White Blood Cells Walk to Infection on Tiny Legs

first_img51; How do white blood cells know where to go when infection strikes?  The cells have tiny little feet and crawl like millipedes, against the blood stream, if necessary, following signals from the infection site.  When they arrive, more signals tell them where to slip through the cells of the blood vessel to get to the job.  This amazing story was reported by Science Daily based on a press release from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel (see Wiezmann Wonder Wander).  Here’s how they described this phenomenon:How do white blood cells – immune system ‘soldiers’ – get to the site of infection or injury?  To do so, they must crawl swiftly along the lining of the blood vessel – gripping it tightly to avoid being swept away in the blood flow – all the while searching for temporary ‘road signs’ made of special adhesion molecules that let them know where to cross the blood vessel barrier so they can get to the damaged tissue.    In research recently published in the journal Immunity, Prof. Ronen Alon and his research student Ziv Shulman of the Weizmann Institute’s Immunology Department show how white blood cells advance along the length of the endothelial cells lining the blood vessels.  Current opinion maintains that immune cells advance like inchworms, but Alon’s new findings show that the rapid movement of the white blood cells is more like that of millipedes.  Rather than sticking front and back, folding and extending to push itself forward, the cell creates numerous tiny ‘legs’ no more than a micron in length – adhesion points, rich in adhesion molecules (named LFA-1) that bind to partner adhesion molecules present on the surface of the blood vessels.  Tens of these legs attach and detach in sequence within seconds – allowing them to move rapidly while keeping a good grip on the vessels’ sides.The press release went on to say that these legs don’t just walk.  They act as probes as they press into the epithelial tissue lining the vessels.  The force of blood actually forces them to embed their little legs into the tissue as a way to sense the location of the damaged tissue and make their way to it.  “The scientists believe that the tiny legs are trifunctional:,” the article said: “Used for gripping, moving and sensing distress signals from the damaged tissue.”A reader found an animation of this at Harvard BioVisions.  Click on the media file labeled “Extravasation” and it will show you some of the parts and processes involved.    It’s uncanny how the actions of these cells lacking a brain, muscles or central nervous system can act so precisely and effectively, they can be compared to multicellular organisms with all those systems.  You can almost visualize these cells like ambulance crew members or soldiers in specially designed vehicles able to cling to attachment points against the flow of traffic.  They seem so well trained and effective, it looks like they do what they do on purpose.  What a concept.(Visited 42 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

In London, voting for South Africa

first_img16 April 2009 Twenty-five years ago, the crowds that gathered in Trafalgar Square to protest and demonstrate against apartheid South Africa played a major role in galvanising international opinion against apartheid and hastening its downfall. Yesterday, South Africans gathered in their thousands in orderly queues to have their say in the future of the democratic South Africa in the same place that the demonstrators once stood. With 7&nbps;427 South African voters marking their crosses in 12 hours, the South African High Commision in London was not only the country’s largest voting station abroad, but was also nearly twice the size of the largest one in South Africa – Joubert Park in Johannesburg with between 3 000 to 4 000 voters, according to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC). I have never seen such a large group of South Africans behaving in such a subdued manner. Perhaps it had something to do with being in the historic Trafalgar Square on an overcast – and sometimes wet – London spring day. Perhaps it had something to do with the the tiny figure of Lord Nelson on his towering column peering out over Parliament Square, where an animated statue of our own Nelson Mandela is flanked by the likes of Winston Churchill, Margaret Thatcher and General Jan Smuts, the only other South African in the Square. Perhaps, it had to do with the fact that it was very early in the morning. But I suspect it had more to do with the reverence of voting – the universal way for ordinary citizens to have a say in their country and the future. They queued ten-deep across Trafalgar Square and the length of the facade of the iconic South Africa House. It was a day on which South Africans filed onto South African soil in unprecedented numbers thanks to a decision by the Constitutional Court – the cornerstone of South Africa’s democracy – which required government to extend voting facilities to all South Africans abroad who are on the voters roll. They waited quietly, patiently, reading the latest copy of The South African, chatting quietly about why they were in the UK, why they were voting, exchanging their memories, hopes and fears for their beloved country. It also took me back to 1994 when I had felt so priveleged to be part of the first election in which all South Africans were able to vote – most for the first time. The long queues snaked sometimes for kilometres and many South Africans got to know each other for the first time as they waited for hours to make their crosses. Back then it was both a deeply moving , humbling and empowering experience. And so it was again yesterday. This time, the voters were mainly young, mainly white and all were united by the decision to have a say in their country and in choosing the next government. It also took me back to the mid-1980s, when I served as a correspondent for the South African morning group of newspapers – including the Rand Daily Mail and the Cape Times – when I covered almost constant demonstrations and protests by South African exiles and large numbers of committed members of the British public who played such a crucial role in ending apartheid. Seldom in the history of freedom struggles has there been such a display of international solidarity by a nation as was the case with the British public’s involvement in the Anti-Apartheid Movement. Today photographic records of those protests are displayed on the walls of South African House and many famous faces are still recognisable – Thabo Mbeki, the late Harold Wilson, the late Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, Abdul Minty, Peter Hain, the alte Mike Terry and many more. As I stood waiting and chatting to fellow South Africans, I was humbled that we would not be standing there voting in a democratic election in South Africa had it not been for the suffering and sacrifice of thousands of South Africans in resisting apartheid for all those years . Many gave their lives, many sacrificed family members and friends. I was overcome by a deep humility tinged with pride. John Battersby is UK Country Manager of the International Marketing Council of South Africa and former editor of the Sunday Independent.last_img read more

Gallery: The untamed Northern Cape

first_imgIt’s the largest and hottest province in South Africa, taking up a full third of the country’s land area. But the Northern Cape is also wild and empty, mostly desert and semi-desert. Under 2% of South Africa’s people live there.The 60-metre Augrabies Falls on the Orange River. The original Khoikhoi inhabitants named the falls “Ankoerebis”, or “place of big noises”. Later Afrikaner settlers then derived the name “Augrabies”. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Mary AlexanderIt’s September. It’s spring in South Africa – and Tourism Month, celebrated this year with the theme “Tourism for All”.To inspire your next road trip we bring you nine galleries, one for each province, showcasing our country’s remarkable beauty and diversity.A thriving tourism industry means South Africa is closer to achieving its National Development Plan goals of skills development and creating decent employment through inclusive economic growth.The vast wilderness of the Nortern Cape holds weird lunar landscapes, exotic plants and animals, the Richtersveld World Heritage site and the Big Hole diamond mine, possibly the largest hand-dug excavation in the world.In early spring the barren Namaqualand sees a sudden, brief and brilliant bloom of flowers carpeting the landscape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Sister Januar outside the Catholic Cathedral in the Northern Cape town of Pella. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Arri Raats, a member of the Khomani San Bushmen, at Boesmansrus camp in the Kalahari. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Canoeing on the Orange River at sunset in Vioolsdrift, in the Richtersveld region of the Northern Cape. The Orange is the longest river in South Africa, rising in the Drakensberg mountains in Lesotho and flowing westwards to empty in the Atlantic Ocean. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Brilliantly coloured Augrabies flat lizards are endemic to the Northern Cape, and common on the granite walls of Augrabies Falls National Park. In summer they delight tourists with their acrobatic leaps to catch black flies swarming near the falls. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)A seal colony on the rocky shores of the Namaqua National Park. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Crafts for sale at a tourist market in Pofadder, Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Donkey cart drivers in Andriesvale in the Kalahari. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Arnie Braam in Klein Pella, Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Desert dunes in Witsand – “white sands” – Nature Reserve near Postmasburg in the Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)A farm in Vioolsdrift. Irrigation from the great Orange River and from groundwater allows farmers to produce crops in the desert. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Quiver trees – kokerboom in Afrikaans – in the Kalahari. San Bushman hunter-gatherers used the trees to make quivers for their arrows. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)The Sutherland Observatory on a starry night. There is little light pollution in the remote Northern Cape, making the province ideal for major international astronomy initiatives such as the Southern African Large Telescope (SALT) and the Square Kilometre Array, or SKA. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Meerkats in the desert of the Kalahari Red Dune Route in the Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)An old shipwreck rusts into the shore of the Namaqua National Park on the West Coast. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Inside the McGregor Museum, an important cultural and natural history research institute, in Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Palm trees against the late afternoon sun in Klein Pella, on the banks of the Orange River. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)The mountainous desert landscape of the Richtersveld. The region is the only arid biodiversity hotspot on earth, with an amazing variety of plant, bird and animal life. The Richtersveld Cultural and Botanical Landscape is a Unesco World Heritage site. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)The Big Hole in Kimberley, the capital of the Northern Cape, is thought to be the largest hand-dug excavation in the world. Once an open-pit diamond mine, some three metric tons of diamonds were extracted from the hole – displacing 22-million tons of earth – between 1872 and 1914. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)A massive communal sociable weaver bird’s nest envelops an acacia tree in the Kgalakgadi Transfrontier Park in the north of the Northern Cape. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)Steenbok amid indigenous desert vegetation in the Namaqua National Park. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)The local maritime museum in the West Coast town of Port Nolloth. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)A dog sits with its driver as they make their way through Vioolsdrift in the Richtersveld. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY 2.0, via Flickr)last_img read more

Press release: South Africa drops three places in nation brand index

first_imgBrand South Africa released South Africa’s performance in the 2017 Anholt-GfK Nation Brands Index (NBI), which sees South Africa’s ranking dropping by three points from 35th to 38th out of 50 nations overall.South Africa’s ranking in the 2017 Anholt Nation Brand Index has dropped three places.Johannesburg, Tuesday 05 December 2017 – The NBI measures six pillars: Exports, Governance, Immigration & Investment – which are considered a country’s hard performance measures; as well as Culture, People and Tourism – which are considered a country’s soft powers.While the country’s ranking slides back three positions, it is important to note that in terms of its statistical score, we see an improvement of 0.73 in comparison to last year’s results. Furthermore, the statistical scores in each of the six pillars also improves, with the strongest upward movement in People, Immigration & Investment, and Governance pillars.Brand South Africa’s General Manager for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock presented the details of the findings at a recent South African Competitiveness Forum hosted by Brand South Africa – which was a consultative platform with South African Multinationals,State Owned Entities, and Exporters to discuss how to position the Nation Brand.Commenting on the NBI results, Brand South Africa’s CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela said: “From the 2017 NBI it becomes apparent that there are no short-cuts to the development of a reputable global reputation. There are two dimensions to this, firstly, by spending on pure marketing which will enhance a country’s reputation, and secondly, a country’s contribution to the global arena, and how this is received/perceived by audiences, is a determining factor in shaping a Nation’s brand reputation.”The NBI study results also indicate that South Africans have a strong positive self-perception, placing their home country 19th overall, 6th for Culture, 7th for Tourism, and 4th for People.“While the self-perception of the Nation Brand is relatively healthy (with the exception of governance) it is interesting to observe which nations rank South Africa better and/or worse the previous year. In this regard nations such as Japan, South Korea, and Turkey,and to a lesser degree, Egypt has a relatively negative perception of South Africa.“South Africa is notably strong in India, Germany, France, and the UK. Although the following countries have varied perceptions of South Africa across the pillars, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Italy, and Sweden show a generally positive disposition towards the country.However, governance, and perceptions of investment & immigration environments, are areas which call for much improvement,” added Dr Makhubela.Brand South Africa tracks a wide variety of indices, reputation indicator studies, and commissioned research to monitor the nation brand’s competitiveness and reputation standings. The Nation Brand Index (NBI) is an important instrument through which Brand South Africa can track perceptions of South Africa, on the six pillars of the Nation Brand Hexagon.last_img read more

Embrace opportunity, Nzimande tells Class of 2014

first_img13 January 2015There are nearly half-a-million opportunities available to the matric class of 2014, Blade Nzimande, the minister of higher education and training said at a media briefing in Cape Town on Monday.Outlining his department’s plans for the year ahead, Nzimande said post-school study spaces available at South Africa’s universities and other training institutions had increased by 28 646 from 2014’s 396 449 spots.“Many of those who have met the entrance requirements for university study will be pursuing degrees, diplomas and higher certificates at one of 26 public universities,” Nzimande said.This included Sol Plaatje University and University of Mpumalanga, both of which are new universities, and the Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU), which was promulgated as a juristic person in May 2014 and would be opening its doors to its first student cohort in January 2015.Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced the 2014 matric results last week. South Africa’s overall pass rate dropped to 75.8%, down 2.4% from 2013’s figure of 78.2%.University study was not the only option open to prospective students, Nzimande said: Students could also access opportunities in 50 Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs).Nzimande said available opportunities included:Some 204 522 new entrant opportunities at universities;44 000 Engineering and Business Studies opportunities at TVET colleges;37 000 National Certificate Vocational programme opportunities at TVET colleges;About 85 900 occupationally directed (apprenticeship or learnership) opportunities in collaboration with TVET colleges, SETAs and employers;Artisan opportunities totalling to 16 250; andAn additional 37 423 learning programme opportunities in the form of 3 380 apprenticeships, 4 513 bursaries and 29 530 learnerships will be further provided by SETAs.Nzimande said there were 150 752 opportunities for learners qualifying for admission to bachelor studies at higher education institutions and 166 689 opportunities for learners qualifying for admission to diploma studies at higher education institutions.There are further 86 022 opportunities for learners qualifying for admission to higher certificate studies.“The national average annual increase in first-time entering students at higher education institutions from 2011 to 2015 is 4.5%, with first-time entering students making up approximately 25% of the total university student population.“In 2015, our public universities will provide access to approximately 204 522 new entrants wishing to pursue their studies across all general, technical and professional fields including business and management; science, engineering, agriculture and technology; humanities, social sciences, the arts and education,” he said.Qualified artisansThe minister said matriculants who had obtained a minimum of a higher certificate achievement could consider studying further at a TVET college for a national diploma, with 44 000 study opportunities available for both business and engineering studies.The National Development Plan, South Africa’s blueprint for economic growth, relies on South Africa producing 30 000 qualified artisans per year.“Thirty-seven thousand study opportunities are also available for individuals wishing to pursue a vocational programme, which leads to a National Certificate Vocational qualification.“In South Africa there is a growing trend of matriculants utilising learnership or apprenticeship opportunities to become artisans in the civil, mechanical, electrical, manufacturing or support services career fields,” he said.Nzimande also said that the post-school education and training sector had, through the SETAs and the National Skills Fund, committed more than R1.7-billion in the 2015/16 financial year to opportunities in these artisan fields that would result in grants for more than 16 250 artisan learners.SAinfo reporter and SANews.govlast_img read more

Bret Davis elected to American Soybean Governing Committee

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Ohio Soybean Association board member, Bret Davis of Delaware County, was elected to serve on the Governing Committee of the American Soybean Association. Bret joins farmers from around the country who will work to represent the legislative and policy interests of U.S. soybean farmers.“We congratulate Bret on being elected to the Governing Committee,” said Adam Graham, OSA president and Logan County farmer. “He has been a great leader here in Ohio and I know he will work hard to represent U.S. soybean farmers well.”Bret Davis farms on Davis Farms near Delaware where he grows over 3,000 acres of soybeans and corn. He serves on both the OSA and Ohio Soybean Council Board of Trustees and is in his second term with ASA. Bret has served as OSA President, Chairman, Vice President and Treasurer. He holds a designation as a Certified Crop Advisor and is a past president of both the FSA Board and the Delaware County Farm Bureau. He was a member of the FFA and earned his American FFA Degree.last_img read more

With lasting legacy within reach, Santos and Beermen vow not to let it slip away

first_img“This is where we’ll be tested, this is where we’ll prove if we really are the best team,” said Santos after the Beermen get their shot at a historic five-peat in the Philippine Cup. “Even if we’re dead, if we win our fifth straight championship, we’ll still be talked about.”The Beermen wrapped up their series against top ranked Phoenix in five games, capping it off with a 105-94 win Wednesday night, moving them closer to another All-Filipino Cup trophy they could add to their illustrious collection.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsSan Miguel have amassed a total of 25 titles and eight were Philippine Cups–and of those eight, Santos and his core group of June Mar Fajardo, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Ross, and Alex Cabagnot own four.San Miguel already made history in 2018 when it won its fourth straight Philippine Cup but a fifth straight title will make the Beermen as the only franchise to achieve the feat. Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid Arwind Santos. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netMANILA, Philippines—Winning another championship isn’t going to cut it for Arwind Santos.With a fifth straight trip to the PBA Philippine Cup Finals, Santos and the San Miguel Beermen have a chance to solidify their legacy in the rich history of the league.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Rockets wait to see if they’ll get shot at Warriors Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles MOST READ Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Duterte wants probe of SEA Games mess SEA Games hosting troubles anger Dutertecenter_img Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Only San Miguel and Alaska have won four straight titles in any conference with the Aces ruling the Governors’ Cup 1994 to 1997.“Who would’ve won five straight? San Miguel, that’s the legacy,” said Santos who finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. “We don’t want this to slip away from us, every player wants to be in this situation and I wish we’re the first ones to do this.”Santos, though, knows that winning another title isn’t that easy.“This is the tough one, sometimes when you surpass a tough team you’ll feel overconfident, that shouldn’t be our mentality. We have to respect our opponents and prepare for them.”ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games PLAY LIST 02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krauss Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Philippine Arena Interchange inauguratedlast_img read more