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Respawn Calls For End To Harassment Of Apex Legends Devs – GameSpot

Bugs, imbalanced gameplay mechanics, and other issues can be frustrating, but according to Apex Legends developer Respawn Entertainment, some players have taken the issues too far, sending personal attack to individual developers on social media. Respawn tweeted about the harassment this evening, stating, “We welcome community input, however, the line between constructive feedback and the harassment of our dev team cannot be crossed.”

It’s not clear if a specific incident prompted the tweet, but the game’s developers held a series of Reddit AMAs earlier this week that were met with some contention. Though the moderators seemed to do a good job of keeping negativity to a minimum, and the rude comments that did make it through were met with graceful responses from the developers.

Destiny 2 developer Bungie replied in support of Respawn with a tweet of its own:

Most of the replies to Respawn’s tweet are supportive, though some trolls can be seen in the comments. Other users, however, attempted to explain the possible source of the harassment.

“I’m sure this is due to the limited & lack of communication [with the community],” explained one Twitter user. “You guys ignore major issues and only respond to minor tweaks in your favor. That is no excuse to be negative towards devs, but it’s likely short-term anger from gamers.”

Still, many players agreed there was no excuse for harassment, especially when it comes to individual developers who often have no control whatsoever over certain aspects of the game.

“People forget they’re talking to humans,” replied Twitter user DaraLaMalice. “No matter your opinions, your ideas, what you would want the game to be, no matter how angry, frustrated or whatever, no one deserves to be bullied/harassed. You have the right to be upset and explain why, as long as you remain respectful.”

Apex Legends is free to play on console and PC. A mobile version of the game, Apex Legends Mobile, is available for download on Android and iOS devices.

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What keeps plant roots growing toward gravity? Study identifies four genes – hortidaily.com

What happens belowground in a corn field is easy to overlook, but corn root architecture can play an important role in water and nutrient acquisition, affecting drought tolerance, water use efficiency, and sustainability. If breeders could encourage corn roots to grow down at a steeper angle, the crop could potentially access important resources deeper in the soil.

A first step toward that goal is learning the genes involved in gravitropism and root growth in response to gravity. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, University of Wisconsin scientists, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Illinois, identify four such genes in corn and the model plant Arabidopsis.

When a germinating seed is turned on its side, some roots make a sudden, steep turn towards gravity, while others turn a fraction more slowly. The researchers used machine vision methods to observe subtle differences in root gravitropism in thousands of seedlings and combined that data with genetic information for each seedling. The result mapped the likely positions of gravitropism genes in the genome.

The map got the researchers to the right neighborhood in the genome – regions of a few hundred genes – but they were still a long way from identifying specific genes for gravitropism. Fortunately, they had a tool that could help.

Relevant genetics
“Because we had previously performed the same experiment with the distantly related Arabidopsis plant, we were able to match genes within the relevant regions of the genome in both species. Follow-up tests verified the identity of four genes that modify root gravitropism. The new information could help us understand how gravity shapes root system architectures,” says Edgar Spalding, professor in the Department of Botany at the University of Wisconsin and lead author of the study.

Matt Hudson, professor in the Department of Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois and study co-author, adds, “We looked at an under-researched trait in maize that is important for a number of reasons, especially in the context of climate change. And we did it by making the evolutionary differences between plants work in our favor.”

Corn and Arabidopsis, a small mustard relative, exhaustively described by plant biologists, evolved about 150 million years apart in evolutionary history. Hudson explains that although both species share basic plant functions, the genes controlling them have likely been jumbled within the genome over time. That turns out to be a good thing for narrowing down common genes.

In closely related species, genes tend to line up in approximately the same order in the genome (e.g., ABCDEF). Although the same genes might exist in distantly related species, the order of genes in the region the trait maps to doesn’t match (e.g., UGRBZ). After the researchers identified where to look in each genome, the otherwise mismatched gene sequences made the common genes (in this case, B) pop out.

“I thought it was super cool that we could identify genes we wouldn’t have found otherwise just by comparing genomic intervals in unrelated plant species,” Hudson says. “We were pretty confident they were the right genes when they popped right out of this analysis, but Spalding’s group then spent seven or eight more years getting solid biological data to verify they do, indeed, play a role in gravitropism. Having done that, I think we’ve validated the whole approach so that you could use this method for many different phenotypes in the future.”

Environment
Spalding notes the method was probably particularly successful because precise measurements were made in a common environment.

“Often, maize researchers will measure their traits of interest in a field, whereas Arabidopsis researchers tend to raise their plants in growth chambers,” he says. “We measured the root gravitropism phenotype in a highly controlled way. These seeds were grown on a petri dish, and the assay lasted just hours, as opposed to traits you might measure in the real world that are open to all sorts of variabilities.”

Even when traits can be measured in a common environment, not all traits make good candidates for this method. The researchers emphasize traits in question should be fundamental to basic plant function, ensuring the same ancient genes exist in unrelated species. 

“Gravitropism may be especially amenable to study through this approach because it would have been key to the original specialization of shoots and roots after the successful colonization of land,” Spalding says.

Hudson notes gravitropism will be key to the colonization of a different landscape, as well.

“NASA is interested in growing crops on other planets or in space, and they need to know what you’d have to breed for to do that,” he says. “Plants are pretty discombobulated without gravity.”

For more information:
University of Illinois
www.aces.illinois.edu

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Brand New Scarlet & Violet Pokémon Revealed, And It’s A Floppy One – Kotaku

Serebii

The sadly low-res video shows the little beasties popping their heads out of the sand on the beach, implying we’ve got at least a Water-type here. Multi-lingual discussion during the video has Pokécologists (everyone start using this term) question whether it’s related to Diglett, but then conclude that no, it’s a whole new species of Pokémon.

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Goodness knows what is going on in that video, with the Wingulls seemingly stuck in the air, and the background looking like it’s running on GBA.

This makes it the 16th new Pokémon unique to the Paldean region to be revealed, ahead of November’s release of Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Most of which have been utterly bonkers.

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Generally when The Pokémon Company reveals a new creature, we get a hint dropped like this, and then a nice press release packed with information. So be sure to check back later for an update on this post with all that extra news.

 

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Russia’s Alrosa discovers 22 new diamond deposits in Zim – Mnangagwa – New Zimbabwe.com


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By Bloomberg News


Russian miner Alrosa PSJC has discovered 22 new diamond deposits in Zimbabwe, according to the southern African nation’s president, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Alrosa will only be allowed to work on two of the diamond deposits, while the rest will be made available to other investors, Zimbabwe’s Information Ministry said, citing comments by Mnangagwa in New York at the weekend. The president attended a business meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Russian company declined an emailed request for comment.

In 2019, Alrosa signed an agreement with the state-owned Zimbabwe Mining Development Corp. to jointly explore for gems in the country. At the time, the company said it would spend $12 million exploring some of the 40 diamond mining rights it holds in the country.

Many in the diamond industry refuse to deal in Russian gems following the invasion of Ukraine and after mining giant Alrosa was hit with US sanctions.

After returning to Zimbabwe on Tuesday, Mnangagwa said there was interest from US-based investors in a number of sectors including mining and agriculture. A group of those investors will come to the country next month to look at opportunities, the state-owned Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corp. reported.

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