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January 10, 2020 | |Post a Comment

first_imgAnd while France pin their hopes on Kylian Mbappe, it is unlikely that the teenage superstar has encountered a defence quite like Uruguay’s.The mouth-watering last-eight tie in Nizhny Novgorod is likely to be decided by a battle between Uruguay’s stifling backline and the speed of Mbappe, 19.Led by captain Diego Godin, and including Jose Gimenez, Martin Caceres and Diego Laxalt, along with goalkeeper Fernando Muslera, Uruguay’s defence have the joint-best record at the World Cup.They passed through the group stage without conceding a goal, and the only player to score against Uruguay was Portugal’s Pepe in the last 16, and that was ultimately in vain.Brazil are the only other team to have conceded just the solitary goal so far.Uruguay have conceded three fewer goals than France. Both teams have scored seven times.Between them, the experienced defence have over 350 international caps between them. They are supremely well-organised and have already served notice that Mbappe will not have the same kind of freedom he enjoyed against Argentina.“If you let France have space it will be very difficult,” Uruguay’s coach Oscar Tabarez said after securing a place in the quarter-finals.And he has also insisted that he is happy to cede possession to France in a bid to make the last four.France’s conundrum against Uruguay is knowing best how to utilise Mbappe and his fellow attacking danger, Antoine Griezmann.The French limped through their group stage but burst to life in their exhilarating 4-3 last-16 win over Argentina, inspired by Paris Saint-Germain’s $220 million (188-million-euro) Mbappe.Didier Deschamps, France’s coach, has already indicated that he is expecting a different kind of game from “solid” Uruguay from the seven-goal thriller in Kazan.The match is likely to be unsurprising, if not only for tactics, but also because of those involved.Whoever — and however — decides the match is likely to have to get one over on a domestic teammate.Cavani, who may play some part despite his calf injury, plays with Mbappe and PSG.Godin and Gimenez are colleagues — and close friends — with Griezmann, Rodrigo Bentancur and Blaise Matuidi play for Juventus, while Luiz Suarez and French defender Samuel Umtiti play for Barcelona.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Atletico Madrid pair Godin and Gimenez have been immense at the back for Uruguay © AFP/File / Adrian DENNISNIZHNIY, Novgorod, Russian Federation, Jul 5 – The build-up to Friday’s quarter-final clash between France and Uruguay has been dominated by individuals, but it may be the South Americans’ almost unbreachable four-man defence which decides the result.While Uruguay sweat on the fitness of striker Edinson Cavani, it should be remembered that La Celeste’s progress in Russia has been built upon their defence as much as their A-list attack.last_img read more

December 19, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgA researcher in New York obtained women’s eggs and conducted experiments on them that could lead to human cloning.  While done in the name of regenerative medicine, the experiments on embryonic stem cells involved the destruction of a human embryo.  This kind of experimentation raises multiple ethical concerns, but the researcher went ahead anyway, and scientific journals are hailing the advance, albeit with a palpable twinge of conscience about ethics. Dieter Egli had to move his practice from Massachusetts to New York to get around his home state’s laws against compensating women for egg donations.  Using private funds, and paying women $8,000 for their eggs, he used a new method of somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) that overcame a barrier other researchers have encountered.  By leaving the egg nucleus intact, and transferring in a nucleus from skin cells, he was able to get the cells to grow past the point where previous attempts stalled.  Embryonic stem cells from his blastula stages showed ability to generate three types of tissues – a sign of pluripotency.  The results were published in Nature.1 It’s doubtful his cells would be useful, though, because they contain three sets of chromosomes instead of the usual two.  Observers are treating this not as a breakthrough, or a process likely to lead to regenerative medicine, but just as an incremental step in understanding stem cells. 1. Noggle, Eglie et al., “Human oocytes reprogram somatic cells to a pluripotent state,” Nature 478 (06 October 2011), pages 70–75, doi:10.1038/nature10397. Egli’s result raises ethical concerns in at least three ways (see Family Research Council outline on human cloning).  First, paying women for their egg cells could tempt poor women to undergo a risky procedure.  Second, the technique involves the destruction of a human embryo, which many believe to be a human life.  Third, it advances the possibility of cloning humans and producing human-animal chimeras. Finally, the method is unnecessary.  Stem cells with all the regenerative power needed can be obtained from adult cells, without ethical concerns, via the induced pluripotent stem cell process (iPSC).  There is no actual, tangible result from Egli’s work that shows a path to treatment for degenerative disease; all that is being claimed is the ability to compare embryonic stem cells with iPSCs. The title of a recent PNAS commentary announces: “Induced Pluripotency Leapfrogs Ahead.”  No one has shown conclusively that embryonic stem cells are better than iPSCs.  Meanwhile, exciting advances continue to pour forth on adult stem cells, as shown by a recent Science Daily article.  And PhysOrg just reported that induced reprogramming is safer than previously thought, undermining claims that they are more subject to mutations.  Another article on Medical Xpress announced a workable treatment for sickle cell anemia using a patient’s own adult stem cells. Even the articles celebrating Egli’s announcement are aware of the ethical concerns.  In the same issue of Nature, Insoo Hyun and Paul Tesar from Case Western Reserve University wrote that “Cloning advance calls for careful regulation.”  Also in Nature, Jan Helge Solbakk of the Centre for Medical Ethics questioned the practice of paying women for their eggs.  In Science the next day, Gretchen Vogel acknowledged the “ethical questions about obtaining oocytes from young, fertile women” and the “the ethical, legal, and practical hurdles that complicate his [Egli’s] work”.  The BBC News acknowledge that work with iPCSs is “seen as more ethical”.  Science Daily claimed that “The study was funded solely with private funding and adhered to ethical guidelines adopted” by various organizations, one of them being the American Society for Reproductive Medicine — but a quick look at some of their documents shows their “guidelines” to be wishy-washy statements with no teeth.  If Egli has indeed tampered with human embryos and destroyed them unnecessarily, the ethical qualms will remain. What worldview sees humans as objects, things, entities that can be used like guinea pigs?  What worldview, by contrast, puts high value on the sanctity of human life?  What kinds of practices lie down the road from those pathways?  Remember that horrors can start innocently in small stages.  One must look beyond these few cells Egli played with, and see a scientific community filled with avaricious individuals with eyes on a Nobel prize.  Some of them will do whatever they can simply because they can.  Treating diseases can be cover for other motivations; if they want the fast track to regenerative medicine, without ethical concerns, let them work with iPSCs.  Human embryos are not playthings.  You were one yourself once, too.(Visited 32 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

December 19, 2019 | |Post a Comment

first_imgThe Sandton Convention Centre decked outin Confederations Cup banners ahead of thedraw.(Image: Tamara O’Reilly)Tamara O’ReillyAsk around which major football event South Africa will be hosting soon and the likeliest answer will be the Fifa 2010 World Cup tournament. While that’s not entirely wrong, it’s not entirely true either.Next year South Africa hosts the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup – a tournament played by eight teams which comprise the winners of all Fifa competitions held throughout year, the revered World Cup trophy holders and the host nation. This weekend a beady eye was cast on South Africa as the draw deciding the matches that the eight teams will play took place at a glitzy African-themed event at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg.Hundreds of delegates and media personnel from around the world witnessed the preliminary draw for the competition, which will be held from 14 to 28 June 2009.“It would be wrong to regard the Fifa Confederations Cup as merely an entrée to the main course,” says Fifa Secretary General Jerome Valcke. “The eight participating nations represent the cream of their respective continents and the contrast between these teams and their diverse styles should create a fascinating spectacle for the fans. It is shaping up to be an exciting precursor to the 2010 Fifa World Cup.”From a football point, host South Africa, had the proverbial  luck of the draw as the teams opponents in Group A are Iraq, winners of the 2007 Fifa Asian Cup, OFC Nations Cup holders New Zealand and UEFA Euro Champions Spain.“It could have been worse. It is in our favour, but we should not underestimate Iraq and New Zealand, who are both competitive teams that have fought hard to be here. The home ground advantage should give us a good chance of getting into the next round. This will lift the spirit of all of us and will be wonderful for the country,” said Danny Jordaan, CEO of the South African Local Organising Committee (SALOC).Group B is made up of CONMEBOL Cup and current Confederations Cup trophy holders Brazil, World Cup winners Italy, African Cup of Nations champions Egypt, and Concacaf Gold Cup winners USA.As it stands, the draw favours the local team’s chances of gaining entry to the semi-finals – so the longer the South African team stay in the competition, the more matches will be sold out. This will be a relief to the Local Organising Committee who is concerned that matches where only international sides playing will not be well attended.“There’s a perception that South Africa is a rugby and cricket nation and if we do not fill our stadiums we will only reinforce that stereotype,” says Jordaan. “It will be a wonderful opportunity for the fans to get a taste of a Fifa World Cup atmosphere in the stadiums. We are confident that South Africans will not want to miss this opportunity to see some of the best teams in world and that matches will be sell-outs. And as for the organisation, our stadiums will undoubtedly be ready and the Confederations Cup will give us a great opportunity to test our systems and logistical planning ahead of the Fifa World Cup.”To get locals into the spirit of things the SALOC has launched a marketing campaign that will be carried across all mediums – radio, television, community broadcasters, print and online.“It is important to get the message out there now because people are still unaware of the quality of the tournament,” says chief marketing and commercial officer Derek Carstens. “We are a soccer loving nation and we have to prove it to the world that the atmosphere that such a tournament generates internationally is not wasted on South Africans.”The SALOC has also made tickets to the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup affordable for locals. Recently with Fifa matches, spectators have to apply either online or with a ticketing partner (in this case First National Bank) to purchase a ticket. According to Fifa, ticket applications submitted will be processed on a first-come first-served basis – in the order of receipt. All successful applicants will be notified of their success within approximately seven to 10 working days after submitting their request.A maximum of 20 tickets can be purchased and there is no limit on the number of games.There are two categories of tickets available – individual match tickets and Venue Specific Tickets (VST). Under the VST are two series of tickets – one which allows access to all games played at a particular stadium and another which includes games plus access to the finals. For South Africans they range from R210 to R4 340 and bought from outside South Africa are from US$40 to $620.Tickets for individual matches range from R70 to R1 400 locally and between $10 and $200 for outsiders.Do you have any comments or queries about this article? Email Tamara O’Reilly at [email protected] links2009 Fifa Confederations CupConfederations Cup ticket infoSouth Africa 2010last_img read more