Giants make big decision on Kevin Pillar, center field becomes a question mark again

first_imgThe San Francisco Giants’ leader in home runs, RBI, runs scored and stolen bases will not return to the organization next season.Center fielder Kevin Pillar expressed a desire to remain with the Giants in 2020, but ahead of Monday’s non-tender deadline, Pillar was informed he will not have the chance to do so.With a bold decision that is certain to disappoint a significant percentage of Giants fans that fell in love with Pillar’s all-gas, no brakes style of play, president of baseball …last_img

Hydrothermal OOL Chemistry Is Unlikely

first_img(Visited 60 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 A favorite way for theorists to get around the lack of enzymes at the origin of life is shown to be implausible.Cells generate complex compounds by means of enzymes. These molecular machines can overcome large thermodynamic barriers that would prevent the natural formation of organic compounds that are useful or essential for life. Origin-of-life (OOL) researchers in the metabolism-first camp have looked to hydrothermal vents to provide the energy needed to leap these barriers without the help of enzymes, which could not have been present.A new paper in Nature‘s open-access journal Scientific Reports pours cold water on the idea. Specifically, molecules involving thioesters cannot be expected to form in any sufficient quantities at hydrothermal vents or anywhere else. Two favored thioesters, TAA and MTA, can be essentially crossed off the list of probable ingredients because their dissolution (hydrolysis) predominates over their formation.These compounds’ apparent chemical simplicity has made their prebiotic availability assumed, however, although the kinetic behavior and thermochemical properties of TAA and analogous esters have been preliminarily explored in other contexts, the geochemical relevance of these compounds merits further evaluation. Therefore, the chemical behavior of the simplest thiolated acetic acid derivatives, TAA and methylthioacetate (MTA) were explored here. Using laboratory measurements, literature data, and thermochemical models, we examine the plausibility of the accumulation of these compounds in various geological settings. Due to the high free energy change of their hydrolysis and corresponding low equilibrium constants, it is unlikely that these species could have accumulated abiotically to any significant extant.PhysOrg summarizes the dashed hopes of seeing complex thioesters emerge in a “primordial soup” when chemical kinetics are taken into account. For “different reasons in different contexts,” TAA and MTA are “implausible prebiotic reagants” to act as substitutes for today’s complex enzymes and co-enzymes, such as acetyl co-enzyme A. Being highly subject to temperature and pH, they lack the reactivity and stability needed. Plus, they break down into acids (like acetic acid) and thiols.The researchers also add that the results suggest “estimates of the ubiquity of suitable environments for the origin of life in and beyond our solar system may be somewhat overestimated, if these compounds are indeed crucial for jumpstarting early metabolism.“There are other serious problems. One is concentration. There wouldn’t have been enough hydrogen atoms, for one thing, nor carbon, sulfur and iron. Even then, production of desired MTA and TAA is swamped by the reverse reaction, such that concentrations would be “extremely low” and unlikely to participate in OOL pathways. Acetic acid found at vents today is most likely biogenic, “which leaves questions over its existence in the primordial conditions present during the emergence of life.”Adding insult to injury, the authors point to the fact that “Acidic oceans do not seem to be preponderant on icy worlds in our solar system where measurement has been possible,” such as Mars and Enceladus. The right acidity (pH) is necessary to supply the hydrogen for high-energy molecules envisioned as precursors to biomolecules. Even then, in laboratory conditions, they are only secondary products and are unstable.Advocates of the hydrothermal vent hypothesis include Michael Russell (JPL), Huber and Wächtershäuser, Christian de Duve and others. The same day the new paper came out (7/21/16), it was listed in Wikipedia‘s article on the origin of life after thiols were mentioned as possible precursors: “There are increasing concerns, however, that prebiotic thiolated (i.e.Thioacetic acid) and Thioester compounds are thermodynamically and kinetically unfavourable to accumulate in presumed prebiotic conditions (i.e Hydrothermal vents).”By the same logic, the researchers’ conclusions can be extended to any high-energy molecules whose activation energy strongly exceeds the free energy of dissolution. Simply adding heat or changing the pH may be necessary, but insufficient, to overcome the thermodynamic barriers. The enzymes in living cells are amazing molecular machines that routinely overcome these barriers at ambient temperature, often accelerating production by orders of magnitude against strong concentration gradients. They can do this because of their precise shape, coded for by genes in DNA.The origin of life is the Achille’s heel of scientific materialism. It takes a Mind that knows organic chemistry to overcome the thermodynamic barriers to spontaneous formation of useful complex molecules.But since the Darwinian Achilles has multiple feet, realistic scientists need to shoot all the heels. One film that does that is “Evolution’s Achilles’ Heels” produced by CMI. Worth watching. Origin of life is one of eight heels they fatally injure.last_img read more

More Evidence that Neanderthals Were Fully Human

first_imgDr Jerry Bergman, professor, author and speaker, is a frequent contributor to Creation-Evolution Headlines. See his Author Profile for his previous articles. by Dr Jerry BergmanFor over a century, Neanderthals were considered the evolutionary ancestors of modern humans. The leading biology textbooks pictured Neanderthals as the missing link between apes and modern man.1 These misleading illustrations no doubt convinced many thousands to accept human evolution.Early textbook portrays Neanderthal man in between Java man, now shown to be a forgery, and modern man. From Benjamin Gruenberg. 1924. Elementary Biology. Boston: Ginn. P. 495.Put a suit on a Neanderthal and most people wouldn’t notice the difference.The latest evidence that Neanderthals are fully modern humans, and simply another ethnic group, is a study of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). The mtDNA is the DNA in organelles found in most every cell that converts food calories into energy in the form of ATP for cellular use. The researchers sequenced the mtDNA from a Neanderthal femur, found in a cave, that scientists claim lived about 100,000 years ago in southwest Germany.2 They found that this type of DNA, which is inherited only from the mother, closely resembled that of early modern humans. Unfortunately, the researchers, in an attempt to cling to their Darwinian story, wildly speculate thestartling conclusion: A female member of the lineage that gave rise to Homo sapiens in Africa mated with a Neandertal male more than 220,000 years ago—much earlier than other known encounters between the two groups. Her children spread her genetic legacy through the Neandertal lineage, and in time her African mtDNA completely replaced the ancestral Neandertal mtDNA.3BBC special makes Neanderthals look primitive, stupid, and dirty.These findings were so radical that critics wrote “it will take more than one genome to prove. It’s a nice story that solves a cool mystery—how did Neandertals end up with mtDNA more like that of modern humans.” The researchers suggested nuclear DNA from Neandertals and another race called the Denisovans, an extinct subspecies of human in the genus Homo, were close kin. The researchers also speculate that their lineage split from ours more than 600,000 years ago.Early textbook places Neanderthals between Java man (now known to be a hoax) and modern man. From Benjamin Gruenberg. 1924. Elementary Biology. Boston: Ginn. p. 493.The problem with these DNA studies is that DNA is not a stable molecule, and in the cell body it has to be constantly maintained and repaired or it rapidly deteriorates. When the animal is no longer alive, DNA is no longer being repaired, thus breaks apart. Furthermore, it requires what is called a clean lab (an enormously expensive system, thus rarely used, to insure very little contamination occurs) to reduce contamination. A problem is that often modern DNA gets into the DNA sequenced in the lab. People have both DNA and DNAase (the enzyme that chops up DNA) on their skin and even in their breath, thus contamination is a major problem.Having worked in a research lab sequencing DNA, I can relate to these problems and the difficulty of reducing them. This could be one reason why “the Neandertal mtDNA from these samples posed a mystery: It was not like Denisovans’ and was closely related to that of modern humans—a pattern at odds with the ancient, 600,000-year divergence date.”4Artists have long portrayed Neanderthals as brutes, but click to read Phys.org revision.Nonetheless, we have much other evidence proving that the Neanderthals were just another family of humans, and the mtDNA study gives credibility to the conclusion that Neanderthal mtDNA, which is inherited only from the mother, closely resembled that of early modern humans.1. Gibbons. Ann. 2017. Neandertals and modern humans started mating early Science. Jul. 4.2. Posth, Cosimo. 2017.  Deeply divergent archaic mitochondrial genome provides lower time boundary for African gene flow into Neanderthals. Nature Communications. | 8:16046 | DOI: 10.1038/ncomms16046 | www.nature.com/naturecommunications.3. Gibbons, 2017.4. Gibbons, 2017. Dr Bergman’s latest book has just been released today: Fossil Forensics: Separating Fact from Fantasy in Paleontology. Order now… available in print and Kindle editions. Here are some endorsements:[Fossil Forensics] by Professor Jerry Bergman is an absolutely extraordinary book of 20 chapters.  I have had the great privilege and honor of proofreading books for him for many years now.  This book, in particular, I believe will be important evidence in helping to deal the death blow to evolution’s use of the fossil record to advance their theory of the evolution of simple molecules-to-man fairy tale.  I predict it will be a best-seller, and profoundly impact this and future generations.  —Bryce Gaudian, Development Manager for Agilis CorporationAs a biology researcher who has published in the peer reviewed scientific literature, and also a lifetime college biology professor for 40 years, I am pleased to state that, as I read the draft of the manuscript of this book, I was so intrigued that, when finishing each chapter, I eagerly looked forward to the next fascinating chapter! I co-wrote chapter on turtles with Dr. Bergman, an area I have publisher numerous peer reviewed articles on, and completed a PhD on this topic as well.  —Professor Wayne Frair, PhDcenter_img (Visited 1,900 times, 1 visits today)last_img read more

Sangram Singh to take the mat after a year at KD Jadhav Memorial wrestling event

first_imgThe two-time Commonwealth Heavyweight champion Sangram Singh launched the KD Jadhav Memorial International Kushti Championship in New Delhi on Friday calling it a platform for the rise of Tier-2 and Tier-3 wrestlers.The championship will be a one-day event which will be held at the Talkatora Stadium on September 15. The competition will follow the rules of professional boxing with six round of three minutes each. The event will have five bouts and Sangram will be headlining the event with a fight against American Kevin Radford Junior.The others to take the stage will be upcoming wrestlers Yudhistir, Lubhanshu, Sherpal, Himanshu, Shravan and Pratik, along with two female wrestlers, Ekta and Akansha, who will take on each other.Sangram dedicated the championship to India’s first individual Olympic medallist KD Jadhav and said at the press conference, “The event provides me a good opportunity to pay a tribute to him.””When I read about KD Jadhav, I found out that he devoted his entire to the sport but eventually ended up living his life in anonymity. He didn’t even get pension. So, I thought of doing something for the upcoming crop of younger generation of wrestlers,” Sangram added.The 32-year-old is making a comeback to the mat after a year-long wait and hopes to inspire youngsters of the country and change the face of the sport.India’s only individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra was also present at the event, along with Olympic boxers Akhil Kumar and Jitender Kumar, and said, “I have always been an admirer of KD Jadhav.”advertisementHe lauded Sangram’s effort and said that he is glad that a championship is being held as a tribute to KD Jadhav.”We shouldn’t forget him and he should get the due for the services he did for the country. I must compliment Sangram for his efforts,” Bindra said.Bindra is himself a part of the Olympic Task Force which is responsible for chalking out a plan for the next three Olympics.”We have to provide more platforms for athletes in our countries. Events such as this (KD Jadhav Memorial International Kushti Championship) are needed to help sports grow and for the athletes to have a prolonged career,” Bindra added.KD Jadhav is independent India’s first individual Olympic medallist. In the 1952 Helsinki Games, Jadhav finished with a bronze in bantamweight category of wrestling.last_img read more