Wiki Actu en

February 25, 2014

Researchers identify protein responsible for malaria transmission

Researchers identify protein responsible for malaria transmission

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Health
Related articles

Health
Collaborate!
  • Pillars of Wikinews writing
  • Writing an article

Plasmodium falciparum gametocytes.

Two groups of researchers have independently identified the the protein responsible for malaria transmission to mosquitoes in studies published in journal Nature on Sunday.

The scientists found a direct relationship between the protein AP2-G’s with malaria gametocytes (male and female sexual forms) production, which is necessary for the transmission. Only the sexual forms infect mosquitoes and sexual reproduction occurs within the mosquito digestive tract.

Malaria is caused by Plasmodium parasites. The initially separate teams looked at different plasmodium species. One, an international group led by Manuel Llinás of Penn State University in the US, examined Plasmodium falciparum, which is responsible for the worst form of human malarial infections; the other, led by UK scientists Oliver Billker from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in England and Andy Waters from University of Glasgow in Scotland, looked at Plasmodium berghei, which infects rodents.

The P. falciparum group was kickstarted by research in Spain which found different organisms from the same strain with identical DNA had varying levels of AP2-G, with a strong correlation to their levels of sexual activity. The more AP2-G, the higher the rate of gametocyte formation. Researchers in England, later also drawn into the international team, analyzed the genomes of two mutated strains of P. falciparum which were both unable to form gametocytes. They found that the gene responsible for producing the AP2-G protein was the only common non-functioning gene.

The international team found found the AP2-G protein catalyzes the transmission by activating a relevant gene set in the parasite.

Women tend to their malaria-infected babies in Angola.
Image: USAID Africa.

Both teams confirmed the finding by gene therapy — both by adding the gene into a mutated strain and observing its ability to form gametocytes, and the other way round.

The parasites exist in a mosquito, then in a human, and require subsequent transmission for the parasite to spread. The transmission can only happen through gametocytes. The parasite triggers formation of the sexual gametocytes into the human’s circulatory system every two days in small quantities — not wasting energy on the process at the dry time of year when few mosquitoes are available — but little was known about the mechanism.

Dr. Oliver Billker commented on the potential of getting the transmission of malaria under control, unlike the existing focus on addressing the phrase causing the clinical symptoms, “Current drugs treat patients by killing the sexless form of the parasite in their blood — this is the detrimental stage of the malaria lifecycle that causes illness. However, it is now widely accepted that to eliminate malaria from an entire region, it will be equally important to kill the sexual forms that transmit the disease.”

The researchers hope to continue research toward drugs to prevent the transmission of the disease. The science was funded by groups including UK research councils, the Spanish government, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and the European Commission.



Sources

External links

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

October 14, 2013

Wikinews interviews meteorological experts on Cyclone Phalin

Wikinews interviews meteorological experts on Cyclone Phalin

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cyclone Phailin over the Bay of Bengal on October 11.
Image: NASA.

Half-a-million people have fled their homes in and around the Indian state of Orissa after Cyclone Phailin made landfall.

Wikinews interviewed specialists in meteorology about the devastation the cyclone has caused.

Interviewees

Wikinews interviewed:

  • Michael Richman, Professor in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma in the United States
  • John Snow, Regents’ Professor of Meteorology and Dean Emeritus of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Services at the University of Oklahoma
  • Ramalingam Saravanan, Professor of Atmospheric Science at Texas A&M University
  • Fuqing Zhang, Professor in the Department of Meteorology at Pennsylvania State University
  • David Titley, a Senior Scientist and founding Director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Pennsylvania State University
  • Paul Knight, a Senior Lecturer in Meteorology at the Pennsylvania State University
  • Mark Morrissey, Professor of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma

Wikinews Q&A

File photo of interviewee Mark Morrissey.
Image: Mark Morrissey.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWikinewsWikinews waves Right.png What is your job role?

Richman: Professor in the School of Meteorology [at the University of Oklahoma].
Snow: I am a Regents’ Professor of Meteorology and Dean Emeritus of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences [at the University of Oklahoma].
Saravanan:I am a professor of atmospheric science at Texas A&M University, specializing in computer modeling of climate and weather phenomena, including hurricanes.
Zhang: I am a Professor in the Department of Meteorology with a courtesy joint appointment in the Department of Statistics [at Pennsylvania State University]. My current research focuses on the dynamics, prediction and predictability of tropical cyclones.
Titley: I am a Senior Scientist and founding Director of the Center for Solutions to Weather and Climate Risk at Penn State. I was awarded my Ph.D. in Meteorology from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California for work in tropical cyclone intensification.
Knight: I am a senior lecturer in Meteorology [at Pennsylvania State University] and the Pennsylvania State Climatologist.
Morrissey: I’m a professor of Meteorology at the Univ of Oklahoma. I specialize in tropical meteorology (and teach courses in that too).

File photo of interviewee David Titley.
Image: David Titley.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Cyclone Phailin has winds that have been measured at 200km/h, as it surges over land will it begin to lose strength?

Richman: Yes, all tropical cyclones are driven by high heat content waters. Once a storm moves over any appreciably sized piece of land, the moisture source is removed and the storm begins to dissipate. As of the last advisory, TC Phailin has winds of 190 kilometers per hour and has moved inland, headed on a northwest track. That is a Category 3 storm. The forecast is for a continued decline in strength to a tropical storm within 24 hours and a tropical depression within 36 hours. However, there will be very heavy rains and flooding along its path.
Snow: Yes, it will loose strength steadily as more and more of this swirling system moves from being over ocean to being over land. This occurs for two reasons:
1) As it moves over land, it is cut off from the source of energy driving the storm [which is] the evaporation of water from the warm sea surface;
2) Increased friction — the ocean surface is much, much smoother than the land surface.
Saravanan: Tropical cyclones are sustained by a form of energy called latent heat, which is released by moisture evaporated from the ocean that condenses to form rain. As tropical cyclones make landfall, this energy source is cut-off and they rapidly lose strength as they move over land.
Zhang: Yes, the Cyclone is almost certain to lose strength as it surges over land. Cyclones gather their strength through scraping moisture and heat from warm ocean water that it is not the case over land. In the mean time, much stronger friction over land quickly reduces their strength.
Titley: Yes. All tropical cyclones lose strength once they make landfall. However, they can remain dangerous storms due to very heavy rains and subsequent landslides, and river flooding.
Knight: Phailin’s winds will rapidly weaken as it pushes inland.
Morrissey: Once Cyclone Phailin comes on shore it will immediately begin to lose strength. However, and this is important, it still will contain lots of rainfall making flooding an almost certainty.

File photo of interviewee R Saravanan.
Image: R Saravanan.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png A previous cyclone in 1999 in the Bay of Bengal area of India left 10,000 people dead. Is the Indian government well prepared to deal with this cyclone?

Richman: I have not followed that aspect of the societal response for the present storm. However, historically, there have been several events that should cause a societal response. Hopefully, we all learn from past mistakes. The history of strong cyclones and death in the region is notable, with at least 5 large cyclone events in the past 35 years with 10,000 and as many as 300,000 people killed, millions left homeless and estimated damages as high as US$10 billion.
Snow: I don’t have enough information to answer this question, one way or the other.
Saravanan: From all the press reports that I have read, the Indian government appears to have taken the threat of Cyclone Phailin very seriously indeed. The government has been much more pro-active in preparing for this cyclone than in the past. The forecasts of cyclone track and intensity have been fairly accurate. Mandatory mass evacuations have been carried out, which is essential to minimize loss of life in these situations. Unfortunately, extensive property damage is bound to occur even with the best preparation.
Zhang: My knowledge of the responsiveness of the Indian government to this storm is purely from the cyber space. I heard that they orchestrated the largest people evacuation to a natural disaster in Indian history. This shall be applauded given the size and strength of Phailin. I visited the damaged area of the 1999 storm near Bhubaneshwar in the summer of 2012 for an invited symposium and summer school on tropical cyclones […] sponsored by the Indian government. Given the living standard and residence of people living near the coastal areas in this region, the evacuation is certainly necessary and essential to save lives.
Titley: I cannot comment directly on how the Indian government was prepared for this cyclone. However, the news reports (BBC etc.) were very encouraging in that the authorities were reportedly making strenuous efforts to evacuate the population from near the coast and areas that are prone to flooding. Water is the main killer in these storms.
Knight: From all reports that I have seen, the government was well prepared for this cyclone.
Morrissey: For this question I don’t know the ‘preparedness’ of the Indian gov’t to deal with this.

File photo of interviewee Michael Richman.
Image: Michael Richman.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Despite it being the Monsoon season in India, are cyclones of this power and magnitude unusual in India?

Richman: Since the Bay of Bengal is very warm, and the environmental conditions associated with the storm along most of its recent track were conducive to strengthening, it was an expected and well-forecast outcome. In general, the Indian Ocean has been undergoing a gradual warming over the past two decades […] and, the warmer the water, the higher the heat content and the higher the potential is for a very strong tropical cyclone. Phailin intensified rapidly when moving into a low wind-shear environment. It became a Category 5 cyclone, which is rare. However, if the Indian Ocean continues to warm, it may become less rare to see high-end cyclones. The only caveat I have is that takes only one of several factors detrimental to storms to prevent a tropical cyclone from intensifying this way. Wind shear or ingesting dry air are two, for example. We saw this in 2013 with the Atlantic hurricane season. There were waves of Saharan dust and dry air that damped the season, despite warm sea surface temperatures. Everything has to line up just right to get a category 5 cyclone. That is what makes prediction of tropical cyclone frequency and strength so difficult under global warming projections. However, the data […] suggest that the Indian Ocean is warming.
Snow: I am basing my answer on reports I have seen in the popular news media. Taking what was reported at face value, this is a super-typhoon/cyclone. Cyclones of this level of intensity (as measured by top wind speed and central pressure value) are very, very rare. Everywhere, including near India.
Saravanan: In terms of average numbers, major cyclones are less frequent in the Indian Ocean than some other regions of the world, such as the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico. However, Cyclone Phailin cannot be considered unusual because storms of similar power have occurred in the past. In fact, many of the deadliest cyclones in the world have occurred in the Indian Ocean region. The high death tolls have more to do with high population density and poor infrastructure than with the actual strength of the storms.
Zhang: It is the strongest in 14 years so in this sense it is certainly rare in India. Also, there are indications that in recent years cyclone activities in the Bay of Bengal have been in a decline.
Titley: Cyclones of this power and magnitude, while infrequent, are by no means unprecedented in the Bay of Bengal. They are most common in the transition seasons between the Winter and Summer Monsoon seasons, like now.
Knight: This is a very strong cyclone, but not unprecedented.
Morrissey: Actually cyclones are more prevalent during the onset and retreat of the monsoon. So, in the Bay of Bengal a tropical cyclone at this time is not unusual.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Some forecasters have likened Cyclone Phailin’s size and intensity to Hurricane Katrina which devastated the US Gulf Coast in 2005, would you agree?

Richman: Yes. See above. Katrina was also in a low shear environment over high heat content waters passing over a loop current in the Gulf of Mexico and responded by intensifying to a category 5 hurricane. Also, a second similarity is that Katrina encountered some shear and slightly cooler water before making landfall and crossed the Louisiana coast as a category 3 hurricane, similar to Phailin.

File photo of interviewee John Snow.
Image: John Snow.

Snow: From what I have seen and heard on the popular media, in terms of winds Phalin will be a much more intense storm than Katrina at landfall. Katrina was actually weakening rapidly as it came ashore. Phalin looks to be at a much higher intensity as it approach[es] land. The last few hours will tell.
Where a comparison with Katrina may be [of] value is with respect to the magnitude of the storm surge. Katrina’s winds drove an enormous surge of water (10+ meters above high tide) ashore to the east of New Orleans. My understanding from media reports is that Phalin may produce a surge of similar magnitude over a long stretch of coast.
Saravanan: The size and the intensity of Cyclone Phailin are roughly comparable to Hurricane Katrina, although Phailin may be somewhat weaker overall. The actual intensity of Phailin at landfall is still uncertain, because it is difficult to measure cyclone intensity accurately using only satellite information. One of the problems with the response to Katrina in the United States was that some residents in the vulnerable regions failed to heed the warnings and evacuations were not well coordinated. The sheer scale of the damage caused by Katrina was also not anticipated very well. Hopefully, the response to Phailin would have benefited from the lessons learned from Katrina.
Zhang: It certainly has some similarity in that regard though Katrina was still stronger with a longer history over the ocean.
Titley: Each Hurricane, or Cyclone, is unique and the impacts depend not only on the cyclone itself but also upon the specific area of the coast where it makes landfall. But in the sense that Phailin was a large and potentially dangerous storm, then yes there are similarities with Katrina. Perhaps a better analogy is the hurricane that struck Charleston, South Carolina in 1989: Hurricane Hugo also had winds around 200 km/h and was a large storm when it made landfall.
Knight: Phailin and Katrina have some similarities, especially in their size.
Morrissey: Since Cyclone Phailin has already hit one can easily say ‘oh it wasn’t as bad as Katrina’. However, the amount of damage has a lot to do with the coastline shape, height, whether rivers are nearby,etc. For example, Bangladesh has the Ganges which floods due to heavy rain at the same time as the cyclone-induced storm surge, so it is very prone to heavy damage.

File photo of interviewee Paul Knight.
Image: Paul Knight.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png The evacuation is one of the biggest exercises in India’s history. Do you think that this as well as the clear-up to follow will cost a lost of money?

Richman: Any action costs money. In 1995, in the US, we had Katrina, with an inadequate evacuation and then the levees were breached. That had a huge cost in terms of thousands of lives lost and billions of dollars in damage. Later in that same season, hurricane Rita was forecast to cross the Texas coast and hit Houston. A massive evacuation took place and then the storm missed Houston. However, there were deaths and loss of money because of the evacuation. What needs to evaluate is the relative cost of the a good forecast versus those of a missed forecast versus the costs of a false alarm forecast. There is no free lunch when you move millions of people.
Snow: While I don’t know any particulars re India, the clean-up and fix-up after any great disaster anywhere is always expensive, e.g., Haiti after the most recent earthquake.
Saravanan: Yes, the evacuations and the follow-up relocations will cost a lot of money, but it will certainly be worth it in terms of the number of lives saved. This was one of the lessons learned from Katrina in the U.S. I moved to my present job in Texas in July 2005, just before Katrina struck the near-by Louisiana coast in August 2005. As I mentioned earlier, the evacuations for Katrina were carried out poorly. After Katrina, when another powerful hurricane called Rita approached the same region in September 2005, evacuation warnings were taken very seriously. Many people returned after the evacuations with little damage to their homes, but felt that it was better to be safe than sorry, despite the cost and inconvenience of the evacuation.
Zhang: Yes, it has and it will but the evacuation is certainly necessary and the clear-up is unavoidable.
Titley: No doubt the evacuation and subsequent clean up will cost a lot of money. Hopefully as communities rebuild they can take into account the lessons learned from such powerful cyclones and make their communities and infrastructure increasingly resilient to these types of storms. Because you either “pay me now or pay me later” when fixing and repairing the damage.
Knight: All strong cyclones require an immense effort to help people get out of harm’s way and then to clean up its path of destruction, and Phailin will be no exception.
Morrissey: I’m sure that the evacuation was costly, but it probably saved many lives. The cyclone was a category 4, very strong.

File photo of interviewee Fuqing Zhang.
Image: Fuqing Zhang.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWNWikinews waves Right.png Would you expect the death toll to continue to rise?

Richman: No doubt this will be the case. If you use either Hurricane Katrina or Sandy as a template, some people do not evacuate in time and then the two leading causes of death are storm surge or floods. As the storm moved inland, flooding can continue for several days and all the water will flood river until it enters the Bay of Bengal.
Snow: Again, I don’t know particulars, but if people failed to evacuate or were unable to get far enough inland and/or to higher ground, then yes, one would expect additional casualties.
Saravanan: I am not an expert on the human impacts of landfalling tropical cyclones, but I am hoping that the evacuations were largely successful and the inevitable increase in death toll noted as rescue workers return to the affected regions will not be too high.
Zhang: Yes, certainly but hope the preparation by the people and the government will considerably reduce the death toll by orders of magnitude compared to 1999.
Titley: I hope not. So far the numbers of fatalities reported in the press have been very low. I hope these numbers do not rise further, but the authorities are busy returning to the hardest-hit areas so we will see. The very preliminary numbers of low fatalities gives hope though that many citizens heeded their authorities’ pleas for action and evacuation. I hope that turns out to be the real story and lesson from Phailin — strong cyclones do not have to be killer cyclones.
Knight: Unfortunately, inland flooding will likely add to the death toll.
Morrissey: Yes. Unfortunately, the death toll for Katrina continued to rise as searchers went house to house. But the early news for Cyclone Phailin is encouraging.



Sources

Wikinews
This exclusive interview features first-hand journalism by a Wikinews reporter. See the collaboration page for more details.
Wikinews
This article is a featured article. It is considered one of the best works of the Wikinews community. See Wikinews:Featured articles for more information.


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 22, 2012

Penn State student blog inaccurately reports death of Joe Paterno

Penn State student blog inaccurately reports death of Joe Paterno

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Joe Paterno (pictured in 2006) was the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team from 1966 to 2011.

A posting yesterday on the social networking web site Twitter by the Pennsylvania State University‘s student blog Onward State, which incorrectly reported the death of former Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, has led to the resignation of one of its managing editors. Paterno died today.

Paterno had been hospitalized over the weekend due to complications from lung cancer, and was in serious condition. The Onward State blog had picked up word of his death at the age of 85, which was then posted on Twitter at 8:45 PM EST. Various news organizations began to pick up the story after word of the report had been picked up by CBS. Penn State students held a candlelight vigil in front of a statue of Paterno on campus after word of the erroneous passing.

However, CBS soon retracted the story after posts from other Paterno family members on Twitter reported that Joe had not died. At 10:20 PM EST, the managing editor for Onward State, Devon Edwards, officially retracted the story, saying in another tweet; “Our 8:45 pm tweet about Joe Paterno’s death appears to be inaccurate, according to @JayPaterno, who says he’s alive. We were confident when we ran with it, and are still trying to figure out where our process failed. We apologize sincerely for error.” Additionally, Edwards also announced that he would be resigning from his position at Onward State, effective immediately.

In a blog post officially announcing his resignation, Edwards explained that “In this day and age, getting it first often conflicts with getting it right, but our intention was never to fall into that chasm. All I can do now is promise that in the future, we will exercise caution, restraint, and humility.”

This morning, a report officially confirmed that Joe Paterno had died — today — from lung cancer at the age of 85.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 20, 2009

US university Penn State wins 2009 NCAA Division I volleyball championship

US university Penn State wins 2009 NCAA Division I volleyball championship

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Wikinews Sports
Sports icon.png
Other sports stories

Erasing a two-set deficit, the Penn State University Nittany Lions came from behind in dramatic fashion to win the 2009 NCAA Division 1 women’s volleyball championship over the University of Texas Longhorns, held Dec. 19 in Tampa, Florida.

Members of the 2007 Penn State national champion team with U.S. President George W. Bush in 2008.
Image: Eric Draper.

Down 2-0, Penn State won the next three sets to extend their winning streak to 102 matches and in the process earning their third consecutive volleyball title.

Texas’ Destinee Hooker led all players with 34 kills, .316 hitting percentage and collected 17 digs. National volleyball Player of the Year Megan Hodges led the Nittany Lions with 21 kills, 13 digs and 5 blocks.

The set scores were 22-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-21, 15-13.

Penn State, the top-ranked team in the country, had a fairly easy route to the title game, beating all but of their opponents in straight sets. In the first and second rounds, they defeated Binghamton and the University of Pennsylvania in straight sets, before sweeping Florida and California in regional action. In the semi finals, they dropped their only set of the playoffs in a 3-1 victory over Hawaii.

No. 2 Texas’ route to the championship game was as easy, defeating Texas St. (3-0) and Texas Christian (3-0) in the first two rounds. In regional action, the Longhorns defeated Texas A&M (3-0) and Nebraska (3-1) to reach the semi final, where they swept Minnesota (3-0).

The win was also number 1,001 for Penn State coach Russ Rose.



Sources

Wikinews
Some information contained in this article was obtained from television, radio, or live webcast sources. Reporter’s notes and the broadcast source details are available at the collaboration page.
Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 4, 2009

USC Defeats Penn State in 95th Rose Bowl Game

USC defeats Penn State in 95th Rose Bowl Game

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Sunday, January 4, 2009

92,293 fans watched the University of Southern California Trojans defeat the Penn State Nittany Lions by a score of 38-24 in the 95th annual Rose Bowl Game, which took place Thursday at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena.

Quarterback Mark Sanchez led the USC offense with 4 passing touchdowns and 413 passing yards, a career high and the second most in Rose Bowl history.

USC quarterback Mark Sanchez led the Trojans with 413 passing yards, a career high, and 4 passing touchdowns. The Trojan offense surged in the first half, scoring four touchdowns and a field goal to give USC a 31-7 USC lead at halftime. Prior to the game Penn State’s defense only allowed an average of 12.7 points per game.

Joe Paterno, Penn State’s head coach since 1966, watched his team fall behind early from the stadium’s press box due to a hip injury suffered in 2006 after a player collided with him during a game. After USC increased their lead to 24 points, television broadcast a shot of Paterno in the press box shaking his head. Paterno commented: “They certainly deserved to win it, but I’m a little disappointed that we weren’t a little bit more competitive. And a lot of that was because we made so many mistakes in the first half.”

The Trojans compiled a record of 12-1 during their 2008 season, the sole loss coming when the Oregon State Beavers defeated the then-top-ranked Trojans on September 25. A win in that game possibly could have earned them a spot in the BCS National Championship Game, which is set to be played next week between the Florida Gators and the Oklahoma Sooners. On the win, Sanchez commented, “We mixed up the run and the pass so they couldn’t really key on anything. I think we really maximized our potential. I don’t know if it was a matter of opening up the playbook or us just executing very well. Maybe a little bit of both.”

The Nittany Lions finished the 2008 season 11-2, with the only regular season loss at the hands of the Iowa Hawkeyes. Incidentally, Penn State defeated Oregon State on September 6, 2008.



Sources

Wikipedia
Wikipedia has more about this subject:
2009 Rose Bowl


Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

December 5, 2008

University\’s lion mascot out like a lamb after DUI

University’s lion mascot out like a lamb after DUI

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, December 5, 2008

James Sheep as Penn State’s Nittany Lion mascot.
Image: Ben Stanfield.

Another member of the Pennsylvania State University’s cheerleading squad will step in to play the Nittany Lion at the 2009 Rose Bowl, after the main performer was suspended after being charged with DUI and summary traffic violations late last month. Penn State is the largest university in Pennsylvania and among the ten largest public universities in the United States.

Pennsylvanian James Sheep was charged with driving under the influence on November 22. Cheerleading coach Curt White told the Associated Press that Sheep will return later in 2009. The duration of the suspension was not mentioned.

Sheep was pulled over on campus at 3:16 am November 22, before Penn’s game versus Michigan State. He registered a .164 blood alcohol level. Penn State won the game 49-18.

Sheep has avoided interview requests by The Daily Collegian, Penn State’s newspaper, on multiple occasions.

In a statement, White commented: “James has been a very enthusiastic and hard-working Nittany Lion, but we are disappointed that his recent actions did not represent the high standards of this position. We are planning to have James resume his duties in the new year and are confident that he will represent Penn State Athletics and the University with a high level of energy, dedication and respect.”

The Pennsylvania State University website lists Sheep on their website as the Lion from 2007-2008, conflicting with coach White’s comment that he would return in the new year.

The mascot was introduced in 1907, brought in as a costume character in 1921, and is even the subject of the book The Nittany Lion: An Illustrated Tale. While most American university mascots change in appearance over the decades, the Nittany Lion remains essentially the same design as it has for generations.

Some earlier reports suggested that “46 current or former Penn State [football] players have been charged with crimes on 163 counts in the past six seasons.” Of those players charged, 27 were found guilty of at least one charge.



Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

August 21, 2007

West Virginia University regains title as number 1 party school

West Virginia University regains title as number 1 party school

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

WVU Campus.

West Virginia University has once again been named “number 1 party school” by the Princeton Review.

School administrators say they are disappointed, because they have been trying to curb underage drinking and rowdy behavior. The school has made the list seven times in the past 15 years. WVU senior Katie O’Hara says the school keeps making the list because, “No matter what kind of party you want it’s here — bars, fraternities, house parties.”

New WVU President Mike Garrison said, “I’m focused on the way this university changes people’s lives, the research that we do and the service we provide to the state of West Virginia.”

Garrison also pointed out the university finished among the top ten in other categories: No. 4 in Students Pack the Stadiums; No. 5 for Best College Library; No. 6 for Lots of Beer; No. 7 for Lots of Hard Liquor; and No. 8 for Best College Newspaper.

At number two on the party list was the University of Mississippi, followed by the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Florida, the University of Georgia, and Penn State University.

However, Brigham Young University, took the top spot in the “stone cold sober” category for the tenth year in a row.

Sources

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

February 2, 2005

Swift satellite goes fully on-line

Swift satellite goes fully on-line – Wikinews, the free news source

Swift satellite goes fully on-line

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Wednesday, February 2, 2005

Swift satellite

NASA’s Swift satellite has completed all tests since its launch last November and with the Ultravioliet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) now on line, is now fully functional for the mission’s 2 year quest for gamma-ray bursts.

Swift image of Pinwheel Galaxy

The UVOT was tested on the Pinwheel Galaxy (M101).

“After many years of effort building the UVOT, it was exciting to point it toward the famous Pinwheel Galaxy, M101,” said Dr. Peter Roming, UVOT Lead Scientist at Penn State University. “The ultraviolet wavelengths in particular reveal regions of star formation in the galaxy’s wispy spiral arms. But more than a pretty image, this first-light observation is a test of the UVOT’s capabilities.”

Gamma ray bursts are some of the most powerful objects observed in the Universe and are thought to signal the birth of black holes.

Swift is designed to detect the bursts and automatically re-orient itself to gather images and data of the phenomenon. Swift detected and imaged its first official burst on January 17, 2005, before the UVOT was operational with the aid of the Burst Alert (BAT) and X-ray (XRT) telescopes activated several weeks earlier. The BAT detects the gamma-ray bursts, automatically and immediately turns the telescope, bringing the XRT and UVOT to bear on the location of the event which record detailed observations of the burst afterglow.

The UVOT is a joint product of Penn State University and the Mullard Space Science Laboratory.

See also

  • January 21, 2005: NASA’s Swift detects possible birth of black hole

References

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

January 21, 2005

NASA\’s Swift detects possible birth of black hole

NASA’s Swift detects possible birth of black hole

From Wikinews, the free news source you can write!
Jump to: navigation, search

Friday, January 21, 2005

Swift satellite

On Jan. 17, the NASA-led Swift satellite mission detected and imaged its first gamma-ray burst, one of the most powerful explosions to occur in the universe.

The burst was in the midst of exploding as Swift, designed to autonomously repoint itself, turned and focused in less than 200 seconds on the event. The satellite was fast enough to capture an image with its X-Ray Telescope (XRT), while gamma rays were still being detected with the Burst Alert Telescope (BAT).

“This is the first time an X-ray telescope has imaged a gamma-ray burst while it was bursting,” said Dr. Neil Gehrels, Swift’s principal investigator at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD. “Most bursts are gone in about ten seconds, and few last upwards of a minute. Previous X-ray images have captured the burst afterglow, not the burst itself.”

“This is the one that didn’t get away,” said Prof. John Nousek, Swift’s mission operations director at Penn State University, in State College, PA. “And this is what Swift was built to do: to detect these fleeting gamma-ray bursts and focus its telescopes on them autonomously within about a minute. The most exciting thing is this mission is just revving up.”

Swift has three main instruments. The BAT detects bursts and initiates the autonomous slewing to bring the XRT and the Ultraviolet/Optical Telescope (UVOT) within focus of the burst. In December, the BAT started detecting bursts, including a remarkable triple detection on Dec. 19. Today’s announcement marks the first BAT detection autonomously followed by XRT detection, demonstrating the satellite is swiftly slewing as planned. The UVOT is still being tested, and it was not collecting data when the burst was detected. Scientists expect Swift to be fully operational by Feb. 1.

“We are frantically analyzing the XRT data to understand the X-ray emission seen during the initial explosion and the very early afterglow,” said Dr. David Burrows, the XRT lead at Penn State. “This is a whole new ballgame. No one has ever imaged X-rays during the transition of a gamma-ray burst from the brilliant flash to the fading embers.”

The origin of gamma-ray bursts remains a mystery. At least some appear to originate in massive star explosions. Others might be the result of merging black holes or neutron stars. Any of these scenarios likely will result in the formation of a new black hole.

The Swift satellite’s two-year mission will be to:

  • Determine the origin of gamma-ray bursts.
  • Classify gamma-ray bursts and search for new types.
  • Determine how the explosion develops.
  • Use gamma-ray bursts to study the early universe.
  • Perform the first sensitive hard X-ray survey of the sky.

Swift, still in its checkout phase, is an international collaboration launched on Nov. 20, 2004. It is a NASA mission in partnership with the Italian Space Agency and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council, United Kingdom.

References

Bookmark-new.svg


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Powered by WordPress