On New Sales Simplified with Mike Weinberg – Episode 25

first_imgPodcast: Play in new window | Download (11.7MB)Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Android | Email | Google Podcasts | RSSToday we hear from Mike Weinberg, author of New Sales Simplified. Mike joins the podcast today with strategies for your toughest sales struggles. He offers insight to develop your sales story and equips you with the weapons your sales arsenal needs. Tune in as Mike addresses complacency in your sales team, building hunters, and common sins your company might be committing. You don’t want to miss Mike, in the arena.I want salespeople to be equipped with a great, powerful story ~ Mike WeinbergClick To TweetOpportunity AcquisitionWhy are so many sales people struggling to create new opportunities? Mike Weinberg says it is not that you can’t, it’s that you won’t. Are you avoiding prospecting? It will always be easier to babysit your current clients and talk to people you know and trust. If your time and effort is focused on what you already have, you miss the top of the funnel and struggle to pick up new business. Mike keeps it simple with steps you can take to change the trajectory of your company. Discover the discipline of controlling your calendar and start time blocking to transform your acquisition of new business. Rewire yourself and your sales teams to proactively go after new clients. Join us in the arena today, to own the outcomes you sell. Compensated and complacent Are you compensating your team to manage the business you already have? Mike Weinberg points out common pitfalls we create that lead to complacency. With less and less A-players in the sales game these days, it can be tough to determine who is a legitimate hunter. The way people manage their sales organization plays a key role in developing and keeping sales hunters. Is your management burdening your best hunters with other management tasks and projects? Taking the great hunters away from hunting can hurt your ability to acquire new sales. When no one is inclined to find new clients, you have a recipe for stalling. Get out of your comfortable ruts and in the arena today.Are you following a recipe for sales stalling?Click To TweetYour sales story is your strongest weaponYour sales story is simply the thoughts you string together about your business. It may be simple, but Mike Weinberg says it is the most powerful weapon you have. Your story needs sharp, succinct, and compelling selling points. In Mike’s experience, most sales stories are terrible. Take a look at your marketing department: are they equipping the sales team with a client issue focused story? A good story can change the dynamic of your sales dance. Instead of pushing product, lead your story with the points that communicate problem solving. Your clients want to know you can help with the issues on their mind. Watch your business grow as Mike helps you craft a sales story on today’s episode. Sales sinsIf you think your prospectors care what you do, you are guilty of a common sales sin. Mike Weinberg knows that a self-focused sales story or approach to clients leads to no, no, no. Your clients want to know if you can help them further their business goals. If you are talking about yourself, your company, and your solutions you are missing it completely. The only way to earn a seat at your dream client’s table is to have their outcomes in mind. Address the issues your client is facing with power and passion. If we were all doing this with excellence, Mike’s book, New Sales Simplified, would not be selling as well as it is. Rid yourself of sales sins today, in the arena.Change the dynamic of your sales dance, with Mike WeinbergClick To TweetOutline of this great episode Introduction of today’s guest, Mike Weinberg. Opportunity acquisition. What do we do about hunters? Time blocking is transformational. Addressing the farmers. How much improvement does Mike’s magic bring to targeting? What is a sales story and why is it often missing? Prospects do not need us like they did before. Telephone prospecting tidbits. How to find out more about Mike WeinbergOur Sponsors:Jeffrey Gitomer Sales Seminars – use the code “Anthony” to receive your discount.Sales Gravy University – tell Jeb that Anthony sent you.Resources & Links mentioned in this episode0814431771Mike’s website: newsalescoach.comMike on TwitterThe theme song “Into the Arena” is written and produced by Chris Sernel. You can find it on SoundcloudConnect with AnthonyWebsite: www.TheSalesBlog.comYour story is your single most important sales weapon ~ Mike WeinbergClick To TweetYoutube: www.Youtube.com/IannarinoFacebook: https://www.facebook.com/iannarinoTwitter: https://twitter.com/iannarinoGoogle Plus: https://plus.google.com/+SAnthonyIannarinoLinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/iannarinoTweets you can use to share this episodeYour story is your single most important sales weapon ~ Mike WeinbergClick To TweetLet your great hunters hunt, with Mike WeinbergClick To TweetSubscribe toIn the ArenaApple PodcastsGoogle PodcastsAndroidby EmailRSSOr subscribe with your favorite app by using the address belowlast_img read more

Your Unique Sales DNA

first_imgYour company has its own DNA. It isn’t exactly like any other company, even if you are in the same line of business, and even if you sell the same thing. This means that what is right for one company may in fact be wrong for you (even if you like the idea, and if you really want to implement it).Process: The sales process that you choose needs to be the right process for your company. It needs to be directly tied to the verifiable outcomes that you need to achieve to successfully move your dream client from target to close. What works for someone else may or may not work for you. Your needs are different.Methodology: New methodologies are sexy. They’re designed to meet new needs within the sales process. But no matter how popular a methodology, it doesn’t make it right for you. Your company may or may not have the capacity, the resources, or the will to execute the methodology. Your salespeople may not be capable of pulling off the methodology. Worse still, popularity doesn’t make any methodology the right prescription.Value Proposition and Differentiation Strategy: Your company’s unique DNA means that you have your own value proposition. There are unique things that you do because you have certain beliefs about what is right and wrong, and because you have certain abilities to produce results the way you do. It doesn’t matter what your competitors do; you are not them. Their DNA is different.Management Structure: Your management team is a unique collection of individuals. If you swapped one of them out, the personality of the team would change. Deciding what is right for your organization requires that you look at your management team, management structure, management style, and determine whether or not you have the right people and the capacity to change what you want to change.Skill Level: Your team members have a certain skill level now. The skills they have now are the starting point for developing higher level skills. There isn’t a way to jump levels of skill development. Much of the advice you hear about the processes, methodologies, and the tools that excite you assume a certain skill level. A skill level you may or may not yet have.You may want to take on some new initiative, process, methodology, or program. You might want that new initiative because everyone else is doing it, and it sounds like the right answer. But what is right for one company at one time doesn’t make it right for you, at least not right now. No matter how sexy the idea.last_img read more

Dear Client. You Are Wrong.

first_imgThe customer is not always right. You are not a customer service representative. You are a salesperson. And it is not the job of the salesperson to tell the customer that they are right or that they can have what they want (at least not the way they want it).When you call a company for support, you expect the support person to help you get the outcome you need. It’s not the customer service person’s role to tell you that you are wrong, that you can’t have what you want, or that you are wrong for even wanting whatever it is that you want. That’s not what a customer service person does. They give you the help you need.If you are a salesperson, acting like a customer service rep will make you a weak, ineffective salesperson, or what we would call an order-taker. Your relationship with your client is different, and you have a greater responsibility. This often means you have to tell your client that they are wrong, and that they can’t have what they want the way they want.Dear Client, You Are Wrong.You want to be consultative. You want trusted advisor status. You want to create the highest level of value. If you want these things, you are setting the bar very high for yourself.Your client doesn’t know what they don’t know. They don’t know what other companies are doing. They don’t know what you are doing for your other clients. Most of the time, they don’t know what all of the options for producing better results are, and a big part of the reason they don’t is because they don’t know that they should be dissatisfied.You have to tell your client that what they believe isn’t true–when it isn’t. You have to tell them the truth about where they can produce better results. And you have to tell them how they can do better, which brings us to the second part of your responsibility.Dear Client, You Can’t Have What You Want.Any of your clients can have anything they want, provided they are willing to do what is necessary. And, if it were up to them, most of them would want the better results you promise without making the changes they need to make–and without investing a penny more than they are investing now.You do your client a disservice when you allow them to believe that they can have what they want without changing what needs to be changed. You have to tell your client what needs to change, why it needs to change, and how to change it.You aren’t helping your client by allowing them to believe that they can have what they want without investing more. You have to tell them why they have to spend more and what that spending gets them. That’s helping them. Letting them believe a lie is not.If you want to be consultative, a trusted advisor, a peer, then you can’t act like a customer service representative. You need to be liked, which means you do all of this with a good spirit, and you need to be trusted, which means you don’t shy away from talking about the big issues.You aren’t going to lose your relationships by tackling difficult issues. You’re going to lose your relationships by avoiding them.last_img read more

My Three Words for 2015

first_imgI borrowed this riff from my friend Chris Brogan. Like a lot of things Chris has given me, choosing three words around which to build my goals and projects for the coming year has been a very helpful framework. I started working on my three words more than two months ago. It’s that important.My three words for last year were pivot, frames, and margin. In 2013, they were platform, lean, and tribes.Order: As I get older, I more and more need order. I am compelled to eliminate clutter, physical and otherwise. This motif is about order, mindfulness, discipline, and systems in all areas of my life. In order to produce better and faster results, everything must be streamlined and in its place. Margin helped. Lean helped. But they haven’t been enough as my life has gotten increasingly complicated.Depth: Because I am naturally very curious, I can easily find myself following some new path. While reading something, I can be introduced to an idea, only to find myself moving from one area of study to a brand new one. Reading widely, learning a bit about a lot of things, and being curious isn’t a bad thing. Depth is about going deeper in fewer areas instead of going wider. I started on this path this year when I started reading differently. Now I am applying to other areas of my life. As I have worked on planning my projects and goals, it’s amazing how useful this theme has been.Lifestyle: This isn’t really the right word, but it’s the right theme. It’s not about being acquisitive. It’s about something bigger and more meaningful. The decision to live the exact life you want to live is yours alone. For a long time I have arranged some areas of my life around some of my priorities, but not always the right priorities, and often without balance. In some cases, this has served me extremely well. But in other ways, it has been an obstacle for me, preventing me from living the exact life I want to live. 2015 is, in part, about continuing to make some fundamental changes here.What three themes do you need to choose to shape your goals in 2015? Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

A List of Things You Don’t Have Time For

first_img Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Now Hitting the snooze button: You have less time than you think you do. If you don’t want to leave the important things undone, get out of bed and do those things.Watching television: An hour of television is just fine. Two hours is okay. Seven hours means that you prefer entertainment to achieving your goals and ambition, or that you haven’t yet defined them.Arguing about politics on Facebook: You are not making a difference in the world by making people aware of your politics or your feelings. Unless you devote an equal amount of time and money to the causes you profess to support, you are wasting time and making no difference in the world.Waiting to be discovered: No one gets discovered. They discover themselves. If you want to do something, start doing it. You can grow old waiting.Waiting until you believe you are ready: The way that you get ready for what comes next is by doing right now. The way you learn to write is by writing. The way you learn to dance is by dancing. The way you learn to swim is by swimming. Every master followed this plan.Until you are good enough: See waiting until you believe you are ready.Until the time is right: When the time is right, you need to already be doing what you want to do when opportunity presents itself. In fact, that’s the only way that opportunity shows up.Haters: Not everyone is going to like you. Not everyone is going to appreciate what you do or how you do it. Time spent thinking or worrying about what other people think is time away from your mission.Shortcuts: Shortcuts are the way to prevent mastery. Hacking is an avoidance of the fundamentals. When it comes to the deep truths, principles, things that matter, you don’t have time not to do the work.Browsing the web: The distractions available to you are infinite in number. The time you spend here on the web is time you are not spending on what’s really important.People who do not value you: You are not for everyone. Some people won’t appreciate you, what you do, how you do it, or why you do it. They are not for you. Second time with the people who value you.Doing work over: Mistakes are inevitable. Iteration is part of the growth and development. That said, you should still do your best work so that you don’t have to go back over ground you have already covered unnecessarily.A negative attitude: The great limitation. The lid on your performance and your success. A negative attitude may not take years off your life in the literal sense, but as it pertains to your overall happiness, growth, and success, it makes your years less than they could be.Until you are older: What you want in the future you need to create now.Until you are certified: You don’t need anyone’s permission to live your purpose. You don’t need the certificate, the degree, or anyone’s permission.Until you are certain: Maybe it will work as planned. Maybe it won’t. If you are waiting until you are certain, that fear will paralyze you and steal your time. Whatever you are going to do, know that it can and will be improved.Perfection: Is unattainable. There is no reason to make this the prerequisite for producing, nor is there any reason to make that your measurement as it pertains to creating.You have a limited amount of time. Get busy and make it count.last_img read more

The Myth of Growth Hacking

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Now The idea behind growth hacking is speed to results and lower costs of client acquisition. There is nothing wrong with these goals as stated, but there is also nothing new here, with the exception of the strong desire to move to more transactional models. And here is why the idea of “hacking,” or shortcuts to producing results, runs face first into reality.But first, a word of explanation. If your business is transactional, by all means, transact, and transact like the devil. If, however, your business is more relational, more strategic, and one in which you are required to create greater value, the idea of shortcuts that speed things up and make them cheaper are more likely to work against you.The growth of a business comes in one of three ways. The first way to increase your revenue is to raise your prices. More revenue from every sale will most assuredly increase the size of your business. The second way to grow your business is to sell more to your existing clients. Increased wallet share, all things being equal, and accounting for churn, your business will become larger. The third and final growth strategy is to acquire more clients.The idea of optimizing growth by tweaking marketing isn’t a new idea. It’s an old idea applied to new mediums. The strong desire to focus on the transactional interactions one has with prospective clients using email and social channels trades a focus on efficiency over a focus on effectiveness, which is to trade more for better. And when it comes to client acquisition specifically, better is almost always better than more (minus the circumstances where one is guilty of being lazy and having too little activity).If you are going to iterate, tweak things, and improve the speed of your growth in a more complex, business-to-business sale, you are going to want to look at the only three ways to grow a business and work backward from there.last_img read more

J&K Governor N.N. Vohra reviews arrangements for Amarnath Yatra

first_imgJammu and Kashmir Governor N. N. Vohra on Monday reviewed the preparations, including those related to the security, of the 40-day-long annual yatra to the holy cave shrine of Amarnath in Himalayas, starting next month. Mr Vohra, who is also chairman of the Sri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB), directed all the agencies concerned to keep a close watch and maintain effective coordination to ensure smooth conduct of the yatra, scheduled to begin on June 29 and end on August 7. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Secretary B. B. Vyas, Director General of Police S. P. Vaid, General Officer Commanding of Srinagar-based 15 Corps Lt. Gen. J. S. Sandhu, General Officer Commanding of south Kashmir-based Victor Force Maj. Gen. B. S. Raju and Chief Executive Officer of SASB R. K. Goyal and other senior civil, intelligence, BSF, CRPF and Air Force officers attended the meeting at Raj Bhavan, an official spokesman said. The governor directed the DGP and the Kashmir divisional administration to strictly enforce the prescribed regulatory mechanism and ensure that only those pilgrims who have valid yatra permits were allowed to undertake the pilgrimage on the date and by the route for which they had procured advance registration. Noting that various service providers, particularly ponywallahs, labourers, palki wallahs, tent and shop owners play an important role in the smooth conduct of yatra, the Governor directed Kashmir Divisional Commissioner and IGP Kashmir to ensure that all the service providers were enabled to function in a safe environment in the yatra area.Insurance cover The SASB has already insured all the service providers with an insurance cover of ₹one lakh and ponies for ₹ 30,000 each against the accidental death in the yatra area, he said.last_img read more

Army honours Major who tied Kashmir ‘stone-pelter’ to military vehicle

first_imgIn a surprising move, the Army on Monday announced that the Major who tied a Kashmiri to a military vehicle as a precaution against pelting of stones has been awarded a commendation by Army Chief General Bipin Rawat.The Army Chief’s decision comes even as the Court of Inquiry (CoI) against Major Leetul Gogoi continues and in the face of intense criticism of the action from various sections, including many within the Army.“Major Leetul Gogoi has been awarded COAS Commendation Card for sustained efforts in Counter Insurgency (CI) operations,” sources in the Army said on Monday.On April 9, on election eve, stone-pelter Farooq Ahmed Dar was tied up in front of a SUV as a human shield in Budgam district. However, the government defended the action and the Army ordered a Court of Inquiry (CoI) to determine the circumstances of the incident.“The award was given for his good work in CI operations in the Valley, including this incident,” a source said, adding that Gen. Rawat decided to give the Commendation during his recent visit to the Valley and it was presented to Maj Gogoi through proper channels.The CoI is yet to conclude and officials said that it was a long process. “There are a lot of civilian witnesses to whom summons have been issued,” an Army source said, adding that it would take some time.“Image of a ‘stone pelter’ tied in front of a jeep as a ‘human shield’, will forever haunt the Indian Army & the nation,” Lt. Gen. HS Panag, former Northern Commander, had tweeted after the incident.Following this, he was criticised by many on the social media for questioning the Army. However, after the award of commendation to Maj Gogoi, he stood by his earlier statement. “Indian Army traditions, ethos, rules & regulations swept away by the “mood of the nation”! I stand by my views even if I am the last man standing,” Lt Gen Panag tweeted on Monday night.last_img read more

Protect the interests of Indians in Qatar: Cong.

first_imgCongress Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik has written to Union Minister of External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj asking her to protect the interests of 6.5 lakh Indians, including about 10,000 Goans.Mr. Naik’s email said that country is concerned about the plight on of Indians in Qatar and that “with the uncertain situation in Qatar, a large number of Goans and other Indians have began rushing to supermarkets and stores in Doha to stock up on essential of food supply.” Mr. Naik said that India has to use diplomatic channels with Qatar to protect the interests of the Indian population there. The government should use its good offices and resolve the crisis. He suggested that Ms. Swaraj brief the media more frequently about the situation in Qatar and ensure the Indian families there are protected. He urged the government monitor the crisis on a daily basis.Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt, UAE, Yemen, and Maldives have cut diplomatic ties and closed air and land routes with Qatar.last_img read more

Adding 100 new shakhas each year in Bengal: RSS

first_imgThe Bengal leadership of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) said on Wednesday that the number of their shakhas (daily conventions) has increased by 100 annually since January, 2013.While in 2013 there were 750 shakhas being held in the state, in 2018 the number has gone up to 1279, an increase of over 70%.“In 2013, there were 750 RSS shakhas in Bengal. The number went up to 1100 in 2017, and stands at 1279 [as of today],” RSS Pranta Prachar Pramukh of Dakshin Banga (South Bengal) Biplob Roy told reporters. There are currently 910 shakhas in south Bengal and 369 in north Bengal.According to a release issued by the RSS state leadership, it ran 462 “seva prakalpa” (charity projects) in south Bengal RSS and 159 in north Bengal.As for the Trinamool Congress leadership’s decision to celebrate Ram Navami this year, general secretary of RSS in south Bengal Jishnu Basu said, “We welcome the decision. It is a positive step by the ruling party in West Bengal. We consider this as our victory.” Mr. Basu also urged participants in Ram Navami rallies to abide by the Kolkata Police’s ban on armed rallies during the festival. “We want everyone to fully comply with the ban,” he said.At the TMC’s core committee meeting last week, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said the occasion should be celebrated peacefully. Last year, Hindu organisations had organised armed rallies. According to the report presented at RSS’s recently concluded Akhil Bharatiya Pratinidhi Sabha in Nagpur 18 lakh people participated in Ram Navami rallies in South Bengal last year. “In April 2017, an unprecedented programme of mass awakening was organized on the occasion of Shri Ram Navami in which processions were carried out at 210 places with participation of 18 lakh people,” the report noted.last_img read more

Bandh won’t affect essential services: Maratha Kranti Morcha

first_imgThe Maratha Kranti Morcha has asked agitators to adhere to a ‘code of conduct’ and said that the tenor of today’s Maharashtra bandh over the reservation question will be peaceful and that essential services across the State will not be disrupted.Morcha coordinators across the State, who met in Aurangabad on Wednesday to deliberate on the nature of the shutdown, appealed to protestors to not block highways and indulge in destruction of property, cooperate with police personnel, and not trust rumours.Meanwhile, the Pune District Administration, said that schools and colleges in rural and urban pockets will remain closed during the shutdown. “All educational institutions, including the Savitribai Phule Pune University, have been notified to remain closed bearing in mind the security of the students,” said Pune District Collector Naval Kishore Ram.Security arrangements are in place to avoid incidents such as the clashes in the district’s Chakan area. “More than 2000 policemen, 900 home guards, three State Reserve Police Force companies, one Rapid Action Force company and 20 striking platoons have been deployed to ensure the bandh proceeds peacefully. A special meeting has been held in Chakan to nip possible law and order incidents,” said Sandip Patil, Superintendent of Police (Pune Rural).Maratha outfits had already decided not to stage shutdowns in Navi Mumbai and Thane; they announced that they would also enfore shutdowns in Akola, Hingoli and Parbhani districts. “There have been many cases lodged against demonstrators in Parbhani and Hingoli districts. Hence, activists will only stage sit-ins there,” said Shantaram Kunjir, a Morcha coordinator.Commuting is likely to be affected in the State’s rural hinterland. Shops are also expected to remain shut.Mr. Kunjir further said that the quota agitation would not be formally withdrawn until Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had agreed, in writing, to all the 20 demands made by the Morcha. “While only the primary demand, that of reservation, is now being heard in court, the State must agree to take back all cases registered over the past month against activists. It must further agree to hostels for Maratha students and a 50% waiver in their total education fees,” he said.Morcha Coordinators also decided that Aurangabad will act as the nerve-centre of the agitation in the future and not Parli in Beed district. “Coordinators at the meet expressed displeasure at the Parli faction by declaring the area to be the decision-making centre of the protest,” said a coordinator, requesting anonymity.Last week, at a press conference in Beed, Abasaheb Patil, one of the prominent Morcha leaders had announced Parli as the headquarters of the agitation and said that a separate committee would be constituted to to hold parleys with the government.Mr. Patil’s actions have provoked disapproval among other members of the Morcha, who assert that the decisions at Parli were taken without the consent of other Morcha leadersSuicide in LaturEven as Morcha leaders in Aurangabad issued fresh appeals to end suicides, Ramesh Patil, a school teacher in Latur district’s Matephal village, allegedly took his life because of the delay in reservation according to a suicide note, taking the number of suicide cases over the issue to ten. Patil, a father of three, allegedly took the step because of severe debt and as his children were unemployed despite being bright students, police said.last_img read more

Akshay appears before SIT in Kotkapura firing cases

first_imgThe Special Investigation Team of Punjab police, probing the 2015 police firing incidents in Kotkapura, on Wednesday questioned actor Akshay Kumar over his alleged role in arranging meeting between Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim and former Punjab Deputy Chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal.Quizzed for 40 minutesThe Bollywood actor appeared before the SIT here and was questioned for over 40 minutes at the Police headquarters.Mr. Kumar was accompanied with his counsel Sant Pal Singh Sidhu, who later talking to journalists said “Akshay informed the SIT that he has never met Gurmeet Ram Rahim and therefore the question of arranging any meeting between Mr. Sukhbir Badal and Gurmeet Ram Rahim at his residence in Mumbai does not even arise,” said Mr. Sidhu.‘Never met Sukhbir’Mr. Sidhu added that Mr. Akshay also told the SIT members that he had never met Mr. Sukhbir Badal outside Punjab.Meanwhile, Shiromani Akali Dal termed the Akhay Kumar’s interrogation by the SIT as a “photo session”.‘Sensationalising case’Mahesh Inder Singh Grewal, senior vice-president and spokesperson of Akali Dal, said that Mr. Kumar was summoned only to “sensationalise” the case rather than finding any substantive evidence said.“Mr. Akshay Kumar does not have any direct connection with the case but was dragged in by the ruling Congress government to dramatise and to make the case sensational by summoning a top actor of Bollywood,” he alleged.last_img read more

State unveils new industrial policy

first_imgMaharashtra’s new Industrial Policy aims to promote a walk-to-work culture to enhance productivity for the urban working class. The Industrial Policy 2019, approved by State Cabinet on Tuesday promises additional floor space index (FSI) to industries opting to construct residential complexes for the workforce on the same land, thereby making it easy to walk to work. Unveiled by Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray days before the code of conduct for the Lok Sabha polls kicks in, the policy comes into effect from April 1. It aims to attract investments of over ₹10 lakh crore and creating around 40 lakh jobs by 2023-24, Minister for Industries and Mining Subhash Desai said while reiterating the goal to turn Maharastra into a trillion dollar (₹1 lakh crore) economy. “The focus of this policy is creation of jobs, it is not the capital but the prospect and promise of 40 lakh jobs that will be the success story. Maharashtra is where you can have both consumption and growth, while the massive plus factor is the ease of doing business growth, which draws industries,” said Piruz Khambatta, chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry, Western Region.The policy offers special incentives for underdeveloped areas — Vidarbha, Marathwada and Naxal-affected zones. It gives special emphasis to emerging technologies and other vital ‘thrust areas’. “The aim of the policy is to create a conducive business environment while promoting micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) through public funding, fiscal incentives, cluster promotions and institutional support. During the last four years, Maharashtra’s growth has been spectacular. I want to tell investors to come invest in Maharashtra and that it will give you most returns in the future,” Mr. Desai said. The thrust areas the policy identifies are defence and aerospace, bio-tech, medical equipments, information technology, textile machinery and electric vehicles. The policy also offers incentives for futuristic technologies like Industries 4.0 and startups. “The objective is to give priority in land development to MSMEs, women entrepreneurs and ST/SC entrepreneurs,” the new policy documents stated. Among the key highlights of the policy are promotions of MSMEs, new Chief Minister Employment Programme, incentive for large and mega projects, creation of land bank, a critical infrastructure fund of ₹1,000 crore, creation of commerce and trade councils, and additional incentives for agro and food processing industries.last_img read more

Arunachal CM orders judicial probe into anti-PRC violence

first_imgArunachal Pradesh Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Wednesday announced a judicial probe into the large-scale rioting, violence, and vandalism during the protest against permanent resident certificates for six non-tribal communities, leading to the death of three people and huge loss of public and private properties. He said that a committee headed by a retired judge will probe into the matter to ensure thorough and impartial inquiry so that the real picture of the PRC protest could be unearthed and appropriate action taken against those behind the violence.“The State government had never intended to move a resolution or Bill in the Assembly over PRC. The issue was misinterpreted causing unrest among the students. The rioting and vandalism happened despite the government issuing a statement that the PRC matter would not be taken up, which meant that the anti-social elements had taken control of the protest with a political motive,” Mr. Khandu said. He said the matter of granting PRC to non-tribal communities has been scrapped and a gazette notification was published accordingly.last_img read more

Slideshow: America’s Fossil Record Up for Sale

first_imgThe United States is rich in spectacular vertebrate fossils, from perfectly preserved 50-million-year-old fish in Wyoming to gigantic dinosaurs from Montana. Paleontologists at universities and museums study this bounty, but a growing number of commercial collectors also dig up fossils legally from private land and sell them. Academic paleontologists fear that valuable fossils are being lost to science, while commercial collectors say their business follows American traditions of free enterprise and property rights.For more on the growing schism between paleontologists and commercial collectors, see “Selling America’s Fossil Record” in this week’s issue of Science.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Cardiologist and University President to Lead U.S. Smithsonian

first_imgFor the first time, a physician will take the helm at the Smithsonian Institution, a partially U.S. government-funded organization consisting of 19 museums, a zoo, and nine research centers. David Skorton, president of Cornell University since July 2006, will become the 13th secretary of the 168-year-old Smithsonian, the institution’s Board of Regents announced today. In July 2015, he will replace the retiring G. Wayne Clough, an engineer who previously was the president of Georgia Institute of Technology.Trained as a cardiologist, Skorton specialized in treating children and adults with congenital heart disorders and helped develop computer-assisted 3D imaging of the heart and its arteries. He also spent more than 20 years as a university president, first from 2003 to 2006 at the University of Iowa, where he was a professor for 26 years, and now at Cornell.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Shortly after Skorton came to Cornell, it had to weather the financial crisis of a seriously depleted endowment because of the recession. “He really carried Cornell through a tough patch,” says William Bemis III, an evolutionary biologist at Cornell. Skorton raised $5 billion during his tenure. He is also is credited with winning a stiff competition to build a tech campus in New York City. Cornell has now started building Cornell NYC Tech, a graduate school that blends technology training, on-the-job experience, and entrepreneurship, in partnership with the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology. Colleagues think that Cornell has served as a good training ground for the secretary-elect. Cornell is quite diversified, with state and private colleges, a medical school more than 200 miles from the main campus, and another campus in Qatar. He’s shown “he’s had the kind of ability to manage an entity with that kind of international and geographical spread,” says Smithsonian Regent Shirley Ann Jackson, president of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.”David’s ability to herd the cats at a place like Cornell, which is very balkanized, stands him in good stead at the Smithsonian,” adds Warren Allmon, a paleontologist at Cornell. “He’s got the skill set for juggling all the chain saws while they are running.”Skorton was hesitant to say what he plans to do once he moves to Washington, D.C., with his wife, Robin Davisson, a molecular physiologist at Cornell. He approves of the Smithsonian’s strategic plan, developed by Clough, emphasizing that it’s a dynamic plan. And he says he wants to make the rest of the world know more about the people behind the exhibits. He wants “more recognition and more chances for scientists to become part of the public discourse,” he says.Even though Smithsonian regents chair John McCarter Jr. called Skorton “an individual steeped in science,” at the press conference Skorton emphasized that arts and humanities are high priorities for him and that he hopes to meld them more with science. “A life in medicine has taught me that we will not … meet our toughest challenges as a society through science alone.”last_img read more

Fossils put a new face on the ancestors of Neandertals

first_imgNeandertals came into the world face first. Or at least, their lineage did, according to Spanish paleoanthropologists who analyzed 17 ancient skulls from a deep bone pit in the Atapuerca Mountains of northern Spain. The facial bones and teeth of these people, who lived 430,000 years ago, already resemble those of Neandertals, which are known from much younger fossils. Yet the Sima people also still had relatively small brains and other primitive features, suggesting they were very early members of the lineage that eventually gave rise to Neandertals. The analysis offers a detailed look at the murky origins of our closest cousins and has implications for the evolution of key traits such as brain size.Researchers have long debated when and where Neandertals arose. Neandertals stem from the same root as our own ancestors, but the two lineages parted ways sometime in the past 500,000 years or so. Modern humans arose in Africa at least 200,000 years ago, whereas the fossils of Neandertals are found only in Europe and Asia after 230,000 years ago. Between about 200,000 and a million years ago, our view of human origins is blurred—most of the fossils of hominins, or members of the human family, are isolated, fragmentary, or spread widely across Europe, Asia, and Africa.The 12-meter-deep Sima de los Huesos (“pit of bones”) at Atapuerca offers the largest trove of hominin fossils ever found, including bones from 28 individuals. Many researchers expected these ancient hominins to represent the common ancestor of both Neandertals and modern humans—a species called Homo heidelbergensis, which lived about 500,000 to more than 1 million years ago.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)But the skulls from Sima de los Huesos challenge that view. Seven new skulls, plus 10 others deposited in the pit at about the same time, have distinct Neandertal traits, including robust lower jaws, small teeth at the rear of the jaw, and thick brow ridges with a distinctive double arch. This means they are the “oldest reliably dated” fossils of proto-Neandertals, according to the report in Science by lead author Juan Luis Arsuaga, a paleoanthropologist at the Complutense University of Madrid, and his colleagues.The presence of distinctly Neandertal facial features suggests that these traits were among the first unique characteristics that the species evolved. Thus, they offer a glimpse of the way that small differences in chewing, for example, can lead to key anatomical changes and send a group of humans down a new evolutionary path.In addition, if these small-brained Sima fossils are indeed ancestral only to Neandertals, then our cousins must have evolved their big brains independently from us. Rather than inheriting big brains from a common ancestor, Neandertals and modern humans each developed that trait on their own, perhaps favored by changes in climate, environment, or tool use experienced separately by the two species “more than half a million years of separate evolution,” writes Jean-Jacques Hublin, a paleoanthropologist at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, in a commentary in Science.The Atapuerca team also redated the Sima de los Huesos site using several different methods. At 430,000 years old, the fossils are probably too young to belong to H. heidelbergensis, the team argues. And yet they are already more Neandertal-like than the type specimen for H. heidelbergensis found in Germany, which lacks Neandertal traits in its teeth seen in the Sima fossils. The Atapuerca team suggests that the bones be reclassified as a new, still unnamed species that was the immediate ancestor of Neandertals, but not modern humans.Paleoanthropologist Chris Stringer of the Natural History Museum in London agrees that the Sima fossils are ancestral only to Neandertals, not modern humans, but questions the date and classification of the find. He thinks the fossils may be younger and suggests simply calling them early or archaic Neandertals, rather than giving them a new name. But he and others familiar with the finds agree: European Neandertals had already developed their own distinct look by 430,000 years ago.last_img read more

Podcast: Spitting fish, misleading clinical trials, and clues to extinction in the art of ancient Egypt

first_imgHow is a spitting fish like a sharpshooter? Why do some clinical trials give different results when they are reanalyzed? And what is ancient Egyptian art revealing about why species disappear? Science’s Online News Editor David Grimm chats about these stories and more with Science’s Sarah Crespi.last_img

Mirror image RNA enzymes may hold clues to origin of life

first_imgLike a pair of hands that appear as mirror images of one another, biomolecules, such as DNA and RNA, come in left-handed and right-handed forms. Normally, enzymes that recognize one mirror image form won’t touch the other. But researchers have isolated RNA enzymes, known as ribozymes, that synthesize RNAs of the opposite handedness. As esoteric as this may sound, similar mirror image–making RNAs may have played a role in the early evolution of life.Researchers consider RNA a likely central figure in the origin of life. That’s because, like DNA, the molecule can store genetic information, and like proteins it can act as a chemical catalyst that speeds up normally slow reactions. Many researchers believe that life likely got its start in an “RNA world” where RNAs evolved to replicate other RNA molecules. In this scenario, the more specialized DNA and proteins arose later.Like DNA, RNA is made up of four nucleotide bases, in this case the nucleotides abbreviated A, U, C, and G. When ribozymes copy RNA, they start with a single strand of RNA that they use as a template to form a strand containing the complementary bases. C is complementary to G, and A is complementary to U. So if a template strand with the letters ACCGU were placed in a test tube with individual nucleotides floating around, the complementary bases U, G, G, C, and A would grab onto their partners on the template strand. Then for these complementary bases to form an intact complementary RNA strand, the ribozyme would need to chemically weld the adjacent nucleotides together, much as boxcars next to one another must be linked together to form a train.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The difference between RNA nucleotides and boxcars, however, is that individual nucleotides can come in either right- or left-handed forms, known as D- and L-nucleotides, respectively. All naturally occurring RNAs today are D-RNAs, but researchers can create L-RNAs in the lab. Normally, a ribozyme containing D-nucleotides won’t touch L-nucleotides, and ribozymes containing L-nucleotides won’t touch D-nucleotides. But if an opposite-handed nucleotide in a would-be complementary strand twists just right, it can fool a ribozyme and get integrated into the growing strand—with drastic consequences. Thirty years ago, researchers including Gerald Joyce, then a graduate student at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego, California, showed that if a nucleotide with the opposite handedness was incorporated into a growing D- or L-RNA complementary strand, it shut down all further growth. “It acted like poison,” says Joyce, who is now at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego.This discovery raised a conundrum for origin-of-life researchers that they’ve struggled with ever since. Before life got its start, D- and L-nucleotides would likely have been equally abundant in the primordial soup. If so, how would RNA enzymes ever have managed to get the RNA copying process going without it being poisoned?Now, Joyce and his postdoc Jonathan Sczepanski have found a possible solution. Online this week in Nature, they show that by using a technique called test-tube evolution they were able to generate ribozymes capable of assembling RNA strands of the opposite handedness in the presence of a mixture of D- and L-RNA nucleotides. What’s more, when they started with a D-RNA ribozyme, they found that it preferred to work on an L-RNA template to synthesize an L-RNA complementary strand. Likewise, they prepared L-RNA ribozymes that synthesized D-RNA complementary strands from D-RNA templates. And both the D- and L-RNA ribozymes were able to make mirror image copies of themselves.The ribozymes work this trick in an unconventional way, Joyce explains. Instead of recognizing where complementary RNA bases (say an A and a U) reach across the template and complementary strand to recognize one another, the enzymes recognize the overall shape of the assembling RNA bases on the complementary strand and link whatever pieces wind up next to each other.“It’s a very exciting advance towards RNA-catalyzed RNA replication,” says Jack Szostak, an origin-of-life researcher at Harvard University who was not involved with the work. However, Szostak says, it still begs the question of where such D-RNA and L-RNA ribozymes would have come from in the first place.The answer may be forever lost to history, Joyce says. But the new work does suggest that if these cross-copying ribozymes arose early on, they could have copied both mirror versions of RNA to propel the evolution of more complex RNAs. If one of those later, more complex RNAs—say a D-RNA—proved more capable, it could have encouraged the copying of its own kind, and promoted the single-handedness in nucleotides that we see today.last_img read more

Sharks sink in fresh water

first_imgSharks may be fearsome predators, but they have a simple weakness: Most can’t tolerate fresh water. About 40% of bony fish, from goldfish to rainbow trout, live in fresh water, but only 5% of elasmobranchs (the sharks, rays, and skates) can manage this feat. Fresh water dehydrates them, dulls their senses, and compromises their reproduction. It also makes them sink, according to a study published online this month in The Journal of Experimental Biology. Unlike more modern fish, with their fancy air bladders, the ancient elasmobranchs have only their oily livers as flotation devices. Researchers modeled the swimming mechanics of a bull shark (pictured), one species that lives part time in rivers, as if testing the aerodynamics of a new airplane design. They computed that because of a loss of buoyancy, the shark must spend about 50% more energy on lift once it leaves the ocean. Freshwater species might compensate by fattening their livers to the physiological max, the team calculated, but the added drag of the resulting tubby body would likely make them less sleekly efficient hunters than they could be at sea. New measurements of two freshwater elasmobranchs from Fitzroy River in Western Australia back up the calculations. The five bull sharks and 17 largetooth sawfish, a bottom-dwelling relative, were less buoyant than 27 previously studied ocean species, despite extra-fatty livers. Fossils suggest freshwater sharks were once more common, but more research is needed to determine if flotation problems or other factors finally drove them into the sea.last_img read more