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Laimbeer excited for chance to build Las Vegas franchise

first_img“I’m looking at a huge task in front of me,” Laimbeer said. “First I have to build a staff from everything from video coordinator and interns to my assistants to basketball ops people. I’ve been making lists and lists and lists.”His task is a little easier than other startup franchises because MGM has been in the entertainment business for years.“I think it’s new to them. They understand arenas, they understand all that goes into the logistics and selling tickets,” Laimbeer said. “The basketball part they are into, but it’s not something they’ve really done before. I have the experience that I can navigate and explain what this is and how it works and what the opportunities are. I know all the infrastructure and the how-to. My job is to set everything up.”Finding those people won’t be so hard, as Laimbeer said his phone has been ringing nonstop since it was announced that he took the job.MGM will not be the first company with casino holdings to own a WNBA team. The Mohegan Sun owns the team in Connecticut. The blueprint for Nevada is somewhat similar.ADVERTISEMENT Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ Jo Koy: My brain always wants to think funny Kiefer Ravena ‘very excited’ to play for Guiao at NLEX Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ set The 60-year-old Laimbeer could stay with New York as the team’s general manager or find employment elsewhere.His decision was made a bit easier when his phone rang a few weeks ago. An executive at MGM Resorts International asked him to be the coach and president of the new WNBA team that was moving from San Antonio to Las Vegas.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSRedemption is sweet for Ginebra, Scottie ThompsonSPORTSMayweather beats Pacquiao, Canelo for ‘Fighter of the Decade’SPORTSFederer blasts lack of communication on Australian Open smog“I said I’d talk to my wife,” Laimbeer said. “At the end of the day, I like challenge and I think this would be a great experience.”Laimbeer accepted the new position, which he will start Nov. 1. In this Aug. 29, 2015, file photo, New York Liberty coach Bill Laimbeer watches during the team’s WNBA basketball game against the Connecticut Sun in Uncasville, Conn. AP Photo/Jessica Hill, File)NEW YORK — Bill Laimbeer found himself at a crossroad.His contract with the New York Liberty was up and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to stay or move on. He had spent the last few years grooming Katie Smith to be the team’s next head coach and felt the time was right for her to take over the team, which lost in the second round of the playoffs for the second consecutive year.ADVERTISEMENT Kiss-and-tell matinee idol’s conquests: True stories or tall tales? “While other teams are restocking their cupboards, we have to order things from scratch like basketballs, athletic tape, nearly everything,” Laimbeer said.This will be the first professional basketball team in Las Vegas, which has become a coveted target for sports franchises over the past few years.The expansion Vegas Golden Knights began their first NHL season this month. In March, the NFL formally approved the Oakland Raiders’ relocation to Las Vegas by the 2020 season to occupy a proposed new stadium on the Las Vegas Strip, although the deal wasn’t approved until casino mogul Sheldon Adelson pulled out of the financing plan.The Golden Knights play at MGM’s T-Mobile Arena, but the casino doesn’t own the team.“This is the first pro sports team that MGM resorts owns and it’s a great alignment frankly with the DNA of our company,” said Lilian Tomovich, MGM’s chief experience and marketing officer.Laimbeer inherits a team that finished last for the second straight year. San Antonio has a talented young nucleus with Kayla McBride, Moriah Jefferson and Kelsey Plum. The team also has the top chance to get the No. 1 pick in next year’s draft.“They need a change of culture,” Laimbeer said. “Any time you get a team that’s beat down record-wise, you have to have a catalyst for a change. This is a tremendous catalyst. Going to an exciting venue and situation where there’s resources. I have been successful creating a team that can compete. We can break out of this thing.”Laimbeer also thinks being in Las Vegas will be attractive to free agents.“Players will want to come here,” he said. “All the signs point to a great opportunity. We have to pick up the pieces and make it happen.”This is the second move for the franchise. It came to San Antonio from Utah in 2003. Led by Becky Hammon, the Stars reached the WNBA Finals in 2008. The team has finished with the league’s worst record each of the past three seasons. LATEST STORIES Coco’s house rules on ‘Probinsyano’ setcenter_img Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Margot Robbie talks about filming ‘Bombshell’s’ disturbing sexual harassment scene It’s too early to present Duterte’s ‘legacy’ – Lacson Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard PLAY LIST 02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award OSG plea to revoke ABS-CBN franchise ‘a duplicitous move’ – Lacson Jake says relationship with Shaina ‘goes beyond physical attraction’ MOST READlast_img read more

Ebola Claims another Victim

first_imgThe Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoH&SW) has disclosed that the remaining sister who provided one of the two blood samples that were tested positive out of seven sent to Lyon, France for laboratory testing, has died.On Sunday, March 30, Health and Social Welfare Minister, Dr. (MD) Walter Traub Gwenigale told the Daily Observer the Ebola virus was in the country and had claimed a life, which was the sister of the lady, who passed late Wednesday evening.“On April 3, the second lady whose case was confirmed died at Firestone; bringing the death toll to seven. This includes the two [Ebola] confirmed cases and five probable cases. Since March 24, 14 suspected cases of the Ebola Virus Disease have been reported, pending laboratory confirmation,” the Health Ministry said in its daily updates on the situation. The lady, who died in Harbel, Firestone, might have contracted the virus from her sister, who she (the Firestone deceased) looked after when she was sick.The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that the virus has a case fatality rate of 90 percent: meaning that out of every 10 persons, who contract the virus, nine die.Providing an update at the Ministry of Information, Culture Affairs and Tourism (MICAT) regular Thursday press briefing, Health Minister Gwenigale said the other lady (name not mentioned) had succumbed to the Ebola virus.The latest victim, according to the Health Ministry’s authorities, reportedly traveled from Foya in Lofa County to Chicken Soup Factory in Monrovia and then to Harbel in Firestone before she was quarantined. They disclosed that the deceased travelled with her daughter, who it is now assumed contracted the virus from her mother after coming down with its symptoms.According to Minister Gwenigale, his worries are now centered on the surviving daughter (identity withheld) and others the deceased might have possibly come in contact with while traveling from Lofa to Monrovia and then to Firestone.This opens a possibility that some of the people she interacted with on her way and since her arrival in Firestone have also become infected.The health boss indicated that casualties of suspected Ebola cases in the country have now reached seven, including another woman who was quarantined in Foya, but was taken away by relatives to an unidentified pastor for delivery prayers.He said another 25-year-old young man, who was suspected of contracting the virus has also died in Tappita, Nimba County, though he said that health practitioners are still investigating his death to ascertain the truth as to if it is Ebola related.“Also under investigation is the death of a Bassa man in Grand Gedeh, who was suspected of having the virus. We have to take this thing very seriously. It saddens me that people are saying that we are only looking for money to enrich ourselves,” he lamented.Minister Gwenigale also disclosed at the press conference that experts have begun to arrive in the country to help his team battle the deadly Ebola virus.He said two medical experts from medical organization Medicin San Frontier (MSF) arrived in the country Wednesday, April 2, to help his team battle the virus.“They will be helping medical practitioners prevent themselves from contracting the virus while at the same time attending to patients,” Min. Gwenigale said.Meanwhile, Dr. Gwenigale disclosed that the Health Ministry has received US$250,000 from the Ministry of Finance to begin the exercise of containing the virus.The Ministry has budgeted US$1.2 million for its fight against the virus; but to date only US$300,000 from the GOL plus a US$10,000 from the Mano River Union Secretariat in Monrovia, has come in so far.Dr. Gwenigale again urged everyone within Liberia’s borders to adhere to these preventive actions such as do not eat animals that are found dead in the bush, and avoid contacts with fruit bats, monkeys, chimpanzees, antelopes and porcupines. Limit as much as possible, direct contact with body fluids of infected persons or dead persons. Wash your hands with soap and water as frequently as possible. Treat your water with chlorine before drinking. The Ministry’s hotline numbers including 0770198517, 0777549805, 0886530260 and 0886549805 are still active for people to call and report any suspected Ebola case(s).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Eco drillship to reach Orinduik Block by June 24

first_img– As company optimistic of 4 billion barrels of oil in blockThe Stena Forth oil exploration drillship has left West Africa en route to Guyana where it will spud the Jethro Lobe prospect offshore the English-speaking South American nation by the end of June, Eco Atlantic Oil and Gas announced on Monday.This is according to the company in a release. According to the company, the Stena Forth drillship is expected to reach Eco’s Orinduik Block on or around June 24, 2019.The ship is being mobilised for Eco and its partners, Tullow Guyana BV (“Tullow”) and Total EP Guyana BV (“Total”), for a committed two-well campaign. The first exploration well is to be drilled on the Jethro Lobe prospect, as announced on December 5, 2018. The second well is the Joe prospect, a few kilometres away.To date, Guyana has confirmed about 6 billion barrels of oil under the Atlantic Ocean due to 13 discoveries on the Stabroek Block by ExxonMobil. Eco Atlantic Oil and Gas estimates there are about 4 billion barrels of oil on its Orinbduik Block.According to Eco Atlantic, the Stena Forth was actively drilling for Tullow on an existing contract immediately prior to its transition to Guyana and is fully crewed with experienced personnel, allowing a smooth transition and less rig-up and training time.Eco noted that it boasts a cash balance today of approximately US$35 million and is funded for its share of up to a further six potential new exploration or development wells in addition to the Jethro Lobe and Joe wells, following a placing and subscription completed on April 10, 2019.ECO’s Chief Operating Officer, Colin Kinley, was quoted as saying: “The mobilisation of the Stena Forth is the final stage of a long, conservative and quality controlled process to plan and drill the initial two wells on Orinduik. The Block licence was applied for in March 2014 and was awarded to Eco and Tullow in January 2016 with a first well commitment for 2021/2022.“With 13 discoveries, so far totalling over 5.5BBOE (billion barrel of oil equivalent) on Exxon’s adjacent Stabroek Block in the past three years, and with our strong commitment to Guyana, the joint venture partners have since expedited and significantly expanded their work programme far beyond and ahead of the committed requirements.”Kinley added: “Our team, together with Tullow and Total, have comprehensively interpreted the nearly 3000 km2 of 3D seismic data we shot over and beyond Orinduik and have selected the first two targets that we feel will allow us to accelerate the Block’s development. With the Stena Forth now mobilising westwards to Guyana waters, we are on course to drill a pair of potentially transformational wells for the company, for the Block partners, and for Guyana.”Eco Atlantic’s Chief Operating Officer was confident that its interpretation of its data supported a relatively high chance of success, estimated at over 40 per cent for both the Jethro and Joe prospect.The company said that despite the outcome of the first two planned wells, it has enough capital for a multi-well drilling campaign and was confident that hydrocarbons are on the Block in the wake of good quality sands like those on the Stabroek Block. Consequently, Kinley maintained that the main risks are the quality of the seal and the presence of a trap.“Thanks to our successful US$17 million placement and subscription in April, we have a cash balance today of over US$35 million so we are in the fortunate position of being fully funded to drill up to six additional wells on Orinduik, across the fifteen identified prospects…the two wells will test both the Upper and Lower Tertiary-aged turbidites, while Jethro will also be drilled down to the Cretaceous section.”“Our focus is on near-term oil production and we have ordered our exploration programme around risking, development and deliverability of oil for the people of Guyana and our stakeholders,” Kinley remarked.last_img read more

Football notables work on safety net for teen players

first_imgWhat he envisions is a “high school warrior alliance,” a national clearinghouse that provides not just information and resources, but counselors in the form of kids who have been paralyzed themselves. That way, he explains, it’s not just help, but self-help. “Fortunately, it doesn’t happen to a lot of kids, but it’s a byproduct of the game we all still love, and these kids need and deserve a reason to get up in the morning, too,” he said. “At some point, football has to step up and say, `We take care of our own.”‘ In Grossnickle’s case, that happened shortly after he heard the story of Rob Komosa, who was paralyzed while playing on the scout team in practice at a nearby high school, then spent months trapped in his bedroom while his parents, Polish immigrants who spoke little English, tried to cope with medical and financial problems overwhelming them. Grossnickle began by helping widen the door frame in Rob’s bedroom. Next, he helped build a ramp at the front door, and then started in on the paperwork. Eventually, it consumed so much time that Grossnickle resigned his job as an assistant principal – “I’m lucky,” he recalled, “I’m old enough, with enough put away to do this” – and made it a full-time cause. In no time, other paralyzed high school athletes started finding him. So Grossnickle talked former Bears coach Dick Jauron and the late Randy Walker, Northwestern’s football coach at the time, into helping out. When Smith replaced Jauron with the Bears, and Pat Fitzgerald picked up the mantle at Northwestern after Walker’s sudden death, those organizations’ bonds to the “Halftime Book Project” got even stronger. “We need to remember the opportunity the game gave us,” said Fitzgerald, one of the speakers at the banquet. “This gives us an opportunity to give something back to those in need.” Bears community relations director Caroline Guip plans to bring the “Halftime Book Project” to the attention of the league at business meetings in the spring and propose each team in the league explore setting up a similar initiative in their towns. Grossnickle has found only one other project up and running, in Texas, where Eddie Canales started out looking after his son, Chris, who was paralyzed in a high school game, and now ministers more than a dozen kids. “We could both use some help,” Grossnickle said. It could be on the way. At most football banquets, from Pee Wee leagues on up to the NFL, some awards or scholarships are handed out, a few people speak and the luminaries in the crowd take a bow. All of that happened Thursday night in Chicago, too. But somewhere in the middle, after Grossnickle passed out copies of an inspirational book he self-published to raise money for the project and told the stories of the kids in the wheelchairs surrounding him, the game took an important first step. It’s not enough to just look at these kids and say, “`There but for the grace of God go I.’ What we’re asking people in football to do is help us pull together a safety net,” he said, “because nobody knows when they’re going to fall.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! CHICAGO – Football breaks bodies, not just bones, more than most of us want to remember. Play stops for a few moments, the crowd goes silent and prayers follow the loaded-up cart rumbling off the field. Some of those players never climb down or walk again. It happens rarely in the NFL – on average, only once every four years – but 10 times a year in high school games across the country. Worse still, we forget about nearly all of those soon enough. That’s what made a football banquet being thrown Thursday night by the Chicago chapter of the American Football Foundation so different. Thanks to tireless campaigning by a retired high school administrator named Don Grossnickle, and a little help from some high-profile friends, a handful of former players in wheelchairs were invited to tell comeback stories nobody in the audience will ever forget. “Think of your own son being paralyzed, with no insurance, and what that would do to your family, your job, your whole life,” said Bears coach Lovie Smith, who’s been instrumental with both his time and money in helping Grossnickle’s “Halftime Book Project” reach a wider audience. “It’s something we all live in fear of, but until you see it, or deal with it,” Smith added, “it doesn’t really hit home. And as good as football has been to a lot of us, it’s time to do a lot more. Especially at the grass-roots level.” Progress has been slow, but signs the game is coming to grips with that shameful part of its legacy are scattered throughout recent headlines. All during Super Bowl week, Mike Ditka lobbied poignantly on behalf of broken-down, destitute former players too proud to beg for the medical benefits they deserve for helping build the game. Just Wednesday, former Green Bay Packers great Jerry Kramer announced that donations and an auction he put together to assist some of those same pros brought in $125,000, including $12,200 for a ring Ditka put on the block. But none of those funds will trickle down to where Grossnickle and the young men he helps are struggling. And while raising money is a short-term goal – to help families deal with the trauma and cost of a catastrophic injury; to make sure high school coaches, referees and school officials are more knowledgeable and better prepared about how to avert them in the first place – Grossnickle has something grander in mind. last_img

Pogba wants Mourinho to make him feel valued again

first_img0Shares0000Paul Pogba (centre) wants to feel valued again by Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho (left). Photo/DAILY MAILLONDON, United Kingdom, Feb 23 – Paul Pogba wants more support from Jose Mourinho to help him through the most difficult spell of his Manchester United career.United’s record Sh12.6bn (£89million) signing has fallen out of favour and was left on the bench when Mourinho selected Scott McTominay in midfield for the 0-0 draw with Sevilla in Spain on Wednesday night. READ: Pogba wants Jose Mourinho to make him feel valued again… but United star’s camp have begun sounding out Europe’s top clubs over a possible summer transferIt is understood the 24-year-old Frenchman believes he has been harshly treated by Mourinho and wants to feel valued again.Pogba’s camp have even begun sounding out Europe’s top clubs to see if there could be a buyer for the unhappy star this summer.United would strenuously oppose any attempt by Pogba to leave only 19 months after he returned to the club from Juventus for a then world-record fee.Paul Pogba (middle) was back on good form at Manchester United training on TuesdayThey do not want a repeat of the situation with Angel di Maria, who lasted just one season after signing from Real Madrid in a British record £59.7m deal before joining Paris Saint-Germain.However, it is a sign of Pogba’s frustration that his agent Mino Raiola has taken the first steps towards assessing other options.Pogba has previously demonstrated a readiness to walk away from United, having left to join Juventus in 2012.Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba took part in training ahead of Manchester United’s game against SevillaBut even if United were prepared to countenance selling a player who still has more than three years left on his contract, Raiola would have to find a club willing to pay a big transfer fee as well as his Sh28mn (£200,000)-a-week wage.Real Madrid were linked with Pogba when he returned to United from Italy in the summer of 2016 and are among a handful of clubs capable of affording him.However, they are understood to have made a priority of signing Chelsea duo Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois this summer, with goalkeeper David de Gea set to stay at United.Manchester United’s manager Jose Mourinho (L) talks with midfielder Paul Pogba on the sidelines in January 2018Mourinho recently dismissed speculation over Pogba’s future as ‘lies and bull***t’, and it is understood there is no appetite among the Old Trafford hierarchy to sell.The United manager is set to face more questions on Friday over Pogba’s prospects of returning to the starting line-up for the home Premier League clash against Chelsea on Sunday.-By DAILY MAIL-0Shares0000(Visited 2 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Rodgers’ job is NOT at risk! Pearce insists Liverpool board still behind boss

first_imgLiverpool Echo journalist James Pearce believes Brendan Rodgers retains the backing of the club’s owners.Rodgers admited he is feeling the pressure after another disappointing display from his side on Sunday as they went down 3-1 at Crystal Palace.But Pearce insists the Northern Irishman can turn the Reds’ season around and claims he will be given the time to do so.“His position is still very much secure,” he claimed, speaking on the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast.“I don’t think it is a conversation the hierarchy at the club are even considering yet.“It is a bad run they are on, but this is a manager who six months ago was voted Manager of the Year by his peers. No one is pressing the panic button yet.”last_img read more

League One news: Oldham sack manager David Dunn after less than four months

first_img1 Oldham Athletic have parted company with manager David Dunn. The 35-year-old only joined the club as a player in the summer and he took over the first team after Darren Kelly’s departure. The Latics sit third from bottom in Sky Bet League One and are without a win in eight games, six of which have ended in defeat.Oldham chairman Simon Corney said on the club website: “I would like to place on record my thanks and gratitude to David for his tireless efforts over the past four months under what have been extremely difficult circumstances and wish him all the best for the future.“He retained his dignity at all times and his hard work and dedication has been commendable.”Dunn joined Oldham as a player in July from Blackburn and took over the hotseat on an interim basis following Darren Kelly’s sacking in September.Dunn drew his first four games and was rewarded with a permanent contract.He only lost two of his first 12 games, securing wins against Swindon, Chesterfield and Mansfield, but his tenure has come to an end after just 20 matches.Home form has been a particular problem, with Oldham having only won once at Boundary Park in League One all season, which came back in August.Dunn’s assistant Dean Holden, who had an even briefer spell as manager last season, and first-team coach Keith Brown have also left the club.Corney said: “Dean has been a loyal and dedicated servant to the club and he leaves with our gratitude and best wishes.”Oldham will now begin the search for a fifth manager in less than 12 months.In a further statement Oldham revealed the club had made progress on finding Dunn’s replacement.“Following the departures of David Dunn, Dean Holden and Keith Brown, the club can confirm we are in talks with a replacement first-team manager and hope to make a further announcement tomorrow afternoon at the latest.” League One news: Oldham sack manager David Dunn after less than four months last_img read more

Cesar Chavez Day schedule

first_imgGOVERNMENT: Most Los Angeles city offices and libraries will be closed today. San Fernando City Hall, most state offices, and Superior Courts will be closed Friday. Federal and Los Angeles County offices will be open both days, and the Postal Service will deliver mail. SCHOOLS: Community colleges and California State University, Northridge, will be closed Friday. Public schools will be open both days. TRANSIT: Buses, subways and Metrolink will run on a regular schedule. BANKS: Banks and financial markets will be open. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE‘Mame,’ ‘Hello, Dolly!’ composer Jerry Herman dies at 88 TRASH: Trash pickup will be on a regular schedule. STORES: Malls and supermarkets will be open. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

New Pluto Images Even More Perplexing

first_imgPluto has terrain like no other world, leaving scientists perplexed; Enceladus’ activity is also inexplicable for “geologic time”.More images of Pluto just came down from New Horizons on the 24th. Audible gasps come from the scientists, and from anyone seeing them for the first time.  Most eye-catching of all is this “snakeskin” image of Pluto looking toward the terminator:Pluto’s “snakeskin” terrain downloaded from New Horizons Sept 24, 2015“What is that?” planetary scientist Barbara Cohen gasped, according to Nature News. The NASA mission page shares other reactions:The image below — showing an area near the line that separates day from night — captures a vast rippling landscape of strange, aligned linear ridges that has astonished New Horizons team members.“It’s a unique and perplexing landscape stretching over hundreds of miles,” said William McKinnon, New Horizons Geology, Geophysics and Imaging (GGI) team deputy lead from Washington University in St. Louis. “It looks more like tree bark or dragon scales than geology. This’ll really take time to figure out; maybe it’s some combination of internal tectonic forces and ice sublimation driven by Pluto’s faint sunlight.”Other high-resolution images show apparent mountain tops protruding through vast, featureless plains of Sputnik Planum—yet the plains show corrugations suggestive of sublimation or wind erosion. At a larger scale, segments of the plains have polygonal edges suggestive of either convection or rotation of blocks then re-freezing. The highest-resolution image yet reveals “features that resemble dunes, the older shoreline of a shrinking glacial ice lake, and fractured, angular water ice mountains with sheer cliffs.”The ridges in the “snakeskin” are tens of kilometers long, “giant features,” Nature says, running in parallel and covered with rust-colored material. Could wind have formed such features?So far, Pluto has turned out to be strikingly active for an icy world 5 billion kilometres from the Sun. Nitrogen glaciers swirl around the base of towering mountains that are held up by the sheer rigidity of ice at about −235 °C, 38 degrees above absolute zero.A new methane map has created a chicken-and-egg problem, NASA says; some places, like Sputnik Planum, have abundant methane, but the mountains and other areas have none.The distribution of methane across the surface is anything but simple, with higher concentrations on bright plains and crater rims, but usually none in the centers of craters or darker regions.  Outside of Sputnik Planum, methane ice appears to favor brighter areas, but scientists aren’t sure if that’s because methane is more likely to condense there or that its condensation brightens those regions.The poor scientists were already reeling from September 10th’s photos and data (Space.com). There’s a bit of a good-news, bad-news story in another Space.com article. The good news is that scientists have explained Charon’s red north pole: it’s material escaping from Pluto’s atmosphere. The bad news is that Pluto’s atmosphere is finite and can’t keep painting Charon for billions of years.The rapid escape of nitrogen (500 tons per hour*) has them grasping for options for how Pluto can resupply it (see Science Daily, Astrobiology Magazine and Nature). “More nitrogen has to come from somewhere to resupply both the nitrogen ice that is moving around Pluto’s surface in seasonal cycles and the nitrogen that is escaping off the top of the atmosphere as the result of heating by ultraviolet light from the sun,” one scientist from Southwest Research Institute (SWRI) says in Live Science‘s article. A resupply is needed, they assume, because these processes must have been going on for 4.5 billion years. The only plausible source to last for eons would be from the interior, but it has to get out somehow—requiring heat from a body that should be the coldest in the solar system.Additionally, more mountains were identified (Space.com), photos suggest that nitrogen flows in glaciers (PhysOrg), and the team is wondering if Pluto has a liquid ocean under its surface (PhysOrg). New Horizons had “already exceeded expectations” (PhysOrg) before the snakeskin photo showed up today. Speaking of the icy mountains with flowing nitrogen glaciers, a planetary scientist from MIT shared his astonishment:Until now, scientists have only seen surfaces like this on active worlds such as Earth and Saturn’s moon Enceladus. “No one dared imagine such a thick and localized buildup of geologically young ices, that even at 40 kelvins [-388 degrees Fahrenheit], have enough viscosity to create local landforms,” he said.Asked what was the most surprising thing New Horizons has found, Geraint Lewis from the University of Sydney answered that it’s all the evidence of geological activity on a world thought to be dead.And this is truly astounding. Remember, distant Pluto is smaller than our cold, dead moon, but the many surface features revealed by New Horizons are signs of a geologically young Pluto, a Pluto which is constantly changing, driven by processes underway in its core. Why isn’t Pluto as dead as the moon, with a similarly ancient surface? What is driving the internal processes, churning over the surface? And how does Pluto’s surface change over its almost 250 Earth-year long year, during which it dives even more deeply into the outer reaches of the Solar System?Pluto globe (color-enhanced) from New Horizons, Sept 24, 2015 releaseEnceladus NewsSpeaking of Enceladus, a new paper in Icarus theorizes that the geysering moon of Saturn (also surprisingly active for a small body) has a global subsurface ocean. That’s the only way Cassini scientists were able to explain patterns of wobbling, called librations, that stem from its small orbital eccentricity and slightly elongated shape. Another Icarus paper tries to explain the “bookshelf faulting” and tectonic history of the south polar terrain (where the geysers are) in terms of gravity and shear forces. The first paper also notes that other portions of the little moon seem to have terrains that resemble the currently-active south pole, indicating a sustained history of activity that has wandered around over time. The geysers are not a new phenomenon, in other words: Enceladus has probably always been active.The global-ocean hypothesis was rapidly picked up as gospel truth by the usual uncritical suspects at Science Daily, the BBC News, and Live Science as a “discovery” of the scientists, even though they admitted that it is “not directly observable.” No matter; National Geographic was all ready with its hydrobioscopic boilerplate to tantalize the world about life in the Enceladus ocean: “Such alien oceans are prime candidates in the search for life beyond Earth,” Nadia Drake writes. NASA is not about to quench their enthusiasm, because it needs public support for a proposed “life-hunting mission” to Enceladus that would bring back samples from the geyser spray, Space.com reports.What the reporters are not saying is more scientifically pressing: how can this little moon, only the diameter of Arizona, support an ocean for 4.5 billion years, the assumed age of the solar system? (A.S.S.) The authors in the Icarus “ocean” paper admit that it’s a serious problem. There’s not enough tidal energy, and radiogenic heat would be long gone before now. “The maintenance of a global ocean within Enceladus is problematic according to many thermal models and so may constrain satellite properties or require a surprisingly dissipative Saturn.” Yes, it would be surprising for Saturn to tidally squeeze Enceladus that hard, generating enough gravitational heat to exceed the power output of Yellowstone, and leave its similar-size neighbor Mimas (closer to Saturn) unaffected. Science Magazine came in to help with more ad-hoc theory rescue devices, suggesting Enceladus might have a fluffy core with a lot of antifreeze. Any such hypotheses are going to have to explain why they apply to Enceladus and not the other moons of Saturn—indeed to similar-sized bodies all over the solar system.Oh, by the way: Jupiter’s aggressively volcanic moon Io is still erupting like gangbusters. Scientists are refining their maps of the hotspots (Icarus), and taking every opportunity to speak the L-word life (Astrobiology Magazine), but are strangely silent about how all that energy can be sustained for billions of years. At least Astrobiology’s article includes some nice photos of the eruptions taken by New Horizons in 2007 as it swung by on the way to Pluto.*Correction from “tons per minute” to “tons per hour” made 10/11/15– Ed.Why must Io be old? Why must Enceladus be old? Why must Pluto be old? Youth is staring these scientists in the face, and they not only refuse to consider it; that option is completely absent from their mental categories.It’s too early to offer theories about Pluto’s snakeskin, smooth plains, glaciers and mountains; right now, we’re in the thrill-of-discovery mode. The engineers who made this craft and flew it are heroes. The images are breathtaking. The expressions on scientists’ faces are priceless. Sure, they will come up with moyboy hypotheses as time goes on, but their initial exclamations of astonishment must be documented for the history books. They didn’t expect any of this. Their predictions were falsified—but ours were confirmed. Untethered from the A.S.S., we predicted—before the encounter—an active surface, a rapid escape rate of the atmosphere, and evidence the moons were not formed by a collision (7/09/15).So for relief of shortness of breath caused by gasping at these evidences of recent activity, might we suggest to NASA scientists that they negotiate with us a little? We won’t haggle over thousands of years if they would be willing to come down a few orders of magnitude from billions. Maybe a million years here, a few tens of millions there, down to the 108 or 107 range, let’s say; how about that? Whaddya say? No? Why not?O, we see. The priests of the Bearded Buddha are glaring at you from the biology department. Pay them no mind. You are a scientist, remember? You follow the evidence where it leads. (Visited 41 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Antibiotic Resistance Moves from Evolution to Design

first_img(Visited 519 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 They can call it evolution, but information sharing is not what Darwin had in mind.“MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered” proclaims an article on Science Daily. At least 14 years before the last-ditch antibiotic was produced to fight this resistant bacterial strain. This implies that selection pressure was not responsible for making methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) “evolve” somehow, because it already existed. But how did this resistance emerge in the first place? The article calls these “pre-existing adaptations in the bacterial population,” but that doesn’t answer the question.To uncover the origins of the very first MRSA and to trace its evolutionary history, the researchers sequenced the genomes of a unique collection of 209 historic S. aureus isolates. The oldest of these isolates were identified over 50 years ago by the S. aureus reference laboratory of Public Health England and have been stored ever since in their original freeze-dried state. The researchers also found genes in these isolates that confer resistance to numerous other antibiotics, as well as genes associated with decreased susceptibility to disinfectants.So the genes for resistance already existed. Bacteria are also known to share information by horizontal gene transfer, which would be a clever design for sharing ways to defeat harmful substances they had not encountered before. The article claims these adaptations evolved, but had no evidence that resistance was already in the microbial population. It might be like house locks. Those without the locks pre-installed could avoid being burglarized, by having obtained the locks in advance.At The Conversation, Predrag Slijepcevic says that bacterial colonies have their own kind of internet. “When resources are exhausted in one place, microbial expedition forces advance to find new lands of plenty,” he says. “They transmit their discoveries back to base using different kinds of chemical signals, calling for microbial society to transform from settlers to colonisers.” This ability to transmit information sounds more like design than Darwinian evolution, which could not wait for lucky beneficial mutations to appear. Instead, it sounds like the cells come with tools to quickly solve problems in new environments, and then communicate those solutions to the colony.For more on antibiotic resistance, see Jonathan Wells’s new book Zombie Science, chapter 8.last_img read more