Missing Link Fish Story

first_imgOnce upon a time, 450 million years ago, scavenger fish without teeth or bones roamed the shallow icy waters of Africa which was undergoing an Ice Age.  Slowly, over millions of years, they gained teeth and other structures characteristic of more advanced fish.  Then, a few thousand years ago, a lake in the (now continental Africa) dried up, and its cichlid-fish inhabitants underwent an explosive burst of speciation.    That’s the gist of two stories, one from BBC News and one from National Geographic.  The fossil fish story in BBC News emphasizes the claim that this is a “missing link” three times.  Professor Richard Aldridge (U. of Leicester) is quoted as saying:“The fossil record confirms that the evolution of fish was a step-wise event,” explained Professor Aldridge.    “The various characters that make up a fish, or a vertebrate, didn’t all appear at once – they were added one by one through evolutionary time.    These [new] fossils help fill in this pattern of how early vertebrate evolution began.”   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)One problem is noted: “These fossils are important because there is a theory that the origins of fish really took place in the northern continents, and then spread south,” he said.  “This find [from Southern Africa] dispels that theory.”  How fish got to China 80 million years earlier he does not explain.    The cichlid fish inhabiting east African lakes today are another matter.  In just a few thousand years, according to National Geographic, these freshwater fish “have evolved an astonishing array of forms in Africa.”  The high rates of speciation among these fish is “almost beyond belief,” yielding up to 400 species.  Evolution apparently has a variable speed control.  “The discovery should provide valuable new insights into the march of evolution, which, in the case of cichlids, seems to favor the fast-forward button.”If evolution had a fast-forward button, it would be an intelligently designed machine.  These two articles illustrate the extreme flexibility of evolutionary logic, where any data point, no matter how anomalous, can be fit into the tall tale somehow.  Contradictions, rather than being disturbing, make the plot thicker and more interesting.  Somehow, in an early world with a plethora of unfilled ecological niches, fish took their time evolving over tens of millions of years.  Then in a relatively small lake habitat on one continent, Tinkerbell hit the fast-forward button and generated hundreds of species of fish in a geological instant.  Evolution marches on.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Reports of pests moving into Ohio fields

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest As the newly planted corn and soybean fields begin to emerge, pests become a major concern for farmers. In this week’s DuPont Pioneer Field Report, Account Manager Trent Brisby tells Ty Higgins that he is getting reports of pests damaging the young crops in Northwest Ohio. He has some tips on what to look for and what to do to protect fields this season and beyond.last_img

Shop Talk with Fennig Equipment | Cover Crops Prep

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The latest edition of Shop Talk with Fennig Equipment joins Adam Fennig to discuss some options to consider when thinking about cover crop application and/or termination.last_img

From Co-Working to Cubicles: Where Are You Working?

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#start#StartUp 101#startups Related Posts One of the fantastic things about being an entrepreneur is that you can define your own working conditions. From Craigslist’s modest Sunset District apartment headquarters to Twitter’s stylish new digs, startups are getting creative with their work spaces. Below are a few options to consider in choosing your space. Virtual: As covered in an earlier post, ReadWriteWeb runs a totally virtual office. Using a combination of Basecamp, Google Docs and Skype, the team manages to coordinate articles and interviews from more than five locations across the globe. Traveling Space: We recently came across iStopOver – a service that allows you to rent space for your team while on the go. If you’re together at a conference, or you’d just like a change of pace, this service allows you to rent furnished office space on a daily basis. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting dana oshiro Co-working: Rather than having your staff work in isolation, you can rent them desk space at one or a number of distributed co-working facilities. Sites like San Francisco’s Citizen Space and The Hat Factory allow nomadic tech workers to share ideas and solutions in a friendly environment. Many co-working spaces offer a daily drop in rate as well as the option for monthly membership. To find a space in your community, check out the co-working map on the Co-working community blog. Lease and Rent: Sites like LoopNet and Rofo specialize in finding commercial space. A number of sites will allow you to take on space for a short-term lease with the idea that you may need to scale up your team in a short period of time. If you’ve got a unique work environment, let us know in the comments below.last_img read more

Cash-for-marks scam hits Gujarat medical college

first_imgWhen Gujarat’s Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) caught Bharat Sawant and Ashok Tailor accepting ₹20 lakh from a doctor couple to allow their daughter to appear in the final year MBBS examination of the Sumandeep Vidhyapeeth (SV), a deemed university that runs medical and dental colleges in Vadodara, the agency had little idea that a massive cash-for-marks and ‘donation’ scam would be unearthed.The ACB laid a trap to arrest Sawant and Tailor on Monday; the duo worked to collect money on behalf of Mansukh Shah, SV’s chairman and managing trustee. Subsequently, Mr. Shah was also arrested as the police established that the cash collected by the duo was meant for him.Following the arrest, the police raided several premises of Mr. Shah’s and recovered 200 signed cheques worth ₹101 crore from students. At the back of each cheque, the name and details of students were written, but the instruments did not have dates or the receiver’s name on them.“Cheques were taken in advance from students in addition to their regular course fees, which means those cheques were meant for other purposes, either as donation for admission, or as cash for marks in exams,” a senior official of the ACB told The Hindu, adding, “As per the modus operandi, the cheque was returned after the student paid in cash.”According to the assistant director of the ACB, D.P. Chudasama, after the arrest of Mansukh Shah and his agents, the agency has received a dozen complaints from current and ex-students that they were forced to pay a hefty amount in order to take exams.Mr. Chudasama added that the ACB had also collected documents related to ₹43 crore as fixed deposits in various banks, and papers pertaining to immovable properties and land parcels. Another ACB official pegged Mr. Shah’s empire at ₹1,500 crore, with annual donation income of close to ₹100 crore from 150 MBBS seats, 100 BDS seats, 112 MS and MD seats and 30 MDS seats in his colleges.Interestingly, the current president of the Medical Council of India (MCI), Dr. Jayshree Mehta, was earlier Vice Chancellor of SVU from 2007 to 2012.Considered a close aide of former MCI chairman Dr. Ketan Desai, Mr. Shah founded SVU’s medical and dental colleges, which were recognised as a deemed university by the University Grants Commission (UGC) in 2013, so it has its own fee structure and admission process.All for a priceAccording to insiders, the donation for each MBBS seat is anywhere between ₹50 lakh to ₹ 1 crore, in addition to the regular course fee of ₹15.95 lakh for general category students, ₹11.96 lakh for Jain students, and $50,000 for students getting admissions in NRI (Non Resident Indian)-sponsored seats.Similarly for BDS, donation amounts range from ₹10 to ₹15 lakh, besides a regular course fee of ₹4.75 lakh for the general category, ₹3.56 lakh for Jains, and $13,000 for the NRI category.“Shah runs his university like a shop, selling seats and also higher grades in exams. This concept of a self-financed and deemed university needs to be reviewed because the entire process, from admission to fixing fees and taking the exam is done by itself, without the intervention of any outside agency,” said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) lawmaker R.M. Patel, who earlier served as health commissioner of Gujarat.“Shah is a medical and education mafia and will be dealt with strictly as per the law,” said Gujarat BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya. “Sumandeep (Vidyapeeth) is an epicentre of corruption in medical education in the State. We have been demanding that his [Shah’s] colleges should be de-recognised as it is a massive scam running into several thousand crores of rupees,” said Congress leader and syndicate member of the Gujarat University, Manish Doshi.A senior official in the Gujarat government told The Hindu that more than 40% students in SV are children of doctors from Gujarat and other States. Interestingly, even the main complainant is an Ahmedabad-based doctor couple, whose daughter is in the final year of MBBS at SV.The couple approached the ACB when they received a call from the college, asking for ₹20 lakh to enable their daughter to take the final year exam. “The college authorities would call parents before the exam, saying that their child has failed in the internal exam, and so would not be allowed to take the annual exam. Subsequently, after the payment of a certain amount, he or she would be allowed to take the exam and get good marks,” an insider said, explaining the cash-for-marks racket.last_img read more

Hero launches sporty ‘Ignitor’ in two variants

first_imgTwo-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp Ltd has recently launched its sporty motorcycle ‘Ignitor’at 15 dealerships across Karnataka. The bike is priced at Rs 56,747 (base variant ex-showroom Bangalore), the company said in a statement.The Hero Ignitor is offered in two variants, with the base variant getting front drum brake and the top variant getting front disc brake, it said.Ignitor is available in four exciting colours, Panther Black, Sports Red, Pearl White, & Vibrant Blue, the company said.The other features of Ignitor are: digital analog combo meter console, stylish split seat, classy cowl, striking trapezoidal headlight, dazzling tail light, adjustable rear shock-absorbers, body-coloured rear grip and dual tone rear view mirrors. The Ignitor is powered by a 125cc Ecno-Power with low friction technology engine that delivers 11 bhp of power at 8000rpm, promising both fuel economy along with a good power and pick up, the company said.”We aim to bolster our presence in the growing deluxe segment. It combines sturdiness and superior technology,” said Ani Dua, senior Vice-President (Marketing and Sales), Hero Moto Corp.With PTI inputslast_img read more