College Students Receive 2013 Pork Industry Scholarships

first_imgHome Indiana Agriculture News College Students Receive 2013 Pork Industry Scholarships The Pork Checkoff is dedicated to helping develop the next generation of pork professionals – according to National Pork Board President Conley Nelson. He says the checkoff’s ongoing service and obligation to producers includes ensuring there’s a sustainable source of young people ready to take on the industry’s commitment to continuous improvement in all aspects of pork production. That’s why the checkoff has awarded 22 college students from across the U.S. scholarships based on scholastic merit, leadership, pork industry involvement and future pork production career plans. Nelson says a skilled workforce is essential for the competitiveness of the pork industry – and this is a chance for the industry to encourage these young people to join a workforce offering many diverse opportunities.One scholarship recipient – Corey Carpenter of California – will receive five-thousand dollars. The runner-up – Austin Putz of Iowa – will receive 35-hundred dollars. The 20 other scholarship recipients will each get two-thousand dollars. They are: Courtney Adams of Florida, David Ammann of Illinois, Denise Beam of Pennsylvania, Vance Brown of Pennsylvania, Bailey Farrer of Indiana, Cassandra Ferring of North Carolina, Erin Geary of Missouri, Corrine Harris of Washington, Tori Harris of Oklahoma, Cassie Holloway of Maryland, Andrew Langel of Iowa, Emily Limes of Ohio, Amanda Outhouse of Iowa, Rachel Palinski of Georgia, Matt Patterson of Missouri, Taylor Petersen of Iowa, Brent Saxton of Iowa, Sterling Schnepf of Iowa, Katie Stueck of Iowa and Alyssa Thomas of Missouri.Source: NAFB News Service Facebook Twitter By Andy Eubank – Apr 18, 2013 Facebook Twitter SHARE SHARE College Students Receive 2013 Pork Industry Scholarships Previous articleTexas Fertilizer Explosion Tragic but RareNext articleAmerican Ethanol Races into Spotlight this Weekend in Kansas Andy Eubanklast_img read more

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Deconstructing motor skills

first_imgHitting the perfect tennis serve requires hours and hours of practice, but for scientists who study complex motor behaviors, there always has been a large unanswered question — what is the brain learning from those hours spent on the court? Is it simply the timing required to hit the perfect serve, or is it the precise path along which to move the hand?The answer, Harvard researchers say, is both — but in separate circuits.Bence Ölveczky, the John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Natural Sciences, has found that the brain uses two largely independent neural circuits to learn the temporal and spatial aspects of a motor skill. The study is described in a Sept. 26 paper in Neuron.“What we’re studying is the structure of motor-skill learning,” Ölveczky said. “What we were able to show is that the brain divides something that’s complex into modules — in this case for timing and for motor implementation — as a way to take advantage of the hierarchical structure of the motor system, and it imprints learning at the different levels independently.”To tease out how those independent circuits operate, Ölveczky and his colleagues turned to a creature well-known for its ability to learn — the zebra finch. The tiny birds are regularly used in studies of learning because each male learns to sing a unique song from its father.In a series of experiments, Ölveczky’s team used traditional conditioning techniques to change the timing of a bird’s song by speeding up or slowing down certain “syllables” in the song. They could also change which vocal muscles were activated and have the bird sing at a higher or lower pitch.“But when you change the pitch of a syllable, the duration doesn’t change, and when you change the duration the pitch doesn’t change,” Ölveczky said. “It appears the neural circuits for the two features are separate.”Additional evidence that the circuits for learning motor implementation and timing are distinct came when researchers lesioned the basal ganglia of the birds — the region of the brain long thought to play a critical role in song learning.“The thinking had been that there was one circuit for song-learning in general,” Ölveczky said. “We found that if we lesioned the basal ganglia and repeated the pitch-shift experiment, the bird could no longer use the information it got from our feedback to change its behavior — in other words, it couldn’t learn.”Experiments aimed at changing the birds’ timing, however, were just as effective, suggesting two separate learning circuits — with only one involving the basal ganglia.Such independence and modularity is critical, Ölveczky said, because it allows different features of a behavior to be modified independently if circumstances change. Parallel learning of different features can also speed up the learning process and enable the flexibility we see in birdsong and many human motor skills.“If you learn something — it could be your tennis serve, or it could be any behavior — and you need to slow it down or speed it up to fit some new contingency, you don’t have to completely re-learn the whole thing, you can just change the timing, and everything else will remain exactly the same.“In fact, ‘slow practice,’ a technique used by many piano and dance teachers, makes good use of this modularity,” Ölveczky said. “Students are first taught to perform the movements of a piece slowly. Once they have learned it, all they need to do is get the timing right. The technique works because the two processes — motor implementation and timing — do not interfere with each other.”The hope among researchers, Ölveczky said, is that a better understanding of how birds learn complex motor tasks such as singing unique songs will help shed new light on the neural underpinnings of learning in humans.“For us, this is inspiration to look at similar types of questions in mammals,” he said. “The flexibility with which we can alter the spatial and temporal structure of our motor output is similar to songbirds, but our understanding of how the mammalian brain implements the underlying learning process is not anywhere near as advanced as for songbirds. The intriguing parallels in both circuitry and behavior, however, suggest a general principle of how the brain parses the motor skill learning process.”last_img read more

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Mason City man sentenced to ten years in prison for vehicular homicide

first_imgMASON CITY — A Mason City man has been sentenced to ten years in prison after pleading guilty to vehicular homicide after an accident that killed a passenger on his motorcycle. 41-year-old Brandon Kellar was charged last October with vehicular homicide while operating under the influence and vehicular homicide by reckless driving in connection with the September 28th 2018 accident at the intersection of 15th and South Pennsylvania in Mason City. 36-year-old Shawn True was a passenger on the motorcycle that collided with another vehicle and died from injuries sustained in the crash. Mason City police say the investigation determined that Kellar was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash with a blood alcohol content of greater than the legal limit of .08. As part of a plea agreement with prosecutors, Kellar agreed to plead guilty to vehicular homicide by reckless driving, a Class C felony. District Judge James Drew on Tuesday sentenced Kellar to ten years in prison and ordered that he pay $150,000 in restitution to True’s family.last_img read more

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Fulham duo to miss Newcastle clash

first_imgFulham duo Ashkan Dejagah and Mladen Petric will miss Sunday’s trip to Newcastle with injuries.Dejagah sprained his ankle against QPR on Monday night and was substituted in the 38th minute.Petric, meanwhile, is struggling with an abductor muscle problem.Whites boss Martin Jol said: “Dejagah needs at least another week. His ankle was sprained so he won’t play against Newcastle.“Petric has got a problem with his left abductor so he won’t be involved either.”Fulham will also be without the suspended Steve Sidwell after an appeal against his red card in the win over QPR was rejected.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 Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebooklast_img read more

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Does the Stuff Happens Law Converge?

first_imgSimilar features show up in evolutionary-unrelated groups. What does this mean?Stephen Jay Gould famously asked what what happen in evolution if one could “replay the tape of life” and start over. Would humans result, or would the products of natural selection be unrecognizable? Gould strongly defended the latter position. He even doubted that intelligence or consciousness would emerge. This view is called contingency: so many unpredictable factors influence the direction of evolution, it is impossible to predict what would happen. Supporters of contingency can find plenty of examples of highly divergent organisms evolving in the same environment.Other evolutionists disagree that natural selection is governed completely by chance. They think that the environment channels mutation and selection toward particular outcomes. While the details might differ, the forms of organisms would be constrained by environmental factors. This view is called determinism; it lends a certain degree of predictability to evolution. One of its defenders is paleontologist Simon Conway Morris, who can draw on a multitude of examples of convergent evolution, some of them quite remarkable. A recent paper in PNAS, for instance, argues that similar structures have arisen independently three times in fungus-farming ants. It seems to these evolutionists that the environment somehow channels natural selection toward similar designs or solutions to problems (but see 3 Oct 2015).In its extreme form, the anti-contingency view is called structuralism. Proposed by D’Arcy Thompson, author of the influential book On Growth and Form, this view suggests that properties of the universe drive biology toward particular kinds of organisms. Michael Denton, who defends this view in Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis (2016), points out numerous examples of patterns in nature that persist despite being non-adaptive. Even though he believes in universal common descent, Denton argues that the patterns defy natural selection. Extreme structuralism borders on Platonism: the idea that particular organisms are reflections of ideal forms beyond our experience. Theistic evolutionists might be attracted to this view.These differing views boil down to the role of chance in biological evolution. A new article from Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), “Replaying the tape of life: Is it possible?” weighs in on this debate.How predictable is evolution? The answer long has been debated by biologists grappling with the extent to which history affects the repeatability of evolution.A review published in the Nov. 9 issue of Science explores the complexity of evolution’s predictability in extraordinary detail. In it, researchers from Kenyon College, Michigan State University and Washington University in St. Louis closely examine evidence from a number of empirical studies of evolutionary repeatability and contingency in an effort to fully interrogate ideas about contingency’s role in evolution.The paper in Science was co-authored by Zachary Blount, Richard Lenski and Jonathan Losos. Lenski has run the longest biological experiment on evolution, called the Long-Term Evolution Experiment (LTEE). For 30 years, he has transferred test tubes of E. coli to new cultures over 65,000 generations to see what evolution comes up with. Ever since Gould wrote his thought experiment on “replaying the tape of life” in his 1989 book about the Burgess Shale, Wonderful Life, other attempts have been made to determine the role of contingency in evolution. What is the thinking of current Darwinians, almost 30 years since Gould?In WUSTL’s press release, Blount wrongly ascribes directionality to natural selection:“How history plays out isn’t really predictable. Historical outcomes are contingent on long chains of events loaded with tiny little details,” said Zachary Blount, senior research associate at Michigan State and a visiting assistant professor of biology at Kenyon, and lead author of the review. “Unlike history, though, evolution has the deterministic force of natural selection, but that determinism is always in tension with the chanciness. How does that tension affect what evolves? Which is more important: contingency on details of history, or determinism?”The statement errs on two points: natural selection is not a force, and it is not deterministic: otherwise, all organisms in the same environment would end up the same. A third problem, even more severe, is that natural selection has never been observed to create a new, functional, complex organ or system. It cannot operate on anything until it’s already there. It has no creative power; it is passive; and it is utterly blind and aimless, caring nothing what what heppens.At the end of the paper, though, the authors cannot decide which view, determinism or contingency, is more important:Where to now? Clearly, evolution can be both contingent and deterministic, and often in complicated and fascinating ways. Recognizing this mixed nature will allow future research to investigate how contingency and determinism interact. Many questions remain to be addressed; for example, what circumstances promote contingent and deterministic outcomes, how does the extent of prior genetic divergence affect the propensity for future parallelism versus contingency, what types of divergence—say, a few mutations of large effect versus the accumulation of minor variants over long periods—lead to which outcomes, and what circumstances allow convergence even in distantly related taxa? Theory and experiments show that the structure of the adaptive landscape plays a critical role in determining the potential for contingent outcomes. Therefore, a deeper understanding of adaptive landscapes will be important for understanding evolutionary contingency. In short, there’s no shortage of work to do, and interesting outcomes to be discovered and quantified. Gould would be pleased that the field he inspired has such bright prospects, as the tape of life plays on.They’re basically thinking that they can have their cake and eat it, too.Are these evolutionists really seeing patterns in nature emerging by Darwin’s theory? A press release from Uppsala University warns, “Well established theories on patterns in evolution might be wrong.” The top illustration is the “march of man” icon. In the article, Graham Budd and Richard Mann argue that many of the famous patterns and trends evolutionists claim to see in the fossil record, including instances of diversification and extinction, are artifacts of their own biases.This makes no sense except to those drunk on Darwine. Think about it: we’ve shown that natural selection is merely a restatement of the Stuff Happens Law (SHL, see 13 Oct 2018). It’s the absence of a law of nature. It’s the absence of scientific explanation. It’s the abdication of science, merely concluding, “stuff happens.” How can a blind, aimless, purposeless process be anything else? This doesn’t mean that the SHL is incapable of keeping scientists busy. For analogy, imagine these same scientists studying Brownian motion. They ask themselves, “If we replay the tape of Brownian motion, can we predict what will happen?” For years, they make measurements and charts of paths that particles take under Brownian “forces” (although it is not a force, either, but an effect of blind, aimless, purposeless chance events). For decades, they debate whether the tape of Brownian motion is deterministic or contingent. Sometimes the particle seems to make progress in one direction. Other times, it goes nowhere. Sometimes, two paths appear to ‘converge’ on the same direction. Now, picture the government throwing money to these scientists to keep them busy. Finally, after a lot of wasted effort, they conclude, ‘Clearly, Brownian motion can be both contingent and deterministic, and often in complicated and fascinating ways.’ Is humanity better off for knowing this? Is it a good example of scientific progress?Someone will complain that the analogy is flawed, because natural selection has a goal – fitness! If an organism does not survive, it drops out of the gene pool, unlike particles under Brownian motion. Such a criticism errs, because fitness is just as vacuous as the SHL. It can mean anything, as we showed in “The Story of Evolution” (13 Oct 2018). Evolution can move up, down, backward, forward or sideways. Natural selection doesn’t care. If the organism goes extinct, so what? It’s like the particle under Brownian motion dropping off the slide. Brownian motion doesn’t care, and neither does natural selection. The analogy holds. No matter what happens – good, bad or indifferent – evolutionists are all too content to say, “It evolved,” and claim their work has produced “understanding.”Do you see why we call Darwinian evolution “job security for storytellers”? (25 June 2014). These Darwine-oholics need to sober up and unlock the door. (Visited 320 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Russian triple-jumper Anna Pyatykh gets four-year ban: CAS

first_imgThe Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has imposed a four-year ban on Russian triple-jumper Anna Pyatykh for violating rules on prohibited substances, the tribunal said on Friday.The ban takes effect from December 15, 2016, the date her provisional suspension began, it said in a statement.”The CAS acted as first instance decision-making authority for this matter, substituting for the Russian Athletics Federation, currently suspended by the IAAF,” it added.last_img

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a month agoINSIDER: Zidane never in doubt at Real Madrid

first_imgTagsTransfersAbout the authorCarlos VolcanoShare the loveHave your say INSIDER: Zidane never in doubt at Real Madridby Carlos Volcanoa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveZinedine Zidane remains safe at Real Madrid.Despite a poor start to the season, the coach’s position is not under threat.That’s according to French pundit Frederic Hermel, who was speaking on After Foot. Indeed, Hermel says the idea of parting with Zizou has not crossed the mind of Real president Florentino Perez.And rumours of Perez sounding out potential replacements are simply a “fabrication”. last_img read more

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