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Senior Cup semis start today

first_imgSt Thomas CA and University of the West Indies (UWI) will be hoping to make full use of home conditions when they entertain Kingston CC and Melbourne CC, respectively, in the semi-final action of the Jamaica Cricket Association Senior Cup today. The two-day matchups will see St Thomas and Kingston squaring off at Goodyear Oval, while relative newcomers, the UWI, will entertain former champions Melbourne at the Sir Frank Worrell Oval. “We won our preliminary-round zone and our quarter-final outright and are in form and looking to go all the way,” said Dennis Gordon, president of St Thomas. “Our bowling attack has been consistent, while our batting continues to improve, and as such, Kingston will have to come good if they are to beat us.” St Thomas’ bowling will be spearheaded by national fast bowlers Keno Wallace and Gavan Brown, while captain Carlton Baugh Jr as well as former national youth captain Jamie Trenchfield and the in-form Oshane Roberts will lead the batting. Kingston, on the other hand, will look to the tournament’s top runs-getters, captain Brandon King, national all-rounder Derval Green, and Garth Garvey to lead their batting. The penetrative left-arm spin pair of Paul Harrison and Patrick Harty alongside Green have been their most consistent bowlers. The other semi-final is set to have the unusual occurrence of the same person, national assistant coach Robert Samuels, preparing both teams. The former West Indies, Jamaica, and Melbourne batsman has been coaching the UWI at the tertiary level since 2002. He then took up similar duties at Melbourne in 2012, two years before the UWI were allowed to participate in national competitions. “I am expecting quality cricket from two quality teams,” was all Samuels was prepared to say ahead of the semi-final. “I think either team can come out on top as Melbourne have experience on their side and top Jamaican players in Nikita Miller and AndrÈ McCarthy. “But UWI have youth and fitness on their side, and players with first-class experience in young Jamaica captain Paul Palmer Jr and the exciting Rovam Powell.”last_img read more

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Yeng Guiao on heated tuneup vs Jordan: ‘I just don’t want us to be bullied’

first_imgBen Mbala shows up to support La Salle but watches as former team falls MOST READ Guiao and Stiebing had a heated exchange before the Jordanian squad walked out with still 6:26 left with Gilas ahead, 82-73.READ: ‘Rusty’ Gilas Pilipinas bows to Jordan in tuneupFEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup titleSPORTSJapeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for GinebraSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back Chriss“The coach said he was going to take my ass. I was challenging him to take my ass but he didn’t do it,” Guiao told reporters after the game Wednesday night at Meralco Gym.Frustrations mounted for Jordan after the Philippines stormed back from 19 points down and even took a double-digit lead thanks to a 31-4 run. Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? LATEST STORIES Guiao didn’t like that the Jordan side was “bullying” Gilas from the start.“I just don’t want us to be bullied in our own country. They were bullying us all the way,” he said.READ: Gilas Pilipinas wins tuneup after Jordan team walks out“I don’t know if they’re inherently rugged or dirty. They’re accusing us of being dirty but I don’t know what dirty things we did.”Guiao said it was the Jordanians who were dirty and not the other way around.ADVERTISEMENT Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California college Japeth Aguilar embraces role, gets rewarded with Finals MVP plum Tim Cone, Ginebra set their sights on elusive All-Filipino crown Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew Gilas Pilipinas coach Yeng Guiao is known for his feistiness along the sidelines apart from his accolades as a multi-titled mentor.Unfortunately for Jordan national team coach Joey Stiebing, he learned that the hard way when he and Guiao got into a verbal spat in the fourth quarter.ADVERTISEMENT “They had too many second motion. Even that incident that triggered the whole thing their player threw the ball at our player which was really unnecessary,” he said, referring to the play where a Jordanian threw the ball at Gilas guard Scottie Thompson.Gilas, which is preparing for the fifth window of the Fiba World Cup Asian qualifiers, hosts two more scrimmages against Lebanon on Friday and Sunday. 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 Allen Durham still determined to help Meralco win 1st PBA title Gov’t to employ 6,000 displaced by Taal Lights inside SMX hall flicker as Duterte rants vs Ayala, Pangilinan anew View commentslast_img read more

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Aracari Hotel saddened by event which occurred on its premises

first_imgDear Editor,The Aracari Hotel and Resort is located at Plantation Versailles, West Bank Demerara, less than a mile from the Demerara Harbour Bridge and between the bridge and Vreed-en-Hoop. It has been in operation since 2008 and is well known as a family entertainment centre.It is a popular resort on the West side. The Aracari Hotel operates 24 hours per day. It is made up of 2 buildings, each with 26 units.All businesses like publicity, but sadly, what we just received is not all good. Kevin Singh and Sabrina Nandram were staying at the hotel for the third time. There was no indication to the staff or other guests in the hotel that there was a problem with the couple. Please note that all rooms have phones that can be used to make outside contact.The hotel followed its procedures for overstaying guests and when the discovery was made, the police was immediately called who took control of the situation. Beyond, the discovery, the hotel has no other knowledge of the event. The hotel provided the police with the guest’s registration details and beyond that, maintained the confidentiality of the guests at all times. All enquiries were directed to the police.The hotel did not have access to the unit until after the police were finished with their investigation and specifically released the unit to the hotel.Management is extremely saddened by this event and wishes to express their deepest sympathies and condolences to all family members and friends left behind by the couple.We sincerely wished it would have never happened anywhere.Sincerely,Sase ShewnarainCEOlast_img read more

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Sugar workers left ‘in the cold’

first_imgWales Estate closure…as Gov’t declares no ‘fiscal space’ for severance paymentsA community-level meeting held on Friday at the Wales Community Centre between residents of Wales, West Bank Demerara and Agriculture Minister Noel Holder, Minister of State Joseph Harmon, Public Security Minister Khemraj Ramjattan, and Public Telecommunications Minister Cathy Hughes erupted in chaos when cane harvesters stormed out after being told by the panel that Government has no money to pay the severance to which they are entitled.The frustrated workers as they walked out of the proceedingsBluntly asked to explain why cane cutters were not being paid their severance packages, Ramjattan explained that Government could not afford to pay the expected $375M in severance pay. “As far as I’m aware, those that were given that option during this period of transition – and opted to come out of the industry and not remain as workers to go to Uitvlugt – they were paid their severance. That option having been taken at the time, made those that remain still employees of the company,” Ramjattan explained.Interrupted at this point by visibly upset workers, he emphasised that there is also a problem of financing, since the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) is in an almost bankrupt state. “Those that got the severance payment at the appropriate time, we had to pay $339M in severance payment. GuySuCo is practically bankrupt. The figure now for those who would want (severance payment) is going to be $375M more,” he detailed.He elaborated that if workers of the redundant Wales Estate were to receive severance packages and not go to work at the Uitvlugt Estate it would cause Uitvlugt to collapse; but one impassioned resident informed the crowd of his experience at Uitvlugt Estate, and of questions regarding the availability of work there. The resident said he had gone to Uitvlugt, only to be given menial tasks to perform, or alternatively told to clean drains or scrub steps. Voice breaking with emotion, the man lamented his impoverished state since closure of the Wales Estate.Ministers Hughes and Ramjattan reminded the crowd of the billions of dollars which have been invested into GuySuCo since this Government took office, but the consensus among the crowd was that these massive investments never reached the ordinary workers. Against the backdrop of claims that there was no fiscal space, sugar workers reminded the Ministers that, in 2015, they had taken a retroactive raise of pay, in some cases by 50 per cent. In response, Ramjattan retorted that the amount they paid themselves – a figure he put at $28M – was too small to compare with what is now required to pay severance.WalkoutThroughout the afternoon’s proceedings, workers were clearly in a belligerent mood, as they remained opposed to the Government’s reluctance to pay the severance packages based on macro-economic reasons. Emotions boiled over when a member of the crowd called for police intervention if the workers did not calm down. At that point, a section of the gathering got up en masse and exited the proceedings to protest on the road for their severance payments.Guyana Times was able to speak with a few of those disaffected workers. Many expressed worry for their families and their livelihoods, while most were clearly unwilling to travel the distance from Wales to Uitvlugt.According to one factory worker, a Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) representative, while factory workers are expected to collect their severance payments, the cane harvesters have been unjustly neglected in this regard. He made it clear that protest actions would continue until all categories of workers entitled to severance are so paid.“Our biggest concern is that the Minister of Agriculture declared that Wales Estate would be closing on 31 December, so people need to move on with their lives. You close the estate, you giving one set of people severance and you denying the cane harvesters severance. The people have mortgages, families (and) they have things to do,” he contended.“It’s wrong!” he declared. “The people are entitled to their severance and they’re playing politics with the people’s lives. GuySuCo has had no wage increases in 2015 and 2016. From the time they go into power, they took 50 percent (increase). Since December these people aren’t working, and they’re entitled, so we will continue to protest until they have (it). Give the people their severance! We don’t have to be here picketing!” he declared.Government announced the end of sugar operations at Wales Estate in early 2016, citing costs as the main factor for the estate’s closure. It was later disclosed that rice would be cultivated as part of diversification plans for the Wales Estate.Already up in arms about not being paid their Annual Percentage Increases (API), Wales’ workers embarked on protests that have been consistent for over a year. It was only on March 10, 2017 that Wales cane harvesters, transporters and their families protested outside of the Ministry of the Presidency. They then moved to outside of the National Assembly, where a sitting of the country’s legislators was in progress.last_img read more

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Rainstorm records and road closures update

first_img [asset|aid=3602|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=887071cccf5bff5076cd46ea5b43911b-Saugstad-1_1_Pub.mp3] Elsewhere, Dawson Creek, which had 54.4 millimeters on Friday, got only 8.8 on Saturday, and recorded a three day total of 82.4…but its monthly total is now more than 140 millimeters.Highway 97 south of Chetwynd to Mackenzie, and Highway 29 north of Chetwynd to Hudson’s Hope, were among the many highways and roads in the region hit by storm closures.In both cases, washed out bridges were the cause, and although there’s no official indication when the highways will reopen, Mayor Saugstad is not expecting a quick fix of the Fisher Creek bridge on Highway 97, about 52 kilometers west if Chetwynd. Advertisement [asset|aid=3603|format=mp3player|formatter=asset_bonus|title=887071cccf5bff5076cd46ea5b43911b-Saugstad-2_1_Pub.mp3] The one Fort St. John weather station record the storm didn’t wash away, was the alltime one day record of 80.3 millimeters recorded on this day {June 27th} in 1965. According to Environment Canada numbers, two records that stood for more than 70 years were broken in the rainstorm at the end of last week.The three day totals ending on Saturday show Fort St. John received 114.9 millimeters, including daily record totals of 37.1 on Friday, and 57 on Saturday.The Friday total, pushed the monthly total, to 118.4 millimeters, breaking the previous 1936 June record of 110.5…and it was more than 12 times the June total in the 2010 drought year.- Advertisement -Meantime, the month-to-date total is now unofficially up to 176.4 millimeters, smashing the alltime one month record of 145.5 established in July of 1939.Despite all that, latest reports indicate Chetwynd and Hudson’s Hope were the hardest hit communities recording three day totals of 128.5 and 126.2 millimeters respectively…Chetwynd Mayor Evan Saugstad…Advertisementlast_img read more

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Roma star offered huge new deal to stop Chelsea and Liverpool from pouncing

first_img1 Roma are ready to offer Miralem Pjanic a new contract in order to ward off interest from Chelsea and Liverpool.The midfielder has been linked with a move away from the Italian capital this summer after spending five years there.Chelsea and Liverpool are big fans of the 26-year-old, while Juventus are also keen on the Bosnian.However, according to Corriere dello Sport, Roma are ready to offer Pjanic a new contract to keep him at the club.The former Lyon star has hit double figures for assists and goals this season and Roma are desperate for him to stay.As a result they are ready to offer Pjanic a new deal, which would see his wages increase to a reported £80,000-a-week. Miralem Pjanic in action for Roma last_img read more

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Home sales in sharp decline

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsDataQuick’s report covers new and previously owned single-family homes and condominiums. Analysts have been predicting for months that the annual appreciation rate would eventually sink into single digits. The question now is how will the summer shake out. Jack Kyser, chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., said that the market could see a mixed bag pricewise. “It’s definitely a changed market,” Kyser said. “I think you could see some markets going negative (pricewise) in Southern California.” The price of a typical Southern California home saw its smallest annual percentage increase in more than four years during April and sales fell by their biggest margin since 1995, an industry tracker said Tuesday. The report from La Jolla-based DataQuick Information Systems suggest that the long-anticipated price cool-down is gaining traction. Last month the median price of a home in the six-county area increased an annual 9 percent, to $485,000, and fell 0.2 percent from March, the company said. It’s the first single-digit annual increase since November 2001, when the median price increased an annual 9.2 percent to $238,000. Markets to watch are downtown San Diego and the Inland Empire, which has seen an inventory overhang of new homes. Sales have been softening for months and that continued in April. Last month sales hit their slowest pace since 2001, the result of higher mortgage interest rates and less buyer urgency. A total of 24,748 properties sold in Los Angeles, Riverside, San Diego, Ventura, San Bernardino and Orange counties in April. That was down 16.1 percent from 29,509 in March and down 21.3 percent from 31,431 in April last year. Last month’s market brought the steepest year-over-year sales decline since April 1995, when home purchases slowed 24.0 percent. And April’s sales count was the lowest for any April since 24,120 homes were sold in April 2001. March and April results indicate that the boom phase of this cycle is past. “So now it’s just a question of how the cycle ends. Right now it looks like changes in the real estate market are happening gradually,” DataQuick president Marshall Prentice said in a statement. DataQuick’s report showed that: In Los Angeles County the median home price increased 13.6 percent to $508,000. That’s the smallest increase since the median rose 10 percent to $230,000 in Nov. 2001. Sales fell 18.8 percent to 8,364 transactions. The median price in Ventura County increased 10.4 percent to $584,000 and sales fell 41.2 percent to 891 transactions. The typical monthly mortgage payment that Southland buyers committed themselves to paying was $2,354 last month, up from $2,315 for the previous month, and up from $2,076 for April a year ago. Adjusted for inflation, current payments are about 7.2 percent above typical payments in the spring of 1989, the peak of the prior real estate cycle. DataQuick still maintains that signs of distress have yet to show up in the Southern California market despite the tepid sales and price increases. “Most of the market will be in a lull. That means prices will be flat, some will be up a little bit or down a little bit,” said DataQuick analyst Andrew LaPage. “But honestly no one knows what this landing will be like. We just don’t see a crash landing.” greg.wilcox@dailynews.com (818) 713-3743160Want 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

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Barcelona buy-back fee to re-sign Yerry Mina from Everton has been reported

first_img Latest Everton News “FC Barcelona and Everton have reached an agreement over the transfer of the player Yerry Mina,” they stated on their website.“The English club will pay FC Barcelona €30.25m (£27m) plus €1.5m (£1.3m) in variables. The club reserves the right to buy back the player.”Now, Marca are reporting that that this buy-back clause would cost the club €60m (£54m).Barcelona initially bought Mina from Palmeiras for just €11.8m (£10.5m) in January.His stock raised significantly after exceptional performances with Colombia at the 2018 World Cup. smart causal Which teams do the best on Boxing Day in the Premier League era? Mina starred for Colombia at the World Cup revealed gameday cracker Barcelona will reportedly be able to re-sign Everton’s Yerry Mina for €60m (£54m).The Catalan club sold their young, Colombian centre-back to the Toffees on Thursday, but confirmed that they would be able to bring him back to the club, should they ever want to. REVEALED BIG PRESENTS UP TOP REVEALED targets Where Ancelotti ranks with every Premier League boss for trophies won The average first-team salaries at every Premier League club in 2019 center_img possible standings 1 Every current Premier League club’s best kit from the past decade targets What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas Where every Premier League club needs to strengthen in January Boxing Day fixtures: All nine Premier League games live on talkSPORT How the Premier League table could change after the Boxing Day fixtures HUMBLE Tony Cascarino backs Everton to sign two strikers for Carlo Ancelotti Duncan Ferguson: ‘All I’ve done is walk up and down the touchline shouting’ Everton also signed free agent Bernard and Barcelona’s Andre Gomes on deadline day.They are close to adding Kurt Zouma on loan as well, with the deal expected to be completed today.last_img read more

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Arnold bombs at reform

first_img He also began showing a more bipartisan side again, hiring Democrat Susan Kennedy as his new chief of staff and asking Democratic legislators for input on his next State of the State address. Now as the governor looks forward, he has said 2006 will be the year of rebuilding – not just of his political image, but of the state itself. That means a bipartisan focus on infrastructure needs, such as roads and bridges, with the administration and legislators looking into a large multibillion-dollar bond. After that will come his bid for re-election in November, where he will likely face a Democratic challenge from either state Treasurer Phil Angelides or Controller Steve Westly. — Harrison Sheppard, (916) 446-6723 harrison.sheppard@dailynews.com160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SACRAMENTO – It wasn’t the best of years for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. In box office terms, it was more like a flop. Schwarzenegger intended to make 2005 his year of reform. And most of the second half of the year was indeed consumed by his special-election proposals to overhaul state government. But in the end, voters – annoyed with the idea of the election in the first place – rejected every measure, leaving the governor with few major accomplishments to tout this year. His aides point out that he did accomplish a few important things. Among them are getting a budget passed nearly on time with no new taxes; adding $3 billion to education (although critics say he provided less than he had promised); and approving programs or bills to create the Sierra Nevada conservancy, improve school nutrition and replace polluting school buses with cleaner models. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake He also traveled to China with a group of business leaders to discuss trade and copyright-protection issues. “The No. 1 thing we need to focus on is the fact we got a budget that paid down our debt with no new taxes,” said the governor’s spokeswoman, Margita Thompson. “Secondly, the fact that the economy continues to be creating jobs – since he’s been in office, around 425,000 new jobs have been created.” But most of those were overshadowed by the special election, which included his measures on union dues, budget reform, teacher tenure and redistricting. Voters on Nov. 8 soundly rejected all four, as polls said they were frustrated with the governor for calling the special election in the first place. Schwarzenegger acknowledged the voters’ feelings two days after the election, joking that if he could make another Terminator movie, “I would have Terminator travel back in time to tell Arnold not to have a special election.”last_img read more

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Nature’s Designs Excite Inventors

first_imgThe imitation of nature – biomimetics – is one of the hottest areas in science these days.  Recent reports tell about research teams racing to move natural designs to market, and there’s no end in sight.Pack it green:  Got parcels?  Don’t use styrofoam peanuts and bubble wraps; that’s so 2009.  Why manufacture plastic and oil-based stuffing when you can grow something soft and biodegradable?  Two grads from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute started a company that is making packing foam out of mushroom fibers and agricultural waste, reported Science Daily.  Gavin McIntyre said, “We don’t manufacture materials, we grow them.  We’re converting agricultural byproducts into a higher-value product.”  The products use mushroom fibrous roots called mycelia mixed in with waste from cotton gins.  It’s all natural, all green, all biodegradable.    With fellow grad Even Bayer, McIntyre started up a company in Green Island, New York, called Ecovative Design to bring their idea to fruition.  They can produce custom-fitted foam packing material with very little energy.  The National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency are supporting their project.  By 2013, do-it-yourself homeowners may be able to use the technology in another way: for home insulation.  The award-winning company also invented Greensulate(tm): an insulating material based on mushroom fibers that has the added advantage of being flame retardant.It’s a plane, like a bird:  “Why can’t an airplane be more like a bird?” asked researchers at MIT.  Birds don’t have to slam into a runway and roll for a mile to land.  They “can switch from barreling forward at full speed to lightly touching down on a target as narrow as a telephone wire,” said Science Daily.  They do it by mastering the “stall” – a complicated maneuver that involves vortices and wakes.  The article explains how this “complicated phenomenon” works; “Even the best descriptions of it are time-consuming to compute.”    Can humans make like a bird?  Hopefully, yes.  “MIT researchers have demonstrated a new control system that allows a foam glider with only a single motor on its tail to land on a perch, just like a pet parakeet,” the article said.  “The work could have important implications for the design of robotic planes, greatly improving their maneuverability and potentially allowing them to recharge their batteries simply by alighting on power lines.”  Picture that on your next long-distance flight.  The control system won its inventor the Engineering Student of the Year Award, but the article did not say if the parakeet got an extra treat for providing the inspiration.Eye of the fly:  Who would have ever thought that fly’s eyes would inspire a scientist?  What’s next, the bee’s knees?  Sure enough, PhysOrg reported that fly eyes are inspiring the next biomimetic surfaces that could revolutionize solar cells and materials for a “variety of applications.”  Scientists at Penn State are not only mimicking the fly eye; they are duplicating it.  They used a high-tech electroplating technique to reproduce the shape of they compound eye exactly, forming a “master template can be used either as a die to stamp the pattern or as a mold.”  The fly they chose is the blowfly – those disgusting flies that hang around dead things.  The researcher said, “These eyes are perfect for making solar cells because they would collect more sunlight from a larger area rather than just light that falls directly on a flat surface.”    The same team is “currently looking at butterfly wings to understand how the surfaces create colors without pigment.”  Who knows; for more great ideas, maybe they should also take a closer look at the bee’s knees.Light farming:  Algae and plants achieve a feat that is the envy of engineers: harvesting the energy of sunlight with high efficiency.  Jeff Tollefson at Nature News reported about the new “Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis” that is using federal grant money “with the ambitious goal of developing, scaling up and ultimately commercializing technologies that directly convert sunlight into hydrogen and other fuels.”  Caltech and Lawrence Berkeley labs are teaming up to get the technology out of the lab and into commercially viable products.  Plants produce sugars and other complex molecules with their light harvest.  The human engineers would be happy to get cheap hydrogen for fuel cells.  They appear to be making progress; the article is accompanied by a photo of a test car that has a bumper message, “This plug-in hybrid gets 100+ MPG.”Snakes alive:  The thought of snake bite is enough to cause shudders, but there might be a bright side to learning more about it.  Science Daily told about a Japanese team that is studying snake venom for clues to how blood platelets respond to it.  This is not a true biomimetics story, in that the researchers are not trying to imitate snake toxin, but they think by controlling substances that have similar responses they can gain understanding for good ends.  The article began, “Researchers seeking to learn more about stroke by studying how the body responds to toxins in snake venom are releasing new findings that they hope will aid in the development of therapies for heart disease and, surprisingly, cancer.” Spider prize:  Many of our previous biomimetics entries have mentioned spider silk as the holy grail for materials science.  A spider is able to take a watery fluid with special proteins and spin it out into some of the strongest flexible material known.  “It’s also flexible, durable and biodegradable, and can withstand extremely high temperatures,” Live Science added.  Simple as the spider makes it look, it is astonishingly difficult to duplicate the feat.  After years of work, several teams are making progress understanding and imitating the process of silk production.    A paper in Science1 recently pointed out that “the development of silk hydrogels, films, fibers and sponges is making possible advances in photonics and optics, nanotechnology, electronics, adhesives and microfluidics, as well as engineering of bone and ligaments” that will be non-invasive and environmentally friendly, according to PhysOrg.  The authors of the paper, from Tufts University, said (pun probably intended), “Silk-based materials have been transformed in just the past decade from the commodity textile world to a growing web of applications in more high technology directions.”  One exciting new method for mass production of the coveted material would be through genetically-engineered plants that could be harvested like cotton.  Developing countries might find a new source of wealth by growing the stuff made famous by silkworms and spiders.    On another front, Live Science and PhysOrg reported on work published in PNAS2 about the successful engineering of a bacterium, E. coli, to produce spider silk protein that mimics the properties of the real thing.  PhysOrg mentioned some of the uses that could come from mass production of spider silk: parachute cords, protective clothing (bullet-proof vests), and composite materials for aircraft are just the beginning: “Researchers have long envied spiders’ ability to manufacture silk that is light-weighted while as strong and tough as steel or Kevlar,” the article began.  “Indeed, finer than human hair, five times stronger by weight than steel, and three times tougher than the top quality man-made fiber Kevlar, spider dragline silk is an ideal material for numerous applications.”The abstract of the paper in Science1 mentioned the aesthetic as well as practical value of the spider’s product.  The opening paragraph serves as a model vision statement for all bio-inspired research:Spiders and silkworms generate silk protein fibers that embody strength and beauty.  Orb webs are fascinating feats of bioengineering in nature, displaying magnificent architectures while providing essential survival utility for spiders.  The unusual combination of high strength and extensibility is a characteristic unavailable to date in synthetic materials yet is attained in nature with a relatively simple protein processed from water.  This biological template suggests new directions to emulate in the pursuit of new high-performance, multifunctional materials generated with a green chemistry and processing approach.  These bio-inspired and high-technology materials can lead to multifunctional material platforms that integrate with living systems for medical materials and a host of other applications.1.  Omenetto and Kaplan, “New Opportunities for an Ancient Material,” Science, 30 July 2010: Vol. 329. no. 5991, pp. 528-531, DOI: 10.1126/science.1188936.2.  Xia, Qian et al, “Native-sized recombinant spider silk protein produced in metabolically engineered Escherichia coli results in a strong fiber,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, published online July 26, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1003366107.Biomimetics is a favorite topic in our pages for many reasons: the promise of wonderful products, the wonder of learning about amazing feats of plants and animals, the fact that biomimetics is intelligent-design friendly, and the reality that scientists do not need to pay homage to Charlie D. to participate, get funding, and be heroes.  For the years we have reported biomimetics news, we have rarely seen the researchers even mention evolution.  When they do, it’s usually just in passing, like “spiders evolved this fantastic ability 300 million years ago” or some other stupid dragline that wouldn’t hold up an ounce of scrutiny.  Whole university research departments have been set up to work on biomimetics, and the future is bright.  It’s time to ditch Darwin like a ball and chain and run into the future of design-based science.    If you have precocious kids, take them into the yard and get them thinking along these lines.  Some of the most amazing technologies are right under our feet.  If your kid can help understand them, copy them, and make products out of them, he or she could become rich and help support you in your retirement, because if you can build a better fuel cell, Obama will beat a path to your door with stimulus money.  (Whatever works; the greed angle should be secondary, whenever possible, to the inspirational angle.)    Spiders didn’t invent silk; birds didn’t invent landing on a wire; plants didn’t decide to harvest light and then find the perfect way to do it.  Such things do not arise from unplanned, unguided processes of chance and necessity.  This is engineering – and art.  Strength and beauty, magnificent architectures, efficient high performance – nature’s wonders should stimulate any clear-thinking person to ponder the master Mind that put these technologies into living things.  That’s a good first step toward wanting to know that Mind.(Visited 14 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read 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