Dinoflagellate cysts from the Marambio Group (Upper Cretaceous) of Humps Island

first_imgThirty samples from two sections on south-western Humps Island, James Ross Basin, northern Antarctic Peninsula, contain moderately diverse dinoflagellate cyst assemblages deposited in shallow shelf, open marine conditions. Assemblages contain common Isabelidinium spp., including I. cretaceum and I. pellucidum, Cerodinium diebelii, common Odontochitina spp., including O. operculata, O. porifera and O. spinosa, plus Nelsoniella cf. aceras, Octodinium askiniae and rare Chatangiella tripartita, C. victoriensis, Isabelidinium cf. belfastense and I. korojonense. This association includes species with Santonian and Campanian (to Maastrichtian) distribution in Australia and New Zealand. Some of these species may be recycled. A Campanian age is suggested for the Humps Island sections.last_img read more

ELN Guerrilla Escapes with Ecuadorean Hostage

first_imgBy Dialogo September 12, 2012 A guerrilla abandoned the National Liberation Army (ELN) in the company of an Ecuadorean citizen who had been kidnapped in southern Colombia in 2010, and after four hours they managed to reach a Colombian Navy garrison, informed a Military report on September 10. According to the report, the ELN guerrilla took off on the morning of September 9, in the company of Orlando Ibarra, an Ecuadorean citizen kidnapped on August 2, 2010, and kept in a rural area of the Samaniego municipality, in the southern Colombian department of Nariño. In brief remarks to reporters on September 10, Ibarra said that one of his captors offered to help him escape, but initially he did not believe him. “He said to me, “Do you want to escape?” I said to him, “Don’t tease me”. And he told me that he wanted to help me do it (escape), and I said, “Let’s do it,” specified the former hostage. Ibarra, who has worked as a company administrator for 39 years, had been kidnapped in his office in the Colombian city of Ipiales (Nariño, which borders Ecuador), where he lived for 10 years. According to the report, after the escape, the kidnapper and his hostage walked for four hours until they contacted soldiers in Colombia’s Naval Forces 4th Marine Brigade. Immediately, the country’s Army deployed troops and aircraft to secure the area and remove the insurgent and his former hostage from the area. The Military report finally pointed out that Ibarra would be transferred to Bogotá on September 17, to be handed over to his family. The ELN is Colombia’s second largest guerrilla group, with some 2,500 men in arms, according to figures from the Ministry of Defense.last_img read more

Africa’s share of global FDI increases

first_img7 May 2013Africa’s share of global foreign direct investment (FDI) has grown over the past five years, highlighting the growing interest in the continent from foreign investors, according to Ernst & Young’s third Africa Attractiveness Survey.The report, released on Monday, combines an analysis of international investment into Africa over the past five years with a 2013 survey of over 500 global business leaders about their views on the potential of the African market.Those business leaders with an established presence on the continent ranked Africa as the second most attractive regional investment destination in the world after Asia, with 86% of them saying they believed Africa’s attractiveness as a place to do business would continue to improve.Positive growth outlookThe continent’s global share of FDI grew from 3.2% in 2007 to 5.6% in 2012, the report found, despite a fall in FDI project numbers from 867 in 2011 to 764 in 2012, in line with the global trend.The report noted that, despite the impact of the ongoing global economic situation, the size of the African economy had more than tripled since 2000. It added that the continent’s growth outlook appeared positive, with African gross domestic product (GDP) as a whole expected to grow by 4% in 2013 and 4.6% in 2014, and a number of African economies predicted to remain among the fastest growing in the world for the foreseeable future.Mark Otty, Ernst & Young’s managing partner for Europe, the Middle East, India and Africa, said the platform for this growth had been provided by “a process of democratization that has taken root across much of the continent, ongoing improvements to the business environment, exponential growth in trade and investment, and substantial improvements in the quality of human life”.Ernst & Young said the 2013 Africa Attractiveness Survey showed some progress in terms of investor perceptions since the first survey in 2011, with the majority of respondents bering positive about the progress made and the outlook for Africa.Africa had also gained ground relative to other global regions: while the continent was only ranked ahead of two other regions in the 2011 survey, this year it ranked ahead of five other regions for investment attractiveness, beating the former Soviet states, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, the Middle East and Central America.Perception versus reality“However, there still remains a stark perception gap between those respondents who are already doing business in Africa versus those that have not yet invested in the continent,” Ernst & Young said.“Those with an established business in Africa were overwhelmingly positive. They understand the real rather than perceived operational risks, have experienced the progress made and see the opportunities for future growth.”Those business leaders with an established presence on the continent ranked Africa as the second most attractive regional investment destination in the world after Asia, with 86% of them saying they believed Africa’s attractiveness as a place to do business would continue to improve.In contrast, those business leaders with no business presence in Africa ranked the continent as the least attractive investment destination in the world, with only 47% of them saying they believed Africa’s attractiveness as a place to do business would improve over the next three years.Tackling constraints to growthThe two fundamental challenges for those already invested or those looking to invest in Africa, the survey found, were transport/logistics and electricity infrastructure on the one hand, and the prevalence of bribery and corruption on the other.“However, moves are being made on both accounts to help allay fears of investors,” Ernst & Young said.At the same time, the fact that strong growth had been occurring despite these constraints indicated the continent’s potential not only to sustain growth, but to accelerate growth as these challenges were overcome.“Our analysis indicates that in 2012 there were over 800 active infrastructure projects across different sectors in Africa, with a combined value in excess of US$700-billion,” Ernst & Young said, adding that the majority of these projects related to power (37%) and transport (41%).Moving away from extractive industriesThe survey also found that, despite perceptions to the contrary, less than one-third of Africa’s growth was coming from natural resources.The continent’s trend towards growing diversification was continuing, with an increasing emphasis on services, manufacturing and infrastructure-related activities – a positive sign given the volatile nature of commodity prices and the growth risks associated with over-dependency on a few key sectors.In 2007, according to the survey, extractive industries represented 8% of FDI projects and 26% of capital invested in Africa; in 2012, it was a mere 2% of projects and 12% of capital. In comparison, services accounted for 70% of Africa’s FDI projects in 2012 (up from 45% in 2007), while manufacturing activities accounted for 43% of capital invested in 2012 (up from 22% in 2007).Mining and metals were still perceived by survey respondents as the sector with the highest growth potential in Africa, but the number of respondents who believed this (26%) was down from 38% in 2012 and 44% in 2011.In contrast, interest in African infrastructure projects is clearly increasing, with 21% of respondents identifying this as a growth sector versus 14% in 2012 and only 4% in 2011.Other sectors where there has been a noticeable shift include ICT (14%, up from 8% in 2012), financial services (13%, up from 6% in 2012), and education (which came from virtually nowhere to register 10% this year).According to Otty, these changing perceptions of relative sector attractiveness in Africa “reflect the changing fundamentals of many Africa economies – the diversification of both sources of growth (for example, the increasing contribution of services and the growing consumer class), and of the actual FDI flowing into these economies”.Ajen Sita, Ernst & Young’s managing partner for Africa, said Ernst & Young was confident that the continent was on a sustainable upward trajectory.“A critical mass of African economies will continue on this journey,” Sita said, adding that there was “a strong probability that a number of these economies will follow the same development paths that some of the Asian and other rapid-growth markets have over the past 30 years.“By the 2040s, we have no doubt that the likes of Nigeria, Ghana, Angola, Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia and South Africa will be considered among the growth powerhouses of the global economy.”SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Nanotubes take flight

first_imgAn odako grown at Rice University shows single-walled nanotubes lifting an iron and aluminum oxide “kite” as they grow while remaining firmly rooted in a carbon base. ShareCONTACT: Mike WilliamsPHONE: 713-348-6728E-MAIL: [email protected] take flightRice scientists use nanomaterials to grow flying carpets, ‘odako’ kitesWith products that range from carpets to kites, you’d think Rice University chemist Bob Hauge was running a department store.What he’s really running is a revolution in the world of carbon nanotechnology.In a paper published this month in Nano Research, Hauge’s Rice University team describes a method for making “odako,” bundles of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNT) named for the traditional Japanese kites they resemble. It may lead to a way to produce meter-long strands of nanotubes, which by themselves are no wider than a piece of DNA. Hauge, a distinguished faculty fellow in chemistry at Rice’s Richard E. Smalley Institute for Nanoscale Science and Technology, and his co-authors, graduate students Cary Pint and Noe Alvarez, explained the odako after which the bundles are named are gigantic kites that take many hands to fly, hence the many lines that trail from them.In this case, the lines are nanotubes, hollow cylinders of pure carbon. Individually, they’re thousands of times smaller than a living cell, but Hauge’s new method creates bundles of SWNTs that are sometimes measured in centimeters, and he said the process could eventually yield tubes of unlimited length.Large-scale production of nanotube threads and cables would be a godsend for engineers in almost every field. They could be used in lightweight, superefficient power-transmission lines for next-generation electrical grids, for example, and in ultra-strong and lightning-resistant versions of carbon-fiber materials found in airplanes. Hauge said the SWNT bundles may also prove useful in batteries, fuel cells and microelectronics.To understand how Hauge makes nanokites, it helps to have a little background on flying carpets.Last year, Hauge and colleagues found they could make compact bundles of nanotubes starting with the same machinery the U.S. Treasury uses to embed paper money with unique markings that make the currency difficult to counterfeit.Hauge and his team — which included senior research fellow Howard Schmidt and Professor Matteo Pasquali, both of Rice’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering; graduate students Pint and Sean Pheasant; and Kent Coulter of San Antonio’s Southwest Research Institute — used this printing process to create thin layers of iron and aluminum oxide on a Mylar roll. They then removed the layers and ground them into small flakes.Here’s where the process took off. In a mesh cage placed into a furnace, the metallic flakes would lift off and “fly” in a flowing chemical vapor. As they flew, arrays of nanotubes grew vertically from the iron particles in tight, forest-like formations. When done cooking and viewed under a microscope, the bundles looked remarkably like the pile of a carpet.While other methods used to grow SWNTs had yielded a paltry 0.5 percent ratio of nanotubes to substrate materials, Hauge’s technique brought the yield up to an incredible 400 percent. The process could facilitate large-scale SWNT growth, Pint said.In the latest research, the team replaced the Mylar with pure carbon. In this setup, the growing nanotubes literally raise the roof, lifting up the iron and aluminum oxide from which they’re sprouting while the other ends stay firmly attached to the carbon. As the bundle of tubes grows higher, the catalyst becomes like a kite, flying in the hydrogen and acetylene breeze that flows through the production chamber.Hauge and his team hope to follow up their work on flying carpets and nanokites with the holy grail of nanotube growth: a catalyst that will not die, enabling furnaces that churn out continuous threads of material.“If we could get these growing so they never stop – so that, at some point, you pull one end out of the furnace while the other end is still inside growing – then you should be able to grow meter-long material and start weaving it,” he said.Read “Odako growth of dense arrays of single-walled carbon nanotubes attached to carbon surfaces” here: https://sp2.img.hsyaolu.com.cn/wp-shlf1314/2023/IMG2989.jpg” alt=”center_img” /> AddThislast_img read more