News / Hapag-Lloyd eyes market share grab on Asia-South America container trades

first_img There are “opportunities” for Hapag-Lloyd to gain market share in Latin America as a result of Maersk’s takeover of Hamburg Süd, according to CEO Rolf Habben Jansen.“It is always a little difficult to retain market share when you go through a merger,” he said yesterday following Hapag-Lloyd’s third-quarter investor presentation.It was the voice of experience following the acquisition of CP Ships in 2005, of CSAV in 2014 and the merger with UASC completed in May this year.Confirming that the Latin America tradelanes were now performing “strongly”, Mr Habben Jansen said the regulatory concessions necessary for Maersk’s acquisition of Hamburg Süd – including the sale of Brazilian domestic carrier Mercosul Line to rival CMA CGM – “gives us some opportunities to grow a little bit faster” in Latin America.Maersk’s acquisition of Hamburg Süd was given conditional approval by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce on 7 November. Now only two of 21 regulatory approvals still need to be obtained and CEO Soren Skou anticipates the purchase could be completed by the end of the month.Alphaliner noted that conditions demanded by China meant some quite tough restrictions on growth, including Maersk terminating Hamburg Süd’s participation in the Asia-east coast South America Multicarrier 2 VSA with Hapag-Lloyd, COSCO, HMM, NYK and Zim, which also includes slot swaps with CMA CGM, Evergreen and Yang Ming.Maersk is also required not to extend Hamburg Süd’s participation in the Asia-west coast South America VSA with MSC, CMA CGM, COSCO, Hapag-Lloyd and HMM and cannot enter into any VSA or alliance with CMA CGM, Hapag-Lloyd, MSC and NYK within five years of the acquisition.But perhaps the toughest of all is that Maersk must reduce its reefer slot capacity share on the Asia-WCSA tradelane from the current combined 45-50% to 34-39% within 90 days of completion and maintain it at that level for three years.Alphaliner said the restrictions “radically altered the service structures” on the Asia-South America trades.It added: “Maersk’s rivals will likely seek to expand their participation in the routes as, after a two year slump, volumes and freight rates have recovered strongly.” © Anna Krasnopeeva By Mike Wackett 16/11/2017last_img read more

Six fixtures that stand out in the 2018 Laois GAA championship draws

first_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR With three teams to go out of the group, the winner of this one will definitely be a strong position. Twitter Laois County Council team up with top chef for online demonstration on tips for reducing food waste WhatsApp Council WhatsApp By Steven Miller – 10th March 2018 Home Sport GAA Six fixtures that stand out in the 2018 Laois GAA championship draws SportGAAGaelic FootballHurling Six fixtures that stand out in the 2018 Laois GAA championship draws Rugby Facebook Community Pinterest The Laois GAA championship draws were made on Thursday night last in the Laois Shopping Centre, who sponsor all the grades in hurling and football.While there is still well over four months before the games get underway – and a mountain of league games to get through – there is plenty to look forward to all the same.We’ve picked out the games that really jump out from the fixture list.Laois Shopping Centre SHC – Ballinakill v AbbeyleixThe Laois SHC has a new format this year with two groups of four replacing the old back-door system and it has thrown up two very interesting groups.While Group B looks stronger, the meeting of Ballinakill and Abbeyleix in Group A will be a good local derby and an intriguing clash. Ballinakill won when they last met in the championship in 2015 but Abbeyleix reached the semi-final last year and were the only team to beat Camross. Pinterest Laois Shopping Centre SHC – Castletown v CamrossGroup B should throw up an amount of fascinating games – with a repeat of last year’s county final between Clough-Ballacolla and Camross on the cards as well as a local derby between Clough-Ballacolla and Rathdowney-Errill and a clash between Rathdowney-Errill and Camross.The match between a Paul Cuddy-managed Clough-Ballacolla side and Castletown will also have added intrigue.But it’s the game between old rivals Camross and Castletown Gaels that we’re picking out here. The sides haven’t met in the championship in years. Castletown only remained senior last year thanks to a relegation final win over Portlaoise and they’ve been drawn in a brute of a group. But they’ve a coming team, club legend John Lyons is after taking the manager’s job and they also have Slieve Bloom in with them to make it a Gaels side. We mightn’t get the fireworks of old but it’ll still be worth watching.Laois Shopping Centre SHC ‘A’ – Rosenallis v ClonasleeThe groups for the Senior ‘A’ championship are nowhere near as interesting as the top grade and it was a competition with a number of one-sided or disappointing games last year with only a handful of exceptions.The meeting of Rosenallis and Clonaslee, however, is one that will generate plenty of enthusiasm in both camps. Rosenallis looked likely championship winners last year before being beaten by Colt in the semi-final while Clonaslee were very disappointing and hammered by The Harps in the quarter-final.There will be no shortage of motivation on either side for this one and you could see this being a right good battle.Laois Shopping Centre IHC – Park-Ratheniska/Timahoe v CamrossPark-Ratheniska and Timahoe have formally joined forces for hurling and become the latest full-on amalgamation in the county.The first year is bound to be a challenge as they come together and they’ll have the ongoing issue of balancing both hurling and football. The draw for the intermediate hasn’t been overly kind to them but between the two sides of this new club they have plenty of decent hurlers and if it all comes together for them they shouldn’t be too far away from the business end of it.Laois Shopping Centre SFC – Portlaoise v BallyfinThe draw for the senior football championship saw the bizarre omission of two teams resulting in it having to be re-drawn and there was one club in particular that saw their fortunes change drastically.Ballyfin Gaels were initially paired with Arles-Kilcruise, last year’s relegation finalists, and a game they’d fancy their chances in.The second time round they were drawn against the champions and their meeting in Round 1 will be a rare clash between the clubs in the football championship. Ballyfin shocked champions Stradbally last year and a win in a game like this would be as big triumph in their football history.Laois Shopping Centre IFC – Courtwood v Mountmellick Mountmellick find themselves back in the intermediate grade for the first time since 2006 and they’ve been pitted against a Courtwood side on the up.With a selection of players with county underage experience, manager Eddie Kinsella is a building an exciting side but they’ve been handed a tough draw. Mountmellick made a habit last year of losing games they could have won and that’s something they’ll be keen to move away from this year.The winners of this one will get a huge confidence boost.Laois Shopping Centre JFC ‘A’ – Errill v CamrossThe junior football championship is a competition with three distinctly different types of team. You’ve got the straight-up junior football clubs – like Annanough, Kilcavan, Park-Ratheniska and Spink – then you’ve the second teams of the senior clubs (Graiguecullen, O’Dempsey’s etc) and then the hurling clubs who have to juggle both committments.Errill and Camross are two such sides (The Harps are the other) and they’ve been drawn to meet in Round 1. Errill are on an incredible football run, one that has seen them win Junior ‘C’ and Junior ‘B’ back to back. It’s some going for a club that only fields a team for the championship and doesn’t even take part in the league.Camross drew with Park-Ratheniska last year but a loss to The Heath ended their interest and they then went on to enjoy a great hurling season.Many big-name hurlers will be on display here – and the winner will hope to set themselves up to go on a bit of a run in this championship.SEE ALSO – Laois hurling team named for crunch clash with Dublin Ten Laois based players named on Leinster rugby U-18 girls squad Laois County Council create ‘bigger and better’ disability parking spaces to replace ones occupied for outdoor dining Facebook Twitter TAGSLaois IFCLaois IHCLaois JFC ‘A’Laois SFCLaois SHCLaois SHC ‘A’ Previous articleIn Pictures: The Heath GAA celebrate minor football successNext articleDeaths in Laois – Saturday, March 10, 2018 Steven Millerhttp://www.laoistoday.ieSteven Miller is owner and managing editor of LaoisToday.ie. From Laois, Steven studied Journalism in DCU and has 14 years experience in the media, almost 10 of those in an editorial role. Husband of Emily, father of William and Lillian, he’s happiest when he’s telling stories or kicking a point.last_img read more

OECD trims forecast for Canadian economy

Canadian Press Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Related news The multinational forecasting group has also reduced its estimate for Canada’s economic growth in 2014, now expected at 2.3 per cent — one-tenth of a point below the previous estimate of 2.4 per cent. In both this year and next, the OECD expects Canada’s growth to trail the United States, where the OECD expects an 1.9 per cent advance in 2013 and 2.8 per cent in 2014. Both countries will outpace the 17 European Union countries that use the euro. The OECD predicts the eurozone economy will shrink by 0.6 per cent this year, after a 0.5 per cent drop in 2012. In its half-yearly update, the international body said Wednesday that Canada will benefit from business investment due to low capital costs, still-high commodity prices and improving confidence. External demand is also expected to contribute because of expanding U.S. and non-OECD markets as well as a depreciating exchange rate. It expects Canadian household spending to remain unchanged, however, as easy monetary policy will be offset by tightening mortgage rules, debt reductions and a consolidating public sector. Stagflation is U.S. economists’ biggest fear, SIFMA says Keywords Economic forecastsCompanies Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD raises outlook for Canadian economic growth this year The OECD has reduced its estimates for Canadian economic growth this year and next. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development currently expects a 1.4 per cent advance this year for Canada — down four-tenths of a point from its November estimate of 1.8 per cent. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Economy lost 68,000 jobs in May read more

Desjardins launches eight new corporate class funds

first_img Related news “What motivated us to launch the eight new corporate class funds was our drive to meet the needs of our taxable investors who were looking for a tax-smart way to save and invest outside their registered plans,” explains Luc Caron, director of mutual fund development, Desjardins Group. The corporate class structure allows investors to mitigate or eliminate the tax implications of switching between portfolios or funds held within the same corporate class structure. Furthermore, this legal structure, as opposed to a trust structure, pays income in the form of dividends and capital gains which are types of income that receive favourable tax treatment. The eight new corporate class funds are: Desjardins Dividend Growth Corporate Class Desjardins Canadian Equity Income Corporate Class Desjardins Canadian Equity Value Corporate Class Desjardins Canadian Equity Growth Corporate Class Desjardins American Equity Growth Corporate Class Desjardins Overseas Equity Growth Corporate Class Desjardins Global Small Cap Equity Corporate Class Desjardins Emerging Markets Opportunities Corporate Class Desjardins Group is the leading cooperative financial group in Canada and the fifth largest cooperative financial group in the world with assets of $212 billion. BMO to launch six new mutual funds IE Staff Fidelity Investments unveils new climate-focused fund suite Facebook LinkedIn Twittercenter_img Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Keywords Fund launches,  Corporate class mutual fundsCompanies Desjardins Group Mackenzie to wind up corporate class funds Lévis, Que.-based Desjardins Group is launching eight new corporate class funds offering exposure to Canadian, U.S., international and emerging markets opportunities. With the introduction of these new funds, Desjardins expands its suite of offerings for investors seeking tax-efficient investment solutions. last_img read more

GSWA renames stratigraphic well and tectonic element of Canning Basin

first_imgGSWA renames stratigraphic well and tectonic element of Canning Basin The Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA) has renamed the Waukarlycarly Embayment, a tectonic element in the southwest Canning Basin, to Barnicarndy Graben. The Waukarlycarly 1 deep stratigraphic well drilled into the element has also been renamed Barnicarndy 1, and a fault along the western edge of the graben has been renamed the Barnicarndy Fault.The name changes were agreed upon following consultation with Western Desert Lands Aboriginal Corporation on the cultural significance of the Waukarlycarly name. In 1994, GSWA named the embayment after nearby Lake Waukarlycarly, following the geological tradition of naming geological entities after associated topographic features. The new name is based on the Barnicarndy Hills located in the graben. /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View in full here. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:Aboriginal, Australia, Canning, Government, Industry regulation, survey, Western Australialast_img read more

CU's Fiske Planetarium To Present “Colorado Skies” On March 19

first_img Published: March 6, 2002 Share Share via TwitterShare via FacebookShare via LinkedInShare via E-mail Fiske Planetarium at the University of Colorado at Boulder will present “Colorado Skies,” a live show featuring some of the stellar sights seen in the night sky in Colorado, on Tuesday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. Visitors will see images of the night sky over Colorado as it appears to the unaided eye, through telescopes and in wavelengths of light human eyes can’t see. They also will learn about upcoming events in the night sky, and will track the movement of planets through the skies of this month and beyond. Admission is $4 for adults and $3 for children and seniors. Tickets go on sale at 7 p.m. the night of the show. Fiske Planetarium is located at Regent Drive and Kittredge Loop Drive on the CU-Boulder campus. For more information about Fiske Planetarium and other shows and programs it offers to the public and educators, call (303) 492-5001 or visit the Web site at www.colorado.edu/fiske.last_img read more

HORIBA India gets award for conducting best CMEs

first_img Heartfulness group of organisations launches ‘Healthcare by Heartfulness’ COVID care app By EH News Bureau on August 9, 2019 News Share Menopause to become the next game-changer in global femtech solutions industry by 2025 Related Posts Comments (0) The company’s CMEs cover every vital technical aspect for haematology range of products used by Indian diagnostic medical laboratoriesHORIBA India has been recognised as the only brand that systematically organises excellent CMEs. The company recently received the award from Union Minister of Health and Family Welfare Ashwini Kumar Choubey. The company’s CMEs cover every vital technical aspect for haematology range of products used by Indian diagnostic medical laboratories.The selection was made on the basis of HORIBA’s uniquely designed initiatives in conducting CMEs, workshops and technical training programmes, which are well recognised throughout country among pathologists and laboratory experts. Some of the flagship initiatives include Hematology Analyzer Based Xchanges (HABX), HORIBA interpretation Training (HIT), Horiba Operational Training (HOT) and various workshops, which the company organises in collaboration with government institutes, medical colleges and reputed hospitals and laboratory chains across the country.In addition to this, HORIBA India has its International Technical Training Centre, located at New Delhi, where they have state-of-the-art simulated laboratory set-up. Along with the help of internationally certified trainers from France, the US and Japan, their centre trains haematologists, pathologists and technical experts of hematology range of instruments from across the globe throughout the year. awardCMEsdiagnostic labsHoriba Medicalmedical training The missing informal workers in India’s vaccine story HORIBA India gets award for conducting best CMEs Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals releases first “Comprehensive Textbook of COVID-19” MaxiVision Eye Hospitals launches “Mucormycosis Early Detection Centre” WHO tri-regional policy dialogue seeks solutions to challenges facing international mobility of health professionals Read Article Phoenix Business Consulting invests in telehealth platform Healpha Add Commentlast_img read more

T-Mobile US renews calls for 2018 mmWave auction

first_img Tags T-Mobile US renewed industry calls for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to auction off mmWave spectrum allocated for 5G within the year.In a filing with the FCC, T-Mobile urged the commission to collectively auction spectrum set aside for mobile 5G use in the 24GHz, 28GHz, 37GHz, 39GHz, and 47GHz bands sometime in the 2018 timeframe. The operator argued auctioning all the bands together will “result in a more robust and competitive auction”.The filing renewed calls for a 2018 auction following similar requests from several industry players including AT&T.Late in 2017, AT&T pressed the commission to hold an auction for 28GHz and 37GHz to 40GHz spectrum by December 2018. AT&T said an auction in the timeframe would coincide with the planned commercial availability of 5G chipsets and equipment, and allow operators to deploy their 5G networks as quickly as possible.However, FCC chairman Ajit Pai in October warned future spectrum auctions are on hold indefinitely until the commission can find a way to comply with a law related to how upfront payments from bidders are held.FiberTower spectrumT-Mobile had another request for the FCC: to include FiberTower’s trove of 24GHz and 39GHz licences in any mmWave auction rather than letting the company sell them to AT&T as planned in a deal penned in January 2017.“The commission correctly determined that FiberTower failed to meet its construction requirements despite many opportunities, including extensions of time. Reinstating those licences would be inconsistent with the commission’s obligation to ensure that spectrum is put to productive use and would undermine its ability to enforce its performance requirements.”T-Mobile’s argument echoes one made by the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), which represents small and rural operators in the US (T-Mobile is one of its members). In 2017, CCA called on the FCC to block AT&T’s FiberTower deal and auction off those mmWave licences instead.“Allowing one of the nation’s dominant carriers to obtain 650 terminated licences at potentially less than market value would harm competition, the economy, and most importantly, consumers,” CCA CEO Steven Berry contended. T-Mobile US chief predicts market rebound Federal Communications Commission (FCC)spectrum auctionT-Mobile US Author Diana Goovaerts Previous ArticleTanzania stakes claim for Airtel unit after “illegal” saleNext ArticleFCC accelerates Puerto Rico 600MHz licence shift Home T-Mobile US renews calls for 2018 mmWave auction AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to MoreAddThisMore 12 JAN 2018 Amazon reels in MGM Deutsche Telekom, SoftBank tipped for T-Mobile trade Diana is Mobile World Live’s US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only… Read more Relatedlast_img read more

Revisiting our top 10 players to watch in 2015

first_imgLast December we presented a list of 10 players to watch during 2015. Ever wonder how they did? Wonder no more – here’s the rundown: 10. Cheyenne Woods Why she bore watching: Well, there’s the whole niece-of-Tiger thing, but Cheyenne Woods had credentials beyond a famous relative. In 2014 she won her first Ladies European Tour event and secured her LPGA card for 2015. How she did: It was a rough year. Woods played in 17 events and made just seven cuts, leaving her 125th on the LPGA money list with $32,713. Her best finish was a T-24 in the JTBC Founders Cup, and her best round was a 63, which shared the opening-round lead in the Manulife LPGA Classic. Her scoring average was 73.22. 9. Peter Uihlein Why he bore watching: Another player with a famous relative (his father, Wally, is CEO of the Acushnet Company, the parent of Titleist and Footjoy). Peter played a full European Tour schedule in 2014, with two top-10s. He also had a T-4 in the PGA Tour’s Sanderson Farms Championship. How he did: Uihlein played the European Tour again in 2015, with improved results. He made 19 of 26 cuts (up from 14 of 23), had four top-10 finishes (up from two) and had a stroke average of 70.38 (down from 71.37). He also got stuck on a Harry Potter ride at Universal Studios. 8. Carlos Ortiz Why he bore watching: In his rookie season on the Web.com Tour in 2014, Ortiz led the tour with three victories, finished second on the money list and earned his PGA Tour card for the 2014-15 season. How he did: Ortiz played in a whopping 30 events in the 2014-15 PGA Tour season. He made 20 cuts, earned $964,137 and finished 93rd in the FedEx Cup standings. 7. Luke DonaldWhy he bore watching: The former world No. 1 had fallen to No. 33 in the Official World Golf Ranking, but was optimistic about a career revival after returning to former swing coach Pat Goss. How he did: Donald’s world ranking has dropped further, to No. 72. On Tour in 2014-15, he had only two top-10s in 20 starts, compared to three in 17 during the previous season. His earnings dropped from $1.4 million to $1 million. Statistically, his driving accuracy dropped, from 63 percent to 59 percent; his greens-in-regulation percentage improved from 63 percent to 66 percent; and his strokes gained-putting dropped from .520 to .290. He is not currently qualified for any of next year’s majors or WGC events. 6. Justin Thomas Why he bore watching: At 21, Thomas became the youngest rookie in the ’14-15 PGA Tour class. In just one season on the Web.com Tour, he led in the all-around category and secured a victory during the Web.com Tour finals. How he did: In his rookie season on the PGA Tour, Thomas played 30 events, making 23 cuts, with seven top-10 finishes. Earning more than $2.2 million, he wound up finishing 32nd in the FedEx Cup standings, narrowly missing out on a trip to East Lake. After all the close calls, Thomas finally cashed in for his first Tour victory this fall at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. 5. Tony Finau Why he bore watching: Finau played his first full year on the Web.com Tour in 2014, won the Stonebrae Classic and earned his PGA Tour card for the ’14-15 season. How he did: Finau posted five top-10s and 16 top-25s last season. He finished tied T-14th at the U.S. Open and T-10 at the PGA. The 26-year-old earned just over $2 million, advanced to the BMW Championship and finished seventh on Tour in driving distance at 309 yards. All of it was enough to make him, like Thomas, a nominee for last year’s rookie of the year award. 4. Hideki Matsuyama Why he bore watching: Matsuyama already had a PGA Tour win (2014 Memorial) and was ranked 16th in the world last December, when he was only 22. We wondered if this would be his year for a major breakthrough. How he did: There was no follow-up victory in 2015, but there were six top-5 finishes, including a runner-up in Phoenix. He was third at the Tournament of Champions, fourth at the Northern Trust, fifth at the Memorial, fifth at the CIMB and — as for the majors — fifth at the Masters. Matsuyama racked up roughly $4 million and is now 14th in the Official World Golf Ranking. He represented the International Squad at this year’s Presidents Cup, going 2-1-1 and defeating J.B. Holmes in singles. 3. Victor Dubuisson Why he bore watching: Images of him saving par from desert scrub brush — not once, but twice — at the 2014 WGC-Match Play were among the most memorable in golf. He also finished ninth at the British Open and seventh at the PGA Championship. How he did: The enigmatic Frenchman stayed well under the radar for the majority of the year, struggling with his game. But he re-emerged earlier this month, winning his second Turkish Airlines Open. Dubuisson broke down in the tears after his victory, citing personal issues and a loss of confidence as reasons for his downturn. 2. Rickie Fowler Why he bore watching: Fowler was the only player to finish in the top five in all four majors in 2014. Noting that he was working with Butch Harmon, we asked, “2015 has to lead to a win or two … right?” How he did: Fowler played his last six holes of regulation in 6 under Sunday at the Players to find his way into a four-hole playoff, which he went on to win for his most important victory to date. Fowler then followed it up with two more high-profile wins at the Scottish Open and Deutsche Bank Championship. He is now sixth in the Official World Golf Ranking. His breakthrough just happened to be overshadowed by two guys named Spieth and Day. 1. Brooks Koepka Why he bore watching: He won the Turkish Airlines Open in November and before that, had strong showings at the PGA Championship (T-15) and the U.S. Open (T-4). How he did: Koepka made us look smart with a quick victory at the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Though injury slowed his momentum in the months after, the 25-year-old steadied himself during the summer, when his worst finish in a seven-event stretch was a T-18 at the U.S. Open. He tied for 10th at the Open Championship and fifth at the PGA. Although he was rather controversially left of the U.S. Presidents Cup team, he is currently eighth on the Ryder Cup points list for 2016.last_img read more

Researchers: It Exists; Therefore, It Evolved

first_img Evolution NewsEvolution News & Science Today (EN) provides original reporting and analysis about evolution, neuroscience, bioethics, intelligent design and other science-related issues, including breaking news about scientific research. It also covers the impact of science on culture and conflicts over free speech and academic freedom in science. Finally, it fact-checks and critiques media coverage of scientific issues. Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour A Physician Describes How Behe Changed His MindLife’s Origin — A “Mystery” Made AccessibleCodes Are Not Products of PhysicsIxnay on the Ambriancay PlosionexhayDesign Triangulation: My Thanksgiving Gift to All TagsAnn GaugerAnne-Ruxanda CarvunisAoife McLysaghtbiologyCenter for Science & CultureCharles ThaxtonDouglas AxeevolutiongenesgeneticshomologuesID the FutureIllustra MediaJean-Paul SartreJunk DNAMetazoanatural selectionNature CommunicationsNikolaos Vakirlisnon-coding DNAorphan genesPaul Nelsonprobabilityproto-genesRoger OlsenThe Mystery of Life’s OriginTrinity College DublinWalter Bradley,Trending Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis The way some evolutionary biologists and some uncritical reporters in the media talk, probabilistic miracles are routine events. Natural selection is omnipotent so it can handle any observation in biology. Since evolution is already a fact, no other explanation or argument is needed. It exists; therefore it evolved.Genes from ScratchTake the case of de novo genes. Darwin skeptics argue that the origin of a new gene or protein by chance is so fantastically improbable, it will never happen anywhere in the history of the universe, even under the most favorable circumstances.* No problem, say these evolutionists; since evolution is a fact, it happened. This is a variation on a formulation offered here last year, “To solve a problem, declare it solved.” Watch the faith of evolutionists at Trinity College Dublin when they consider the origin of orphan genes. They report, “Genes from scratch — far more common and important than we thought.”Over time, genes change via random mutations. Some of these changes result in serious defects and are rarely passed on to the next generations, others have little impact, and others confer significant advantages, which become favoured due to natural selection and end up being passed on to future generations.This is the main source of genetic novelty and how organisms differ from each other. However, genetic novelty can also be generated by totally new genes evolving from scratch. [Emphasis added.]They exist; therefore they evolved. Totally new genes evolved from scratch. Evolution Supplied the MiraclesThese evolutionists are aware that the existence of orphan genes looks like a tough problem for Darwinism. But looks are deceiving.Orphan genes pose a tough evolutionary problem though. They don’t look like other genes, so where do they come from? One idea is that they can originate seemingly from nothing: over long, evolutionary timescales, a completely novel gene can emerge de novo out of a region in the genome that is made up of junk DNA. Alternatively, with enough time, two ‘cousin’ genes can diverge so much that we can no longer identify the relationship between them. Thus, a gene may at a glance appear to be an orphan without having really emerged de novo.Surely they are not going to pursue option 1, that orphan genes appeared out of junk DNA? And yet we see them discount option 2, that orphan genes are descendants of genes that diverged long ago. Only about a third of them seem to have come about from pre-existing genes, they reckon. What can they do?Their method of determining how orphan genes originated is simple. Here it is: they counted them. Since they exist, it must have been a cinch for evolution to create them. Professor of genetics Aoife McLysaght explains:“To our surprise, at most, around one third of orphan genes result from divergence. So, in turn, this suggests that most unique genes in the species we looked at are the result of other processes, including de novo emergence, which is therefore much more frequent than scientists initially thought.” From the junkpile of non-coding DNA, strands with “potential” to be functional exist, waiting for their moment in the light. Once they show some function, natural selection is fully capable of amplifying them into genes from scratch. Assistant professor of computational systems biology Anne-Ruxanda Carvunis has no problem with declaring the problem solved. Evolution is a fact, remember? It’s the Darwin skeptics’ fault if they can’t see the logic.“Order seems like something that’s hard to achieve, but our results go completely opposite to that. We found that simple order is rampant everywhere in the genome. The propensity to make simple shapes that are stable is already there, waiting to be exposed. De novo gene birth is thus becoming less and less mysterious as we better understand molecular innovation.”Perhaps a refresher on the difference between order and complexity would help. Masters of FitnessTheir paper in Nature Communications shows that the team of 16, including Carvunis and McLysaght, did perform some busy work to argue for the innovative power of evolution. For instance, they found an orphan gene in yeast that was not present in its assumed evolutionary ancestor. Simple answer: its existence served as “confirming the de novo origination of” the gene. Why, all that non-coding junk must be pregnant with “proto-genes” just waiting for their moment to emerge! Once they show a little talent (are “preadapted”), natural selection is sure to make them masters of fitness.Recent evidence demonstrates that novel protein-coding genes can arise de novo from non-genic loci. This evolutionary innovation is thought to be facilitated by the pervasive translation of non-genic transcripts, which exposes a reservoir of variable polypeptides to natural selection.These emerging proto-genes, rather than being stumbling beginners, must be even more likely to race to the fitness goal.Mutations that cause changes to the sequence or expression of established genes are typically constrained by preexisting selected effects—the specific physiological processes mediated by the gene products that are maintained by natural selection. In contrast, emerging proto-genes are expected to mostly lack such constraints because they do not have selected effects. This would leave them more readily accessible to evolutionary changes that have the potential to increase fitness (adaptive changes). We reasoned that this initial potential for adaptive changes would give way as proto-genes mature and the adaptive changes engender novel selected effects, in turn increasing constraints and reducing the possibility of future change. This reasoning is akin to Sartre’s “existence precedes essence” dictum, and predicts that mutations affecting the sequence or regulation of proto-genes should impact fitness differently than mutations affecting the sequence or regulation of established genes. Specifically, proto-genes are predicted to evolve under weaker constraints, and thereby to display a higher potential for adaptive change, than established genes (Fig. 1a).Who Needs Probability? Well. If Jean-Paul Sartre, the famous biochemist, says it, it must be so. There may be no Designer, but there is adaptive potential in junk DNA. And so these proto-genes, like rowdy youngsters full of unconstrained energy, are more likely to increase their fitness rapidly without being bogged down by the hang-ups of their elderly fuddy-duddies. Their essence as functional, innovative genes is established by their existence. Who needs thermodynamics to overcome the configurational entropy hurdle described by Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley and Roger Olsen in the new expanded edition of The Mystery of Life’s Origin? Genes exist de novo. Therefore, they evolved.**Listen to Paul Nelson on ID the Future describe the extent of orphan genes, with examples from various genomes. He considers both options evolutionists use for their origins: divergence from common ancestry and de novo appearance.*On ID the Future, Center for Science & Culture biologist Ann Gauger answers the question, “Is it easy to get a new protein?” with Doug Axe’s calculations about probability of a new protein fold by chance. She also addresses the example of nylonase, which is often put forward as an icon of evolutionary potential for innovation. For an illustration of the improbability of a functional protein, see “The Amoeba’s Journey” from Illustra Media’s film Origin.**A companion paper in eLife by Vakirlis, Carvunis, and McLysaght (open access), “Synteny-based analyses indicate that sequence divergence is not the main source of orphan genes,” argues that sequence divergence is an insufficient explanation for orphan genes:The persistent presence of orphans and TRGs [taxonomically restricted genes] in almost every genome studied to date despite the growing number of available sequence databases demands an explanation. Studies in the past 20 years have mainly pointed to two mechanisms: de novo gene emergence and sequence divergence of a pre-existing gene, either an ancestrally present or one acquired by horizontal transfer.Horizontal transfer “is not known to be frequent in metazoa,” they say. By conservatively underestimating the number of orphans, and overestimating the number originating by sequence divergence, they find the divergence explanation inconsistent with the data. As a result, we can be confident that those genes without detectable similarity really are orphans and TRGs, but in turn we also know that some will have spurious similarity hits giving the illusion that they have homologues when they do not in reality.The eLife paper focuses on refuting the divergence explanation, but does not conclude that de novo appearance is likely. They leave the answer to the “mystery of orphan genes” to future studies:Overall, our findings are consistent with the view that multiple evolutionary processes are responsible for the existence of orphan genes and suggest that, contrary to what has been assumed, divergence is not the predominant one. Investigating the structure, molecular role, and phenotypes of homologues in the ‘twilight zone’ will be crucial to understand how changes in sequence and structure produce evolutionary novelty.Image credit: Arek Socha via Pixabay. Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Billions of Missing Links: Mysteries Evolution Can’t Explain “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Recommended Evolution Researchers: It Exists; Therefore, It EvolvedEvolution News @DiscoveryCSCMarch 11, 2020, 4:47 AM last_img read more