Natural Wonders Can Be Useful

first_imgTo find great ideas, look to nature.  Many plants and animals are as useful as they are ornamental.  They can show the way to solve problems of great interest to humans.Mussel power:  Want an abrasion-resistant, highly-extensible coating?  PhysOrg reported that mussels are providing inspiration to materials scientists.  They build a byssus, or network of threads, that attaches to hard surfaces and absorbs the energy of crashing waves.  A cuticle on the outer surfaces of these stretchy, flexible fibers is “a biological polymer, which exhibits epoxy-like hardness, while straining up to 100% without cracking.”  The cuticle’s success depends on its careful tailoring of protein-metal chemistry and organization of cross-links at the submicron level.  All human inventors need to do is study and copy what the mussel has achieved.  “Nature has evolved an elegant solution to a problem that engineers are still struggling with; namely, how to combine the properties of abrasion resistance and high extensibility in the same material,” said Peter Fratzl, director of the biomaterials department at the Max Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces.  “Conceivably, this same strategy could be applied in engineered polymers and composites.”  ScienceNow has a close-up picture of the mussel fibers.Insect glue:  The caddis fly is well known to fishermen.  They are accustomed to hunting for the tube-shaped larva shelters, made of grains of sand and rock.  The larva glues those grains together with silk made of a wet adhesive that is attracting the attention of inventors.  Science Daily reported on research into the characteristics of this glue.  It could be extremely useful to invent a glue that works when wet.  Imagine trying to put on a bandage in a shower.  Surgeons often have to attach sutures to wet biological tissue.    Scientists have found that the caddis fly can work its magic with glass beads replacing sand.  The silk, they found, resembles tape more than anything else.  It fastens the beads together from the inside.  They are studying this mechanism “for the purpose of trying to copy it,” the article said.  The material properties of the silk that allow it to work underwater have something to do with the way electrical charges are arranged on the molecules.    The article ended by speculating about how these abilities evolved.  The ability to make underwater adhesives has been identified in four phyla – members of which include caddis flies, sandcastle worms, mussels and sea cucumbers.  What does that mean?  To Russell Stewart (U of Utah) it can only mean one thing: “They came to this underwater adhesion solution completely independently,” he said.  The press release added, “showing that it repeatedly evolved because of its value in helping the creatures live and thrive, Stewart says.”Sea squirt lab rat:  Science Daily said that hope for those suffering from Alzheimer’s disease may come from the lowly sea squirt.  Scientists have found that they produce the tangles and plaques characteristic of Alzheimer’s quickly.  This makes them suitable as a model organism on which new drugs can be tested in a shorter time.  The article said, for whatever it means, “as long ago as Darwin, it has been recognized that sea squirts may be our closest invertebrate relatives; in their immature, tadpole form, they resemble proper vertebrates, and they share about 80% of their genes with us.”  But does this imply we are 80% sea squirt, or 60% banana?Bee silk for aviation:  Science Daily reported on progress to imitate bee silk.  Maybe you didn’t realize that bees make silk.  Maybe you also didn’t realize that silk is useful.  Indeed they do, and indeed it is: “Possible practical uses for these silks would be tough, lightweight textiles, high-strength applications such as advanced composites for use in aviation and marine environments, and medical applications such as sutures, artificial tendons and ligaments.”  A team in Australia is working on recombining the ingredients by producing them with the genes of other organisms, so that silk fibers can be hand-drawn without the need for the bee’s silk-producing glands.  Those glands are probably as hard to work with as bee’s knees.Pitcher plant medicine:  Some day, your cabinet may not just have pitchers, but medicines inspired by the pitcher plant.  Researchers at Tel Aviv University are producing anti-fungal drugs, said Science Daily, based on the carnivorous plant’s technology.  Pitcher plants need more than just the ability to digest animal products to gain carbon and nitrogen from poor soils; “Carnivorous plants also possess a highly developed set of compounds and secondary metabolites to aid in their survival.”  It’s in those compounds, produced in special glands by the plant, where anti-fungal medicines are waiting to be discovered.    The plant has to protect itself from fungi that would steal its meal.  “To avoid sharing precious food resources with other micro-organisms such as fungi, the carnivorous plant has developed a host of agents that act as natural anti-fungal agents,” said Prof. Aviah Zilberstein of the university.  Some of these compounds, if isolated for medicine, “may avoid the evolution of new resistant infective strains.”  Secondary infections from fungi are a serious problem in hospitals.  “There is a lot of room for developing compounds from nature into new drugs,” Zilberstein said.  “The one we are working on is not toxic to humans.  Now we hope to show how this very natural product can be further developed as a means to overcome some basic problems in hospitals all over the world.”  The article noted that drinking pitcher plant liquid as an elixir has been documented in the folk medicine of India.Green fertilizer:  Nitrogen is a tough nut to crack.  The triple bonds of N2 gas usually require high amounts of energy, like lightning or the Haber process, to pull apart so that ammonia and other compounds can be produced (this is called “fixing” nitrogen).  Somehow, nitrogenase enzymes in bacteria that live in nodules attached to the roots of some plants do it with ease at room temperature.  “It sounds simple, but it is a complicated and poorly understood process,” the article said.    For thousands of years, farmers have known that legumes (including peas, beans, alfalfa and clover) can increase productivity of fallow ground when alternated with other crops.  That’s a major reason George Washington Carver urged southern farmers, whose fields were being depleted by cotton and boll weevil infestations, to grow peanuts.  Until recently, no one understood why legumes were so effective in boosting the productivity of the soil.  Science Daily reported on a discovery at Stanford that helps explain their potential.  The finding might reduce fertilizer use and help the environment.  “We have discovered a new biological process, by which leguminous plants control behavior of symbiotic bacteria,” said Stanford molecular biologist Sharon Long.  “These plants have a specialized protein processing system that generates specific protein signals.”  The scientists have identified the gene responsible for the signal.  If scientists can generate that signal in other plants, perhaps through genetic engineering or selective breeding, they might trigger more nitrogen fixation in crops without fertilizer.  World farmlands could remain more productive as population grows while simultaneously reducing pollution by nitrous oxide (a highly potent greenhouse gas) and other fertilizer byproducts.  “When you deal with a natural soil, you are dealing with a lot of complexity.  Everything we learn about what makes symbiosis work gives us a tool to understand why, sometimes, symbiosis fails,” said Long.  “Plant breeders who are trying to help develop better-adapted plants can now analyze traits such as this.  We’ve given them a new tool” – a tool that was there all along, but needs a little prying and coaxing.Energy the way plants make it:  There’s no more effective solar power plant than a plant, so why not plan to imitate plants?  PhysOrg said that’s just what scientists in France are trying to do.  Photosynthesis may become the next new source of electrical energy.  The team has found a way to convert the chemical energy from photosynthesis into electrical energy in biofuel cells.  “They thus propose a new strategy to convert solar energy into electrical energy in an environmentally-friendly and renewable manner.”    This kind of biomimetics actually employs a real plant – in this case, a cactus.  By implanting special enzyme-modified electrodes sensitive to the products of photosynthesis, the French scientists were able to generate 9 watts per square centimeter.  They could see more juice when the light was turned up.  They envision not only more efficient solar cells, but medical applications.  Similar biofuel electrodes in human skin, sensitive to glucose and oxygen in biological fluids, could power implanted medical devices autonomously, without batteries or external power sources.In each of these stories, evolution was either ignored or mentioned only in passing.  This indicates that the heavy lifting in the scientific research is being done without it.  Instead, the impetus of the research is drawn from attention to biological design.Biomimetics could well be a major player in the downfall of Darwinism.  For one thing, evolutionary theory has very little to do with biomimetics, if anything.  Saying stupid things like, “This organism figured this out 150 million years ago,” or, “Four phyla came up with this elegant solution independently,” contributes only entertainment, not substance.  For another, biomimetics is a completely positive enterprise.  Scientists don’t have to get bogged down in philosophical debates about origins.  They can get funding, work constructively, increase understanding of nature, and come up with Nobel-prize-quality discoveries that will help the world – all without Darwin.  Here is a positive alternative to evolution that relies on intelligent design assumptions.  The wealth that can be generated is enormous.  Darwin will be left in the dust as the world stampedes to biomimetic technology.  Think Michael Behe’s famous illustration as we repeat, “If you can build a better mousetrap, the world will beat a path to your door.”(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

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2019 Precision University: Ag tech for in-season management

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Trey Colley, John Fulton, Jenna Lee, and Elizabeth HawkinsDigital agriculture technologies, connected devices, and sensor networks have enabled data-based decision making to be implemented at the farm level. The farm of the future will have increasing access to data and real-time analyses, allowing new insights related to in-season crop protection and nutrition management. Farmers of today already have many of these data sources at their fingertips through the use of connected smart phones.Implementation of these digital tools and services during the growing season can potentially reduce the time needed to assess crop health, scout for disease, and evaluate cropping system performance. A recent infusion of in-field sensor systems are beginning to change the game for such in-season decisions through irrigation management, real-time soil nutrient assessment, and site-specific application of cropping inputs. Additionally, advanced scouting tools such as apps with geo-location features, and aerial imagery are being adopted to assist in crop nutrition and crop protection applications.Spray technologies for in-season crop protection have also undergone recent developments even at the nozzle level. Pulse-width modulated (PWM) control for individual nozzles allow for reduction of spray overlap, skips, and drift during application at high speeds. Additionally, machine vision systems have proven see-and-spray technologies can reduce herbicide application by almost 90% in initial testing. These vision-based spray technologies use machine learning algorithms to detect both the type of weed and density of weed pressure to apply only a prescribed amount of herbicide to the identified area.How can you use these data sources paired with sound agronomic knowledge to make informed management decisions? Find out at the 2019 Precision University Event on Wednesday Jan. 9, 2019 at Beck’s Hybrids in London. This year’s focus will be related to all practices and technologies used for crop management after planting. Topics of using imagery for scouting, as-applied spray documentation, and sense-and-spray technologies will be highlighted in speaking sessions of the day. Additionally, breakout sessions of “Decision making with aerial imagery,” and “Latest in nozzle technology” headline the afternoon session. For more information and to register at $50 per person, visit go.osu.edu/PrecisionU by Jan. 2, 2019. CCA/CEU credits are available.last_img read more

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Salman Khan, Nargis Fakhri woo all at the launch of much-hyped song Devil

first_imgThe much- hyped song, Devil, from Salman Khan’s upcoming film Kick was launched at a grand event at a popular Mumbai nightclub on Friday.The song, which will highlight the actor’s character, has been picturised on Salman and will feature Nargis Fakhri in a special appearance. In a part of the song, Nargis is seen dressed in black lacy shorts. Devil, which is composed and sung by rapper Yo Yo Honey Singh, is already a hit on the Internet.At Friday’s launch event, Nargis was the centre of attraction while the film’s lead heroine, Jacqueline Fernandez, was missing from the do.Salman wore his trademark humour on his sleeve as he took to the stage to launch the song.He talked about his experiences of shooting the film in Poland, among various other shoot locations.Since the film’s songs have picked up well by the audience, Salman is hopeful that the film, too, will be liked by his fans.The song has been given an edgy look and has some swift dance movesAfter interacting with guests for a while, Salman invited Nargis on the stage and, to make the moment special, crooned Tu Hi Tu- a romantic track from Kick. Since Salman has sung the song in the film as well, he is anxiously waiting to see the audience response. Choreographed by Ahmed Khan, Devil outlays the theme of the film. It has been given an edgy look and has some swift dance moves. Nargis said she enjoyed dancing on the peppy tune.advertisementBigwig producer Sajid Nadiadwala, who has made his debut as director with this film, has, for the first time, massively publicised a song through an event. Before its official release, a high- level social media campaign was launched and Twitter hashtag # findthedevil was released to engage anxiously waiting fans.Kick is a remake of a Telugu hit of the same name.After the below expectation show of his last release Jai Ho, Salman has been extra careful with Kick’s promotional strategy.last_img read more

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Final fall

first_imgPH heads to world group on winning note Out of the title race and with little to fight for, Paran and the Lady Bulldogs fought like a trophy was at stake and doomed University of the Philippines’ season with a 25-21, 26-24,17-25, 23-25, 17-15 victory Sunday in UAAP women’s volleyball at Mall of Asia Arena.Paran scored 15 points for NU, backstopping star Princess Robles, who fired 20 points as the Lady Bulldogs crushed the Lady Maroons’ Final Four hopes.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingSPORTSPalace wants Cayetano’s PHISGOC Foundation probed over corruption chargesSPORTSSingapore latest to raise issue on SEA Games food, logisticsThat meant free passes for University of Santo Tomas and Far Eastern U, whose supporters were the ones cheering on NU knowing that a win by the Lady Bulldogs would have their school joining league-leading Ateneo and defending champion La Salle in the semifinals.NU libero Jennifer Nierva, who accounted for 30 excellent digs and 27 excellent receptions, said the crowd support “hyped” them up. Cayetano: Senate, Drilon to be blamed for SEA Games mess MOST READ Audrey Paran noticed a major change of colors in the National University cheering section.“We were shocked that fans wearing green and yellow were cheering for us,” Paran said in Filipino.ADVERTISEMENT Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Private companies step in to help SEA Games hosting Hontiveros presses for security audit of national power grid SEA Games hosting troubles anger Duterte PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd PLAY LIST 02:25PH women’s volleyball team motivated to deliver in front of hometown crowd00:50Trending Articles07:50BYS Academy: Create a Fall Glam Makeup Look02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City01:07Trump talks impeachment while meeting NCAA athletes02:49World-class track facilities installed at NCC for SEA Games02:11Trump awards medals to Jon Voight, Alison Krausscenter_img Philippine Arena Interchange inaugurated DA eyes importing ‘galunggong’ anew Sisi Rondina fired 21 points for UST, which hiked its record to 9-4, just half a game behind La Salle in the final footrace for the second twice-to-beat incentive.But to tab that semifinal bonus, UST must beat NU in its last game and hope that FEU defeats La Salle.“Hopefully we can get a better ranking in the semis so we can really do our best,” added Reyes, whose charges were left out of Final Four the past two seasons.Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View comments “It’s like everyone wanted us to win,” she said.The Lady Bulldogs improved to 4-9, while inflicting on the Lady Maroons their seventh loss in 13 matches.That meant UST can now focus on a last-gasp bid for a twice-to-beat berth after the Tigresses turned back the Lady Tamaraws in the second game, 25-23, 25-18, 25-23.UST’s victory avenged a first-round loss to FEU in a game where the Tigresses lost star sophomore Milena Alessandrini due to injury.“We have a better ranking now,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes in Filipino. “I think we are assured of Final Four, but we want to finish the eliminations on a high note.”ADVERTISEMENT Panelo: Duterte ‘angry’ with SEA Games hosting hassles LATEST STORIES Ethel Booba twits Mocha over 2 toilets in one cubicle at SEA Games venuelast_img read more

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Asian Games 2018: India win silver in first ever Mixed 4x400m relay

first_imgIndia won a silver medal in the first ever mixed 4x400m relay to take their medal tally to 50 at the 2018 Asian Games in Indonesia. The Indian team – Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Poovamma Machettira, Hima Das and Rajiv Arokia – clocked 3:15.71 to finish second behind Bahrain, who won gold by clocking 3:11.89.Kazakhstan took home the bronze medal with a time of 3:19.52.Anas had put India in the lead before Poovamma fell behind lap. Hima tried hard and a strong finish by Arokia ensured India took the silver medal.It was another impressive day for India who won nine medals including one gold, six silver medals and two bronze medals.ASIAN GAMES 2018 FULL COVERAGE | MEDALSIndia have very dominant on the tracks. Before the mixed event, Manjit Singh won gold while Jinson Johnson won silver in the men’s 800m race.Meanwhile, Dutee Chand won her race in the women’s 200m semifinals but there was heartbreak for Hima Das who was disqualified after a false start.last_img read more

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Throwback Thursday: Oklahoma State Beats St. Mary’s, Wins National Championship

first_img@Jake_Trotter they also beat Germany on the road— James Burcham (@e4burch) October 13, 2016Here’s what it looks like to win a national title. What a day. Such sweet words I never thought I would hear. But now they are true. Oklahoma State has a national championship in football! And we have the trophy to prove it.Look what showed up at #okstate ?? pic.twitter.com/Pq6KdHOUlg— Allison Gappa (@AllisonGappa) October 13, 2016 Also, I bet none of these men every thought someone would make a GIF of them 70 years later.#okstate scores to beat St. Mary’s and win a national title. What a day! pic.twitter.com/WooxVfBIxz— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) October 13, 2016 I’d say this is legit, the cryatal ball has arrived in Stillwater @Lauren_Rew pic.twitter.com/u6a4yLZ17d— Jr Colmenares (@OSUJr) October 13, 2016So let’s take a dive back into the archives to see Oklahoma State’s title-winning game against St. Mary’s in the 1946 Sugar Bowl. It was the last time OSU would play in the Sugar Bowl until 2016, and the entire thing was incredible. Just listen to this opening of the game recap from the Sugar Bowl’s website.Men against boys. Even though the boys were pretty good, so were the bigger, more worldly men.Oklahoma A&M was a team that started seven war veterans, including fullback Jim Reynolds who flew 52 missions over Germany, and tackle Bert Cole who had been shot down over Yugoslavia and spent months among the Chetniks while making his way back to allied lines. In contrast, St. Mary’s was a lot like Alabama in 1945 with seven 17-year-old starters on a team with an average age of 18-1/2.Also, A&M, the heaviest team to play in the first 12 Sugar Bowls at a 203-pound average, was man-for-man 15 pounds larger than the Sugar Bowl’s youngest team ever.Oklahoma State rolled to a 33-13 win that day that flummoxed St. Mary’s coach Jim Phelan. He literally locked the media out of his locker room after the game before finally letting them in to chat.“Too much power – too much speed. And, above all, too much Fenimore.”Fenimore ran for 125 yards that day and two TDs. He threw for another. The win for AP No. 5 OSU capped off a 9-0 season. OSU allowed just 76 points all year (can you imagine the Vines we would have gotten had Glenn Spencer been coordinator?) Here’s a look at the full schedule which included Denver and Tulsa.screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-3-33-17-pmI have no idea why the AFCA retroactively awarded OSU with this national championship, but apparently we are shipping in the trophies, the crystal and everything that goes along with a title. Here is the AFCA’s reasoning:The Oklahoma State squad of 1945 (then-referred to as Oklahoma A&M) had an average margin of victory of 23.2 points and still hold numerous school records, including fewest points allowed, lowest average points allowed, fewest first downs allowed, fewest rushing yards allowed and fewest yards allowed per game. The 1945 squad also ranks in the top 10 in several more offensive and defensive categories, all of which is remarkable considering that season was played 70 years ago.The AP No. 1 team that year was Army. Army’s schedule was soft! Louisville Field! Melville PT Boats! SMH! Sad!screen-shot-2016-10-13-at-3-36-28-pmAll of this unfolding on Thursday elicited maybe the greatest tweet I have ever seen. If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!last_img read more

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Jason Whitlock Thinks Chip Kelly Will Be Miami’s Next Head Coach

first_imgJason Whitlocks and Colin Coward talk about Chip Kelly on ESPN.jason whitlocks chip kelly to miamiThere are many who believe that Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly will eventually wind up back in the college game, where he saw great success as the leading man for the Oregon Ducks. One Fox Sports analyst – Jason Whitlock – thinks that it’s going to happen sooner rather than later.Whitlock joined Colin Cowherd on his radio show Wednesday afternoon and made a bold prediction. He thinks that Kelly will be Miami football’s next head coach. He believes that Kelly’s system would be a great fit for the Hurricanes, given the talent in the area.We’re not sure we agree, but it’s fun to think about. Miami needs to make a splash, and being able to land Kelly would certainly do just that.last_img read more

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Man wins fiveyear battle over pay lost during Prince Edward Island snowstorm

first_imgCHARLOTTETOWN – In what might be a moral victory for every Canadian who ever had to go to work in bad weather, a P.E.I. man has won a five-year battle to get 3.5 hours worth of pay after being unable to get to the office.A labour panel granted Leslie Smith leave pay for time missed during a snowstorm, agreeing that the evidence showed roads were not safe for travel.“It would not have been wise for him to endanger his life or physical health by driving in very difficult road conditions from his home to his workplace, which was an hour away,” adjudicator Nathalie Daigle said in a decision from a panel of the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board.“Based on the evidence, I am satisfied (he) made reasonable efforts to get to work and that the snowstorm prevented him from travelling to his workplace.”Smith filed a grievance against the Canada Revenue Agency after it refused to provide paid leave for the hours he was not at the Tax Services Office in Charlottetown on Dec. 4, 2013.The panel ruling said the office remained open in the morning, but closed at 1 p.m. due to inclement weather.It said Smith was living in Summerside, about an hour from the office, and left home around 7 a.m. He spent about 25 minutes on unplowed roads before deciding to return home after seeing a four-wheel-drive truck in a ditch.Smith again attempted to drive to work around 11:30 a.m. after seeing a snowplow on his street and clearing his driveway, but after driving around Summerside, he decided the road conditions remained unsafe.The CRA agreed to four hours of paid leave because of the early closure, and one hour for Smith’s efforts to get to work, but refused to pay him the remaining 3.5 hours as paid leave, under a clause he cited in the collective agreement.The clause said the employer may grant leave pay “when circumstances not directly attributable to the employee prevent his or her reporting for duty; such leave shall not be unreasonably withheld.”The panel ruled that Smith established that circumstances beyond his control prevented him from coming to work, and that it was reasonable to grant him leave under that clause of the collective agreement.“Based on the evidence on the record, I find that road conditions were poor and unsafe in Summerside and Charlottetown on December 4, 2013,” the decision said.“The local newspaper reported that a snowstorm had hit the area. In addition, a list of businesses and government offices closed on that day in Summerside and Charlottetown was provided to the board. It shows that many offices opened late and that some remained closed all day.”Smith had been granted sick leave for the time he was not at work, and so the employer has been ordered to credit the sick leave balance by 3.5 hours and grant leave for those hours.The panel also noted that it’s not clear on what basis the employer believed Smith did not make a sufficient effort to get to work.“I understand that employees may be absent due to a snowstorm and that the employer may not want to take every employee’s word for it that he or she was unable to report to duty because of the storm,” the ruling said.“The employer pointed out that (Smith)did not call the Summerside Tax Centre to see if he could work there that day. Nor did he telework. On the other hand, the employer’s representative did not know if those options were considered or even possible at the relevant time.”The grievance had been denied multiple times at various levels of the process.last_img read more

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Mens basketball Battle of two 35 Big Ten teams Ohio State –

Members of the Ohio State men’s basketball team huddle before the start of the second half versus Northwestern on Jan. 22 at the Schottenstein Center. Credit: Jacob Myers | Assistant Sports EditorIn late February 2016, Ohio State took down No. 9 Iowa to stay afloat in the NCAA tournament picture. The Hawkeyes choked down the stretch, losing four of its final five games to finish 12-6 in the Big Ten. Iowa then lost in the first round of the Big Ten tournament to Illinois.The Hawkeyes enter Saturday’s contest versus the Buckeyes having lost three in a row after beginning Big Ten play 3-2. OSU started the conference slate 0-4 but finds itself in the same place as Iowa — one of six teams tied at 3-5 in the Big Ten.Since the two teams last met, both rosters have seen great turnover, but in different ways, after they each had disappointing finishes to the season. Nonetheless, Iowa and OSU are both fighting for a crucial win in conference play in Iowa City.IowaCoach Fran McCaffery had to replace four starters from last year’s roster. The lone returning starter is senior guard Peter Jok, who leads the Big Ten with 21 points per game.“He’s a big-time scorer,” said junior forward Jae’Sean Tate. “He’s been a big-time scorer since I’ve been in college. We’re not going to change anything we do. We’re still going to guard the ball, play Ohio State defense. But we’re going to try to dock him, make him uncomfortable.”For the four starters alongside Jok, McCaffery has yet to settle on a lineup. Eight different Hawkeyes, excluding Jok, have started at least six of the 21 games in 2016-17. Down 16 at the beginning of the second half on Wednesday at Illinois, McCaffery switched 80 percent of his starters. Freshmen Jordan Bohannon, Isaiah Moss, Tyler Cook and Cordell Pemsl were replaced by sophomores Nicholas Baer, Ahmad Wagner and Christian Williams, as well as freshman Ryan Kriener.The Hawkeyes lost 76-64.Iowa sits at No. 96 in the KenPom advanced-statistical ratings. OSU and Iowa are identical in adjusted offensive efficiency, averaging 110.2 per 100 possessions. However, the Hawkeyes rank third in conference averaging more than 80 points per game and third in total rebounds with 39.4 per contest.Losing four starters is certainly a challenge to a coach, and often times the defense is what drops off the most. For Iowa, its defense is without a doubt its greatest weakness.The Hawkeyes are last in the Big Ten in scoring defense and opponent rebounding, allowing 78.2 points and 38.7 rebounds per game. However, at home, Iowa allows 75 points compared to 82 points away from Iowa City.Cook is the only other player for Iowa that averages double figures with 11.9 points. Jok leads the Hawkeyes in points, assists, steals and 3-point field goal percentage.The GameThe Buckeyes arguably put together its most complete game of the season on Wednesday against Minnesota, something the team is trying to build on.“I would say (the Minnesota game is) just a stepping stone,” Tate said. “Like I said, this year, there’s been multiple times that you’ve seen us play at the level we’re supposed to play at all the time. I think we did that against Minnesota, but we still didn’t do it for the whole 40 minutes.”Redshirt junior center Trevor Thompson and senior forward Marc Loving led the team with 19 points a piece — a career high for Thompson. It was the former Virginia Tech transfer’s seventh double-double this season, which is the most for an OSU big man since Jared Sullinger had 17 in the 2011-2012 season. Expect Thompson to register his eighth against Iowa. One thing OSU has had difficulty with is keeping possession. Turnovers have cost the Buckeyes a few games this year and will need to tighten up against McCaffery who likes to implement a half-court trap and 3-2 zone at points in the game.“It’s just, it’s a matter of whatever they throw at us we’ve got to know exactly what we’re doing and get the best shot we possibly can,” OSU coach Thad Matta said.OSU has played completely different away from home this season, and Matta said he has about given up trying to figure out why his guys don’t engage into the action from the get-go. He said his team has to become more consistent in every aspect of the game.Iowa will likely go on a few runs in the first half, but OSU’s rebounding should be the difference in the game and allow OSU to have more scoring chances than the Hawkeyes.Prediction: Ohio State – 76, Iowa – 72Tipoff is scheduled for 8 p.m. at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. read more

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Baseball Ohio State looking for surprise in Arizona against pair of heavyweight

Ohio State redshirt senior first baseman Zach Ratcliff at bat during the Scarlet and Gray World Series in October 2016. Credit: Courtesy of OSU AthleticsThe past weekend was a tale of two halves for the Ohio State baseball team. They combined for 21 runs in the two victories, only to falter in their final two games with a combined four runs. Now looking ahead to the Big Ten/Pac-12 Challenge, OSU (2-2) will have to find the bats again if it hopes to have success against No. 5 Oregon State (4-0) and the reigning Pac-12 champion Utah Utes (2-1) in Surprise, Arizona.Despite the daunting task ahead of the Buckeyes, OSU coach Greg Beals said he’s excited to lead the team to the Grand Canyon State for the first time in 20 years and play some high-quality competition.“We’re heading out to Arizona for the first time — site of Spring Training, we’re going out and playing in a Spring Training facility. Excited for that to take our guys to a Major League complex,” Beals said. “To play teams from the Pac-12, that west-coast style baseball, I think it’s important for us to see different styles and have to be prepared to compete against a different style of baseball.”Scouting Oregon StateEntering the season, expectations were high for an Oregon State team that showed a lot of promise last season, finishing 35-19 (16-14 Pac-12). The NCAA’s consensus rankings placed the Beavers as the No. 6 team in the country. After an undefeated opening weekend, they have risen in the rankings.Pitching was the strength of this team last season and it appears this will be their backbone once again. In the first series, the Beavers’ pitching staff had surrendered a total of six runs (only three earned) with 37 total strikeouts, only 11 walks and 23 hits (.177 opponents’ batting average).Oregon State’s offense does not stand out, but can score runs when necessary. The team owns a collective .270 batting average with 22 runs scored, two home runs and three stolen bases so far on the season. Beals knows that Oregon State operates under a different style of play and that if the Buckeyes are going to come away with a win, they will have to force the Beavers to play a higher-scoring game. “They’re going to play a smaller game that they like to bunt, to run and they really emphasize their pitching and defense and play lower-scoring games is their ideal way of playing out there,” Beals said. “Our goal is to shape the game where we can get out and score some runs and force them — if we can get out a couple runs — force them to have to play for more than just one run at a time”Ratcliff emerging as power threat in final collegiate seasonRedshirt senior designated hitter Zach Ratcliff has never registered more than 100 at-bats in a single season for the Buckeyes and, prior to the weekend, he had never hit more than two home runs in a single season. After just the first weekend, he has already matched that single-season home run total. In last Saturday’s game against Delaware, Ratcliff blasted two home runs — one in the second inning and another in the fourth.Ratcliff has been given an opportunity to serve as the regular designated hitter for OSU in his final season of eligibility and, so far, has been making the most of it. He attributes his newfound success in large part to the work he put in over the summer with Beals and assistant coach Matt Angle.“This summer — when we got back to work with coach Angle, coach Beals — we kind of tore my swing down and worked from the ground up and made a few adjustments, just to kind of simplify everything,” Ratcliff said. “It’s obviously paying off early so, hopefully, I can keep things rolling.”OSU will face Utah on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. ET and Saturday with games against Oregon State coming on Friday and Sunday. read more

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