Pacers’ 3-point flurry buries Lakers in LeBron James’ worst loss

first_imgMOST READ Philippine Army to acquire MANPADS, self-propelled howitzers LATEST STORIES Pacers: “We’ve had a couple good games, but it’s still going to take some time for us to really establish the way we want to play, not just establishing the way we need to play,” Turner said. “We’ve got to keep going.”UP NEXTLakers: Visit Boston on Thursday night, their fourth stop on a six-game trip.Pacers: Host the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday night.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Nadine Lustre’s phone stolen in Brazil Grizzlies’ Marc Gasol out against Timberwolves amid trade talk The Pacers, meanwhile, remained focused on regrouping.After losing four straight immediately following Oladipo’s season-ending knee injury, they’ve rebounded with three straight wins. On Tuesday, they produced a season-high 69 points in the first half, a season-high single-game total and their widest victory margin of the Eason.They made it look easy, too.After Bogdanovic opened the game by scoring all of the Pacers’ points in a 10-2 spurt, the Lakers never recovered. Myles Turner finished with 22 points while Thaddeus Young had 12 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists.“We look at it as another win, but it does feel good,” Young said. “It’s not really about beating them by 42, but we played a complete game.”TIP-INSLakers: Played without Lonzo Ball (sprained left ankle) and Josh Hart (left patella tendinitis). … James became the fifth player in league history to top the 32,000-point mark. … Los Angeles has lost six straight in Indy, where it last won in March 2013. … Lance Stephenson had 13 points while Kyle Kuzma and Brandon Ingram each had 12.Pacers: Avoided their first season sweep by the Lakers since 2009-10. … Coach Nate McMillan tied Jack McKinney for No. 7 on the franchise’s NBA victories list with 125. … Indiana improved to 10-1 this season when seven or more players score in double figures. Domantas Sabonis, Aaron Holiday and Edmond Sumer each had 17 points. … The Pacers have won four games this season by 30 or more points, matching their highest single-season total since 1993-94.THEY SAID ITLakers: “There are a million excuses that we could come up with — the travel, first game coming across the country, all the trade rumors and everything else,” Walton said. “The bottom line is we’ve got to be better And we will be.” Phivolcs: Slim probability of Taal Volcano caldera eruption In fight vs corruption, Duterte now points to Ayala, MVP companies as ‘big fish’ Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles03:53Pope Francis ushers in Christmas with message of ‘unconditional love’02:14Carpio hits red carpet treatment for China Coast Guard02:56NCRPO pledges to donate P3.5 million to victims of Taal eruption00:56Heavy rain brings some relief in Australia02:37Calm moments allow Taal folks some respite03:23Negosyo sa Tagaytay City, bagsak sa pag-aalboroto ng Bulkang Taal01:13Christian Standhardinger wins PBA Best Player award Gretchen Barretto’s daughter Dominique graduates magna cum laude from California collegecenter_img Bojan Bogdanovic scored 24 points and the Pacers tied an NBA franchise-record by making 19 3-pointers in a 136-94 rout over the Los Angeles Lakers — the most lopsided loss James has endured in his 16-year career.“They scored 33 points off our 19 turnovers and that was from the beginning of the game. We can’t play from behind like that,” James said. “I think it (the jet lag) hit us. That first game flying across the country looked like it had a lot to do with it, but we didn’t come out with the defensive mentality we had the last time we played them and they made us pay for it.”FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGolden State Warriors sign Lee to multiyear contract, bring back ChrissSPORTSCoronation night?SPORTSThirdy Ravena gets‍‍‍ offers from Asia, Australian ball clubsTwice previously James’ teams had been blown out by 36: Against Washington in April 2008 and in the 2013 NBA Finals against San Antonio. But this was might go down as the most embarrassing of the three.Indiana led wire-to-wire and never allowed the Lakers to get within single digits after the first basket of the second quarter despite playing without All-Star guard Victor Oladipo and on the tail end of a back-to-back following a four-game trip. Tom Brady most dominant player in AFC championship history Will you be the first P16 Billion Powerball jackpot winner from the Philippines? Ginebra beats Meralco again to capture PBA Governors’ Cup title Indiana Pacers guard Darren Collison (2) celebrates during the first half of an NBA basketball game against the Los Angeles Lakers in Indianapolis, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)INDIANAPOLIS— The Indiana Pacers have suddenly found a new winning combination.Not even LeBron James could slow it down Tuesday night.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. At one point, the Pacers led by 46.And after James left with 2:06 remaining in the third quarter, coach Luke Walton wisely kept the four-time MVP him on the bench for the rest of the night.James was not himself either after missing 17 of the previous 18 games with an injured groin. He missed three of his first five shots, was beaten three times early on defense and had five first-half turnovers before finishing with 18 points, nine assists, seven rebounds and six turnovers.JaVale McGee added 16 as the Lakers lost for the sixth time in eight games amid the continuing swirl of trade rumors, something Pacers fans noted by repeatedly chanting “LeBron’s gonna trade you.”“I know it has to be tough on a lot of our guys — especially our young guys,” James said. “They’ve just never been a part of it and they’re hearing it every single day. I know that the worst thing you could right now is be on social media and I know all young guys love social media. So, that definitely can’t help.”ADVERTISEMENT Japeth Aguilar wins 1st PBA Finals MVP award for Ginebra View commentslast_img read more

House Probes Commerce Ministry

first_imgHike in the price of rice on the Liberian market has forced the House of Representatives to launch an immediate investigation.Plenary on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 agreed to reduce itself to a single committee aimed at addressing the growing concern over the hike in the prices of rice and other basic commodities.The House voted overwhelmingly to summon authorities of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry to appear before that August Body on Thursday, September 25, 2014 at 10 a.m.Plenary demanded that Commerce and Industry Minister Axel Addy appear along with his support staff, Assistant Minister Stephen Marvie and Inspector General Macaetoh Wreh.The House is deeply concerned over the sudden increase in the prices of basic commodities; an indication plenary believed is a “default on the part of the Ministry after assuring the general public of a stable economy as the country faces such national health emergency.”According to Representative Munah Pelham-Youngblood’s motion, the Ministry must be made to answer to inquiries surrounding “the increase, why there is any increase and what is the Ministry doing to remedy the situation.”Lofa County Representative Moses Kollie’s letter prompted the probe. His communication sparked up serious debate on the floor of the House’s chamber.During the deliberation, Capitol Hill seemed furious over the hike forcing few lawmakers to question donations from business entities to government’s Ebola fight.“We have to be careful with some of these donations that are coming to government in the name of fighting Ebola,” Bong County Representative Adam Bill Corneh said.He further indicated, “Business people always want to maximize profits. I believe that all the donations from these business people will have to be paid for indirectly by the suffering masses.”Following the outbreak of the second wave of the Ebola virus disease, the government of Liberia announced that it was on top of things relative to controlling the economy to avoid encountering similar situation.Different government functionaries including the Liberia National Police, Ministries of Transport and Commerce and Industry all announced that they were effective to respond to the hike in the prices of basic commodities and transport fares. Each warned violators of drastic measures.Few weeks later, Commerce released the authorized price of rice at US$17 per 25kg bag. However, at the moment, importers of rice are selling it for US$20 for a bag of 25kg with little or nothing being done by the Ministry of Commerce to address the matter.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Alumni calls for HM to be sent on admin leave

first_imgBHS sex scandal…Divisional commander says yet to receive MoE fileThe Bishops’ High School Alumni Association on Monday called for Head Mistress Winifred Ellis to be sent on administrative leave to facilitate an independent investigation into her actions while addressing the allegation of sexual misconduct by economics teacher Coen Jackson.Bishops’ High School Head Mistress Winifred Ellis“It cannot be stressed enough that we do not feel confident that the children who have been made to feel unsafe or traumatised will now come forward and report these (incidents) in their current environment. It is troubling that the students did not feel comfortable confiding in any of the teachers at BHS,” the Alumni Association said.It noted that it is for this very reason that the headmistress should be sent on administrative leave, and a thorough and independent investigation of this matter concluded before a decision is made about her return. “We quite simply do not think that the Ministry of Education has gone far enough,” the association said.The Education Ministry on Friday concluded their investigation and found Ellis culpable of breaching the regulations under the Education Act 39:01 section 35: “Inappropriate behaviour by teachers in school”, which made her liable to a first warning. The committee has since recommended that Ellis be reprimanded and be made to offer an apology to the students and teachers at the institution. It also recommended that the ministry offer training and support to teachers on how to deal with children and sexual issues, in addition to providing counselling to students after they do so request.In relation to Jackson, the committee handed over its investigation file to the Police for further investigation. Jackson is being accused of abusing his position of trust as a teacher when he began grooming female students for sexual activities after they would have attained the age of 16 — the legal age of consent. Jackson has vehemently denied the accusations, but did admit to having sexual relations with two former students who are both in their early 20s.Meanwhile, ‘A’ Division Commander Marlon Chapman told Guyana Times that the Education Ministry did not send a file to him; rather, they gave the okay to proceed with a criminal investigation. He noted that the investigation is in progress, and the Police are building their case.The Alumni Association commended the ministry for their swift actions but noted that their immediate concern is the student body. The statement related that the alumni associations, in conjunction with concerned members with expertise in psychology, child welfare, social work and law, are actively working to ensure that this never happens again. In addition, they have made recommendations with regard to harassment, sexual abuse and bullying.last_img read more

Way cleared for teachers’ promotion in 2017

first_imgAfter almost two years in limbo, teachers can finally be promoted following the ruling made by acting Chief Justice Yonette Cummings-Edwards.The GTU during one of its protests against the TSCThe Teaching Services Commission (TSC), during its monthly statutory meeting on Tuesday, agreed to review the 2015/2016 Promotion List for School Administrators in the new school term.Teachers were not promoted for the years 2015 and 2016 thus far, owing to the conflict between the TSC, the body responsible for the promotions, and the Union.Last year, the Guyana Teachers Union (GTU) filed an injunction in the courts blocking the TSC and the Education Ministry from executing the promotions.According to the GTU, the reason for the injunction was to force the two bodies to review their process of promotion, since the Union strongly believed it was severely flawed.The TSC was using the assessments given by education officers, head-teachers, Regional Education Officers and not the provision of the Rule Book governing the promotion of teachers.The Union believes that the TSC’s method was defective, since those officials and headteachers could have exhibited favouritism in their assessment of teachers’ performance.The Union also believed that some officials and headteachers deliberately skewed assessments to stymie the development of teachers with whom they had personal conflicts.But the TSC decided to challenge the matter, contending that all of its promotions were above-board.The acting Chief Justice finally ruled on the matter in favour of the GTU, and the TSC has decided to not appeal the decision.The TSC explained that it was strongly advised by three Senior Counsels to appeal the court order, but since the pursuance of the appeal would result in a long and time-consuming process, the body decided to comply with the court’s decision “on humanitarian grounds”.“The TSC wishes to state that their decision not to appeal was primarily to avoid any further suffering of the affected teachers which would ultimately also affect the nation’s children,” the body said in a statement to the media.The TSC explained that it would have a “Special Full Commission” meeting in January 2017 to plan the review process.The organisation highlighted that the exercise would take a few months since a thorough examination of approximately 5000 applications would be done.last_img read more

Briefs: Boxer Morrison begins comeback bid with knockout

first_imgCastle slowly got up and referee Dave Johnson counted to eight before stopping the match. Morrison (47-3-1) said afterward: “I’m satisfied with my performance. For the first fight in 11 years, with a win under my belt, I’m pretty happy. As time goes on, as I spend more time in the gym, I’m going to improve in every area.” Former World Boxing Organization heavyweight champion Tommy Morrison stopped John Castle in the second round Thursday in his return to the ring 11 years after testing positive for the virus that causes AIDS. The 38-year-old Morrison, who claims he has no trace of the AIDS virus after taking several HIV tests, dropped Castle with a left hook to the head midway through the second of the scheduled four-round fight in Chester, W.Va. Sevilla had a 3-0 aggregate victory over Steaua Bucharest to reach the final 16. Three other Spanish clubs also made the fourth round – Osasuna, Celta Vigo and Espanyol. CSKA Moscow lost 1-0 to Maccabi Haifa to exit by the same aggregate score. And while Ajax beat Werder Bremen 3-1, it couldn’t overcome its 3-0 first-leg loss. TENNIS: Venus Williams, playing her first tournament since October after recovering from a left wrist injury, advanced to the semifinals of the Memphis (Tenn.) WTA Tour event, beating Laura Granville 7-6 (2), 6-4. In men’s play, top seed Andy Roddick and defending champion Tommy Haas advanced to the Regions Morgan Keegan quarterfinals. The second-seeded Haas will face American teenager Sam Querrey (Thousand Oaks), a 6-3, 6-4 winner over seventh-seeded Julien Benneteau. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!center_img WINTER SPORTS: U.S. star Lindsey Kildow will miss the rest of the World Cup season because of an injury to her right knee suffered a week ago at the World Championships. The 22-year-old won silver medals in the super-G and downhill at the worlds before her injury. FOOTBALL: Boise State coach Chris Petersen received a new five-year contract that will boost his salary to more than $1 million if he guides the team to another perfect season. The Broncos, fifth in the final AP poll, capped a 13-0 season with a 43-42 overtime win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl. SOCCER: Sevilla kept its UEFA Cup title defense on track while 2005 champion CSKA Moscow was eliminated and Ajax’s poor European season finally ended. last_img read more


first_imgWalshyIt may be freezing outside but it’s probably not as cold as some of Paddy Walsh’s side-swipes – especially if you’re a Leeds fan or didn’t bother your Ronaldo voting for Stephanie Roche. FOOTBALL CAREERING INTO PROFESSIONAL AGEA couple of interesting comments from two of the big names of Gaelic Football which might put the lie to that continuing belief that the sport is still truly amateur. As Donegal prepare for tonight’s McKenna Cup game against Fermanagh in Ballybofey – their second outing in the space of four days weather permitting – Dublin forward, Brendan Brogan hit the headlines yesterday by claiming that players often put football before their careers.If they’re choosing careers at all many of them are choosing specific careers that will enable them to play at inter county level, he insisted.“I definitely think that young guys, and even myself at the time, are choosing careers to play football, not just choosing a career. I know some people don’t like the thought of that, in the holistic global view of G.A.A. people, that career paths are being hampered by training,” Brogan pointed out in an interview in ‘The Irish Times’.You’ll recall that former Derry player and current pundit, Joe Brolly, recently also spoke of the “professional practices” creeping into the game and how there is too much pressure being put on modern day players. He also maintained the pressure put on players to “train and compete extensively” was hampering their employment prospects. “Depressing” was the word he used to sum up the current state of affairs where Gaelic football is concerned. Can’t say I disagree with either view particularly when you hear of the extensive training sessions the likes of the Donegal squad must endure. Very few evenings go by without these ‘amateur’ players being dragged to some corner of the county for these training regimes. And what it’s going to be like for the National League and the Championship matches, I’d hate to think. Hopefully their families are more understanding about it but it sure spanks of pure professionalism without the money.Rory Gallagher’s men enjoyed a pretty comfortable win over Queens University on Sunday but will undoubtedly face a sterner test against the manager’s native county. Fermanagh, nobody will need reminding, overcame a Derry side who put Donegal to the sword in the opening fixture.But, of course, the weather may indeed wrap a cold blanket around this fixture.Perhaps, it will be nature’s way of telling the G.A.A. to slow down.STILL A GOAL IN A MILLION Who’d have blamed Stephanie for blanking Messi with that suit?!Well, did YOU vote for her? More than once? Good on you but it was just wasn’t enough, was it? As for you who didn’t bother to cast any vote at all, what were you thinking? She needed all she could get, coming up against a man who hails from a country with a population close to 50 million (the great majority of whom, like you, didn’t take the trouble either quite obviously).And did all the women of the nation – and I’m talking particularly of those of the feministic persuasion who should have seen this as a golden opportunity to put one over us males – click on her name in the online voting system? Yeah, where were you when your country, and more specifically Stephanie Roche, needed you?Close in the end as it was, Roche will reflect when she sits down to think about it of the enormous achievement in getting into the top three of the Puskas Goal of the Year. And finishing well in front of Robin Van Persie to boot.Interviewed in the immediate aftermath of the awards ceremony, you sensed she was nevertheless choking back the tears given how close she had been to claiming the ultimate goalscorer’s prize. She spoke of how in the days leading up to Monday’s ceremony in Zurich, people had been telling her she was going to win it. “That kind of got my hopes up and that’s probably why I’m a little disappointed,” insisted the Dubliner.Indeed last week I was listening to her being interviewed on Marty Morrissey’s afternoon show on R.T.E. radio and he kept assuring that she was a shoe-in – or a boot-in to be more accurate. “You’re going to win,” he repeated more than once.I’ll never listen to him again. Mind you, at least he was encouraging. Not like the odd plonker who used social media (nothing social about it) to convey contrary opinions, ‘William’ on the R.T.E. Facebook page pointing out over the weekend: “I just voted for RVP and not this token nomination.”Token nomination? Did he actually watch Roche’s goal? Or did he believe it was all done by computer effects?The Puskas winner himself, James Rodriguez, was much more approving, even insisting that the Irish woman deserved to win it. Well played, that Columbian.Meanwhile, some branches of the media carried a wonderful image of Roche heading to her seat and the face of Cristiano Ronaldo casting a hugely admiring glance in her direction. On the night he was claiming the Ballon d’Or for the third time, he obviously can still spot a beaut when he sees one. And THAT goal was a beaut…HARRY’S GAMEThat’s the last time we’ll mention Harry Kane’s name – unless he declares for Ireland.It’s long past time for this column to give honourable mention to one of English football’s rising stars. That’s according to a certain Spurs supporter of my acquaintance who believes – rightly as it turns out – that there hasn’t been even a line devoted to the talent and scoring exploits of one Harry Kane.So here it is. Harry Kane’s a good ‘un. Very good, in point of fact. An England international of the future to be sure and one who might actually live up to the billing unlike some others who have been built up by the English media and failed to deliver on the big stage (whatever happened that boy Lineker?).Fresh off the Tottenham academy line, Kane moved on loan to Leyton Orient early in 2011 (not many people know this but I’ve a brother who also went to Orient – just last Saturday, as it happens, for the O’s League 1 clash with Fleetwood Town) – and scored his first senior goal against Sheffield Wednesday (that’s Kane, not my brother).And his debut goal for the Spurs? Well, it came against League of Ireland kingpins Shamrock Rovers in the Europa League in December 2011. And he’s hardly stopped scoring since.Another one at the weekend to add to the growing tally though – sorry to remind you of this, Diarmaid! – the White Hart Laners eventually lost to Crystal Palace.The good news is that Kane qualifies to play for the Republic of Ireland through his Galway born father. Quickly followed by the bad – the unambitious striker wants to turn out for England.So that’s the last honourable mention he’s getting in these parts.GREAT SCOTTYThere’s something about darts that draws you in. Remote control in hand, you’re surfing the channels to see if ‘The Bourne Identity’ is being broadcast once again (you haven’t seen it since the previous evening) and you come upon the BDO World Championships and you stick with it for a couple of minutes and the couple of minutes turns into twenty and before you can say ‘Jeez, he’s carrying a bit of weight’, you’re hooked, lined and sinkered.You’d have to say that the final between Scott ‘Scotty Dog’ Mitchell and Martin ‘Wolfie’ Adams (bit of a canine theme running here) was something else. Gripping (unlike my snow shoes). Each of the finalists looking poised to go on and win it only for the other to doggedly come back with a steady series of throws.“More breaks here than in A&E on a Friday night,” the B.B.C.commentator declared (though probably not as many trolleys).And then Mitchell is eyeing up a double sixteen to claim the world crown only for his aim – or his nerves – to let him down, allowing Adams back into the match. And again, ‘Scotty’ is darting towards the title only for ‘Wolfie’ to hit a 180 to claw his way back into contention.In the end the old familiar double top clinches it for Mitchell and the Lakeside Centre goes into overdrive as Adams embraces a tearful Scotty.The crowd goes mad though not as mad as the fancy dress clad spectators at a darts tournament in Australia over the weekend. Chairs and tables and every other piece of available loose furniture thrown about the arena leaving the entire seating area wrecked. Fortunately for everyone, organisers and innocent by-standers, only the players were throwing the darts.Even ‘The Bourne Identity’ never gets that violent.ROCKY AND RODRemember Rocky Graziano? The American boxer who boasted the acclaim of being – according to his Wikipedia pen picture – one of the greatest knockout artists in boxing history. In 1947, he overcame Tony Zale to clinch the world middleweight title and in a career that was, by then, close to failing, fought the even greater Sugar Ray Robinson in his second last bout (Robinson took him after just three rounds).Outside the boxing ring, he lived a controversial existence which landed him in trouble and in jail and his failure to report an alleged bribe attempt saw him suspended from the ring for a period.You may have seen the film of his life, ‘Somebody Up There Likes Me’, which was based on his autobiography. I haven’t but I do know that the actor, Rod Taylor, who passed on to the great stage in the sky last week, was turned down for the role of Graziano.And now to the true name-dropping purpose of this reference. Along with young Stephen Maguire of this parish, I met Taylor when he visited Letterkenny on one occasion back in the eighties and a friendlier fellow you couldn’t engage with. Not surprisingly it was Sally Blake who introduced us to him if, I can remember correctly, in the snug surrounds of Boyle’s Pub in the Market Square.And there’s a photograph to prove it but for the life of me I couldn’t locate it in time for inclusion with this piece.Though Taylor, no doubt, probably had it framed on his sitting-room wall.SNOWMENWoke up yesterday morning and when I looked out the window I thought Leeds United were playing in the front garden.Then I realised (a) it was actually snow and (b) even the Elland Road Whites couldn’t slope as low as our front garden though fourth from bottom in the Sky Bet Championship is a pretty good attempt at it.HARRY’S GAME AND STEPH’S STILL A CRACKER – IT’S WALSHY ON WEDNESDAY was last modified: January 13th, 2015 by StephenShare 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:Donegal Dailysports columnWalshy on Wednesdaylast_img read more

Survival of the fittest: Donegal senator takes gold at athletics event in Canada!

first_imgSenator Brian O’Domhnaill claimed the gold medal at the North & Central American and Caribbean World Masters Athletics (NCCWMA) Regional Championships in Toronto, Canada on Friday. The Donegal senator, who was competing in the 10,000 metres walk, came first for his age and fifth overall in the event, clocking a time of 51.23.Brian well on his way to victory!Reacting on social to the victory, the Cloughaneely man said:(I’m) thrilled to win gold in my age category and obtain the 5th place overall. “Hard work pays off and days like this make all the sacrifices and early morning / late evening training worthwhile. Thank you to everyone who has sent me messages and good luck wishes – it is greatly appreciated.”He added: “I am pretty pleased with the outcome and grateful for the opportunity of being able to compete. Ultimately in a major championship race, it’s always brilliant to be on the podium.”Survival of the fittest: Donegal senator takes gold at athletics event in Canada! was last modified: July 21st, 2019 by Shaun KeenanShare 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)last_img read more

Sadler’s last-second game-winner sends Humboldt State to its fifth straight loss at home

first_imgArcata >> As his team slumped to a fourth consecutive loss on its home court Thursday, Steve Kinder said he wasn’t necessarily worried about the losing streak itself, but more about the Jacks’ ability to grow as a team and stay fundamental.On Saturday night, another late-game comeback attempt came up just short.Cal State Dominguez Hills senior forward Justin Sadler’s bucket in the paint with 0.2 seconds remaining was the difference as the Humboldt State men’s basketball team was its fifth …last_img read more

Molecular Motors Move You

first_imgThe realization that cells are filled with molecules that move like machines fascinates many people.  Students who grew up thinking of chemistry as bouncing molecules that did little more than link up and separate have a whole new paradigm to consider: molecules that walk, fold and unfold, spin and operate like ratchets, robots, wrenches and motors.  Here are a few recent developments in the world of molecular machines:Brownian walk:  Researchers in Science1 reported that myosin, a molecular “walking” motor used in muscle, harnesses the random force of Brownian motion to keep on track.  Brownian motion is the random shuddering action of small molecules due to thermal motion in the environment.  Like sails in the wind, myosin motors are built in such a way that they can make use of the vector component corresponding to the direction they need to go.  “The leading neck swings unidirectionally forward, whereas the trailing neck, once lifted, undergoes extensive Brownian rotation in all directions before landing on a site ahead of the leading head,” said Shiroguchi and Kinosita.  “The neck-neck joint is essentially free, and the neck motion supports a mechanism where the active swing of the leading neck biases the random motion of the lifted head to let it eventually land on a forward site.”  This way they get a push for free.  The authors did not discuss how this mechanism might have evolved.Gut-level machinery:  Speaking of myosin, did you know it aids digestion?  Your digestive tract is lined with microvilli, tiny projections that vastly increase the surface area of the intestinal membrane that absorbs nutrients.  Now, scientists have found there’s a lot more going on in the tips of these projections.  Science Daily reported on work at Vanderbilt that showed myosin is concentrated in the tips and appears actively involved in shedding membrane material at the tips.  This process of vesicle formation and detachment may inject metabolic enzymes into the passing food material, as well as protect the lining of the intestine from invaders.  It’s all done with motors: myosin 1a, “a protein with the potential to generate force and move cargo around in cells.”  Matthew Tyska figured that there must be a reason these force-generating motors are concentrated in the microvilli, and sure enough, he found them at work: “It’s a little machine that can shed membrane from the tips,” he said.  This could give a whole new dimension to the term bowel movement.  Now his group is seeing if a similar mechanism operates in other cellular projections, like the hair cells of the inner ear.  See also EurekAlert.Clockworks:  A paper in Nature discussed the latest research into the molecular mechanisms behind biological clocks.2  There is not one clock molecule involved, but a host of proteins that form feedback loops in cycles that express and repress certain genes in response to environmental cues.  One of the proteins is even nicknamed CLOCK.  The article payed particular attention to PGC-1-alpha, a protein that appears intimately linked to both the circadian rhythm and metabolism, affecting the production of glucose, fatty acids and haem (iron-containing molecules).  Many questions remain, however.  This is clearly a work in progress.Splice and dice:  Another paper in Nature used the word “machinery” six times, speaking of the spliceosome.3  “A complex macromolecular machinery in the nucleus of eukaryotic cells is responsible for pre-mRNA splicing,” said Blencowe and Khanna.  They described how alternative splicing “is a remarkably efficient mechanism for a cell to increase the structural and functional diversity of its proteins, and it plays many roles in gene regulation” (see 05/20/2007).  The way alternative splicing is controlled is by RNA “riboswitches,” including messenger-RNA transcripts that can regulate their own expression with feedback and feed-forward loops.  These riboswitches can actually change shape in response to cues, and the shape determines how the gene will be expressed.  The authors used the word switch 18 times.    Earlier, riboswitches were thought to exist only in bacteria and fungi, but now it appears they may be common in higher animals and in plants.  The authors speculated about evolution’s place in this: “It seems plausible that splicing-regulatory riboswitches represent a system that has evolved to coordinately regulate multiple genes in the same biochemical pathway using feedback and, in some cases, feed-forward mechanisms,” they asserted.  “Presumably, the rapid kinetics and energy-saving advantages afforded by bypassing protein-mediated regulation explain why riboswitch aptamers have persisted during evolution and function at many levels of regulation of gene expression.”  Yet this seems to assume what needs to be proved.  They used the presence of these switches, and the advantages they appear to confer, as evidence they evolved, yet provided no details on how that could have occurred by natural selection.  By contrast, the evidence they did provide shows the opposite of evolution: between very distant organisms, like fungi and higher plants, the genes involved are “evolutionarily conserved” (i.e., unevolved).Machine language:  Two scientists publishing in PNAS sounded like factory planners, but were talking about cells.4  “Experimental and theoretical studies of proteins, acting as motors, ion pumps, or channels, and enzymes, show that their operation involves functional conformational motions,” they said.  A few sentences later, the machine talk continued: “Generally, a machine is a mechanical device that performs ordered internal motions that are robust against external perturbations.”  They were discussing how molecular machines in the cell, particularly myosin and ATP synthase, are examples of such robustness.  “In conclusion,” they said in the final discussion section, “we have shown that motor proteins possess unique dynamical properties, intrinsically related to their functioning as machines.”  This recalls a line Scott Minnich said in the film Unlocking the Mystery of Life: “It’s not convenient that we give them these [machine] names; it’s truly their function.”    Part of the title read, “design principles of molecular machines.”  Yet the authors attributed this design to undirected chance processes of evolution in this statement: “Actual proteins with specific architectures allowing robust machine operation may have developed through a natural biological evolution, with the selection favoring such special dynamical properties.”  They ran a simulation of an “evolutionary computer optimization process” and achieved a “artificial elastic network architectures possessing machine-like properties,” but this statement blurs the line between intelligently-selected outcomes and chance.“Machine” language is quite common in the scientific literature.  One often finds matter-of-fact discussion of proteins and enzymes as machines.  They use energy and perform physical work according to tight specifications.  The evolutionary conundrum is: how could functioning machines arise from non-functional matter in motion?  Authors of scientific papers typically either ignore the question, or assume evolution did the design work.    A more fruitful approach was offered by a biophysicist who wrote Nature last week, suggesting that we “Look at biological systems through an engineer’s eye.”5  R. S. Eisenberg said that when approaching a black box, whether an amplifier in a sound system or an unknown mechanism in a living cell, we should identify the inputs and outputs, the power supply and the device equation.  Looking at biological devices with the eyes of an engineer, he said, can lead to fruitful experiments:Complex systems – for example, with many internal nonlinear connections like the integrated circuit modules of digital computers or, perhaps, the central nervous system – may not be easily analysed as devices, no matter how many experimental data are available.  But it seems clear, at least to a physiologist, that productive research is catalysed by assuming that most biological systems are devices.  Thinking today of your biological preparation as a device tells you what experiments to do tomorrow.    Asking the questions in this way leads to the design of useful experiments that may eventually lead to the device description or equation, if it exists.  If no device description emerges after extensive investigation of a biological system, one can look for other, more subtle descriptions of nature’s machines.An intelligent design scientist might feel vindicated.  No evolutionary theorizing is needed in this approach.  Assuming design in the device, and asking engineering questions, can stimulate a fruitful experimental program.1Shiroguchi and Kinosita, “Myosin V Walks by Lever Action and Brownian Motion,” Science, 25 May 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5828, pp. 1208-1212, DOI: 10.1126/science.1140468.2Grimaldi and Sassone-Corsi, “Circadian rhythms: Metabolic clockwork,” Nature 447, 386-387 (24 May 2007) | doi:10.1038/447386a.3Blencowe and Khanna, “Molecular biology: RNA in control,” Nature 47, 391-393 (24 May 2007) | doi:10.1038/447391a.4Togashi and Mikhailov, “Nonlinear relaxation dynamics in elastic networks and design principles of molecular machines,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 10.1073/pnas.0702950104, published online before print May 16, 2007.5R. S. Eisenberg, “Look at biological systems through an engineer’s eye,” Correspondence, Nature 447, 376 (24 May 2007) | doi:10.1038/447376a.These papers speak for themselves.  Was anybody impressed by the evolutionary storytelling?  Was it useful?  Did it contribute to understanding in any way?  How about, on the other hand, the machine language?  Can you talk machine language without assuming intelligent design?  Where do you think science is headed?  Bye-bye, Charlie.(Visited 6 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SA’s Angoras give diabetics relief

first_imgMohair-producing Angora goats were brought to South Africa from Turkey over 150 years ago.(Image: Rodger Bosch, For more freephotos, visit the image library.) The natural elasticity of mohair stimulates blood circulation while its high absorption rate draws moisture away from the foot.(Image: Cape Mohair)MEDIA CONTACTS • Cape Mohair Neil McCleland Denys Hobson +27 21 534 4134 • Mohair South Africa +27 41 48 71386 RELATED ARTICLES • 2009 – The Year of Natural Fibres • Natural fibre takes off • Climate change and camels • Growing the organic business • Botswana revives ostrich farmingWilma den HartighSouth Africa is the world’s leading producer of mohair, a unique natural fibre produced by Angora goats. Now the fibre’s special properties are helping diabetics across the world avoid one of the disease’s most debilitating effects.One of the complications of diabetes, a disease suffered by some 300-million people across the world, is a reduction of blood circulation to the extremities. This causes foot problems such as infections and ulcers and, in extreme cases, can lead to amputation. For diabetics, foot care is crucial.A new range of socks developed by South African mohair processor Cape Mohair offers better foot protection to diabetics worldwide. Called the Medi Sock, it makes us of mohair’s natural elasticity that enhances circulation, and high absorption rate that draws moisture away from the foot.“These are the fantastic attributes of mohair that people don’t always know about,” said Denys Hobson, chief executive of Cape Mohair.Cape Mohair examined similar products sold elsewhere in the world, but none of them were adequate. “We realised that there is a great need for decent socks for diabetics,” Hobson said. Before the product was launched, it was tested for eight months and refined many times over with the help of people living with diabetes.The socks are made from locally produced mohair yarn from Angora goat kids, which provide a fine-textured hair. Coarser mohair will irritate the foot.Neil McCleland of Cape Mohair said the export potential of the sock could lead to the consumption of an additional 30 tons of mohair a year. This will be a significant boost for South Africa’s mohair industry, already considered the world’s leading producer of the natural fibre.The Medi Sock is fast gaining market share and recognition internationally; in the UK it is already considered a product leader. Cape Mohair recently received its 21st bulk export order from the UK, and plans to expand the sock’s market into the US and Europe.South Africa’s mohair industrySo far, conventional uses of mohair have been in the fashion industry, interior design and by craft and industrial fibre specialists. Rugs, blankets, throws and shawls are some of the more well-known mohair products.According to Hobson, South Africa’s well-established mohair industry produces over 60% of the world’s mohair. Some 95% of the fibre is exported to countries such as Italy, China, the UK and France.Production is concentrated in the Eastern Cape province, considered to be the mohair capital of the world: 80% of all South African mohair production comes from the region. The country has two of the world’s major combing mills, where the “greasy” fibre is processed to combed mohair tops. Mohair yarn is manufactured in Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape.Finished products such as rugs and blankets are also produced in the province, and mostly exported. Interestingly, South Africa is not a large end user of mohair, as the fibre has never been marketed locally.Farming Angoras for 150 yearsAngora goats were introduced to South Africa in the 19th century, but only by lucky chance.According to Mohair South Africa, the goat is believed to originate from the mountains of Tibet, making its way to Turkey in the 16th century.The story goes that in the 1800s a South African farmer in Turkey wanted to establish the breed in his own country. But the Turkish sultan he approached, who knew the value of the goats, was not keen to share his secret. So in 1838 the sultan sent the breeder 12 infertile Angora rams and a single ewe. But unknown to him, the ewe was pregnant, and gave birth to a ram kid. This was the beginning of Angora breeding in South Africa.Over the past 150 years attentive stock management has made the South African Angora goat the dominant producer of fine mohair fleece in the world. Selective breeding has also made the local variety hardier, able to thrive in South Africa’s harsh dry conditions“Good breeding has always been a priority in the sector and farmers have done this to ensure the quality of the wool remains high,” said Hobson. “Farmers’ attention to detail has contributed to sector being held in such high esteem internationally.”In the past two decades world mohair production has dropped considerably, from a peak of 26-million kilograms in 1988 to 5.3-million kg in 2008. Reasons for the decline include the labour-intensive nature of mohair farming, price sensitivity due to fashion trends, and the conversion of South African Angora goat farmland to game ranching.The introduction of game farming in the Eastern Cape has had a negative impact on Angora goat farming in the region, Hobson said. However, some farmers have re-established their operations in the western parts of South Africa. The goats seem to thrive in the region, so much so that in some cases they are replacing the area’s traditional ostrich farming.International Mohair SummitIn celebration of the International Year of Natural Fibres, South Africa will be hosting the inaugural international biennial Mohair Summit from 3 to 8 November in Jansenville and Graaff-Reinet in the Karoo. The event will be attended by local and international growers, buyers, manufacturers, sellers, fashion designers and interior decorators.The United Nations declared 2009 the International Year of Natural Fibres in an attempt to highlight the role that natural fibres play in contributing to food security and poverty alleviation.The use of natural fibres in clothing, household furnishings and industries has declined as a result of the development of synthetic fibres. Synthetic materials such as polyester, acrylic and nylon are widely used because they are cost effective and can be mass-produced. Sadly, competition from synthetic materials has affected millions of people who rely of the production and processing of natural fibre for their income.last_img read more