Fitter and Faster – Francis ready for 2016

first_imgJamaica’s 400m champion Javon Francis feels he is at his strongest and fastest this year as he hopes to challenge for a medal at the Olympic Games in Rio, Brazil this summer.The 21-year-old quarter-miler opened his season on January 23, with a 46.19 run at the inaugural McKenley/Wint Track and Field Classic at his alma mater Calabar High School in Kingston, cruising home well ahead of the chasing pack.”It was the first time I had opened up so fast, usually I open at the Camperdown Classic (held in February) so I am very pleased with my time,” said Francis, who believes he is now stronger than he was last season when he ran a personal best 44.50.After winning the national championships later that month in 44.70, expectations were high that Francis would have been among the medal contenders at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, China. He was, however, eliminated in the semi-finals having run 44.77 to be 12th fastest overall. He qualified for the semi-finals with a creditable run of 44.83.Despite some disappointment from his fans, Francis was quite pleased with his performance.At the national championships Francis suffered a groin injury during the 400m finals, and it prevented him from training for three to four weeks. He managed to get fit in time for Beijing, but he was not back at his best.”I never expected to run very fast because I was coming off an injury, so I was very pleased with my performance although I didn’t get a medal, but I benefited from the experience,” said the runner, who would later lead Jamaica to a fourth-place finish in the mile relay with a blistering 43.5-second anchor leg.”Last year people were saying I could go for the national record, but in my mind I always say records come and records go. Every time I go out to perform I go to win a medal,” Francis said.last_img read more

Jags Aviation to build US$3.5M hangar

first_imgWith major plans in the pipeline to expand its services beyond Guyana, Jags Aviation Incorporated has invested some US.5 million to construct a hangar at the Eugene F Correia International Airport in Ogle, East Coast Demerara (ECD).The sod turning ceremony for the modern multimillion-dollar aircraft facility was done on Tuesday at Ogle by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon and Alana Tiwarie, Executive of BK International, the company which took over Jags Aviation in 2014.The new hangar will be constructed at the southern end of the airport, which facilitates mainly domestic and regional flights in and out of the country. The hangar will contain state-of-the-art conveniences necessary for the maintenance and protection of the company’s fleet of five aircraft.Owner of BK International, Brian Tiwarie; his daughter, Alana and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon at the site of Jags’ Aviation hangarIt was disclosed that company officials are preparing to travel to Miami to take possession of a new aircraft to add to the fleet, with the hopes of expanding Jags’ services to Caribbean destinations. At its establishment, Jags Aviation was given Cabinet’s approval to acquire as many as 15 aircraft, including a helicopter.Owner of BK International, Brian Tiwarie, told media operatives at the sod turning ceremony that his company has been breaking new ground in the local aviation sector over the past two years and he was confident that this trend would continue.“We think that we can make a big input into the aviation sector. We are just over a year old and we already acquired five aircraft,” he pointed out.The local business tycoon went on to say that his company was not competing with the other operators, but was operating on a level of its own.“We are buying aircraft actually, totally different from the other operators and that’s costing us a lot more because have to train people more. Only last week, we just had two trainers here from Poland,” Tiwarie stated.Meanwhile, Minister Harmon welcomed the investment and lauded the company for contributing to the development of the Eugene F Correia International Airport, which has undergone massive transformation over the years.“We have seen a lot of development taking place here at Ogle and it is in keeping with President (David) Granger’s commitment to ensure that we have a quality service provided to our hinterland,” he stated.The Minister noted that traffic to the hinterland has increased significantly; hence, the need for improved services.“This development here is going to improve the quality of service provided here… the hinterland is the heart and lungs of Guyana and to the extent to which we can provide quality service to the hinterland, it is to that extent that Guyana will develop and develop rapidly,” Harmon stated.Jags’ Aviation is currently housed in the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo) hangar. As such, the company has assured that it would be returning the favour and would be offering space at its new state-of-the-art hangar to small carriers operating at the airport.last_img read more

Bacterial Parcel Service Discovered

first_imgBacteria send letters and parcels to one another.  Some of them are love letters, some of them are letter bombs.  This amazing packaged system of communication, separate from the mere sending of diffusible chemicals, was described in Nature1 with the title, “Microbiology: Bacterial speech bubbles.”  Stephen C. Winans described what is known about bacterial communication:Many bacteria socialize using diffusible signals.  But some of these messages are poorly soluble, so how do they move between bacteria?  It seems they can be wrapped up in membrane packages instead.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)He said that two research studies in the same issue of Nature, one on how bacteria talk to their friends, and another on how they attack their enemies, met in an “unexpected convergence.”  One type of parcel, for instance, is “released in bubble-like ‘vesicles’ that also contain antibacterial agents and probably toxins aimed at host tissue cells as well.”    Through this form of packaged communication, a community of microbes engages in “quorum sensing” to detect whether it is alone or surrounded by its own kind or other species.  Some genes only turn on when there is a quorum reached.  One of these Winans mentioned is bioluminescence – turning on the lights.    The parcels can contain chemicals, proteins, toxins and other molecules in a lipid envelope.  The packaging permits delivery of proteins and chemicals that otherwise might be insoluble.  Some bacteria have three separate kinds of signal parcels.  The packages form lipid bubbles around them as they emerge from the bacterial membrane.  These can merge with a friendly neighbor or, depending on the need of the moment, deliver a toxin to an enemy – a package bomb on the scale of bacteria.    To work, the system requires multiple parts: the contents, the packaging, the delivery method, and the response to received parcels.  Winans did not speculate on how this system might have evolved, other than to say, “Various groups of bacteria use diffusible chemicals to signal to their own kind, and this method of communication seems to have evolved independently several times.”1Stephen C. Winans, “Microbiology: Bacterial speech bubbles,” Nature, 437, 330 (15 September 2005) | doi: 10.1038/437330a.This is an interesting phenomenon that deserves further investigation by science and medicine.  Since humans are sometimes targets of the toxins delivered by these vesicles, interrupting or targeting the bacterial UPS might lead to cures for disease.  Was this system originally a beneficial delivery service that got co-opted for harm?  It seems unlikely that a mindless bacterium could come up with such a complex system of interacting parts once, let alone several times, by an evolutionary process of trial and error.    It’s a stunning thought to envision lowly bacteria with a social life and a coordinated, effective package delivery system.  Rather than assuming it arose spontaneously as an opportunistic mechanism for serving the bacterial “self,” perhaps it is best to look at this phenomenon from the vantage point of systems biology (06/15/2005, 06/20/2005).  What role might it play in the bigger picture?    “Attacking and killing enemies” is a metaphor with metaphysical baggage (see “Metaphors Bewitch You,” 07/04/2003).  Another way of thinking about the “parcel bombs” might be with the give-and-take metaphor of action/reaction, feedback/feedforward, agonist/antagonist – i.e., a sensory mechanism of messages and responses that keeps a larger dynamic system in balance (homeostasis).  Such balancing interactions take place at many levels in biology, from interactions between molecules and proteins within the cell all the way up to interactions between higher organisms.  If too much of one side causes pain and suffering, that does not preclude the possibility that, in balance, the operation had a beneficial role.    An evolutionist would undoubtedly study this bacterial UPS as a byproduct of selfish genes at work trying to ensure their own survival.  A design theorist could continue investigating it with just as much curiosity and enthusiasm, but without the tunnel vision of Darwinian self-centeredness.  He or she would ask, in the big picture, what role does it play, and has that role gone awry? (Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Local innovation is filling the small farm implement gap

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Over the past several years, small and mid-sized tractors have inundated the marketplace as more small-scale and organic farmers begin to update their equipment. As sales of lower horse powered machines climb, Bellevue farmer Jeff Sberna has noticed that the implement side of the farm manufacturing sector wasn’t following suit, so he designed a concept for a compact aeration tool.“I have always has small equipment and never really had anything to break the sub dirt with,” said Sberna, who came up with the concept of the J & D Farm Built chisel ripper. “This unit is a hybrid and is designed to take the place of a chisel plow and a subsoiler. It will maintain a depth of 13 to 14 inches without re-compaction and is great on fuel efficiency.”The six-foot chisel ripper was on display recently at Farm Science Review. Sberna recommends that unit for a small, niche and organic farms with 20 to 30 acres to cover. He also designed a larger unit that includes coulters and is a little more complex.“When I first ran a prototype over my farm the goal was to get some of the hard pan broken down to help resolve some drainage issues,” Sberna said. “Then I noticed they way that it aerates using forward shatter and it doesn’t just roll the dirt up.”The Sberna family has a deep tradition of being creative when it comes to custom building implements that filled a need for their farm at any particular time. That innovative philosophy of building what you need when you need it dates back to Sberna’s grandfather and then to his father.“When I was younger, I worked construction and in the winter months my Dad was always looking for something new to fabricate and that’s how I got the bug,” Sberna said. “We would haul some older equipment home from another farm or bring in a truckload of materials and my Mom would always ask what in the world we were going to do with it. We just told her ‘you’ll see’”.You can learn more about the J & D Farm Build chisel ripper here.last_img read more

Geocaching.com Presents: Finding a Trackable – What to Do?

first_imgWatch this video to show you what to do when you encounter Geocaching.com Trackables in a geocache. Learn the two options you can choose from to help make the most of a Trackable’s journey. Trackables add an exciting dimension of world exploration to the hobby. Each Trackable has a unique code that allows its movements to be tracked on Geocaching.com. The Trackable’s owner can drop it in a cache and then watch as geocachers help the Trackable wander the globe by moving it from cache to cache. Most Trackables are assigned goals that direct them to specific areas. SharePrint RelatedTrackable EtiquetteNovember 24, 2010In “Learn”Everything You Ever Needed to Know about Trackables – A Geocaching.com PresentationSeptember 20, 2012In “Learn”Five reminders about trackablesAugust 28, 2018In “News” Click the image to see what to do after you find a TrackableInterested in  a Trackable of your own? Check out the Trackables collection of more than 100 items at Shop Geocaching.Subscribe to the official Geocaching.com YouTube channel to be one of the first to see new videos about the evolving world of geocaching. Watch the more than 50 videos produced by Geocaching.com on our video page.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more