first_img(Visited 31 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Some recent evolutionary papers appear to make physical laws not just constraints on natural selection, but guiding hands that build optimal designs.Hydrodynamics and the perfect transporter:  In cell membranes, aquaporins are hourglass-shaped channels that allow water molecules through but block other molecules.  Their “remarkable  selectivity,” coupled with “optimal permeability,” is admired by biophysicists – so much so that authors of a paper in PNAS about aquaporins [AQPs] remarked, “in a biomimetic perspective, these results provide guidelines to design artificial nanopores with optimal performances.”  How, then, did evolution stumble upon such design perfection?  “This suggests that the hourglass shape of aquaporins could be the result of a natural selection process toward optimal hydrodynamic transport.”   This statement could mean that natural selection found the optimal shape through blind search, but more implicitly that the laws of hydrodynamics lured natural selection toward “excellent water selectivity.”  Most of the paper focused on why the geometrical shape is so effective:The aim of this work was to determine the effect of geometry and BCs [boundary conditions] on hydrodynamic entrance effects in biconical nanochannels. Using FE [finite-element] calculations, we have shown that compared with a plain cylindrical pipe, a biconical channel of optimal angle can provide a spectacular increase in hydrodynamic permeability. A simplified model based on entrance effects and lubrication approximation rationalizes the observed behavior. Although speculative, this could indicate that the hourglass geometry of AQPs results from a shape optimization, to reduce end effects and maximize water permeability.They said very little about evolution.  What they did say amounts to an airy speculation that, somehow, physics drives evolutionary progress:Among transmembrane proteins, and ionic channels in particular, examples abound where the particular function––ion selectivity, for instance––is tied to a specific feature of the molecular architecture. However, it remains worth wondering, as we have done here, whether generic factors such as viscous dissipation could be the driving force behind the shapes fine-tuned by evolution.Fluid dynamics and the perfect lung:  More blatant in the assertion that physics drives evolution is a headline on PhysOrg, “How fluid dynamics and transport shaped the structure of our lungs in the course of evolution.”  The speculations of two French physicists goes beyond claiming that physics merely constrains evolution, though it overlaps with that notion.  It elevates physics to an essential player in the process of design optimization, a voice telling the evolutionary tinkerer, ‘you’re getting warmer’—In an evolutionary perspective, the size of primitive multi-cellular species was necessarily limited by nutrients’ diffusion speed. One hypothesis defended in this study is that larger primitive animals have thus been conditioned by a progressive Darwinian selection of tree-like ‘space-filling’ nutrient distribution systems. Then, their genetic material was ready to be shared to allow mammalian respiration. Successive inspirations and expirations cycles had to be optimised so that external air could reach the alveoli before expiration starts. This form of evolutionary tinkering, the authors believe, would have allowed the emergence of mammalian respiration—as opposed to fish-style breathing through gills.With physics in the driver’s seat, it’s no wonder that “the structure of the alveolar system is indeed optimal to allow efficient transport of oxygen from the air to the blood,” the article ends.  “This new insight into the lung’s evolutionary process stems from the physical principles underlying the architecture of living systems.”Evolution is a mystical form of polytheism for modern intellectuals.  Any questions?  You thought evolution was impersonal and unguided.  That would never work.  Cryptic spirits animate all of nature.They even have names.  The blind goddess Tinker Bell is helped by Engineer Bill, calling out “You’re getting warmer!” as the unholy spirit of Charlie, the Bearded Buddha, smiles down from above, “allowing” endless forms most beautiful to “emerge.”  Since these deities are invisible, one needs the shamans to interpret the game, continually offering “new insight” to the peasants, ever stringing them along to keep the funds flowing.  The Great Myth must remain a perennial work in progress, lest the shamans run out of business in their temples, the universities.  They shudder at the prospect of begging on street corners with signs, “Will tell stories for food.”last_img read more

first_imgMEDIA RELEASEDATE:  24 JULY 2018More than 1000 delegates from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (BRICS) will gather at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg tomorrow, Wednesday,  25 July 2018 for the BRICS Business Forum which will takes place as part of the 10th BRICS Summit. The Heads of State of the BRICS countries will preside over the afternoon session of the Business Forum and provide direction on strategic issues under discussion.The Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, Deputy Minister Mr Bulelani Magwanishe and the Chairperson of the BRICS Business Council, Dr Iqbal Surve will deliver speeches at the opening session of the forum starting from 09:00. Their address will be followed by four thematic sessions that cover various topics. The Ministers of Trade, Commerce, Industry, Economic Development and External Relations of the five BRICS countries will all be panelists in the session where The Role of BRICS in Trade and Investment facilitation amidst a Changing Global Political Economy will be discussed.According to the Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, the delegates who will comprise of captains of industry, heads of state-owned entities and government leaders will deliberate on strategic economic matters affecting the future of BRICS.“In line with the BRICS Summit theme, BRICS in Africa: Collaboration for Inclusive Growth and Shared Prosperity in The Fourth Industrial Revolution, the Business Forum will deliberate on the current global political economy and its implications for BRICS member countries, the implications of the 4th Industrial Revolution on inclusive growth and transformation, facilitating intra-BRICS trade, as well as fostering BRIC-Africa partnerships,” says Minister Davies.Minister Davies added that the business forum will provide a platform to showcase the economic prowess of the African continent with a particular focus on advanced manufacturing, energy, technology, rail, aviation, information and communication technology, financial services and beneficiation (agro-processing and mining), as well as to enhance the flow of foreign direct investments from the BRICS bloc into the continent.“The Business Forum will also offer an opportunity to facilitate the creation of manufacturing value-chains on the African continent, to stimulate dialogue on the utilisation of financing packages offered by the New Development Bank, and to promote synergies with development finance institutions on the continent. The Business Forum is also important because it will create opportunities for partnerships between African and BRICS companies as well as develop concrete measures to address the deficiencies within productive sectors impeding the optimal development of the continent,” said Minister Davies.Enquiries:Sidwell Medupe-Departmental SpokespersonTel: (012) 394 1650Mobile: 079 492 1774E-mail: [email protected] by: The Department of Trade and IndustryFollow us on Twitter: @the_dtilast_img read more

first_img1. How large a plant should be built? We want to satisfy the heating needs of the town but also generate enough electricity to make the economics of the project work. There’s an economy-of-scale with power plants; operating a high-pressure steam turbine for electricity generation requires highly trained personnel, and with too small a plant we wouldn’t sell enough electricity to cover those costs. Last week, I addressed some of the benefits of capturing waste heat from power plants and distributing it to buildings—a technology referred to as combined heat and power or CHP. This week we’ll look at how this idea could be implemented in Brattleboro—using sustainably produced wood chips as the fuel source.The idea of building a wood-chip-fired CHP plant in Brattleboro goes back to the fall of 2002 when Paul Cameron created a Brattleboro chapter of Cities for Climate Protection (now Brattleboro Climate Protection) to help Brattleboro reduce its carbon footprint. At one of Paul’s early meetings, Hervey Scudder, Rick Foley, and several others of us were brainstorming about how Brattleboro could reduce its carbon emissions, and the idea of a CHP plant using locally available, sustainably produced wood chips came up.This might have remained just an interesting idea, but Hervey—who has long been involved with local energy issues including hydropower—pursued it actively. Over several years of quiet research, Hervey came across Dr. Morris Pierce of the University of Rochester, an expert on district heating systems. Morris visited Brattleboro to scope out the potential, and then gave a number of inspiring presentations in town, the first in January, 2007. Out of those meetings grew the organization Brattleboro Thermal Utility, or BTU, on whose board I serve.Following the vision Morris originally laid out, BTU is pursuing the idea of building a power plant in town that would produce between 5 and 25 MW of electricity and perhaps twice that much energy in the form of heat that would be distributed in the more densely developed parts of town and to local industries. Individual buildings would have heat exchangers to extract heat from the circulating loop of hot water.Adding some confusion to all this, another group is pursuing a somewhat different vision in which a handful of smaller, less expensive heating plants—rather than a single large plant—would be built around the town to feed heat into a district hot water network. Some of these could be at existing facilities that already operate small CHP or wood-chip heating plants. Their idea is to jump-start the construction of the district heating network with smaller plants, then eventually replace them with the same sort of CHP plant we are pursuing in BTU. Hervey Scudder is now involved with this alternative strategy.So where are we now in moving toward CHP and district heat in Brattleboro? I can only speak to the efforts of BTU, but we’re at an exciting point. We’ve just issued a “request for qualifications” to identify a firm that can carry out a preliminary feasibility study for the project. This study will answer some important questions, including the following: 3. If the plant is operated primarily for its electricity, what do we do with the excess heat during times of year when it’s not needed for heating? We are hoping to identify year-round, industrial thermal loads—or even attract new, sustainable businesses to Brattleboro for the affordable heat. We will also be considering distributed cooling—using the waste heat during the summer (odd as it sounds) to operate an absorption chiller that can produce chilled water that we can distribute for air conditioning buildings.4. What organizational structure will work best for BTU? We are currently a community-based nonprofit organization, but would a different ownership structure be needed to attract the capital for building a power plant and distribution network that will likely cost tens of millions of dollars? How will we maintain local control? Should the system—or the piping network—eventually come under some sort of public ownership? Does a public-private partnership make sense?We don’t know the answers to these questions. Our board includes energy and business expertise, but not the specialized knowledge needed to answer even these fundamental questions. We’re looking for the feasibility study to do this. We’ll keep you posted!If we succeed in this vision and—in five or six years—have a state-of-the-art, clean-burning, biomass-fired CHP plant and a piping network to distribute affordable hot water throughout town, this will be the first system like it in the country. There are lots of systems like this in Europe, but the only district heating systems in the U.S. are in the downtowns of our largest cities (most of them distributing steam, which is inherently less efficient and more dangerous) and on university and hospital campuses. Brattleboro could become the first small town to demonstrate the future of renewable power generation and distributed heat. More information about this project, and a list of BTU board members, can be found at brattleborothermalutility.org.center_img 2. Should the CHP plant be operated to satisfy the heating needs (referred to in the industry as “thermal following”), or should it be operated primarily for the electricity output—like a standard power plant? Our hope is to make enough money from electricity sales (and renewable electricity can earn a premium price in the market through “renewable energy credits”) to keep the distributed heat as affordable as possible, satisfying one of the goals of BTU.last_img read more

first_imgCayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games WATCH: Firefighters rescue baby seal found in parking garage Ravena is looking forward to hitting the courts anew once he and Kobe Paras return from the 2017 Fiba 3×3 World Cup in Nantes, France, where they will immediately join the Gilas practices on June 22.“Based on what I saw (in the 2017 Seaba Championship), the adjustment you need is you have to find your role in coach Chot’s system,” he said. “Having point guards there with Jio (Jalalon) and Mike (Tolomia), they are already very used with how the system is ran, so I have to find that role in time for the tournaments. Time doesn’t favor me, but I’ll double-time and double the effort.”Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next MOST READ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony LATEST STORIES Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken 1 dead in Cavite blast, fire Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Kiefer Ravena. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO/ Joaqui FloresMake no mistake, Kiefer Ravena is hell-bent on making his case for the Gilas Pilipinas roster in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games.Named to the pool on Friday by coach Chot Reyes, the 23-year-old shared that he’s motivated to make the cut which will allow him to take a shot at the history books.ADVERTISEMENT Heart Evangelista admits she’s pregnant… with chicken Gamble on Smith to give TNT better chance at beating top teams World’s 50 Best Restaurants launches new drinking and dining guide “The chance is here and it’s been a dream of mine to have the record for most medals (in the SEA Games),” he said.With already three gold medals in the regional tiff under his belt, Ravena can get record number four if he makes the final lineup and win the Philippines its 18th championship.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBut the two-time UAAP Most Valuable Player knows that advancing to the final 12 is easier said than done, and for now, he just treasures the chance that has been given to him.“I guess I had a good talk with coach Chot and being committed here for the meantime, I’ll just make the most of it. I’m glad to be back and have the opportunity to fight for a spot, especially this upcoming Jones Cup and SEA Games. We’ll see where we’ll go, but I’m just excited to be part of the pool finally,” he said. What ‘missteps’? Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. View commentslast_img read more

first_imgFILE – Philippine women’s volleyball team during the 2018 Asian Games. POOL PHOTOLarong Volleyball sa Pilipinas president Peter Cayco said the Philippines has a very strong chance of making the podium in the Southeast Asian Games for the first time since 2005’s bronze medal finish in Manila.“You can bet on it, we will get a medal in the SEA Games,” said Cayco. “We’re only talking about which color.”ADVERTISEMENT US judge bars Trump’s health insurance rule for immigrants Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games05:25PH boxing team determined to deliver gold medals for PH03:04Filipino athletes share their expectations for 2019 SEA Games00:45Onyok Velasco see bright future for PH boxing in Olympics02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd01:27Filipino athletes get grand send-off ahead of SEA Games00:36Manny Pacquiao part of 2019 SEA Games opening ceremony Cayco’s belief was bolstered by the presence of volleyball superstars during the tryouts held at Arellano University gym in Manila.National team regulars Alyssa Valdez, Denden Lazaro, Mika Reyes, Aby Maraño and Ces Molina led some 40 club and collegiate players who trooped to Arellano for a chance to represent the country.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSUrgent reply from Philippine ‍football chiefSPORTSWin or don’t eat: the Philippines’ poverty-driven, world-beating pool stars“They are all here. That goes to show how inspired and willing they are to wear the Philippine colors,” said Cayco.The country will host this year’s edition of the Games. Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Oil plant explodes in Pampanga town Grace Poe files bill to protect govt teachers from malicious accusations ‘We are too hospitable,’ says Sotto amid SEA Games woes MOST READ Lacson backs proposal to elect president and vice president in tandem SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. POC chief dares dream a dream Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting LATEST STORIESlast_img read more

first_imgBhopal, Oct 13 (PTI) Automobile major Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) today launched a new model of its sports utility vehicle KUV100.The updated version, KUV100 NXT, is packed with 40 new features, the company said.”The KUV100 NXT has created a new category within the SUV segment in the price range of Rs 4.5-7.5 lakh. We have managed to successfully launch the new model within 21 months (of launch of KUV100) after seeking feedback from various quarters,” the companys senior general manager, sales, Deepak Kapoor told reporters here.Available in five variants, the SUV comes with 40 new features, including hi-tech ones like touchscreen infotainment system with GPS navigation and new driver information system with voice alert, among others.The company has sold 60,000 units of KUV100 across the country, including 3,000 in Madhya Pradesh, since its launch in January 2016, Kapoor said.The car is available in eight colours and has both diesel and petrol options, he added.The company commands 41 per cent market share in the SUV segment in the state, Kapoor added. PTI MAS ADU RSY RDSlast_img read more

first_img Two new divisions have been established at the National Land Agency (NLA) to continue the titling of land under the Registration of Titles Act.They are the Land Administration and Management Division (LAMD) and the Adjudication Services Division (ASD).The departments were created out of the merger of the NLA with the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP), the latter of which was officially closed in December 2018.Senior Director of LAMD, Felicia Wiltshire, explained that the new division will “continue the functions of LAMP as you know it”.“The NLA (through LAMD) will be assisting persons in getting registered titles, and where titles exist, we will assist persons in dealing with these titles, such as estates, and whole or part transfer of titles,” she noted, while addressing a JIS Think Tank on Tuesday (April 2).Senior Director of the Land Administration and Management Division (LAMD) of the National Land Agency (NLA), Felicia Wiltshire, outlines the functions of the new division during a JIS Think Tank on April 2. The departments were created out of the merger of the NLA with the Land Administration and Management Programme (LAMP), the latter of which was officially closed in December 2018. They are the Land Administration and Management Division (LAMD) and the Adjudication Services Division (ASD). Two new divisions have been established at the National Land Agency (NLA) to continue the titling of land under the Registration of Titles Act.center_img Story Highlights The project areas for LAMD operations are St. Catherine, excluding Portmore; St. Mary; Portland; St. Thomas; Rock Hall, St. Andrew; Lawrence Tavern and its environs in St. Andrew; and Rose Town, Kingston.Ms. Wiltshire told JIS News that LAMD stages monthly meetings in rural parishes to facilitate beneficiaries.“Although we are located at Ardenne Road, at the end of every month, we have meetings in St. Thomas, St. Mary and Portland, so persons don’t have to come into Kingston. We will go into the communities, meet with beneficiaries, open files and get documents to assist in accelerating the programme for land titling,” she said.The Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, recently announced a push to issue 20,000 land titles in three years starting April 1.This will be achieved by continuing the process of voluntary land titling through LAMD, and by way of systematic land titling under the new ASD.The new divisions will work together to achieve the overall goal by targeting 4,000 titles in year one and 8,000 titles for each of the second and third years.Senior Director of the ASD, Shalise Porteous, said that the mandate of the division “is to assist landowners who have been in open, undisturbed and undisputed possession of their land for upwards of 12 years, to claim ownership of the land via systematic registration using the adjudication process”.Systematic land titling will facilitate the orderly registration of parcels of land in designated areas to authoritatively ascertain existing ownership rights. While the legislative framework for systematic registration is not yet in place, the ASD is already clear on how it will go about meeting the target.“The parishes with the lowest rate of registration will be targeted and any area where there is some sort of economic activity, for example farming, where we know that persons will benefit from having a certificate of title for the parcels of land, those are the areas that we are targeting,” explained Ms. Porteous.last_img read more