Wealthsimple seeks relief from mandatory client calls

first_imgRudy Luukko Wealthsimple raising $750 million in latest financing deal, valuation hits $5 billion Changing the requirement to speak to everyone, says Katchen, would better serve clients who prefer to do business online and “may not make time to have a suitability phone call.” Wealthsimple would then be able to focus on clients who need or want personal calls. These clients are those with larger accounts, or with more complicated personal circumstances. The cost savings resulting from a “no-call” model would help Wealthsimple keep its services affordable and accessible to small investors, Katchen says. Online advisors such as Wealthsimple, which build portfolios of low-fee funds, generally charge much lower fees than is the norm for traditional advisors. As for accessibility, the ultra-populist Wealthsimple has no minimum account size. The process of changing its client-contact requirements is anything but simple for Wealthsimple, which initiated discussions with the Ontario Securities Commission several months ago. With the help of an independent consultant hired late last year, the company is working on a “much more robust” online suitability questionnaire, Katchen told Morningstar. The hiring of a consultant was one of the provisions that Wealthsimple and the OSC agreed to in registration terms and conditions that took effect on Oct. 20. Wealthsimple will prepare and implement a plan, subject to OSC oversight, to strengthen its compliance system and enable it to make a transition to the new “no-call” model. As part of this process, Wealthsimple will be required to arrange for its existing clients to have a “meaningful discussion” with one of the firm’s advisors, or complete a new KYC questionnaire in a format approved by OSC staff. Katchen said there is no specific deadline for implementing the plan. The terms and conditions on Wealthsimple’s registration, which are intended to be temporary, are posted on the online registration-checking search tool AreTheyRegistered.ca, maintained by Canadian securities regulators. Wealthsimple is registered in all 10 provinces and three territories, but its transition to the “no-call” business model is being overseen by OSC staff. The process that Wealthsimple is undergoing with the OSC is consistent with Canadian Securities Administrators guidelines for online advice, published in September 2015. Online brokers that want to be exempted from having personal contact with every prospective client must have a satisfactory system for identifying circumstances when personal contact will be required, the guidelines state. In addition, online brokers may be restricted to offering what the regulators describe as “relatively simple investment products” such as unleveraged exchange-traded funds, low-cost mutual funds and other redeemable investment funds. For Wealthsimple, such restrictions are perfectly aligned with its investment strategies and offerings. The largest Canadian firm of its kind, Wealthsimple currently has an estimated 15,000 clients and $750 million in managed ETF portfolios. These totals include the portfolios managed by the online brokerage Canadian ShareOwner, which Wealthsimple acquired in 2015. When contacted by Morningstar, the OSC wouldn’t confirm whether other online advisory firms are seeking similar changes in their client-contact requirements. Wealthsimple appears to be the first. Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Facebook LinkedIn Twitter Wealthsimple sells U.S. biz to Bettermentcenter_img BMO’s adviceDirect launches premium service Related news Toronto-based robo-advisor Wealthsimple Inc. is seeking regulatory approval to accept new clients without having to speak with each of them. Michael Katchen, CEO, says the proposed change to a “no-call” model would not apply to all new clients, nor would it in any way restrict ongoing client access to the firm’s registered advisory representatives. Firms like Wealthsimple use online platforms to obtain know-your-client (KYC) information that is used to determine what investment portfolios are suitable. But Canadian securities regulators also require personal contact with an individual registered advisor — usually via a phone call — to confirm and/or clarify the responses to online questionnaires and seek additional information if necessary. Keywords Robo-advisorsCompanies Wealthsimple Inc. last_img read more

Fee erosion, digitization to define coming decade in asset management

first_img IE Staff As the economic cycle winds down and industry competition heats up, asset managers faces challenges. To be successful in the years ahead will require capitalizing on numerous trends.Consider that the value of assets under management (AUM) fell by 4% globally in 2018, to about $74 trillion from about $77 trillion, according to the annual report on asset management trends by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), released Wednesday. (All figures are in U.S. dollars.) world map, emerging markets and international global businesses kentoh/123RF Related news Share this article and your comments with peers on social media Research finds that diversity in asset management pays off U.S. action on climate benefits banks, asset managers: Moody’s BMO asset management sale is on strategy: Moody’s Keywords Asset management companies Facebook LinkedIn Twitter The decline was the first significant year-over-year decrease since 2008, and it reversed some of 2017’s increase in AUM of 12%, the report said. North America accounted for two-thirds of the global loss, losing $2 trillion.The report provided an outlook for asset management in the next decade considering that the market will likely exhibit more volatility, competition and economic uncertainty. It said key trends in the space include further fee erosion as investors move to passive investing, greater digitization, increased flows to China and emerging markets, and an ongoing move toward sustainable investing.For example, active assets have declined significantly in the last decade and a half, and now account for just $1 out of every $3 in global AUM. That compares to more than $1 out of every $2 of AUM in 2003.In the upcoming decade, asset managers must use tech to be successful, the report said, particularly in investment management and distribution, where asset managers typically lack capabilities.“Few firms are genuinely committed to the data and analytics opportunity,” the report said. “We believe that 20% to 30% of asset managers qualify as pioneers, meaning that they are investing in data and analytics with conviction across a broad range of use cases.”The rest will find themselves playing catch-up, but can potentially see significant progress within six to nine months once they embrace tech, the report said.It also noted the importance of scale and performance for firm growth—two things that are resulting in a trend toward either distribution powerhouses or “boutique alpha shops.” The latter were described as small, focused firms that concentrate on investment performance, and that harness talent, research and tech to do so.Managers in the middle will continue to be squeezed, as they’ll “struggle to avoid drifting toward irrelevance,” the report said.A wild card in BCG’s forecast is potential disruption from digital giants.“It is easy to imagine Google using consumer sentiment data captured by its various services to predict market or individual stock performance with a heightened level of insight,” the report said. “Similarly, consumers might readily trust a ‘mutual funds sold by Amazon’ offering, complete with reviews and other data that enable them to choose quickly among providers.”Such disruption would be “rapid and powerful,” it added.In other data released this week, Boston-based Cerulli Associates said that, to stay relevant, asset managers should embrace the role of asset allocation model providers.The global research and consulting firm said in a release on Tuesday that such model providers can derive revenue from explicit asset allocation fees, fees on underlying products, increased brand awareness, and stronger relationships with independent broker-dealer distribution partners.The firm also noted that, with more than $20 trillion in U.S. advisor assets up for grabs, model providers have ample prospects across channels.Further findings from Cerulli’s research can be found in the July issue of The Cerulli Edge—U.S. Monthly Product Trends Edition.last_img read more

COJ to Continue Public Education Programme in 2007/08

first_imgAdvertisements COJ to Continue Public Education Programme in 2007/08 UncategorizedJune 8, 2007 RelatedCOJ to Continue Public Education Programme in 2007/08 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail For the 2007/08 financial year, the Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) will be focusing on its continued public education programme on the Companies Act (2004), and education on recent amendments to the Registration of Business Names Act.According to a Ministry Paper tabled in the House on June 6 by Minister of Industry, Technology, Energy and Commerce, Phillip Paulwell, the COJ will also “continue staff training on (the) Companies Act, company law and company secretarial practice.”The document also notes that the COJ aims to: improve its service to customers with particular attention to strategies aimed at reducing waiting time for attendance; upgrade its website to facilitate online registration and payments; and re-organize operational units in order to improve human resource capabilities and customer service.For the 2006/07 financial year, the COJ focused on preparing for the implementation of the Document Processing Management Information System in March 2007.“All operational units were intricately involved in user acceptance testing, completion of check list, which were imported into the new software, preparation of test plans and retesting of all discrepancies,” the Ministry Paper noted.Also for the financial year 2006/07, the COJ mobile team visited the parishes of St. Ann, St. Thomas, Manchester, St. Elizabeth, Clarendon, and Hanover allowing enterprises in these parishes access to the COJ, and to update their filings.According to the Ministry Paper, all officers at the COJ underwent customer service audit, which was conducted in May 2006. “The purpose of the training was to equip officers with the requisite skills and technique to accommodate change and deliver enhanced customer service,” the document explained.The COJ is an Executive Agency and is responsible for the administration of the Companies Act, the Registration of Business Names Act and the Industrial and Provident Societies Act.As a consequence, the agency is responsible for the registration and regulation of companies, business names and industrial and provident societies. The COJ is also the official repository of information pertaining to those entities.center_img RelatedCOJ to Continue Public Education Programme in 2007/08 RelatedCOJ to Continue Public Education Programme in 2007/08last_img read more

Residents Commend St. Catherine Disaster Committee’s Response to Tropical Storm Gustav

first_imgResidents Commend St. Catherine Disaster Committee’s Response to Tropical Storm Gustav UncategorizedSeptember 1, 2008 FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Residents from communities in St. Catherine, who had to be evacuated from their homes, during the passage of Tropical Storm Gustav, are commending the efforts and response of the St. Catherine Parish Disaster Committee, to the resulting dislocation.Mayor of Spanish Town, Dr. Andrew Wheatley, told JIS News, that reports received from personnel on the ground, indicate that the disaster emergency machinery proved effective during the period of dislocation. He said they were able to assist several persons, who were either marooned or flooded out, to relocate to designated shelters.“We have a number of persons in shelters, especially in the Old Harbour area, where we have around 142 persons housed at the Old Harbour High School, 38 at the Old Harbour Primary School, 15 at the Bog Walk High School, and about eight in Linstead. We have now evacuated a number of persons from the Job Lane/Sunny Side area, and relocated persons from the Thompson Pen/Lauriston area, who were placed at the Jose Marti High School,” he informed.Dr. Wheatley noted that, as reports of flooding throughout the parish were received, evacuation teams were dispatched to locations, where possible, to assist persons affected. He noted that persons were evacuated from the Nightingale Grove and the Old Harbour Bay areas, two of the areas most susceptible to flooding.Dr. Wheatley, however, lamented the inability of the parish’s drainage network to handle the large volume of water that was dumped by Tropical Storm Gustav.“It would appear that the drains are not able to carry the volume of water running through them at the moment,” he told JIS News, pointing out that sections of Walks Road and Angels Phase 1, were flooded as a result of the seeming inability of the drains serving those areas to handle the heavy waters.The Mayor, however, expressed satisfaction with the high level of compliance by residents in communities, prone to flooding, who voluntarily evacuated those areas before they were inundated. He said JUTC buses were used to evacuate persons from problem areas such as Nightingale Grove. On the matter of security and the provision of adequate food at shelters, Dr. Wheatley advised that this was being addressed and monitored.The Spanish Town Mayor said that, at the earliest possible time, the Parish Disaster Committee would be assembled to do an assessment of the damage sustained, to determine how best to execute its post disaster strategies.“We have quite a bit of experience now, in responding to hurricanes and storms. “So, I’m sure this will be a very quick assessment, and we will roll out our different activities; again, you will see a high level of public education right after this event. So, we are, more or less, continuing the whole process of public education, (and) we are working as a team to provide the necessary support to persons living in and around the parish,” he told JIS News. RelatedResidents Commend St. Catherine Disaster Committee’s Response to Tropical Storm Gustav Advertisementscenter_img RelatedResidents Commend St. Catherine Disaster Committee’s Response to Tropical Storm Gustav RelatedResidents Commend St. Catherine Disaster Committee’s Response to Tropical Storm Gustavlast_img read more

PM and Delegation Off to Summit of the Americas

first_imgRelatedPM and Delegation Off to Summit of the Americas RelatedPM and Delegation Off to Summit of the Americas PM and Delegation Off to Summit of the Americas Foreign AffairsApril 16, 2009 Advertisementscenter_img FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Prime Minister Bruce Golding left the island Thursday, as head of Jamaica’s delegation to the Fifth Summit of the Americas, which opens Friday in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago.The Summit is being arranged by the Organisation of American States (OAS), and the working sessions start on Saturday (April 18) with bilateral discussions, to be followed by the First Plenary Session which will address the topic of ‘Human Prosperity’.The region’s Heads will continue discussions over a working luncheon examining the topic of ‘Environmental Sustainability’.Plenary Session Two will address ‘Energy Security’. This will be followed by Plenary Session Three, on ‘Democratic Governance and Public Security’. These agenda items were decided during the Summit follow-up in Mar- del -Plata, Argentina in 2005.On Sunday, April 19, the Heads of State/Government will be in retreat, after which it is expected that the Declaration of Commitment for Port-of-Spain will be signed. The Summit will end on Sunday afternoon with a press conference at the Diplomatic Centre.Prime Minister Golding will return to Jamaica on Sunday, April 19 to receive the Prime Minister of Canada, Stephen Harper, who will be on a working visit to Jamaica April 19-20.Accompanying Prime Minister Golding to the Summit will be Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Dr Kenneth Baugh, and other officials from his Ministry; as well as Ambassador Anthony Johnson, who is also Jamaica’s Permanent Representative to the OAS; and other Government officials.During Mr. Golding’s absence, Minister of Finance and the Public Service Audley Shaw, will be in charge of the Government. RelatedPM and Delegation Off to Summit of the Americaslast_img read more

Geyser Peak Unveils New Packaging for California Tier

first_img TAGSAccolade WinesGeyser Peak Email AdvertisementHEALDSBURG, CA March 19, 2018 – Geyser Peak, one of California’s iconic wineries, unveils new packaging for their California tier wines. Part of the goal, according to Accolade Wines’ Senior Brand Manager Stephanie Hahn, is to attract younger consumers while modernizing; bringing the winery more into the future as it starts a new chapter in Dry Creek Valley. “We want to communicate, at the California tier, every day enjoyment with friends and family, the sense of a new beginning, and new adventures. We respect and honor our heritage and are carrying our legacy forward into the modern day. We will be looking to communicate that sense of sharing and new experiences in the imagery we use going forward.”All new bottlings will feature a bold, round logo that emphasizes Geyser Peak’s seal, creating a classic, yet fresh way for the tier to stand out from the overall brand. The Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio and Chardonnay wines are closed with screw caps, while the Cabernet Sauvignon remains under cork. Geyser Peak California Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc are currently available for purchase, Cabernet Sauvignon will be available in summer 2018, and Chardonnay will be available in fall Geyser Peak aims to update packaging for their higher tier wines as well, notably adding emphasis to the story of Appellation tier wines such as River Ranches Sauvignon Blanc, and Walking Tree Cabernet Sauvignon.Founded in 1880 as California’s 29th bonded winery, Geyser Peak has been at the forefront of quality wine production since its earliest days. Originally located across from Geyser Peak Mountain, the winery commanded a view of the thermal steam clouds that billowed from the mountain summit. In this special place, geothermal activity created the diverse soil profiles that make this region so exceptionally well suited to wine grape cultivation.Today, from the new winery location in Dry Creek Valley, Geyser Peak’s winemakers are carrying the winery’s rich history forward and staking an exciting claim on the future. The winery’s philosophy is the same today as it was more than a century ago: Craft high-quality wines that capture the true essence of California’s diverse regions.  Geyser Peak offers a distinctive portfolio accessible to new and experienced consumers and is renowned for its aromatic white wines and rich reds. About Accolade WinesHeadquartered in Australia, Accolade Wines is the world’s fifth largest wine company by volume, delivering approximately 38 million, 9 litre cases to over 140 countries annually.  Drawing on a proud heritage with the first grapes treaded in 1853 at Hardys winery, Accolade Wines has evolved into a global wine company with an extensive portfolio of quality wine brands. Accolade Wine’s vision is to be the world’s leading provider of New World wines and was the first wine company to have a footprint in all major New World regions. With three out of the top 10 wine brands in the UK, and two of the top ten in Australia, the company’s enviable portfolio is led by Hardys and includes Houghton, Grant Burge Wines and Banrock Station (Australia), Waipara Hills and Mud House (New Zealand), Geyser Peak and Echo Falls (United States), Kumala & Flagstone (South Africa), and Viña Anakena (Chile).Advertisement Share Pinterest Twitter Home Industry News Releases Geyser Peak Unveils New Packaging for California TierIndustry News ReleasesWine BusinessGeyser Peak Unveils New Packaging for California TierBy Press Release – March 19, 2018 165 0 ReddIt Linkedin Previous articleU.S. Wine Exports Total $1.53 Billion in 2017Next articleVéronique Hombroekx Joins Baron Philippe de Rothschild S.A. Press Release Facebooklast_img read more

Special Application to Report Crime Anonymously

first_imgSpecial Application to Report Crime Anonymously National SecurityMay 14, 2014Written by: Athaliah Reynolds-Baker Photo: JIS PhotographerMinister of National Security, Hon. Peter Bunting, making his contribution to the 2014/15 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on May 13. Story HighlightsWithin the next few months, citizens with access to android smart phones will be able to download a special application (app), allowing them to report a crime or send information to the police, anonymously.The application, which is slated to be launched in the first quarter of this fiscal year, will also provide alerts from the police, similar to the Ananda Alert.It will also give the option of a panic button, so that residents can alert the police without anonymity. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail Within the next few months, citizens with access to android smart phones will be able to download a special application (app), allowing them to report a crime or send information to the police, anonymously.The application, which is slated to be launched in the first quarter of this fiscal year, will also provide alerts from the police, similar to the Ananda Alert, as well as relevant updates to newly passed laws.It will also give the option of a panic button, so that residents can alert the police without anonymity.As contained in a Ministry Paper tabled in the House, on Tuesday, May 13, the initiative is part of a series of programmes to be implemented by the Ministry of National Security to further strengthen the Unite for Change project. The Ministry Paper was tabled by Portfolio Minister, Hon. Peter Bunting.Other initiatives to be rolled out under the Unite for Change programme include a major advertising campaign, which will see the implementation of a series of advertisements to support a change in social norms.Also, in June a special forum will be held in western Jamaica aimed at increasing awareness and support for the programme and to encourage citizens to become active partners in Unite for Change.The Ministry of National Security is also slated to partner with the Ministries of Youth and Culture and Labour to determine the extent to which this year’s Independence, Emancipation and Labour Day celebrations will be aligned with the Unite for Change message.Since its launch in December 2013, the Unite for Change programme has seen the successful implementation of a number of initiatives, which have garnered much support across the island.These include a series of one-day corner league football competitions, which were held at the end of December into the first two weeks of January to engage 23 communities that were having elevated levels of violence.The competitions were held in partnership with the Peace Management Initiative (PMI), Violence Prevention Alliance (VPI), Sistren and the Citizen Security and Justice Programme (CSJP).Additionally, Unite for Change community meetings have been held in Vineyard Town, St. Andrew; Hayes, Clarendon; Spanish Town, St. Catherine; and Mandeville, Manchester.For peace month in March the programme partnered with the CSJP and the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) Safe Schools Programme to target youth, beginning with a Peace Day concert in Emancipation Park and followed by a tour of 12 schools across the island.The schools were engaged for direct intervention via motivational talks with Grades 8 and 9 students, where a Unite for Change School Pledge was introduced and the entire schools engaged in Unite for Change discussions and ‘lunch time concerts’.The UFC has also participated in nine peace marches with Minister Bunting being a featured speaker. Marches were held in West Kingston, Dunkirk, Rockfort, Old Harbour, Mandeville, Spanish Town, August Town and the South West and Central St. Andrew Police Divisions.Twenty Unite for Change ambassadors were trained to act as spokespersons to communicate the programme’s message across the island. Communication platforms were activated via Uniteforchangejm.org, Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. RelatedBusiness Case for New Correctional Facility to be Completed in Maycenter_img RelatedCSJP Outdoing Major Targets Advertisements RelatedSecurity Minister Emphasises Importance of Collaborations to Reduce Crime Special Application to Report Crime AnonymouslyJIS News | Presented by: PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQualityundefinedSpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenPlaylast_img read more

Kizzire leads delayed Safeway through 54

first_imgNAPA, Calif. – Patton Kizzire holed a 15-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole to finish off a 6-under 66 and take a one-shot lead into the final round of the Safeway Open. The third round wasn’t finished until Sunday morning because of rain that has soaked Silverado. Johnson Wagner, who left Saturday night with a one-shot lead with three holes to play, drove into a bunker on the 17th hole, left it short of the green and then chunked a wedge into the front bunker, leading to double bogey. He finished with a birdie for a 70 and was one shot behind, along with Scott Piercy (73). Kizzire was at 15-under 201, his first 54-hole lead on the PGA Tour. Paul Casey (71) and Martin Laird (68) were two shots behind.last_img

Getting to the Roots of Design

first_img TagsammoniaBBC NewsbiosphereDaniel von WangenheimdinitrogenepistemologyFauna & Flora Internationalflowering plantsfungal filamentsfungifungicidesGoethe UniversityHaber processintelligent designJordanLight Sheet Fluorescence MicroscopymaizeMichelle VillenuevemicronutrientsmycorrhizaeNature Plants (journal)nitrogen fixationoxygenpesticidesphotosynthetic bacteriaPlant Biotechnology Journalplantssoilwater,Trending Intelligent Design “A Summary of the Evidence for Intelligent Design”: The Study Guide Jane Goodall Meets the God Hypothesis Recommended Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Share Origin of Life: Brian Miller Distills a Debate Between Dave Farina and James Tour The biosphere begins from the ground up. With help from photosynthetic bacteria in the oceans, land plants generate the oxygen needed by complex animals. They also make food for everyone else, but they couldn’t do either job without a lot of help from their single-celled assistants.Fungi Most BeautifulThe website Fauna & Flora International, champions of biodiversity, published a piece by Michelle Villenueve that commands attention — not just because it can help prevent loss of farmland, but because the hero of the story is so tiny. She begins with the “conflict” in the novel, the depletion of farmland because of chemical fertilizers and loss of nutrients. Small farmers, out of tradition, tend to cut down forests for new cropland after their soils become unproductive, or spray chemical fertilizer to extend the use of existing land. Both practices are unsustainable. Nature has a better way.Alternatively, it is possible to make normally inaccessible soil nutrients available to plants. This can be achieved in a number of ways, and one interesting emerging area of study is in the association between plants and fungi. As it turns out, about 90% of flowering plants worldwide engage in a symbiotic relationship with a fungus that colonises root systems. The fungus amplifies and extends the range of the plant’s root system, allowing it to absorb previously inaccessible soil nutrients; in return, the plant supplies the fungus with the carbon it needs. These mutually beneficial fungal networks are called mycorrhizae, and it is now thought that mycorrhizal associations are what originally allowed plants to colonise Earth 450 million years ago — wow! [Emphasis added.]The mythical vision of something that “is now thought” by certain evolutionists to have occurred in the dim dark past may give Ms. Villenueve a “wow” moment, but lest we get distracted by a sub-plot, the real “wow” in the story goes to the fungal network. “Marvellous mycorrhizae” comprise “the fungal networks that boost food production,” her title states. How do they work? The answer is, “in many ways.”Where mycorrhizal associations exist, up to one kilometre of fungal filaments can be found per gram of soil.This dense network, capable of exploring a volume of soil a thousand times greater than that reached by the roots, brings more macronutrients to the plant — the same ones that you will find in most common chemical fertilisers. Not only that, but mycorrhizae also increase a plant’s ability to absorb vital micronutrients, such as zinc and calcium.In addition to improved nutrient uptake, mycorrhizae confer bioprotective power on their host plants. The mycorrhizal network forms a protective shield against soil-borne pests and pathogens, enveloping the root tips and protecting them from attack. This, in turn, reduces the need for the application of chemical pesticides and fungicides.Plants enjoying a commensal relationship with fungi are healthier, stronger, and better protected than those sprayed by commercial fertilizers and pesticides. That deserves a big wow. The article shows a photo of the rich, dark soil at the roots of a maize plant growing in mycorrhizal soil.The issue now is how to motivate farmers to use the fungus-assisted soil. Till now, chemical sprays have been less labor-intensive than mycorrhizal solutions.Still, there is hope on the horizon. In recent years the number of agricultural companies and start-ups conducting research in this area has been ‘mushrooming’. Fungal bio-fertilisers and fungus-coated seeds are becoming more widespread and showing great promise for sustainable yield increases in greenhouse-based trials. FFI looks forward to continuing to deploy both traditional and modern solutions in this exciting emerging area as we work towards our conservation goals in partnership with farming communities.Another technology could benefit from nature’s solutions. There’s another small helper clinging to the roots of plants: nitrogen-fixing bacteria. These bacteria have enzymes called nitrogenases that hold the secret of cracking dinitrogen (N2) molecules, with their tough triple bonds, into forms that can combine with other molecules, such as ammonia (NH3). Artificial systems for fixing nitrogen, such as the Haber process, are highly energy-intensive, but bacteria do it an ambient temperature. According to a January 2020 paper in the Plant Biotechnology Journal, learning that secret could lead to a “green revolution.” The paper shows progress at one stage that is “paving the way for future studies in the engineering of nitrogen fixation,” but engineers aren’t there yet.Routing the RootHave you ever wondered how roots find their way to water? Perhaps watching roots grow in a science class display or on a documentary film has prompted the question. What is the mysterious sense that prompts root hairs to grow in the direction of the nearest water supply? Scientists at Goethe University asked the question, and sought clues using Light Sheet Fluorescence Microscopy.Plants use their roots to search for water. While the main root digs downwards, a large number of fine lateral roots explore the soil on all sides. As researchers from Nottingham, Heidelberg and Goethe University of Frankfurt report in the current issue of “Nature Plants”, the lateral roots already “know” very early on where they can find water.The high-tech microscope technique allowed Daniel von Wangenheim to image dividing cells in 3-D on a root hair. On one side, the root was exposed to air. On the other, it was exposed to agar with water.To his surprise, he discovered that almost as many lateral roots formed on the air side as on the side in contact with the nutrient solution. As he continued to follow the growth of the roots with each cell division in the microscope, it became evident that the new cells drive the tip of the root in the direction of water from the very outset, meaning that if a lateral root had formed on the air side, it grew in the direction of the agar plate.“It’s therefore clear that plants first of all spread their roots in all directions, but the root obviously knows from the very first cell divisions on where it can find water and nutrients,” says Daniel von Wangenheim, summarizing the results. “In this way, plants can react flexibly to an environment with fluctuating resources.”You can watch von Wangenheim at work in a video summary of the experiments. “It is known that roots branch toward water availability!” the caption begins. “But how?” The micrographs are impressive, but it’s not clear the research answered the question. Somehow the lateral branches head toward water right from the first cell division. It’s nice to know the direction to go before starting, but how does a blind root do it? The team’s paper in Nature Plants is titled, “Early developmental plasticity of lateral roots in response to asymmetric water availability.” In conclusion, “the external hydrological environment regulates lateral root morphogenesis.” But how?We conclude that external water availability profoundly influences lateral root formation during organ emergence. Lateral roots are critical for exploring large volumes of soil for nutrients and moisture. To efficiently acquire water, plants have developed mechanisms that drive lateral root outgrowth towards external water availability.Uh, OK. But how? Did plants “develop mechanisms” by intelligent design, or by chance?It appears that plant “epistemology” (how they know what they know) is superior to man’s, and will continue to elude our brightest scientists for some time to come.  The “root” of the problem is in assuming blind chance was capable of photosynthesis, mycorrhizal networks, nitrogen fixing, and optimizing searches for water. Design scientists, understanding good design when they see it, might do better at paving the way to a green revolution.Combining DesignFor an encouraging ending, watch the video posted by the BBC News that joins plant design with human ingenuity. The result is transforming a glum refugee camp in a Jordanian desert into a happy, thriving community. This kind of science is good for everybody — and that deserves a big “Wow!”Photo credit: Kyle Ellefson on Unsplash.center_img Congratulations to Science Magazine for an Honest Portrayal of Darwin’s Descent of Man Requesting a (Partial) Retraction from Darrel Falk and BioLogos Life Sciences Getting to the Roots of DesignEvolution News @DiscoveryCSCFebruary 27, 2020, 6:04 AM 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 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 Email Print Google+ Linkedin Twitter Sharelast_img read more

Chloe Magee says focus should be on sport and not religion

first_imgNews WhatsApp Facebook Facebook Google+ Further drop in people receiving PUP in Donegal Twitter Chloe Magee says focus should be on sport and not religion Previous articleDerry to Coleraine railway line closed for major worksNext articleGovernment confirms 13% funding cut to reflect Household Charge boycott News Highland Google+ Twitter Pinterestcenter_img RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR WhatsApp Pinterest Pregnant women can receive Covid vaccine at LYIT’s vaccination centre Donegal Olympian Chloe Magee has been reacting to Bill O’Herlihy’s controversial comments made after her opening badminton group game in the London Olympics.Speaking on RTE the veteran broadcaster stated that when he was growing up badminton was “considered a Protestant sport.”Chloe Magee spoke earlier on the Shaun Doherty Show – she said that the focus should be on sport and not religion:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/cloeraw.mp3[/podcast] Lárionad Acmhainní Nádúrtha CTR to take part in new research project Gardai continue to investigate Kilmacrennan fire 75 positive cases of Covid confirmed in North By News Highland – July 30, 2012 LUH still not ready to restore IT systemslast_img read more