The bacterial flagellum, the unofficial mascot of the Intelligent Design movement, got more praise from the evolutionary journal Nature this week: Samatey et al.1 analyzed the hook region in detail and found that it is composed of 120 copies of a specialized protein that “reveals the intricate molecular interactions and a plausible switching mechanism for the hook to be flexible in bending but rigid against twisting for its universal joint function.” Christopher Surridge, commenting on this paper in the same issue,2 adds that this joint must be able to bend up to 90 degrees in a millisecond or less while rotating at up to 300 times per second. He says that the researchers describe “how they determined the atomic structure of this super-flexible universal joint, and thereby how it achieves such a feat of engineering.”1Samatey et al., “Structure of the bacterial flagellar hook and implication for the molecular universal joint mechanism,” Nature 431, 1062 – 1068 (28 October 2004); doi:10.1038/nature02997.2Christopher Surridge, “Molecular motors: Smooth coupling in Salmonella,” Nature 431, 1047 (28 October 2004); doi:10.1038/4311047b.The hook region surely appeared to be one of the simplest-looking parts of the complex molecular motor. Now, even that little item, something that just bends at an angle, is shown to be exquisitely designed, with exacting specifications to allow bending without twisting. If all the amino acids in this one protein element were not in the right places, the protein would not work. And if all 120 were not joined together, and were not assembled at the right time and in the right place, the flagellum would be useless. Inside that hook is an entire highway of molecular trucks that build the propeller (see 06/14/2004 headline). No wonder Jonathan Wells remarked, “What we find is irreducible complexity all the way down.”(Visited 7 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
By Miller MatolaThe high profile murder trial of South Africa’s blade runner, Oscar Pistorius, is shining a global spotlight not only on the athlete himself and his personal reputation, but also on our country, its constitutional state and legal system, and ultimately puts South Africa’s brand reputation on centre stage.The formal commencement of the trial over the past week has generated unprecedented media attention and comparisons have already been made with the similarly high profile and globally televised trial of American football star O J Simpson in recent years.In the case of the Oscar Pistorius trial, thousands of articles have already appeared in the world’s press, hours of television and radio coverage have been flighted with many more scheduled, and non-stop commentary and analysis emanates from the large numbers of international and local journalists and photographers now decamped in Pretoria outside the court buildings.The unprecedented decision taken by Gauteng Judge President Dunstan Mlambo, to rule that all trial audio, and selected video, could be broadcast on radio, television and online, was groundbreaking, bringing South Africa into line with other democracies around the world. It also showed the world that South Africa is looking to actively fulfill its commitment to achieving greater transparency with its citizens in relation to the legal system, as embedded in the country’s Constitution.As South Africa prepares to commemorate 20 years of democratic freedom, this high profile trial serves to remind both South Africans and the world that South Africa’s Constitution may still be fledgling, but it has undoubtedly put in place a substantial framework for the building of a society that is built on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights – the right to a fair trial being one of those rights. Our strong and stable legal system is a fundamental building block of our constitutional democracy, as is the independence of our courts and our judiciary.In an age when social media is a powerful force in making information and opinions available to a global audience, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, events such as the Oscar Pistorius trial make global headlines and feed the voracious appetite of the public for news in real-time as it happens.If one looks at the immediacy of international journalists who are able to tweet their reports and insights ahead of scheduled radio and television news coverage, it means that global audiences are receiving a vast amount of information around the trial process as it unfolds.They are also being bombarded with televised and photographic images both negative and positive of South Africa and its society, not simply its judicial system at work, and such an assault of the senses undoubtedly assists in shaping opinions about the country in the eyes of the world, whether accurate or not.However, if there is a positive to be taken from this unprecedented level of media attention on South Africa, it is that there is a respect for the right of the country’s citizens to expect an open and transparent system of justice. In the 20 years since South Africa achieved democratic freedom, the principle of the right to justice is one that is upheld for the world to see in action. It is perhaps a testimony to the country’s progress made during the past two decades that it can welcome the global media to see a world-class constitution and legal system in action, despite the challenges of the past and the long road to freedom well traveled. The world’s media has a similar responsibility in high profile trials such as this one to report in a responsible yet engaging manner, and one that is capable of educating the public, not simply providing news and entertainment for the global masses.Ultimately, as the world watches as the Oscar Pistorius trial starts to unfold, public opinions will inevitably be formed, not just around the lives of those directly involved, but also on South Africa where this drama is playing out in the public spotlight.Perhaps as we look to commemorate the country’s two decades of democratic freedom, we can take comfort in the robustness and solidity of our legal system and our Constitution which is the cornerstone of that democracy. It provides the reassurance that South Africa protects the human rights of every citizen, including the right to a fair trial, without fear, favour or prejudice. This trial also provides an opportunity to encourage the country’s own population to gain a better understanding of how the country’s legal system works and how it safeguards the legal and human rights of both the person on trial and the victim. It hopefully also sends a message to the world that, despite the huge volume of media headlines around the trial, strong legal ethics define the process, with lawyers on both sides of the argument bound by the same ethical standards. The global respect for the country’s system of justice and its robust implementation is one that can serve to position Brand South Africa positively in the eyes of the world as it watches to see the outcome of this case.
This is Significant Digits, your daily digest of the telling numbers tucked inside the news. With Walt Hickey away on vacation — and with the third round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament getting underway tonight — I’m hijacking SigDig today and tomorrow in the name of March Madness. Enjoy! 6 ACC schoolsSix schools in the Sweet 16 — Duke, Miami, North Carolina, Virginia, Notre Dame and Syracuse — hail from the Atlantic Coast Conference, setting a record (at least, since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985). The ACC had tied the previous record of five last season, so at this rate they’ll claim all 16 slots by 2026. [USA Today]24.5 pointsIn their two NCAA Tournament wins thus far, Villanova has outscored foes by 49 combined points, or 24.5 per game — more than any other team in the Sweet 16 field. Granted, one of those games was against 15th-seeded UNC Asheville, but the Wildcats also beat No. 7 seed Iowa by 19 and have exceeded the scoring margin our Elo ratings would expect by 11.8 points per contest. They’ll try to keep that hot streak going tonight against Miami. [Sports-Reference.com]63 pointsOklahoma’s Buddy Hield has enjoyed a season for the ages this year, and it’s carrying over into the NCAA Tournament, where he’s scored a tourney-best 63 points (31.5 per game) on a scorching 73.2 true shooting percentage. But maybe it’s best for the Sooners if Hield doesn’t keep that average up against Texas A&M tonight — Oklahoma was 4-5 in conference play this season when Hield scored 30 or more points, and 8-1 when the Sooner scoring attack was more balanced. [Sports-Reference.com]5 startersEach basketball team has five starters, and in the case of Maryland’s game against Kansas tonight, each Terrapin starter will be taller than the Jayhawk lined up across from him at tip-off. As a team, Maryland has the fourth-biggest roster in the nation, with an average height a good inch and a half taller than Kansas. But will it matter against the skilled Jayhawks? Our model says “probably not” — we’ve got Kansas favored with a 73 percent probability of winning, despite Maryland’s size advantage. [KC Kingdom]109th bestIf defense really does win championships, nobody clued in Oregon or Duke. The combatants in tonight’s late game ranked 43rd and 109th, respectively, in schedule-adjusted defensive efficiency this season, per Ken Pomeroy’s stats. Aside from their 116th-place finish in 2013-14, this year’s Blue Devils have given Coach K more defensive fits than any Duke squad since Pomeroy started crunching numbers 15 seasons ago. [KenPom.com]More than $30 millionWith those aforementioned six entries in the Sweet 16, the ACC stands to make a cool $30 million, at least, from an NCAA cash pool that rewards conferences when their teams go deep in the tournament. Naturally, none of that money will ever be seen by Brice Johnson, Malcolm Brogdon, Grayson Allen, Angel Rodriguez or any of the other players who powered those teams to the Sweet 16. [ESPN.com]If you haven’t already, you really need to sign up for the Significant Digits newsletter — be the first to learn about the numbers behind the news.If you see a significant digit in the wild, send it to @WaltHickey — or to @Neil_Paine, I guess, if you want.CORRECTION (March 24, 5:35 p.m.): A previous version of this article incorrectly described the average height difference between the starters on Kansas and Maryland’s men’s basketball teams. Maryland’s starters are, on average, about an inch and a half taller, not a foot and half.
Cleveland Browns quarterback Brian Hoyer (6) is run down by Buffalo Bills linebacker Kiko Alonso as he scrambles toward the sideline during first-quarter action at FirstEnergy Stadium in Cleveland Oct. 3.Credit: Courtesy of MCTIn 1996 the Cleveland Browns were forcefully relocated to Baltimore and renamed the Ravens by owner Art Modell, also known as Cleveland’s most hated man, save for, perhaps, LeBron James.In 1999 the NFL held true to its promise of bringing football back to Cleveland and the Browns returned as an expansion team.Since then, the Ravens have gone on to win two Super Bowls while the Browns have managed a whopping one playoff appearance, of which the team lost in the first round.During the time since that 1999 season the Ravens have fielded 13 starting quarterbacks. While still high, that number pales in comparison to Cleveland’s 19 signal callers in said period.Over that time, only one quarterback has started all 16 games in a single season for Cleveland: Tim Couch during the 2001 campaign. That year also marked one of only three times the Browns finished a year 7-9 or better. The other two times you ask? In 2002, when Couch started 14 games and 2007, when Derek Anderson started 15. Anderson got the nod halfway through the season opener.The biggest difference between the old Browns (Baltimore) and the new Browns (Cleveland) is stability at the quarterback position. The Ravens have had a quarterback start all 16 games seven times since 1999, including five straight seasons out of their current quarterback, Joe Flacco.It is time for the Browns to commit, and that can’t happen if they hire a new coach and draft a new “quarterback of the future” every few years.Cleveland has three options at the position right now. It can ride it out with 29-year-old second-year quarterback Brandon Weeden, who has shown flashes but may be too far away from stardom considering his old-age. The Browns could wait out the rest of the season with Weeden, then fully commit to the currently injured but promising Brian Hoyer.Or they could draft a quarterback in 2014.Some might argue they could pick up a free agent like Matt Flynn, but a player who has failed to capitalize on the QB situations in Seattle and Oakland has to have some issues. Keeping Weeden, waiting for Hoyer or signing Flynn are the only viable options in Cleveland, and they must pick one right away in order to have any chance at stability.For me, the best choice is Hoyer. Weeden has talent, but he has a knack for playing game to game, there is no consistency so far, plus he is nearly 30. Hoyer is two years younger and spent three seasons learning under Tom Brady with the New England Patriots. While he has made a grand total of two starts in his Cleveland career, Hoyer won both of them and provided hope for a fan base that has been searching for a spark for nearly two decades.In past seasons I might choose the “draft a new guy” option, but I do not see anyone in the upcoming draft that I would commit to from day one, and that is what Cleveland has to do.No more quarterback battles in training camp. No more drafting of a Couch or a Brady Quinn, no more gambles on a too-old rookie like Weeden. It’s time for Cleveland to pick a player, give him the job and stick with him through thick and thin.Without stability the Browns will continue to be one of the laughing-stocks of the NFL, and the blame can only be placed on themselves.
Ohio State football coach Urban Meyer made his weekly appearance on the Big Ten teleconference Tuesday afternoon and discussed the improved play of the offensive line, the emergence of sophomore running back Ezekiel Elliott and his comfort level with the team thus far.The Buckeyes are 3-1 on the season following a 50-28 victory over the Cincinnati Bearcats Saturday night. Meyer said after Saturday’s win over Cincinnati his offensive line has “crossed the barrier” and added he believes the offense has developed depth and more of an identity. He named redshirt-junior Chase Farris as someone who has improved and is earning playing time on the offensive line. He said that with the return of senior tight end Jeff Heuerman from injury to go along with the improved line play that the Buckeyes have more of an offensive identity now. Meyer said he believes the performance of Elliott is a product of better offensive line play. Meyer said the running back position as a unit is the hardest working group on the team. He gave credit to running backs coach Stan Drayton and said Elliott is among the top two or three hardest workers on the team. He said after evaluating the pass defense, he doesn’t think there is a lack of talent, rather a lack of execution. He said young corners in the secondary simply need to play better, singling out redshirt-freshmen Gareon Conley and Eli Apple as players who need to improve. Meyer said his comfort level with his team is night and day from where it was week one against Navy. He said the biggest challenge for the Buckeyes going into Saturday’s game against Maryland will be slowing down the Terrapin offensive skill players. Meyer added that Maryland quarterback C.J. Brown will greatly test OSU as he is the leading passer and rusher for Maryland.The Buckeyes are scheduled to take on the Maryland Terrapins on Saturday at noon at Byrd Stadium in College Park, Md.
Earlier, there was a rumour that PSG were willing to let their forward Neymar leave next summer for €220m, with Barca and Madrid among his suitors.However, Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar has declared that the speculation or talk of returning to Barcelona or joining Real Madrid is ‘fake news’ and doesn’t hold water.The 26-year-old forward used his Instagram story to call out AS and Mundo Deportivo for their front pages report about him and was seen shaking his head in the Instagram story where he denied the report.Quiz: How much do you know about David Villa? Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 Time to test your knowledge about Spanish legendary forward David Villa.The Brazilian also described claims that he met an ex-girlfriend in Barcelona as ‘fake news’.“I’d like to be Superman, but I can’t be in two places at the same time. I can’t teleport,” he added.PSG has grabbed 10 wins out of 10 matches in Ligue 1 without Neymar on Saturday as they thrashed Amiens 5-0.
West Ham forward Marko Arnautovic refused to shed any light on his future at the club after helping Austria claim a 2-1 win over Northern Ireland on SundayThe 29-year-old came off the bench at Windsor Park to assist Valentino Lazaro’s stoppage-time winner in the UEFA Nations League.Arnautovic’s brother and agent, Daniel, suggested last week that a West Ham exit to a Champions League-type club could happen.But Arnautovic remained quiet on his future at London“I don’t want to talk about it. I am concentrated on West Ham,” Arnautovic told Sky Sports.“We have a big game against Manchester City on Saturday and I am only thinking about this game and the following games and what is being said is not my business.Report: Euro 2020 qualifying Group G George Patchias – September 9, 2019 Euro 2020 qualifying Group G, saw Robert Lewandowski draw another blank.What should have been a plane sailing group for Poland, has turned out to…“My business is to perform on the pitch, to put in performances and that is what I want to do.”Despite knee injury troubles this season, Arnautovic is confident he will feature this Saturday for West Ham.“I will be OK,” he said.“Two days in a row was a bit too much but the gaffer asked me to play the last 25 minutes if needed, and it was needed. I am glad I could help.”Arnautovic has scored five goals in his opening 10 Premier League matches this term.
DLF logoWikimedia CommonsReal estate giant DLF has repaid Rs 3100 crore of debt to its venture partner GIC by transferring Noida shopping mall and some land parcels. DLF owed about Rs 8,700 crore to DLF Cyber City Developers LTD (DCCDL), which is a joint venture between DLF and Singapore sovereign wealth fund GIC. With the latest transaction, DLF’s debt has come down to about Rs 5600 crore as of July 2019.In an investor presentation, DLF clarified that it has transferred the Mall of India project in Noida, worth Rs 2950 crore, to DCCDL. The Economic Times also reported that the company also added that it has transferred 3.05 acres of land parcel in Gurugram to the Singapore-based firm. Representational ImageINDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP/Getty ImagesThe joint venture between GIC and DLF was signed in December 2017 when DLF promoters sold 40 percent of their stake in DCCDL to GIC for about Rs 1,200 crore. The deal included the sale of DCCDL’s 33.34 percent stake to GIC for about Rs 9,000 crore and the remaining Rs 3m000 crore was acquired by DCCDL through buyback.DLF holds about 66.66 percent in the joint venture firm and the remaining 33.34 percent is with GIC. The Gurgaon-based real estate giant has plans to sell prime commercial project Horizon Central in Gurugram for about Rs 850 crore, to settle the remaining debt of Rs 5,600 crore. The company also plans to transfer its mall in Saket for a valuation of Rs 1,050 crore, reported ET. Real estateThe report also stated that DLF will transfer its commercial land in Chennai for about Rs 1,000 crore. Some parts of the monetary settlement to GIC will be done by transferring SEZs at Hyderabad and Chennai as per the contract with group firm DLF Assets Ltd. The leftover debt of about Rs 7,00 will be paid in cash.DLF has reported a two-fold growth in its profit at Rs 414.72 crore for the June quarter against Rs 172.77 crore last year. DCCDL holds about 30 million sqft of commercial real estate in Gurugram that yields an annual revenue of about Rs 3,000 crore.