Long transition, Souness warns LVG

first_img “If Van Gaal is determined to persist with a back three, this is going to be a long and painful transition for United,” the former Liverpool, Rangers, Blackburn and Southampton boss wrote in his Sunday Times column. “The team may take until November to settle down. You ain’t going to win the league if you take that long and you might not make the Champions League places either. “United have already dropped seven points from a possible nine. If you continue with three at the back and the results are not improving players will not be slow in turning round and pointing their fingers at the coach, saying, ‘It’s not that I am not playing well, it’s the system’.” Souness went on to say that he does not think the system, which Van Gaal employed so successfully for Holland during the World Cup in Brazil, will bring out the best in British record signing Angel di Maria, a £59.7million recruit from Real Madrid last month. The Scot added: “Angel di Maria is too much of a winger to play as a wing-back, so he could play one position inside the widest man in a 3-5-2. “If you play with a back four you can play him wide, as Argentina did when he made three goals and scored the other in their 4-2 win over Germany in midweek. I don’t read much into international friendlies but that performance showed his talent.” United have the chance to record their first Premier League victory of the season next Sunday when they face QPR at Old Trafford. Van Gaal is still waiting for his first Barclays Premier League win as Red Devils boss, having lost the opener against Swansea and then been held to draws by Sunderland and Burnley. Their stuttering start to the season, which also includes a 4-0 Capital One Cup defeat to MK Dons, has prompted criticism of Van Gaal’s preference to play with three at the back, and Souness is not sure the formation will work for United given the players at the Dutchman’s disposal. Graeme Souness believes it could take some time for Louis van Gaal’s 3-5-2 formation to work at Manchester United.center_img Press Associationlast_img read more

Okosun Boosts Falconets’ Confidence Ahead U-20 World Cup

first_imgHead of the NFF Psychology Unit, Dr. Robinson Okosun over the weekend lectured the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup –bound Falconets on the importance of developing their mental toughness and confidence level in order to excel under intense pressure and provocation.With barely two weeks to the commencement of the FIFA U20 Women’s World Cup in Papua New Guinea, Okosun talked about the prerequisite attitudes ranging from positive self -talk to rapid re-focusing skills needed for the players to unleash their winning attitudes at the championship. He said that body language could be harnessed to project a positive frame of mind to elevate the confidence level of the entire team. “I came to work on their mental toughness. Most of the girls are naive, so what I did was to prepare them against perceived psychological problems and how to guide against it.“We believe that football is science and apart from the physical trainings, there is need for us to at least relax the mind of the players as well as teach them the importance of working as a team. What I have taught them goes beyond football.“It is imperative for them to maintain their confidence, deal with anxiety and anger, while keeping focus on the goal because it will help them to be a complete individuals,” Okosun stated.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more


first_imgThe final heartbreaking journey for the Boyle family begins today when they take tragic Conor home for burial in his beloved Co Donegal.The late Conor Boyle will be buried this Sunday.The 18 year old, who touched so many lives, lost his battle for life last week after a car crash in London on September 6th.Conor was returning home after a day’s work at his father’s tunneling company when the accident happened. Messages of sympathy and support have literally flooded in from around the world for the Loughanure teenager.Even in death Conor touched many more lives as his parents Hugh and Sheila gave their kind consent for some of his organs to be donated so others could live.The West Donegal areas of Loughanure, Annagry and surrounding villages are expected to come to a standstill as Conor’s remains arrive home.Conor’s remains will be taken to Sean McGlynn’s Chapel of Rest today at 11am for removal to his home in Loughanure at noon. A huge crowd is expected at his funeral which takes place in Annagry this Sunday at 1pm.The local Naomh Muire GAA club, of which Conor was a proud member, will perform a major role at his final farewell.The rosary will be held at the Boyle home on Friday and Saturday nights at 9pm.House is private from 10.30 pm – 10am and From 12noon on Sunday. FINAL LEG OF HEARTBREAKING JOURNEY BEGINS FOR BOYLE FAMILY was last modified: September 27th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Conor BoylecrashdonegalfuneralLoughanurelast_img read more

Donegal motorists face Derry border check today

first_imgTHE PSNI and HM Customs & Revenue have been running a Border checkpoint today just a few hundred metres inside Co Derry at Coshquin.As details emerge of a new row over Brexit, the shape of what might be ahead could be seen at there this morning.Vehicles travelling from Donegal were being stopped, with some selected for fuel checks at a nearby industrial estate site. The EU will publish its view on the next steps of Brexit later today.Meanwhile a DUP MP for East Derry Gregory Campbell told RTE Radio 1 earlier that there won’t be a hard border between north and south.He said it would be “impossible to man 300 border crossings” but said any attempt to keep the North inside an EU Customs Union would be opposed by his party – which is propping up the Tory government at Westminster.  Donegal motorists face Derry border check today was last modified: February 28th, 2018 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:BrexitbridgendCoshquinDerrydonegalfuel checklast_img read more

Trio of genes supercharged human brain evolution

first_img By Elizabeth PennisiMay. 31, 2018 , 12:00 PM David Haussler, a bioinformatician at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and his colleagues got on the trail of the genes after they discovered that the NOTCH pathway works differently in human and macaque brain organoids—test tube models of the developing brain. NOTCH2NL was missing in the macaque organoid and, later analyses showed, in other nonhuman apes as well. That suggested NOTCH2NL might have played a unique role in human evolution.By comparing NOTCH2NL-related DNA in the genomes of humans and other primates, Haussler’s team reconstructed the genes’ evolutionary history. They concluded that during DNA replication perhaps 14 million years ago, part of an ancestral NOTCH2 gene was copied by mistake. The new “gene” was incomplete and nonfunctional, but about 11 million years later—shortly before human ancestors’ brains began to expand—an additional piece of NOTCH2 got inserted into this copy, making the gene functional. “This event marks the birth of the NOTCH2NL genes we now have in our brains,” says Frank Jacobs, a co–senior author on the paper and an evolutionary genomicist at the University of Amsterdam.Subsequently, that active NOTCH2NL gene was duplicated twice more, yielding three active NOTCH2NL genes in a row at one end of human chromosome 1 and one inactive copy on the other end. Gene copies can be potent evolutionary forces because one copy continues its necessary job, leaving the others free to do something new. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Three nearly identical genes could help explain how 0.5 liters of gray matter in early human ancestors became the 1.4-liter organ that has made our species so successful and distinctive. The newly identified genes could also help explain how brain development sometimes goes wrong, leading to neurological disorders.The genes, descendants of an ancient developmental gene that multiplied and changed in the course of evolution, add to a growing list of DNA implicated in human brain expansion. But they stand out because so much has been learned about how they work their magic, says James Noonan, an evolutionary genomicist at Yale University. Researchers have shown that this trio boosts the number of potential nerve cells in brain tissue, and one team even pinned down the protein interactions likely responsible. “These are new proteins that are potentially modifying a very important pathway in brain development in a very powerful way,” Noonan adds.Until now, the four genes were thought to be one, NOTCH2NL, itself a spinoff of the NOTCH gene family, which controls the timing of development in everything from fruit flies to whales. But two studies in the 31 May issue of Cell trace a series of genetic accidents in recent evolutionary history that have yielded four very closely related NOTCH2NL genes in humans (see graphic, below). 3 million–4 million years agoChromosome 1 14 million years agoNOTCH2NOTCH2NL Partial duplicationRepairDuplications I. Suzuki et al., Cell 10.1016/j.cell.2018.03.067 (2018) A technique for growing these brain cortical neurons in a lab dish made it possible to track down more genes involved in brain expansion. A boost for the brain In an ape ancestor, duplication of NOTCH2 yielded a nonfunctional NOTCH2NL (gray). Repair and later gene duplications produced multiple working copies. Email Pierre Vanderhaeghen, a developmental neurobiologist at the Free University of Brussels, uncovered the same set of genes when he found a way to screen human fetal brain tissue for duplicated genes. To find out what they do, his team ramped up NOTCH2NL activity in cultured brain tissue. The tissue made more stem cells, they report in the second Cell paper.The finding complements one reported earlier this spring by Wieland Huttner, a neurobiologist at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics in Dresden, Germany. He and his team had decided to focus on NOTCH2NL (which they thought was a single gene) after finding it was highly active in fetal brain cells. When they put a human NOTCH2NL gene into incipient brain tissue from mice embryos, more stem cells developed. That suggests the human gene delays the specialization of those cells so they have a chance to produce many more copies of themselves, the researchers reported in eLife on 21 March.Now, in their Cell paper, Vanderhaeghen and his colleagues describe molecular details of how NOTCH2NL works to boost neuron formation. They found that a NOTCH2NL protein blocks a key step in a signaling pathway that causes stem cells to differentiate and stop dividing. As a result, the cells persist and keep producing progeny, ultimately yielding a larger crop of neurons. “That’s really compelling biological data,” Noonan says. “In other studies of genes involved in human evolution, it’s been very difficult to draw a line from the genetic difference to the phenotype to a biochemical mechanism that’s responsible.”The location of the three active NOTCH2NL genes is also telling, Haussler says. They are smack in the middle of DNA implicated in autism, schizophrenia, and a developmental delay syndrome. Such duplicated DNA is prone to getting copied extra times or losing DNA during replication, and instability is a hallmark of these disorders. To Greg Wray, an evolutionary developmental biologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, this clue to brain diseases is the most compelling new result. “These genes likely play an important role in cortical development, and misregulation leads to disease,” he says.Wray is less convinced that the genes had a unique role in human evolution because the chromosomal region in which they reside is complex and difficult to sequence, and because the evidence for an evolutionary difference in gene function between humans and other species is indirect.But Haussler thinks these genes will prove key players in human brain expansion. “One change didn’t do it alone, but some will be found to be more fundamental than others,” he points out. “NOTCH2NL has a shot at this.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Trio of genes supercharged human brain evolution (GRAPHIC) V. ALTOUNIAN/SCIENCE; (DATA) FIDDES ET AL., CELL 173, 1, (2018) Great ape common ancestorAncient humanModern humanChimpGorillalast_img read more