Professor predicts human time travel this century

first_imgRonald Mallett, Professor at the University of Connecticut, has used Einstein’s equations to design a time machine with circulating laser beams. While his team is still looking for funding, he hopes to build and test the device in the next 10 years. With a brilliant idea and equations based on Einstein’s relativity theories, Ronald Mallett from the University of Connecticut has devised an experiment to observe a time traveling neutron in a circulating light beam. While his team still needs funding for the project, Mallett calculates that the possibility of time travel using this method could be verified within a decade. Explore further Citation: Professor predicts human time travel this century (2006, April 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-04-professor-human-century.html Probing Question: What does the SPF rating of sunscreen mean? Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Black holes, wormholes, and cosmic strings – each of these phenomena has been proposed as a method for time travel, but none seem feasible, for (at least) one major reason. Although theoretically they could distort space-time, they all require an unthinkably gigantic amount of mass. Mallett, a U Conn Physics Professor for 30 years, considered an alternative to these time travel methods based on Einstein’s famous relativity equation: E=mc2.“Einstein showed that mass and energy are the same thing,” said Mallett, who published his first research on time travel in 2000 in Physics Letters. “The time machine we’ve designed uses light in the form of circulating lasers to warp or loop time instead of using massive objects.”• PhysOrg.com iPhone / iPad Apps• PhysOrg.com Audio Podcasts / iTunes• PhysOrg.com Android apps• PhysOrg.com Blackberry app• Join PhysOrg.com on Facebook• Follow PhysOrg.com on TwitterTo determine if time loops exist, Mallett is designing a desktop-sized device that will test his time-warping theory. By arranging mirrors, Mallett can make a circulating light beam which should warp surrounding space. Because some subatomic particles have extremely short lifetimes, Mallett hopes that he will observe these particles to exist for a longer time than expected when placed in the vicinity of the circulating light beam. A longer lifetime means that the particles must have flowed through a time loop into the future.“Say you have a cup of coffee and a spoon,” Mallett explained to PhysOrg.com. “The coffee is empty space, and the spoon is the circulating light beam. When you stir the coffee with the spoon, the coffee – or the empty space – gets twisted. Suppose you drop a sugar cube in the coffee. If empty space were twisting, you’d be able to detect it by observing a subatomic particle moving around in the space.” And according to Einstein, whenever you do something to space, you also affect time. Twisting space causes time to be twisted, meaning you could theoretically walk through time as you walk through space.“As physicists, our experiments deal with subatomic particles,” said Mallett. “How soon humans will be able to time travel depends largely on the success of these experiments, which will take the better part of a decade. And depending on breakthroughs, technology, and funding, I believe that human time travel could happen this century.”Step back a minute (sorry, only figuratively). How do we know that time is not merely a human invention, and that manipulating it just doesn’t make sense?“What is time? That is a very, very difficult question,” said Mallett. “Time is a way of separating events from each other. Even without thinking about time, we can see that things change, seasons change, people change. The fact that the world changes is an intrinsic feature of the physical world, and time is independent of whether or not we have a name for it.“To physicists, time is what’s measured by clocks. Using this definition, we can manipulate time by changing the rate of clocks, which changes the rate at which events occur. Einstein showed that time is affected by motion, and his theories have been demonstrated experimentally by comparing time on an atomic clock that has traveled around the earth on a jet. It’s slower than a clock on earth.”Although the jet-flying clock regained its normal pace when it landed, it never caught up with earth clocks – which means that we have a time traveler from the past among us already, even though it thinks it’s in the future.Some people show concern over time traveling, although Mallett – an advocate of the Parallel Universes theory – assures us that time machines will not present any danger. “The Grandfather Paradox [where you go back in time and kill your grandfather] is not an issue,” said Mallett. “In a sense, time travel means that you’re traveling both in time and into other universes. If you go back into the past, you’ll go into another universe. As soon as you arrive at the past, you’re making a choice and there’ll be a split. Our universe will not be affected by what you do in your visit to the past.”In light of this causal “safety,” it’s kind of ironic that what prompted Mallett as a child to investigate time travel was a desire to change the past in hopes of a different future. When he was 10 years old, his father died of a heart attack at age 33. After reading The Time Machine by H.G. Wells, Mallett was determined to find a way to go back and warn his father about the dangers of smoking.This personal element fueled Mallett’s perseverance to study science, master Einstein’s equations, and build a professional career with many high notes. Since the ‘70s, his research has included quantum gravity, relativistic cosmology and gauge theories, and he plans to publish a popular science/memoir book this November 2006. With help from Bruce Henderson, the New York Times best-selling author, the book will be called Time Traveler: A Physicist’s Quest For The Ultimate Breakthrough. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Quantum mechanics may explain how humans smell

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The process of smell via electron tunneling: (a), an electron in the nasal receptor finds its way to the donor component of the receptor; (b) and (c), a scent molecule’s vibrational frequency enables the electron to tunnel to a different energy state; (d) electron travels to the acceptor unit and molecule leaves. Credit: Marshall Stoneham, et al. Whereas the basic chemical image of smell in the past was a “lock and key” model, with different shaped molecules fitting in different receptors, the LCN team explains how the electron tunneling mechanism is more of a “swipe card” model. Similar to a credit card, an odorant molecule would be “read” by receptors that picked up its vibration spectrum, along with matching its shape. “The major other theories of how receptors generate signals that are specific to certain molecules are all ones depending on molecular shape, mainly ‘lock and key’ mechanisms,” said Stoneham. “As we say in our Physical Review Letter, this popular model fails badly for these small scent molecules (similar molecules smell different, differently-shaped molecules smell the same, the actuation process is ill-defined).”As the LCN group’s calculations show, this non-mechanical actuation is physically plausible: the charge transfer rate is consistent with the observed time scale; the inelastic electron signal is decipherable; and there does appear to be a link between a molecule’s vibration spectrum and its odor. Although the scientists still need to know more about the properties of receptors, the swipe card model offers insight into how selectivity works for human smell.“On the possibility of whether or not we might completely understand smell in the near future, there are many levels of understanding,” Stoneham explained. “But to a level such that scents might be designed, probably yes (and indeed Luca Turin and his firm, Flexitral, have been reasonably successful).”Citation: Brookes, Jennifer C., Hartoutsiou, Filio, Horsfield, A. P., and Stoneham, A. M. “Could Humans Recognize Odor by Phonon Assisted Tunneling?” Physical Review Letters 98, 038101 (2007).By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore further The nose of E. coli zips open and closedcenter_img Regarding smell, scientists only have a few pieces of the puzzle, and it’s unclear how they fit into the big picture. Basically, scientists know that odorant molecules in the air actuate several types of receptors in our noses, which then trigger nerve cells for the brain to analyze. But while scientists know that the shape and size of molecules can make odors smell differently, some molecules with nearly identical shapes smell nothing alike.This apparent conundrum is due to the lack of understanding of what happens before and as the odorant molecules interact with the nasal receptors. These initial atomic-scale processes must include some selection criteria that explain why receptors react differently to molecules of the same (or different) shapes. The possibility that LCN physicists Jennifer Brookes, Filio Hartoutsiou, Andrew Horsfield and Marshall Stoneham have looked into is that electrons in the receptors can be triggered to tunnel between energy states, provided the odorant molecule’s vibration frequency matches the energy difference of these states. The LCN group tested the physical viability of this mechanism, first suggested in 1996 by a scientist named Luca Turin, and found that a general model of this electron tunneling is consistent with physics laws as well as with known features of smell.Quantum mechanical tunneling, a process often exploited in technology, occurs when a particle passes through a barrier despite being forbidden by classical physics. This is possible for small-scale objects, such as electrons, due to their wave-like properties. If an odorant molecule’s vibrations (or phonons) cause electrons in a nasal receptor to tunnel between energy states, nerve signals are sent to the brain. Different vibrational frequencies are detected by different receptors, so because different odorants have different frequencies, odorants smell different.“I personally was surprised that our answer seems so robust—we don’t need to fudge or to take special helpful values of parameters,” Stoneham told PhysOrg.com. “At the start, we could not have been sure at all. In fact, when I first heard of the ideas 10 years ago, I did not expect them to work out. I liked Luca Turin’s idea—it was interesting—but what we did was certainly not proving the obvious.” Citation: Quantum mechanics may explain how humans smell (2007, February 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-02-quantum-mechanics-humans.html Scientists from the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) at University College London have newly analyzed an intriguing 10-year-old theory of smell, finding that the idea may make more sense than once thought.last_img read more

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Microsoft Researchers Developing MuscleBased PC Interface w Video

first_imgVideo Caption: Science advisor, Steven Spielberg has created a real-world implementation of the computer systems seen in the Minority Report.The current model uses six electromyography sensors (EMG) and two ground electrodes placed in a ring around a person’s upper right forearm for sensing finger movement. Two additional sensors are placed on the upper left forearm for identifying hand squeezes.Since the sensors can’t accurately interpret muscle activity, software must be used to train the associate electrical signals with different gestures. By using standard machine-learning algorithms, the software learns to recognize EMG signals produced by a user performing gestures. The algorithms use three aspects of the EMG signal: the magnitude of muscle activity, the rate of muscle activity, and the wave patterns taking place across several sensors at once. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen By attaching a band of electrodes to a person’s forearm, electrical activity can be read from different arm muscles. The signals are then compared to different hand gestures and processed by software. This scene is taken from the movie, Minority Report, that shows Tom Cruise accessing computer information using advanced gesture controls. Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Microsoft Researchers Developing Muscle-Based PC Interface (w/ Video) (2009, October 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-10-microsoft-muscle-based-pc-interface-video.html Play Video: Microsoft After the software is properly trained, using standard machine-learning algorithms, participants gestures were accurately determined 85 percent of the time. In the early stages of training, participants’ gestures must be carefully controlled so that the machine-learning algorithms are properly trained. The goal of this research is to provide a more seamless integration between user and computer. One day advance gesture control, using muscle-base interface, will become the norm and current PC interfaces, such as a mouse, will become obsolete.More information: Visit Microsoft Research for muCIsVia: Technology Review© 2009 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Microsoft researches have teamed up with the University of Washington and the University of Toronto to develop a muscle-controlled interface that allows for hands-free, gesture-driven interaction with computers. Security Alert: Beware of SMS Messages That Can Take Control of Your Phonelast_img read more

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Danish engineers planning manned space craft

first_imgTycho Brahe spacecraft designed and build by Kristian von Bengtson © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Danish engineers planning manned space craft (2010, August 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-08-danish-space-craft.html An unmanned test flight carrying a crash-test mannequin will be launched on 31 August by the Danish non-profit Copenhagen Suborbitals, and if successful, a manned suborbital flight could follow soon after. The rocket will be launched from the Baltic Sea, from a floating platform towed into position by a mini-submarine, also designed and built by the same group.The manned craft is known as the HEAT1X-Tycho Brahe after a 16th century aristocrat who identified a supernova. It is a single occupant capsule, and the passenger would stand in the cramped capsule looking out of a plexiglass dome.The rocket will take the capsule to a suborbital altitude of 30 km and then the booster will separate allowing the capsule to descend, with parachutes slowing its descent to a splashdown in water. On its way up the rocket will break the sound barrier, subjecting the passenger to almost 3-g forces. Movement will be limited to operating a camera, and reaching for an oxygen mask, vomit bag, the exit hatch, and manual override controls for booster separation.The HEAT1X rocket (for Hybrid Exo Atmospheric Transporter) will carry the one-person capsule. It is basically a 640 mm diameter tube about 10 meters long. It will burn for around 60 seconds and provide 40 kN of thrust. The rocket was successfully tested in May this year.The Tycho Brahe-1 spacecraft is a pressurized capsule with a polymer plexiglass dome. Having the astronaut stand enabled them to build a smaller diameter rocket. According to the group’s website the passenger will wear a pressure suit to control the orthostatic pressure, and their calculations indicate that “g-loads and g-load time will not become a problem.” The designers and builders of the craft, engineers Kristian von Bengtson and Peter Madsen, belong to the SomethingAwful web community and hope to show that space travel does not have to be the exclusive domain of groups with access to millions or billions of dollars. Their entire budget was a mere $63,000, all of it in donations and sponsorships, which von Bengtson (who once worked for NASA) said would “barely cover the cost of the key hole on the shuttle.”The Tycho Brahe is one of a series of suborbital craft the group is developing, and their aim is to use these vehicles to “pave the way for manned space flight on a micro size spacecraft.”Madsen and von Bengtson say the mission has a 100% peaceful purpose, and no explosive, nuclear, biological or chemical payloads will be carried. More information: copenhagensuborbitals.com/ Canadian Arrow Team Successfully Tests Crew Capsule (PhysOrg.com) — A couple of Danish engineers are working towards launching a human being into space. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Proof of life Reevaluating oldest known Archean trace fossil for indications of

first_img Citation: Proof of life: Reevaluating oldest known Archean trace fossil for indications of early biology (2014, June 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-06-proof-life-reevaluating-oldest-archean.html Titanite microtextures in Archean metavolcanic pillow lavas now comprising a chlorite dominated matrix, compared with partially mineralized microtunnels from younger oceanic crust. (A–F) A continuum of titanite microtextures from spheres with or without filamentous projections, to well-developed clusters with radiating filaments, LA tracks for U–Pb titanite dating are shown (white bands in C). (G) Partially mineralized microtubules radiating at high angles from a fracture in volcanic glass from Ocean Drilling Program hole 418A in the West Atlantic. (H) Curvilinear and spiral-shaped (Inset) microtunnels in volcanic glass of the Troodos ophiolite Cyprus (drill core CY-1A). (I) Histogram of measured Archean titanite filament widths (n = 303) in 12 samples from the Barberton drill core showing that they are much larger in diameter (dark green line = mean of 12 μm and light green band = SD) and span a wider range compared with microtubules in younger volcanic glass (dark purple line = mean of 1.3 μm and light purple band = SD, replotted from ref. 2). (Scale bars: 50 μm A–H except G and H, Insets, which are 10 μm.) Credit: Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1402565111 Dr. Eugene G. Grosch discussed the paper that he and Dr. Nicola McLoughlin published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Previous work2 argued that titanite formed inside, or infilled, hollow tubes initially proposed to have been made by microbes living in the volcanic subseafloor at around 3.472 billion years ago – but the age estimate of the trace fossil formation and mineralization was not well constrained,” Grosch tells Phys.org. “In our PNAS study we took a critical approach, conducting a syngenicity test of the previous bioalteration model to determine if the titanite did indeed form 3.472 billion years ago during subseafloor hydrothermal alteration and Paleoarchean glass microbial bioalteration.” Using two laser-ablation inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry, or LA-ICP-MS, instruments (single- and multi-collector), and a uranium-to-lead isotopic decay radiometric system, the scientists dated the titanite at roughly 2.9 billion years old – too recent for the titanite to be syngenetic with the 3.472 billion year old bioalteration model. “This was a challenge,” Grosch adds, “because these rocks are extremely old, so we had to be careful to take into account common lead in the titanite mineral.”In order to potentially make a claim or confirm earliest candidate traces of life in Archean subseafloor environments, the researchers propose that careful geological work should first be conducted and that low-temperature metamorphic events should be completely characterized in Archean greenstone belt pillow lavas (bulbous, spherical, or tubular lobes of lava attributed to subaqueous extrusion). They accomplished this by using a new quantitative electron microprobe microscale mapping technique to map the composition of different minerals associated with the putative titanite filaments. In addition, they applied an inverse thermodynamic modelling approach to the mineral chlorite in the maps and calculated a metamorphic temperature map in the matrix surrounding a candidate titanite trace fossil. Their results showed, for the first time, constraints on metamorphic conditions and that on a microscopic scale, the best-developed titanite filaments were associated with the low-temperature microdomains. “This discovery indicates a cooling history around the titanite filaments, and supports an abiotic – that is, not associated with life – mineral growth mechanism at 2.9 Ga,” Grosch explains. “This proves that the titanite was a result of much younger metamorphic growth and not related to the posited biological activity in the 3.472 Ga bioalteration model constructed by previous investigators. Moreover, filamentous titanite cannot be used as a biosignature because it has failed a wide range of syngenicity and biogenicity tests.” More information: Reassessing the biogenicity of Earth’s oldest trace fossil with implications for biosignatures in the search for early life, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Published online before print on May 27, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1402565111Related:1Ultramafic rocks are <45% silica, >18% magnesium oxide, high iron oxide, low potassium igneous and metamorphosed igneous, or metaigneous, rocks usually composed of >90% mafic (dark-colored, high magnesium, high iron) minerals2 Early Life Recorded in Archean Pillow Lavas, Science 23 April 2004: Vol. 304 no. 5670 pp. 578-581, doi:10.1126/science.10958583 Sulfur isotope evidence for a Paleoarchean subseafloor biosphere, Barberton, South Africa, Geology v.40 no.11 p.1031-1034 (2012), doi:10.1130/G33313.14 Microscale mapping of alteration conditions and potential biosignatures in basaltic-ultramafic rocks on early Earth and beyond, Astrobiology March 2014 14(3):216-28, doi:10.1089/ast.2013.1116 Finding that these titanite microtextures exhibit a morphological continuum bearing no similarity to candidate biotextures found in the modern oceanic crust also supports their conclusions. “One of the main lines of evidence in our study that questions the biogenicity of the titanite microtextures is the huge range of shapes and sizes that they exhibit,” Grosch tells Phys.org. “This contradicts the general principle accepted by palaeontologists that a fossil population should show a restricted size distribution that reflects biological control on growth, as opposed to self-organizing abiotic processes that do not show restricted size distributions. Furthermore, we argue that the growth continuum in the Barberton titanite microtextures, from oval-shaped hornfelsic (thermally metamorphosed rock) structures with few projections to coalesced oval-shaped structures that progress into bands with increasing number and size of filamentous projections, records an abiotic, metamorphic growth process and not the earlier seafloor trace fossil model. Lastly, in contrast to the microtextures of argued biogenic origin from the modern oceanic crust which do show a narrow size distribution and specific shapes, the Barberton microtextures show a much greater range in sizes – at least an order of magnitude greater – and a much larger spectrum of morphologies.”To address the challenges encountered in their research, Grosch says that the key insight was that all the tests and in situ data indicated that titanite microtextures failed as a biosignature that represents Earth’s oldest trace fossil. “In addition,” he notes, “there are no organics such as decayed carbon or nitrogen associated with the titanite; the size, shape and distribution of the filamentous titanite are all not compatible with that expected for a biogenic population; the age is much too young at 2.8-2.9 billion years ago; and the quantitative petrological mapping indicates a thermal history compatible with an abiotic growth of titanite filaments, not as infilling minerals as previous studies have proposed.” (Petrology is the branch of geology that studies the origin, composition, distribution and structure of rocks.). Grosch concludes that filamentous titanite microtextures, such as those in the Barberton pillow lavas, can no longer be used as a biological search image for life in Archean metavolcanic glass, and that other search images combined with morphological and biogeochemical evidence for early life need to be found. “If we want to make a robust case for early life preserved in Archean volcanic rocks or any other ancient rock, we need to look for early morphological and biogeochemical biosignatures – but we also have to combine these with high-resolution 2- and 3-dimensional mapping and reconstructions,” he points out. “We also need to prove a ‘fossil’ is a very early structure preserved in the rock and not a later abiotic feature. We need to find new ways to carefully peel back layers of deep geological time and eliminate all abiotic scenarios first before we can be sure of an early body or trace fossil.” , Science Pillow lava outcrop formed when hot magma erupted onto the Archean ocean from the previously proposed Biomarker type locality in the Barberton Greenstone Belt of South Africa. Courtesy: Nicola McLoughlin Regarding biogeochemical traces of life on early Earth, the scientists have found that the sulfur isotopes of microscopic sulfide minerals found in the Barberton pillow lavas have unusually large fractionations (the ratio of light to heavy 32 to 34 sulfur atoms), and that this could record the activities of sulfur-based microbes in the Archean subseafloor. “In a previous study led by co-author Dr. Nicola McLoughlin3,” Grosch continues, “we suggested that these types of chemical signatures need to be further investigated as possible alternative evidence for an early subseafloor biosphere on early Earth. Such signatures are known from ancient sediments, where they are widely accepted as evidence of early sulfur based life forms – but this was the first and earliest evidence from subseafloor volcanic rocks.” In a previous work3, the scientists state that alternatives such as sulfur isotope fractionations recorded by basalt-hosted sulfides could be more promising in the search for evidence of ancient life. Grosch notes that today’s microbes use the light isotope in their metabolic pathways, such as 32S in microbial sulfate reduction. As a consequence, when seawater sulfate is used for energy by these microbes, the mineral pyrite, or FeS2, is formed as a reaction byproduct. As such, the fraction in the sulfur 32S/34 S ratio is large and can therefore be measured in the FeS2. “We can measure the pyrite 32S/34S ratio relative to an international standard derived from meteoritic sulfide and use the degree of fractionation as a biogeochemical marker. That’s a wide range of 32/34S ratios – and a negative range is a good geochemical sign of possible early Archean microbial life.”Grosch also discusses the prospect of looking for signs of early life in extraterrestrial mafic-ultramafic rocks by adopting a highly critical and multi-pronged analytical testing approach towards biogenicity. “Until one day in the future when space missions return samples from Mars, we have to use satellite-based remote sensing techniques to investigate the abundant mafic-ultramafic rocks found on Mars.” (He adds that Martian meteorites are also of interest – particularly a group called Nakhalites that contain igneous minerals and are believed to show evidence of aqueous alteration and possible biosignatures) A good strategy,” he says, “would be to focus on locations where there’s strong evidence for water-rock interaction and preserved organic carbon, because these sites may have chemical gradients that could help sustain microbes.” In fact, in another study4 the scientists explore how microscale mapping of the low-temperature minerals in such rocks could be used to investigate their alteration history and to evaluate the possibility of preserving chemical and textural traces of life in extra-terrestrial mafic-ultramafic rocks. Quantitative microscale maps of candidate titanite biosignatures and surrounding metamorphic conditions in Archean metabasaltic pillow lavas from the BGB. (A) Map of TiO2 (wt%) showing the image of titanite filaments of interest (arrows) highlighted in the dashed-line box. (B) Calculated metamorphic conditions in the chlorite matrix using a chlorite thermodynamic modeling approach (SI Materials and Methods). The dashed-line box highlights a typical area with well-developed titanite microfilaments surrounded by chlorite pixels recording relatively low temperature conditions of less than T = 350 °C (pixel group 2). (C and D) Image pixel grouping above and below the mean value of T = 350 °C, indicating a higher proportion of pixels recording conditions below T = 350 °C surrounding the titanite microfilaments (dashed-line box in C). In D the y axis variable Al(iv) = atoms per formula unit of Al4+ in tetrahedral coordination modeled in the chlorite crystal structure. Credit: Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1402565111 , Astrobiology Grosch notes that there are other areas of research that might benefit from their study. “In the field of paleontology, fossil experts now need to go and look for the oldest robust trace fossils – and while that our study questions the evidence in ancient metamorphic pillow lavas, and that the oldest bona fide candidate trace fossil comes from 1.7 billion year old rocks in China, if paleontologists look harder and in the right places, they may find trace fossils and evidence of microbial activities in older rocks, such as silicified seafloor sediments or in shallow marine Archean environments. In addition, from our findings we propose to astrobiologists and planetary scientists that looking for filamentous titanite microtextures as an extraterrestrial biosignature is misleading, and therefore they should seek other evidence for subsurface life on other wet rocky planets in our solar system – especially Mars – and possibly beyond.”center_img , Geology Explore further (Phys.org) —In the hunt for early life, geobiologists seek evidence of ancient microbes in the form of trace fossils – geological records of biological activity – embedded in lavas beneath the ocean floor. Filamentous titanite (a calcium titanium silicate mineral) microtextures found in 3.45 billion-year-old volcanic pillow lavas of the Barberton greenstone belt of South Africa, have been argued previously2 to be Earth’s oldest trace fossil, representing the mineralized remains of microbial tunnels in seafloor volcanic glass. However, scientists at the University of Bergen, Norway have reported new data based on in situ U-Pb (uranium-lead) dating, metamorphic temperature mapping constraints and morphological observations that bring the biological origin of these fossils into serious question. The new age determined for the titanite microtextures is much younger than the eruptive and seafloor hydrothermal age of the previously proposed bioalteration model. As a result, the researchers have analyzed these fossils’ syngenicity (age as estimated by a textural, chemical, mineral, or biological feature formed at the same time as its encapsulating material) and biogenicity (any chemical and/or morphological signature preserved over a range of spatial scales in rocks, minerals, ice, or dust particles that are uniquely produced by past or present organisms). The scientists conclude that the oldest bona fide biogenic trace fossil now reverts to roughly 1.7 Ga microborings in silicified stromatolites found in China, and that the search for subsurface life – both on the early Earth as well as in extraterrestrial mafic–ultramafic rocks1, such as Martian basalts – be based not only on new biosignatures, but on new detection techniques as well. “We need to look carefully for possible microbe morphologies and possible preserved microbial activity in extraterrestrial samples. We need to apply new thermodynamic and high-resolution analytical petrological techniques such as metamorphic, nano-SIMS and soft X-ray (synchrotron) mapping techniques to understand very low-temperature conditions of hydrothermal alteration and possible signs and preservation of microbial life in samples from other rocky planets, such as Mars.”Moving forward, Grosch identifies the key next steps in their research and other possible innovations:Extensive geological mapping of the Barberton Greenstone Belt, South Africa to identify alternative locations and evidence for early microbial lifeFurther studies of recent seafloor volcanic glass to establish if the microtunnels are really the product of microbial life – and if so, what type of microorganisms are involvedFurther geochronological work – that is, radiometric dating to better establish the timing of geological events and age of different environments in these ancient Archean rocksDevelopment and refinement of thermodynamic models, in metamorphic petrology tools and in situ geochemistry techniques to better characterize and test microscopic textural and chemical evidence of putative life in Archean rocksApply and compare multiple high-resolution techniques to candidate biosignatures in ancient rocks © 2014 Phys.org Contrasting models for the origin of titanite microtextures in Archean pillow lavas of the BGB. (A) The complex microbial bioalteration or bioerosion model previously proposed by refs. 1–3 involving inferred microbial etching to form hollow microtubules, with a titanite infilling process and early ca. 3.488 Ga seafloor hydrothermal alteration. (B) An alternative, abiotic metamorphic origin for the titanite microtextures proposed in the current study as the most likely scenario. The titanite microtextures form as a result of retrograde alteration in a late Archean contact metamorphic aureole during intrusion of a mafic igneous body at ca. 2.9 Ga. Progressive development of the titanite porphyroblast is shown on a pressure–temperature (PT) diagram with relevant reactions for metabasaltic rocks from refs. 4–8. The retrograde metamorphic path during thermal contact metamorphism of the pillow lava country rock adjacent to the mafic intrusion is indicated by the red arrow. Fresh basaltic glass and anhydrous minerals in the pillow basalt, such as clinopyroxene, plagioclase and ilmenite become unstable during alteration and are converted to the assemblage actinolite + epidote + chlorite + albite + quartz + titanite. The appearance of this mineral assemblage marks the transition to the greenschist facies and is the result of net transfer and exchange metamorphic hydration reactions (relevant reactions). The continuous growth of titanite microtextures as abiotic metamorphic porphyroblasts is shown from i to iv and occurs under increasing fluid/rock ratios and decreasing temperature along the retrograde PT path on the diagram. Amph, amphibolite facies BS, blueschist facies; GS, greenschist facies; PA, pumpellyite–actinolite, pumpellyite–prehnite, and prehnite–actinolite facies; Ze, zeolite facies. Minerals: Act, actinolite; An, anorthite (or plagioclase); Cln, clinochlore (or chlorite); Cpx, clinopyroxene; Czo, clinozoisite (or epidote); Ilm, ilmenite; Pmp, pumpellyite; Prh, prehnite; Qtz, quartz; Tn, titanite (or sphene). Credit: Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1402565111 A 3.45-billion-year-old diet Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Reactive optical matter Lightinduced motion

first_img © 2018 Science X Network Newton’s third law dictates that forces between interacting particles are equal and opposite for closed systems. In a non-equilibrium environment, the third law can be defied, giving rise to “nonreciprocal” forces. Theoretically, this was shown when dissimilar, optically trapped particles were mediated by an external field. In a recent study, Yuval Yifat and colleagues measured the net nonreciprocal forces in electrodynamically interacting, asymmetric nanoparticle dimers and nanoparticle aggregates. In the experiments, the nanoparticle structures were confined to pseudo one-dimensional geometries and illuminated by plane waves. The observed motion was due to the conservation of total momentum for particles and fields with broken mirror symmetry (represented by a changed direction of motion). The results are now published on Light: Science & Applications. Journal information: Light: Science & Applications A schematic diagram of the experiment: a) Example trajectories for a homodimer (black) and a heterodimer (color) that are moving in counterclockwise (green) and clockwise (blue) directions. Distribution of instantaneous angular velocities (gray dots) and the mean angular velocities of the homodimers (b, black) and heterodimers (c, orange) as a function of interparticle separation. The bin size is 300 nm. The mean angular velocity value was calculated by fitting a Gaussian function to the instantaneous velocity distribution. The error bars are the 3σ confidence intervals for fitted means of the distribution. Positive velocity is defined as motion of the heterodimer toward the larger NP. d) The calculated mean square displacement (MSD) values for the homodimer data that are shown in (b) (black), the heterodimer data that are shown in (c) (orange), and the subset of the heterodimer data where the interparticle separation was ≤1.2 μm (red). Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41377-018-0105-y Video of gold (Au) nanoparticle clusters in the ring trap. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41377-018-0105-y Thereafter, Yifat et al. imaged the representative time trajectories of θc (the central angle of the pair) for the heterodimers and homodimers. In the heterodimers, motion of the pair was directed toward the larger particle and therefore could move clockwise or counterclockwise, around the ring depending on its orientation. The scientists repeated the experiments and combined the results. In the combined data with different heterodimer orientations, positive velocity was defined as the vector from the smaller sample toward the larger particle. For instance, the heterodimers exhibited a positive mean angular velocity at an optical binding separation of 600 ± 150 nm and a negative mean angular velocity when the separation was larger at 900 ± 150 nm. In contrast, the mean angular velocity for a homodimer was zero for all separations. The change in mean velocity and the motion of the heterodimer pair toward the larger, thermally hotter particle was due to the electromagnetic field and not due to heat-induced self-thermophoresis (i.e. local temperature gradient generated due to laser adsorption by the metal-coated particles). In this way, the scientists experimentally demonstrated light-driven motion of heterodimers and asymmetric scatterers in optical ring traps to quantify net nonreciprocal forces in one-dimensional plane wave-fields. Although the experiments were confined to a ring trap in this study, the strategy is transferable to any optically trapped matter structure that exhibits electromagnetic asymmetry. The optical trapping used in the study offered solutions to the experimental challenge of generating directed motion at the nanoscale. Nonreciprocal forces in the study created the self-motile particles without the use of chemical environments, chemical fuels or complex structures.The electrodynamic theory and simulations that were simultaneously conducted in the study also showed that interparticle interactions caused asymmetric scattering in the heterodimers. The work thus fundamentally followed Noether’s theorem (the symmetry of the action of a physical system contains a corresponding conservation law). Accordingly, Yuvat et al. rationalize that the observed self-motility and the quantified nonreciprocal forces followed from the conservation of total momentum of particles and fields, for systems with broken symmetry. The scientists envision the use of such light-driven asymmetric nanoparticle assemblies as active colloids with artificial chemotactic systems, and as fully operational “nanoswimmers” for research in soft condensed matter and biophysics. Citation: Reactive optical matter: Light-induced motion (2018, December 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-reactive-optical-light-induced-motion.html Video of the silver (Ag) heterodimer in a ring trap – motion in a counter-clockwise direction. Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41377-018-0105-y Diagram of the experimental optical trap described in the text. The setup contains a spatial light modulator (SLM), dark field condenser (DF Cond.), dichroic-mirror (DM) and quarter wave plate (QWP). The trapping laser is reflected from the SLM, which is used for beam shaping. Dark-field illumination that scatters from the Ag (silver) nanoparticles is collected by the microscope objective, spectrally filtered and imaged to a sCMOS (scientific CMOS) array detector camera. b) Depicts the phase mask used to create the ring trap used in the experiments. c) Image of the ring trap on the sCMOS detector. The Gaussian spot in the center is the zero-order reflection of the trapping laser from the SLM. The spot did not affect the experiments since the trap had a larger diameter (scale bar 1 µm). Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41377-018-0105-y The ability to convert light energy into self-directed motion with light-driven nanomotors or micromachines has already attracted great interest. A variety of methods in optics can produce rotational motion or give rise to translational motion with photoreactive materials. The promise to engineer light-driven nanomotors arose from recent theoretical work, which predicted that dissimilar particles illuminated by an electromagnetic plane wave, will experience a nonreciprocal net force. The predicted nonreciprocal forces were demonstrated with simulations to vary very little with interparticle separation. However, straightforward experimental evidence on the phenomenon was not presented thus far. Exploring the reactive optical effects can open new possibilities of self-assembling, light-driven micromachines to herald a new field in optics and photonics. To fill the experimental gap, in the present study, Yifat et al. demonstrated self-motility using optically bound dimers of disproportionate metallic nanoparticles (NPs). The experimental findings were also supported by quantitative electrodynamic simulations. Aside from dimers, the scientists similarly generated and measured the motion of asymmetric nanoparticle clusters or assemblies. To perform the experiments, Yifat et al. used a standard optical trapping setup with a Ti:Sapphire laser operating at a wavelength of 790 nm. A tightly focused, circularly polarized spatially phase-modulated beam of light formed an optical ring trap. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Yifat et al. observed a “heterodimer” of dissimilar particles in which the directed motion of electrodynamically interacting pairs were toward the larger particle. Conversely, when two particles of the same size, termed a “homodimer” came into close proximity, directed motion was not observed. The results were in agreement with the forces calculated using the generalized Mie theory (GMT). The scientists did not observe full or free rotation in the experiment – the manifested torque and its effect will be investigated further in future work. More information: Yuval Yifat et al. Reactive optical matter: light-induced motility in electrodynamically asymmetric nanoscale scatterers, Light: Science & Applications (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41377-018-0105-y Philosophiae naturalis principia mathematica. Londoni, Jussu Societatis Regiae ac typis Josephi Streater, 1687. www.worldcat.org/title/philoso … osephi-streater-1687 A. V. Ivlev et al. Statistical Mechanics where Newton’s Third Law is Broken, Physical Review X (2015). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.5.011035 Vítězslav Karásek et al. Dynamics of an optically bound structure made of particles of unequal sizes, Optics Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1364/OL.42.001436 Hongxu Chen et al. Light-Powered Micro/Nanomotors, Micromachines (2018). DOI: 10.3390/mi9020041 , Optics Letters “Nonreciprocal” force-induced dynamics. a) Example trajectories for a homodimer (black) and a heterodimer (color) that are moving in counterclockwise (green) and clockwise (blue) directions. Distribution of instantaneous angular velocities (gray dots) and the mean angular velocities of the homodimers (b, black) and heterodimers (c, orange) as a function of interparticle separation. The bin size is 300 nm. The mean angular velocity value was calculated by fitting a Gaussian function to the instantaneous velocity distribution. The error bars are the 3σ confidence intervals for fitted means of the distribution. Positive velocity is defined as motion of the heterodimer toward the larger NP. d) The calculated mean square displacement (MSD) values for the homodimer data that are shown in (b) (black), the heterodimer data that are shown in (c) (orange), and the subset of the heterodimer data where the interparticle separation was ≤1.2 μm (red). Credit: Light: Science & Applications, doi: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41377-018-0105-y New device could help answer fundamental questions about quantum physics The findings agreed with previous publications on the asymmetry of light scattered by optically trapped objects. The simulated motion was similarly directed from the small particle to the larger particle. The scientists observed a separation-dependent imbalance of angular scattering (where more light was scattered in one direction than another). The asymmetry in far-field scattering created a force on the dimer, setting it in motion as observed. Similar asymmetric scattering was previously observed for plasmonic nanoantenna. Yifat et al. used the same experimental approach to study gold (Au) nanostar dimers and large asymmetric aggregates of gold nanoparticles. In the study, the motion of a trapped mixture of silver (Ag) nanoparticles with 150 nm – 200 nm diameter were measured using dark-field microscopy at a high frame rate of 290 fps. The particles were tracked, and their precise position used to calculate the angular position (θi) on the ring. The scientists conducted particle imaging and tracking using the mosaic particle tracking toolbox available via Image J software. , Physical Review Xlast_img read more

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A Slice of Bengal

first_imgStarted in 2012, Slice of Bengal is a unique venture of Olive Tree Retail Pvt. Ltd. which was initiated by Amurto and Tina Basuray.The main idea behind this concept was to promote the traditional and contemporary fashion from Bengal.The brand, which stands by the name, Slice of Bengal today, sources all its products directly from the artisans and craftsmen of rural Bengal thereby promoting their artwork to greater masses.It is an emporium of hand-crafted Bangla-origin apparels, jewellery, handbags, artefacts, sarees and dress materials which carry the pure essence and heart for Bengal. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Tina Basuray is the founder director of Slice of Bengal and director at Olive Tree Retail Pvt. Ltd. which is a parent company for multiple brands in India.Olive Tree Retail also hosts their own brands like babeezworld and Slice of Bengal. Tina, who is a Political Science Graduate from Delhi University, has worked with retail brands like Adidas India.She has also been associated with World Health Organization as and Pride International, world’s largest oil exploration company in Dubai.The other founder and curator of this organisation is Amurto Basuray who is the Managing Director of Olive Tree Retail Pvt. Ltd.Amurto also promotes an ecommerce venture that deals in baby care products babeezworld.com and an concept merchandise and handicraft store Slice of Bengal.Amurto is a management graduate in International Business from IIFT New Delhi. Head over and check what they have to offer!last_img read more

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Fit and fine

first_imgA fitness workshop has been organised by Bodhi, a NGO in association with  Bindiya Bhandari and Chirag Sethi that can help you to cultivate a healthy body, quiet mind, open heart and vibrant spirit. The workshop will start off with talk about the process Kundali Yoga, and the philosophy behind it, understanding the workings of the mind and its psychology.  The technical aspects about the process imply the holistic science, posture alignment and breathing techniques. Moving toward the  process which comprises of a combination of kriya’s which is called movements, asanas( posture), breath, focus, chant and the music intelligently sequenced to co-ordinate with the movements, followed by guided yoga nidra and conscious relaxation. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Kundali Yoga is  a combination of all the yogic and scientific methods working with the nervous systems, glandular systems and the other systems within the body. It is perhaps the only yoga practice that divide the yoga community into two halves- the believers and the scepties. Bodhi is a international organisation devoted towards transforming human consciousness. Working on human problems such as stress, depression, emotional, anxiety, relationship, marital, addiction, psychological, physiological, philosophical, it has developed various courses and workshops specially designed for the generation of today considering all the difficulties faced by the individuals of today and the compatibility of body-mind to deal with all these issues and difficulties.last_img read more

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For the child unborn

first_imgTu Kaisi Maa- a dance ballet on women empowerment  and New Life, a drama on cancer is being organised in the Capital by Urvashi Dance Music Art and Cultural Society together with Youwecan. Kanya Bhrun hatya (female feticide) is selectively eliminating fetus of a girl in the womb itself. Need of the hour is to enlighten the society about the sin/crime towards the mankind, its implications and remedies thereto. With this objective Urvashi Dance Academy, headed by renowned Kathak exponent Rekha Mehra, is all set to produce and present a Ballet titled Tu Kaisi Maa?. It is proposed to produce the ballet alongside the visual effects in the background. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Play is called New Life,A drama on Cancer. It  will be performed on December 12 at , Chinmay Mission, Lodhi Road, in the Capital. In Hindu religion, killing someone without a fight has been known as Hatya or murder and has been despised as an heinous sin/crime, requiring stringent repentance/punishment. Men being the stronger sex have ruled like a lion king in the jungle with their prowess. However, history is full of examples of women proving themselves stronger morally, culturally and ethically. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe word Maa(mother) remind one of Goddesses. In the same religious society how come innocent fetus is destroyed in the ovarian cage itself, even before seeing the daylight? Most ironical fact is that this crime is deliberately allowed by the mother herself, after detection of the fetal gender through medical means and saddest part is that majority of such cases involve an enthusiastic participation of women, both old and young. Family pressures apart, unplanned pregnancy is generally the reason behind abortion. Another interesting fact is coming to the fore and is that of increase in the number of cases of rape in India, mainly due to diminishing women : men ratio. Where: Chinmoy Mission When: December 12last_img read more

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Paul van Ass named new hockey coach

first_imgFormer Dutch national team coach Paul van Ass was on Friday named as the new head coach of India’s men’s hockey team, ending three months of uncertainly after Australian Terry Walsh quit under controversial circumstances. While 54-year-old Van Ass, who was at the helm of affairs of the Dutch team from 2010 to 2014, will take charge of the men’s team, New Zealand’s Anthony Thornton, 47, will replace Neil Hawgood as the coach of the women’s senior team. According to a statement from SAI, the name of the coaches were finalised at a special selection committee meeting headed by secretary sports and interim director general of SAI Ajit Sharan, Hockey India president Narinder Batra, high performance director Roelant Oltmans and Olympian Harbinder Singh, among others.last_img

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Lemon juice nutritious diet can erase stretch marks

first_imgMandeep Singh, consultant cosmetic and plastic surgery, Paras Hospitals, Gurgaon, suggests useful tips:Drink water: Drink eight to 10 glasses of water a day and you will notice a visible change in the sharpness of the stretch mark, which means their prominence on your skin will reduce.Nutritious diet: Choose a balanced and nutritious diet that is rich in Vitamins C and E, zinc, silica and other nutrients to nourish your skin. Vitamin C, in particular, is essential for renewing connective tissue. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Include a variety of foods such as strawberries, blueberries, spinach, carrots, green beans, collard greens, nuts and seeds in your diet.Lemon juice: Lemon juice is a natural acid that will bleach your stretch marks. Rub lemon juice on your stretch marks in circular motion. Let it stay on there for 10 minutes before you rinse it off.Creams and moisturisers: Use creams and moisturizers that help to create skin elasticity. Lotions and creams work best for new stretch marks, but they can help with old ones. They are just not as effective though. A cream with retinoic acid cream works best for new stretch marks. You can apply the cream on your skin as you lose weight.last_img read more

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In a first KMC to sell plot for private commercial venture

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) for the first time in its history will be selling a plot for private commercial venture. The land parcel of 7.44 acres for outright sale is located in the upmarket locality of New Alipore at the junction of Basantalal Saha Road and Roy Bahadur Road under ward 117.There have been a number of instances when KMC has leased out plots of land for commercial venture. However, senior KMC officials said that the civic body has never ventured into outright sale of land. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe KMC has already started an aggressive advertisement campaign in the form of hoardings at prime locations in the city, to apprise people of their venture.”The place is at a walking distance from Tollygunge Circular Road. Two Metro stations – Rabindra Sarobar and Mahanayak Uttam Kumar, are also at a close proximity. A new bridge connecting Prince Anwar Shah Road with B L Saha Road has also been proposed, which will make communication faster in the days to come,” said a senior KMC official. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe official added that the possession of the land will be faster with KMC being the agency for mutation and sanction of building plan. The land is well demarcated with a boundary wall.”Urban Land Ceiling (ULC) clearance will be given by the competent authority before initial payment. The site already has ready electric connection, water supply system and modern drainage facilities. The mode of payment will be attractive and easy to facilitate the free hold transfer of the land,” the official added. It may be mentioned that the land which the civic body is offering for outright sale, earlier housed a factory of country liquor that had closed down a long time ago.The details regarding the land parcel offer has been notified in the website of KMC- kmcgov.in. The applications will be accepted from October 26 to November 11. The e-auction will start on November 26 at 12 noon and end on November 28 at 5 pm.Special Municipal Commissioner (Development & General) will be supervising the entire process to ensure transparency.last_img read more

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Eat more fruits in adolescence to lower breast cancer risk

first_imgGirls who eat more high-fibre foods during adolescence – especially lots of fruits and vegetables – may have significantly lower breast cancer risk than those who eat less dietary fibre when young, new research has found.For each additional 10 grams of fibre intake daily – for example, about one apple and two slices of whole wheat bread, or about half a cup each of cooked kidney beans and cooked cauliflower or squash – during early adulthood, breast cancer risk drops by 13 per cent, the findings of this large scale study showed.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“From many other studies we know that breast tissue is particularly influenced by carcinogens and anticarcinogens during childhood and adolescence,” said senior author of the study Walter Willett, professor at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.“We now have evidence that what we feed our children during this period of life is also an important factor in future cancer risk,” Willett noted.The researchers believe that eating more fibre-rich foods may lessen breast cancer risk partly by helping to reduce high estrogen levels in the blood, which are strongly linked with breast cancer development. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe study was be published online in the journal Pediatrics. “This work on the role of nutrition in early life and breast cancer incidence suggests one of the very few potentially modifiable risk factors for premenopausal breast cancer,” lead author of the study Maryam Farvid from Harvard Chan School noted.The researchers looked at a group of 90,534 women who participated in the Nurses’ Health Study II, a large long-running investigation of factors that influence women’s health. Breast cancer risk was 12-19 per cent lower among women who ate more dietary fibre in early adulthood, depending on how much more they ate, the study said.last_img read more

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Mani Sankar Mukherji gets D Litt

first_imgKolkata: Renowned Bengali author Mani Sankar Mukherji popularly known as Sankar has been conferred D Litt (Honoris Causa) by Bankura University on Thursday for his contribution to Bengali literature.The honour was handed over to Sankar by the University Vice-Chancellor Prof Deb Narayan Bandyopadhyay. He was reminiscing his early days as a writer and said: “I feel so happy that you have thought it worthwhile at the fag-end of my life to bestow this honour on me which my mother did not live long enough to see.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSankar has written over 80 novels, short stories, travelogues, biographies and historical pieces. Oscar winning film director Satyajit Ray made two films based on Mukherji’s novels — Seemabaddha and Jana Aranya. Mukherji’s first book based on the last days of the last British Barrister in Calcutta was serialised in a weekly magazine from 1954 and created a literary sensation across India. This was followed by ‘Chowringhee’, a novel on the city’s hotel life, which has found a worldwide readership and admiration through translations. The translations of his novels and biographies have appeared in many languages across India, as also in other nations like Britain, France, Italy, Spain and China. It may be mentioned Sankar was also awarded an honorary D Litt by the University of North Bengal.last_img read more

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Get some sari makeover this wedding season

first_imgSari is one outfit that remains evergreen – because it is elegant, sustainable, and versatile. It can make you look vivacious and sexy, but this wedding season create a new look with this six-yard wonder by draping it differently, adding a layering or accessorising it in a new way. One of the most edgy ways to spice up your sari is by adding Capes in neutrals and black tones that are right on trend, whatever be the season. For an ultimate festive look, go for a classy golden brocade or sheer cape.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelf Another stylish and easy hack to amp your sari is wearing it with ethnic shrugs and jackets. After selecting the sari, team it up with an appropriate jacket blouse. From short or waistcoat-like jackets to peplum, sleeveless or collared jackets, all these work as wonderful cover-ups for both casual or heavy party look, and you can never go wrong with them. One can also add zing and royalty by wearing a long embellished velvet jacket and protect oneself from winter at the same time. An embellished collar can be adorned with a low-neckline blouse and the collar’s design elements can compensate for any kind of heavy duty neckpiece.  Add instant drama and Indo-western look by putting on a cowl accessory! For the slender bride, an embellished front cowl top could enhance the silhouette of the draped sari.last_img read more

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Heavy rainfall warning issued in state

first_imgKolkata: The Regional Meteorological Centre (RMC) of Kolkata on Saturday issued a heavy rainfall warning for around 10 districts of West Bengal ahead of the approaching storm. “Yesterday’s (Friday) deep depression over the southeast Bay of Bengal moved west-northwestwards with a speed of 13 kmph. It is very likely to intensify further into a Cyclonic Storm during the next 24 hours and into a Severe Cyclonic Storm in subsequent 24 hours,” RMC Kolkata said in a statement. The storm lay centred about 440 km east-northeast of Trincomalee (Sri Lanka), 690 km southeast of Chennai (Tamil Nadu) and 890 km south-southeast of Machilipatnam (Andhra Pradesh). Ahead of the approaching storm, the weathermen predicted rainfall at many places with heavy rain at one or two places likely over East and West Midnapur, Jhargram, Bankura, North and South 24 Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly districts of West Bengal on December 17. On December 18, North and South 24 Parganas, East and West Burdwan, Nadia, Murshidabad and Birbhum districts of Bengal are likely to get heavy rainfall.last_img read more

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World Hepatitis DayExpecting mothers with hepatitis C have 90 chance of infecting

first_imgThe parents of 31-year-old Naina Bharali are worried since their only daughter has been diagnosed with cirrhosis (liver cancer) — caused by the hepatitis C virus. She is four months pregnant and they fear the new born will also get infected by the blood-borne viral disease. The confused Bharali does not know how she got the disease, but doctors she is consulting on a regular basis suspect she received infected blood almost a decade ago when she had met with an accident. Now, the only priority for Bharali’s parents is to get her proper medication and prevent her foetus from getting affected by the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”A child born to a HCV-positive mother has a 90 per cent chance of carrying the viral infection. Such children usually develop chronic HCV and, without treatment, progress to chronic liver disease and liver failure,” Manish S. Bhatnagar, Consultant Gastroenterologist and Hepatologist cum Director of Ahmedabad’s Icon Hospital, told IANS. According to an Indian Society for Clinical Research, the country “carries a high burden of this disease…has 17 per cent of the global population and 20 per cent of the global disease burden. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”But less than 1.4 percent of all global clinical trials are done in India,” according to an ISCR statement issued on Friday.President ISCR Chirag Trivedi said it “is crucial for us to scale-up clinical research for many of our public health challenges, including hepatitis.” Last year, the then president, Suneela Thatte, had said in a press release that hepatitis C alone affected an estimated 12 million people in India.More worryingly, there has been an eight per cent rise in the number of HCV cases among pregnant women in the last one decade. Experts say that babies born with HCV often have a mild liver disease and around 80 per cent have very low to no liver scarring in the first 18 years. However, the actual nature of the disease becomes apparent once the child reaches adulthood as HCV usually takes more than a decade to cause liver problems — but whenever it happens, it is disastrous. The Hepatitis C virus can cause both acute and chronic hepatitis, ranging in severity from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious, lifelong illness. Most common modes of infection are through exposure to small quantities of blood. This may happen through injection drug use, unsafe injection practices, unsafe health care and the transfusion of unscreened blood and blood products.Bhatnagar said that HCV cases in women are fast increasing due to unsafe injection practices, promiscuity and unsafe sex, unsanitary delivery practices, rising intravenous drug use and usage of unsafe blood products from unregistered blood banks.According to global health bodies, an estimated 71 million people have chronic hepatitis C infection. A significant number of them will develop cirrhosis or liver cancer. Approximately 399,000 people die each year from hepatitis C, mostly from cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma.Neerav Goyal, Senior Consultant — Liver Transplant, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals, said HCV in pregnant women in India has been reported more from rural areas compared to urban areas.”One of the reasons attributed is the increased incidence of anaemia in the rural population with a consequent higher chance of using contaminated needles and syringes for its treatment. A higher incidence has also been reported from multigravida, where previous pregnancies, hospital admissions, obstetrical surgeries and blood transfusions have lead to an increase incidence of HCV infection,” said Goyal.According to the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, transfusion of unscreened blood in patients till 2002 had been one of the major reasons behind spread of Hepatitis C. Following 2002, the government has been strict on measures against infected blood.Commenting on cases of HCV among pregnant women, Roy Patankar, a prominent Mumbai-based gastroenterologist and Director of Zen Hospital, said that as the impact of this illness on children is not as much in the initial days as that of an adult, many doctors opt for a wait-and-watch approach. Until they reach an appropriate age for therapy, doctors do not prefer any treatment.Antiviral medicines can cure more than 95 per cent of persons with HCV infection, thereby reducing the risk of death from liver cancer and cirrhosis, but access to diagnosis and treatment is low. There is currently no vaccine for HCV, but research in this area is ongoing.”HCV can usually be treated using antiviral medicines, although currently there is no vaccine for HCV, research is on. Recently, few Indian firms have received licenses to manufacture HCV drugs as the country’s capabilities in generic manufacturing, where quality and low cost co-exist, is quite well known,” said Patankar.As far as research on the development of new medicine for HCV is concerned, a lot of effort is being put in worldwide. However, most of the breakthrough drugs have come from the US and Europe so far. India’s pharma prowess has ensured the lowest rates of these antivirals, thereby making them accessible to most of the patients.Sofosobuvir, Ledipasvir Ribavarin, Veltapasvir, Grazoprevir, Elbasvir and PEG-Interferon are some of the latest drugs against HCV.Sofosbuvir is a direct-acting antiviral drug that targets different steps of the HCV lifecycle. The medicine blocks the polymerase enzyme that the virus uses to replicate.Ramesh Garg, Senior Consultant at Gastroenterology at the city-based Saroj Hospital, said that earlier, HCV treatment was difficult and came with a lot of side effects, but since the advent of direct acting antivirals, there have been significantly higher cure rates.last_img read more

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Dogs may become doggos soon MerriamWebster

first_imgThe term “doggos” – internetspeak for “dogs” – has spread across social media in such proportion that the dictionary deciders at Merriam-Webster have taken note of the nonword and deemed it a word they will be watching in 2018. Twitter is awash with pictures of “doggos” meaning “adorable, photogenic dogs looking pensive, jubilant and just plain cute”.The term most often used alongside pictures of “social-media users’ good boys and girls”, has gotten so popular that Merriam-Webster said on its website that its editors deemed “doggo” a “Word We’re Watching” in 2018. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSocial-media users have enthusiastically responded to this news, tweeting out pics of their own adorable “doggos”, the New york Post reported.As MW points out, the word “doggo” originated not online, but in 19th-century slang and literature. To “lie doggo” meant to hide or fly under the radar, like a dozing dog. In the 20th century, the word became a loose synonym for dog, similar to how it’s being used today. Mentions of “doggos” have exploded lately, which the dictionary site credits to the popular Twitter account WeRateDogs. The term has not met MW’s entry criteria yet, but it is on watch.last_img read more

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TMC leads in 22 seats BJP in 18

first_imgKolkata: With the CPI(M) vote bank massively gravitating towards the BJP that has now emerged as the principal opposition to the Trinamool Congress in Bengal, the saffron party has made huge inroads, gaining lead in 18 seats. According to the latest trends, the TMC is leading in 22 seats with the Congress gaining ground in 2. The Left has failed to open its account.Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “Congratulations to the winners. But all losers are not losers. We have to do a complete review and then we will share our views with you all. Let the counting process be completed fully and the VVPATs matched votes.” Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataVeteran Trinamool Congress leaders Subrata Mukherjee and Dinesh Trivedi are trailing behind their BJP rivals, Subhas Sarkar in Bankura and Arjun Singh in Barrackpore. Moon Moon Sen who had won the Bankura seat in 2014 is trailing behind Babul Supriyo. Mala Roy and Sudip Banerjee are ahead of their contenders in Kolkata South and Kolkata North seats respectively. Actors Mimi Chakraborty and Nusrat Jahan are leading in Jadavpur and Basirhat seats respectively in their inaugural debut while Dipak Adhikari (Dev) is leading in Ghatal. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe 2019 election has revealed a unique trail — the massive transfer of the CPI(M) vote to BJP seemed to happen only to teach Mamata Banerjee a lesson. Ever since she came to power in Bengal in 2011, the CPI(M) has been experiencing a massive erosion in its support base. In 2016 Assembly polls, the CPI(M) got 26 seats while RSP, Forward Bloc and CPI got 3, 2 and 1 seats respectively. In 2018 Panchayat elections, the Left Front could not improve its position. The local leaders of the party succumbed to the BJP’s money power and supported the party with the election machinery. In 2014, CPI(M) got 28 percent votes while the BJP got 17 percent votes. In 2019, the poll percentage of the CPI(M) came down to 5 percent while the remaining 23 percent went to the BJP taking the poll percentage of the saffron party to 40 percent. The Trinamool Congress has increased its poll percentage to 45 but because of the CPI(M)’s support, the party lost seats. The massive poll campaign of Mamata Banerjee comprising 124 rallies along with the massive development work carried on throughout the state coupled with various schemes that include providing rice at Rs 2 per kg to free medical treatment and scholarships for students failed to yield results as the Trinamool Congress had to fight against the BJP, CPI(M) and Congress. It may be mentioned that Banerjee had alleged that the trio had come under one umbrella and “Bam (Left) vote will go to Ram (BJP). In several areas, particularly in North Bengal and Jangalmahal, the TMC suffered from infighting. Almost in all the party meetings, Banerjee had warned that stern action would be taken against those indulging in infighting. But her warnings have fallen flat and in North Bengal and Jangalmahal, the party candidates are trailing behind their BJP rivals. The Congress has two candidates — Adhir Chowdhury and AHA Khan Chowdhury — who are leading from Berhampore and Malda South seats. See insidelast_img read more

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VP of Gorkha Janmukti Morcha rearrested

first_imgKolkata: RP Waiba, vice-president, Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (Bimal faction), who was in judicial custody and had secured bail on Friday, was rearrested against an arrest warrant that was pending. He was produced at the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court, Darjeeling on Saturday and sent to judicial custody. Waiba was wanted in a Darjeeling Sadar Police station case of June 8, 2017 in which the police and GJM supporters had clashed in Darjeeling. Waiba was arrested on June 9 this year while he was on his way to Darjeeling from Siliguri. “Earlier there had been a proclamation order Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamataof his property also. A separate proceeding under Section 144 A IPC had also been initiated against him. An arrest warrant was pending against him. He has been arrested in this case,” stated Pankaj Prashad, Assistant Public Prosecutor, Darjeeling. Meanwhile, other GJM (Bimal) leaders and supporters who had earlier been arrested in different cases were released on bail on Friday.The list includes BP Bajgain, Spokesperson, Suraj Subba, Sunil Gurung, Kiran Thapa, Anand Gurung, Gobind Rai, Rajani Gurung and Nima Tamang. Most were arrested in connection with forceful entry in a government property in Singamari, Darjeeling (earlier the GJM party office.)last_img read more

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