Itumeleng Khune, Moneeb JosephsDefenders: Matthew Booth, Lucas Thwala, Siyanda Xulu, Siyabonga Sangweni, Siboniso Gaxa, Bongani Khumalo, Innocent MdledleMidfielders:Teko Modise, Surprise Moriri, Gert Schalkwyk, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Thanduyise Khuboni, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Lance Davids, Lebohang Mokoena, Tlou Segolela, Kermit Erasmus, Daine Klate, Andile Jali, Franklin Cale, Daylon Claasens, Thulasizwe Mbunyane, Thabo NthetheStrikers: Richard Henyekane, Katlego Mphela, Thulani SereroWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Musonda joins Celtic on loan from Chelsea

first_imgTransfers Musonda joins Celtic on 18-month loan from Chelsea Goal Last updated 1 year ago 05:01 1/30/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(1) Charly Musonda Chelsea Getty Images Transfers Celtic Chelsea Premier League Premiership The 21-year-old attacking midfielder will spend an extended spell with the Scottish champions, despite interest from the Premier League and La Liga Celtic have completed the signing of Charly Musonda on an 18-month loan from Chelsea.Despite recently signing a new contract with Chelsea that lasts until 2022, the 21-year-old had long lined up for a loan move and had attracted interest from the likes of Real Betis, Bournemouth, Newcastle United, Watford and West Bromwich Albion.However, it is the Scottish champions who have won the battle, landing his services until the end of the 2018-19 campaign after he went through a medical in Glasgow on Monday. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player The Belgium Under 21 international will unite with Brendan Rodgers’s side as they sit 11 points clear of Rangers at the top of Scottish Premiership and prepare for a Europa League last-32 tie with Zenit St Petersburg.Musonda has featured for Chelsea’s first team seven times in all competitions this season, most recently making a late cameo in the Premier League clash with Brighton and Hove Albion on January 20.The Belgian previously spent time on loan with Real Betis in La Liga, where he made 14 starts and 10 further substitute appearances before an injury forced him to make an early return to Stamford Bridge in December 2016.Musonda is not the only Chelsea player on the move Monday. Antonio Conte’s side also saw Baba Rahman return to Schalke on an 18-month loan deal, while Brazilian attacking midfielder Nathan will head to Belenenses.Meanwhile, the Premier League champions are set to secure their second signing of the transfer window, as Emerson Palmieri will travel to London on Tuesday to complete a £17.5 million move from Roma.last_img read more

SC grants CBI 2 more weeks to complete probe in accident case

first_imgNew Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday granted two more weeks’ time to the CBI to complete the ongoing investigation in a road accident case in which the Unnao rape survivor and her lawyer have sustained critical injuries. A bench comprising Justices Deepak Gupta and Aniruddha Bose extended the time for completing the probe after the CBI moved an application seeking four more weeks on the ground that the statements of the rape survivor and her lawyer have not been recorded so far. Also Read – India gets first tranche of Swiss bank a/c details The bench also directed the Uttar Pradesh government to pay Rs five lakh to the lawyer, who is in a critical condition. The court had on August 2 directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete the investigation within seven days, adding that the agency could avail additional seven days in exceptional circumstances, but in no case the time frame would be extended beyond a fortnight. The top court had earlier ordered transfer of all the five related cases in the matter to Delhi but later modified its order putting in abeyance shifting of the accident case till the probe was completed. Also Read – Tourists to be allowed in J&K from Thursday The modification was done stating that due to shifting of the case, the local court was facing technical hurdle in passing orders of remand for the accused who are being arrested in course of the probe. The court had said the order transferring the accident case “shall remain in abeyance for the period during which the said case remains under investigation, which we have stipulated in the order dated August 1, 2019, to be completed in a maximum period of 15 days, preferably within seven days. The order dated August 1, 2019, is modified accordingly”. The woman, allegedly raped by BJP MLA Kuldeep Singh Sengar in 2017 when she was a minor, is battling for life after a truck rammed into the car she was travelling in with some family members and her lawyer. Two of her aunts died in the accident recently. She was airlifted from a hospital in Lucknow and brought to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) for better care as she continued to be critical.last_img read more