The insect Regimbartia attenuata can escape even after being devoured by certain species of frog, among them Pelophylax nigromaculatus, Japanese ecologist Shinji Sugiura of Kobe University announced on Monday.
Like other kinds of frog, Pelophylax nigromaculatus’ lack of teeth makes it unable to kill the insect before eating it. This is done instead by the digestive tract.
But that mostly doesn’t work with Regimbartia attenuata, which, Sugiura says, stimulates the frog to defecate and, like Tim Robbins’ wrongly imprisoned Andy Dufresne in 1994 film “The Shawshank Redemption,” crawls through a river of excrement to its freedom.
It’s the first time that the flight of prey after consumption has been documented scientifically, according to researchers from the magazine Current Biology.
The aforementioned insect and frog are found in the same paddy fields in Japan. To investigate the insect’s capacity for self-defence, Sugiura fed it to young and adult frogs.
The frogs made light work of chowing down the insects. But, within six hours, 93.3 per cent of the impudent invertebrates had come out the other end – and all were as chirpy as ever after their improbable journey.
The insect apparently moves from the frog’s digestive tract to its intended exit at the anus, researchers said. Pressure from the frog’s sphincter keeps its anus closed, prompting the insect to stimulate the frog’s intestine.
This causes the sphincter to relax and allows the insect to take a triumphant log ride to freedom on the frog’s stool.
Researchers observed the same thing happen after consumption of the insect to four other species of frog: Pelophylax porosus, Glandirana rugosa, Fejervarya kawamurai und Hyla japonica.
Edited By: Isaac Aregbesola (NAN)https://nnn.ng/insect-can-escape-after-being-eaten-by-frog-scientists-find/
Osaka withdraws from French Open with ‘hamstring’ injury
Japan’s Naomi Osaka has withdrawn from the upcoming French Open with a hamstring injury.
The 22-year-old had her left hamstring taped when she battled back against Victoria Azarenka in the United States Open final in New York on Saturday to win her third Grand Slam title.
“Unfortunately, I won’t be able to play the French Open this year,” the world number three wrote on social media in a message she also posted in Japanese.
“My hamstring is still sore so I won’t have time to prepare for the clay – these two tournaments came too close to each other for me this time.
“I wish the organizers and players all the best.”
French Open will be held from Sept. 27 to Oct. 11 after being moved from its usual late May-June slot due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The hamstring issue had prompted Osaka to withdraw from the final of the Western & Southern Open in the run-up to the United States Open but it did not appear to hamper her at Flushing Meadows.
Osaka made headlines in New York as much for her performances on court as for her commitment to social justice causes.
For each of her United States Open matches she wore a different mask that carried the name of a Black American, aiming to highlight racial injustice in the United States to a wider audience.
The withdrawal of Osaka, who has never advanced past the third round at Roland Garros, comes as another blow to the tournament after world number one Ash Barty of Australia said she would not be defending her title due to COVID-19 concerns.
On the men’s side, Roger Federer will not compete as he continues to recover from knee surgery.
Osaka’s absence would improve Serena Williams’s chances of winning a record-tying 24th Grand Slam title if the American chooses to play.
The 38-year-old has pulled out of the Italian Open with an Achilles issue.
It had previously said the clay court major would permit a maximum of 11,500 fans per day.
Edited By: Sadiya Hamza
Iran’s Rouhani expects to further develop relations with Japan under new PM
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Thursday congratulated Yoshihide Suga on becoming Japan’s new prime minister and expressed hope for the further development of bilateral relations.
On Wednesday, Suga, the leader of Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party, was officially confirmed as the new prime minister, replacing Shinzo Abe.
“I hope that under your leadership, friendly relations between Iran and Japan and mutual cooperation in various fields, especially trade and economic, will continue to develop,” Rouhani said in a message to Suga.
According to the Iranian leader, permanent contacts between the two countries, including mutual visits by their prime ministers in 2019, opened a new chapter in the development of bilateral relations.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
Bank of Japan maintains ultra easing policy to prop up economy
Japan’s central bank decided on Thursday to keep its ultra-loose monetary policy to prop up the recession-hit economy, rocked by the coronavirus pandemic and a consumption tax hike last year.
“Japan’s economy has started to pick up with economic activity resuming gradually, although it has remained in a severe situation due to the impact of the novel coronavirus at home and abroad,” the Bank of Japan said in a statement issued after a two-day monetary policy meeting.
The bank will continue to purchase government bonds without setting an upper limit and exchange-traded funds at an annual pace of about 12 trillion yen (114 billion dollars).
Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga, who took office on Wednesday, vowed to continue his predecessor Shinzo Abe’s economic policy called “Abenomics,” which is based on the “three arrows” of fiscal stimulus, monetary easing, and structural reforms.
However, Abe’s government had failed to produce solid economic growth due to sluggish consumer spending and stagnant wages since he was inaugurated in December 2012.
The bank launched a monetary easing campaign in 2013 to reach a 2-per-cent inflation target within about two years.
The inflation rate, however, has never even come close to the goal.
On Wednesday, the United States Federal Reserve maintained its benchmark interest rate range at near-zero, and indicated it will do so until 2023, with the aim of keeping borrowing costs ultra-low until the labour market recovers and inflation picks up.
Edited By: Emmanuel Yashim
COVID-19: Kano Govt secures $1.1m grant from EU, Japan
Abba Anwar, the Chief Press Secretary to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje, stated this in a statement on Wednesday in Kano.
Anwar disclosed that about 1,600 individuals and 630 Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) would benefit from the facility under a Cash-For-Work arrangement.
He said: “The grant will go a long way in supporting communities badly affected by the pandemic.”
The statement quoted Habibu Hotoro, the Special Adviser to Gov. Abdullahi Ganduje on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), as saying that the grant would alleviate post COVID-19 sufferings experienced by the people.
It also quoted Lezlem Dinku, UNDP Officer in Nigeria, as noting that the United Nations had undertaken several initiatives to support the communities affected by the pandemic in the country.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused infections, deaths and untold hardships to the most vulnerable particularly the urban poor in hotspot locations across the nation.
“It is in this regard that UNDP in Nigeria in collaboration with the government of Japan initiated a project to support selected vulnerable communities affected by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19, to minimise the impact of job and livelihood losses and also help contain the spread of the virus.
“We have identified Kano as key target state and we will be working closely with your office and selected communities in implementing this initiative.” Dinku was quoted as saying in the statement.
The statement further quoted Gov. Ganduje as directing SDG’s office to ensure that only most vulnerable people were targeted for participation in the programme.
It disclosed that the governor also directed the SDGs office to open 500 new bank accounts for those who never benefited in the previous interventions in the state.
“The governor directed that all bank charges must be paid on behalf of those identified and selected beneficiaries to effectively cushion the effect of the hardships caused by the pandemic.”
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma