It is thought to have been responsible for the deaths of emperors. In parts of California’s forests, it is everywhere.It is the deathcap mushroom, Amanita phalloides, so filled with toxins that a single cap can kill anyone who mistakenly eats it and does not get medical treatment. Because it looks like an edible mushroom, the deathcap is among those most involved in human poisoning, such as one that occurred in Newton, Mass., last fall. Through history, it has been a convenient tool for those interested in regime change, playing a key role in the Europe-spanning War of Austrian Succession in the 1700s, which started when Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI died after eating a plate of mushrooms, thought to be deathcaps.Though much is known about the deathcap’s toxicity — it kills by fostering liver failure — much less is understood about its general biology and its role in the environment. Anne Pringle, associate professor of organismic and evolutionary biology, is out to change that.Pringle has spent years in California’s forests, researching the deathcaps that in some parts of the state make up as much as 80 percent of the local biomass of mushrooms. Pringle proved first that the California population was not native, but rather an introduced population from Europe.She’s working now to understand the mushroom’s dispersal across the landscape and its symbiotic partnership with trees. Its widespread presence begs the questions of whether it displaced native symbiotic fungi and whether it spreads more easily as a mutualist (an organism in a relationship beneficial to both partners) than it would as a pathogen, which characterizes most known invasive fungi. She recently concluded that it reproduces more readily through the spread of its spores, which are released from the fleshy gills under its cap, than asexually through fragmentation of its thready subterranean fungal body.Like most mushroom-producing fungi, much of the deathcap’s body actually lies under the Earth’s surface, and its mushrooms are temporary, sent up from the underground filaments to release spores and then fade. Even with the mushroom gone, the fungus still operates underground, decomposing old plant matter and, in the case of the deathcap, partnering with tree roots, providing nitrogen in exchange for carbon compounds.Pringle’s work, conducted through a combination of old-fashioned fieldwork and cutting-edge genetic analysis, has shown that the deathcap spreads slowly. It moves through either the slow creep of its underground body or the floating spread of its spores, which do not drift far from their release point.Humans likely played a big role in the fungus’ spread. Because it lives in association with tree roots, researchers believe it was introduced here from Europe at least twice — once in California and once on the East Coast — by hitching rides on trees transplanted from Europe to America.On the East Coast, Pringle and researchers from her lab have identified dozens of populations: in Newton, near the New Jersey Pine Barrens, near Rochester, N.Y., and in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Pringle says the populations on the East Coast are isolated, not widespread as in California. Another wrinkle of the East Coast populations is that deathcaps are associated with pine trees, not the oaks that they partner with in California and Europe. Pringle and doctoral student Ben Wolfe said that may be because of a slightly different strain being introduced on the East Coast, or it may be because of ecological constraints put on the population on the East Coast by closely related native species, also from the genus Amanita.Though the deathcap may be the star of Pringle’s lab, her work includes other fungal species, as well as lichens, a symbiotic association of fungi and algae.Wolfe, who expects to graduate in December, is working with the U.S. Department of Energy to decode the genome of Amanita species related to the deathcap. He hopes to understand the genetic roots of fungal symbiosis with trees. A bonus of decoding the fungi’s genome, Wolfe said, would be that, in degrading plant material, the fungi produces an enzyme called cellulase, of potential interest in biofuel processing.In talking about her work, Pringle emphasizes the importance of fungal conservation. Fungi have not received the attention that plants and animals have, so less is known about them. With the planet undergoing an extinction crisis, we may be losing fungal species before we even know they’re here, Pringle said.
Share:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window) MGN Stock Image.WARREN – Police in Pennsylvania are looking for a suspect who robbed a local bar while wearing a Halloween costume.Warren-based Pennsylvania State Police were dispatched to the Tidioute Pub on September 16 for a reported burglary.Investigation believe that the unknown suspect stole money from the business while dressed in a Halloween outfit with a mask, dark pants and Addidas shoes.Anyone with information is asked to contact the State Police in Warren County at (814) 728-3600.
William F. Kirk, group vice president of DuPont BiosolutionsEnterprises, will be the featured speaker at the 2000 D.W.Brooks Lecture Oct. 2 in Athens, Ga. Kirk’s lecture, “The 21st Century, an Agribusiness Odyssey,”will precede the presentation of the annual D.W. Brooks Awards.The program will begin at 11 a.m. in the Mahler Auditorium ofthe University of Georgia Center for Continuing Education. The first Brooks Award was established in 1981 to recognizefaculty members who make outstanding contributions and maintainexcellence in the teaching program of the UGA College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences.In 1983, the awards were expanded to include research,extension and county extension programs. An award forinternational agriculture was added in 1988. Each awardincludes a framed certificate and a $5,000 cash award.The lecture is named for the late D.W. Brooks, founder of GoldKist, Inc. Brooks started Cotton States Mutual InsuranceCompanies in 1941. He advised seven U.S. presidents on farm andtrade issues. Among his many honors, he was the first inducteeinto the UGA Agricultural Hall of Fame. The annual D.W. Brooks Awards are given in memory of the late founder of Gold Kist and Cotton States Insurance. File Photo
University of Georgia horticulturist David Knauft will be among the organic agriculture experts presenting at the 2016 Georgia Organics Conference set for Feb. 26-27 in Columbus, Georgia.Knauft will present a workshop on edible landscapes on Saturday, the second day of the event. He will teach attendees how to improve the quality of their soil, select the best varieties, the pros and cons of direct seeding and transplanting, and how to manage diseases, insects and weeds.To be held in the Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center, this year’s Grits and Vigor – Georgia Organics conference will focus on the resilience of plants and soil under the care of sustainable farming practices in human communities. The two-day annual conference is one of the largest sustainable agriculture expos in the South. More than 1,000 farmers, gardeners, health advocates and organic food lovers are expected to attend the annual conference. The conference includes seven farm tours, eight in-depth workshops, 36 educational sessions, a trade expo and a keynote address.Friday, the first day of the conference, includes a choice of several farm tours in Georgia and Alabama as well as in-depth workshops. Saturday will feature additional workshops, divided into eight tracks of interest: farmer resources, in the field, taking care of business, livestock, farm-to-school tools, homegrown, recipes for resilience and community vigor. The expo, held both days, will include a host of exhibitors and seed swapping. Attendees are encouraged to bring seeds in envelopes to participate in the seed swap.Keynote speaker Joan Gussow, who pioneered the “eat local, think global” approach to sustainable food systems, will address conference attendees on Saturday evening. An environmentalist, professor, food policy expert and gardener, Gussow is the co-author or editor of five books, including This Organic Life: Confessions of a Suburban Homesteader.Former chair of the Columbia University Teachers College, Nutrition Education Program, she lives, writes and grows organic vegetables on the west bank of the Hudson River. Gussow will talk about resilience in the soil and the good food movement.The conference’s famous Farmers Feast, featuring local organically produced food, will follow Gussow’s talk on Saturday night. The Land Stewardship Award and the Barbara Petit Pollinator Award will also be presented Saturday night. The Land Stewardship Award is given to a farmer, agricultural professional or researcher who has demonstrated a commitment to the tenets of organic agriculture and the larger community through leadership, education and outreach. Last year’s winner was UGA Cooperative Extension specialist Julia Gaskin, who coordinates and develops sustainable agriculture programs and workshops on topics such as local foods, farm to school, small-farm food safety, grass-fed ruminants, direct marketing of livestock products, soil quality and conservation tillage systems. The pollinator award acknowledges exceptional success in advancing Georgia Organics’ mission throughout community life, such as the food industry, faith communities, public agencies, schools and institutions. The award is named in memory of Barbara Petit, who was president of Georgia Organics from 2003-2009. Petit passed away in October of 2015, and this year’s conference is dedicated to her memory. Conference workshops and sessions will also be presented by experts from Auburn University, Fort Valley State University, the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the Georgia-Alabama Land Trust, the Georgia Farmers Market Association, Georgia Organics, North Carolina State University, Oxford College of Emory University, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and numerous organic farmers, chefs and businesses. For more on the conference and how to register, go to www.conference.georgiaorganics.org.
EarthTalk®E – The Environmental MagazineDear EarthTalk: What exactly is the federal government’s Recreational Trails Program and is it true that it’s on the chopping block? — Randy Caldwell, Lyme, NHThe Recreational Trails Program (RTP) is a federal assistance program that helps states pay for the development and maintenance of recreational trails and trail-related facilities for both non-motorized and motorized recreational trail uses. The Congressionally mandated program was in jeopardy due to budget cuts, but its backers in Congress announced this past July that RTP would be retained to the tune of $85 million per year as part of the new surface transportation agreement law called MAP-21. Minnesota Democratic Senator Amy Klobuchar was instrumental in the retention of RTP by introducing it as an amendment to MAP-21 as a stand-alone program with its own dedicated funding.Overall, MAP-21 allocates $105 billion for fiscal years 2013 and 2014 to improve safety, reduce traffic congestion, maintain infrastructure and improve the overall efficiency of highway transportation. RTP is one of several provisions of MAP-21 that bolster transit, bike and pedestrian programs across the country.Funding for the RTP portion of MAP-21 comes from a portion of the motor fuel excise tax collected across the country from non-highway recreational fuel use in snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, off-highway motorcycles and off-highway light trucks, and comes out of the Federal Highway Trust Fund. Half of the RTP funds are distributed equally among all 50 states, and half are distributed in proportion to the estimated amount of non-highway recreational fuel use in each state. Individual states are responsible for administering their own RTP monies and soliciting and selecting qualifying projects.That said, the use of RTP funding is restricted to maintenance and restoration of existing trails, development and rehabilitation of trailside and trailhead facilities and trail linkages, purchase and lease of trail construction and maintenance equipment, construction of new trails, acquisition of easements or property for trails, and assessment of trail conditions for accessibility and maintenance. RTP funding may not go toward property condemnation (eminent domain), construction of new trails for motorized use on federally managed public lands or for facilitating motorized access on otherwise non-motorized trails.States must allocate 30 percent of their RTP funding for motorized trail use, 30 percent for non-motorized use, and the remaining 40 percent for so-called “diverse” (motorized and non-motorized) trail use. Projects may satisfy two categories at the same time, giving states some flexibility in how to allocate their share of the RTP pie. States can use up to five percent of their funds to disseminate related publications and operate educational programs to promote safety and environmental protection related to trails.Trail lovers across the country are thrilled that Congress extended RTP, which began in 2005 with a $60 million allocation and was increased each of the following years until it plateaued at $85 million in 2009. The continuation of the $85 million allocation was also good news to those who feared that if it wasn’t cut entirely it would be scaled back significantly. With new funding for the next two years, Americans can look forward to the creation of many new trails and continued maintenance of existing ones.CONTACTS: RTP info, www.fhwa.dot.gov/environment/recreational_trails/index.cfm; American Trails overview of RTP funding, www.americantrails.org/rtp.EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E – The Environmental Magazine ( www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: [email protected] Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe. Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial.
By Yolima Dussán/Diálogo December 18, 2020 On November 16, 2020, a 16-year criminal career came to an end for Emiliano Alcides Osorio, alias Caín, top leader of Los Caparros criminal group. Colombian authorities neutralized him after a confrontation in the town of La Unión, Tarazá municipality, Antioquia. The Colombian government was offering a $130,000 reward for information leading to his whereabouts.“Alias Caín was wanted for the crimes of narcotrafficking, aggravated conspiracy to commit a crime, homicide, trafficking, carrying and possession of firearms, forced displacement, and illegal extraction of minerals in lower Cauca, Antioquia,” Colombian Minister of Defense Carlos Holmes Trujillo told the press on November 17.Also known as Pilatos, Holmes noted, Caín was accused of murdering social leaders and extorting businesses and transportation companies in Antioquia department, in addition to forcefully displacing residents in the region.An intelligence officer who took part in the operation told the Colombian newspaper El Tiempo on November 17 that “[he] earned his alias, Caín, for murdering several first-degree family members.” With this capture, the officer said, one of the country’s most dangerous criminals is off the map. “He used torture and dismemberment as a method for criminal coercion,” El Tiempo reported.On November 17, Army General Juan Carlos Ramírez Trujillo, commander of the Colombian Army Seventh Division, told the media that operations against Los Caparros in 2020 have been significant. “We have captured 117 of its members, 20 bandits have been brought to justice, and 10 have died in military operations,” Gen. Ramírez said.
NZ Herald 15 April 2014The Ashcrofts were the first New Zealand couple to take advantage of commercial surrogacy laws in India, which is only one of a handful of countries that allow surrogates to be paid. As a result of the 2002 law, lower costs, increasing medical infrastructure and the availability of surrogates, the country has emerged as a hotspot for this type of fertility tourism. International surrogacy, also legal in the United States, Thailand, the Ukraine and at least one state in Mexico, is a growing trend for couples and singles, both gay and straight, seeking ways to overcome the hurdles biological, technological, financial, and legal of having children. The subject was the hot topic at the fifth Congress of the Asia Pacific Initiative on Reproduction (ASPIRE Conference) in Brisbane this month. Closer to home members of the Law Society heard presentations from fertility specialists on the issue last week. Fertility Associates group operations manager Dr John Peek says New Zealand had always aligned itself ethically with European standards but with the amount of reproductive technology exploding in Asia it could no longer be ignored. “There’s going to be a lot more reproductive tourism in this part of the world,” Dr Peek says.Using a surrogateSurrogacy is where a woman, who cannot carry a baby, uses another woman to bear the child. An embryo, created using IVF, is transferred to the surrogate. Commercial surrogacy, where women are paid to carry and deliver someone else’s baby, is only available in a handful of countries including the US, Thailand and India. Surrogacy is available in NZ but the time and cost to gain ethics committee approval, and the limited number of surrogates, mean some parents choose to pay an overseas surrogate. India has become a hot spot for this type of fertility tourism, thought to generate the country $400 million a year. About 3000 clinics offer surrogacy services and 2000 foreign babies are born annually in India to surrogates. Five couples from New Zealand have pursued surrogacy in India, four with success while the other is still at the IVF treatment stage. The costs, in the tens of thousands of dollars, vary considerably but India and Thailand are cheaper than the US. In 2011-2012, there were eight applications for surrogacy in New Zealand, seven of which were approved. Between 2005 and 2011, surrogacy applications approved by NZ’s ethics committee resulted in 33 births.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11238149The baby makers: Critics push for regulation of India’s booming surrogacy industryABC News 15 April 2014The calls come as increasing numbers of foreigners, including many Australians, pay thousands of dollars to Indian surrogacy centres to fulfil their need to have children.The industry has been criticised for operating in a regulatory vacuum, and while there are some rules for people who take the journey to India, it is still a minefield for many unsuspecting parents.Author and critic Kishwar Desai has strong reservations about the lack of legal oversight and what it means for the women who rent out their wombs.“We’re treating these women like animals, like you would do with cattle … so I think that is something we need to be very careful about,” she said.“It’s not the numbers of the women who die – and indeed we may not even know about them because a lot of the clinics are operating without any regulation, without any rules, without any scrutinies – we may not even hear about them. The women may be allowed to just go home and die there.”http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-15/babymakers-critics-push-for-regulation-india-surrogacy/5389678
Share 11 Views no discussions LocalNews Attempted murder charge withdrawn by: – May 9, 2012 Share Sharing is caring! Court gavel. Photo credit: lazytechguys.comA man of Gutter who was charged with the attempted murder of Mandella has had that charge withdrawn against him and will be tried for wounding with intent in July of this year.Albert Stevens Jr was charged for the attempted murder of Mandella Andrew on 26th December, 2008 at Bowers Lane. The trial commenced in the January 2012 Criminal Assizes however the judge was forced to discharge the jury based on “media reporting”.Andrew, after receiving a stab wound to his chest, attempted to drive himself to the hospital with the knife stuck in his chest but the vehicle ran off the road. He was later rushed to the hospital by Fire and Ambulance Services and treated at the Princess Margaret Hospital.Defence counsel Gina Dyer-Monroe objected to the media reporting on the matter on March 15th, 2012 a couple days into the trial, stating that certain information should not have been reported and this has thereby compromised the trial.Dyer-Monroe told the judge that she is not sure whether her client would receive a “fair trial” as a result of this.Justice Birnie Stephenson-Brooks who presided over the trial issued a stern warning to media houses that they ought to be “very responsible in what they report from the Court” before traversing the trial to the May Criminal Assizes.Stevens is on bail awaiting his trail which has been scheduled for July 16th, 2012.Meanwhile, Stebin Valentine who has been charged for manslaughter is reportedly nursing serious injuries at the Princess Margaret Hospital resulting from a vehicular accident. His trial has also been scheduled for July 16th, 2012.Dominica Vibes News Share Tweet
The Royals have endured a disappointing season back in the Barclays Premier League, with the form of their 23-year-old goalkeeper one of the few things to shout about. After a number of loan spells taking him from Yeovil to Leeds, McCarthy has impressed in the Reading first-team despite only making 11 top-flight appearances this term. He would have more had it none been for a shoulder injury from which he returned in such stunning fashion against Liverpool. McCarthy was outstanding again in Saturday’s 4-2 win at Fulham and has been linked with a summer move to both clubs – something that does not surprise Karacan. “He’s amazing – unbelievable,” he said of the goalkeeper. Press Association “It’s surprising for myself when you see the likes of Jack Butland getting called-up ahead of him. I think he showed again with three unbelievable saves. You can see the top clubs knocking on the door. But he is playing here and proved himself to be an unbelievable goalkeeper in the Premier League. “It would be a coup if we could keep him, but he loves it here, is playing here and that’s all he ever wanted to do. You never know. He will get a lot of games next year, but there will be clubs knocking on the door and definitely a future number one.” Asked how much he is worth, Karacan added: “Around 15 to £20million? You see how much young English players go for – there are some crazy sums out there. I don’t see why he shouldn’t be in that bracket. It would definitely take a lot of money to get him away from Reading – that’s how our club works.” McCarthy is not the only Reading player reportedly attracting interest, with Karacan himself regularly linked to Turkish giants Galatasaray. The English-born midfielder is part of the Turkey set-up and made no secret of his desire to ply his trade there at some point. “It happens every year and I keep getting bugged about it,” Karacan said. “I’m a Reading player, though. “I signed a deal last summer and everyone wants to play in the best league in the world and it’s gutting to not have that next year. Reading is a Premier League club and we know we should be there and we will try our hardest to get back up. “Anything can happen in the summer. I’m a Reading player and I will be as happy as ever if I’m still here.” Reading have a £20million future England goalkeeper in Alex McCarthy, according to team-mate Jem Karacan.
For Odemwingie, it was a first goal since his infamous January deadline day drive to London in a bid to force a move from West Brom to QPR. “I thought he was excellent,” said City manager Malky Mackay. “He always looked a danger and a threat but we have to get match minutes into him, he hasn’t played a lot of football over the last six months. “He’s trained well but match practice is few and far between so that’s something he needs to get him up to speed. “But he’s a terrific player and I’m delighted that we managed to sign him.” Ricardo Vaz Te could be asked to solve West Ham’s striker crisis – barely a month after handing in a transfer request. The Portuguese forward looked set to leave Upton Park on deadline day but a move failed to materialise, leaving him in limbo and boss Sam Allardyce with a player he would have been happy to get rid of. But Allardyce handed Vaz Te a rare start in the Capital One Cup against Cardiff on Monday night and he responded with an all-action display culminating in the winning goal as the Hammers triumphed 3-2. And with attackers Andy Carroll, Joe Cole and Stewart Downing still injured, new signing Mladen Petric short of match fitness and Modibo Maiga struggling for form, Vaz Te could get the nod at Hull on Saturday. Assistant manager Neil McDonald said: “He keeps on telling everyone that he creates chances and scores and that’s what the manager wants – people to put the ball in the back of the net. “That’s a knock on the door for the manager, he’s available on Saturday against Hull and gives the manager a nice little problem. “You have to forget what happened in the past, maybe it was bad advice, but he’s a genuine lad who just wants to play. “He wanted to go and play somewhere but he got a game here and scored the winner which is great.” The Hammers were 2-0 up after seven minutes through Ravel Morrison – who scored after just 20 seconds – and Matt Jarvis. But Cardiff staged an unlikely comeback thanks to a fine curler from Craig Noone just before half-time, and a first Cardiff strike for recent signing Peter Odemwingie. However, with two minutes left Vaz Te rose highest to nod in a cross from Jack Collison and send the hosts through. Press Association