It’s not just horizontal gene transfer that can obscure evolutionary history. Scientists have found bacteria recycling fragmented DNA from long-dead organisms. The impact on evolutionary theory could be substantial.A paper in PNAS by an international team of researchers from multiple fields and institutions made a startling discovery: dead DNA can rise like zombies and invade the living. The world is awash in fragmented DNA from dead organisms, gradually decaying the older it gets. No one considered it a factor in genome evolution – till now. When lateral gene transfer was discovered in microbes a few years ago, evolutionists worried that the process could obscure phylogenetic studies, making it impossible to build Darwinian “trees of life” (2/01/07, 9/24/07). This new finding compounds the problem enormously.In “Bacterial natural transformation by highly fragmented and damaged DNA,” the authors described how they found bacteria taking up dead DNA with the recA recombinase enzyme. It was a surprise, because “Fragmented DNA is recognized as nutrient source for microbes, but not as potential substrate for bacterial evolution.” Then they tested the process, and found a bacterium able to uptake fragmented DNA from a mammoth bone thought to be 43,000 years old. Here’s the upshot of what they found:Our findings suggest that natural genetic exchange of DNA from dead and even extinct organisms to contemporary bacteria can take place over hundreds of thousands of years. Hence damaged and degraded DNA may be a previous unrecognized driver of bacterial evolution with implications for evolutionary theory….Our findings reveal that short and damaged, including truly ancient, DNA molecules, which are present in large quantities in the environment, can be acquired by bacteria through natural transformation. Our findings open for the possibility that natural genetic exchange can occur with DNA up to several hundreds of thousands years old.The finding, summarized on PhysOrg, has implications for more than evolution. Hospitals cannot assume that sterilizing a room of live antibiotic-resistant bacteria confers protection, because new bacteria colonizing the room might find fragmented DNA containing resistance genes, take it up and become resistant themselves.The authors could only speculate about the implications of this process to evolutionary theory. On the one hand, it might be considered an additional source of genetic variation or mutation. It might be a way for microbes to share beneficial mutations. On the other hand, any hopes for establishing a phylogeny, or determining the history of microbes, are compromised by microbes’ ability to incorporate DNA fragments of widely varying ages from very different organisms, like those from the mammoth bone. In their concluding discussion, the authors stated some potential implications for evolutionary theory:The genetic process described here suggests that early horizontal genetic transfer could have occurred in primitive cells after uptake of short DNA segments, which would have augmented evolutionary change. In addition to its main function as an important nutrient source, short DNA fragments may have contributed to exchange of beneficial mutations in early cells and continue to do so in extant microbial populations.The potential for bacteria to take up degraded DNA, leading to single or a few nucleotide changes, adds another perspective to our understanding of the factors that drive microbial genome evolution. Models of population genetics and molecular evolution often rely on “memoryless” Markov processes, which predict the future genetic state of a reproducing population solely from its current state. Such models may not fully represent dynamical feedback between the diversity of environmental DNA and the replicating microbial gene pool. We propose that rates of molecular evolution in naturally transformable species may be influenced by the diversity of free environmental DNA. Furthermore, our findings suggest that bacterial recombination occurs with DNA fragments of considerable age, even from extinct microbial species. This suggests an additional, previously unrecognized contributor to molecular evolution. Recombination with DNA from temporally separated populations or species will bypass generations of cellular division and result in the transfer of genetic information over evolutionary time. We call this phenomenon “anachronistic evolution.”They also dub it “second-hand evolution.” PhysOrg put a positive spin on the story, claiming the news is “great for our understanding of how microorganisms have exchanged genes through the history of life.” The article compared the process to humans looking through a junk pile for “second-hand gold” they can use. Such thoughts beg the questions of what constitutes a “beneficial mutation,” how the useful genes originated in the first place, and how bacteria obtained the machinery to recognize them as useful and incorporate them. More ominously, the article recognizes this as a paradigm shift: “That DNA from dead organisms drives the evolution of living cells is in contradiction with common belief of what drives the evolution of life itself.”This is why scientists should avoid the phrase “now we know.” Here we see a factor completely ignored by evolutionists appearing out of nowhere, threatening to rewrite the textbooks on the evolution of microbial life. Treat the spin doctoring with skepticism. They want to turn this into a plus, saying it provides more ways for evolution to proceed. On the contrary; how can they make any claims about how a microbe evolved when its genome has been potentially scrambled by significant chunks of DNA from who-knows-what, who-knows when? This erases the phylogenetic history of single-celled organisms. It casts serious doubt on the evolutionary significance of genome comparisons.It’s too early to evaluate what this finding will mean. Creationists might find a designed purpose in this ability of microbes to adapt to new environments, or to rescue their genomes from upsets by incorporating “junk” copies of essential genes from the soil. How this potentially paradigm-shaking discovery plays out in evolutionary circles remains to be seen, but it could be the beginning of something big. (Visited 95 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
7 December 2011An important process that started three years ago will begin to move forward this week as the first round of negotiations to establish a free trade area covering 27 countries in east and southern Africa kicks off in Nairobi, Kenya on Thursday.It is envisaged that negotiations for the proposed free trade area (FTA), which promises to be an important instrument for the future of trade and industrialisation in Africa, will be completed in about 36 months.The three trade blocs involved – the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the East African Community (EAC) and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) – decided in Kampala, Uganda in October 2008 to move towards a free trade agreement.Boosting intra-regional trade, industrialisationThe intention is to boost intra-regional trade. Because the market will be much bigger, there will be more investment flows, enhanced competitiveness and the development of cross-regional infrastructure.At the same time, the FTA will act as a spur to industrialisation, as countries move from selling primary products to making goods to sell.Competition with older, established and also bigger emerging economies might be a stumbling block initially, but the huge new market may make it possible for locally manufactured goods to compete with those imported from outside the FTA.With close to 600-million people live within the FTA, and a combined gross domestic product of $1-trillion, the region could find itself competing in the same league as the likes of China, India, Russia, Brazil, the US and the EU.The next economic frontierAnd it is becoming easier to make the world believe this, because the continent is already being touted as the next economic frontier.A glance at some figures confirms this view:Africa’s combined consumer spending was US$860-billion in 2008, and will be an estimated $1.4-trillion in 2020. With 43% of Africans currently under the age of 15, by 2040 there will be 1.1-billion Africans of working age. Urbanisation enhances growth – Africa already has 52 cities with more than a million inhabitants, more than Europe. By 2030, around fifty percent of Africa’s populationi will be living in cities. Africa’s returns on foreign direct investment (FDI) are the highest in the world. South Africa well placed to benefitSouth Africa, with its advanced and sophisticated economy, is best suited to exploit the advantages offered by such an expanded market.Already, the World Economic Forum (WEF) has rated South Africa first in the world for the strength of its auditing and reporting standards and for the regulation of its securities exchanges. The soundness of the country’s banks – rated second in the world – is an important asset these days when banks everywhere else are shaky.Add the certainty offered by the government’s recently announced National Development Plan, which sets out the country’s path until 2030, and it is clear that South Africa’s competitiveness will only be enhanced by the establishment of an African FTA.South Africa’s fellow BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India and China – all started their upward economic trend based on huge domestic markets. With the establishment of an FTA, South Africa will have access a market 12 times bigger than the 50-million domestic customers it now has.Tough negotiations expectedHowever, the road to setting up the FTA could be a rocky one. Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies has warned that negotiations over industrial policy could be tough. South Africa has just set out to implement its Industrial Policy Action Plan, and talks around the trade in manufactured goods will be of particular concern.But South Africa does have an advantage. As Davies points out, unlike exports to the rest of the world, a high percentage of exports into Africa are already made up of value-added products.Other problems would be the levels of protectionism between African countries, restrictive trade permit needs, and very obvious economic disparities.Additionally, the fact that three existing trade blocs aim to merge into one is a stumbling block as they are at different levels of integration, with different rules and regulations.All of this will be part of the negotiations that start this week.The fact remains that economic growth in all participating countries will be boosted by increased intra-regional trade. For Africa as a whole, intra-regional trade currently stands at only 12% of all cross-border trade, whereas in Asia the figure is rising toward 50%, and in the European Union towards 80%.The FTA would also be an important building block towards achieving the vision of the founding fathers of the Organisation of African Unity in 1963 – a continent-wide African Economic Union.The December talks may be the first concrete sign of Africa rising to take its rightful place in the world.Source: Brand South Africa
BSP sees higher prices in November, but expects stronger peso, low rice costs to put up fight E.T. returns to earth, reunites with grown-up Elliott in new ad CEBU – Talk about going for the kill.Pradera Verde, even with its biggest gun resting, cracked par for the second straight day on Wednesday and is now on the verge of slaughtering the PAL Ladies Interclub Championship division field over a Cebu Country Club layout here that has been at the mercy of Lubao-based squad’s young roster.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa LATEST STORIES Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC NU fights off UST, improves to 2-1 Frontrow holds fun run to raise funds for young cancer patients Nonong Araneta re-elected as PFF president Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles01:10PNP-HPG to field 695 personnel to secure ‘Undas’05:18After the Typhoon Part 201:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Saso, the 16-year-old former Philippine Team mainstay, birdied all the four par-5s in the opening round as she maximized her length off the tees to conquer the 5,100-yard layout.The Filipino-Japanese will also be looking to put the individual championship in the bag, and she would most likely have to do it at the expense of teammate Effendi and Constantino.Constantino came out for the second straight day and has a total of 109 points, one-under for two days.Meanwhile, Rita Horan fired 49, Christine Popp shot 42 and Jocelyn Garcia 39 as Alabang wrested the Founder’s Division lead with a second day 129 for 255, two points ahead of Manila Southwoods-Legends. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Read Next Fire hits houses in Mandaluyong City Indonesian Michela Effendi fired a three-under-par 69 worth 57 points, Harmie Constantino chipped in with 56 and Kristine Torralba accounted for 53 as Pradera pooled a second round 166 for 331, the highest ever two-round score recorded in the event’s 12-year history.READ: Newcomer Pradera leaves PAL field gaspingFEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBreaking par for the second straight day has also never happened before, and taking the brunt of that was reigning six-time champion Manila Southwoods-Masters, which could only come up with 153 to be 34 points behind.And unless Pradera fails to come to the venue to play the third and fourth rounds, it’s all over but the shouting as the rookie squad announced its coming in style and will dethrone SW-Masters in the most convincing way in the next two days. LOOK: Loisa Andalio, Ronnie Alonte unwind in Amanpulo for 3rd anniversary View comments Cebu CC fired 133 points for 273, 24 points behind SW-Masters.Bernice Ilas shot 53 points, Mika Fortuna contributed 52 and Sofia Chabon never got going and accounted for just 48 as SW-Masters sputtered for the second straight round.Coach Norman Sto. Domingo, despite the big lead, is not about to take it easy as he bared that he will have the talented Yuka Saso leading his third round crew to do the mop-up job this early.Saso played in the first round on Tuesday and fired 59 points. She will lead a team that will debut 13-year-old Annika Pineda-Cayabyab.“We will go all out and try and extend our lead,” Domingo said after watching his last player hole out on the difficult 18th hole of the age-old layout. “We would want to get this done early so that the players can relax on Friday (in the final round).”ADVERTISEMENT
MOST READ BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast BSP survey: PH banks see bright horizon amid dark global recession clouds ANTIPOLO—Rock-solid San Miguel Beer kept a top two finish in sight after scoring a 109-97 decision of Alaska in a Petron Saturday Special game at Ynares Center here.It was the second straight win in a 7-2 card for the Beermen, who would still need to sweep their last two assignments—against Blackwater and GlobalPort—to earn at least a playoff for a twice-to-beat bonus.ADVERTISEMENT Children’s meet draws OSY bets Every 18 seconds someone is diagnosed with HIV Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Cayetano dares Lacson, Drilon to take lie-detector test: Wala akong kinita sa SEA Games Palace: Duterte to hear out security execs on alleged China control of NGCP BREAKING: Cop killed, 11 hurt in Misamis Oriental grenade blast Alaska, which took a sixth straight loss in a 4-6 card, is in danger of missing the next round.Idle Star is setting the pace with an 8-2 record, but will lose the No. 1 ranking if the Hotshots fall into a tie with the Beermen at the end of the elimination round on June 2.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSSEA Games: Biñan football stadium stands out in preparedness, completionSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutSPORTSPrivate companies step in to help SEA Games hostingIn the first game, NLEX goes into a long break with its confidence at a high after posting a second straight win, 116-114, to end its campaign here while dealing Phoenix Petroleum a critical loss.The Road Warriors almost lost a 23-point lead but hung tough in the stretch as they take something positive from a tournament they opened up with nine straight defeats. Phoenix ended its elimination round campaign with a 4-7 record and can get booted out of the playoffs if Alaska and GlobalPort win their final matches.“We just wanted to make a good last impression,” NLEX coach Yeng Guiao said.Meanwhile, Barangay Ginebra shoots for a share of the lead and officially take Meralco out of the race for a top two berth when the Gin Kings and the Bolts collide 6:45 p.m. Sunday also at Ynares Center here.Defending champion Rain or Shine, in the meantime, tries to better its quarterfinal ranking when it slugs it out with TNT KaTropa in the 4:30 p.m. contest.At 5-5, the Painters can qualify in the middle of the pack with a victory.ADVERTISEMENT View comments Lacson: SEA Games fund put in foundation like ‘Napoles case’ Pagasa: Storm intensifies as it nears PAR LATEST STORIES Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH 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 athletes Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.
About the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Departing Chelsea midfielder Cesc: Hudson-Odoi has the lotby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveDeparting Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas is convinced by the potential of Callum Hudson-Odoi.Cesc, who is set to leave Stamford Bridge after five seasons, spoke to Chelsea’s club website about Hudson-Odoi’s talent after the Blues beat Nottingham Forest 2-0 yesterday.He said: “He has got everything to make it in world football.I have told him that if he does not really make it at the very top I will be disappointed because he is one of these talents you can see can be fantastic.“He can be world class, so he just needs to keep his feet on the ground, keep working hard.“He is a humble boy, he really loves playing football and hopefully he can really make it very soon.”
NEW ORLEANS, LA – JANUARY 01: Alabama Crimson Tide fans react in the second half of the AllState Sugar Bowl against the Clemson Tigers at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 1, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)If you’re a college football fan – or, really, anyone who is not a coach – and you’re thinking about contacting a recruit, just stop. Don’t do it. Whether you’re simply trying to encourage a recruit to come to your school or berating a prospect for committing elsewhere, you’re 99 percent of the time going to come off in ill form to the 17-or-18-year-old high schooler. The following Alabama fan is someone who, unfortunately, does not follow the advice previously stated. This person somehow got the phone number of four-star linebacker Darrell Williams, an Auburn commit, and proceeded to text him about the Crimson Tide. We realize you’re passionate about your college football teams, people, and that’s why we love you, but please, don’t ever text a recruit.
Advertisement Advertisement Facebook Grau, who is fluent in English, French and Spanish, has almost 25 years of experience working in arts and culture, and communications. She will retain ownership of Touchwood PR, a boutique publicity and promotions agency she founded in 2009. Her clients have included Cineplex, Fan Expo Canada, Pathé International, eOne, Unifrance Films, Telefilm Canada, the Academy of Canadian Film and Television, Reel Asian Film Festival, CMPA’s Prime Time in Ottawa, Inside Out Toronto LGBT Film Festival, and several high-profile personal clients. Prior to Touchwood PR, Grau ran the TIFF Communications department for eight years. In this role she successfully developed and executed media strategies to position TIFF as a leader in the industry.Social Media:Twitter: @TIFF_NETInstagram: @TIFF_NETFacebook: Facebook.com/TIFF LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Advertisement Login/Register With: TORONTO — Piers Handling, Director & CEO of TIFF, today announced the appointment of Andréa Grau to the role of Vice President, Public Relations and Corporate Affairs, effective February 5, 2018. Grau will lead TIFF’s in-house agency, Dept. 30, comprised of the Communications, Marketing, Digital, Creative and Editorial teams. She will be part of TIFF Senior Management, providing leadership and guidance for the organization.Reporting to Michèle Maheux, Executive Director and COO, Grau is responsible for upholding and expanding the integrity of the TIFF brand internationally and at home, and developing and executing the PR strategy as the organization enters a new strategic plan and CEO transition“Andréa has been a part of this organization in some capacity for the past 23 years,” said Piers Handling, Director & CEO of TIFF. “She first entered as an intern fresh out of university, later returned to run the Communications department, and now comes back in a much larger leadership role to help us navigate the changing PR landscape. The industry and media relationships that she has developed over the years are impeccable. On behalf of the Senior Management team, we are delighted to have her back.” Twitter
CJ.T. Realmuto4.0–5.8– LFAndrew McCutchen2.4–4.2– * A player’s established level of WAR is based on a weighted average of his WAR the previous three seasons.Stats as of May 6, 2019.Sources: Baseball-Reference.com, FanGraphs.com PosPlayerEstablishedLevel*Actual RFBryce Harper3.1–3.0– Bryce Harper’s first couple of weeks in a Philadelphia Phillies uniform could scarcely have gone better. Harper introduced himself to his new team — and its infamously passionate fan base — with a .333 average, four home runs and a 1.299 on-base plus slugging in his first 10 games of 2019. Along with such pro-Philly acts as donning Phanatic cleats and ringing the bell at a Sixers game, it was a great first impression for Harper to make after inking what is now the second-richest contract in baseball history.But just like he did last season, Harper has followed up that red-hot start with an ice-cold slump. Since April 10, Harper is hitting .187 with a .632 OPS, including a .617 OPS in the past two weeks and a .477 mark in the past seven days. And despite all of his attempts to endear himself to teammates and fans, he’s already been criticized by Phillies pitcher Jake Arrieta for getting himself ejected from a game, and he was booed at Citizens Bank Park last week.Harper is a streaky player, and he’ll break out of this stretch soon enough. More importantly, the Phillies haven’t suffered too much despite Harper’s issues. The team is still .500 since April 10, it still leads the NL East, and our projections call for it to finish with the NL’s fifth-best record. Harper hasn’t remotely been the Phillies’ best player; he hasn’t even been the team’s best offseason acquisition. According to wins above replacement,1Averaging together the versions from Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs. Philly has gotten far more out of new catcher J.T. Realmuto, left fielder Andrew McCutchen and shortstop Jean Segura than it has out of Harper so far. Harper was merely one of the Phillies’ top pickupsAmong top four offseason pickups for the Philadelphia Phillies, preseason established* and actual wins above replacement in 2019 WAR per 162 games SSJean Segura3.9–3.8– That may not last, but it was always going to be much closer to the case than you might expect from the breathless coverage Harper’s free agency received this winter. Harper is not Mike Trout; a few of the fellow newcomers listed above actually had more WAR last season than Harper did. He is a piece of Philly’s potential postseason puzzle — perhaps even the most important one — but he’s just one of multiple talented pieces.Even so, the Phillies should be encouraged that Harper’s extremely poor defensive metrics — the single biggest drag on his WAR last year — have, predictably, reverted toward his pre-2018 form. According to an average of the fielding values found at Baseball-Reference.com and FanGraphs, Harper has been an average outfielder in the early going this season, albeit with some disagreement between the two sources.2Just like last season, Baseball-Reference is lower this year on Harper’s defense than FanGraphs is. The reality is that Harper is probably a below-average defensive outfielder — but nowhere near as bad as some of his 2018 numbers made him out to be.So once Harper’s hitting numbers start ticking up again — his batted-ball metrics are better than his stats would indicate, and his exit velocity ranks among the top quarter of MLB hitters — he’ll quickly rise up in the Phillies’ WAR pecking order. It’s concerning that Harper’s strikeout-to-walk ratio is his worst since 2014, but FanGraphs still projects him to put up the majors’ sixth-best OPS over the rest of the season. The boos will turn into cheers before long.Of course, Philly fans expecting Trout-like production from Harper will still inevitably be disappointed (and maybe the free-agency hype did drive expectations in that direction). A more reasonable outlook would have expected Harper to be one of the driving forces behind the Phillies’ improvement — just not the sole one. Given that the rest of the team has played pretty well despite Harper’s up-and-down start, Philadelphia’s postseason aspirations should be stronger than ever when he heats up again.Check out our latest MLB predictions.
Paris Saint-Germain have pulled off a shock transfer coup by beating Chelsea to Leandro Paredes’ signature.The Blues had hoped to sign Paredes in this month’s transfer window following Cesc Fabregas’ departure for AS Monaco.But in light of Marco Verratti and Lassana Diarra’s injuries along with Adrien Rabiot’s suspension from PSG, manager Thomas Tuchel publicly urged the club to get a move on with signing new players over the weekend.And now the Ligue 1 champions have delivered by signing Zenit star Paredes on a four-and-a-half-year deal at the Parc des Princes for a reported fee of €45m.“I’m very proud to be joining Paris Saint-Germain,” Paredes told the club website.“After my previous experiences in Italy and Russia, I now have this fantastic opportunity, not only to discover a new league, but above all one to wear one the most prestigious club jerseys in the world.“I’d like to thank the chairman and the coach for the confidence they have shown in me by signing me.“We all know the extraordinary sporting dimension of Paris Saint-Germain, its players and staff.“I share the same high ambitions and I will do everything I can to give my club what it expects of me as a midfielder. I also look forward to the passionate atmosphere of the Parc des Princes, as I grew up with football fever in Argentina.”PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi added: “Leandro brings with him the traditional strengths of Argentinian football – a fighting spirit and excellent technical skills.Premier League Betting: Match-day 5 Stuart Heath – September 14, 2019 Going into the Premier League’s match-day five with a gap already beginning to form at the top of the league. We will take a…“He will bring a lot to our midfield and I am sure he will fit quickly into our coach’s well-organised and ambitious team.“Leandro’s arrival will keep the momentum, both on the pitch and among our supporters, ahead of the major events coming up. Exciting times lie ahead.”The Argentina international could make his PSG debut away to Lyon in Ligue 1 on Sunday.The French giants also had a bid for Everton midfielder Idrissa Gueye rejected earlier this week.📸👕 #BienvenidoParedesThis was the moment this morning when our new Parisian discovered his new locker room 🔝❤💙 #ICICESTPARIS pic.twitter.com/yDFk6FpmKI— Paris Saint-Germain (@PSG_English) January 29, 2019
Check for further information on www.kpboem.com or call the Borough Call Center at 907-262-INFO (4363) for updates. Updated 5:30pm:The fire flared up near the intersection of the Sterling Highway and the Peterson Kelly Lakes Road and is still burning to southeast towards Hidden lake. As a result, traffic on the highway is being delayed. Winds are favorable right now, but if they shift, there could be increased activity along the highway. We will continue to post updates if there are any significant closures on the highway, but as of this time drivers should just anticipate long delay times. If you do decide to travel expect delays up to an hour or longer at times. Traffic has been moving when crews can safely transport them through the active area. Be advised of heavy aviation work in the area, and crews on and near the highway. This is anticipated to be a temporary closure. Motorists should expect significant delays. Alaska State Troopers suggest motorists avoid the area if possible. In addition to the increase in fire activity along the highway there was a wind shift that transferred the smoke from the Soldotna area back to Cooper Landing so anticipate limited visibility and poor air quality. According to to the advisory air quality is poor, expect delays, be aware of emergency vehicles on the roadway and travel is not advised. Updated 5:00pm:According to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management, the Sterling Highway is still closed as of 5pm on Friday. Scooper planes are working along side the road in two areas south of the highway, dropping water on flareups. Residents may see a fairly large plume. It’s hoped that the delay is temporary but could be significant so please be prepared with water and food. When you do move, drive with headlights on and watch for fire equipment. Continued updates will be posted as they are made available. Fire managers are prepping a short stretch of dozer line running south from the highway into a wet slough. The line is about a mile east of the Kelly Lakes Petersen Road. They are trying to strengthen it to hold the fire from moving across it to the east. There is also active fire on the southern finger at the east end of Skilak lake. We are still trying to get updated information from the eastern portion of the fire, south of the highway, near Cooper Landing. Update 8:45pm:The Sterling Highway is still open at 7:45 pm.Fire Operations people are reporting a lot of activity on the Swan Lake Fire this afternoon primarily in the area north of Engineer Lake. The large pyrocumulus you can see over the fire is in that area. The western perimeter toward Sterling has not had much activity today since the winds have pushed the fire to the east.There was also activity around Jean Lake and crews made some progress to the east where the fire has crossed Jim’s Landing. We don’t have any more specific information about that eastern perimeter.A pyrocumulus cloud forms from rising air that results from intense heating of the surface by phenomena such as wildfires or volcanic eruptions. A big fire produces strong upward moving air currents that carry water vapor and ash upward Original Post 2:51pm:Both lanes of the Sterling Highway have been closed between Mileposts MP 53 to MP 75 until further notice as of 2:51pm on Friday, due to helicopter operations and for firefighter safety along the highway. Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享Update Saturday 5:30am: As of 9:00 p.m. Friday, the highway was open but that may change at any time. Monitor Alaska.511.gov for updates and expect delays if you plan to travel between Cooper Landing and Sterling. For real time air quality monitoring: https://www.purpleair.com/map?#10.18/60.4725/-149.7468 Update 6:00pm: Traffic has had extended delays along the Sterling Highway since late this afternoon. According to officials with the Great Basin Management Team travel is not advised as of right now going into the weekend.