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New species in an urban ecosystem (read: solar panel)

first_img Arboretum gets a solar boost Related Michael Dosmann, the Arboretum’s keeper of living collections, said the find adds to the long list of species whose discovery is linked to the Arboretum’s work. Over its nearly 150-year history, Arboretum researchers have discovered numerous species as they’ve traveled in search of specimens to add to its 16,000 living plants and 1.5 million herbarium specimens.Relatively few species have been discovered on the grounds of the Arboretum itself, but those discoveries are not unknown. In 2016, a postdoc at Harvard’s Farlow Herbarium discovered a new species of truffle fungus, Tuber arnoldianum, living symbiotically among tree roots, and in 2018, researchers there discovered that an evergreen hemlock — already part of the collection — was in fact a new species, Tsuga ulleungensis, native to an island off South Korea’s east coast.The most recent find, Dosmann said, highlights how little we still know about biodiversity, even in places as well-trod and well-studied as Arnold Arboretum. Dosmann said that finding a new species used to mean taking a plane, then a boat, a train, a bus, and a horse to reach untouched wilderness, but as our understanding of the micro-environment grows, as humans continually alter the landscape, and as the climate affecting known ecosystems shifts, the idea of “novel ecosystems” — and the biodiversity it promotes — comes closer and closer to home.“What we’ve written down is a moon-cast shadow to what exists,” Dosmann said. “It does make you wonder: What are we going to find tomorrow?” 1.2-acre project to power research building is ambitious sustainability initiative Researchers have discovered new life — a never-before-seen bacterium — in a novel environment, one created by humans and spreading rapidly around the globe, at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum.The new species is marked by the presence of colorful carotenoid pigments and an affinity for solar radiation, high temperatures, limited nutrients, and desiccation. That combination may be tough to find in lush New England, but is common on solar panels like those at the Arboretum’s Hunnewell Building, where it was discovered.Arboretum Director William “Ned” Friedman said the find is a reminder that, even as humans dominate nature to an unprecedented extent, natural processes still continue in seemingly unnatural environments, like the solar panels that provide about a third of the Arboretum’s power.“Every time we throw up panels, every time we create new surfaces, not only are there things that can exploit them — like this new species — but you shouldn’t expect that evolution isn’t going to happen and create things that better exploit them over time,” Friedman said. “In urban ecosystems, one might even anticipate that there are accelerated aspects of evolution because you’re presenting nature with new challenges or opportunities.”Samples of the bacteria after being cultured in the lab. Photo by Kristie TannerThe bacterium, Sphingomonas solaris, was discovered by Kristie Tanner, a University of Valencia graduate student on a three-month stay in Boston, thanks to a grant from Harvard’s Real Colegio Complutense. Tanner was conducting Ph.D. research, which included sampling and characterizing microbial communities living on solar panels in an array of environments, such as the Arctic, Antarctic, Boston, and her native Spain.The collecting trip lasted just an afternoon, Tanner said. She took samples from the Hunnewell Building’s solar array by washing the panels with sterile water and collecting the water in test tubes. Once at the lab of her host, Ahmad Khalil, a visiting scholar at Harvard’s Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and a Boston University biomedical engineering professor, she isolated 40 different bacteria species and noticed that one’s 16S gene — an identification marker — differed from anything known.“It was a big surprise,” Tanner said. “I’ve been doing bioprospecting for five years, studying bacteria in these weird and wonderful environments, and I said, ‘This could be a new species.’”Tanner, assisted by colleagues in Boston and Spain, set about characterizing the new species and writing the exhaustive description required to introduce it to the broader scientific community. The manuscript was published in January in the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology. The manuscript preparation was nerve-wracking, Tanner said, because she had to be both thorough and fast — and keep an eye on scientific publications to ensure another group didn’t beat her to it.“It’s been very exciting,” she said.Tanner and Friedman said it is most likely that the new species was an unrecognized transplant from the nearby environment, perhaps nearby soil. It joins more than 120 species of the Sphingomonas genus, discovered in 1990. Some Sphingomonas species have potential applications in bioremediation of heavy metals and other environmental pollutants. Boston high schoolers experience hands-on connection to climate change When the trees become the teacher The Arnold Arboretum uses new research and a pretty moth to fight an invasive species Fighting flora with faunalast_img read more

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Jos Buttler hopeful that shortened IPL can go ahead this year

first_imgLondon: England and Rajasthan Royals wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler hopes that players would be able to play at least a shortened version of the Indian Premier League (IPL) this year. The IPL was supposed to start on March 29 but was postponed to April 15 due to the coronavirus pandemic.With India going into a three-week lockdown starting on March 5, there is now uncertainty if the organisers will be able to start the tournament after April 15.“No news at the moment. We saw, initially, that it was going to be postponed. It’s very hard to see this changing in the immediate future, so I don’t see that as a possibility at the moment,” Buttler said in a Skysports podcast.“Obviously, it’s such a massive tournament for world cricket, so hopefully some of it can go ahead — perhaps a shortened tournament.”Over 400 cases have been reported so far in India and nine deaths due to coronavirus. As has been the case in most parts of the world, the viral spread has led to a freeze on sporting activities in the country.India’s home ODI series against South Africa had to be postponed due to the scare over the virus while other sports tournaments have all been cancelled after the Sports Ministry’s order to cease all sporting activities a week ago. IANSAlso Read: Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler collect royal honours at Buckingham PalaceAlso Watch: Coronavirus update: Buddhist Monastery in Naharkatika take extra prevention measureslast_img read more

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Bayern Legend, Matthaus, Wary of Barca Threat

first_img“Of course Barcelona have the quality to be at their best in a game,” he was quoted in Marca yesterday.“But I think Bayern would have to make a lot of mistakes and do a lot of things badly to lose to this Barcelona.”Barcelona have won only two of their 10 games against Bayern and manager Quique Setien would inevitably come under scrutiny if they fall to the Bundesliga giants on Friday.While Bayern do look favourites, Matthaus believes the fact that the tie is over one leg, rather than the usual two because of the re-organisation caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, means that the form book could go out of the window.“In a one-off game, things can happen. You do something bad and you’re out. You can correct these things in two-legged ties,” he said.Barcelona’s Sergi Roberto suggested the pressure will be off the Catalans, having reached their objective of arriving in Lisbon for the climax of the tournament.“We don’t know what we’ll need against Bayern,” he said. “But we’re going to prepare for the game and see their weaknesses. Our goal was to be in Lisbon and now we are.”Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Bayern Munich would have to drastically under-perform to lose to Barcelona in their next UEFA Champions League quarterfinal game in Lisbon, according to their former midfielder Lothar Matthaus.The Bavarians strolled into the last eight by thrashing Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate while Barcelona were 4-2 aggregate winners against Napoli.The clash of the clubs with five titles each in the competition is the standout tie of the four one-legged quarterfinals, but Matthaus sees only one likely outcome.last_img read more

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Leverkusen down Rangers 1-0 to progress in UEFA Europa League

first_imgMoussa Diaby celebrates his goal to give Bayer Leverkusen the lead on the nightKampala, Uganda | XINHUA |   Bayer Leverkusen cruised into the quarterfinal after beating Glasgow Rangers 1-0 (4-1 on aggregate) thanks to a second-half goal from Moussa Diaby in the Europa League round of 16 on Thursday.The Rangers had a tough task ahead as they needed three goals without reply to win the tie on the road. However, it was the hosts who grabbed the reins from the kick off.Kai Havertz alone had two chances in the early stages but lacked in precision as the German international rattled the woodwork in the 16th minute before he missed the target from a promising position six minutes later.Leverkusen controlled possession and let the ball do the work whereas the visitors from Glasgow failed to get a single shot on target in the first 45 minutes.After the restart, the “Werkself” eventually got rewarded for the dominant first half when a Charles Aranguiz through ball from their own territory allowed Diaby to drill the ball from the area into the roof of the net with six minutes gone in the second half.Havertz remained in the thick of things but wasn’t able to make the most of his third chance with just Rangers goalkeeper Allan McGregor to beat moments later.Leverkusen’s goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky, who had nothing to do for most of the game, almost invited the visitors to restore parity but Hradecky’s moment of madness following an underestimated free kick remained without consequences as Edmond Tapsoba defused Alfredo Morelos’ header on target in the 71st minute. Glasgow grew in confidence and Greg Stewart squandered a misplaced pass from Hradecky inside the box in the 83rd minute.However, Leverkusen stood firm in the closing period and cruised into the quarterfinals where they will clash with Inter Milan in Dusseldorf on Monday.“We are disappointed with the result. I don’t think we found our level or a performance to give it a good go tonight. The best side won the game and the best side has gone through over the course of the two legs,” Rangers head coach Steven Gerrard said.****XINHUA Share on: WhatsApplast_img read more

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Little Silver Mayor Goes Live on Facebook

first_imgBy Chris Rotolo |LITTLE SILVER – Monday evening Mayor Robert Neff sat in front of his laptop in a vacant municipal courtroom, fully engaged in an official Q&A session with residents from his town.It was a town hall forum, by way of Facebook Live. Throughout the session the mayor posed various topics of conversation and deftly fielded pressing questions from some constituents of his town, population about 6,000.It’s not something many other local politicians have attempted.“I don’t think I had butterflies in my stomach about doing this live, but I was a little nervous because I wasn’t sure how many residents would take part,” Neff said. “I was nervous that their questions might stop and we’d have to cut it short. But they kept coming and we actually went over time by a few minutes.”The mayor received 16 questions throughout the 33-minute session, which peaked at 41 concurrent online viewers. But since it aired, users have viewed the archived recording more than 1,000 times. The conversation continues, with viewers posting additional follow-up questions and the administration responding with answers.Inspired by similar sessions conducted by Brick Township Mayor John Ducey, Neff saw these Facebook Live sessions as a potential method to reach residents where they are – online.Neff credited Councilwoman Corinne Thygeson for her hours of research on this new method of audience connection, as well as the time she spent with him planning for potential topics that could arise.“This was really Corinne’s initiative. If you have a council member who has an interest, and takes the lead to coordinate it all, you can pull off a very successful production like we just had. I can’t thank her enough for the hours she put in.”They also tried to anticipate the technical difficulties.His MacBook, decorated with tropical pineapple stickers, was carefully placed atop a stack of books and manuals to align the laptop’s camera with his face so he could sit up straight. He did two or three dry runs and found glitches every time.“When you run into issues people like to say, ‘Just have your aide do it or call your IT department to handle that or don’t you have a public relations person?’ All those things are me!” said Neff, an attorney who once worked as a newspaper reporter.Neff took questions on a wide range of topics, from sidewalk maintenance and garbage pickup, to the liquor license that was passed by a referendum vote two years ago.He explained the liquor license was recently auctioned off and purchased for $300,000 by a company called Brickwall at Little Silver, a group comprised of local residents and those who own and operate The Brickwall Tavern & Dining Room in Asbury Park, who will soon be proposing a similar establishment for the borough that would be located adjacent to the NJ Transit train station parking lot. It was revealed in the broadcast that the Planning Board is still awaiting an application for site plan approval for that bar and restaurant.Neff also touched upon the town’s controversial cell tower and said the Borough Council is not attempting to break the 25-year lease agreement between Little Silver and Verizon. In hopes of quelling public concerns about potentially harmful radio waves emitted from the tower, the mayor was adamant that the structure has been tested and is well within federal guidelines.One of the final questions posed to Neff was about the municipality’s stance on marijuana and if the borough had an ordinance in place banning cannabis sales in its 2.7-square-mile town. The mayor made a distinction between the use of medical marijuana, as opposed to the sale of recreational products, stating, “The selling of marijuana within town shops isn’t something Little Silver would be excited about. And neither would our law enforcement officials.”Neff went on to explain that the borough does not currently have an ordinance in place banning its sale primarily because the substance is still illegal in New Jersey. However, he does anticipate that such a proposal to ban these types of shops will come before the council in the near future.When he was finished, Neff said the session was fun, and he got great feedback.But whether the method will gain popularity among other Two River-area leaders remains to be seen. Middletown Mayor Stephanie Murray isn’t completely ruling it out.“Considering that over 80 percent of the U.S. population has a social networking profile, it makes sense for governments to adapt and communicate that way,” Murray said. “We’re not currently using Facebook Live to interact with our residents, but we are communicating across a number of social media channels, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.”Murray also spoke to the importance of accessibility, specifically in-person meetings, saying, “I truly enjoy meeting with residents at my open office hours and I don’t plan on replacing those face-to-face interactions with technological ones.”Neff’s Facebook session can be viewed on the Borough of Little Silver Facebook page.This article was first published in the March 15-22, 2018 print edition of The Two River Times.last_img read more

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Donegal’s sport stars show support for brave Paul

first_imgA host of Donegal’s leading sport stars have shown their support for a local man left hospitalized following a freak accident in the summer. Paul Holihan, 39, was badly injured following the accident a number of months ago – and has been in hospital ever since.Family and friends have organised a number of successful fundraising initiatives so far – and set up a recovery fund in an effort to raise money for his rehabilitation. Donegal stars Michael Murphy, boxing sensation Jason Quigley, jockey Martin Harley and a host of rally stars will feature in a ‘Night with the Stars’ event which will take place this weekend at The Clanree Hotel.With a host of superb prizes up for grabs a massive crowd is expected to attend this event in aid of the hugely popular Ballyare man, who was well-known and hugely popular all around Donegal.Martin Harley has donated a pair of breeches signed by Frankie Dettori after a big win last weekend as well as a pair of his own breeches signed by 35 of the world’s top jockeys.Martin, based in Newmarket in England but originally from Trentagh, has known Paul for years. Wonderful raffle and auction prizes on the night include: A trip to Dubai, a pair of Jason Quigley boxing gloves, a signed Donegal jersey, a trip to see the mighty Glasgow Celtic, a trip to any Premiership team of your choice and a one year family gym membership.Entry fee is just €10 pay at the door.Donegal’s sport stars show support for brave Paul was last modified: October 20th, 2016 by Mark ForkerShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Passenger tax grab

first_imgAustralia’s major political parties are risking a backlash from travellers as research by the main tourism industry lobby reveals massive public ignorance about tax gouging by the Australian government on foreign visitors and Australians heading overseas. Because the governmment’s so-called $A55 Passenger Movement Charge (PMC) is collected by airlines and is unseen by travellers as they pass through airports, a staggering 85 per cent of Australians are unaware that it exists, according to a poll commissioned by the Australian Tourism and Transport Forum.And when they’re told about it, they’re angry that three-quarters of the $1 billion the PMC raises every year is just a tax grab by the federal treasury in Canberra when it was originally designed only to pay for the $250 million a year it costs to run the customs and immigration service. According to the survey of 1000 people nationally on June 10 by market researcher Pureprofile, more than 80 per cent of respondents say the holiday tax should be slashed or invested directly in the tourism industry to support economic growth and more jobs rather than fill the government’s coffers.With campaigning underway for a July 2 federal election in Australia, more than a third of people (36.4 per cent) say political parties should commit to reducing the cost of travelling to and from Australia, while a quarter (25.1 per cent) say they would support a political party that commits to not increasing the PMC.Yet the major parties are stonewalling, with neither apparently willing to give up the tax – a position that threatens to further erode the primary votes of the two major parties, already at record lows collectively with minor parties capitalising on the increasingly poor image of the traditional groupings.“We want them to cut the PMC or, at the very least, freeze it, but they have given no commitments,” says TTF spokesman Chris Taylor. “We understand both major parties have policies on the issue but, with just two weeks to go, they haven’t released them.”The TTF has been campaigning hard on the issue for more than two years  and is frustrated that, with federal government spending at record levels, travellers are seen only as cash cows to be milked.“The Passenger Movement Charge is a hidden holiday tax on every Australian and overseas visitor travelling through our international gateways and does nothing to support the growth of the industry and creation of more jobs,” says TTF CEO Margy Osmond. “Tourism has been identified as a super-growth sector of the future but the hidden holiday tax continues to be a handbrake on the industry.”In fact, Australia’s PMC is now the world’s biggest travel tax for journeys of up to 3000 kilometres, eclipsed only by Britain’s hated Air Passenger Duty that gouges £73 ($A143) from every long-haul traveller entering or leaving the UK.last_img read more

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Ponale Canyon Adventure — Geocache of the Week

first_imgFor more photos of Ponale Canyon, visit the geocache’s gallery. Climbing gear and a secure knowledge of rappelling are required tools, which is why this cache is a T5. Several of the waypoints are literally hidden inside waterfalls, so the CO’s suggest bringing a towel and bathing clothes, though apparently, “it’s really wild down there, no muggles will see you searching, hence the tendency to nudeness.”To each their own. As if the route through the Italian jungle weren’t magical enough already, it also skirts the site of an old, abandoned waterworks plant that appears to have been re-purposed by the jungle as a fairytale castle. Multi-CacheGC1Y2BVby deline & da sherpa Location: Trentino–Alto Adige, ItalyN 45° 51.790 E 010° 49.260 Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world.Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.Share with your Friends:Morecenter_img SharePrint RelatedVergissmeinnicht – Geocache of the WeekJuly 11, 2018In “Community”Don’t look down! — Vertical Limit I: Die Brücke (GCZVW2) — Geocache of the WeekMarch 5, 2014In “Community”Line of Sight — In the Distance (GC4JZTK) — Geocache of the WeekMarch 19, 2015In “Geocache of the Week” Difficulty: 3Terrain: 5 “Ponale Canyon Adventure” seems a pretty nondescript name for a 9-point multi-cache that could easily be the plot of a post-apocalyptic video game or movie.The route takes intrepid geocachers along the Ponale River, which plunges into a canyon so lush and green that photos taken there look they’ve been layered with some sort of over-saturated Instagram filter.Cache Owner deline says, “Ponale Canyon Adventure is like a guided tour through the valley with some challenges along the way that everyone should be able to master and still invoke that I did it! feeling in the end.”Well, not everyone can master the challenges. The cache has plenty of DNFs. But, the 178 people who have found it so far definitely did their geocaching happy dances at the end. The most challenging part of the cache isn’t what you’d expect. The CO says, “The hardest part seems to be finding the final box, despite our attempts to provide foolproof hints and some photos in the logs that are pretty revealing. Maybe it’s because they’re too exhausted after the trip or they’re afraid to stick their arms in every hole as far as it goes, but that’s what it takes!”You know you’re a geocacher if:You rappell down the side of a waterfall looking for a boxYou strip down to your underwear and swim across a pool to look for a boxYou stick your hands into dark, mossy holes because you’re looking for a boxYou read this article and immediately put this cache on your bucket listlast_img read more

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9 months agoReal Betis defender Bartra blasts Vinicius Jr: He remembered my mother three times…

first_imgReal Betis defender Bartra blasts Vinicius Jr: He remembered my mother three times…by Paul Vegas9 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveReal Betis defender Marc Bartra has hit out at Real Madrid attacker Vinicius Junior after yesterday’s clash.Madrid won 2-1 with former Barcelona defender Bartra having a running battle with the Brazilian teen.He barked: “Vinícius was on the ground for longer than he was standing, I asked him not to dive and he called me a son of … well, he has remembered my mother three times.”Bartra offered Vinicius some advice: “He has a lot to learn, I do not think they are the right actions for a Real Madrid player.”He added: “The points escaped us, but at the level of sensations we have been very superior, that gives us a lot of confidence, it is a good line for the future.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

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