Sunflower Motion Is Complex

first_imgThey follow the sun, but how? Scientists are just finding out the mechanisms behind light tracking in sunflowers.According to New Scientist, the mystery of why some sunflowers track the sun across the sky has been solved. But what a solution! Notice the observations needing to be explained:Growing sunflower plants face the sun at sunrise and point the opposite direction at sunset.During the night, they turn around, ready for the next sunrise.When mature, the flowers stop tracking the sun and just face the sunrise.You can’t trick them to follow a 30-hour cycle with artificial lights. They refuse to move.When artificial lights keep a 24-hour cycle, the sunflowers again move with them.“I’m continually astonished at how sophisticated plants are,” says Stacey Harmer of UC Davis, lead author of experiments. “They’re really masters of coping with the environment.” Sun tracking is called heliotropism. But how do plants know direction without eyes? How do they keep time without clocks?Actually, sunflowers have clocks. All organisms do. In plants, they consist of proteins that interact on a 24-hour cycle in a feedback loop with genes that express them. That’s why a different light cycle doesn’t work. Somehow, they can tell if the artificial day is too long, and they’ll stop moving. You can turn potted plants around, but you can’t fool them. The research is published in Science.How is the light linked to growth? Using markers on the stems, Harmer’s team observed the shaded side of stems growing faster than the sunlit side. Sunlight apparently breaks down growth hormones, causing the stem to bend toward the light. That doesn’t explain, though, how the plant turns back to the east during the night. Gene expression tied to the circadian clock takes care of this in the absence of light cues. PhysOrg says,“The plant anticipates the timing and the direction of dawn, and to me that looks like a reason to have a connection between the clock and the growth pathway,” Harmer said. This behavior of sunflowers had been described by scientists as far back as 1898, but no one had previously thought to associate it with circadian rhythms.It’s astonishing that something everyone has noticed for centuries is just getting explained in 2016. Millions of students have played with plants and light in school for a long time. Observing something, though, is not the same as explaining it. Even so, it doesn’t appear Harmer’s team has it all figured out. They mainly established two things:Here we show that heliotropism in the common sunflower, Helianthus annuus, is generated by the coordinate action of light-signaling pathways and the circadian clock and enhances plant performance in the natural environment.But why does the mature sunflower face east at sunrise and stop tracking the sun all day? The researchers found that east-facing flowers got about five times more pollinators than flowers they turned to face west. Insects seem to like the warm flowers, too, even when they were heated artificially. So it makes sense for the flowers to catch the morning swarm, but why not all day? Two possible reasons were found: one is that the plant reaches its maximum height, so that stems stop growing. Another is that the plant shifts its sensitivity to certain wavelengths of light when mature.The authors summarize their findings:Circadian oscillators enhance fitness by coordinating physiological processes with predictable changes in the environment. Our findings demonstrate that such effects accrue in part through the coordinate regulation of directional growth by environmental response pathways and the circadian oscillator. Such coordination generates the heliotropic movement of young sunflowers, enhancing plant growth, and also leads to the eastward orientation of blooming sunflower disks, promoting a key component of reproductive performance.They credit Charles Darwin with being the first to recognize phototropism. He published a book on The Power of Movement in Plants in 1880. Certainly many a farmer or observant person had noticed the phenomenon long before Darwin did. “Heliotropism, or solar tracking, is a more dynamic form of phototropism, with aerial portions of the plant following the Sun’s movement throughout the day.”Genes, clocks, enzymes — that’s a lot of complexity to regulate this wonder of nature. Sunflowers could do just as well by pointing to the sunrise and staying put. That would be simpler. “Ah,” the Darwinian will say, “but those that follow the sun would be warmer and attract more pollinators.” Look; observing a benefit does not explain how the benefit arrived. How did a blind plant without a brain originate proteins and enzymes that can keep time? How is the circadian rhythm calibrated? How do the enzymes respond to certain wavelengths of light, and not others? Why does the plant follow the sun before the flowers open to be pollinated? Why doesn’t the mature flower track the sun all day to stay warm for pollinators? Heliotropism is costly to the plant. Things don’t just happen; they need to be explained at a detailed level.The simplistic Dar-wine story dulls the senses. It gives a warm feeling of having explained something when it explains nothing. In fact, none of the 3 articles cited here referred to evolution or natural selection at all. Harmer’s team just did good old-fashioned experimentation on the plants. They figured out a few things, but not everything. A simple sunflower is enough to astonish a PhD with its sophistication. That’s the real finding in this story.(Visited 189 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

MTN-Qhubeka ready for Tour du Suisse challenge

first_img “There are some serious mountains there, so there are some good opportunities there [to do well]. Hopefully the legs and the form will be good, so that I can see what I can do.”Television coverage South African and African cycling fans will be able to follow the fortunes of Team MTN-Qhubeka in the Tour du Suisse on SuperSport, which will deliver a delayed broadcast of Saturday’s first stage, followed by live coverage of every other day, through until the finish on Sunday, 22 June. SAinfo reporter 11 June 20134 South Africa’s Team MTN-Qhubeka will be on the starting line of the 78th Tour du Suisse on Saturday, eager to test their mettle against many of the world’s leading cyclists over the course of nine days. The challenge will be great, as many of those riders will be in peak physical condition ahead of the Tour de France. ‘Incredibly important race’ “The Tour of Switzerland is an incredibly important race for Team MTN-Qhubeka,” Team Principal Douglas Ryder said in an interview on the team’s YouTube channel on Tuesday. “The Tour of Switzerland is the fourth-biggest stage race in the world of cycling. It has huge media coverage around the event,” Ryder said. “It is one of the final preparation races for the big teams in terms of the Tour de France, and so it was critical for us to get into that event. “We’ll bring a fantastic team there, because it is the kind of event that suits our riders. It’s very hilly and it’s good for our African and European riders.”Vuelta a Espana preparation MTN-Qhubeka will be using the Tour du Suisse to prepare for the Vuelta a Espana, which along with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia make up the sport’s three Grand Tours. The Vuelta will be raced for the 69th time this year, taking place from 23 August to 14 September. One of the major aims of the team’s participation in the Tour du Suisse, besides good results, will be to run a smooth operation ahead of the three-week race around Spain.Making a mark Assessing where Team MTN-Qhubeka could make its mark in Switzerland, Ryder said: “In the first few days, we’ll look for Gerald Ciolek to potentially win a stage because he can really get over the mountains and the smaller climbs. “Going towards the end of the tour, the last two stages, which are mountain-top finishes, we’ll be looking to Sergio Padilla, Linus Gerdemann and, obviously, Louis Meinjties [to excel].”Testing oneself against the best Meintjies, the silver medal winner in the under-23 road race at the UCI World Championships in September 2013, said in a Soundcloud interview released on Tuesday that he was eager to test himself against the best. “I’m really looking forward to racing the Tour of Switzerland. It will be my first World Tour stage race, so that will be something new for me,” Meintjies said. “I am really looking forward to seeing how I cope with that level [of racing] day after day.last_img read more

Use strategy to capture market opportunity

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Fundamentally, this market doesn’t have a lot of upside unless South America turns dry. It appears some farmers are taking advantage of these rallies to catch up on sales, but many farmers are still uncertain. This is why a marketing plan is so helpful. It can help take the uncertainty out of decision-making.SoybeansBeans showed some life after the new Argentina President announced his soybean export policy. Most likely, the soybean export tax will gradually disappear over a number of years. This may be bullish near-term as South American farmers will be rewarded for holding beans until taxes lower. However, long-term this may keep a lid on prices for several years.CornCorn continues to trade in a 10 cent trading range. There isn’t much demand in the world for corn right now.Marketing strategy – Capturing opportunitiesThis summer some of my new clients began selling grain on rallies. The strategy — start selling 5% of their production at $3.75 and then selling an additional 5% with every 10-cent increase. This strategy resulted in 50% of their production at an average sale price of $4.12 on the Dec futures.Clients using this strategy above were able to capture market carry on their sales. They received an 18-cent premium for holding their grain until June. Meaning their $4.12 sales against the Dec turned into $4.30 by holding the grain until July.Many farmers didn’t think making these rally sales last year were a good idea, thinking they should hold for $4.50, $4.75 or maybe even $5. I’m sure today many wish they would have sold more than they did when it hit $4.50. Even I wish I would have sold much more of my 2016 crop when I saw $4.50 futures. In these types of situations it would be best to remember the market carry premium, which can make early sales like those look much better.Basis opportunitiesThese sales also don’t take into account the movement of basis (difference between CBOT and local prices) from the middle of summer until now. Basis levels in the western Corn Belt went from -.40 last summer and before harvest to -.20 in the last couple of weeks. Basis changes in the eastern belt have been even more dramatic with -.30 common in the summer to +.20 being very attainable now. That means that farmers who did presell their grain using futures and captured the carry have the opportunity to sell their grain at even more profitable levels.Understand the marketThe market already knows how farmers think and market their grain. Savvy farmers understand how the market works so they can take advantage of the opportunities available. Occasionally farmers catch the market off guard, like in the fall of 2014 when farmers didn’t sell grain at very low levels causing a bump in prices, but that doesn’t always happen. This year end users aren’t making the same mistake as last year by not having enough coverage on at lower values.2016 should have opportunities for farmers too. However, a farmer needs to be ready and learn how to use the market to their advantage. I encourage all farmers to learn more about how to reduce risk and use the carry and basis to their advantage. By seeking advice from people who understand how the market works, farmers can increase their farm operation profits.Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]last_img read more

2019 Putnam County Annual Meeting

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Putnam County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting 2019The 2019 Putnam County Annual Meeting was held in conjunction with Putnam Soil and Water Conservation District meeting, at Whiskey Wine and Rose’s Winery in Fort Jennings, on Aug. 29, 2019.Celebrating 100 years of Ohio Farm Bureau!Dinner was catered by the delicious, Bavarian Catering, with dessert from Anna’s Cupcakes. Business meeting and voting was held following dinner. The exchange of office for president was passed from Curtis Tobe to Carl Liebrecht.TRIVIA, TRIVIA, and TRIVIA! Groups participated in trivia questions on farming and Putnam County. Winners received prizes. There also were door prizes.Rose Hartschuh gave the state trustee report and Jessica Vandenbroek, organization director, gave the County Report for 2019 and presented scholarships.Putnam County Farm Bureau looks forward to the next 100 years of Farm Bureau.last_img read more

Each Android User Will Make Google $9.85 per Year in 2012

first_imgThe Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technology What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … sarah perez According to Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster, Google could earn $1.3 billion in mobile advertising revenue in 2012, or $9.85 for each Android user. The analyst forecasted there would be 133 million Android users by 2012, and he arrived at the $1.3 billion figure by using publicly quoted numbers from Google itself.The details of Munster’s prediction can be found on eWeek, Forbes, CNN and other outlets. Munster had posted this information in a research note earlier this week.To determine the $1.3 billion figure, the analyst used Google’s self-stated figure that its mobile ad business is on a $1 billion annual run-rate, and Munster estimated the company had earned $850 million in total mobile revenue in 2010. Android specifically had generated around 16% of that total, or $130 million, said Munster. That means that each Android user generated $5.90 per year for Google, based on around 22 million Android users in 2010.By 2012, there would be 133 million Android users, generating $1.3 billion in Android-related revenue he said. That equates to $9.85 per user per year.Mobile Still Pales Next to Desktop WebDespite this growth, Piper notes that even an ARPU (average revenue per user) of nearly $10 is still below what a desktop user generates for Google.“As we noted, we believe Google’s ARPU on Android was $5.90 in 2010. We believe Google’s average revenue per search user was $18.85 in 2010 and average revenue per user for Google’s advertising businesses in total was $25.77 in 2010,” Munster said.Below is a chart which shows just how far Android has to go before catching up to the desktop Web. Role of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagementcenter_img Related Posts Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Tags:#Google#mobile#news#web last_img read more

Choosing an Efficient Refrigerator

first_imgComparing the cost of an efficient refrigerator to the cost of PVI’ve been measuring its energy consumption and after about six weeks it looks like we’re headed for an annual energy usage of 260 kWh, unless it goes way up in the summer.I gave the Maytag away. (I learned to my chagrin that all three of my work colleagues who immediately responded to my offer were intending to use this as a second, in-the-basement fridge.) The GE seems quieter than the Maytag, which we appreciate.One test I use to evaluate whether something is a reasonable energy investment is to look at kWh saved and compare that with the cost of solar electric capacity to generate the equivalent amount of energy. In my opinion, this is reasonable, as long as the investments being compared have similar service life. I thought that a fridge mightn’t last as long as a solar electric system, so this wasn’t an optimal comparison. Anyway, here on Martha’s Vineyard we see that one watt of PV will make about 1.3 kWh/year, and has a marginal cost before subsidies of perhaps $4 – $5. If the GE fridge saves 400 kWh/year, that’s the output of about 300 W of PV costing $1,350 (assuming a cost of $4.50/watt for PV). So the fridge looks good. * The most efficient refrigerators are actually still Sunfrost, but the margin is getting smaller, and the PVs cost less per kWh saved, and plus they are a pain to actually use because they are cube shaped so you need orangutan arms to reach half the stuff. I checked the Energy Star ratings and learned that the most efficient refrigerators were 16.5-cubic-foot models made by GE*, and that they didn’t make them anymore. This despite the fact that these units were well reviewed by owners.Moving up to an 18.1-cubic-foot unit added 11 kWh/year, so after a few days of trying to find the last 16.5-cubic-foot model left, I capitulated to being an American and found that the 18.1-cubic-foot one I wanted was also discontinued in favor of a newer version that used more energy. Duh. (Are you sensing a trend here?)I found the one I wanted, on sale as it happened, being discontinued and all, and bought it. It cost $517 shipped to Martha’s Vineyard (land of “No Free Shipping” Zip codes). It does not have an icemaker. It is rated at 335 kWh/year. The old refrigerator uses too much electricityAnyway, being a complusive measurer, I plugged the Maytag into a kWh meter and measured its usage during March. This is a time of year where the house is perhaps slightly cooler than average. The annualized energy usage was 655 kWh. I knew I could do better, and maybe find a quieter refrigerator also. RELATED ARTICLES Choosing an Energy-Efficient Refrigerator BLOGS BY MARC ROSENBAUM Living With Point-Source HeatInstalling a Ductless Minisplit SystemAn Induction Cooktop for Our KitchenGetting into Hot Water — Part 1Getting into Hot Water — Part 2Getting into Hot Water — Part 3Getting into Hot Water — Part 4Basement Insulation — Part 1Basement Insulation — Part 2 When we moved into our house, it had the original Maytag 18.5-cubic-foot refrigerator that was installed in 2000. It had one feature I had never lived with before: an icemaker.It took me some time to realize that the weird sounds I occasionally heard coming from the fridge was it cranking out the cubes. We don’t use much ice, and being middle-aged actually learned in our youth how to fill ice cube trays (similar to being able to count, and tell time by the big hand and the little hand, and other lost arts), so eventually I turned that feature off.Researchers at NIST recently reported that they tested four new refrigerators and the icemakers added 12 to 20 percent to the rated energy consumption. The not-so-cool discovery was that 75% of this energy comes from heating the molds to release the ice. Duh.Oh, and the ratings you see on the big yellow sticker don’t include the energy used by the icemaker, apparently because someone decided it would be too hard to measure. Double duh. Marc Rosenbaum is director of engineering at South Mountain Company on the island of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. He writes a blog called Thriving on Low Carbon.last_img read more

Nokia rebrands all Withings products a year after acquisition

first_imgHow Myia Health’s Partnership with Mercy Virtua… 8 Unusual Ideas for a Dentistry Business Tags:#body scale#BPM#fitness#Go#health#Health Mate#Internet of Things#IoT#Nokia#smartwatch#Steel HR#wearables#Withings FDA Extends Collaboration on Living Heart Proje… Nokia has rebranded all Withings products and will be retiring the brand, a year after acquiring the French health-tech company for $191 million.The three wearables, Go, Steel, and Steel HR, will remain part of Nokia’s portfolio. Go is a simple E-Ink activity and sleep tracker with one year charge, available for $50. Steel does all that with a more stylish design and connects to the Health Mate app, it costs $130. Steel HR adds heart-rate monitoring and text, call, and notification alerts and drops to 25 days of charge for $180.See Also: Nokia helps make Chengdu region into a smart powerhouseGo and Steel are available to purchase today in the U.S., U.K., and Europe. Steel HR will be available in the fall in the U.S. and at a similar time in the U.K. and other countries.Alongside the rebranded smartwatches, Nokia has launched a cheaper version of Withings body scale, which measures weight and BMI. It is available for $60. Withings original body scale is now named Body+ and adds full body composition for an extra $40.Nokia will also continue to sell the Body Cardio scale for $180.Withings blood pressure monitor will remain on sale for $100, now named Nokia BPM. A premium version of the monitor will be available for $130.Nokia has revamped the Health Mate app as part of the rebranding, it has five new programs: Better Body, Healthier Heart, Leaderboard, Pregnancy Tracker, and Sleep Smarter. The company has added an eight-week wellness programs as well.center_img Can IoT Bridge The Gaps In Modern Mental Health… David Curry Related Posts last_img read more