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Touch and taste? It’s all in the suckers

first_imgOctopuses have captured the human imagination for centuries, inspiring sagas of sea monsters from Scandinavian kraken legends to TV’s “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” and, most recently, Netflix’s less-threatening “My Octopus Teacher.” With their eight suction-cup covered arms, their very appearance is unique, and their ability to use those appendages to touch and taste while foraging further sets them apart.In fact scientists have wondered for decades how those arms, or more specifically the suction cups on them, do their work, prompting a number of experiments into the biomechanics. But very few have studied what is happening on a molecular level. In a new report, Harvard researchers got a glimpse into how the nervous system in the octopus’ arms (which operate largely independently from its centralized brain) manage this feat. The work published Thursday in Cell.The scientists identified a novel family of sensors in the first layer of cells inside the suction cups that have adapted to react and detect molecules that don’t dissolve well in water. The research suggests these sensors, called chemotactile receptors, use these molecules to help the animal figure out what it’s touching and whether that object is prey.,“We think because the molecules do not solubilize well, they could, for instance, be found on the surface of octopuses’ prey and [whatever the animals touch],” said Nicholas Bellono, an assistant professor of molecular and cellular biology and the study’s senior author. “So, when the octopus touches a rock versus a crab, now its arm knows, ‘OK, I’m touching a crab [because] I know there’s not only touch but there’s also this sort of taste.’”In addition, scientists found diversity in what the receptors responded to and the signals they then transmitted to the cell and nervous systems.“We think that this is important because it could facilitate complexity in what the octopus senses and also how it can process a range of signals using its semi-autonomous arm nervous system to produce complex behaviors,” Bellono said.The scientists believe this research can help uncover similar receptor systems in other cephalopods, the invertebrate family that also includes squids and cuttlefish. The hope is to determine how these systems work on a molecular level and answer some relatively unexplored questions about how these creatures’ capabilities evolved to suit their environment.“Not much is known about marine chemotactile behavior and with this receptor family as a model system, we can now study which signals are important for the animal and how they can be encoded,” said Lena van Giesen, a postdoctoral fellow in the Bellono Lab and lead author of the paper. “These insights into protein evolution and signal coding go far beyond just cephalopods.”Along with Giesen, other co-authors from the lab include Peter B. Kilian, an animal technician, and Corey A.H. Allard, a postdoctoral fellow.“The strategies they have evolved in order to solve problems in their environment are unique to them and that inspires a great deal of interest from both scientists and non-scientists alike,” Kilian said. “People are drawn to octopuses and other cephalopods because they are wildly different from most other animals.”The team set out to uncover how the receptors are able to sense chemicals and detect signals in what they touch, like an arm around a snail, to help them make choices.Octopus arms are distinct and complex. About two-thirds of an octopus’s neurons are located in their arms. Because the arms operate partially independently from the brain, if one is severed it can still reach for, identify, and grasp items. “People are drawn to octopuses and other cephalopods because they are wildly different from most other animals.” — Peter B. Kilian The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. The team started by identifying which cells in the suckers actually do the detecting. After isolating and cloning the touch and chemical receptors, they inserted them in frog eggs and in human cell lines to study their function in isolation. Nothing like these receptors exists in frog or human cells, so the cells act essentially like closed vessels for the study of these receptors.The researchers then exposed those cells to molecules such as extracts from octopus prey and others items to which these receptors are known to react. Some test subjects were water-soluble, like salts, sugars, amino acids; others do not dissolve well and are not typically considered of interest by aquatic animals. Surprisingly, only the poorly soluble molecules activated the receptors.Researchers then went back to the octopuses in their lab to see whether they too responded to those molecules by putting those same extracts on the floors of their tanks. They found the only odorants the octopuses receptors responded to were a non-dissolving class of naturally occurring chemicals known as terpenoid molecules.“[The octopus] was highly responsive to only the part of the floor that had the molecule infused,” Bellono said. This led the researchers to believe that the receptors they identified pick up on these types of molecules and help the octopus distinguish what it’s touching. “With the semi-autonomous nervous system, it can quickly make this decision: ‘Do I contract and grab this crab or keep searching?’”While the study provides a molecular explanation for this aquatic touch-taste sensation in octopuses through their chemotactile receptors, the researchers suggest further study is needed, given that a great number of unknown natural compounds could also stimulate these receptors to mediate complex behaviors.“We’re now trying to look at other natural molecules that these animals might detect,” Bellono said.This research was supported by the New York Stem Cell Foundation, the Searle Scholars Program, the Sloan Foundation, the Klingenstein-Simons Fellowship, the National Institutes of Health, and the Swiss National Science Foundation.last_img read more

First avian flu in Philippines

first_imgJul 8, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – The Philippines, previously free of the avian influenza that has spread rapidly across Asia, has reported its first cases.Government announcements today say the H5 strain was identified in ducks on an isolated farm near the town of Calumpit in Bulacan province, north of Manila. The ducks showed no symptoms; the disease was detected during standard testing when a trader applied to export duck eggs.Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap said at a news conference that there is no evidence this involves the H5N1 strain that has caused more than 100 cases in humans and caused 54 human deaths so far in other parts of Asia. He is quoted in an Agence France-Presse story as saying, “It is a low-risk flu strain found in three healthy ducks and the risk to human health is almost nil.”Blood samples from the infected ducks have been sent to laboratories in Australia operated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Results are expected in a week, according to a joint statement from the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture and Department of Health.A 1-week ban on the sale and transport of poultry within a 3-km radius of the affected farm has been imposed by the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), according to a story in the Manila Times. BAI Director Jose Molina indicated that surveillance has intensified and that birds at all farms in nearby areas are being tested.Reuters news service reported that the Department of Agriculture said the affected flocks would be destroyed. Secretary Yap later added that this would be done only after the test results from Australia are avaialable.The private sector in the Philippines has voluntarily suspended poultry shipments to Japan, says the Times article. Although poultry export is not a big industry in the Philippines, the country’s shipments to Japan have soared recently because of the latter country’s ban on poultry imports from Thailand after avian flu was discovered there.The World Health Organization has been “unofficially” notified of the situation but has made no comment, according to Reuters news service.The source of the avian flu remains to be determined, although the vast Candaba Swamp near the affected farm is visited by migratory birds from other parts of Asia.last_img read more

Crown jewel

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Why it sometimes pays to drop your price

first_imgMore from news01:21Buyer demand explodes in Townsville’s 2019 flood-affected suburbs12 Sep 202001:21‘Giant surge’ in new home sales lifts Townsville property market10 Sep 2020So maybe you’re getting inspections. There’s the occasional promising nod or comment about bringing a partner back, but nothing eventuates. This is an indication you may be 5-10 per cent overpriced. Consider this: very few buyers who come to an inspection are really “tyre kickers”. They chose to inspect it, so it must meet at least some of their criteria, and they took time to fit it into their crazy Saturday schedule. If they don’t like it enough to make an offer there’s a good chance you’re attracting the wrong buyers. They’re expecting something better for that money. You’re actually helping them see better value in something else. Why don’t they try me with an offer? Wayne Nicholson from First National Real Estate.Your home is on the market, the ads look good on the listings portals and the signboard is huge in front of your home – but it’s been a while and you haven’t had any serious offers. Should you drop your price? Here are a few simple signs that your home is overpriced and you should consider a price adjustment. No calls – what’s wrong? If you’re on the market but receiving no enquiry and no inspections (and therefore not a nibble of an offer) you’re probably at least 10 per cent over the market price. Yes, there are some exceptions to this rule. If you haven’t advertised the home or your agent is difficult to reach, that’ll make it hard to get an enquiry. And if your property is something genuinely unique that will only appeal to a small slice of the market it will take time to find that right buyer. But provided you haven’t kept the sale a secret, and have done at least the basics of promoting it, you should be getting inspections.Why won’t buyers take a look anyway, even if they think the price is well over the odds? Buyers are like the rest of us – time poor. They have a world of choice and your place only gets them off the couch on a Saturday morning if it’s at least a bit compelling with its appeal. This 10 per cent guide isn’t something we’ve dreamed up, but a common industry guideline that’s proven its validity over many years.If you can only hear the sound of crickets at your open home there’s a good chance you need a 10 per cent price adjustment. Lots of enquiries but no offers If agents had a dollar for every seller-client who said “They can always make an offer”. The only time a potential buyer is going to go to the trouble of writing an offer is if they are genuine about wanting to buy the house close to the price you’ve set. Very few people will start writing a contract with the hope of negotiating the seller down more than 10 per cent. Lots of inspections but nothing happens: If there is plenty of foot traffic to your open home, then the marketing is working. The good news here is it that it doesn’t take a big change in price to get some action. Offers will come once you’re within 5 per cent of that elusive “market value”. This is the sweet spot that you’re aiming for and this is where you’re often able to create some competition through multiple offers at one time. In a good market, setting the price accurately can be better than an auction for the seller, because it attracts buyers and creates competition. Your salesperson’s job is to maximise the sale price and this is a great opportunity to do that because the buyers must put forward their best offer without knowing what the other buyer has offered. Buyer interest is highest when you’re fresh to the market so it’s no surprise that the best sales prices we ever see are when a client puts their place on the market from the start in that 5 per cent range.last_img read more

Region urged to stick with LIAT

first_img 307 Views   2 comments Share Sharing is caring! LifestyleLocalNewsRegionalTravel Region urged to stick with LIAT by: Dominica Vibes News – September 10, 2015 CARICOM Chairman, Barbados’s Prime Minister Freundel Stuart has urged the region to stick with LIAT. LIAT, the region’s longest serving airline, is facing tremendous financial challenges as it struggles to survive. At present, Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica and St Vincent & the Grenadians share fiscal responsibility for the airline.“LIAT has severed the Caribbean very well for 50 years has a very, very good security record,” the CARICOM chairman told a press briefing in Dominica on Wednesday 9 September 2015.Prime Minister Stuart said like most other businesses, LIAT “has its challenges and those challenges require tax payers of certain parts in the Caribbean to pull their pocket”.“At present Barbados is the largest shareholder because we are committed to LIAT and LIAT unites the people of the Caribbean, it has done work in the Caribbean that no other airline has been able to do. So it has its challenges but we have to continue to support LIAT,” he said. Mr. Stuart said although LIAT is not perfect it has rendered an estimable service to the Caribbean for over fifty (50) years. “You only have to ask yourself the question, were there no LIAT, what would be the state of popular interaction in the Caribbean to understand how important LIAT is to the Caribbean, so LIAT justifies itself”.“We have to make sure that it is as efficient an airline as possible, we are doing that but this takes a little time,” he said. Prime Minister Stuart said despite the concerns of high airfares, “the truth is without LIAT, interaction of the people of the Caribbean would be non-existent and therefore we have to stay with LIAT to give it all the support that it needs while trying to ensure that it is as efficiently run an airline as possible”. A LIAT shareholder meeting is scheduled for Friday 11 September 2015 in Antigua.center_img Share Share Tweetlast_img read more

Dembele pulls out of Barca training

first_img Loading… read also:Lyon issue fresh Dembele transfer update The 22-year-old has endured a spate of injuries since moving to Camp Nou from Borussia Dortmund in 2017 and has only made nine appearances this term. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Barcelona forward, Ousmane Dembele pulled out of training on Monday amid fears the Frenchman has suffered a setback in his recovery from a hamstring injury. “During this morning’s training session, Ousmane Dembele felt some discomfort in his right leg as a consequence of muscle fatigue,” Barcelona said in a statement. “He will continue with his rehabilitation.” Dembele has not played for Barca since November 27 but had been expected to return this month.Advertisementcenter_img Promoted Content7 Universities In The World With The Highest Market ValueBelieve It Or Not, Paul Rudd Is Turning 50 This YearNo Good Disney Role Models For Boys?A Soviet Shot Put Thrower’s Record Hasn’t Been Beaten To This DaySuperhero Castings That People Hated But Were Amazing8 Superfoods For Growing Hair Back And Stimulating Its GrowthPlus-Size Babes Who Will Make Your Heart Race7 Universities Where Getting An Education Costs A Hefty Penny10 Risky Jobs Some Women DoA Hurricane Can Be As Powerful As 10 Atomic BombsThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreCouples Who Celebrated Their Union In A Unique, Unforgettable Waylast_img read more

Martin returns to RPM to top Wheatshocker finale

first_imgLapped traffic came into play on lap 12. Martin was able to use that to his advantage and hammer around Sundquist. On lap 20, Martin pedaled around Velasquez to claim the top spot. Martin’s POWRi United Rebel Sprint Series Presented by Mel Hambelton Ford Racing Sunday payday was $2,000.  Up next for the Mel Hambelton Ford Racing POWRi United Rebel Sprint Series is the Hutchinson Nationals in Hutchinson, Kan., on Friday, July 17.  The 30-lap feature event saw Shane Sundquist and Taylor Velasquez setting the pace. Velasquez took off with the early lead with Sundquist and Martin following.  Martin, Velasquez and Sundquist made up the top three finishers. Jeremy Huish was fourth and Saturday winner Ty Williams rounded out the top five.center_img Jason Martin won the Sunday Wheatshocker feature for IMCA RaceSaver Sprint Cars at RPM Speedway. (Photo by Carl Larson) Feature results – 1. Jason Martin; 2. Taylor Velasquez; 3. Shane Sundquist; 4. Jeremy Huish; 5. Ty Williams; 6. Koby Walters; 7. J.D. Johnson; 8. Jed Werner; 9. Zach Blurton; 10. Kyler Johnson; 11. Todd Plemons; 12. Brian Herbert; 13. Steven Richardson; 14. Darren Berry; 15. Jody Reeves; 16. Nate Berry. HAYS, Kansas (July 12) – After running second on opening night, Jason Martin was first to the checkers on night two of the Wheatshocker Nationals at RPM Speedway. last_img read more

Nancy L. Baize – Brookville

first_imgA celebration of Nancy’s life will be held on Friday, December 6, 2019 at 7p.m. at Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home, 929 Main Street, Brookville.  Friends may visit with the family from 3p.m. until time of service.  Cremation will follow. Nancy L. Baize, of Brookville, was born on March 18, 1946 in Andersonville, a daughter to Russell and Elizabeth Wingler Quinlan.  She married Thomas (PeeWee) Baize and he preceded her in death on November 9, 2008.  Nancy worked at Visteon for over 20 years, and was a member of Legacy Christian Church and the Brookville American Legion Auxiliary.  She enjoyed spending time with her family and her pet bird as well as gardening, cooking and caring for others.  On December 3, 2019 at the age of 73, she passed away surrounded by loving family. Survivors include her son, Tim (Kay) Baize of Cabot, AR; daughter, Janeen (Steve) Robertson of Shandon, OH; 7 grandchildren, Nacole Baize, Sheena (Bill) Willis-Sample, Steven (Lila) Robertson, Danitza (Shelby) Sailor, Abby Sue (Alex) Payne, Shelby (Tyler) Bell, and Richard Spivey; 15 great-grandchildren; 2 brothers, John (Barbara) Quinlan of Blooming Grove and Roger (Charlene) Quinlan of Metamora and several nieces and nephews.  Besides her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by two daughters, Melissa Spivey and Tisha Baize; two great-grandchildren, Noah Robertson and Serenity Miller; three sisters, Frieda Masters, Janie Howard and Mary Bruns, and two brothers, Michael and Richard Quinlan.center_img Memorial donations can be directed to FC CAN.  To sign the online guestbook or to leave a personal memory please visit  The staff of Cook Rosenberger Funeral Home is honored to care for the family of Nancy Baize.last_img read more

Hornets sign Berghuis

first_imgWatford have announced the signing of winger Steven Berghuis from AZ Alkmaar. Press Association The 23-year-old, who scored 11 goals in 22 league appearances last season, has put pen to paper on a four-year contract at Vicarage Road in a deal understood to be worth around £4.6million. Berghuis becomes Watford’s 10th summer signing ahead of the new Barclays Premier League season. center_img Jose Manuel Jurado, Miguel Britos, Sebastian Prodl, Giedrius Arlauskis, Matej Vydra, Jose Holebas, Etienne Capoue, Valon Behrami and Allan Nyom have also penned permanent deals with the newly-promoted Hornets. “I’m very excited to be here,” Dutchman Berghuis told Hornets Player. “There were long discussions about whether I would come and I’m looking forward to playing here. “I was happy at my old club but if you want to make steps in your career you have to take other steps and prove yourself again. “This club wants to play football and I am a footballing player. I like it. “(The Premier League) is the biggest competition with a lot of good teams. The teams are almost all good, instead of just two or three, and you have to prove yourself every week. “Watford have a good vision and I know they want to stay in the Premier League.” last_img read more

GBBC’s `Locked and Loaded’ boxing card rescheduled to April 23

first_img… to facilitate MMA matchesTHE Guyana Boxing Board of Control’s (GBBC) `Locked and Loaded’ boxing card which was scheduled for the Giftland Mall, Pattensen, East Coast Demerara on April 9, has been rescheduled to April 23 at the same venue.According to GBBC’s president Peter Abdool, the change in date was made to facilitate three Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) contests after a request was made by president of the Trinidad and Tobago Mixed Martial Arts Federation, Jason Fraser, to be a part of the `Locked and Loaded’ card.Abdool said the card was meant to feature a three-bout professional card and a three-bout amateur card, but he was approached by Fraser and well-known Guyanese businessman Michael Singh to include MMA on the card and after careful consideration, the GBBC decided to reschedule the card to April 23.This, Abdool said, will provide fight fans with added entertainment and value for money and with Guyana’s Dexter `De Kid’ Marques squaring off with Venezuela’s Luis Alberto Requena Zarraga in the feature contest over 10 rounds, fight fans will not want more.Fraser said it will be a historic event since this will be the first time that MMA will be staged in Guyana and more so it will be at the Giftland Mall, a venue he (Fraser) hopes to make a regular place for many more MMA contests.The April 23 professional card will see super middleweights Edmond DeClou and Winston Pompey square off over six rounds, while Imran Khan and Keeve Allicock face off in a lightweight contest over six rounds.In the amateur segment, Rewinne David will face Akeela Lamazon in a super bantamweight contest over four rounds, while Kelon Isaacs and Euel Augustine meets in a three-round light welterweight affair and Stephan Gouveia and Jackford Joseph meet in a welterweight contest.Admission is $2 000 for ringside and $1 000 for the outer seating.last_img