Move over, Sherlock Holmes. There is a new master of disguise—and it’s a plant. Camouflage and mimicry are usually reserved for the animal realm. The hawk moth caterpillar scares away predators by resembling a snake. Myrmarachne jumping spiders imitate ants as they creep up on unsuspecting insects—fangs ready. Fewer examples of mimicry—or crypsis—are known for plants. But as in some mistletoe species in Australia, all of these imposters copy only one other species. That’s not the case with the woody vine Boquila trifoliolata, which transforms its leaves to copy a variety of host trees. Native to Chile and Argentina, B. trifoliolata is the first plant shown to imitate several hosts. It is a rare quality—known as a mimetic polymorphism—that was previously observed only in butterflies, according to this study, published today in Current Biology. When the vine climbs onto a tree’s branches, its versatile leaves (inset) can change their size, shape, color, orientation, and even the vein patterns to match the surrounding foliage (middle panel; the red arrow points to the vine, while the blue arrow indicates the host plant). If the vine crosses over to a second tree, it changes, even if the new host leaves are 10 times bigger with a contrasting shape (right panel). The deceit serves as a defense against plant-eating herbivores like weevils and leaf beetles, according the researchers. They compared the charlatan leaves hanging on branches with the leaves on vines still crawling on the forest floor in search of a tree or scaling leafless trunks. Herbivory was 33% and 100% worse for the vines on the ground and on tree trunks, respectively. It is unclear how B. trifoliolata vines discern the identity of individual trees and shape-shift accordingly. The vines could read cues hidden in odors, or chemicals secreted by trees or microbes may transport gene-activating signals between the fraud and the host, the researchers say.
In the summer of 2012, the country was heavily involved in the presidential race of Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney was leading the polls in July, he was gaining more of Obama’s niche with the youngsters, and Obama’s campaign team was in trouble.
Romney and his team saw how President Obama won the 2008 election using a strategic plan to make sure they sealed not the popular vote, but the Electoral College. A good majority of this planning and campaigning from Obama’s team came from his social media and outreach to younger voters online.
Romney was winning the polls, but he was still behind in every aspect in terms of social media. Romney needed to boost his viral presence, and he contacted several companies to do so including Publicist Michael Bentley.
Bentley ran seven unique “twitter booster companies”, including 20Hub and DaliHub, and he had been involved in “faking social media” since the early days of mypace.com. Bentley had also been linked to the boosting of some high profile accounts that might or might not include Kim Kardashian and Kanye West.
Bentley was willing to help out Romney and his staff. He was a willing Republican kid with the online and social media knowledge that Romney’s crew knew could help and help instantly. Romney’s Twitter jumped with 150,000 new followers in just one weekend in July.
The only problem was, Bentley wasn’t a Republican, and beyond making some quick money, he wasn’t interested in Romney winning the election.
Bentley was paid, and he did exactly what he was paid to do. He provided Romney with the followers. Romney didn’t care who was following him, he just needed the boost to look credible online.
Bentley and his associates immediately leaked the material to all the press with the headline, “Romney Twitter account gets upsurge in fake followers, but from where”
The media quickly picked up on the leaked story and ran with it. Romney lost a ton of credibility with the younger generation, and slowly Obama took the road to a second term.
It was a clever ploy. When Romney’s team asked Bentley, he simple told them that he would have put his name in the article to get more business. It was a done deal, Bentley was paid for a service, he provided the service.
Bentley is set to sit down with Time Magazine contributing writer, Joe Klein to discuss the entire plan on Monday May 5th. Bentley released the following statement:
“When the order first came in I thought it was a Romney parody account, a joke, or something. They didn’t send an NDA, They didn’t ask any questions, it was a pretty simple purchase. They didn’t ask for targeted followers so we had some fun. We added 10 thousand accounts from Iraq based twitters, we had over 400 fake Bin Laden accounts not only added, but they re-tweeted him automatically. We had fun with it.”
Besides being a successful publicist, Bentley is also an A&R for Universal Music Group, an accomplished producer, on air personality and writer.
For more information on Michael Bentley please visit www.MichaelBentleyLive.com
Glenn Miller, the former North Carolina KKK leader who ran for governor in the 1980s, made national headlines last week when he was charged with killing three people in a shooting rampage outside two Jewish facilities in Kansas.
The ABC11 I-Team made a startling discovery while digging into Miller’s time in the Raleigh area. The avowed white supremacist, anti-Semite and anti-homosexual was caught by police in a compromised situation with a black prostitute who was really a man.
Wiz Khalifa has announced that he will hit the road this summer for the “Under The Influence Of Music” tour.
The “Under The Influence Of Music” tour is set to kick off on July 24th at The Pavilion at Montage Mountain in Scranton, Pa and run through August 24th as things wrap up at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Irvine in Irvine, Ca.
The tour will feature special guests that include fellow Taylor Gang artist Ty Dolla $ign, Rich Homie Quan, Sage The Gemini, Mack Wilds, Iamsu! and DJ Drama.
Tickets go on sale April 25th.
View the complete “Under The Influence Of Music” Tour schedule below.
“Under The Influence Of Music” Tour Dates:
Jul 24 – The Pavilion at Montage Mountain – Scranton, Pennsylvania
Jul 25 – Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, New Jersey
Jul 26 – Farm Bureau Live at Virginia Beach – Virginia Beach, Virginia
Jul 27 – Jiffy Lube Live – Bristow, Virginia
Jul 29 – Molson Canadian Amphitheatre – Toronto, Ontario
Jul 31 – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, New York
Aug 1 – First Niagara Pavilion – Burgettstown, Pennsylvania
Aug 2 – Xfinity Center – Mansfield, Massachusetts
Aug 3 – PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, New Jersey
Aug 5 – First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre – Tinley Park, Illinois
Aug 6 – Klipsch Music Center – Noblesville, Indiana
Aug 8 – Blossom Music Center – Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
Aug 9 – Alpine Valley Music Theatre – Elkhorn, Wisconsin
Aug 10 – DTE Energy Music Theatre – Clarkston, Michigan
Aug 12 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater St Louis – Maryland Heights, Missouri
Aug 14 – Gexa Energy Pavilion – Dallas, Texas
Aug 15 – The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion presented by Huntsman – Woodlands, Texas
Aug 17 – Isleta Amphitheater – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Aug 19 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, Colorado
Aug 22 – Shoreline Amphitheatre – Mountain View, California
Aug 23 – Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista – Chula Vista, California
Aug 24 – Verizon Wireless Amphitheater Irvine – Irvine, California
Family members of the victims of Robert Eugene Hendrix — some of them Hendrix’s own relatives — waited 24 years for justice in the brutal 1990 slaying of his cousin and his cousin’s wife
It took the state 11 minutes to dispense that justice.
Hendrix was killed by lethal injection Wednesday night for the murder of his cousin Elmer Scott and Scott’s wife, Michelle Scott, in their Lake County home. Hendrix offered no final words.
“I feel today as I watched my cousin die that justice was served,” Lisa Hunt, 31, Elmer Scott’s baby sister, told reporters outside Florida State Prison nearly an hour after the execution. She said she wishes her parents were alive to see Wednesday’s execution but that “I feel in my heart they are watching over us.”
Hunt was one of 17 members of the victims’ families to witness the execution, which began at 6:10 p.m. They sat in silence, faces immobile as they watched Hendrix breathe for the last time. A white sheet covering Hendrix’s body moved up and down for several minutes as he breathed deeply, obscuring most of his face but for the tip of his nose and forehead.
Four minutes in, a prison official leaned over, grabbed Hendrix by his shoulders and said “Inmate Hendrix” twice to check for consciousness.
The sheet stopped moving, and at 6:18 p.m., a physician came out to check Hendrix for vital signs, waving a light in his eyes, checking his pulse and listening for a heartbeat before pronouncing him dead. The prison official pronounced the sentence against Hendrix carried out at 6:21 p.m.
Among the witnesses was Rachel Scott, the daughter of the two victims. She was five months old when Hendrix killed her parents.
Death is the one certainty in life – a pioneering analysis of blood from one of the world’s oldest and healthiest women has given clues to why it happens.
Born in 1890, Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper was at one point the oldest woman in the world. She was also remarkable for her health, with crystal-clear cognition until she was close to death, and a blood circulatory system free of disease. When she died in 2005, she bequeathed her body to science, with the full support of her living relatives that any outcomes of scientific analysis – as well as her name – be made public.
Researchers have now examined her blood and other tissues to see how they were affected by age.
What they found suggests, as we could perhaps expect, that our lifespan might ultimately be limited by the capacity for stem cells to keep replenishing tissues day in day out. Once the stem cells reach a state of exhaustion that imposes a limit on their own lifespan, they themselves gradually die out and steadily diminish the body’s capacity to keep regenerating vital tissues and cells, such as blood.
Two little cells
In van Andel-Schipper’s case, it seemed that in the twilight of her life, about two-thirds of the white blood cells remaining in her body at death originated from just two stem cells, implying that most or all of the blood stem cells she started life with had already burned out and died.
“Is there a limit to the number of stem cell divisions, and does that imply that there’s a limit to human life?” asks Henne Holstege of the VU University Medical Center in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, who headed the research team. “Or can you get round that by replenishment with cells saved from earlier in your life?” she says.
The other evidence for the stem cell fatigue came from observations that van Andel-Schipper’s white blood cells had drastically worn-down telomeres – the protective tips on chromosomes that burn down like wicks each time a cell divides. On average, the telomeres on the white blood cells were 17 times shorter than those on brain cells, which hardly replicate at all throughout life.
The team could establish the number of white blood cell-generating stem cells by studying the pattern of mutations found within the blood cells. The pattern was so similar in all cells that the researchers could conclude that they all came from one of two closely related “mother” stem cells.
Point of exhaustion
“It’s estimated that we’re born with around 20,000 blood stem cells, and at any one time, around 1000 are simultaneously active to replenish blood,” says Holstege. During life, the number of active stem cells shrinks, she says, and their telomeres shorten to the point at which they die – a point called stem-cell exhaustion.
Holstege says the other remarkable finding was that the mutations within the blood cells were harmless – all resulted from mistaken replication of DNA during van Andel-Schipper’s life as the “mother” blood stem cells multiplied to provide clones from which blood was repeatedly replenished.
She says this is the first time patterns of lifetime “somatic” mutations have been studied in such an old and such a healthy person. The absence of mutations posing dangers of disease and cancer suggest that van Andel-Schipper had a superior system for repairing or aborting cells with dangerous mutations.
Opportunity in mutation
The study is novel because it is the first to investigate the accumulation of somatic mutations within the tissues of an old individual, says Chris Tyler-Smith of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Hinxton, UK. “This contrasts to the germ-line mutations [present at birth] measured in previous studies,” he says.
“When there is mutation, there’s an opportunity for selection and some somatic mutations lead to cancer,” says Tyler-Smith. “Now we see the range of somatic mutations in normal, non-cancerous tissues like blood, so we can start to think about the health consequences.”
Tantalisingly, Holstege says the results raise the possibility of rejuvenating ageing bodies with re-injections of stem cells saved from birth or early life. These stem cells would be substantially free of mutations and have full-length telomeres. “If I took a sample now and gave it back to myself when I’m older, I would have long telomeres again – although it might only be possible with blood, not other tissues,” she says.
Next, Holstege hopes to hunt for clues to genes that protect against Alzheimer’s disease by comparing van Andel-Schipper’s genome to that of people who succumb abnormally early to the disease.
Shawn Hoyt, 19, faces one count of arson for a fire that destroyed a Dover, N.H., home. Witnesses say they heard loud popping noises coming from the house right before the flames began Tuesday night.
Police in Dover, N.H., have charged Shawn Hoyt, 19, with one count of arson.
A New Hampshire teenager was arrested early Wednesday, accused of starting a fire that destroyed a home and forced a family to flee for their lives.
Police in Dover arrested Shawn Hoyt, 19, around 12:45 a.m. Wednesday, Foster’s Daily Democrat reports. He faces one felony charge of arson.
The two-alarm fire began around 9 p.m. on Tuesday. A woman and her four children were inside the home, but they were able to evacuate before crews arrived, police said.
No one was injured, and the fire did not spread to neighboring homes.
Witnesses said they heard loud popping sounds coming from the home as the flames began. A group of teens were seen running down a nearby street soon after the fire started.
Tuesday night’s blaze was the latest in a series of fires in the area, Dover Police said in a press release. The fires remain under investigation.
NBA superstar Joakim Noah has sued his former shoe sponsor — claiming Le Coq Sportif makes TERRIBLE SNEAKERS that may have damaged his feet … TMZ Sports has learned.
Noah quietly declared war on the French company in a D.C. court back in November … claiming LCS signed him to a 6-year $6 million deal back in 2007, only to screw him out of more than $1.65 million.
In the suit, Noah says he was pumped about the deal at first — but shortly after he signed, LCS shut down its U.S. offices, fired the guy who signed Noah, and started looking for ways to back out of the deal. Noah claims things came to a head in 2013 when they suddenly stopped paying him money he believed they were obligated to pay.
Noah says despite the negative energy, he held up his end of the bargain — and wore Le Coq shoes in every NBA game he played even though he claims they were “not well designed and likely contributed to [my] development of plantar fasciitis.”
Noah says his medical condition likely linked to the crappy shoes “caused him to miss several games during the 2012-13 Chicago Bulls NBA season, including key games in the NBA playoffs.”
Le Coq filed a counterclaim against Noah — but it appears the two sides were able to strike a settlement because they suddenly dropped their cases against each other just last month.
FYI — Noah has moved on to a new shoe sponsor … Adidas.