MIRACLE There’s a lot that’s been said about the triumph of the human spirit over adversity, and Oshane Murray is living proof of what a person can overcome when the mind kicks into gear. The 23-year-old was on a clear path to achievement as a former Calabar High School student, attending the University of Technology (UTech) pursuing a degree in electrical engineering and representing Jamaica at international and local events in tae kwon do. His life changed on January 30, 2013, when, during a cheerleading routine at UTech, he slipped and fell. “It’s when I was trying to get up I realised that I couldn’t. I didn’t feel a thing. I was very calm and laughing. When I was trying to move, I couldn’t, and everyone was saying ‘Oshane, Oshane, get up now nuh’ and I said ‘I can’t move’ and they were like, ‘Oshane stop joking around’. Then the girls started screaming and there was chaos,” he recalled of that day. He was taken to the hospital, where he learned he had a broken vertebrae in his spine. “The doctors were saying I should be dead based on the X-Ray ;that it’s a miracle I’m a alive and conscious,” he told The Gleaner. After almost a year in hospital, Murray was released. He got an infection a few days before his release, but was deemed well enough to go home just before Christmas 2013. “When I first came home, it was problematic because nobody really knew how to react or how to address me being in this situation. Even though they were trying their best, sometimes them just trying just makes it worse,” Murray said. It was during this period Murray, who turns 24 in May, learned who his real friends were. They turned out to be his teammates, his classmates and some family members. He returned to classes at UTech in September 2015 through the assistance of his coach Jason McKay, who provided him with a driver as well as an assistant, who writes his notes during classes. Exams have proven a little challenging, but he is coping. “I do exams in a room by myself. I draw and I talk, but that’s a next headache in itself. Especially when I have to draw, it’s hard to describe how to draw stuff, especially when you’re doing a lot of calculation courses. Sometimes in the middle of the exams, I get dizzy spells (too).” The thing he said he misses most is the fact that he can no longer train as a martial artist. However, he has found a way to contribute and has returned to training, even if in a different capacity. “I just want to finish what I started … My goal is that I just want to be independent. I don’t know how long it will take, but I will. “I don’t know what’s pushing me but I just don’t want to give up. I don’t know what’s going to happen and that fear of not knowing is what’s pushing me forward,” he said.
To help keep the makers of high-quality chocolate from being duped with inferior ingredients, researchers have developed a genetic test that can tell a premium cacao bean from a mediocre impostor. Beans of the cacao plant, the source of cocoa butter and cocoa powder used to make chocolate, can differ widely in appearance, even within the same seed pod (beans within pod, image). So, visually discriminating beans from an exceptional variety from average-tasting beans can be difficult. That poses problems for people in charge of quality control, because unscrupulous bean merchants have ample opportunity to mix in cheaper beans among their premium products. Enter genetics. By analyzing DNA extracted from 30-milligram samples of the seed coat of a cacao bean (which is genetically identical to the tree it comes from), it’s possible to verify whether the bean belongs to a specific variety of cacao. Using the newly developed test, which looked at 48 different genetic markers, researchers were able to discriminate 30 authentic samples of a high-priced cacao variety called Fortunato No. 4 from five other varieties grown in and near Peru and 18 others grown worldwide, they report today in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. Although DNA analyses can be performed relatively quickly, separating a seed coat from its bean is now rather time-consuming, the researchers say. Future research will focus on streamlining the tests and on developing a technique that can be used to analyze bulk cocoa powder.See more ScienceShots.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(*)