We Don’t Know How We Know that Genes Make Minds

first_img“If the mind can be explained from the workings of the brain, and the brain develops by direction from our genes,” Anthony Monaco (Oxford) writes, “then presumably the mind can be explained from our genetic make-up.  But how can only 30,000 genes make a brain with billions of neurons and encode the particular aspects of cognition that make us human?”    This question opens his book review of The Birth of the Mind: How a Tiny Number of Genes Creates the Complexities of Human Thought by Gary Marcus (Basic Books, 2004) in the Feb. 19 issue of Nature.1  Monaco describes the book’s proposed answers to two paradoxes: (1) how a small number of genes codes for millions of neurons, and (2) how the brain can code for flexibility: “How does the brain of a newborn, with its complex structures and connections, have the plasticity to enable it to respond to environmental influences as it develops further?”    He seems to agree with the view of author Gary Marcus, a cognitive psychologist, that “the brain is built by genes in a self-organized way before being reorganized and shaped by experience and the environment.  It is not a battle where one side wins, but a vital interaction.”  But how do we get from genes to mind, to cognition, thought and reason?Having clarified these two paradoxes using our current knowledge of genetics and neuroscience, can we explain how genes make minds?  The story is only beginning.  This book shows that genes build brains and that brains are designed to be flexible and to learn, but the jump from genes to the mind is an indirect one.  The question cannot yet be answered, and it is not entirely clear where the answer will come from.Cognitive psychologists and neurologists have some clues, aided by real-time imaging techniques, but Monaco warns that “The path ahead to integrate these disciplines to gain a fuller understanding is optimistically vague….”  He warns readers about the “sheer complexity of the science”.1Anthony P. Monaco, “A recipe for the mind,” Nature 427, 681 (19 February 2004); doi:10.1038/427681b.A naturalistic explanation for the mind, soul and spirit does not seem to be forthcoming, does it?  (By “explanation” we do not mean a just-so story; those are always in plentiful supply.)(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Assessing fields after a roller coaster 2015

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Matt StroudThe growing season of 2015 has turned out to be a roller coaster ride of moisture stress (both too much and too little), disease pressure, and curiosity in the mind of the grower as to what’s really out there in terms of yield.We started 2015 with an abundance of rainfall across the state from north to south, causing late planting dates in some areas and prevented planting claims in others. Depending on which field you are standing in, yield potential seems to range from very good to very poor. Near record yields appear to be anticipated in parts of the southern Ohio area, as well as pockets of central Ohio, whereas dismal yields from drowned areas and flooding appear as you look north.As corn plants neared reproductive stages, northern corn leaf blight and gray leaf spot could be found in most of the state. Growers that applied fungicides to help prevent infection are now happy that they had done so. NCLB infection has continued to increase in severity throughout the growing season. A cooler than usual August allowed for high spore reproduction, and the disease continues to infect leaf tissue.A majority of soybeans experienced flooding or soil water saturation prior to when reproductive stages began around the summer solstice (sometime around June 21). This has caused virtually all the ugly soybean diseases to show their face throughout the growing season. Diseases ranging from Phytophthora root rot to brown stem rot to sudden death syndrome have been observed this season, and, depending where you are in the state, some of them at a high level of severity.With all this, growers are asking themselves, “What kind of yield potential is out there?” The simple answer is that it depends on the county and the field. This year I think we will see the top range, the bottom range, and everything in between.For corn, using the yield estimator at pioneer.com should give you a good approximation. For soybeans, I find it much harder to calculate yield because seed size is so variable. Also, the plant’s diverse ability to compensate for missing plants often leaves you looking for what an “average” plant looks like. In general, for soybeans I think yield will be sporadic this year. Earlier varieties benefited from rains in July and early August, whereas later maturities may have been hurt from a dry second half of August.As we near and begin harvest we look for more disease to show up. In soybeans look for sudden death syndrome to appear more, especially with the wet spring we experienced. This disease infects early in plant life and shows symptomology later in the reproductive stages. In corn, ear molds and stalk integrity will be on the forefront of our minds. Ear molds such as diplodia, Gibberella, Trichoderma and more may be seen as we near harvest.Stalk integrity is in question on weaker stalked hybrids. June rains pushed a high amount of available nitrogen out of the root zone, causing N deficiency in many fields across the state. Any field that experienced N loss should be monitored for stalk integrity as harvest begins and progresses. The plant will mobilize N from the stalk to make the final push to fill the kernels. As this happens, plants that experienced N deficiency will experience weakened stalks. Scout your fields as harvest begins to monitor for ones that may need to be harvested before others. Also, contact your seed salesman and inquire as to which hybrids you have that may be at higher risk than others.As we go into 2016, crop management will continue to be crucial. In future growing seasons, make sure you are managing your nitrogen and managing disease to maximize yields. For soybeans, continue to manage disease with fungicides as well as adding new seed treatments to aid with SDS and SCN. When asked, growers and researchers alike generally state that environment and genetics are the top two contributors to yield.last_img read more

Sheep industry scholarship opportunities

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Dr. Jack Judy Memorial Scholarship FundOhio Sheep Improvement Association (OSIA) and the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation in coordination with the Dr. Jack Judy Family has created the Dr. Jack Judy Memorial Scholarship Fund to support future sheep farmers through a memorial scholarship program. The Dr. Jack Judy Memorial Scholarship Fund is offering a minimum of one $1,500 scholarship to a deserving young person who is at least a second year undergraduate student pursuing an agricultural degree.“We want to thank Dr. Jack Judy’s family for making a major contribution to this scholarship fund, it is a tremendous tribute to the family’s interest in the sheep industry and the family is very hopeful that this scholarship program will make a contribution to the sheep industry in Ohio” said Roger A. High, OSIA Executive Director.To assist the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association in “growing” this Dr. Jack Judy Memorial Scholarship program, please send memorial contributions in the name of Dr. Jack Judy to Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, 280 N. High St., P.O. Box 182383, Columbus, OH 43218. The family of Dr. Judy, who passed away in April 2015, has established a memorial scholarship in his name to be administered through The Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation.According to his niece Jennifer Walker, the family has agreed to award the annual scholarship to a second-year college student who is either a member, or have parents who are members, of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association.“The student doesn’t have to attend an Ohio school,” Walker said. “But he or she must be a resident of Ohio and be a member, or have parents who are members, of the association.”Interested and qualified students can apply online at ofbf.org/foundation through June 30. Walker said finalists will be interviewed by a selection committee comprised of Walker and members of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association during the Ohio State Fair. This year interviews will take place July 30 and the winner will be announced July 31.“Preference is given to (agriculture) majors but it is not a necessity,” Walker said.Judy was a member of the Ohio State University Department of Animal Science until his retirement in 1984. For 33 years he specialized in the study and teaching of sheep production and management. He had the title of Professor Emeritus when he left OSU. He was inducted into the Ohio State Fair Hall of Fame in 1985.Always passionate about his students and their course of study, Judy was a faithful supporter of the Ralph Grimshaw scholarship, awarded through the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association. Grimshaw, who was chairman of the sheep department at the State Fair, and Judy were close friends, according to Mark Judy, Jack’s brother. Ralph H. Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship ProgramOSIA is again sponsoring the Ralph H. Grimshaw Memorial Scholarship to support future sheep farmers through its scholarship program. OSIA is offering a minimum of one $1,000 scholarship to deserving students that have graduated from high school and college students pursuing college degrees. Preference will be given to students pursuing a degree in agriculture.“The Ohio sheep industry depends on young people who are considering and pursuing a career that will be beneficial to the Ohio and United States sheep industry,” said Roger A. High, OSIA Executive Director.Applicants or their parents must be members of the Ohio Sheep Improvement Association and a 2016 graduating high school senior enrolled in, or a student currently attending a college or technical school. Completed applications and essays must be postmarked by June 30, 2016.Visit www.ohiosheep.org after May 15, 2016 for more information and to download an application.last_img read more

Hunters harvest more than 14,000 deer during Ohio’s muzzleloader season

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Hunters checked 14,182 white-tailed deer during Ohio’s muzzleloader season, Jan. 5-8, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). During last year’s muzzleloader season, 13,268 white-tailed deer were checked.Hunters still have opportunities to pursue deer this winter, as archery season remains open through Sunday, Feb. 3.The ODNR Division of Wildlife remains committed to properly managing Ohio’s deer populations. The goal of Ohio’s Deer Management Program is to provide a deer population that maximizes recreational opportunities, while minimizing conflicts with landowners and motorists.Hunting PopularityOhio ranks fifth nationally in resident hunters and 11th in the number of jobs associated with hunting-related industries. Hunting has a more than $853 million economic impact in Ohio through the sale of equipment, fuel, food, lodging and more, according to the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Hunting in America: An Economic Force for Conservation publication.Find more information about deer hunting in the Ohio 2018-2019 Hunting and Trapping Regulations or at wildohio.gov.An updated deer harvest report is posted online each Wednesday at wildohio.gov/deerharvest.last_img read more

Preparing for an Emergency, including Natural Disasters Part 1

first_imgNational Preparedness Month, observed each September, encourages Americans to take steps to prepare for and respond to emergencies, including natural disasters. Emergencies can happen in your home, school, business, and community at any given moment.After the terror attacks on September 11th, the federal government renewed interest in disaster preparedness, mandating all state and local governments to create a disaster response plan. To help execute this plan, Cooperative Extension has positioned their system to assist with community disaster preparedness and response efforts by offering several disaster-related educational programs that are available through Extension Disaster Education Network (EDEN).These resources can be found on their website,  https://eden.lsu.edu, and also on their YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/EDENvideoslast_img read more

Muzaffarpur rape case : former Bihar minister Manju Verma’s husband surrenders in court

first_imgChandrashekhar Verma, husband of former State Social Welfare Minister Manju Verma on Monday surrendered in a local court in Begusarai.Manju Verma had to resign from the Cabinet of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar after her husband’s name had cropped up in Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case of 34 minor girls.The wife of one of the accused persons in the case had alleged that Chandrashekhar Verma visited the shelter home regularly.Chandrashekhar Verma was also accused of having links with the main accused in the case, Brajesh Thakur. He was said to have spoken with Brajesh Thakur several times between January and June this year.As many as 17 people, including the main accused Brajesh Thakur have been arrested in the Muzaffarpur shelter home rape case of minor girls and sent to jail.Thakur was recently shifted to Bhagalpur jail from Muzaffarpur jail as the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI)  had informed the Supreme Court, due to his influential status.Later, a CBI inquiry was ordered in the case which is being monitored by the Supreme Court.A Special Investigation Team of police had earlier conducted raid at residence of Chandrashekhar Verma in Begusarai district of Bihar where about 50 cartridges were recovered.Recently, Supreme Court had asked the CBI and Bihar police to explain the delay in tracing the whereabouts of Chandrashekhar Verma.The court had also asked Bihar police to probe the alleged recovery of a large quantity of ammunition from the residence of former minister and her husband.Chandrashekhar Verma surrendered at Majhaul civil court in Begusarai district.last_img read more