Newport 15-16 Edinburgh: Gunners keep Champions Cup hopes alive

first_imgEdinburgh kept alive their hopes of Champions Cup qualification by beating Newport Gwent Dragons 16-15 in the PRO12 at Rodney Parade.The Scottish side headed to Newport needing to win to cut the gap to sixth-placed rivals Glasgow and they did just that thanks to a try by Hamish Watson and 11 points from the tee.The victory leaves seventh-placed Edinburgh four points behind the Warriors in the scramble for spots in next year’s elite European competition with just four fixtures remaining, while they could even sneak into the play-offs with a perfect finale.The Dragons, meanwhile, have won just four league games all season, are languishing in 10th and looking nervously over their shoulder at the Italian pair of Zebre and Treviso. Edinburgh had to settle for another penalty – this time through the left boot of scrum-half Sam Hidalgo-Clyne – and there was no doubting they were good value for the 6-0 lead.The Dragons then enjoyed their best spell of the half approaching the interval with Wales wing Hallam Amos bundled into touch just short and prop Phil Price and flanker Lewis Evans held up over the line.They had to settle for three points through Jones, only to immediately waste that effort straight from the restart when Hidalgo-Clyne made it 9-3 with the final kick of the half.After a tryless first 40 minutes both teams crossed the whitewash in the opening minutes of the second half.Amos burst through midfield for a score that Jones converted, only for Edinburgh to regain the initiative thanks to Watson and Hidalgo-Clyne after a driving line-out.Edinburgh’s lead was reduced to a point when Amos finished powerfully down the left for his second to make it 16-15.Hidalgo-Clyne was wide with an effort that would have given a bit of breathing space and it was tense as the game entered the final quarter of an hour.The scrum-half missed again with 10 minutes left but it did not cost his side as they held on for a precious victory. Dragons fly-half Dorian Jones missed an ambitious long-range penalty in the second minute and it was a cagey opening, with neither side able to create a clear opening against well-drilled defences.Edinburgh grew into the game and went close after 14 minutes when fly-half Phil Burleigh sniped clear at a ruck before flanker Watson went on the charge.The Dragons snuffed out that attack but soon were caught offside to allow Blair Kinghorn to make it 3-0 in the 18th minute.That advantage almost increased after 25 minutes when Watson opted to go for the line with men outside to his right, only to be dragged down just short by prop Brok Harris.last_img read more

SA, Germany to improve water

A diagram of the workings of the communal water house, which is being piloted in the small Karoo town of Jansenville, Eastern Cape. Dignitaries at the sod-turning ceremony held in July 2008 in Jansenville. The commemorative plaque unveiled by The Deputy Minister of Science and Technology, Derek Hanekom, and HisExcellency the German Ambassador to South Africa, Dieter Haller. The community will benefit from access to better quality water. (All images: Communal Water House.)Janine ErasmusIn a partnership to boost access to safe drinking water in Africa, South Africa and Germany have developed a unit that promotes water-use efficiency in rural communities.The communal water house (CWH) is being piloted in the small Karoo town of Jansenville in one of South Africa’s most impoverished provinces, the Eastern Cape. It was unveiled in July 2008 by the national Department of Science and Technology (DST).Speaking to an audience of jubilant residents at the sod-turning ceremony, Derek Hanekom, deputy minister of science and technology, said, “Today we celebrate the power of innovative thinking and partnership.“It is hoped that such initiatives will be rolled out to other municipalities in South Africa in the future. This project clearly demonstrates how, through science and technology, we can meet the needs of the poor.”The DST’s key partners in this project are the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, which has invested R21-million ($2.7-million), the South African Department of Water Affairs and Forestry, the Ikwezi Municipality and the University of Potsdam in Germany.Other partners include the University of Tshwane, the National Research Foundation in South Africa, the German Society for Solar Energy, and German Water and Energy GmbH.First for SAThe pilot project is the first such facility in South Africa and encompasses the use of advanced water treatment, water recycling and improved sanitation technologies, enabling residents to access potable water within a short walking distance. The CWH is designed to service between 200 and 800 people at a time.In the CWH, run-off from cooking and bathing, or grey water, is treated and re-used for laundry, sanitation and irrigation. Solar panels are provided to heat the water, boosting standards of hygiene and making the washing process more efficient. Other community benefits include a reduced need to transport large volumes of water over great distances and the creation of jobs for the construction and maintenance of CWHs.After being drawn from its source, which may be a rainwater tank, borehole or tap, the water is put through a water treatment station and undergoes filtration, biological cleaning methods and UV irradiation, before being diverted to the community water outlet.The DST plans to expand the technology to people in other municipalities. “We are confident that this cutting-edge technology will enable us to reach the last 12% of our people who currently have no access to safe drinking water,” said Hanekom.The water savings from this innovative project are estimated at 10 m3 or 3 500 m3 per year, which is the equivalent of free public services for 150 000 people. The CWH website claims that water is used two to three times more efficiently; therefore more people can be serviced by the same amount of water. Some 50% to 70% of the community’s water is recycled.In addition, energy demand is 100 000 kWh lower per year – as solar energy is used instead of fossil fuels. Access to electricity is not required, reducing the pressure on the environment.“Our partnering with the DST and its project team aims to benefit the poor and contribute jointly to better livelihoods in South Africa,” commented German ambassador to South Africa Dieter Haller, adding that he was proud of the results of the science and technology partnership.Germany and South Africa have collaborated extensively over the years in fields such as economy, biodiversity, defence, geoscience, environment, culture, development cooperation, and science and technology. The two countries have bilateral agreements in place in a number of areas and are currently involved in some 80 active projects with a total investment value of R951-million ($125-million).Access to clean water a global problemThe World Health Organisation states that as of 2002 only 58% of the entire global population had access to improved water, while access to proper sanitation stood at 36%. Many people have to travel long distances to get water from rivers and wells, while drinking from these unreliable sources increases the risk of contracting water-borne diseases such as cholera, hepatitis E, typhoid and dysentery.Part of the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals drive is to improve water supply across the world. The World Health Organisation reports that in order to meet the goal of halving the number of people without sustainable access to drinkable water and basic sanitation by 2015, an additional 260 000 and 370 000 people every day from now until 2015 must gain access to improved water and sanitation respectively.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Janine Erasmus at janinee@mediaclubsouthafrica.com. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots, you need JavaScript enabled to view Useful linksCommunal Water House project websiteDepartment of Science and TechnologyDepartment of Water Affairs and ForestryGerman Federal Ministry of Education and ResearchWorld Health OrganisationUnited Nations Millennium Development GoalsIkwezi Municipality (Jansenville) read more

Team India flunks final, but must build on gains from World Cup

first_imgCUP OF WOE: Sachin Tendulkar made to stand down by the AustraliansOn the night India lost the World Cup final, one of the bowlers ran into a friend. “Hard luck,” said the friend. The player exploded, “What hard luck? Why does everyone say that? We played f***-all. Who knows when,CUP OF WOE: Sachin Tendulkar made to stand down by the AustraliansOn the night India lost the World Cup final, one of the bowlers ran into a friend. “Hard luck,” said the friend. The player exploded, “What hard luck? Why does everyone say that? We played f***-all. Who knows when we’ll ever get to a Cup final again?”As it happens, the young man could play in a couple more World Cups but on that bleak Sunday night when gloom crept into Indian souls like the chill of an advancing Johannesburg autumn, his heart wouldn’t listen to reason or reassurance. He could barely imagine it but by hating defeat so intensely, the cricketer was giving himself the best chance to reach another big final. If being the No. 2 team in the world doesn’t feel good at all, there is only one other alternative.The men in blue headed out of their hotel rooms looking for warm food and cold comfort, a cavalcade of the chronically dejected. That night all the glasses came up half-empty but if Indian cricket learns to look into the distance – admittedly, not its strong suit – its African campaign could be a blueprint for future success and, maybe, a cup running over.En route to the World Cup finals Sourav Ganguly’s team equalled the record for the most successful streak by an Indian team in one-day internationals  – eight straight wins. It matched the run of the 1985 team that won five matches to take the World Championship of Cricket in Australia and three one-dayers after that. India’s record pales in comparison to Australia’s 17 but collective achievement in Indian cricket is rare. For too long has the sport been ruled by the cult and clash of personality and the mammoth weight of some pretty impressive individual records.advertisementCUP OF WOE: India were made to stand down by the AustraliansCaptain Ganguly, who could well be the first militant Bengali after Subhas Chandra Bose, will have no more of it. He is fast becoming the leading pulpitt-humping evangelist of a new church of Indian cricket.Drinking tea in a train-wreck of a hotel room in Durban, windows open to cooling sea breezes off the Indian Ocean, he said, “Individual performances don’t matter at all if the team doesn’t win. Indian cricket has to realise that the team is first: whether you are looking at the past or whether the team has to go ahead in the future.”The future is the only place to go because the past is never as glorious and golden as it is made out to be. The Australians are already in tomorrow, casting long shadows on those who try to follow. India have responded to the rigours and rewards of a nascent professionalism with the enthusiasm of a child who, after days of sliding around his bottom, discovers the heady benefits of being able to walk.They are quick to give credit to their three-man back-up team of professional coach, trainer and physio, use polar wristwatches to monitor their fitness, know how to download the data from the watches onto their personal laptops, and have discovered the use of computer analysis in team planning. Fellows who would struggle to spell “psychologist” sit down with the famous sports shrink Sandy Gordon to discuss insecurity, fear of failure, ambition and come out feeling wiser, less burdened.Radical? For Indian cricket, yes. Australia has been there, done that – and moved on. Diving and slide-tackling in the field is kindergarten stuff. Their specialist fielding and throwing consultant, Mike Young, an ex-baseball player for the San Francisco Giants, knows nothing about cricket fielding, but uses his understanding of motion from baseball to design drills. His brief is to keep the fielders moving, energised and involved and minimise the time taken for a ball to travel from the fielder to the man at the wicket.When the ball goes to a fielder’s “wrong’ side” (i.e. on the left side of a right-hander), usually the fielder picks up the ball, transfers it to his throwing hand, shifts his weight and then throws the ball back. Young taught the Australians to pick up and pivot, transferring the ball from hand to hand during the pivot before hurling it back to the man at the stumps. The fielder can end up off-balance during the throw, but when Andy Bichel ran out Aravinda De Silva in the semi-final, hours of practice turned into something perfect.Young also turned out to be a handy bard who composed a poem about his adopted home which the Aussies chanted and sang after every victory in South Africa. Coach John Buchanan says, “At the moment we do most things everyone else does but we do them a little bit better and more consistently. There is no question we can get better.”advertisementIt could be a frightening thought for anyone trying to catch up, but then it could be an inspiration too – there is always a way, teams must have the will to discover it. The Indians seem to have found theirs. It took a year of thinking and tinkering for their World Cup campaign to come together. The hiring of fitness trainer Adrian LeRoux made a difference to the strength of the bowlers and consequently the pace at which they bowled in South Africa.Andrew Leipus held the bodies of all the main men together with hours of physiotherapy, yards of tape and the pure power of prayer. No matter how loud the howls of protest, Rahul Dravid was given a year with the wicketkeeping gloves in order to lengthen the batting line-up. An idea of the best balanced team for South Africa was devised and stuck to. In South Africa, only two teams looked like they had made progress from the 1999 Cup: Australia, of course, and, surprise, surprise, the consorts of chaos, India, a testimony to persistence with The Plan.India have done a lot right in the past two years, reckons former South African coach Graham Ford, but to keep progressing they need to replace the one important link that will go missing soon. “They need to get another pace bowler into the squad now because they are going to miss Javagal.”The man himself, who went through the World Cup wearing an unusually sunny disposition all the time and a beach hat at practice, believes fast bowlers are like fine china, meant to be handled with care and wrapped in cotton-wool. Only then can they provide service for years. “An Australian or South African bowler may take two years to develop, in India you have to give a guy 3-3 1/2 years, put him on a fitness routine, monitor his progress. If you are thinking of 2007,” Srinath says, “find a guy now.”Australia reaped the benefits of pure pace in the Cup – Brett Lee broke down batting line-ups after injury stopped Jason Gillespie and tiredness slowed Glenn McGrath down. Lee has been shepherded through Australian cricket since 1995 – when it was discovered he was the fastest kid on the block – and let loose on the world only in 1999. South Africa, looking for its successors to the Allan Donald generation, tried the same with the injury-plagued Mfuneko Ngam and are now working on Monde Zondeki.A team insider says, “What we cannot do is bumble along and hope for someone to turn up. That’s the way it has been with us but that’s not the way it works in professional sport anymore.” It means the traditional animosity between selector and player, board and player, the swell of egos must subside to make the team competitive.advertisementSunil Gavaskar believes the team needs to do more, telling INDIA TODAY, “The 2007 World Cup should be the assignment starting now. We must overcome the weaknesses that prevented us from winning this one and consolidate the gains have been made from this trip.” The gains are both cricketing and cultural.Indian cricket knows now why it needs genuine fast bowlers, all-wicket batsmen and the best support staff the BCCI’s money can buy. But like that angry young man on finals night, it must breed dissatisfaction and stoke hunger too. Because finishing second may be noble, and worthy, but it really is no fun.last_img read more

Promising radioisotope couple for cancer diagnosis and therapy

first_imgThe concept radiotheranostics using 211At and 123I for cancer diagnosis and therapy. Combination of SPECT imaging using 123I-labeled RGD peptide with targeted alpha therapy using 211At-labeled RGD peptide could be useful for personalized medicine to cancer.Radioisotopes — atoms displaying radioactivity — can be used for both diagnosing and treating cancer. For diagnosis, radioisotopes that emit gamma rays are used because of their penetrating capability, while for treatment, isotopes emitting alpha particles, beta particles, or similar cytotoxic radiation are needed. (Cytotoxicity refers to the ability to kill or damage cells; in this case, cancer cells.) In recent years, an approach combining therapy and diagnosis both based on radioisotopes, called ‘radiotheranostics’, has gained significance. The key idea is that both the diagnostic and the therapeutic isotope can be brought to a tumor by attaching it to the same carrier molecule. Now, Kazuma Ogawa from Kanazawa University and colleagues have synthesized a radiotheranostic system with astatine (At-211) as the alpha-particle emitter and iodine (I-123) as the gamma-radiation source.A few types of molecules can be used as radioisotope carriers. Ogawa and colleagues were able to use a peptide (a biomolecule consisting of a chain of amino acids) as the carrier for both the astatine and the iodine isotope. Specifically, they worked with a peptide containing the so-called RGD sequence of amino acids. The RGD motif plays an important role in cell membrane binding; its cell-adhesive activity makes it a good component for designing molecules for targeting tumors.The theranostic carrier molecules were synthesized through a series of chemical reactions, the last step being a halogenation — the replacement of a particular molecular component by a halogen. (Both astatine and iodine are halogens, having similar chemical properties.)Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerSpecial blood test may predict relapse risk for breast cancer patientsAfter the successful synthesis of the At-211 and I-125 carrier molecules, the researchers tested their behavior in vivo. They simultaneously injected the two compounds in tumor-bearing mice, and looked at the biodistribution of the radioactive isotopes — that is, in which parts of the body they occur, and how abundantly. The main finding was that the At-211- and I-125-labeled RGD peptides displayed biodistributions that were very similar, with a high accumulation in the tumor — a prerequisite for operating as a theranostic system. (Another iodine isotope, I-123, is foreseen to be the diagnostic radioisotope, but I-125 has a much longer half-life, making it easier to work with in the present experiments.)The work of Ogawa and colleagues is an important step forward in the development of radiotheranostics. Quoting the scientists: “This method could be applicable to other peptides directly targeted to cancer. Moreover, future efforts should be focused on application of other radiohalogens … as positron emitters for PET [positron–electron tomography] imaging ….”BackgroundRadioisotopesRadioactive atoms (radioisotopes) decay into other atoms, thereby emitting radiation. Different types of radiation occur, including alpha particle (helium nucleus) emission, and gamma ray (highly energetic electromagnetic radiation) emission. The former can be used for treatment — alpha particles can destroy cancer cells — while the latter can be used for imaging.The goal of combining both diagnosis and treatment in one approach based on radioisotopes has led to the concept of ‘radiotheranostics’. The key property of a radiotheranostic system is that both radioisotopes target the same area in the body, a tumor in the case of cancer — their biodistribution has to be the same.Kazuma Ogawa from Kazanawa University and colleagues have now developed a radiotheranostic system, with an astatine isotope as the alpha-particle source and an iodine isotope as the gamma-ray source. Importantly, both atoms are halogens; because they belong to the same group in the periodic table, they have similar chemical properties. Because of this chemical similarity, the scientists could use the same carrier molecule for both isotopes (the carrier molecule delivers the radioisotope to the targeted body part). Source:https://www.kanazawa-u.ac.jp/e/ May 9 2019Researchers at Kanazawa University report in ACS Omega a promising combination of radioisotope-carrying molecules for use in radiotheranostics — a diagnosis-and-treatment approach based on the combination of medical imaging and internal radiation therapy with radioactive elements.last_img read more