Wednesday, March 13, 2013

MTA Workers Claim Budget Cuts Lead To Rat Population Exploding

MTA Workers Claim Budget Cuts Lead To Rat Population Exploding: MTA workers protested Wednesday in front of Jamaica Central Terminal demanding that the city address what they say is a terrible rodent problem in the subway system, CBS News reports.

Members of the Transit Workers Union 100 passed out pamphlets to riders and solicited signatures for their online petition, telling people, "If You Smell Something, Sign Something."

The protesters claimed the city needs to increase the frequency of garbage pickups, put more trash bins in stations and better seal off refuse storage rooms to rodents.

The MTA's 2010 and 2011 budget cuts would eliminate 254 subway car-, track- and station-cleaning positions. And for the TWU, what the city might have saved in money, it's gaining in rats.

The trash pickups used to happen "every couple of days," Paul Flores, a 12-year subway station agent, tells NBC News. "Now it's four or five days before they pick up the garbage, and the rats just basically call that home."

As the I-O center of the economy weakens then R contagion can increase, here a boom and bust in the Iv-B economy from weak I-O policing leads to a lack of money for policing in an exponentially growing problem. In effect the garbage collectors as Oy are like predators, they ask the Ro population to cooperate to reduce the R contagion. This is like the O police asking Ro ghettoes to police the R drug addicts and prostitutes in their areas as the O police can't afford to.

How Pathogens Fight Drugs - Technology Review

How Pathogens Fight Drugs - Technology Review: When attacked with antibiotics, bacteria can mutate rapidly in order to survive—it's what makes, for instance, the staph infection MRSA so dangerous. New research suggests that such bacterial evolution occurs even faster, and in a more predictable fashion, than anyone thought. Using a novel type of microfluidics chip, researchers have shown that bacteria can develop antibiotic resistance in less than 10 hours.

Rather than taking the conventional approach of testing the bacteria in a test tube, Robert Austin, a biophysicist at Princeton University, designed a microfluidics chip to simulate the complex chemical environments that bacteria experience in the real world. The chip contains over 1,000 tiny hexagonal chambers, each one a microhabitat connected to others by long, slim corridors.
Austin flowed nutrients around one side of the chip and a solution of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin around the other. The solutions diffused into the inner hexagons through nano-sized slits, building a landscape of different ecologies. "I call it the 'death galaxy'—a galaxy of different environments designed to be very stressful," Austin says. "And the question is, if we apply very high levels of antibiotics to this funny world, would we see the rapid evolution of resistance?"
Austin and colleagues began to see resistant strains emerge within five hours. After 10 hours, the resistant strains were populating even the most Cipro-saturated chambers.

The researchers also discovered that the evolution occurred predictably. Every time they ran the experiment, they got the same result, with the same four resistance-conferring mutations emerging over and over again. "It's surprising that it happens so quickly and in such a logical and repeatable manner," he says.

The same happens with R animals over time, when the environment favors cooperation or sharing knowledge about dangers then they form Ro cooperative herds. People also do this in Roy societies, they might try to survive as R by secrecy and deception, if it is too dangerous for this to succeed then they form Ro gangs to use numbers to protect themselves. Also high mutations lead to the same result, those less fit die off leaving the surviving mutations as R to grow exponentially.

Teenage brains

Teenage Brains - Pictures, More From National Geographic Magazine: Researchers such as Steinberg and Casey believe this risk-friendly weighing of cost versus reward has been selected for because, over the course of human evolution, the willingness to take risks during this period of life has granted an adaptive edge. Succeeding often requires moving out of the home and into less secure situations. "The more you seek novelty and take risks," says Baird, "the better you do." This responsiveness to reward thus works like the desire for new sensation: It gets you out of the house and into new turf.

As Steinberg's driving game suggests, teens respond strongly to social rewards. Physiology and evolutionary theory alike offer explanations for this tendency. Physiologically, adolescence brings a peak in the brain's sensitivity to dopamine, a neurotransmitter that appears to prime and fire reward circuits and aids in learning patterns and making decisions. This helps explain the teen's quickness of learning and extraordinary receptivity to reward—and his keen, sometimes melodramatic reaction to success as well as defeat.
The teen brain is similarly attuned to oxytocin, another neural hormone, which (among other things) makes social connections in particular more rewarding. The neural networks and dynamics associated with general reward and social interactions overlap heavily. Engage one, and you often engage the other. Engage them during adolescence, and you light a fire.

Younger people tend to be R or B, they are looking to put down their roots by secretly looking for opportunities. Later they can cooperate with others as Bi or Ro to protect their Gb private property or G turf. They are like growing seeds of a plant that thrive by fast growing and competing against other seedlings to not be overshadowed. Young R prey survive by hiding and spotting danger until they are strong enough to cooperate with others in protections as Ro.

War On The EPA: Republican Bills Would Erase Decades Of Protection

War On The EPA: Republican Bills Would Erase Decades Of Protection: Both have passed the House and are pending in the Senate. Still another proposed measure that would have all-encompassing reach is the Regulatory Accountability Act, which would make cost the top consideration for all federal regulations.

"It single-handedly amends probably more laws of the United States than any law ever introduced in Congress," said John Walke, a lawyer with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Taken together, the measures would so hamstring regulators that they would effectively return the nation to the 1880s era of the nation's first modern-style regulator, the Interstate Commerce Commission, advocates say.

The Iv-B and V-Bi disconnect puts pressure on the I-O police to weaken them, in Iv-B companies want to pollute more to give B consumers cheaper products. This happens for example in the transfer of manufacturing to high polluting countries where this pollution is far enough away. So the competition in Iv-B tries to evade the environmental police, also in V-Bi the pressure between them to profit more is against the same EPA. This is held together by compromise between Iv agents and Bi communities who recognize the value of environmental policing, for example Bi groups see evidence of pollution hurting them by discussing it. Iv agents realize that a polluting or dangerous product can get a bad reputation and lose them money if the Bi community realizes it. So both often look for a neutral I-O environmental police to reduce pollution but not to make products too expensive.

"This is a departure not just from recent political thinking but literally would be a reversal," said NRDC's David Goldston. "The last time this was a situation that prevailed was the 1890s."

"It shows just a profound disgust and disdain for the regulatory state that is unhinged from any facts or concerns for the benefits from those rules," said Walke.

The ongoing anti-regulation crusade was on display in the House this week -- and will be again next week -- with some smaller bore bills. On Thursday, the House passed a measure that will delay regulations of cement factories that were aimed at implementing court-mandated controls on mercury and other pollutants.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Rick Perry's Opposition To Pesticide Regulations Helped Launch His Political Star

Rick Perry's Opposition To Pesticide Regulations Helped Launch His Political Star: "This became how Perry rises in politics," claims Jim Harrington, director of the Texas Civil Rights Project, a public interest law group. "Perry is the weathervane, pure and simple. He saw where the money was and where the politics were drifting."

In the 1980’s, agricultural workers in Texas didn’t enjoy many of the workplace protections that were taken for granted in other industries. So in 1987, after Harrington’s group had sued the state on behalf of farm workers, the Texas agriculture department developed a law called the Agricultural Hazards Communications Act, known colloquially as Right to Know.

In addition to requiring that field workers be trained on the dangers of pesticides, the law required farmers to maintain a list of the chemicals they used on their crops -- known as the “crop sheet” -- and to provide it to farm workers, along with a notice of their rights as workers. The law also stated that workers couldn’t be forced to handle chemicals that came unlabeled, nor could they be fired or disciplined for filing a complaint against an employer with regards to Right to Know.

Oy agents deceptively use toxic chemicals, the R nomadic workers like R prey get sick from them. Because both are secretive, R workers are often undocumented, they both tend to hide from the I-O police. Making this more transparent with Ro protests saves time in treating these diseases as the information on these chemicals diffuses through the medical community. In Oy-R there is also a right to hide information. 

The crop sheet was important because Texas’ heavily Latino farm workforce tends to migrate, handling different crops in different regions during different seasons. A detailed listing of chemicals used and their dangers could help workers pinpoint the cause of an illness. According to Vaughn Cox, who worked in the agriculture department in the late 80’s, Right to Know was a sensible law designed specifically to help the farm worker and the doctors in the event of a pesticide-related emergency.
“If it says cabbage in South Texas is treated with these chemicals this time of year, then the doctor can say, ‘Oh, they used this kind of chemical.’ It could speed up the process of treating them,” says Cox. “So many farm workers were being exposed to chemicals in unsafe ways. They had no training, no protective clothing or anything that common sense would say you should have.”

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: The Fracking Industry's War On The New York Times -- And The Truth

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: The Fracking Industry's War On The New York Times -- And The Truth: My caveat was that the natural gas industry and government regulators needed to act responsibly to protect the environment, safeguard communities from irresponsible practices and to candidly inform the public about the true risks and benefits of shale extraction gas.

The opposite has happened.

The industry's worst actors have successfully battled reasonable regulation, stifled public disclosure while bending compliant government regulators to engineer exceptions to existing environmental rules. Captive agencies and political leaders have obligingly reduced already meager enforcement resources and helped propagate the industry's deceptive economic projections. As a result, public skepticism toward the industry and its government regulators is at a record high. With an army of over 40,000 highly motivated anti-fracking activists in New York alone, popular mistrust of the industry is presenting a daunting impediment to its expansion.

Iv agents of V oil companies act secretively and deceptively on commission, B farmers are often hurt by pollution though they might benefit from royalties. It can become a Roy negative sum game where both Oy and R are being hurt by pollution and declining profits. The Bi community protests to protect the B farmers which moves the I-O police towards regulating it in a more neutral way restoring color balance.

Light on Leaves | The Scientist

Light on Leaves | The Scientist: The finding

For 150 years it was assumed that an unknown internal stimulus drove leaf genesis. But Saiko Yoshida and colleagues in the lab of Cris Kuhlemeier at the University of Bern have now determined that even though the location where new leaf development occurs—stem cells at the tip of a plant shoot—is shrouded by a dense covering of leaves, enough light can penetrate to activate growth hormones.
The hormones

The authors looked at two hormones—cytokinin and auxin—known to react to environmental stimuli. Cytokinin promotes cell division, while auxin is responsible for leaf formation.

The experiments

When researchers grew tomato plants in the dark, new leaf production ceased even when sugar was added to make up for the lack of photosynthesis. Instead, the auxin transporter protein gradually disappeared from cell membranes with a consequent drop in auxin levels. Applying auxin externally and allowing it to diffuse into the cells did not restore leaf formation, but cytokinin application did, suggesting that auxin does not work alone.

The application

For the first time, external stimuli were found to affect leaf initiation. This light trigger could be used to manipulate leaf arrangement to optimize light capture and potentially provide higher crop yields. In addition, it suggests researchers might want to take another look at signals that were assumed to be independent of environmental cues, says Karen Halliday, at the University of Edinburgh.

As Biv plants grow they look for light so as not to be overshadowed by each other, they also grow more leaves in this light to overshadow competitors below them. V companies also look for opportunities to develop products by synthesizing Iv ideas where there are gaps in products available. These close the gaps that competitors might exploit to become a threat later. Large electronics companies for example often have many products that don't sell well to stop others getting a foothold in the market.