McKinleyville, Fort Bragg ready for rematch in NCS D-IV semifinal round

first_imgWhen the McKinleyville High baseball team last faced Fort Bragg it was in the championship round of the Fort Bragg Tournament on March 16.McKinleyville won that game 5-4, claiming its first Fort Bragg tourney title since 1995 — a year in which the Panthers went on to win a North Coast Section championship.On Friday No. 2 seeded McKinleyville (21-3) will take on No. 5 Fort Bragg (21-5) again, this time in the semifinal round of the NCS Division-IV playoffs.On March 16 little separated the two …last_img read more

Plants Generate Their Own Sunscreen

first_imgUltraviolet radiation hits plants as well as humans, but plants can’t reach for a tube of sunscreen.  Too much exposure can damage them; what do they do?  They have a sensor that turns on production of their own brand of sunscreen and spreads it on their skin automatically.    UV-B rays are the most damaging rays in sunlight.  In Science this week,1 researchers at the University of Glasgow explained how plants have a protein named UVR8 that normally comes in pairs.  UV-B rays break up the pairs; as single molecules now, UVR8 proteins link up with others named COP1.  This combination signals the nucleus to ramp up production of sunscreen.  The abstract said in jargon,Absorption of UV-B induces instant monomerization of the photoreceptor and interaction with COP1, the central regulator of light signaling.  Thereby this signaling cascade controlled by UVR8 mediates UV-B photomorphogenic responses securing plant acclimation and thus promotes survival in sunlight.”Professor Gareth Jenkins explained for University of Glasgow News, “When a plant detects UV-B light this light stimulates the synthesis of sunscreen compounds that are deposited in the outer tissues and absorb UV-B, minimizing any harmful transmittance to cells below.”  So it’s not just having UVR8 able to absorb the harmful photons – it’s also a matter of having them link up with other proteins and switch on genes – then having the gene products arrive at the proper destination to give protection quickly.    Scientists knew plants were able to protect themselves, but didn’t know what photoreceptor was sensitive to UV-B light.  “UVR8 is always present throughout a plant so it can respond immediately to sunlight,” the press release said.1.  Rizzini…Jenkins, Ulm et al, “Perception of UV-B by the Arabidopsis UVR8 Protein,” Science, 1 April 2011: Vol. 332 no. 6025 pp. 103-106, DOI: 10.1126/science.1200660.April 1 makes fools of some of us, but plants don’t fool around.  Especially foolish were the brain offerings given to Charlie in the articles.  The press release lit this stick of stinkincense: “plants rarely show signs of damage because they have evolved a way of protecting themselves from the sun’s harmful rays by making their own sunscreen and depositing it in the outer tissues of leaves.”  Would that evolutionists would evolve a way of evolving away evolutionary folly.    The paper in Science was no better: “Several families of plant photoreceptors have evolved that monitor light ranging from ultraviolet-B (UV-B) to the near infrared and allow optimal adaptation to light.”  Their last sentence lubricated the Darwinian imagination: “This raises the intriguing possibility that, together with the development of an ozone layer in the stratosphere of Earth, the evolution of terrestrial plants may be coincident with the acquisition of the UV-induced responses mediated by the UVR8 UV-B photoreceptor.”  Anything’s possible; pigs could evolve wings and fly coincident with the acquisition of big bad wolves in the neighborhood.  That’s intriguing to imagine, too.    How long must we put up with this foolishness?  It’s happening 365x24x7, not just on April Fool’s Day.  Turn off the black light and let the sun shine in, under the ozone of critical thinking.(Visited 39 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA off to wheelchair tennis champs

first_imgSouth Africa’s wheelchair tennis squad wants top honours at the World Team Cup. Desmond Monyamane has confidence in his teammates. Lucas Sithole is using the tournament as part of his preparations for the 2012 Paralympics.(Images: Bongani Nkosi) MEDIA CONTACTS • Nqobi Ngcobo Simonsays communications WTSA communications partner +27 11 465 9815 [email protected] RELATED ARTICLES • Street Child Cup kicks off in SA • Top sponsors for Unity Cup in SA • Natalie wins Human Values award • Celebrating South Africa’s ParalympiansBongani NkosiSouth Africa’s wheelchair tennis stars are preparing for the upcoming 2010 Invacare World Team Cup in Turkey, and judging by their top rankings, they look set to play a dominant role the competition.The country will be represented at the international tournament, which runs from 3 to 9 May, by a team of nine players, who will compete in all four divisions: men, women, quad and juniors.About 300 of the “most talented” players from 33 countries will play in the 26th World Team Cup, according to Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA). The tournament is generally known as the Davis Cup of wheelchair tennis. All participants are missing – or cannot use – one or more of their limbs.South Africa’s squad boasts the country’s most highly rated wheelchair-bound players in all divisions. “Our 2010 team is the strongest yet, and our hopes are high for the players performances to be worthy of bringing honour to our country,” said Holger Losch, who represents WTSA and is one of the team’s coaches.The country’s top-ranked Sydwell Mathonsi, from Xikundu Village in Venda, will lead the men’s team. Evans Maripa, who won gold at the Asia Pacific Youth Para Games in 2009, Pretoria’s Patrick Selepe, and Desmond Monyamane, from Moletjie Village in Polokwane, will complete this side.“We’re looking at improving South Africa’s ranking at the tournament,” said Monyamane, a third-year biokinetics student at the University of Venda.Monyamane started playing tennis in Limpopo in 2006, at the Helen Franz Special School for youngsters with disabilities. He’s confident about his side and the South African team. “We can beat the tops teams because we have good players,” he said. “Sydwell won against a top player from the UK [recently].”Kgothatso Montjane, who’s currently number-one in South Africa’s female division and 16th in the world, will lead the women’s side. She recently won the women’s title at the SA Open for wheelchair tennis, beating Louise Hunt from the UK.Montjane is hoping to help her team improve on last year’s performance, which saw them reach the quarter-finals. “We’re playing top players … but we’re well prepared for a win,” she said.Montjane will team up with Rose van der Meer, with whom she played in last year’s World Cup, and Refilwe Mooketsi, a first-time participant who WTSA describes as a “strong and fast competitor”.“We’re a stronger women’s team, Van der Meer said. “We are a good team, with a positive attitude.”Preparing for 2012 ParalympicsThe quad team comprises Lucas Sithole, number-one in the South African rankings and 16th in the world, and Steven Kekai, 33rd in the world rankings. There’s a massive focus on these two stars “to see how they fare against the top seven quad nations in the world”, WTSA said.Sithole said he’s using the week-long tournament to help prepare for the 2012 Paralympics in London, UK. The young player, who trains at the University of Johannesburg, is positive about his first qualification for the games. “I’m sure I will qualify,” he said.Patrick Selepe, from Soshanguve in Pretoria, completes the national team as both a coach and men’s singles player.last_img read more