Sports Briefs

first_imgRonaldo wins UEFA Best Player in Europe award MONACO (AP): Cristiano Ronaldo has won UEFA’s award as the best player in Europe last season after helping Portugal to win the European Championship and having another stellar campaign for Real Madrid. Ronaldo, a favourite for a fourth world player of the year award, beat club teammate Gareth Bale of Wales and Atletico Madrid’s France star Antoine Griezmann. The vote, by journalists from UEFA’s 55-member countries, was announced at the Champions League draw yesterday. Ronaldo also received the award in 2014. Lionel Messi (twice), Andres Iniesta and Franck Ribery previously won the award, which was first presented in 2011. UEFA created the prize after the original European Footballer of the Year honour, known as the Ballon d’Or, merged with FIFA’s world player award. Barcelona sign goalkeeper Cillessen BARCELONA, Spain (AP): Barcelona have signed Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, clearing the way for Claudio Bravo to complete his move to Manchester City. Barcelona announced the transfers of both goalkeepers yesterday, signing Cillessen before finalising the sale of Bravo. The Spanish champions says Cillessen agreed to a five-year contract after securing his transfer from Dutch club Ajax for US$14.6 million plus a possible US$2.25 million in variables. Barcelona say they will receive US$20.3 million for Bravo, plus a possible US$2.25 million in variables, from City. The 33-year-old Bravo helped Barcelona win the Spanish league in his two seasons at the club. Marc-Andre ter Stegen has been Barcelona’s ‘keeper in the Champions League and Copa del Rey. It is expected he will now be their first-choice player in La Liga. Dilshan retiring from ODIs COLOMBO, Sri Lanka (AP): Sri Lanka allrounder Tillakaratne Dilshan will retire from one-day international cricket on Sunday, after the third match of the current series against Australia. Sri Lanka Cricket announced the decision yesterday. Cricket website says the 39-year-old Dilshan will retire from international cricket altogether after the second Twenty20 against Australia in Colombo on September 9. However, Sri Lanka Cricket’s chief executive officer Ashley de Silva said that Dilshan only informed them of retiring from one-day internationals. Dilshan, who has already retired from tests, made his ODI debut in 1999 against Zimbabwe. He went on to play 329 games, scoring 10,248 runs at an average of 39.26, with 22 centuries and 47 fifties. The off-spinner also has 106 ODI wickets. Dilshan has also played in 78 Twenty20 internationals, scoring 1,884 runs. Sri Lanka Cricket chief Thilanga Sumathipala said Sunday’s ODI in Dambulla will be dedicated to Dilshan.last_img read more

East Bank pedestrian overpasses to open next year

first_imgWhile construction of overpasses along the East Bank Demerara Highway is expected to be completed by year end, those facilities have not been opened because the elevators are now being manufactured.The pedestrian overpass at Providence, East Bank DemeraraCoordinator of the Work Services Group (WSG), Geoffrey Vaughn, explained that the elevators will be installed and be operational by March of 2018, to cater for the pedestrians using that highway.Addressing a media conference on Thursday, the WSG coordinator said, “The contractors are presently wrapping up the project in terms of the overpass itself. The only thing left to do is install the elevators.”Some pedestrians have been seen utilising the overpass, especially at Peter’s Hall, EBD, and Vaughn has said a decision would have to be made as to whether to officially open them.“We would have to have that discussion with the ministers, to see whether they would want us to go ahead and have it opened, or we wait. Because it is a disadvantage to those unable to use the stairways,” he told reporters.In October, Project Manager (ag), Donor Programmes (Ministry of Public Infrastructure), Mark Greene, had said that works were moving apace and are on schedule for the November deadline.Greene explained that works completed thus far include provision of all bonds, insurances, guarantees, mobilisation, permanent relocation of utilities, and site clearance.Foundation works, including piling, pile caps, concrete slabs, fabrication and erection of superstructure, stairways and landings (ongoing), and a revetment at Diamond and installation of main overpass structure are complete, along with a canopy at the Providence site.Earlier in the year, Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, had announced that a US$364,000 contract was awarded for the pedestrian overpass at Diamond, and a US$1 million contract for those at Houston, Peter’s Hall and Eccles.The construction of the overpasses at Houston, Eccles and Peter’s Hall were awarded to B&J Civil Works, while those at Providence and Diamond were awarded to S. Jagmohan Hardware.When completed, the pedestrian overpasses would not only eliminate congestion on the EBD road, which is among the busiest in the country, but would also keep pedestrians safe from fatal accidents.last_img read more

The breakdown of this brain region may accelerate aging

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Roger Harris/Science Source The breakdown of this brain region may accelerate aging If these sweltering summer days prompt you to reach for a cold drink, you can thank your hypothalamus, a region of the brain that helps us regulate body temperature and other internal conditions. But the region may fail us when we get older. A new study in mice suggests that the hypothalamus promotes aging, hastening physical and mental decline as its stem cells die off.“It’s a pretty stunning paper,” says Charles Mobbs, a neuroendocrinologist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. The new aging mechanism “is totally novel and quite unexpected,” adds neuroendocrinologist Marianna Sadagurski of Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.Tucked away deep in the brain, the hypothalamus monitors and maintains our blood concentration, our body temperature, and other physiological variables. Researchers have also suspected that it plays a role in aging. The hypothalamus becomes inflamed as we get older, and 4 years ago a team led by neurodendocrinologist Dongsheng Cai of Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City showed that quelling this inflammation delays physical deterioration and boosts life span in mice. Email The hypothalamus, a command center deep in the brain, helps control everything from hunger to sleep. center_img In the new study, the team turned its attention to the hypothalamus’s stem cells, which in young animals divide to produce replacements for dead and damaged cells. As mice get older, the scientists found, the number of stem cells in the hypothalamus plunges. By later ages they are “basically all gone,” Cai says.To determine whether this loss promotes aging, researchers tried to speed up the process, genetically altering mice so that stem cells in the hypothalamus died when the animals were dosed with an antiviral drug. Knocking off some 70% of the cells shortened the mice’s lives by about 8%, the team reports today in Nature. The mice’s memory, coordination, and endurance also suffered. Behaviorally, they were like grumpy grandparents, less social and curious than youthful rodents. For example, when researchers put a new object into their cages, control mice spent about twice as long exploring it than did their modified counterparts.Next, the team tried to reverse this deterioration by injecting stem cells into the hypothalami of middle-aged animals. Mice that received the stem cells outlived mice injected with a different type of brain cell by more than 10%, and they retained more of their physical and mental capabilities. In humans, the extra boost could mean a few more years of healthy life, Mobbs notes.Researchers assume the loss of stem cells causes organs and tissues to wear out gradually because they can’t replenish their lost cells. But because injecting stem cells into the mice produced benefits quickly, Cai and his colleagues concluded a faster-acting mechanism was at work.Their suspicions fell on RNA molecules known as microRNAs, which stem cells manufacture and release. These microRNAs ferry messages to other cells, altering which proteins they produce. The researchers found that stem cells from the hypothalamus pump out huge amounts of microRNAs, packaged in tiny containers called exosomes. They also found that injecting mice with microRNA-rich exosomes isolated from cultures of young hypothalamus stem cells slowed the animals’ physical and cognitive breakdown almost as much as injections of stem cells.“The big question is how those microRNAs influence function,” Mobbs says. The molecules could spur other cells to curb inflammation or stress, Cai says, though he isn’t certain how they work. Where the microRNAs exert their effects is also a mystery. Their targets may be other cells in the brain or the spinal cord, but they might also slip into the bloodstream and prod cells elsewhere in the body.The work suggests that protecting or replacing the hypothalamus’s stem cells—or replicating the effects of the microRNAs—could slow aging in humans. It might also be possible to suppress the inflammation that provokes the stem cell die-off, Sadagurski says. She says some current drugs, including the diabetes treatment acarbose, curb inflammation in the hypothalamus and may be worth testing. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Mitch LeslieJul. 26, 2017 , 1:00 PMlast_img read more