Left-Handed Amino Acids Explained Naturally?

first_imgThe problem of left-handed amino acids in life’s proteins has remained an evolutionary conundrum for decades (see online book and earlier entries).  Another team has tried to tackle it, and boasted great things for their small returns.  Science Daily said,What is the origin of such asymmetry in biological material?  There are two competing hypotheses.  One postulates that life originated from a mixture containing 50% of one enantiomer and 50% of the other (known as a racemic mixture), and that homochirality progressively emerged during the course of evolution.  The other hypothesis suggests that asymmetry leading to homochirality preceded the appearance of life and was of cosmic origin.  This is supported by the detection of L excesses in certain amino acids extracted from primitive meteorites.  According to this scenario, these amino acids were synthesized non-racemically in interstellar space and delivered to Earth by cometary grains and meteorites.A team in France was able to reproduce the reported excess by warming up some comet-like ice.  The excess the article reported, though, is just 1.3%.  Life needs 100% of one hand or the other.  Their celebration outran their delivery: “This is the first time that a scenario that explains the origin of this asymmetry has been demonstrated using an experiment that reproduces an entirely natural synthesis,” they said.  They believe that circularly polarized light in stellar nebulae produced the slight excess.  “These findings imply that the selection of a single enantiomer for the molecules of life observed on Earth is not the result of chance but rather of a deterministic physical mechanism.”Sorry.  1.3% doesn’t cut it.  It’s like getting 1.3% of the way to Hawaii; you’re still going to drown.  The chance hypothesis is definitely out the window (online book), so astrobiologists are desperately looking for some deterministic mechanism that can deliver 100% pure single-handed amino acids.  How many more years since Pasteur showed this to be a fundamental separator of life from non-life do we give the Darwin Party overtime to figure it out?  Game over!  Charlie lost!    “Two competing hypotheses,” they said.  There’s the either-or fallacy in action.  The reasonable hypothesis they left out is intelligent design: single-handed proteins were purposefully chosen, because life cannot exist without it.  Their false dichotomy is like a choice between fish sticks and fish balls, when what you crave is beef.  Where’s the beef in this evolutionary myth?  It’s all racemic buns, and they deserve a swift paddling.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Sasol strengthens Mozambique ties

first_imgThis results in an equity split in the M-10 Block of a 42.5% participating interest to each of Petronas and Sasol, through its Sasol Petroleum International subsidiary, with the remaining 15% to be held by ENH. Sasol Petroleum International (SPI) also assigned a 15% participating interest in the Sofala Block, offshore Mozambique to ENH, with SPI owning the whole of the remaining stake. Responsible, representative developments “It is an important milestone for SPI to have ENH as part of the exploration activities in the Sofala and M-10 Blocks,” Sasol Petroleum International MD Ebbie Haan said in a statement this week. Sasol remains operator of both the Sofala and M-10 Blocks. He pointed out that the deal was proof of Sasol’s long-term commitment to responsible and representative development of Mozambique’s valuable natural resources. Sasol Petroleum International develops and manages Sasol’s upstream interests in oil and gas exploration and production in a number of countries. SPI also pursues gas exploration opportunities to enable it to supply feedstock to potential Sasol gas-to-liquids plants. ENH assumes the aforementioned assignments in the Sofala and M-10 Blocks in their capacity as representative entity of the Mozambique Government. 30 August 2010 Oil and gas exploration “The two blocks form an integral part of SPI’s growth strategy in our Mozambican heartland, and the assignments to ENH substantially strengthen the relationship Sasol has with the government and the people of Mozambique,” Haan said. SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo material South African petrochemical giant Sasol and Malaysian oil company Petronas have jointly assigned a 15% participating interest in the M-10 Block offshore Mozambique to Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos (ENH), Mozambique’s national hydrocarbon exploration company.last_img read more

The dozen agencies that keep the country moving

first_imgTransport is the heartbeat of South Africa’s economic growth, ensuring goods and people move swiftly and safely to their destinations. We list the 12 agencies that keep South Africa and the economy ticking.There are 12 state-owned agencies that report to the Department of Transport and, collectively, they cover the country, from the east to the west coast and from the borders of the far north to the southernmost tip of Africa. (Pixlr.com)The country’s road, rail and maritime networks combined ensure the sustained growth of economic activity; the effective movement of goods and services and the safe travel of people.The National Department of Transport oversees the integration of the different modes and ensures a coordinated response to the country’s long-term transport requirements.There are 12 state-owned agencies that report to the Department of Transport and, collectively, they cover the country, from the east to the west coast and from the borders of the far north to the southernmost tip of Africa.Meet the agencies that keep SA movingThe South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) is responsible for the planning, management, and maintenance of the country’s national road network. With more than 22 000km of primary road network under its control, it plays an important role in keeping the country’s economic wheels turning and improving the safety and travel experience of commuters.All road traffic that crosses the country’s extensive borders with neighbouring states is managed by the Cross-Border Road Transport Agency. Its aim is to reduce operational constraints and facilitate the free flow of trade and traffic.The Road Accident Fund provides a social security net to citizens by making available compulsory social insurance cover. The cover is in the form of indemnity insurance to persons who cause accidents and personal insurance to victims of motor accidents.The mission of the Road Traffic Infringement Agency is to encourage compliance with traffic laws through education and awareness campaigns, and the application of laws and regulations to penalise road users who contravene the rules of the road.The Road Traffic Management Agency coordinates the activities of agencies responsible for road safety across the national, provincial and local spheres of government. Its objective is to improve safety, security, discipline and mobility on the country’s roads.The Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) is responsible for most of the passenger rail services in the country. Prasa consists of: Metrorail, which operates commuter rail services in urban areas; the Shosholoza Meyl, which operates long-distance passenger rail services; and Autopax, which manages long distance coach services. It also oversees regional rail services.The Railway Safety Regulator oversees safety on the network and investigates accidents and incidents relating to rail transport.More than 40-million passengers pass through the nine major airports managed by the Airports Company of South Africa (ACSA) every year. ACSA has grown into an efficient and commercially successful business which has expanded its operations to major markets overseas.The activities of the Air Traffic and Navigation Services ensure air safety and traffic control across the entire county as well as large parts of the southern Indian and Atlantic oceans.The Civil Aviation Authority is responsible for the enforcement of civil aviation safety and security through regulation, enforcement and the promotion of higher levels of safety in the industry.The Ports Regulator is an independent body that promotes access to ports and facilities and monitors the industry’s adherence to the national policy and regulatory framework.The country’s coastline stretches more than 2 500km from the desert border with Namibia on the west coast to Mozambique in the Indian Ocean. The South African Maritime Safety Authority was established to promote the country’s maritime interests, ensure the safety of life and property and combat pollution in the marine environment.Source: South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL)Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material.last_img read more

Introduce Friends to Geocaching with this 1 Free App

first_img SharePrint RelatedGeocaching on the Go – Geocaching.com Weekly NewsletterAugust 15, 2012In “Groundspeak’s Weekly Newsletter”So Long “Intro” — Meet the Geocaching® AppMarch 9, 2016In “News”DIY “Wow Power” for Your Next LogJune 8, 2014In “Geocaching Quizzes” Geocaching has never been easier to share or take along on a spontaneous adventure.The official Geocaching Intro apps for Android, iPhone and Windows Phone serve up beginner geocaches. The app is loaded with helpful advice, tips and videos to turn muggles into geocachers in just a few clicks. The apps offer your friends everything they need to launch on a geocaching adventure. Use the app to search for Traditional geocaches, navigate to their locations and log finds. Now when friends ask about geocaching, you can say, “download the official Geocaching intro app, and I’ll show you all about it.” Or say something even wittier, maybe even add a joke. Your friends like jokes.If you’re a Geocaching Premium Member the intro app offers even more features, like access to all Traditional geocaches regardless of terrain or difficulty, including Premium Member Only Traditional caches. Download the app for your phone now, and begin a geocaching adventure anywhere.Share with your Friends:Morelast_img read more

In the air

first_imgA friend in needThe cult of E.T has spawned an entire universe of products inspired by the extra-terrestrial with the large head and a heart to match. Here is a bright little addition to the brigade-Tom the friendly light. Conceptualised by South Korean creator Kwan Hoo Lee for Hoos Design,A friend in needThe cult of E.T has spawned an entire universe of products inspired by the extra-terrestrial with the large head and a heart to match. Here is a bright little addition to the brigade-Tom the friendly light. Conceptualised by South Korean creator Kwan Hoo Lee for Hoos Design as a comforting presence rather than just a source of illumination, it is a quirky contraption made out of birch plywood and pelt fabric. The user’s guide to this one reads “Do not pull the power cord with force. Tom will suffer. Please treat him carefully when adjusting the angle of his neck. He is made of wood, so don’t let him be exposed to fire or curious children.” The handmade ware which costs $250 (Rs 13,817) is available in a bright colour palette of green, orange, purple and blue to go with its cheerful personality. For more, log on to www.hoosdesign.com.The origami orderIt is not often that one comes across shape-shifting tableware, but Poly by Czech designer Martin Zampach fills that void with panache. These lightweight hexagonal bowls are made of a specially developed material that consists of cork sandwiched between layers of veneer. They fit together in several ways to form illusional 2D/3D ornaments. The product was unveiled at the DMY Berlin in June this year where the designer exhibited the same concept in rusted steel and anodised aluminium. They cost between Euro 60 (Rs 4,076) and Euro 100 (Rs 6,796). Log on to www.martin.zampach.com for details.Physics at workWhen Vienna-based Philipp Aduatz debuted this seating arrangement, most onlookers saw a resemblance to spoons and the name stuck. Despite the simplistic nomenclature, the futuristic Spoon chair is the result of a gruelling scientific process. It plays with the principle of the cantilever and extends upward and then loops back towards the centre to support its own and the persons weight. Check www.philippaduatz.com to know more about this carbon creation.French connectionThe French courts of the 17th century were the epitome of ostentatious grandeur. The essence of their pageantry has now been captured by Italian label Boca do Lobo in their limited edition sofa, Versailles. The name conjures up images of both beauty and cruelty as the palace was at the centre of the carnage that came with the French Revolution. Mixing the classic with au courant style, the furniture piece offers a fresh take on the signature opulence of the olden times. Visit www.bocadolobo.com to know more about the seat.State of stoppersThe debate about corks and caps may be a neverending one but these silver bottle stoppers are in a league of their own. With various members of the animal kingdom perched atop, the line from luxury silver label Episode is a quirky addition to your collection of spirits. These stoppers will add an aesthetic edge to dinner parties while keeping your expensive wines fresh between pourings. These fancy fittings will cost you between Rs 2,720 and Rs 4,520.Time of your lifeA Fornasetti calendar plate is as much a slice of history as it is a piece of art. What other platter can boast of being a collector’s item for the past half century. Piero Fornasetti’s son Barnaba is now at the helm of the heirloom company and busy reviving motifs from the Italian brand’s exhaustive design archives. The 2012 calendar plate sports a black and white palette and a cherub face. Portraits are a speciality of the atelier and each piece is handcrafted. The porcelain creation costs Euro 240 (Rs 16,309). Place your order at www.fornasetti.com.Turn the tablesHere is modular furniture at its organic best. Leaves, a flower like coffee table which can be divided into three leaf-shaped side tables. The table top which is made of oiled American walnut wood is anchored by a pedestal made of steel in an earthy anthracite colour. This table by the German design studio Draenert can be arranged in a round formation, or as a flower, making it a good fit for varied interiors. For more, log on to www.draenert.com.advertisementlast_img read more

Marco Materazzi to play for Chennai in Indian Super League

first_imgMarco MaterazziFormer Italian international footballer Marco Materazzi will be part of the Chennai franchisee in the new Indian Super League (ISL).The 41-year-old Materazzi will be player-manager of the team co-owned by Bollywood actor Abhishek Bachchan.Materazzi, who is expected to reach Bangalore on Thursday to join a training camp in Bangalore, is the second star Italian in the league after Alessandro Del Piero.The former Inter Milan defender was involved in what is now the lasting impression of the 2006 World Cup which culminated in an eventful final.Materazzi gave away the penalty which Zinedine Zidane converted to put France ahead before the Italian made amends with the equaliser in the contest in Berlin.In extra time, Zidane was sent off for headbutting Materazzi, with the France talisman subsequently claiming he was provoked, and Italy went on to win 5-3 on penalties.Del Piero, Materazzi’s team mate in that 2006 squad, has already joined the Delhi franchise in the eight-team league scheduled to run from Oct. 12 to Dec. 20.Former France and Juventus striker David Trezeguet, compatriot Robert Pires, Spaniards Joan Capdevila and Luis Garcia and former Newcastle United striker Michael Chopra have also confirmed their participation in the league.last_img read more

Ft Monmouth LRA to Pay 33M for Parcels on Main Post

first_imgThe Army will sell the remaining parcels on the main post at the former Fort Monmouth on the northern New Jersey coast to the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority for $33 million, under a draft agreement.While no date has been set for the two parties to complete the deal, LRA officials believe the property transfer should be completed by early fall, reported the Asbury Park Press.“There’s no doubt in my mind now we’re going to get there. It’s either going to be August, September or October,” said Bruce Steadman, the LRA’s executive director.The deal for the remaining parcels on the main post — which will be an outright sale of the property to the LRA — marks the second phase of the property transfer. The LRA plans to seek funding for the purchase from the Monmouth County Improvement Authority.The LRA plans to cover about $10 million of the debt through the sale of three parcels of land on the main post within a year of the transfer. The Army will retain all statutory environmental responsibilities on the main post, under the terms of the transfer.The Army earlier conveyed three parcels on the main post and the installation’s Charles Wood tract to the authority for $1. The Army receives 60 percent of the revenue from parcels sold under that agreement. Dan Cohen AUTHORlast_img read more