Salt-enrichment impact on biomass production in a natural population of peatland dwelling Arcellinida and Euglyphida (testate amoebae)

first_imgUnicellular free-living microbial eukaryotes of the order Arcellinida (Tubulinea; Amoebozoa) and Euglyphida (Cercozoa; SAR), commonly termed testate amoebae, colonise almost every freshwater ecosystem on Earth. Patterns in the distribution and productivity of these organisms are strongly linked to abiotic conditions—particularly moisture availability and temperature—however, the ecological impacts of changes in salinity remain poorly documented. Here, we examine how variable salt concentrations affect a natural community of Arcellinida and Euglyphida on a freshwater sub-Antarctic peatland. We principally report that deposition of wind-blown oceanic salt-spray aerosols onto the peatland surface corresponds to a strong reduction in biomass and to an alteration in the taxonomic composition of communities in favour of generalist taxa. Our results suggest novel applications of this response as a sensitive tool to monitor salinisation of coastal soils and to detect salinity changes within peatland palaeoclimate archives. Specifically, we suggest that these relationships could be used to reconstruct millennial scale variability in salt-spray deposition—a proxy for changes in wind-conditions—from sub-fossil communities of Arcellinida and Euglyphida preserved in exposed coastal peatlands.last_img read more

Languages in decline

first_imgUK universities are witnessing a startling decline in the number of students studying modern foreign languages, recent government statistics show.The figures, compiled by UCAS, indicate an overall drop of between 12 and 14 percent in the number of students accepted to study modern foreign languages at British universities between the 2011 and 2012 admissions cycles.The marked drop in language students coincides with an overall decline of 210,670 in the total number of students applying to university, attributed by many to the implementation of the government’s new tuition fee regime, which saw fees nearly triple in many cases from £3,290 to £9,000 per year. But the overall drop in applicants represents a change of only 7.4%, as compared with a 13.4% drop in language applicants.The latest figures illustrate the continuation of a long-standing trend. Decreasing demand for language courses has led many universities to reduce the range of languages they teach, or to shutter their language departments entirely: last month, the Guardian reported that between 1998 and 2013, the number of universities offering single honours language degrees dropped from 93 to 56 – a change of 40%.Prof. Katrin Kohl, fellow in German at Jesus College and a founder of the Oxford German Network, explained why modern language courses in the UK are particularly vulnerable: “Wherever English is spoken as a native language, there is a certain problem of motivation for students when it comes to foreign languages. English is now a global lingua franca, and most English speakers can get by quite happily in other countries just speaking English. Students don’t see why studying other languages might be useful.”Institutional pressures may also be having an effect on students’ decisions not to pursue languages. In 2004, the Blair government abolished the requirement that all pupils study at least one foreign language to GCSE level, which meant fewer pupils chose to pursue languages to A-level.Yet even those students who do study languages at A-level can face especial difficulty. “It is well-known that there is a problem of severe grading when it comes to language A-levels,” Kohl said. “The fact is that fewer A*s are awarded in languages than in other subjects.” This disparity can discourage students from pursuing modern languages, which can seen to be risky or overly difficult subject choices.Oxford itself seems to have escaped the broader trend of decline in demand. The university has not experienced a comparable long-term drop in language applicants, but instead has seen a very minor on-average increase (1.1%) in applications to language courses between 2007 and 2012, despite a 5% drop between 2011 and 2012. This may not be cause for celebration, however. Kohl told the Guardian, “We’re reaching the position where language competence is a privilege of the privately educated elite, and language degrees are restricted to Russell Group Universities.”This is troubling, she says, because studying languages confers important personal and social benefits: “learning another language is intellectually enjoyable, but it also gives us first-hand awareness of cultural diversity, enhances our ability to use language more generally, and benefits us cognitively in particular ways, in the same way studying music or maths does.”Anna Berger, a first-year French and Philosophy student at Magdalen, echoed these sentiments, saying she chose to study French because it offers “an alternative way to see the world.” Not only that, studying a language allows one to explore a breadth of different topics: “In languages you try to have an overview on one culture, so [you] have the possibility to work interdisciplinarily.” This gives direct access to “the best ingredients to a humanistic world view: literature, art, history, philosophy,” Berger said.Kohl suggested a number of possible ways to increase interest in language study. She underlined that the problem of severe grading ought to be addressed immediately, and that “dull” school syllabi should be “revisited”. She also suggested that the government should proactively support and invest in language teaching, which can be especially expensive, both at school and university levels. Through the Oxford German Network, Kohl seeks to promote interest in German language and culture in the local community by establishing links between the University and local schools, organisations, and businesses.last_img read more


first_img92, of Bayonne, passed away on January 26, 2018, at Care One in Wayne, NJ. “Sadie” as she was affectionately known by her family and friends, was born in Jersey City and has resided in Bayonne most of her life. Sadie was predeceased by her husband Leon Karczewski (in 1999); her son Frank Zaleski; her five sisters, Irene Mayer, Frances Hrycenko and her husband William; Mary Podolski and her husband Stanley; Sophie Swezinski and her husband Stanley, and Loretta Fugaro and her husband Anthony; and her brother Teddy Zaleski and his wife Jean. Left to cherish her memory are her three stepsons, Robert, Ronald and Richard Karczewski; her sister Jean Donofrio and her husband John; her brother Walter Zaleski and his wife Maryann; two grandchildren, Thomas and Joann, two great-grandchildren, and her brother in law Artie Mayer. Also survived by many nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grand nephews. Funeral arrangements by DWORZANSKI & SON Funeral Home, 20 E. 22nd St.last_img read more

Press release: UK and France to strengthen ties in AI and data

first_img The UK is a digital dynamo, increasingly recognised across the world as a place where ingenuity and innovation can flourish. We are home to four in ten of Europe’s tech businesses worth more than $1 billion and London is the AI capital of Europe. France is also doing great work in this area, and these new partnerships show the strength and depth of our respective tech industries and are the first stage in us developing a closer working relationship. This will help us better serve our citizens and provide a boost for our digital economies. Alan Wilson, CEO of The Alan Turing Institute, said: Digital Secretary Matt Hancock will today visit Paris to announce a package of measures to strengthen ties between the UK and France’s digital industries.The aim is to boost both countries’ digital economies and forge closer links between cutting-edge companies from both nations.Mr Hancock will address a landmark bilateral conference on data and the digital economy alongside his French counterpart, Mounir Mahjoubi. He will confirm the UK’s world-leading centre for AI and data, The Alan Turing Institute, is signing an agreement with the French institute, DATAIA, to promote collaboration between the French and British sectors.It will see the two organisations pursue collaborative research in areas of shared interest – for example, in fairness and transparency in the design and implementation of algorithms.They will also work together to share expertise, paving the way for visiting researchers to spend time at each Institute and hosting joint workshops and funding calls.At the UK-France Digital Colloque – a summit of more than 350 businesses, researchers and officials from both countries – Mr Hancock and Mr Majoubi will also sign an accord on digital government. This will commit to extending their cooperation in the digital sector – on innovation, artificial intelligence, data and digital administration.Mr Hancock will also confirm London-based Entrepreneur First, a beacon for the UK’s excellence in developing tech talent, is to continue its global expansion with a new Paris office. He will also bang the drum for British tech and promote the opportunities for business-to-business collaboration at a breakfast meeting with business leaders.Digital Secretary Matt Hancock said: New agreement will see countries’ leading research centres deepen collaboration National governments sign five-year accord to work together to improve digital services London start-up accelerator Entrepreneur First to open fifth international office in Paris Matt Clifford, EF co-founder and CEO, said:center_img EF exists to enable the world’s most ambitious people build extraordinary companies. It was founded in London, where we’ve already helped spark the development of high growth companies from scratch. As we continue our global expansion we’re looking forward to working with France’s future founders and strengthening the ties between business and investors in both countries. The fundamental goal behind all our research is to build a data and AI enriched world for the benefit of all. In order to do this, it is critical to forge international collaborations and share our knowledge, expertise and ideas with other research centres around the world. The Institute and DATAIA both share a vision for building research in data science and AI which crosses disciplinary boundaries and recognises the societal implications of data and algorithms. It is a pleasure to kickstart this engagement and we look forward to working with them to advance UK and French excellence in this area. Notes to editorsDigital ColloqueThe UK and France are world leaders in the digitisation of public services and are developing a data ecosystem which supports policy makers, corporates and startups using data from across the spectrum of closed, shared and open data.The Digital Colloque will see leading policymakers and industry experts discuss the technologies revolutionizing the world.It follows the commitment made by the President Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Theresa May during the France-UK Summit in January 2018 to boost cooperation in these fields.This Colloque builds on the success of the inaugural UK France Data Summit 2017 in London and the UK-France Summit in Sandhurst in January 2018, where both countries agreed to foster bilateral discussions on digital issues.It comes ahead of the French presidency of the G7 in 2019 and British presidency in 2021 to promote their shared vision on Global challenges.More than 350 businesses, researchers and officials from both the UK and France are due to attend the Colloque.Entrepreneur FirstEntrepreneur First (EF) was founded in London in 2011 by Matt Clifford and Alice Bentinck to connect the world’s most ambitious technologists to the best investors globally. EF’s bespoke programme, the first of its kind in the world, helps outstanding individuals to find co-founders and investment, and build high growth technology companies from scratch.Entrepreneur First, started in London in 2011, is a beacon for the UK’s excellence in developing tech talent, and already has sites in Singapore, Berlin and Hong Kong.Its alumni include Magic Pony Technology, led by Rob Bishop and Zehan Wang, which was acquired by Twitter for £150m. Magic Pony’s founders, Rob Bishop and Zehan Wang, studied together at Imperial College, and met at Entrepreneur First.To date EF – which opened its Singapore office in 2016 and this year opened in Berlin and Hong Kong – has helped over 1,000 individuals build over 150 companies with a total valuation of over $1 billion. EF’s companies have been funded by some of the world’s leaving venture investors in Europe and Silicon Valley.And EF itself has also raised from some of the world’s best investors,including Reid Hoffman (founder of LinkedIn), Demis Hassabis (founder of DeepMind), Greylock Partners, Mosaic Ventures, Founders Fund, Lakestar and more.last_img read more

BIA winner on stage at Bakers’ Fair

first_imgBritish Baker is delighted to announce that Sandra Monger, last year’s Celebration Cake Maker of the Year, will be taking to the stage at next month’s Bakers’ and Butchers’ Spring Fair.The Baking Industry Awards winner will be demonstrating her technical skills on stage at the biannual event, hosted by British Baker and sister publication Meat Trades Journal, at the Three Counties Showground in Malvern, Worcestershire, on Sunday 7 April.The award-winning cake maker, who created a 1980s-themed entry for the BIA’s 25th anniversary, will be demonstrating her skills in sugarcraft, focusing on the vintage trend and creating a selection of decorative flowers in time for the wedding season.Dawn Foods will also be taking to the Bakers’ and Butchers’ Fair stage in April, with chef-patissier Graham Dunton and Tim Clarkson, UK bakery sales team leader, conducting a practical session on the flexibility of its new Scoop & Bake range of frozen batters and doughs.Martyn Leek, editor of British Baker, said: “With only one month to go until our next Bakers’ and Butchers’ Fair, I’m pleased to have both Sandra and Dawn Foods on board as part of our exciting programme of practical stage demos. Both will be passing on their professional expertise and will be on-hand to answer questions from attendees.”Christine Hamilton, star of ITV1’s I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here! will be this year’s guest at the Baker’s and Butchers’ Spring Fair.To register you free place at event, visit read more

Higher education and the military

first_imgStressing the importance of ensuring that the brightest and the bravest don’t live in separate worlds, Britain’s Sir William Francis Butler, a 19th century lieutenant general, once said, “The nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.”Thanks to Harvard’s deep tradition of and respect for military service, “We will never become such a nation,” U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, J.D. ’75, said at a public address Wednesday evening at the Harvard Kennedy School.Mabus’ talk, “Universities, the Navy and the Marines: Presence, Partnership, and the Way Ahead,” marked the five-year anniversary of the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (NROTC) program’s return to Harvard. The University formally resumed its relationship with NROTC following the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the federal policy that required gay and lesbian service members to keep their sexual preferences quiet or face expulsion. The Army’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps was reinstated on campus a year later.Mabus said that because of University President Drew Faust’s early leadership on the issue, other universities, including Yale, Columbia and Princeton, followed suit. He presented Faust with a Marine Corps saber as symbolic thanks for her push to reinstate NROTC at Harvard after an absence that dated back to the Vietnam War era.Faust said she was pleased that the number of NROTC and ROTC scholarship students is on the rise in the Class of 2020, and she hoped that is an indicator that more Harvard students will take on “the responsibility and privilege of defending our nation.” Only 1 percent of Americans serve in the military today.Mabus touted numerous changes the Navy and Marine Corps have instituted in recent years to modernize, using renewable energy sources, and better serving the needs and expectations of today’s all-volunteer force. The improvements include more merit-based promotions, increased paid maternity leave, more flexible time-off benefits, and the opening of all service areas, including the elite Navy SEALs and the Marine infantry, to female recruits.,From the Army encampment of General George Washington, L.L.D. 1776, in Harvard Yard to the “Bloody 20th” Regiment of mostly Harvard-educated troops that endured substantial casualties in the Civil War, the University’s ties to the military are extensive. The University was one of the six original schools to participate in NROTC beginning in 1926, and still contributes significant research to aid the military. In addition, as Mabus noted, Harvard has produced the most Medal of Honor recipients of any educational institution in the country except the U.S. Naval Academy and the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.“As citizens, we have an obligation to understand our military and to ensure that it and its members do not stand apart from our national life,” Faust said. “And as Harvard seeks to shape that society and educate its citizens and leaders, we must necessarily be connected to its military. We must ensure that Harvard students understand military service as a choice to consider and to honor even if, and especially if, they end up pursing other paths.”last_img read more

Matt Bomer Talks Normal Heart & His Next Moves…On Stage?

first_img In addition to The Normal Heart, which will air on HBO on May 25, Bomer has starred on screen in the USA series White Collar and Magic Mike, and has also appeared on two other Murphy projects: Glee and The New Normal. Bomer took part in the starry one-night-only reading of Dustin Lance Black’s Prop 8-themed play, 8. View Comments If you’re looking to catch Hollywood hottie Matt Bomer on the Great White Way, don’t expect him to be lingering around Cabaret’s Kit Kat Klub or going shirtless in Rocky (damn). The star of HBO’s upcoming Ryan Murphy-helmed The Normal Heart film revealed to Out Magazine that a play—not a musical—might be next in store for him.center_img “I appreciate that medium profoundly and I have the utmost respect for it,” Bomer said of musical theater, “but it’s not very shiny to me. I’d much rather do Rocket to the Moon, by Odets, or Orpheus Descending, by Williams.” In the interview, the actor also opened up playing the HIV+ Felix Turner in Larry Kramer’s story, as well as his own coming out to his parents and to the media.last_img read more

Weekend Poll: What Should Oscar Host Neil Patrick Harris Do Next?

first_imgMove over, James Franco—Neil Patrick Harris is making your life look boring. This year alone, NPH won a Tony Award, released Choose Your Autobiography and now he’s set to host the 2015 Academy Awards. But these are only a few of the things the stage and screen star has recently checked off his bucket list. He’s also hosted the Tony Awards four times, won a collection of Emmys (oh, and he hosted those twice too), met the president, appeared on How I Met Your Mother for nine seasons and donned drag in Hedwig and the Angry Inch. But wait, there’s more! He’s also a director, a producer and the proud father of twins. Phew! Is there anything NPH can’t do? No. He’s magical—wait, did we mention he also does magic? So we’ve dreamed up a few more things we think Neil Patrick Harris should add to his bucket list. What do you want to see him do next? Cast your vote below! View Commentslast_img read more

Video Odds & Ends: Sneak Peek of Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling’s Musical & More

first_img‘La La Land’ Here’s a quick roundup of stories videos you may have missed today. Sneak Peek of Emma Stone & Ryan Gosling’s MusicalWe have our first teaser trailer, below, for Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, the original musical film starring Broadway alum Emma Stone (Cabaret) and Ryan Gosling. A tribute to Hollywood’s golden age of musicals (which includes tunes from the Main Stem’s own Benj Pasek and Justin Paul), the project follows an aspiring actress and a dedicated jazz musician who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. As previously reported, La La Land is set to open the Venice Film Festival on August 31, and hit movie theaters on December 2. Cry With Barbra StreisandThe latest video released by Barbra Streisand to preview her upcoming Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway album is out. A duet with the late Anthony Newley, the pair sing “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)” from the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint, and there’ll be tears in your eyes after you’ve seen this. The record, also featuring Hugh Jackman, Jamie Foxx and many more, will drop on August 26. Rory O’Malley Leads #Dab4HamAt today’s #Ham4Ham, Rory O’Malley hosted a dabbing contest featuring Hamilfans on Team Hope, Team Oak and Team Michael, followed by #OneLastDab with Daveed Diggs, who will soon be departing the hit tuner. Check out all the fun outside the Richard Rodgers Theatre. Star Files Okieriete Onaodowan View Commentslast_img read more

Cops Release Sketch of Unidentified Woman Found Dead in East Setauket

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Suffolk County police released a composite sketch of a dead woman whose remains were found in East Setauket five months ago in the hope that someone can help investigators identify her.The unidentified woman’s skeletal remains were found on the side of the Greenway Bicycle Path near Gnarled Hollow Road at 4 p.m. on March 22, police said.Investigators believe the remains were had been there for about a year before the discovery was made. The woman is believed to have been white or Hispanic, 30 to 50 years old, between 5-feet,-3 inches and 5-feet, 9-inches tall with poor dental work.Homicide Squad detectives ask anyone with information on the identity of this woman to call them at 631-852-6392 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.last_img read more