APTN National NewsIt was day 13 of the Phoenix Sinclair Inquiry Thursday.Kim Edwards, Phoenix’s foster mother was on the stand once again.She faced questions from lawyers representing Manitoba’s child and family services.At times Edwards appeared agitated and emotional.
Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B (Phys.org) —A team made up of researchers from the U.S. and Australia has put together what they describe as a complete outline of the taphonomic (post-mortem) degradation processes for mammalian hair. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the group outlines the current state of post-mortem analysis of mammalian hair, including human and also offers some opinions on possible misinterpretations at both crime and archeology sites. Fungal invasion of hairs. (a) Woolly Mammoth (Jarkov) hair engulfed by hyphae, (b,c) partial removal of cuticle (arrow) and dissolution of cuticle (bracketed) on Q8 woolly mammoth (Jarkov) hair, (d) SEM image of a penetrating organ (arrow) embedded in a woolly rhino hair. (e) SEM image of a lateral fungal hypha with an eroding frond (arrow), ( f ) mycelial mass (arrow) on shaft of woolly mammoth (M10) hair. Scale bars: a ¼ 200 mm, b,c ¼ 100 mm, d ¼ 50 mm, e ¼ 5 mm, f ¼ 20 mm. Credit: Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published 22 October 2014 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1755 Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Researchers offer taphonomic degradation processes for mammalian hair (2014, October 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-10-taphonomic-degradation-mammalian-hair.html Caught by a hair The authors note that while the taphonomic degradation process for teeth and bones has been well documented, the same cannot be said for mammalian hair. Their paper serves to fill that void.The research team notes that on its own, mammalian hair doesn’t degrade much, allowing samples to survive for thousands of years. But most hair is not left to its own devices, it comes in contact with soil (quite often due to burial) that harbors fungi that do break down hair—they’ve provided photos of individual hairs with holes along their length to demonstrate what happens. That fungi breaks down hair is not new information—archeologists and law enforcement have both known about it for quite some time and have used the process to further their goal of trying to understand what happened at a particular site. But, the researchers contend, not all information gleaned from such sites is interpreted correctly. They note for example that if crime scene investigators find a hair that has experienced degradation due to fungi, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the victim died, was buried (putting them in contact with soil fungi) and then dug up again, as has been assumed in many such cases. Instead they note, soil fungi can degrade hair on living mammals, including people—if a child plays in the dirt for example. They suggest the only true evidence of death of a victim using a hair sample is what is known as post-mortem banding, where bacteria leave a dark band at the root of the hair when someone dies.The team also notes that examination of hair at crime scenes, particularly from victims that have been buried or left on the ground can offer less obvious clues, such as how long the hair has been exposed to the fungi or whether it existed in a warm humid climate, versus one that was cool or dry.The researchers also note that many examples of mammalian samples from archeological sites that suggest the original owner had red hair, such as those for many woolly mammoths, are inaccurate. Tests have shown that most such instances are due to contamination of the hair after death, from bacterial biofilms or other processes—woolly mammoth hair had no pigment, after all. More information: Interpreting biological degradative processes acting on mammalian hair in the living and the dead: which ones are taphonomic? Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published 22 October 2014 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.1755AbstractAlthough the taphonomic (post-mortem) degradation processes relevant to teeth and bones have been well described, those taking place with regards to mammalian hairs have not been characterized to the same extent. This present article describes, in detail, microscopic changes resulting from the actions of biological agents that digest and degrade hairs. The most noteworthy and prevalent agents responsible for the destruction of hair structure are fungi, which use a range of strategies to invade and digest hairs. One of the most important finds to emerge from this study is that taphonomic structures and processes can easily be interpreted by the unwary as ‘real’, or as class characteristics for a particular animal taxon. Moreover, under certain conditions, ‘taphonomic’ processes normally associated with the dead are also present on the hairs of the living. This work will improve the reliability of hair examinations in forensic, archaeological and palaeontological applications—in addition, the finding has relevance in the protection of mammalian collections susceptible to infestation. This article also addresses the popular myth that ancient peoples were often red-haired and discusses phenomena responsible for this observation. Insights gained from detailed characterization of taphonomic processes in 95 hairs from a variety of species demonstrate the range and breadth of degradative effects on hair structure and colour. Lastly, the study demonstrates that hairs often tell a story and that there is value of extracting as much morphological data as possible from hairs, prior to destructive sampling for biomolecules.
Kolkata: The Enforcement Branch (EB) of North 24-Parganas District Police have busted an illegal business of domestic LPG cylinders and arrested the owner.According to sources, Ramesh Chandra Adhikary, the illegal businessman, used to run a gas oven and other apparatus service centre at Thakurnagar Babupara in Gaighata. Recently, the cops got a tip-off that Adhikary was doing illegal business under the shadow of the business centre. Acting on the tip-off, sleuths started monitoring Adhikary and also tried to gather information about him. Few days ago, the police learnt about his business of illegal domestic LPG cylinders. Also the cops came to know that recently an advertisement of Adhikary’s service centre was published where it was clearly mentioned that he would arrange a new LPG connection within one day. It was also written in the advertisement that he provides LPG cylinders on hire. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeWhile conducting a probe, the sleuths learnt that he also sells domestic LPG cylinders at a high rate to people when needed. Also, domestic LPG cylinders were being provided on hire to restaurants and at ceremonial programmes. On Wednesday, a team from the EB raided Adhikary’s service centre. Though he tried to mislead them but after a few incriminating documents were found, the sleuths arrested him. During interrogation, Adhikary broke down and stated that he used to stock domestic LPG cylinders in several warehouses in the area. Immediately, raids were conducted and several domestic LPG cylinders were seized. He admitted that two more persons were involved in this.
The future of work is constantly evolving. Like it or not, technology remains a massive disruptor across industries. Change in the workplace is not only coming, it’s already here, and you want to make sure you’re on top of the skills that are rapidly shaping the jobs marketplace and are influencing your ability to remain relevant within your field.A recent study by Upwork, an online marketplace for freelancers, identified some of fastest growing skills that are shaping the freelancer market. A sharp spike in interest surrounding emerging technologies, especially with regard to cybersecurity, blockchain and artificial intelligence, heavily inform what have become the 10 fastest-growing skills:Robotics Blockchain Bitcoin Penetration testing React.jsAmazon Web Services Lambda, Augmented realityDeep learning Instagram marketingFinal Cut Pro XRobotics, blockchain and Bitcoin are all making first appearances on the list. The freelancer marketplace, according to Rich Pearson, the senior vice-president of online freelance platform Upwork, acts as an indicator for impactful workplace trends on a much larger scale for the coming years. “It’s a window into how companies are embracing new technologies,” he tells Entrepreneur. “The fact that robotics, blockchain and bitcoin related skills are on the list indicates that many companies are unable to find these skills locally and are turning to freelance specialists to enable them to deliver new products to market.”Related: The 15 Best Freelance Websites to Find JobsCryptocurrency and blockchain are steadily filtering into the mainstreamEven though cryptocurrency is by its nature intangible, the hype and frenzy around it has prompted venture capitalists to invest a fair amount of cold, hard cash into companies who are working on the development and integration of Blockchain, a distributed ledger platform (DTL) that verifies and records transactions, like with Bitcoin.According to CB Insights, a firm that predicts tech trends, since 2012, there have been more than 650 equity deals made with blockchain companies, investments totaling more than $2.1 billion. As of October 2017, 95 active VCs had at least one blockchain investment and be the end of the year, that number is expected to reach 120.“[Bitcoin payment] acceptance by retailers is still relatively low. But major businesses, like Overstock, Dish Network, Microsoft, Intuit and PayPal have all integrated Bitcoin payments into their services,” says Pearson, who notes that the adoption of the technology by these stalwarts leads the way for a larger trend across the retail industry. “A lot of times when [retailers] are doing prototyping or feasibility [testing], they will hire freelancers in order to see how it would work.”Bitcoin has certainly captured notoriety and public fascination, and while one Bitcoin is currently equivalent to $7,759.98, it is the Blockchain technology that is being hailed as a game changer in the way we do things. Many businesses are still in the experimentation and testing stage on how to best use and integrate distributed ledger technology into their practices.What’s evident is that like with any rapidly growing technology, the skills related to building, maintaining and working with those systems are in short shrift, so possessing these skills will lead to more opportunities for work across a variety of industries, freelance or full-time. The Financial Times reports that blockchain related advertisements have tripled on LinkedIn over the past year.Related: These Are the Best Cities to Be Your Own BossFor companies on high alert, information security is in high demand.Cybersecurity is another valuable area where skills are urgently needed. Security breaches, such as the ones that have happened to Yahoo and Equifax, are growing increasingly commonplace, and consumers are demanding companies do a better job at their protection.Skills, such as penetration assessment, which comes in at number four on Upwork’s list of fasting growing skills, is how you test the vulnerability of a system’s infrastructure to potential hackers. The researchers cited the U.S. State of Cybercrime 2017 survey, which found that 36 percent of businesses reported being affected by a phishing attack in 2016, compared to 26 percent in 2015.“The Bureau of Labor Statistics says the rate of growth for jobs in information security for 2014 to 2024 is going to be at 18 percent, which is the fastest of all occupations,” notes Pearson. He explained that the most frequent use case that Upwork sees is when a company is testing out a specific cybersecurity issue that they know or suspect is occurring, and they are able to develop solutions and coverage at a much faster pace by accessing a market of freelancers, unhindered by the talents’ location.Related: Three Ways to Launch (or Become) a Remote CompanyEvery business is (or should be) using A.I.The study also cited that global spending on robotics is projected to more than double from $91.5 billion in 2016 to more than $188 billion in 2020. This means the skills in demand will be related to augmented reality and machine learning, thanks to A.I.’s broader adoption across industries, particularly in the automobile industry. These days, it’s become standard for businesses, from airlines to hotels to banks, to employ chatbots to provide 24/7 customer service. According to UBS, the A.I. industry is expected to rocket from a $5 billion in revenues in 2015 to more than double the revenue at $12.5 billion in 2020.Pearson noted that A.I. adoption is driving a demand for freelancers that have a facility with deep learning, natural language processing and machine learning skills. In particular, he says that those three experienced more than a 150 percent year-over-year growth in in the third quarter of the year. Skills like neural networks and image processing have also seen high growth. “A.I. [is] a way to look at different types of objects and identify them quickly, label them and then build a logic off of them,” explains Pearson.For anyone who wants to remain relevant in the job market, being a freelancer with a learning mindset is key, regardless of your field. The coding and programming skills being taught in universities today will be out of date a few years from now, so even the technology-minded are being challenged to keep updating their skills. Blockchain, AR and AI are all breaking new ground, but what technology really does is force us to be nimble.What new skills are you learning right now? Let us know in the comments. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global November 21, 2017 6 min read Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now »