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first_imgPaddy Molloy is through to the semi-finals of The VoiceDONEGAL singer Paddy Molloy shocked the judges tonight as he made it into the semi-finals.There was gasps tonight as the Glenties man got the vote from Kian Egan’s group to go through to the next round.Paddy managed to get the votes as the outsider by the public after he scored poorly among the judges. A stunned Paddy, who had huge support in the audience, clasped his mouth as the other judges looked on in shock in the RTE prime time Sunday show presented by Kathryn Thomas.Paddy had a scare last week and he promised his fans he will be upping the tempo next week on the show.However, the band appeared to drown out his dulcet tones but the votes from Donegal fans seen him through.Coach Kian Egan promised to bring a new side to Paddy next week as he faces his biggest challenge against the remaining three contestants in the semi-final.   VOICE OF IRELAND: PADDY MOLLOY THROUGH TO LIVE SEMI-FINALS was last modified: April 13th, 2014 by John2Share 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) Tags:VOICE OF IRELAND: PADDY MOLLOY THROUGH TO LIVE SEMI-FINALSlast_img read more

Featherlike Structures Are Not Feathers

first_img(Visited 92 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 The media have jumped all over a discovery of fuzz on a small ornithischian dinosaur, ignoring the evolutionary problems.No sooner had we published the previous entry about true feathers on an imaginary dinosaur (7/24/14) when another paper came out in Science Magazine announcing “feathers” on a real dinosaur.  The media spin machine immediately went into high gear:Earliest dinosaurs may have sported feathers (Science Magazine News)Did All Dinosaurs Sport Feathers? Downy Beast Suggests Yes (Live Science)Siberian Discovery Suggests Almost All Dinosaurs Were Feathered (National Geographic)Feathersaurus: plant-eating dinos had plumage too (New Scientist)The discovery of a weird dinosaur, Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus, looking something like a cross between a chicken and a fuzzy kangaroo according to the artist’s imagination, was announced in Science Magazine.  The authors, however, preferred the phrase “featherlike structures” instead of feathers throughout the paper.   The only times they spoke of “feathers” per se, they qualified the word as interpretive:Quill-like structures have been reported in the ornithischians Psittacosaurus and Tianyulong, but whether these were true feathers, or some other epidermal appendage, is unclear.Here we report a new ornithischian dinosaur, Kulindadromeus zabaikalicus, with diverse epidermal appendages, including grouped filaments that we interpret as avianlike feathers.They more closely resemble the monofilaments in the basal coelurosaur Sinosauropteryx and are similar to morphotype 1 in a recent evolutionary model of feathers.These groups of filaments are similar to feather morphotype 3 and resemble the down feathers of some modern chicken breeds, such as the Silkie, which are devoid of barbules.The presence of both simple and compound filamentous structures in Kulindadromeus (Fig. 4) supports the hypothesis that the integumentary structures in Ornithischia, already described in Psittacosaurus and Tianyulong, could be homologous to the “protofeathers” in non-avian theropods.These integumentary structures look nothing like bird flight feathers.  They lack a central vane, barbs, barbules and hooks.  They look more like bits of fuzz about 5 to 15 mm long.  Some of the “compound” ones are mere bundles of monofilaments that converge at the base.The problems for evolution are more serious.  These filaments (not “feathers”) were found on an ornithischian (bird-hipped) dinosaur, rather than the saurischian (lizard-hipped) dinosaurs thought to be ancestral to birds.  In Science Magazine News, Michael Balter untangles the confusion surrounding the names, and points out the phylogenetic problem:If these bristly structures represented early feathers, as researchers have increasingly come to think, it would mean that feathers evolved in dinosaurs that preceded the evolutionary split between so-called saurischians (which include the meat-eating species) and ornithischians (which comprise plant-eating species) more than 200 million years ago. (Despite their confusing name, the ornithischians are not related to birds, which are saurischians.)Whatever adorned Kulindadromeus, therefore, had nothing to do with flight feathers.  (The ornithischians include Triceratops, not exactly a frequent flyer by the looks of it.)  Finding fuzz on ornithischians and “coming to think” they represented “early feathers,” therefore, forces evolutionists to imagine that the “featherlike structures” emerged in a common ancestor of both branches, much further back in time than previously thought.  Subsequently, many sub-branches in both groups must have lost the structures, reverting to scales.  It also forces them to imagine feathers having some other function, perhaps mating display or insulation.  The fuzz was “co-opted” for flight millions of years later, in the branches where flight appeared.In the paper, the authors mention “preservation of the scales as carbonaceous remains” found under “a thin superficial carbonaceous sheet” that was removed to see the structures.  This seems to imply that primordial, unpermineralized material was found in the specimens.  As to their interpretation, even dinobird champion Xing Xu “cautions that the fossils are still too fragmentary to be certain that the more complex feathery structures actually correspond to those found later in birds.”In their haste to celebrate birds as dinosaurs, though, most of the reporters downplayed these difficulties.  Indeed, some appeared ready to support a remake of Jurassic Park, outfitting all the dinosaurs with colorful feathers, even T. rex.  “Steven Spielberg’s ‘Jurassic Park’ might need a little more revising,” Tanya Lewis said in Live Science; “– a newly discovered dinosaur species offers hints that feathers were much more common among the ancient beasts than once thought.”There appears to be a clear dividing line at this point between fuzz and true flight feathers.  Evolutionists may call the former “protofeathers” or “featherlike structures” but that doesn’t mean they are feathers or related to feathers.  We think the interpretation of the structures as secondary phenomena resulting from taphonomy (fossilization) should be reconsidered.  In any case, the fuzz on this new creature, if it was functional on the living animal, had nothing to do with the evolution of birds or flight, so it doesn’t support the dino-to-bird story line.  Some reporters need to learn the scientific values of intellectual integrity, epistemic modesty, and interpretive restraint.last_img read more

SA’s micro-manufacturing lab

first_img9 January 2008The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), in partnership with the Department of Science and Technology, has launched a state-of-art micro-manufacturing laboratory in Pretoria, the first platform dedicated to this technology area in South Africa.The department said in a statement in December that the new micro-manufacturing laboratory would focus on microsystems and microfluidics, while helping to build capacity and develop new skills.“The CSIR laboratory currently offers three doctoral studentships and one internship for capacity and skills development in this new exciting area.”Equipment already commissioned at the laboratory includes a Comsol Multiphysics software package to help model and simulate physical systems; a Resonetics Excimer laser machining station to machine microcomponents and microfeatures into components; and a Zeiss laser scanning confocal microscope to measure the physical characteristics of the micro-manufactured parts.Micro-manufacturingMicro-manufacturing or micro-fabrication is the collective term for the technologies used to fabricate components on a micrometre-sized scale with feature sizes in the 1-1 000 um range.As an important emerging technology area, micro-manufacturing has been defined by the World Technology Evaluation Centre as an enabling, disruptive, transforming and strategic technology that bridges the gap between the nano and macro worlds.“With micro factories, products can be manufactured where needed and the technology is available to more people,” the department said. “The technology can also bring about reduced capital investment, space and energy costs, and increased portability and productivity.”The launch of the laboratory follows the completion of the micro-manufacturing strategy of South Africa, which was facilitated by the department’s Advanced Manufacturing Technology Strategy (AMTS) implementation unit in consultation with industry and relevant international experts and with key contributions from the CSIR, the Central University of Technology, the Stellenbosch University and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.‘First of its kind’CSIR senior researcher Kevin Land says that while pockets of dedicated micro-manufacturing do exist in the country, the laboratory is the first in South Africa to provide a platform dedicated to micro-manufacturing.“We will initially focus our research on micro fuel cells and microfluidics,” Land says.The focus of microfluidics will be on developing modelling, manufacturing and testing capabilities for microfluidic devices, while the immediate goal will be research on manufacturing critical components such as valves, pumps, channels, mixers and separators.These components will then be merged to form sub-systems, which will be linked directly to applications that have been identified in the biomedical field. The group is working closely with biomedical groups in the design and development of these systems.The microsystems focus is on the development of a micro fuel cell as a technology demonstrator to build skills and capacity in the microsystems domain. The micro fuel cell will be used for portable electronic devices such as cellphones and notebook computers.SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more