St. Bernard’s girls shut out University

first_imgAlly Del Grande pitched a one-hitter, Mackenzie Finck hit a grand slam, and the Crusaders coasted to a 8-0 North Coast Section Division-V opening round playoff win over University High on Wednesday. “Our pitching was great today, I thought we played well,” St. Bernard’s head coach Alan Borges said. “It feels good to get a playoff win, and our first non-conference win of the season.”With the win, the No. 8 seed Crusaders (9-15) will now play at No. 1 Cloverdale on Friday at 5 p.m.Del Grande, …last_img read more

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Small Hobbit Brain Means Little

first_imgCentral in the debate whether Homo floresiensis (nicknamed hobbits) were human is the matter of their small brains.  Could diminutive human-like skeletons really be human with such small skulls? (cf. 03/04/2005).    Scientists at the University of Cambridge conducted a detailed analysis of brain size vs. body size for a number of primates.  They found no clear trend, reported PhysOrg.  “The results show that while brains evolved to be larger in both relative and absolute terms along most branches of the primate family tree, the opposite happened along several lineages.”  Some South American capuchin monkeys compare with African apes in ratio of brain to body size, while gorillas, with large brains, have a compensating larger body, bringing the ratio down.  “Our analysis, together with studies of brain size in island populations of living primates,” the researchers said, “suggests we should perhaps not be surprised by the evolution of a small brained, small bodied early human species.”There goes decades of bigoted evolutionary anthropology ranking humans by brain size (11/09/2007, bullet 3).  This has nothing to say about evolution (cf. with birds, 09/07/2005).  If evolution is the explanation for brain/body ratios going both ways, it explains nothing.  The article said that “sometimes individuals with smaller brains are favoured by natural selection,” even though selection usually favored big brains in primates.  Then again, brain size shrank in mouse lemurs, marmosets and mangabeys.  “In contrast, the study found no overall trend to increase body size, suggesting that brain and body mass have been subject to separate selection pressures in primates.”  Look how flexible evolution is; it explains everything.  If big brains are usually so favored by selection, why didn’t brain size increase in every kind of animal over time?  As a law of nature, natural selection has the strange property of producing opposite outcomes.  It’s not just Stuff Happens; its Contradictory Stuff Happens.    Did evolutionary theory provide understanding here?  No; as usual, researchers were surprised by what they found: “The argument raised has been that the evolution of such a small brain does not fit with what we know about primate brain evolution,” they article said.  Rather than providing an explanatory framework that can make predictions, evolution is a Gumby explanation that continually gets stretched and squished to fit the data after discoveries are made (12/14/2004, 07/22/2006, 08/14/2006, 10/26/2006, 09/06/2007, 01/23/2009).    Look at another recent example: Charles Q. Choi in Live Science told about a controversial theory that claims “The evolution of the distant ancestors of humans and other primates may have been driven by dramatic volcanic eruptions and the parting of continents.”  Wow.  Volcanos made you what you are today.  One problem with this “absurd” theory is that it has “resulted in all sorts of contradictory centers of origin.”  Moreover, Choi said that “fossils often serve as an incomplete record for what and when animals actually existed.” Keep that sentence in mind when you hear someone pointing to fossils as proof of evolution.  Satisfied?  Vote if you think evolution is increasing our understanding of nature.  For a good joke, look at the last sentence of Choi’s article.    The obsession with brain size is misguided, anyway (08/05/2006).  As we have noted many times before, it’s quality, not quantity that counts (11/09/2007, 03/12/2008).  Was Tom Thumb any less human because of his small stature?  There have been examples of living humans doing pretty well with shrunken and damaged brains (e.g., 07/22/2009).  There’s some redundancy built in (08/28/2001).  Crows have small brains but show a lot of intelligence (05/26/2009, 08/11/2009).  Blue whales have huge brains but are not correspondingly better philosophers than humans.  We see large differences in morphology between living human tribes (Watusi vs pygmy, Inuit vs Vietnamese).  It is certainly within the range of variation for an inbred tribe, stranded on a small island, subject to local diseases, to grow physically smaller.  It doesn’t mean they were stupid or less evolved.  If we could have talked to Bilbo and Frodo on the island of Flores, we might have been impressed with their cognitive abilities.    A small brain that performs well could be taken as a good example of miniaturization.  Human engineers pride themselves on packing more oomph in smaller devices; look how USB drives have progressed from 56k to 4GB, while getting smaller and cheaper, in a few years.  It’s not just the hardware.  The software is often more indicative of design.  There are plenty of large-brained humans walking around today with self-inflicted buggy code.  Put them in an Indonesian cave without their Bud Light and see how long they survive.(Visited 18 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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Burning Plants Tell Seeds When to Germinate

first_img(Visited 498 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Forest fire ash is not all useless.  It contains signaling molecules that can switch on the next generation of plants.How is it that in the spring following a forest fire, the ground comes alive with a profusion of new seedlings?  How do the seeds, which may have lain dormant in the soil for years, know that the ground has been cleared, providing opportunities for a new generation of growth?An open-access paper in PNAS describes how a molecule in the ash of plants after a forest fire turns on growth in dormant seeds.  According to the paper, “Germination-stimulating compounds, generated in the smoke of burning plants, include a seed dormancy–breaking compound” called karrikin-1.  The scientists studied what this molecule does to a seed.  Inside the seed is a protein, KAI2, that has a receptor for karrikin-1.  When the key fits the lock, the protein changes shape, switching on a message cascade that tells the side to prepare for sprouting.A Salk Institute press release,”Smoke signals: How burning plants tell seeds to rise from the ashes,” summarizes the findings:“This is a very important and fundamental process of ecosystem renewal around the planet that we really didn’t understand,” says co-senior investigator Joseph P. Noel, professor and director of Salk’s Jack H. Skirball Center for Chemical Biology and Proteomics. “Now we know the molecular triggers for how it occurs.”Noel’s co-senior investigator on the project, Joanne Chory, professor and director of Salk’s Plant Molecular and Cellular Biology Laboratory, says the team found the molecular “wake-up call” for burned forests. “What we discovered,” she says, “is how a dying plant generates a chemical message for the next generation, telling dormant seeds it’s time to sprout.“The original paper didn’t say anything about how evolution produced this signaling system, but the press release took a stab at it:“In plants, one member of this family of enzymes has been recruited somehow through natural selection to bind to this molecule in smoke and ash and generate this signal,” says Noel, holder of Salk’s Arthur and Julie Woodrow Chair and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator. “KAI2 likely evolved when plant ecosystems started to flourish on the terrestrial earth and fire became a very important part of ecosystems to free up nutrients locked up in dying and dead plants.”The researchers never explained how this recruitment “likely evolved.”  It was just “somehow.”Another article on Live Science about plant ecology states that aerosols produced by plants can modulate global climate.  “Plants release gases such as water vapor and oxygen; these combine with the aerosols released from plants to form larger airborne particles that reflect sunlight and form cloud droplets.”  The pleasing scent of a forest comes from these aerosols.The Salk press release provides a good example of how evolution pretends to be scientific while only gesticulating (hand-waving) in fantasyland.  The science about karrikins and KAI2 has nothing to do with evolution; it’s just good old observational, reproducible experimentation.  The evolution stuff was just tacked on at the end.  But look at it!  An enzyme has been “recruited somehow through natural selection,” we are told.  OK, how?  “Somehow.”  It just evolved.  How do you know it evolved?  It “likely evolved.”  Is this somehow likely?  No; it’s not even likely somehow. Proteins and enzymes are highly complicated living machines that defy origin by chance (see online book).But even if in someone’s wildest imagination KAI2 “emerged” somehow, unlikely as it is, getting it to do anything requires a whole system of other proteins, enzymes and genes to interact with it for a functional purpose.  When these scientists asserted it is “somehow…likely” that natural selection (an aimless, purposeless process) accomplished this without meaning to, they did BAD (Bald Assertion of Darwinism).  They abandoned all pretense of science.  They are just gesticulating, speculating, confabulating, somnabulating, absquatulating out of their own imaginations, where miracles of emergence happen when they wish upon a star.Everyone, therefore—even Darwinians—believes in miracles and the supernatural.  Some can defend their beliefs with reason and evidence.  Others, like these Darwin addicts, just blow smoke and hot air.last_img read more

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Field Talk: A Q&A with Providers Supporting Military Families

first_imgDiPietro-Wells, R. (2015). Field Talk: A Q&AField Talk is a monthly blog post sharing the voices of early childhood providers who serve or have served military families of young children with disabilities (birth to 5 years old).  We hope you find it to be educational, personable, and encouraging.This month we talked with Dora, MS, CCC-SLP.  Dora is a speech pathologist and currently serve children with a variety of needs including autism, cochlear implants, apraxia, phonological disorders, and language disorders.  She currently is employed by a Children’s Hospital, which is part of a large University Health Care system. In this position she serves children in an outpatient therapy center which provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy to children from birth through age 18.  This interview has been edited for length and clarity.What’s your favorite part of your current job?I enjoy being part of a team of therapists who focus on the whole child. There is nothing better than working in a collaborative setting where you can brainstorm ideas with other therapists and coordinate services with other care providers.Tell us about experiences you have had working with military families.I served military families while employed by a private practice; the majority of children were in an early intervention program or at developmental day centers. In my current setting the military families I serve are National Guard or Reserve families.How did you come to work with military families?I became an active duty military spouse and moved to an area with a large military installation. I later had my own children, one of whom has special needs, and have experienced being a military family receiving special education services.Describe a rewarding experience working with military families.A rewarding experience I had serving a military family was when I was working with a 2 year who had complex medical needs. This child had a tracheostomy and we were doing Passy Muir speaking valve trials. I was there when this child’s mom heard his voice for the first time and later when his mom heard “mama” for the first time. This was an unforgettable experience and I was blessed to be a part of a special moment for this military family.From your experience, how are military families similar and different from other types of families? How do you change your practice between families?Military families are similar to other families in that they have the typical day-to-day challenges non-military families face. They also have the same emotions with regard to receiving a diagnosis for their child or giving birth to a child with a disability. Military families are “real” families with “real” day-to-day challenges that other families face. The difference is the additional things military families have on their plate. They might deal with an active duty parent leaving for training, preparing for a deployment, and returning from a deployment. There are constant adjustments that are being made in a military family’s life. Also, many military families live away from their extended family, and other military families become their support system. These families have a bond and support each other unlike the non-military families I have served.Another difference when serving Reserve or National Guard families is that these families often make major adjustments when one parent is activated and away from the family. These families have to switch from a civilian life to being an active duty family when the service member is activated. Sometimes these families may not live in an area where there is a military installation and the community and providers may not be aware of the best ways to support the family.I changed my practice to accommodate and understand schedule changes and made efforts to include the active duty parent(s) in order to make them an active part of the care team. Often the active duty (or activated) parent may feel left out of the therapy plan because they may be away or just returning from training/deployment.As providers, how can we support military parents who are deployed or away frequently due to trainings/school?As providers one way we can support military parents is to include them using email, Skype, and Facetime, if these are options. Many years ago this was not an option for families, but now depending on the circumstances of the training/deployment, the parent may have access to the Internet. This is a great way to include the parent who is away. Another way is to meet with the parent before he/she leaves and go over the treatment plan and ways this parent can support the parent who is home with the child(ren). Additionally, once the parent returns and has had time with the family, meeting to discuss progress and the current home program for the family is also helpful. If providers assume the parent at home will explain everything to the spouse who is away, this can put additional stress on the spouse at home. I have found that trying to work with the family as a whole yields better progress, as well as unity within the family.Describe a specific stressor that military families with whom you have worked have shared or experienced.One stressor I have seen in military families is when one parent is deployed or away at training, the parent at home with a child who has a disability may need respite. Having a child with a disability can be challenging, but when one parent is away then all parenting and household responsibilities fall on the parent holding down the home front. While there may be respite services available to some families, other families may not seek these out or qualify for them.What “insider” tips or advice do you have for service providers working with military families who have young children with disabilities?First and foremost if you are not familiar with military language and acronyms – learn them! You need to know what these things mean when the family talks about what is happening in their life. Another suggestion is to learn the specific needs of the area in which you serve families. For example, the needs of Reserve and National Guard families are different than active duty families. When serving active duty families consider the kinds of units in the area. Learn about them so you will know what those families’ schedules and challenges are like. Consider: Is it a unit that deploys frequently for short durations or time? Is it a unit that does less frequent deployments but for longer periods or time? Is it a training installation where service members may be away for training or teaching frequently? In my experience, when working with families, each military area has unique needs to that specific area. In order to better serve families, learn about the area and its unique needs.If you could change or improve one thing for military families with young children with disabilities, what would it be?I would like it to be easier for families to transition services when moving from one place to another, to alleviate some stress on the families. These families are extremely resourceful, but that does not mean providers shouldn’t help ease the process a bit.What types of resources have you sought out to feel more confident and competent at meeting the specific needs of military families? (e.g., trainings, blog posts, organizations, etc.)I learned about being a military wife while I was serving military families. I was fortunate to have other wives and providers mentor me through that process. Resources like the Military Family Learning Network are so valuable as they provide information that is easily accessible for providers and families.This post was written by Robyn DiPietro-Wells & Michaelene Ostrosky, PhD, members of the MFLN FD Early Intervention team, which aims to support the development of professionals working with military families. Find out more about the Military Families Learning Network FD concentration on our website, on Facebook, on Twitter, YouTube, and on LinkedIn.last_img read more

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Quantum 1 classical 0 Bell nonlocality universally confirmed in any large communication

first_img Fig. 4. The scheme of the proof of Theorem 1. (A) an initial protocol evaluating function f with bias 1/6, using Q qubits; (B) memoryless protocol, with the same bias, using Q2 qubits; (C) protocol P‾ using quantum correlations and Q2 qubits, with bias still about 1/6; (D) protocol P‾ gives small bias for any classical correlation Rc if Q2 is sufficiently smaller than C(f, 2/3). Harry Buhrman, H. et al. (2016) Quantum communication complexity advantage implies violation of a Bell inequality. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113 (12) 3191-3196. Fig. 3. Exchange of the information after simultaneous teleportations to reveal the path of the teleported system in a three-round protocol. After Alice’s teleportation measurement in the first round the state ended up in port 1. Then, Bob teleports each of the two ports from the array that he used in the previous round, obtaining the outcomes 2 and 3 for ports 1 and 2, respectively. Finally, Alice performs a teleportation measurement for each of her four ports, obtaining the outcomes 2,4,5,8 for the ports 1,2,3,4, respectively. A defines a path q to be a sequence of teleportation outcomes: q={i1,1 =1, i2,1 =2, i3,2 =4}. The last node of the path points to the system, whose outcome provides Bob’s guess. Recall that the measurements are performed at the same time, and the sequential multiround protocol consists only of the exchange of classical information obtained after teleportation. The latter is required to identify the last node of the path, which is used to make a guess about the value of the function. Harry Buhrman, H. et al. (2016) Quantum communication complexity advantage implies violation of a Bell inequality. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113 (12) 3191-3196. More information: Quantum communication complexity advantage implies violation of a Bell inequality, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences March 22, 2016 vol. 113 no. 12 3191-3196, doi:10.1073/pnas.1507647113 Related:1Asymptotic teleportation scheme as a universal programmable quantum processor, Physics Review Letters (2008) 101(24):240501, doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.101.2405012Quantum teleportation scheme by selecting one of multiple output ports, Physical Review A (2009) 79(4):042306, doi:10.1103/PhysRevA.79.042306 (Phys.org)—The relationship between communication complexity problems, Bell nonlocal correlations and the advantage of quantum over classical strategies has long been recognized, but has been confirmed in only two problems. Recently, however, scientists at University of Cambridge, University of Amsterdam, CWI, QuSoft, Gdansk University, Gdansk University of Technology, Adam Mickiewicz University, and Jagiellonian University employed a two-part method based on port-based teleportation – a scheme of quantum teleportation where a receiver has multiple (N) output ports and obtains the teleported state by merely selecting one of the N ports1,2. The researchers used the quantum protocol based on the given communication complexity game to construct a set of quantum measurements on a maximally entangled state to show that any large advantage over the best known classical strategy makes use of Bell nonlocal correlations. In so doing, the researchers assert, they have provided the missing link to the fundamental equivalence between Bell nonlocality and quantum advantage. Moreover, their results have significant implications for classical information processing and the development of more efficient teleportation protocols. To establish the connection between communication complexity and the violation of a Bell inequality, the scientists had to devise two things: a systematic way of obtaining correlations from any quantum strategy, and a suitable Bell inequality which would be violated by these correlations. “A particular obstacle which we had to overcome was to find a way of dealing with strategies which involved multiple rounds of communication, since previous tools allowed us to address only the case of single round algorithms,” Strelchuk explains. “Our key insight was to utilize a port-based teleportation protocol, which overcame this limitation wonderfully.” Fig. 1. The structure of a single round of the protocol. Alice applies Ux to her system, which if followed by Bob’s unitary Uy. Bob has no information about the outcome of Alice’s port-based teleportation, iA1 , so he teleports each of his qudit* subsystems individually, obtaining iB1,1, iB1,2, …. Credit: Harry Buhrman, H. et al. (2016) Quantum communication complexity advantage implies violation of a Bell inequality. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 113 (12) 3191-3196. (*a generalization of the qubit to a d-dimensional Hilbert space) , Physical Review A The paper also reports a simpler method for one-way communication complexity problems. “For one-way communication complexity problems – that is, where in order to compute the value of a function one party is allowed to send a single message to another – there is no need to use the heavy guns of port-based teleportation. Instead, we use a much simpler procedure called remote state preparation.” Quantum teleportation uses prior entanglement and forward classical communication to transmit one instance of an unknown quantum state. Remote state preparation (RSP) has the same goal, but the sender knows classically what state is to be transmitted.Relatedly, the paper describes potential approaches for devising a more efficient teleportation protocol or improving one of the existing ones based on more efficient methods of exhibiting the Bell nonlocality of quantum communication complexity schemes. “One potential pathway to improvement is to devise a more efficient teleportation protocol. Our central tool, the port-based teleportation protocol, uses a large entangled state to teleport with a high probability of success. Moreover, a teleportation protocol with higher probability of success which consumes less entanglement would result in even larger values of the ratio of the quantum value to the classical value of the Bell quantity – but at present, we don’t know if such protocols exist.”Finally, the new method does not cover the protocols with initial entanglement, which the researchers describe as paradoxical because protocols that use initial entanglement should be even more explicitly Bell nonlocal. “Interestingly, if the parties which solve a communication complexity problem are already entangled then it should be possible to devise a Bell inequality that will be violated by the correlations originated from the measurement statistics of the algorithm. However,” Strelchuk adds, “a technical requirement in our construction makes it inapplicable to this setting.” As a result, the scientists concluded that it is desirable to search for a method of demonstrating the Bell nonlocality of such protocols. “Devising a method of showing that quantum communication complexity advantage implies violation of a Bell inequality when parties share initial entanglement is highly desirable,” he acknowledges, “as it would not only prove the equivalence between these two areas at the highest possible level of generality, but it may also shed light on how we could take advantage of pre-shared entanglement to make algorithms more efficient.” Moving forward, Strelchuk says that the researchers want to focus on reducing the gap between classical and quantum communication complexity required for their results to hold. “This gap arises as a technical artifact in our proof,” he tells Phys.org, “and there seems to be no apparent reason why it should exist. Another promising direction to pursue is the development of novel teleportation protocols which would consume less entanglement and provide higher probability of success…and the latter direction is interesting in its own right. As witnessed by our results,” Strelchuk concludes, “the applications of new teleportation protocols often surpass their intended purpose and find uses in other unrelated areas of quantum information processing.” Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienceslast_img read more

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