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More Original Protein Found in Older Bird Fossil

first_imgThe new discovery from China dates back 130 million years on the evolutionary timeline.A few days ago, we reported the discovery of melanin from a fossil bird found in the Liaoning Province, China, that was dated at 120 million years (early Cretaceous) in the evolutionary scheme. Now, another discovery from the Jehol strata of China is said to be 10 million years older: 130 million years.The discovery by Pan et al., “Molecular evidence of keratin and melanosomes in feathers of the Early Cretaceous bird Eoconfuciusornis,” is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Once again, Mary Schweitzer from North Carolina State is listed as a co-author. A laymen’s writeup is on Science Daily, taken from an NC State press release. Schweitzer has been in the thick of reports about soft tissue in dinosaur bones and other dinosaur-era fossils.New research from North Carolina State University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Linyi University has found evidence of original keratin and melanosome preservation in a 130-million-year-old Eoconfuciusornis specimen. The work extends the timeframe in which original molecules may preserve, and demonstrates the ability to distinguish between ancient microstructures in fossils.Eoconfuciusornis, crow-sized primitive birds that lived in what is now China around 130 million years ago, are the earliest birds to have a keratinous beak and no teeth, like modern birds. Previous studies argued that the feathers of these and other ancient birds and dinosaurs preserved small, round structures interpreted to be melanosomes – pigment-containing organelles that, along with other pigments, give feathers their color.Electron micrographs and gold-tipped antibodies that bind to melanin were used to make the identification. Another technique clinched the identity of original protein:Finally, they mapped copper and sulfur to these feathers at high resolution. Sulfur was broadly distributed, reflecting its presence in both keratin and melanin molecules in modern feathers. However copper, which is only found in modern melanosomes, and not part of keratin, was only observed in the fossil melanosomes. These findings both support the identity of the melanosomes and indicate that there was no mixing or leaching during decomposition and fossilization.The paper describes how they avoided contamination. The antibody tests confirm that the proteinaceous is original. In modern feathers, melanosomes are “always surrounded by and embedded in keratin.” The scientists demonstrate this was true in the fossil as well.Our work represents the oldest ultrastructural and immunological recognition of avian beta-keratin from an Early Cretaceous (∼130-Ma) bird. We apply immunogold to identify protein epitopes at high resolution, by localizing antibody–antigen complexes to specific fossil ultrastructures. Retention of original keratinous proteins in the matrix surrounding electron-opaque microbodies supports their assignment as melanosomes and adds to the criteria employable to distinguish melanosomes from microbial bodies. Our work sheds new light on molecular preservation within normally labile tissues preserved in fossils.Confuciusornis was clearly a strong flyer. Artist renditions of Eoconfuciusornis (“dawn Confuciusornis“) show it also equipped for flying.So how did “normally labile tissues” last for 130 million years? The researches speculate about needle-like crystals of calcium they found on the fossil:These Ca-concentrated needle-shaped structures are absent in extant feathers. Thus, we hypothesize that precipitation of calcium, possibly mediated by microbes during the fossilization process, facilitated ultrastructural and molecular preservation of the feathers by stabilizing them at the molecular level before they could completely degrade. It has long been known that the association with mineral substrates greatly enhances the preservation potential of biomolecules. Furthermore, it has been proposed that calcium may incorporate into molecular fragments, conferring stability, and that this process may be microbially mediated. Because the surrounding sediments of this Eoconfuciusornis specimen consist mainly of Al silicates, with little or no calcium detected, the source of the calcium observed in these feathers remains unknown.So while the presence of calcium crystals could “possibly” stabilize the proteins (for support, the team references a 1999 paper by Schweitzer), they don’t know where it came from. They propose another stabilizing influence:Another factor that may contribute to the unique biomaterial properties of feathers is the epidermal differentiation cysteine-rich protein. This molecule has the same gene structure as beta-keratins, and is coexpressed with them at certain stages of development in most keratinized tissues of living birds. However, it is only in feathers that this protein continues to be detected throughout life. The greatly elevated cysteine levels in this protein facilitate intramolecular cross-linking, and contribute to the stability and resistance of feathers to degradation. Further molecular recovery of ancient feather materials may allow direct testing of these hypotheses. It should be possible to measure degradation rates of feather keratin and melanosomes due to the presence of calcium or cysteine. But if either of these processes are so efficient, it would seem original feather material should be common in bird fossils, and we should find preserved fossils over a wide range, from recent kills all the way back. 130 million years is a long, long time to have to account for the preservation of original protein material.Creationists are winning this case. Why? (1) Evolutionists did not predict this, and (2) they are scrambling to explain it away. You just heard them call these proteins “normally labile tissues.” Labile means easily altered, broken down or degraded. But the team hollered, It tastes like chicken!Indeed, if both microbodies and matrix are preserved, tests can be conducted to chemically characterize the composition of each. If these bodies are melanosomes, they should be contained within a keratinous matrix; if they are microbial in origin, this matrix should consist of exopolymeric substances secreted by the microbes and subsequently mineralized. To distinguish between these alternative hypotheses, we applied multiple methods, well-established for molecular and chemical characterization of modern materials, to chicken (Gallus gallus) feathers and to preserved feathers of a new specimen of the bird Eoconfuciusornis [Shandong Tianyu Museum of Nature (STM) 7-144] (Pygostylia: Confuciusornithiformes) (Fig. 1A) from the 130-Ma Protopteryx horizon of the Huajiying Formation in Fengning, northern Hebei, China. Our results are consistent with the retention of original organic components derived from both keratin and melanin, thus supporting a melanosome origin for these ancient microstructures.(Visited 50 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

British Airways launches panda plane

first_imgBritish Airways has announced that it will be flying to Chengdu in China, home of the giant panda, in style.The Boeing 777-200 was painted to look like a smiling Giant Panda to mark the start of the new three times a week service to Chengdu on September 22.Chengdu is the fourth British Airways route to China and the first new destination for the airline to the country, since flights were launched to Shanghai in 2005.British Airways  will  be  the  only  UK carrier to offer a direct service between Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport and London Heathrow.Keith Williams, British Airways’ chief executive, said: “Chengdu is a fascinating venue for leisure travellers, and is known around the world for its famous giant pandas and excellent fiery Sichuan cuisine.“As one of China’s largest cities, Chengdu is also an economic power house, having expanded rapidly, consistently delivering double-digit rates of growth. This new route demonstrates the importance of mainland China to British Airways and our commitment to grow our presence there.“We are confident that the new route between Chengdu and London will prove popular with customers travelling between the two major economic hubs.”Reflecting the Chinese belief that eight is an auspicious number, the flight number for the service from Chengdu to London is BA88 and BA89 from London to Chengdu.last_img read more

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ‘100 Percent Sure’ Manchester United Have Right Structure

first_imgLondon: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is “100 percent sure” that the club has the right structure in place and says money is available to strengthen his struggling squad.United are 12th in the Premier League table, just two points above the relegation zone and 15 adrift of league leaders Liverpool ahead of Sunday’s clash with their fierce rivals at Old Trafford. The club’s hierarchy and recruitment under executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has come in for severe criticism but Solskjaer has described that as “an insult” as he looks to the future.”I’ve got a three-year contract now so of course (we are) planning long-term,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports. “If you lose a game you don’t wait for a call to be given assurances but we have started out a plan and a recruitment plan is in place.”I am 100 percent sure from my time here that the structure is right because it’s always the manager that has the final say.”I know people have said stuff about our recruitment but it’s almost like an insult to the recruitment office, the scouts and us as professionals — me and (assistant manager) Mick (Phelan), the staff. We make decisions on the players we want to have and who’s available and then it’s the negotiations.”United spent £145 million ($185 million) in the summer on Harry Maguire, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, but Solskjaer said more funds were available for the right “ready-made” players.”The money is there and I’ve been looking at players,” Solskjaer added. “We were close to a couple of players but they weren’t right.”The money is there to strengthen in January, in the summer, and we are planning, we are looking, we are finding our targets, but just before the transfer window ended no, they weren’t there, the ready-made players.” Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time. footballManchester Unitedole gunnar solskjaerPremier League First Published: October 17, 2019, 7:30 PM ISTlast_img read more

X-Blades ‘X-treme Best of Enemies Clashes

first_imgThe NTL has always been about the Touch Football community uniting in the spirit of competition to test themselves against the best from around the nation on the field, then enjoy the opportunities for camaraderie and friendship off the field.With this concept firmly in mind, the 2008 X-Blades NTL is themed “The Best of Enemies”.For more information see the NTL websitelast_img

Harvey Norman Promotion

first_imgNRL Touch Football’s major partner, Harvey Norman, has a great deal for members through the TFA website and newsletter. The TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch is an all in one workout device that will improve your training and motivation. The TomTom Spark features GPS tracking so you can optimise your running routes and track your progress.Harvey Norman is exclusively offering our TFA members a TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch at a low price of $172 from the 26 July to 4 August.  Be sure to use the Coupon code: SPARK2016 when making your purchase.For more information or to purchase your watch, visit: TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch (Black)TomTom Spark GPS Fitness Watch (Purple)Please note: Coupon can only be applied to the above products and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.Stay tuned to the TFA website and newsletter for greater Connected Health and Fitness deals from Harvey Norman. Related LinksHarvey Norman Promotionlast_img read more

10 months agoCardiff striker Gary Madine explains Sheffield Utd move

first_imgCardiff striker Gary Madine explains Sheffield Utd moveby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveCardiff City striker Gary Madine insists he’s happy to move to Sheffield United on-loan.The 28-year-old was with United’s city rivals Sheffield Wednesday between 2011 and 2015.In February 2017, Blades boss Chris Wilder accused Madine of “a lack of respect” after the forward was filmed criticising striker Billy Sharp.Madine has failed to score in 20 appearances for the Bluebirds.He told the Sheffield United club website: “There were other teams interested, but believe it or not when I knew Sheffield United was interested, I was buzzing and jumped at the chance.”I’ve played with some of the lads and against them too, I was dying to make the move happen.”Some people have this perception I don’t like Sheffield United, but that’s not true. I’ve had over 20,000 supporters booing me when I’ve played here before, it’s an intimidating place to come and some players would crumble.”But I’ve always thought I wouldn’t mind being part of that and it is certainly a club on the up, one who play some excellent football.” TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

a month agoSouthampton boss Hasenhuttl talks Adams, Ings form

first_imgSouthampton boss Hasenhuttl talks Adams, Ings formby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveSouthampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl says Che Adams retains his confidence.Adams appears to be suffering a slight loss of belief as his wait to open his Saints account continues. Hasenhuttl said, “He also tried to help the team and was working hard but still he is not getting the goal so far but I think it will come.” On Danny Ings after his brace in the Carabao Cup win against Portsmouth.“It’s important for every striker if you score,” said Hasenhuttl of Ings.“He is fit now and he showed he can help us massively and I am very happy for him.” About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img

Benitez hints at decadelong stay at Newcastle

first_imgRafa Benitez has claimed he could stay at Newcastle for as long as a decade – his only requirement would be that the project would be right and the target would be achievable.The 57-year-old has now been a manager of Newcastle for two years, and has one more left, according to his current contract. Everybody has been cheering for him as this is no surprise, considering how much has he done for the well-being of the club.“Yes. What I say is you need a project,” Benitez shared when asked if he could possibly stay for as long as ten years in the club, according to Football 365.Jose Mourinho is sold on Lampard succeeding at Chelsea Tomás Pavel Ibarra Meda – September 14, 2019 Jose Mourinho wanted to give his two cents on Frank Lampard’s odds as the new Chelsea FC manager, he thinks he will succeed.There really…“I like to work with young players, I like to improve young players, but I like to win. I want to be competitive and I want to win.”“You have to have a mix of young players and players with experience – that means you have to spend some money because if not, you cannot compete now and win something,” Benitez went on to add.last_img read more

FC Cincinnati to join the MLS

first_imgThe Major League Soccer (MLS) has announced that FC Cincinnati will be joining the league for the start of next season as their 26th teamThe American football league made the announcement on Tuesday evening at a ceremony that FC Cincinnati will become the league’s newest expansion team“Major League Soccer is proud to introduce Cincinnati as our 26th team,” said Commissioner Don Garber, according to ESPN.“The rise of Cincinnati as a passionate soccer market in recent years, coinciding with the city’s growing economy and reputation as a top destination for young professionals makes it an ideal city for our growing league.“We congratulate [Managing Owner and CEO of FC Cincinnati] Carl Lindner and his partners, and also the soccer fans of Cincinnati, who have passionately supported FC Cincinnati in the USL.”The current United States League club will continue to use the University of Cincinnati’s Nippert Stadium, which has been it’s home since 2016, until it’s 21,000-seat venue is ready.Chile, Alexis SanchezAlexis Sanchez rules out move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami Andrew Smyth – September 5, 2019 Alexis Sanchez reckons he’s still got another “five or six years left” of European football in him amid links of a move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami.“Cincinnati’s selection by Major League Soccer for an expansion team is a triumph for the continued renaissance of this incredible city,” said CEO Linder.“I have to start by thanking the supporters of FC Cincinnati, because from the beginning they were the foundation of the efforts of our bid to join MLS. We could not have done this without them. This has been a true team effort among the soccer fans, our partners and our civic and corporate leaders.“This is a city with a historically deep relationship between the people and its teams, and we are going to take that to even greater heights in MLS. Thank you to Commissioner Garber and all of the league’s owners for their faith in Cincinnati. We’re excited to be part of Major League Soccer’s tremendous future.”Nashville and David Beckham’s Miami are set to compete in the MLS in 2020.While FC Cincinnati has a place in the league for next season, it has yet to be decided which conference they will join.last_img read more