f=”crev03.htm#amazing11″>03/27/2001), we reported on the discovery of prestin, a motor protein that acts as an amplifier in the inner ear. One of the fastest-acting molecular motors known (02/21/2002), prestin works by stiffening the rod-shaped cell body with its cilia. Somehow, the action of this motor protein amplifies hearing in mammalian ears by several orders of magnitude (09/19/2002). In the intervening years, cell biologists and physiologists studying prestin have debated its role in amplification. Some have thought that the cilia were the main players in amplifying the sound, as in non-mammals. Now, according to an article in Science Daily, prestin’s role is to affect the sensitivity of the entire cell, not just the cilia. Researchers at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital bred mice with mutated prestin that extends the cilia instead of pulling them in. If cilia were the key agents of amplification, they should have shown more gain – but they did not. Somehow, prestin assists the entire cell to “bounce” more effectively in response to the sound ripples in the cochlear fluid. This whole-cell response is called somatic motility. “The researchers concluded that somatic motility was not simply a way to make cilia do their job better; rather, there is no connection between the hair cell contractions and how the cilia do their job,” the article explained. “Instead, somatic motility, generated by prestin, is the key to the superior hearing of mammals.” The presence of these prestin-assisted outer hair cells in mammals increases sound sensitivity a hundredfold, the article said. “The finding could explain why dogs, cats, humans and other mammals have such sensitive hearing and the ability to discriminate among frequencies.”Motors in your ears that amplify sound. What more could be said? He who has ears to hear, let him hear.(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
23 March 2015Following a state funeral, Collins Chabane was buried on Human Rights Day at the local cemetery near his ancestral village of Xikundu in Saselemani, Limpopo.The public service and administration minister died in a car crash on the N1 in Limpopo, on 15 March. Two of his bodyguards, Sergeants Lesiba Sekele and Lawrence Lentsoane, also died in the collision.Delivering his eulogy at the official funeral service, President Jacob Zuma said South Africans should be prompted by the deaths to reflect deeply on road safety.“The manner in which we lost him and the two police officers calls upon us to reflect deeply on road safety. Drivers should observe the rules of the road, whether they see traffic officers or not. It is up to all of us to drive safely and save lives. The carelessness on the roads cannot continue in this manner,” he said.“The human cost is enormous. [The] government cannot solve this problem alone; it requires the commitment and actions of all road users.”CondolencesZuma extended his condolences to the Chabane family and the families of Sekele and Lentsoane. “We also lost the lives of dedicated police officers, Lesiba Sekele and Lawrence Lentsoane. Their passing was sudden, tragic and shocking. We once again extend our deepest condolences to the Sekele and Lentsoane families, who are also laying their loved ones to rest this sad weekend.”Chabane was seen as a patriot who was admired and respected for his simplicity, humility and intellect. “We have seen the week-long celebration of the life of a man who dedicated his life to the struggle for freedom, justice and equality, and who has also served his country diligently since the dawn of freedom,” Zuma said.In 2014, when the country celebrated 20 years of freedom, Chabane led the development of the 20-year review, critically assessing the progress of the ANC government since 1994. In the new administration after elections later that year, he was appointed minister of public service and administration.The president urged public servants to follow Chabane’s vision and serve people with dignity and respect. “From our licensing departments’ staff to those responsible for applications for social grants and identity documents to nurses, police officers and those handling municipal enquiries, let us put our people first in memory of Minister Chabane.”Human Rights DayThe day of his burial – Human Rights Day – symbolised his unwavering commitment to the entrenchment of a human rights culture in the country. “As we bid farewell to Minister Chabane on Human Rights Day, we acknowledge the sacrifices that accompanied the struggle for democracy and reaffirm our commitment to advance human rights as enshrined in the Constitution.”The official funeral service took place at the Salema Sports Ground in Malamulele, Limpopo. There was also a prayer service at the Xikundu Evangelical Presbyterian Church.Family member Ronald Chabane made the announcement of the death. “Mr President, your son who you’ve always trusted is no more. We announce it officially that he is no more. To all the Mhingas [Chabanes], your lovely son is gone. Collins is gone, we’ll never see him again,’ he said.The family had lost a man, a giant. “He had a tiny body but a big brain.”Tributes came from Chief Hosi Xikundu, Chabane’s son Matimba and his daughter Tsakani, and other family members, as well as from Cosatu and churches. A ceremonial guard of honour from the South African National Defence Force was in place as the cortege left for the cemetery.Chabane’s funeral was an official funeral category one; these are reserved for serving ministers, speaker of the National Assembly, Chief Justice, chairperson of the National Council of Provinces and premiers of provinces. His official memorial service was held on 19 March at the Tshwane Events Centre, where thousands of mourners came to pay their respects.Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa was appointed the acting minister of public service and administration.Source: SAnews.gov
Over 100 people were killed and around 180 injured after a high-velocity dust storm followed by thunder showers wreaked havoc in parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan on Wednesday night, leaving behind a trail of destruction.Trees and electricity poles were uprooted and mud houses collapsed in the high-intensity squall, officials said on Thursday.Expressing sorrow at the loss of lives, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday directed officials to coordinate with the States to ensure speedy relief and rehabilitation of those affected.“Saddened by the loss of lives due to dust storms in various parts of India. Condolences to the bereaved families. May the injured recover soon,” the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted quoting Mr. Modi. In Uttar Pradesh, at least 70 people were killed and 83 injured, with Agra accounting for the maximum casualties — 43. Three persons each died in Bijnore and Kanpur Dehat, and two each in Saharanpur, Hamirpur, Kanpur Nagar and Mirzapur districts. One casualty each was reported from Bareilly, Pilibhit, Chitrakoot, Raebareli, Unnao, Mathura, Amroha, Kannauj, Banda, Kanpur, Sitapur, Sambhal, Etawah, Allahabad and Rampur.In Rajasthan, 16 people died in Bharatpur district, 10 in Dholpur and five in Alwar, while over 100 were injured in the storm that hit the region around 7 p.m.The worst period lasted about 45 minutes, according to reports from Dholpur, but the extent of the damage was known only in the morning.Another storm comingThe Meteorological Department has issued warnings that another dust storm may hit parts of Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan in the next 48 hours due to the cyclonic circulation formation in the region.DMs on high alertUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has issued an advisory ordering all district magistrates to be on high alert. He has asked the district officials to calculate the losses and provide compensation to those affected urgently, a government spokesperson said.State Chief Secretary Rajive Kumar has instructed the Commissioner of Agra division to ensure that relief is distributed in the affected areas by Thursday evening and senior officials visit the injured in hospitals, said U.P. Information Department principal secretary Awanish Awasthi. Power supply was cut off in many areas as the squall uprooted trees and snapped electricity cables. Officials said it was being gradually restored.Rajasthan declares natural disasterIn towns, the storm triggered traffic snarls and in rural areas there were reports of crops being damaged due to hailstorm. Farmers lost cattle and poultry. U.P. Relief Commissioner Sanjay Kumar said 160 head of cattle were lost.Rajasthan Home Minister Gulab Chand Kataria, who also holds the Disaster Management and Relief portfolio, said the storm has been included in the category of natural disasters for the first time in the State and funds to the tune of ₹2.55 crore have been sanctioned to the affected districts.Financial assistanceThe next of kin of each deceased in Rajasthan will get financial assistance of ₹4 lakh from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje expressed grief over the calamity and directed the Ministers and officers concerned to begin the relief work immediately and restore utilities.Power discoms have launched action on a war-footing to restore electricity supply in the affected areas, while the administration has ordered a survey of damaged properties.Major destruction was reported from Alwar district, where trees fell and power cables snapped, plunging a number of areas into darkness. In Dholpur district, relief camps have been opened for the villagers whose houses were destroyed.
There’s an unprecedented pessimism about the Lok Sabha election on April 29 among most of the 40,000 tannery workers in and around Kanpur.The issue is neither harsh working conditions nor low wages, but a total loss of jobs after 243 tanneries operating in Kanpur were closed down before the start of the Kumbh Mela at Prayagraj in January this year. The State government had ordered three-month closure of the tanneries to provide cleaner water to the pilgrims participating in the Maha Kumbh. A month has passed since the congregation got over but little has been done to restore their jobs.Asked about the extended shutdown orders, the district administration says the sewage treatment plant that treats the effluents coming out of the tanneries is overflowing. ‘Overflowing STP’The tannery owners, however, question how the STP is overflowing when their units have not been operating for the last four months. The tannery workers say they have no hope of any relief as a majority of them belong to poor Muslim families “which are low on the BJP’s priority list, and even the other parties are indifferent”. “U.P. Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath launched a scheme, ‘One District, One Product’, to promote traditional industries in the State, but he has hardly done anything to promote the leather industry of Kanpur. An established industry has been completely ruined because the people in power see it with communal lens. They think it is owned only by Muslims but forget that directly or indirectly people of all religions are part of the industry,” said Mohammad Arshi, vice-president, Leather Industries Welfare Association.‘Monitored by depts.’ LIWA claimed that the tanneries in the city are monitored by more than a dozen of central and State departments to check pollution and the tannery owners follow all rules and regulations. “Instead of protecting the industry, the government has showed them in bad light for polluting the Ganga,” said Mr. Arshi. “Our exports are at an all-time low and we are importing leather from Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand and other countries to meet the demand. The government has failed to see that the industry is the second biggest forex gainer in the country,” said Abbas Naqvi, a member of LIWA.“The government has failed to keep its promise on cleaning the Ganga and to show their concern, it has ordered the shutdown of tanneries,” he added.The tannery owners said they had already been severely hit by demonetisation and GST and this extended closure is killing them more. “If they (government) are so much concerned about cleaning the Ganga, why are they targeting only tanneries and no other industries like dye, textile, paper and paint. Just because they don’t consider us their vote bank, they are ignoring us,” said Mohammad Jameel, a tannery owner. A group of tannery owners on Monday met the District Magistrate of Kanpur who assured them of getting back on their grievances by May 2. The tannery owners, however, feel that things will change only after May 23, when the election results would be announced.