Murray, Kerber start Australian Open at top

first_imgIt’s new and exciting for Andy Murray and Angelique Kerber, entering a Grand Slam tournament with the No. 1 in front of their names.Both reached the top of the rankings for the first time near the end of 2016, ending long reigns by Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams.And so they’ll open their Australian Open campaigns on Rod Laver Arena on day one – both against Ukrainians.Murray, a five-time runner-up, opens his pursuit of a first Australian title against Illya Marchenko in the last-day match on the main show court. Kerber opens the night session against Lesia Tsurenko. She’ll be followed on court by Roger Federer, who is returning from six months on the sidelines.The ‘one-round-at-a-time’ clichÈ is well worn in tennis. For Kerber, though, it’s pertinent. Seeded seventh last year, the left-handed German had to save a match point in the first round against Misaki Doi. Spurred on by that, she went on to beat Serena Williams in the final and claim her first Grand Slam title. She added a second major at the US Open and ascended to the No. 1 ranking.”I think this point where I was match point down, that was the important point for my career,” Kerber said yesterday, speaking of her first-round escape against Doi. “You never know (if) I lost the match, what would have happened.”WITHOUT PRESSUREIt gave her the freedom to play without pressure, and that made all the difference.”When I’m looking back, I was feeling that I got a second chance to stay in the tournament,” she said. “I was playing since then without expectation … just enjoying everything.”Kerber can hang on to the top ranking by reaching to the final here, but she’s already feeling there’s more to defend than her title.”It’s a new challenge for me, for sure,” she said, but we are starting from zero here. I have to be ready from the first round again.”I will try to not put too much expectation and pressure on myself. I mean, I will try to do it like last year – that was the way I had my success.”Record-chasing, six-time champions Djokovic and Williams, seeded No. 2 and anchoring the bottom half of the men’s and women’s draws, won’t be in action until day two. Djokovic is aiming to be the first man to win seven Australian titles. Serena Williams is chasing an Open-era record 23rd major title.last_img read more

Read More

‘Team Liberia to China Olympics is on Course’

first_imgDespite the recent cancellation of Liberia’s representation to the on-going handball competition in Lome, Togo due to the outbreak of Ebola virus in the country, the chief of mission of Liberia’s delegation, to Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic in the People’s Republic of China, Fred Pratt has said that Liberia is still course, preparing for the games.Pratt told the Daily Observer yesterday that final documentations for Liberia’s participation have already been sent by the Organizing Committee to be filled in and subsequently returned before this weekend.Though, he did state what information is being requested but sources said it concerns personal information, including the current healthy status of athletes and other members of the delegation.Pratt said the two Liberian teenaged athletes, Tracy Chayee, 16 and Momolu Sambai, 17, are “very well and training and will serve as ambassadors to hoist the Liberian flag in China at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.” The games will run from August 16-28.Miss Chayee will run the 400m Hurdles while Momolu Sambai will compete in the 50m freestyle swimming event.The chief of mission disclosed that the team will depart the country on Tuesday, 12 August 2014, noting that bulk of the expenses will be underwritten by Olympic Solidarity of the International Olympics Committee (IOC).He indicated that prior to the departure each member of the 7-man delegation will produce an ‘Ebola Clarence’ certificate from the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.Meanwhile, it has been realized since the deadly Ebola virus is not contacted merely by contact, except, “contact with someone who is acutely infected, and by the dead body of someone who has died by the virus,” it does not make sense for sports officials to cancel sporting programs.Knowing that someone who is acutely infected will not be active, strong, healthy or enthusiastic in going outside of his/her home and since such person will be helpless, broken down, there is no need why sports should be suspended in the country, knowledgeable sports lovers told the Daily Observer. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Read More

Researchers rejuvenate aging mice with stem cell genes

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwecenter_img Stem cells can spawn other types of body cells, but they have another striking capability—they remain young. Researchers have now harnessed this ability to boost the life spans of mice and refurbish some of their tissues. Although the approach won’t work in humans, it could lead to ways to keep our bodies vigorous even as we get older.“It’s a beautiful piece of work,” says genome scientist Howard Chang of Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, who wasn’t connected to the research. The study, he adds, reinforces the idea that “aging is not just a passive process. We can intervene to change the outcome.”Like our hair and skin, our chromosomes show our age. Chromosomes carry molecular attachments, known as epigenetic marks, that help control how tightly DNA coils and how active genes are. As we get older, the arrays of these marks change, potentially fouling up the precisely coordinated patterns of gene activity that keep our cells working. Epigenetic modifications aren’t permanent, however. By turning on a few genes normally active only in embryos, researchers can “reprogram” adult body cells into stem cells. This process returns epigenetic marks to their youthful settings and seems to rejuvenate even elderly cells. In one 2011 study, scientists reprogrammed cells from people as old as 101 in the lab, resetting their epigenetic marks and tuning up their metabolism. But could this chromosomal reboot provide similar benefits outside the lab dish?To find out, developmental biologist Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, and colleagues genetically modified mice to respond to the antibiotic doxycycline by switching on four key genes that—in the lab—can turn adult cells into stem cells. The researchers tried their approach in mutant mice with symptoms of Hutchinson-Guilford progeria syndrome (HGPS), a rare genetic disease that resembles premature aging. Children with HGPS develop health problems typical of senior citizens, such as weak bones and atherosclerosis, and they usually die of heart attacks or strokes in their teens.Dosing the animals with doxycycline reduced several signs of old age, including thinning of the skin. It also delayed the deterioration of the animals’ kidneys and spleens and kept their hearts beating at a sprightly pace. In addition, switching on the stem cell genes boosted the mutant mice’s life spans by more than one-third, the researchers report online today in Cell.As we get older, our ability to replace dead or injured cells declines. To determine whether activating stem cell genes restores this capacity, the researchers tested healthy, middle-aged mice whose insulinmaking β cells they had removed. Turning on the stem cell genes increased the rodents’ ability to replace their lost β cells. Izpisúa Belmonte and colleagues also tested how well a different group of middle-aged mice could repair muscle damage. If the stem cell genes were active, the animals were better at mending muscle injuries caused by an injection of cobra venom. “We believe that cellular reprogramming has the capacity to convert an old epigenetic program into a young program, slowing down the aging process,” Izpisúa Belmonte says.But tampering with epigenetic marks could have a price. Previous studies have found that turning on the stem cell genes in adult mice can lead to cancer or teratomas, abnormal growths that sometimes sprout teeth or hair. The researchers found, however, that they could prevent tumors and teratomas by giving the mice fewer doses of doxycycline.“I think it’s a proof of concept that partial reprogramming can rejuvenate some tissues,” says regeneration biologist Clive Svendsen of Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California, who was not involved with the work. But he says he wants to see evidence that resetting the epigenetic marks increases longevity in healthy animals and that it works in parts of the body, such as the central nervous system, where cell replacement is limited. “Who wants to have a young heart and an old brain?”last_img read more

Read More