|Animated Collage of NewsWeek 43|
|Collage Pictures of NewsWeek (43)|
Science News This Week:
1) Malaria mosquito dosed with disease-fighting bacteria:
|Malaria mosquito dosed with disease-fighting bacteria|
In a long-sought step toward building a safer mosquito, researchers have infected the insects with bacteria that sabotage their malaria-causing parasites.
Researchers would like to use Wolbachia bacteria to keep malaria parasites from thriving inside a mosquito. In theory, a mosquito with the right bacterial infection could bite people without delivering the parasites that cause malaria.
Wolbachia naturally infect insects from butterflies to cockroaches — but not mosquitoes. Years of effort have established Wolbachia in mosquitoes that spread dengue fever (SN: 7/14/12, p. 22), but the Anopheles species that carry malaria have been very difficult to infect.
At last, after a team led by Zhiyong Xi of Michigan State University in East Lansing injected Wolbachia bacteria into thousands of embryos of the mosquito Anopheles stephensi, one female caught a lingering case and started a laboratory line of infected offspring. The mosquito mothers have passed the infection down to 34 generations of offspring, the researchers report in the May 10 Science. The lineage carries less than one-third as many malaria parasites as uninfected mosquitoes do.
“It’s a very important study because they’re the first group to show that Wolbachia can establish a stable heritable infection,” says mosquito geneticist Jason L. Rasgon of Pennsylvania State University in University Park. Independent of Xi, Rasgon has been trying to coax Wolbachia bacteria into another malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquito for about eight years.
The newly infected stephensi line is still in a proof-of-principle stage, Xi says. Before declaring Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes ready for release, he would have to see how they would block pathogens and compete for mates in the wild.
A. stephensi is one of the major mosquito menaces in India and South Asia; some 50 to 70 mosquito species worldwide carry malaria parasites that infect people. In total, the insects carry five species of malaria parasite. Rasgon found that a Wolbachia strain that can block one species of human malaria parasite in the mosquito he works with actually increases the numbers of another malaria parasite, one that attacks rodents. So he’d like to know how Wolbachia that blocks one species of human malaria affects the others.
2) News in Brief: Recreating the eye of the fly:
|News in Brief: Recreating the eye of the fly|
A new digital camera may change the meaning of bug-eyed. Inspired by the compound eyes of certain ants, beetles and flies, engineers have developed a digital camera that, thanks to 180 tiny lenses, is capable of panoramic views. Such cameras might soon bedeck tiny flying robots that could scour a disaster site for survivors or conduct other aerial surveillance.
When light strikes the new camera, it passes through a curved rubber compound lens about the size of a dime. The surface of the lens is actually 180 smaller lenses that guide the light to a layer of detectors at the camera’s back. Each lens gathers a portion of the scene and these segments combine into one panoramic image with everything in focus.
Constructing the camera is relatively straightforward and doesn’t require special materials, the team reports May 2 in Nature. While the lenses on the current version approximate the relatively low resolution achieved by a fire ant’s eye, the 20,000 lenses of a dragonfly eye should be doable, says study coauthor John Rogers of the University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign. Rogers has his sights set even higher: “There’s no reason to stop at what’s been demonstrated in the biological world,” he says.
3) Unleashing the Watchdog Protein: Research Opens Door to New Drug Therapies for Parkinson's Disease:
|Unleashing the Watchdog Protein: Research Opens Door to New Drug Therapies for Parkinson's Disease|
McGill University researchers have unlocked a new door to developing drugs to slow the progression of Parkinson's disease. Collaborating teams led by Dr. Edward A. Fon at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital -The Neuro, and Dr. Kalle Gehring in the Department of Biochemistry at the Faculty of Medicine, have discovered the three-dimensional structure of the protein Parkin. Mutations in Parkin cause a rare hereditary form of Parkinson's disease and are likely to also be involved in more commonly occurring forms of Parkinson's disease.
The Parkin protein protects neurons from cell death due to an accumulation of defective mitochondria. Mitochondria are the batteries in cells, providing the power for cell functions. This new knowledge of Parkin's structure has allowed the scientists to design mutations in Parkin that make it better at recognizing damaged mitochondria and therefore possibly provide better protection for nerve cells.The research will be published online May 9 in the journal Science.
"The majority of Parkinson's patients suffer from a sporadic form of the disease that occurs from a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors which are still not fully understood, explains Dr. Fon, neurologist at The Neuro and head of the McGill Parkinson Program, a National Parkinson Foundation Centre of Excellence. "A minority of patients have genetic mutations in genes such as Parkin that cause the disease. Although there are differences between the genetic and sporadic forms, there is good reason to believe that understanding one will inform us about the other. It's known that toxins that poison mitochondria can lead to Parkinson's-like symptoms in humans and animals. Recently, Parkin was shown to be a key player in the cell's system for identifying and removing damaged mitochondria."Dr. Gehring, head of McGill's structural biology centre, GRASP, likens Parkin to a watchdog for damaged mitochondria. "Our structural studies show that Parkin is normally kept in check by a part of the protein that acts as a leash to restrict Parkin activity. When we made mutations in this specific 'leash' region in the protein, we found that Parkin recognized damaged mitochondria more quickly. If we can reproduce this response with a drug rather than mutations, we might be able to slow the progression of disease in Parkinson's patients."
Parkin is an enzyme in cells that attaches a small protein, ubiquitin, to other proteins to mark them for degradation. For example, when mitochondria are damaged, Parkin is switched on which leads to the clearing of the dysfunctional mitochondria. This is an important process because damaged mitochondria are a major source of cellular stress and thought to play a central role in the death of neurons in neurodegenerative diseases.
Husband and wife team, Drs. Jean-François Trempe and Véronique Sauvé, are lead authors on the paper. Dr. Sauvé led the Gehring team that used X-ray crystallography to determine the structure of Parkin. Dr. Trempe in the Fon laboratory directed the functional studies of Parkin.
"We are proud to invest in scientific excellence and to fund discovery stage research so that investigators like Dr. Gehring and Fon in Canada can test new theories and pursue promising new leads. We believe that our National Research Program plays an important role in the global search for better treatments and a cure for Parkinson's disease," says Joyce Gordon, President and CEO, Parkinson Society Canada.
4) 'Power Plants': How to Harvest Electricity Directly from Plants:
|'Power Plants': How to Harvest Electricity Directly from Plants|
The sun provides the most abundant source of energy on the planet. However, only a tiny fraction of the solar radiation on Earth is converted into useful energy.
To help solve this problem, researchers at the University of Georgia looked to nature for inspiration, and they are now developing a new technology that makes it possible to use plants to generate electricity.
"Clean energy is the need of the century," said Ramaraja Ramasamy, assistant professor in the UGA College of Engineering and the corresponding author of a paper describing the process in the Journal of Energy and Environmental Science. "This approach may one day transform our ability to generate cleaner power from sunlight using plant-based systems."Plants are the undisputed champions of solar power. After billions of years of evolution, most of them operate at nearly 100 percent quantum efficiency, meaning that for every photon of sunlight a plant captures, it produces an equal number of electrons. Converting even a fraction of this into electricity would improve upon the efficiency seen with solar panels, which generally operate at efficiency levels between 12 and 17 percent.
During photosynthesis, plants use sunlight to split water atoms into hydrogen and oxygen, which produces electrons. These newly freed electrons go on to help create sugars that plants use much like food to support growth and reproduction."We have developed a way to interrupt photosynthesis so that we can capture the electrons before the plant uses them to make these sugars," said Ramasamy, who is also a member of UGA's Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center.
Ramasamy's technology involves separating out structures in the plant cell called thylakoids, which are responsible for capturing and storing energy from sunlight. Researchers manipulate the proteins contained in the thylakoids, interrupting the pathway along which electrons flow.
These modified thylakoids are then immobilized on a specially designed backing of carbon nanotubes, cylindrical structures that are nearly 50,000 times finer than a human hair. The nanotubes act as an electrical conductor, capturing the electrons from the plant material and sending them along a wire.In small-scale experiments, this approach resulted in electrical current levels that are two orders of magnitude larger than those previously reported in similar systems.Ramasamy cautions that much more work must be done before this technology reaches commercialization, but he and his collaborators are already working to improve the stability and output of their device."In the near term, this technology might best be used for remote sensors or other portable electronic equipment that requires less power to run," he said. "If we are able to leverage technologies like genetic engineering to enhance stability of the plant photosynthetic machineries, I'm very hopeful that this technology will be competitive to traditional solar panels in the future.""We have discovered something very promising here, and it is certainly worth exploring further," he said. "The electrical output we see now is modest, but only about 30 years ago, hydrogen fuel cells were in their infancy, and now they can power cars, buses and even buildings."
5) Mapping the Embryonic Epigenome: How Genes Are Turned On and Off During Early Human Development:
|Mapping the Embryonic Epigenome: How Genes Are Turned On and Off During Early Human Development|
A large, multi-institutional research team involved in the NIH Epigenome Roadmap Project has published a sweeping analysis in the current issue of the journal Cell of how genes are turned on and off to direct early human development. Led by Bing Ren of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Joseph Ecker of The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and James Thomson of the Morgridge Institute for Research, the scientists also describe novel genetic phenomena likely to play a pivotal role not only in the genesis of the embryo, but that of cancer as well. Their publicly available data, the result of more than four years of experimentation and analysis, will contribute significantly to virtually every subfield of the biomedical sciences.
After an egg has been fertilized, it divides repeatedly to give rise to every cell in the human body -- from the patrolling immune cell to the pulsing neuron. Each functionally distinct generation of cells subsequently differentiates itself from its predecessors in the developing embryo by expressing only a selection of its full complement of genes, while actively suppressing others. "By applying large-scale genomics technologies," explains Bing Ren, PhD, Ludwig Institute member and a professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the UC San Diego School of Medicine, "we could explore how genes across the genome are turned on and off as embryonic cells and their descendant lineages choose their fates, determining which parts of the body they would generate."
One way cells regulate their genes is by DNA methylation, in which a molecule known as a methyl group is tacked onto cytosine -- one of the four DNA bases that write the genetic code. Another is through scores of unique chemical modifications to proteins known as histones, which form the scaffolding around which DNA winds in the nucleus of the cell. One such silencing modification, called H3K27me3, involves the highly specific addition of three methyl groups to a type of histone named H3. "People have generally not thought of these two 'epigenetic' modifications as being very different in terms of their function," says Ren.
The current study puts an end to that notion. The researchers found in their analysis of those modifications across the genome -- referred to, collectively, as the epigenome -- that master genes that govern the regulation of early embryonic development tend largely to be switched off by H3K27me3 histone methylation. Meanwhile, those that orchestrate the later stages of cellular differentiation, when cells become increasingly committed to specific functions, are primarily silenced by DNA methylation.
"You can sort of glean the logic of animal development in this difference," says Ren. "Histone methylation is relatively easy to reverse. But reversing DNA methylation is a complex process, one that requires more resources and is much more likely to result in potentially deleterious mutations. So it makes sense that histone methylation is largely used to silence master genes that may be needed at multiple points during development, while DNA methylation is mostly used to switch off genes at later stages, when cells have already been tailored to specific functions, and those genes are less likely to be needed again."
The researchers also found that the human genome is peppered with more than 1,200 large regions that are consistently devoid of DNA methylation throughout development. It turns out that many of the genes considered master regulators of development are located in these regions, which the researchers call DNA methylation valleys (DMVs). Further, the team found that the DMVs are abnormally methylated in colon cancer cells. While it has long been known that aberrant DNA methylation plays an important role in various cancers, these results suggest that changes to the cell's DNA methylation machinery itself may be a major step in the evolution of tumors.
Further, the researchers catalogued the regulation of DNA sequences known as enhancers, which, when activated, boost the expression of genes. They identified more than 103,000 possible enhancers and charted their activation and silencing in six cell types. Researchers will in all likelihood continue to sift through the data generated by this study for years to come, putting the epigenetic phenomena into biological context to investigate a variety of cellular functions and diseases.
"These data are going to be very useful to the scientific community in understanding the logic of early human development," says Ren. "But I think our main contribution is the creation of a major information resource for biomedical research. Many complex diseases have their roots in early human development."
Movies Release This week:
1) The Great Gatsby:
|The Great Gatsby|
"The Great Gatsby" follows Fitzgerald-like, would-be writer Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) as he leaves the Midwest and comes to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. Chasing his own American Dream, Nick lands next door to a mysterious, party-giving millionaire, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio) and across the bay from his cousin, Daisy (Carey Mulligan) and her philandering, blue-blooded husband, Tom Buchanan (Joel Edgerton). It is thus that Nick is drawn into the captivating world of the super rich, their illusions, loves and deceits. As Nick bears witness, within and without the world he inhabits, he pens a tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, and holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles.
2) No One Lives (2013):
|No One Lives (2013)|
A ruthless criminal gang takes a young couple hostage and goes to ground in an abandoned house in the middle of nowhere. When the captive girl is killed, the tables are unexpectedly turned. The gang finds themselves outsmarted by an urbane and seasoned killer determined to ensure that no one lives
3) Assault on Wall Street:
|Assault on Wall Street|
A security guard for an armored truck, Jim (Dominic Purcell) is a blue-collar New Yorker who works hard to earn a living. His wages support himself and his wife Rosie (Erin Karpluk), who is on the upswing recovering from a near-fatal illness. Yet things start to fall apart after Rosie's health insurance stops covering her treatment and Jim's life savings are lost via a disastrous investment his stockbroker had advised him to make. As a row of professional and personal dominoes falls, Jim is confronted by the realization that, after being abused and exploited by financial institutions for far too long, he has only one choice: to strike back. From the mind of notorious German writer/director Uwe Boll (House of the Dead), Assault on Wall Street is excoriating look at the American financial system that is sure to stir up plenty of Occupy-esque sentiment.
4) Desperate Acts of Magic:
|Desperate Acts of Magic|
Bored with his life as a computer programmer, Jason (Joe Tyler Gold) dreams of becoming a professional magician. Stacy (Valerie Dillman) achieved that dream, only to be spit out by the male-dominated magic establishment, leaving her to fend for herself on the street, passing the hat to tourists and picking pockets.
They both have something to prove. The Brotherhood of Magicians Competition gives them one last shot at success. But as the sparks fly between them, will Stacy pull Jason into her life of crime?
5) The Wall:
Based on Marlen Haushofer’s eponymous feminist classic novel, The Wall is a highly original exploration of solitude and survival set in a spectacularly beautiful Austrian mountain landscape. Martina Gedeck, the brilliant interpreter of the Oscar-winning The Lives Of Others, brings a rare and vivid intensity to her role as the unnamed lead character who inexplicably finds herself cut off from all human contact when an invisible, unyielding wall suddenly surrounds the countryside. Accompanied by her loyal dog Lynx, she becomes immersed in a world untouched by civilization and ruled by the laws of nature. A contemporary female Robinson Crusoe tale, The Wall is a mysterious, existential meditation that raises profound questions about humanity and our relationship to the natural world.
Political News This Week:
1) Railway bribery scam: PK Bansal resigns:
|Railway bribery scam: PK Bansal resigns|
Railway minister Pawan Kumar Bansal resigned on Friday after a bribery scam involving his family members hit the ministry.Bansal met Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh at the latter's official 7, Race Course Road (RCR) residence.Bansal's resignation comes after Sonia Gandhi's meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.Congress President Sonia Gandhi had asked the PM to take a final decision on the ministers. According to news channel CNN-IBN, Sonia Gandhi felt that allegations against the minister's kin may damage party's image and that the damage must be controlled.Congress Party earlier in the day made it clear that 'it is not going to spare anybody mired in corruption'."The Congress is examining the issue very seriously," Congress spokesperson Bhaktcharan Das told reporters here, when asked about the bribery allegations against Bansal.Earlier in a possible sign of things to come, Bansal had skipped a cabinet meeting on Thursday and also did not attend office on Friday.
CBI investigation next?
Bansal is likely to be quizzed soon by the CBI in connection with the alleged Rs 10 crore bribery scandal involving his nephew Vijay Singla and Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar, both of whom reportedly met at his residence. According to a CNN IBN report, although there are no direct evidences of Bansal's direct involvement in the scandal, he may come under scrutiny of the CBI if enough leads are found to warrant his questioning.
The CBI on Thursday had questioned Bansal's private secretary in connection with the alleged Rs. 10 crore bribery scandal that involves minister's nephew V Singla.A Delhi Court had earlier sent five accused, including Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla, to judicial custody till 20 May in connection with the Rs 10 crore railway bribery case.The Special CBI Judge Swarna Kanta Sharma sent Bansal's nephew Vijay Singla, suspended Railway Board member Mahesh Kumar, and three other accused-Singla's close aide Ajay Garg, businessman Sandeep Goyal and Managing Director of GG Tronics India Pvt Ltd, Narain Rao Manjunath-to judicial custody after they were presented in court.The CBI, which moved an application seeking to send them in judicial custody, said the investigation in this case is in progress and it is still at an initial stage.The investigating agency told the court that crucial witnesses are yet to be examined and some documents are to be collected from various departments.The court while accepting the CBI's plea sent all the five accused to judicial custody.Bansal had earlier told the Congress leadership, including the Prime Minister, that he has no business links with his nephew.64-year-old Bansal, who was made Railway Minister in October last year, also sought an expeditious CBI inquiry into the issue."I have always observed highest standard of probity in public life and look forward to an expeditious investigation by CBI in the matter," he said.
2) Congress wins Karnataka, BJP decimated; JD(S) gains:
|Congress wins Karnataka, BJP decimated; JD(S) gains|
The Congress on Wednesday prepared to take power in Karnataka with an absolute majority, leaving the ruling BJP far behind with less than 40 seats in the 224-member assembly.As votes were counted, the Bharatiya Janata Party appeared set for a humiliating rout in the state where it took power five years ago — relegated to the third spot.In contrast, the Congress headed for triumph. Congress workers celebrated wildly in Bangalore, bursting firecrackers.Congress strongman in Karnataka Siddharamiah was sanguine in victory. "It was only expected," said the man who could be the next chief minister.Added BJP leader and former chief minister Sadanand Gowda soberly: "We have not been able to rise to the occasion. We could not reach out to the voter with whatever development work we did in Karnataka."According to the latest trends available, the Congress could win 118 seats, comfortably over the halfway mark of 113.
The BJP, which has seen three chief ministers in five years and found itself split right down the middle with BS Yeddyurappa forming his own party, was way behind with 36 seats.Even the Janata Dal-S (JD-S) was ahead with 41 seats. And Yeddyurappa's Karnataka Janata Party (KJP), who left the BJP amid allegations of corruption, made its political debut with an estimated 14 seats.It was a reversal of fortunes of sorts for the two main parties — the Congress, readying for power in Bangalore, is on the backfoot in New Delhi as the BJP demands the resignations of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh as well as union ministers Pawan Kumar Bansal and Ashwani Kumar.For the Congress, battling an opposition offensive over graft charges in New Delhi, the victory was just what it needed to get a morale boost ahead of the general elections in 2014.Said Congress spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi: "We are winning because people have seen through and rejected the BJP."For the BJP, the election result was a sharp fall from five years ago when it won 110 seats and formed its first government in the south with the help of five independents.The rout saw deputy chief minister KS Eshwarappa, trailing in his home constituency in Shimoga along with law minister S Suresh Kumar in Rajajinagar in Bangalore and Muruegesh Nirani in Bilagi in north Karnataka.The party lost badly both in rural and urban areas. A sorry scenario because it had hoped to make Karnataka the base to make a major breakthrough into south India."We have lost the election. And it is time for introspection," BJP leadeer Rajiv Pratap Rudy said.JD(S) leader HD Kumaraswamy, who had hoped perhaps to be the kingmaker, said he was happy to be the main opposition.
"We will be happy to be the main opposition in Karnataka. We will play our role well. The Congress is not going to come to us seeking our help, we know that," the former chief minister said.The assembly has 224 elected and one nominated members. The election took place on May 5 for 223 seats as election was cancelled in one constituency after the BJP candidate died.
3) Saradha scam accused Debjani Mukherjee denies intimate relationship with Sudipto Sen:
|Saradha scam accused Debjani Mukherjee denies intimate relationship with Sudipto Sen|
Debjani Mukherjee, who was director of at least five media companies of the Saradha group, has in a statement sent from jail, claimed innocence and said that she never had intimate relationship with her boss Sudipto Sen, In here three-page signed statement, Debjani Mukherjee appealed to media to refrain from tarnishing her image.Debjani said, she never tried to ditch her boss Sudipto Sen despite knowing that he was doing some objectionable business, preferred to stay with him like a loyal employee.In her statement, she said, she was removed from the post of director of Saradha Realty, when she opposed the style of working of her boss.
4) 15 injured, 3 of them critical, in blast inside bus in Maharashtra:
|15 injured, 3 of them critical, in blast inside bus in Maharashtra|
Fifteen persons were killed, of them three critical, in an explosion inside a bus near Latur, Maharashtra, today.
The explosion took place at Nalegaon in Udgir tehsil of Latur district.
A Bomb Disposal Squad has reached the spot. Teams from Anti-terrorist squad and National Investigation Agency have also left for Latur from Mumbai.
So far, no terror angle has been found behind the blast, official sources in Delhi said.
5) Government has allies' support on Food Security Bill: Manish Tewari:
|Government has allies' support on Food Security Bill: Manish Tewari|
Information and Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari on Friday said that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government has complete support of its coalition partners on the Food Security Bill."With a lot of responsibility I would like to say that we (Congress party) respect all our supporters. But whereas Food Security or its Bill is concerned, we are on the same page with our allies," he told the media in Mumbai.Tewari further lashed out at the BJP for blocking crucial bills in the Parliament, particularly the one pertaining to food security.
|Food Security Bill|
"The UPA wants to remove hunger, while it seems that the BJP wants to remove the hungry," he added.The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, earlier on Wednesday said the UPA Government is committed to the passage of Food Security Bill."The Food Security Bill is a very important legislation for the government. The UPA is committed to make this law after considering all opinions," he said.Food Minister K.V. Thomas had earlier said he has to look into various angles before taking a call."I am neither ruling in or ruling out. I have not thought of that. I have to study all these things. There are so many options," he told mediapersons outside the Parliament, when asked whether government could bring an ordinance to implement the food security law.The bill could not be passed as the budget session of Parliament adjourned Sine die two days ahead of its schedule.The Food Bill aims at giving legal right over a uniform quantity of 5 kg foodgrains at a fixed price of Rs 1-3 per kg via ration shops to 67 percent of the population.The amendments to the Food Bill, which was originally introduced in Parliament in December 2011, was moved in the Lok Sabha last week, but discussion could not take place due to disruption of proceedings on several issues, including coalgate scam.
The government had made three attempts in the Lok Sabha last week to get the bill passed.The main opposition party had said that it will not allow the Congress-led UPA Government to push its important bills in Parliament till the resignations of Union Law and Justice Minister Ashwani Kumar and Railway Minister Pawan Kumar Bansal.
Sports News This Week:
1) IPL 2013: Don't feel I was missing link in KKR line-up, says Ten Doeschate:
|IPL 2013: Don't feel I was missing link in KKR line-up, says Ten Doeschate|
Playing his first game in the ongoing IPL, Ryan ten Doeschate proved to be the game-changer in Kolkata Knight Riders' win over Pune Warriors here but the batsman does not feel that he was the missing link in the line-up of his inconsistent team."No, I wouldn't say that. There are obviously a lot of good international players here. Like when I come in, a quality player like Ryan McLaren has to sit out. So you have got to wait your turn," he said.
"And that is probably one of the toughest things you have to do, as you have got to stay fresh and stay ready (for when your turn comes). That is the hard part about being in a group of eight or nine good overseas guys like in KKR," ten Doeschate was quoted as saying by iplt20.com.KKR rode on skipper Gautam Gambhir's 50 and a late surge by Ten Doeschate (31 off 21) to post a challenging 152 for six, and then bowled out Pune for 106 in 19.3 overs to register a convincing 46-run win here on Thursday.It was KKR's fifth win in 13 games but the South African-born Dutch cricketer said his side has not done too badly.
"We have always tried to use it in a positive way. I don't think we have done particularly badly this year. I just don't think we have won crucial moments of the game. However, we have certainly channelled the pressure of being defending champions into a way that would work out for us this year."The batting all-rounder admitted that he has been struggling with his bowling."I have struggled a bit with my bowling. But I tend to work very hard at it. You have got to adapt all the time. Since I don't have a lot of pace, I have to bowl wisely. So I'm always trying to find ways to bowl better that way," ten Doeschate, who holds the world record for the highest batting average of 67.00, said.
2) IPL 2013: Ajit Chandila's appeal leaves Adam Gilchrist shocked:
|Ajit Chandila's appeal leaves Adam Gilchrist shocked|
Known for his calm and composed nature, an appeal from Rajasthan Royals' Ajit Chandila during a Pepsi IPL match here on Thursday left Kings XI Punjab skipper Adam Gilchrist shocked.The Rajasthan off-spinner made the appeal in the third over of the innings.
Shaun Marsh, who was on strike, hit the ball to mid-on and on seeing the ball being fielded there, Gilchrist, who was inches out of the crease at the non-striker's end, immediately turned to make his way back into the crease.The incoming throw hit Gilchrist on the glove and the rebound was collected by Chandila.Finding Gilchrist inches short of the crease, Chandila hit the stumps and appealed, prompting Gilchrist to give the bowler a good stare.Rajasthan skipper Rahul Dravid rushed in to defuse the tension.Even the umpire looked perplexed for a while, but Dravid told him that they were not appealing and afterwards things settled down.Later, while walking back after addressing the post-match press conference, it seemed Gilchrist was surprised that nobody from the media had asked him about the incident.
3) Relaxed Serena through to last eight in Madrid:
|Relaxed Serena through to last eight in Madrid|
A laid-back Serena Williams breezed into the Madrid Open quarter-finals on Thursday when she barely broke sweat in a 6-3 6-1 drubbing of Maria Kirilenko.
The world number one and top seed, defending champion at the premier clay event in the Spanish capital, needed just over an hour to dismiss the 13th-seeded Russian and set up a last-eight meeting with Spanish wildcard Anabel Medina Garrigues.
"I just felt really relaxed today," Williams told a news conference."I felt like I was just taking my time," the 31-year-old American added. "So hopefully I can keep calm and relaxed."Williams, chasing a fourth title of the year and the 50th of her career, was joined in the quarter-finals by second seed Maria Sharapova who knocked out unseeded German Sabine Lisicki 6-2 7-5.The Russian world number two and French Open champion will play Slovakian wildcard Daniela Hantuchova or unseeded Estonian Kaia Kanepi for a place in the last four.Medina Garrigues, a former world number 16 now ranked 63rd, went through on Wednesday after her opponent Yaroslava Shvedova of Kazakhstan withdrew with an arm injury."She's definitely going to be really tough for me," Williams said of the Spaniard. "She's a grinder on clay and she's Spanish. I know a lot fans really like her here."After her comfortable win over Lisicki, Sharapova reflected on how much she has improved on clay in recent years.The 26-year-old's triumph at Roland Garros in 2012 made her only the sixth woman in the open era to win all four grand slam singles titles.
"It took me many years to get to the level of where I am today (on clay), it certainly didn't happen overnight," she told a news conference.
"I worked extremely hard on getting stronger and recovering better, moving better on the court, giving myself a better position on the court, especially after being on the defensive and trying to play aggressively as I always do on quicker surfaces."But just give myself that chance to recover. I think I've learned a lot and over the years and I've really improved."
4) Factbox: Next Manchester United manager David Moyes:
|Next Manchester United manager David Moyes|
David Moyes was appointed manager of Manchester United on Thursday and will take over from Alex Ferguson who is retiring at the end of this season. Here is a look at his life and career:
* Moyes was born in April 1963 in Glasgow, Scotland and signed as a professional with Scottish club Celtic in 1980, whom he joined as a junior.
* Two years later he made a substitute appearance against Ajax in the European Cup, one of only 35 appearances over three years.
* In 1983, he moved to Cambridge United on a free transfer where he developed a reputation as a reliable defender. Two years later he transferred to Bristol City and then in 1987 to Shrewsbury Town.* He returned home to Dunfermline Athletic in 1990 before briefly joining Hamilton Academical before moving back to England with Preston North End.* He captained Preston in a Third Division (fourth tier) playoff final at Wembley, where they lost to Wycombe Wanderers. In 1996 he became part of the Preston team promoted as Third Division champions under manager Gary Peters and he became assistant to Peters but continued to play.
CHANGE IN DIRECTION - PROGRESS AT PRESTON:
* In 1998 he took over as manager at Preston after Peters resigned and the team avoided relegation. In his first full season in charge, he took Preston into the Second Division (third tier) playoffs, where they lost to Gillingham.* He then led Preston to promotion as Second Division champions. In 2001, despite being widely tipped for relegation, Preston reached the First Division (second tier) playoff final against Bolton Wanderers, losing 3-0 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. He signed a new five-year contract with Preston but then replaced Walter Smith as manager of Everton in March 2002 and has now become England's third-longest serving manager in top flight after Ferguson and Arsenal's Arsene Wenger.
* Everton have finished in the top six in the Premier League four times under Moyes, qualifying for the Champions League in 2005. The team also reached the 2009 FA Cup final where they lost 2-1 to Chelsea after beating Manchester United in the semi-finals.* Everton won a place in the UEFA Cup for the 2007/08 season and they recorded remarkable victories over Nuremberg, AZ Alkmaar and eventual-winners Zenit St Petersburg on the way to a last-16 encounter with Fiorentina which they eventually lost after extra time and a penalty shoot-out.* Moyes signed a new five-year contract with the club in 2008 and the 2012/13 season began well for Moyes being named manager of the month for September.* Moyes has two children and like Ferguson co-owns a racehorse. He has also been a summariser for BBC radio.
5) Federer suffers shock Madrid exit to Nishikori:
|Federer suffers shock Madrid exit to Nishikori|
Roger Federer's hopes of claiming a second straight Madrid Open title were dashed when the world number two suffered a surprise 6-4 1-6 6-2 third-round defeat to Japanese young gun Kei Nishikori on Thursday.Playing his first tournament since taking a seven-week break following his quarter-final exit at Indian Wells, Federer became the second high-profile casualty at the clay Masters event following Tuesday's shock second-round defeat for world number one Novak Djokovic to unseeded Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov.The Swiss maestro's reverse, the 23-year-old Nishikori's biggest win since he beat Serb Djokovic in the semi-finals in Basel in 2011, also deprived fans of a possible last-four clash between Federer and local hero Rafa Nadal.
Nadal made smooth progress earlier on Thursday when he thumped unseeded Russian Mikhail Youzhny 6-2 6-3 to claim a spot in the quarter-finals.
He was joined by third seed Andy Murray, who had to come from a set down to get past 16th-seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon 2-6 6-4 7-6 in a three-hour marathon which ended after one o'clock in the morning local time (2300 GMT).Federer, a three-time champion in Madrid and chasing his first title of the year, seemed to struggle in the breezy conditions inside the Magic Box arena and his game was littered with uncharacteristic errors.
|Japanese young gun Kei Nishikori|
After losing the first set, he upped his game to level but lost his serve early in the decider and Nishikori broke for a third time in the match to seal victory.
The world number 16 had lost to Federer in their only other meeting, the 2011 Basel final, and told a news conference it was an "amazing" experience to beat the man who had been one of his childhood idols."Actually, you know, to beat him, that was one of my goals for my tennis career," he said."And it happens on clay, it's amazing. You know it's not really my favorite surface."Nishikori will play another Spaniard, wild card Pablo Andujar, for a place in Saturday's semi-finals, while a chastened Federer heads back to the practice court ahead of next week's Rome Masters."Credit to Kei he got it done and was more solid in the wind," the 31-year-old said."He played better than I did, so the better guy won today, that's for sure."I'll sit together tonight or tomorrow with the team and discuss what the plan is for the next few days and weeks."So I'm excited for that, because clearly I have no choice but to hit the practice courts."