Fattening up the chickens


first_imgBy Cat HolmesUniversity of GeorgiaA University of Georgia researcher has discovered a chicken gene which, when manipulated, makes birds fatter or and thinner. However, it works only in female chickens.”The same gene exists in males, but it doesn’t do the same thing,” said Sammy Aggrey, the quantitative and molecular geneticist in the UGA poultry science department who found the growth hormone receptor gene. “Some genes work in one gender and not in another.”Identifying the growth hormone receptor gene in chickens and understanding how it works could have important implications for human research.Obesity is growing at epidemic proportions in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 44 million Americans are now obese, an increase of 74 percent since 1991.Humans and chickens are enough alike that Aggrey’s discovery and other genetic research on chickens may lead scientists to similar findings in humans.”One of the beauties of using chickens is that the research can be done quickly,” Aggrey said. “Then biomedical researchers can use it right away in their work with humans. When we find genes in chickens that act in a certain way, we expect to find the same types of genes in humans.”Aggrey said it’s wrong, though, to call the growth hormone receptor gene a “fat gene” or a “female fat gene.””Many people think that if you pinpoint a gene like this, you can simply manipulate the gene to gain or lose weight. It’s not that simple,” Aggrey said. “Behavior and the environment, non-genetic factors like nutrition and activity level, play large roles.”How can a gene express itself in females but not in males?The reasons are complex, Aggrey said. But they boil down to this: While both sexes have most genes in common, genes located on the sex chromosome differ. Often, as in humans and chickens, one gender has a single copy of that gene and the other has a double copy of it. This causes the gene to take different actions in each sex.Aggrey is also involved in a larger obesity-related study to identify and map all the genes involved in growth and fatness in broiler chickens.For this project, he works with researchers at the universities of Delaware and Maryland and the National Institute for Agricultural Research in France. The latter is an agency much like the U.S. Department of Agriculture.”It’s a huge project to identify and characterize that many genes,” he said. “Last year we discovered spot 14, which is one gene for fatness.” Spot 14 has since been shown to be connected to obesity in humans and mice.(Cat Holmes is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Reflections by Comrade Fidel: The will of steel (Part 1)


first_imgNewsRegional Reflections by Comrade Fidel: The will of steel (Part 1) by: – October 18, 2011 Fidel Castro. Image via: globalresearch.caTwo days ago on Friday October 14th, Granma and Juventud Rebelde, the Communist Party and Youth League newspapers, published a brave and energetic message from René González, Hero of the Republic, to the people of Cuba, after the odious and unfair 13-year punishment had finished, separately, like the other four heroes who are serving longer sentences in prisons that are hundreds of miles away from each other. Not for one instant did the unshakeable steadfastness of each one of them falter, even when they were repeatedly thrown into punishment cells, veritable sepulchres, without any space to move, just as “Yankee justice” decreed, with no crime or any kind of evidence. If there was anything in which such “justice” didn’t make a mistake, it was in the selection of the type of men it was punishing.René was additionally prohibited from returning to his Homeland to be with his family and his people for three years. He will have to remain in the territory of the country that had imposed such unfair punishment on him. For everyone, and especially for those of us who have lived through critical years in the history of our Homeland, René’s words profoundly sized it up.“The fact that I am now out of prison – he stated – only means that one avenue of abuse to which I was subjected has been closed, […] we still have four brothers whom we have to rescue and whom we need with us with their families, to be among you giving the best of themselves…”“For me, this is only a trench, a new place in which I am going to continue fighting for justice so that the Five of us can return together to you.” “…to all the people who have accompanied us over the years, who have been thousands, and through whom we have been able, little by little, to break through this information blockade, to break through the wall of silence that the corporate media have built around the case, I extend to you, on behalf of the Five, my most profound gratitude, my commitment to continue representing you as you deserve, which is definitely what we Five are doing, because we are not only Five, we are a whole people who have resisted for 50 years, and it is thanks to that that we are still resisting, […] and will never fail you and will always rise to the heights that you deserve.René’s sincere, steadfast and energetic words, the unmistakable tone of voice of a fighter who has withstood 13 infinite years of brutal and unfair punishment without faltering for one second, are really impressive. Imperial tyranny will not be able to sustain its gross lies about the injustice committed against the Five Cuban Anti-terrorist Heroes. It doesn’t matter how treacherously the information media in its control does its best to present them as agents and spies that placed United States security at risk. The President of the National Assembly and the prestigious lawyer José Pertierra have been in charge of pulverizing the gross Yankee lies about the heroic Cuban anti-terrorists.The memory of the victorious battle our people waged for the return of the boy Elián González to his family and homeland crossed my mind. In the face of the monstrous behaviour of the Cuban counter-revolutionary mafia of Miami and its contempt of the country’s authorities, the very president of the United States at that time, Bill Clinton, was forced to send security forces in order to impose American law and order on the fascist groups who were being contemptuous and setting symbols and flags of that country on fire, headed by the “ferocious she-wolf” Ileana Ros, among others, who today is nothing less than the Chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee of the US House of Representatives and dictates rules on that country’s foreign policy. René González’ message to the people of Cuba, at his own initiative and bravely taking on any risk, reinforces our profound conviction that the position of the US government in terms of the Five Cuban heroes is by now unsustainable, just as its justification of the criminal economic blockade against our homeland and the punitive measures it applies on foreign enterprises that do business with our country. Such a policy, brutal and unusual, has been transformed by the powerful empire into an international norm, despite the practically unanimous opinion of all the members of the United Nations, with the exception of the US and Israel.Facts irrefutably show that in the globalized world of today, under the aegis of the Yankee empire, no security guarantee exists for any other country. In the UN one can repeat time and time again the unanimous rejection of the economic blockade on Cuba, or any other measure such as the right of the Palestinian people to their constitution as a state, but unless such a right, or any other, fits in with the empire’s interests, it has no validity whatsoever. Without it being a deliberate purpose of the Revolution, our country has become an example of what a small state can achieve if it steadfastly sustains a policy of principles even when scientific and technological advances, its patents and the distribution of the planet’s wealth is in the hands of the most developed and richest nations, that in times past were the colonial powers, disseminators of looting and poverty in our countries. In its long struggle against the empire, our country’s combatants have been at the point of being the target for nuclear weapons at the service of that power: the first time in October of 1962; and the second time in mid-1988. On neither of these two occasions did our Homeland succumb to Yankee blackmail: in 1962, it permitted no inspection of any sort on its territory, and in 1988, after the battle of Cuito Cuanavale and the advance of 50,000 Cuban and Angolan soldiers over the South African forces equipped by the West and provided with nuclear missiles, they decided to negotiate the independence of Namibia and the end of Apartheid.The peoples of the Third World recognize and are thankful for the unselfish solidarity of Cuba in areas that are so important such as health and education. Who can believe the strange lie about Cuba supporting terrorism?Such a dull and stupid fib on the part of the powerful country which, only 90 miles away from its shores, not only applied against it a criminal blockade but also perpetrated the most grotesque acts of terrorism. The fires set in educational, recreational and business centres; the live phosphorus in the sugar cane plantations; the use of explosives in factories; the pirate attacks against port facilities and fishing and cargo vessels; the organizing of counter-revolutionary gangs; infiltrations by agents and providing weapons to mercenary gangs began in 1959, after the First Agrarian Reform Law, leaving a trail of death and destruction in our Homeland. The bombing of our air force bases and the landing of mercenary troops at the Bay of Pigs, escorted by American aircraft carriers and warships cost innumerable victims when our revolutionary process was barely starting. Can the United States deny these facts? Assassination plans on the leaders of the Revolution organized by US intelligence services were innumerable; in fact their gross actions didn’t limit themselves to that. Viruses and bacteria were introduced into our country to sabotage the production of plants and animals; even worse, diseases that didn’t even exist in this hemisphere were introduced into Cuba against the population. Haemorrhagic dengue affected hundreds of thousands of persons and around 150 of them, mainly children, died. That disease still creates havoc in this hemisphere. The tale of what the United States has committed against our people would be endless. To be continued tomorrow.Fidel Castro RuzOctober 16, 2011, 9:05 p.m. Sharing is caring! Share Tweetcenter_img Share Share 18 Views   no discussionslast_img read more

Batesville Business Celebrating Three Decades Friday


first_imgBatesville Liquor Store owners Jerry and Jo Lake on Friday.A local business is celebrating its 30th anniversary on Friday.Jerry and Joann Lake, of Batesville, purchased the Batesville Liquor Store on October 17, 1983.For three decades, countless residents have walked into their East Pearl Street business; whether it was purchasing alcohol for the first time, on a twenty-first birthday, newlyweds celebrating their wedding day, buying a lottery ticket or just needing someone to talk to. There is no denying the Lake’s have seen it all, but it hasn’t always been easy.“The first nine years were tough. I had a big bill to pay and I worked a lot of hours,” Jerry Lake said, “I toughed it out and she toughed it out with me!”Reflecting on the past thirty years, he has several memories that stand out, including the time when a customer won $667,000 from a Powerball ticket in 2006. Lake was appreciative of the loyal employees who have stood behind the counter over the years.“It’s been good though, cannot complain a bit.”What’s the key to maintaining a successful small business for thirty years?Jerry’s wife, Jo said, “The main thing is being nice and friendly. We try to speak with every person that comes through that door. We try to thank them for their business every time they leave.”Jerry and Jo want customers to know they are truly grateful for the support. On Friday, Come to the business, win prizes and get something to eat all free of charge.“It is appreciation to our customers for what they have done for us for the past thirty years,” Jo Lake explained.last_img read more