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PAGE Thursday, 18, 2013 daily 28 townsman / dailyApril bulletin



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Garage Sales


Scientists decode DNA of ‘living fossil’ Malcolm Rit ter Associated Press

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NEW YORK — Scientists have decoded the DNA of a celebrated “living fossil’’ fish, gaining new insights into how today’s mammals, amphibians, reptiles and birds evolved from a fish ancestor. The African coelacanth is closely related to the fish lineage that started to move toward a major evolutionary transformation, living on land And it hasn’t changed much from its ancestors of even 300 million years ago, researchers said. At one time, scientists thought coelacanths died out some 70 million years ago. But in a startling discovery in 1938, a South African fish trawler caught a living specimen. Its close resemblance to its ancient ancestors earned it the “living fossil’’ nickname. And in line with that,

analysis shows its genes have been remarkably slow to change, an international team of researchers reported Wednesday in the journal Nature. Maybe that’s because the sea caves where the coelacanth lives provide such a stable environment, said Kerstin Lindblad-Toh, senior author of the paper and a gene expert at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Modern coelacanths make up two endangered species that live off the east coast of Africa and off Indonesia. They grow to more than 5 feet (1.5 metres) long and have fleshy fins. The coelacanth’s DNA code, called its genome, is slightly smaller than a human’s. Using it as a starting point, the researchers found evidence of changes in genes and in gene-controlling “switches’’ that evidently aided the

COMMUNITY GARAGE SALE Home Hardware Cranbrook is hosting an open Community Garage Sale every Saturday from May 25th to Sept 28th. There will be space for 12-15 families each week. We are looking for any local groups interested in overseeing the event each Saturday in exchange for keeping all the money collected for table rentals. If your group is interested please call Brad 250-426-6288 or email brad@home

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move onto land. They involve such things as sense of smell, the immune system and limb development. Further study of the genome may give more insights into the transition to living on land, they said. Their analysis concluded that a different creature, the lungfish, is the closest living fish relative of animals with limbs, like mammals, but they said the lungfish genome is too big to decode.

The water-to-land transition took tens of millions of years, with limbs developing in primarily aquatic animals as long as nearly 400 million years ago, by some accounts, and a true switchover to life on land by maybe 340 million years ago, said researcher Ted Daeschler. Daeschler, curator of vertebrate zoology at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University in Philadelphia,

who didn’t participate in the new work, said genome research provides a way to tackle some previously unanswerable questions in evolution. He emphasized that DNA is best used in combination with fossils. “This is a great detective tool,’’ he said. “You might collect DNA evidence at a crime scene, but you can’t ignore the dead body.... With paleontology, we have the dead bodies.’’

Toxic exposure?

Most Canadians have BPA in urine, lead traces in blood: report CANADIAN PRESS

TELUS COMMUNITY AMBASSADORS Spring Garage Sale. Kitchen items, knick knacks, bedding, toys, pictures, mirrors, sports equipment, books, small appliances, jewelry, purses and large selections of Christmas stuff. In fact, we have some of almost everything. 8am to 1pm, Saturday, April 20th. 44 11th St. S. No early birds. FREE COFFEE. Proceeds go back to the community. We Give Where We Live.

AP Photo/Smithsonian, Chip Clark

This 2008 image made available by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History shows an African coelacanth (Latimeria chalumnae).

TORONTO — A Health Canada study suggests most Canadians have the chemical bisphenol A in their urine and all have traces of lead in their blood. The 2009-2011 report on environmental chemicals shows the plastics ingredient bisphenol A, or BPA, was detected in the urine of 95 per cent of Canadians aged three to 79. Children aged three to five and six to 11 had the highest average concentration of BPA, while adults 60 to 79 had the lowest average level. Current BPA levels do not differ from those found in similar testing in 2007 to 2009, and the health effects of such exposure are unknown.

While lead can be harmful at any age, but especially to children, the study shows almost all Canadians had levels below that where treatment is recommended. And blood-lead levels have been dropping — the current average lead level for six- to 79-year-olds is about 11 per cent lower than the 2007-2009 average and four times lower than that measured in 19781979. “This latest collection of national biomonitoring data will build on the (previous) information collected ... for future monitoring and research,’’ said Dr. Robert Cushman, Health Canada’s special medical adviser. “It will improve our understanding of human chemi-

cal exposure and help with the development of policies to protect the health of Canadians.’’ Bisphenol A, a chemical used to make some plastics and epoxy resins, is found in food and beverage containers and in the protective linings of food and beverage cans. BPA is rapidly broken down in the body and excreted in urine, so levels in urine are thought to indicate recent exposure. Animal studies have suggested the chemical may affect brain development, leading Canada and some other countries to ban its use in baby bottles. But Health Canada has said that exposure to BPA through food packaging is not expected to pose a health risk.

Erica Phipps of the Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health and Environment welcomed this latest biomonitoring research on the population’s exposure to potentially toxic environmental substances. “The dataset on three- to five-year-olds gives us a clearer picture of chemical exposures for the most vulnerable among us — our children — and provides an important benchmark against which to measure progress.’’ The 2009-2011 Canadian Health Measures Survey collected data from a representative sample of 6,400 Canadians. The survey is the first to include measurements for children aged three to five.

Northern MLA plans to seek treatment CANADIAN PRESS

YELLOWKNIFE — A member of the legislature from the Northwest Territories has apologized for his poor behaviour and for missing meetings. Kevin Menicoche said in a statement Wednesday that he plans to address his personal problems and seek professional treatment, but does not specify for what. The CBC has reported Men-

icoche and another MLA missed meetings in Inuvik last week because of excessive drinking. “I feel I may have embarrassed my constituents and deeply regret that,’’ Menicoche, 51, said in his statement. “I apologize to my constituents for my recent lack of judgement ... I take full responsibility for my behaviour.’’ He has also asked the legis-

lative assembly to bill him for any extra costs related to the missed meetings. Tim Mercer, clerk of the legislative assembly, said the government is going to do just that. “We’re not going to charge him for the flights because he did attend certain meetings, but we will charge him for the extra hotel room and the per diem costs.’’ Mercer said Menicoche at-

tended meetings in Inuvik last Tuesday through Thursday. But he and another MLA did not attend meetings the following two days with the standing committee on priorities and planning. In his statement, Menicoche said he doesn’t plan on leaving his job. He was first elected as the representative for the Nahendeh region 10 years ago.

Cranbrook Daily Townsman, April 18, 2013  

April 18, 2013 edition of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman

Cranbrook Daily Townsman, April 18, 2013  

April 18, 2013 edition of the Cranbrook Daily Townsman