Month: August 2019

A Lego robot that can make you Micky Mouse shaped pancakes w

A Lego robot that can make you Micky Mouse shaped pancakes w

first_img Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Robotics is a serious science, but like all of the most serious things in this world it does have a fun side too. Sometimes a robot, with all of its advanced equipment and the intense hours of programming involved, comes along and it does something that is so silly and so darn entertaining that you just have to sit back, watch the video and laugh. When a robot begins making you Micky Mouse shaped pancakes you can begin to suspect that you are experiencing one of those moments. When that robot is made of Lego’s then you can be sure that you are in one of those situations. A more stealthy robot may be hearing you soon 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. Of course, this bot can do more than just the icon of a children’s toy corporation, it can make any shape that you can programming it to, provided that it fits onto the griddle. The pancake cooking bot is in reality a 3-axis CNC-made robot, designed by Mexican Viking. The machine uses the Z coordinate to control where the batter is released. The robot was originally coded in Python NXT but had to be changed due to unnamed complications with the use of the language in this application. Mexican Viking changed it to the LEGO Mindstorms programming language. This programming language then creates the image using a text files with three coordinates that tell the machine where to move and when to dump the batter. The machine cannot be bought commercially and it is not going to be on sale in the near future. If you want to make one of your own you can use the directions on Mexican Viking’s website to create one for yourself. Citation: A Lego robot that can make you Micky Mouse shaped pancakes (w/ video) (2011, July 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-robot-micky-mouse-pancakes-video.html © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

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Summit Group announces bid to build carbon capture and storage plant in

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — For several years the government of the United Kingdom has been trying to build a low-carbon coal fired power plant by means of competitions between companies seeking the £1 billion reward that would go along with such a contract. The last go-round wound up with just one competitor, Scottish Power whose bid faltered in the end due to it being too expensive. This time an American conglomeration called the Summit Power Group has jumped into the fray by partnering with the National Grid, an electric and gas company that provides service to customers in the United Kingdom and parts of the United States and petroleum company Petrofac. Their idea is to build a Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) coal fired power plant to be located in Scotland’s Port of Grangemouth, that Summit says will release 90% less carbon emissions than conventional plants. Explore further More information: Press release European power plants boosting coal use © 2011 PhysOrg.comcenter_img Citation: Summit Group announces bid to build carbon capture and storage plant in Scotland (2012, March 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-03-summit-group-carbon-capture-storage.html Summit’s boast is not just marketing hype, they’re already in the middle of building a similar plant in Texas paid for by a grant from the US government.The bid for the plant is due to the UK’s Carbon Capture & Storage Delivery Competition. If built, the plant would be called the Caledonia Clean Energy Project, situated west of Edinburgh on the Firth of Forth; a location chosen due to already existing oil and gas pipeline facilities. In addition to using coal to create electricity, the plant would also produce hydrogen gas for sale to commercial customers. Also, because the location is close to the North Sea, the CO2 that is removed during the process of making electricity could be easily moved and sequestered under the sea for storage, by Petrofac which just happens to have a subsidiary company called CO2DeepStore that does just that.The group says that unlike Scottish Power, who estimated the project would cost £1.5 billion, they can get the job done for the £1 billion that the competition dictates. One possible hiccup thus far though is Summit’s plan to use the CO2 extracted, rather than sequester it, at a later date, as part of an enhanced oil recovery process under the North Sea, which has environmentalists worried.Summit also says that it is able to capture carbon during the process more efficiently than other plants because it doesn’t actually burn the coal used in the plant. Instead, they say, a chemical process is used. 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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OpenWorm project reaches new milestone—muscle simulation

OpenWorm project reaches new milestone—muscle simulation

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. (Phys.org) —The OpenWorm project has reached a significant milestone, team members report—muscular contraction that is able to drive the simulated worm forward in a stream of simulated water. The next step for project members is to connect simulated brain cells with muscle cells allowing the worm to control its own movements. The team also hopes to create a virtual version of the worm to allow for porting to an interactive web application for use by the general public. Citation: OpenWorm project reaches new milestone—muscle simulation (2013, December 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-openworm-milestonemuscle-simulation.html Building a digital life form: OpenWorm, Open Sourcecenter_img The goal of the OpenWorm project is simple and straightforward—building the first (others have tried and met with limited success) digital life form—getting there of course, is anything but. The idea is to replicate how it is that living organisms do what they do. In the case of the nematode, that means, among other things, swimming through water in a way reminiscent of an eel.The project is an international open source collaboration and as such is open to anyone who wishes to participate. Of course those who choose to do so will find a certain degree of expertise in computer programming or biology will be needed. The team reports that the nematode was chosen as the first simulated life form because of its simplicity—the real worm has just 959 total cells—almost half of which are muscle cells or neurons.Building a simulated life form is challenging—it would be a simple matter to simply draw a nematode and then animate it—Hollywood has been doing that for over half a century. What’s difficult is to use computer code to create and simulate the underlying basic elements that make up a nematode and then have them perform the way they do with the real organism, resulting in virtually identical behavior. That means creating code that describes such things as how its cell muscle cells work and then how they work together in order to cause the entire organism to move in a way that suggests forward progress. In this instance, that’s a lot of code and number crunching—it took three full days of rendering to produce less than a fraction of a second of action. This is significant progress—the OpenWorm project only just started this past May. The first simulation involved causing muscle cells to do nothing more than twitch. Explore further © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

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Superconducting refrigerator cools via tunneling cascade

Superconducting refrigerator cools via tunneling cascade

first_img Journal information: Applied Physics Letters Citation: Superconducting refrigerator cools via tunneling cascade (2014, June 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-06-superconducting-refrigerator-cools-tunneling-cascade.html In a new paper published in Applied Physics Letters, a team of researchers, M. Camarasa-Gómez, et al., from Italy and France, has proposed a new design for a superconducting refrigerator in which cooling is performed in a cascade of steps. Due to this multistage operation, the refrigerator can cool down a normal metal from 0.5 K to 100 mK with improved performance compared to similar refrigerators.Superconducting refrigerators are typically composed of superconductors (S), normal metals (N), and tunnel barriers (I) that are often arranged in a symmetric configuration; for example, SINIS. When a voltage is applied to the superconductors, hot quasiparticles in the normal metal tunnel through the tunnel barriers to the superconductors, cooling the normal metal. The proposed design consists of the SINIS configuration with an additional superconducting tunnel contact on each end: S2IS1INIS1IS2. A voltage is applied to the S2 superconductors, causing hot quasiparticles to first tunnel from the normal metal to the S1 superconductors, and then to the S2 superconductors. Each tunneling event removes heat, resulting in a heat current that flows from the inside to the outside of the refrigerator. “A cascade geometry allows to cool a first superconducting stage, which is used as a local thermal bath in a second stage,” the researchers explain in their paper. This cascade cooling method requires that the components have certain properties, in particular resistances, in order to operate correctly. The researchers expect that these requirements can be easily implemented in a practical device using a combination of vanadium, aluminum, and copper.The superconducting cascade electron refrigerator could be used for cooling both microscopic and macroscopic objects, including ultracold sensors for astronomical instruments. Explore further The superconducting cascade electron refrigerator, with a S2IS1INIS1IS2 configuration, can cool a metal from 0.5 K to 100 mK in a cascading two-step process. Credit: M. Camarasa-Gómez, et al. ©2014 AIP Publishing LLC © 2014 Phys.orgcenter_img Quantum refrigerator offers extreme cooling and convenience 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. More information: M. Camarasa-Gómez, et al. “Superconducting cascade electron refrigerator.” Applied Physics Letters 104, 192601 (2014). DOI: 10.1063/1.4876478 (Phys.org) —Cooling microscopic objects to temperatures near absolute zero requires unconventional refrigeration technologies. One microscale cooling method is superconducting refrigeration, in which refrigerators extract hot quasiparticles (collective excitations) from non-superconducting metals and transport them to superconducting metals. Superconducting refrigerators can cool microscopic objects down to below 1 K.last_img read more

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Lightmatter interaction can turn opaque materials transparent

Lightmatter interaction can turn opaque materials transparent

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. © 2014 Phys.org , arXiv Quantum holograms as atomic scale memory keepsake Explore further In a new study published in Physical Review Letters, researchers have developed a new method for manipulating light scattering. They theoretically show how to induce transparency in otherwise opaque materials using the complex dipole-dipole interactions present in a large number of interacting quantum emitters, such as atoms or molecules. This ability could have several potential applications, such as producing slow light or stopped light, along with applications in the field of attosecond physics.”The significance of our work is in the discovery of a very neat phenomenon (dipole-induced electromagnetic transparency [DIET]), which may be used to control light propagation in optically active media,” coauthor Eric Charron, Professor at the University of Paris-Sud in Orsay, France, told Phys.org. “We showed how light scattering by a nanometric size system, collectively responding through strongly coupled two-level atoms/molecules, can be manipulated by altering the material parameters: an otherwise opaque medium can be rendered transparent at any given frequency, by adequately adjusting the relative densities of the atoms/molecules composing it.”As the scientists explain, light scattering is very well understood when dealing with individual quantum emitters; that is, single atoms or molecules. But the physics becomes much more complex when dealing with two or more interacting emitters. In this case, the electromagnetic field experienced by an emitter depends not only on the light beam striking its surface, but also on all of the electromagnetic fields radiated by all of its neighbors, which in turn are affected by the emitter in question. Each quantum emitter can have a dipole, meaning a positive side and a negative side, due to an uneven distribution of electrons within the emitter. In a dense “vapor” of many quantum emitters, strong dipole-dipole couplings can then occur. The collective effects usually result in an enhancement of the light-matter interaction, although a very complicated one. Here, the researchers have theoretically shown that strong dipole-dipole interactions in a dense vapor of quantum emitters can be used to manipulate the spectral properties of the light scattered by the emitters. In particular, the medium may become transparent at a particular frequency that can be controlled to a certain extent. The scientists explain that, on the most basic level, DIET results from destructive interference between the electromagnetic waves emitted by the quantum emitters. DIET is also closely related to another phenomenon, called electromagnetically-induced transparency (EIT). EIT is also based on destructive interference, but it is induced by a laser instead of dipole-dipole interactions.The scientists expect that DIET could have many of the same applications as EIT, which include the generation of slow light or stopped light by interactions with the medium. Slow light has a variety of optical applications, including information transmission, switches, and high-resolution spectrometers. Also, in the field of attosecond physics, DIET could potentially be used to generate high harmonics in dense atomic or molecular gases.The researchers anticipate that DIET can be experimentally implemented in a few different ways, including in atomic vapor confined in a cell as well as in ultracold dense atomic clouds. However, both systems still face challenges for demonstrating DIET, which must be addressed in the future.”Currently our goal is to hunt for the observation of DIET in multilevel atomic or molecular systems,” Charron said. “Each emitter will behave as a series of oscillating dipoles, and this is expected to yield a series of transparency windows, thus opening the way for more elaborate and flexible manipulation strategies. We will publish new results on this topic in Arxiv in the next few weeks. Moreover, DIET offers yet another way to slow the light due to strong anomalous dispersion. We thus plan to develop the study of slow light with DIET in the near future, with potential applications for information processing.”center_img (Phys.org) —All objects’ colors are determined by the way that light scatters off of them. By manipulating the light scattering, scientists can control the wavelengths at which light is transmitted and reflected by objects, changing their appearance. Journal information: Physical Review Letters More information: Raiju Puthumpally-Joseph, et al. “Dipole-Induced Electromagnetic Transparency.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.113.163603 . Also at arXiv:1407.1970 [quant-ph] Citation: Light-matter interaction can turn opaque materials transparent (2014, October 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-10-light-matter-interaction-opaque-materials-transparent.html Illustration of a thin, dense vapor of quantum emitters (blue disk) interacting with an incident electromagnetic field. Physicists have shown that strong dipole-dipole interactions in the quantum emitters can be used to manipulate the light scattering and turn opaque objects transparent. Credit: Puthumpally-Joseph, et al. ©2014 American Physical Societylast_img read more

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Synthesis and characterization of an important intermediate for biocatalysts

Synthesis and characterization of an important intermediate for biocatalysts

first_img © 2015 Phys.org Citation: Synthesis and characterization of an important intermediate for biocatalysts (2015, March 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-synthesis-characterization-important-intermediate-biocatalysts.html Cytochrome P450 Oxidase (CYP2C9). Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0 (Phys.org)—Cytochrome P450 (CYP) is sometimes referred to as the “Rosetta Stone” of iron-containing oxygenases, because of its ubiquity as a biocatalyst for various reactions, including drug metabolism and synthesis of biological molecules. Importantly, CYP catalyzes carbon-hydrogen hydroxylation reactions, cleaving some of the most difficult carbon-hydrogen bonding structures. While CYP is well studied, scientists are eager to understand the ferryl intermediates formed during hydroxylation in an effort to fine-tune catalytic reactions as well as seek out other biocatalysts to react with carbon-hydrogen bonds that are typically unreactive. Apolipoprotein(a): A natural regulator of inflammation More information: “Heme-thiolate ferryl of aromatic peroxygenase is basic and reactive” Xiaoshi Wang, Rene Ullrich, Marticn Hofrichter, and John T. Groves, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1503340112AbstractA kinetic and spectroscopic characterization of the ferryl intermediate (APO-II) from APO, the heme-thiolate peroxygenase from Agrocybe aegerita, is described. APO-II was generated by reaction of the ferric enzyme with metachloroperoxybenzoic acid in the presence of nitroxyl radicals and detected with the use of rapid-mixing stopped-flow UV-visible (UV-vis) spectroscopy. The nitroxyl radicals served as selective reductants of APO-I, reacting only slowly with APO-II. APO-II displayed a split Soret UV-vis spectrum (370 nm and 428 nm) characteristic of thiolate ligation. Rapid-mixing, pH-jump spectrophotometry revealed a basic pKa of 10.0 for the FeIV−O−H of APO-II, indicating that APO-II is protonated under typical turnover conditions. Kinetic characterization showed that APO-II is unusually reactive toward a panel of benzylic C−H and phenolic substrates, with second-order rate constants for C−H and O−H bond scission in the range of 10–107 M−1⋅s−1. Our results demonstrate the important role of the axial cysteine ligand in increasing the proton affinity of the ferryl oxygen of APO intermediates, thus providing additional driving force for C−H and O−H bond scission.center_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. Researchers have recently found that aromatic peroxygenases (APO), a fungus-based heme thiolate protein, can catalyze the oxygenation of aliphatic and aromatic hydrocarbons. Based on the products from these reactions, APO seems to behave similarly to CYP, although it apparently is more stable over a larger range of pH. This provides an opportunity to study the hydroxylation reaction mechanism of an analogous molecule to CYP that could serve as another potential biocatalyst. Xiaoshi Wang and John T. Groves from the Department of Chemistry at Princeton University report the isolation and characterization of APO-II, an important intermediate in hydroxylation, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Previous work by Groves’ group has shown that APO, derived from Agrocybe aegerita forms an oxoiron (IV) porphyrin radical cation (APO-I) that can be detected by UV-visible spectroscopy. The current work, isolates APO-II, a reduced form of APO-I. APO has an OH2 group coordinated to the central iron atom. Oxidation, using mCPBA yields an oxidized, Fe=O, interaction. Wang and Groves sought to isolate APO-II, which has an OH group coordinated to iron, via a one electron reduction reaction.Wang and Groves began by oxidizing APO using mCPBA, and then determined that the reduction of APO-I using a nitroxyl radical would provide APO-II. They tested their nitroxyl radical candidates using a model system, ensuring that they would get complete conversion from the oxidized to the reduced intermediate, and landed on 3-carboxy-PROXYL as the best reducing agent.UV-visible spectroscopy confirmed that they made APO-II using a single-mixing stopped flow experiment. They were also able to confirm that APO-II was formed via the direct reduction of APO-I using a double-mixing step. Kinetic studies indicated that APO-II remained in solution for 0.5 seconds and has an approximate decay rate of 1 sec-1, making it an intermediate that is stable enough to allow for further study.Because APO is stable at a wide range of pH values, pH 7.0 to pH 12, Wang and Groves were able to determine the pKa value of the proton on the hydroxyl group of APO-II using titration with buffer solutions and characterization with UV-visible spectroscopy. They found that the pKa for the hydroxyl proton was approximately 10, indicating that the molecule was protonated at a pH below 10. They also determined that the sulfur remained bound to the iron upon deprotonation at high pH.Finally, Wang and Groves investigated the reactivity of various substrates in an APO-II catalyzed hydroxylation reaction. They found that APO-II has a surprisingly high reactivity toward phenols and substrates with relatively weak benzylic carbon-hydrogen bonds. The high reactivity with phenols was unexpected because analogous peroxidases typically do not react as quickly. Additionally, according to the kinetic data, APO-II seems to be a milder oxidant compared to APO-I, which was expected based on other systems.This research provides insight into CYP-like reactivity by investigating a key intermediate in the hydroxylation reaction. According to Dr. Groves, “The surprisingly high reactivity of APO-II toward weak C-H bonds may facilitate the development of more selective biocatalysts.” Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Deforestation in French Guiana linked to increase in infectious tropical disease

Deforestation in French Guiana linked to increase in infectious tropical disease

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. A novel genetic typing approach reveals focal transmission of the bacteria that cause the flesh-eating disease Journal information: Science Advances Explore further People have been cutting down the rain forests for years to provide land for human activities. While some of the ecological impacts of deforestation is evident, such as the reduction in amounts of carbon dioxide the remaining rainforests can pull from the atmosphere, others are not so clear. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn more about the possible impact on the spread of infectious diseases.Prior research has found links between human environmental impact and the spread of diseases such as malaria and Zika, but other less well-known diseases might be impacted as well. One such disease, known as Buruli ulcer, results in skin ulcers and bone damage. It is caused by infection of the bacterium Mycobacterium ulcerans, generally in tropical areas. But what happens with these bacteria when tropical forests are cut down? To find out, the researchers ventured to French Guiana, where people are commonly infected with Buruli ulcer. They collected approximately 3,000 organisms from 17 places around the country and then tested each for M. ulcerans. In studying the numbers, they discovered that the bacteria are not particularly fond of any given host—they will infect a wide range of insects, fish and many other invertebrates. They also noted that infections were more prevalent the farther down the food chain they looked. The team also noted the locations of the organisms they collected and found that in places where deforestation had occurred, there were, quite naturally, fewer organisms that lived higher up on the food chain. This in turn led to increases in the numbers of those they normally preyed upon and that led to more infections in lower order animals by M. ulcerans.The researchers did not compare their findings against increased human infections, but the data suggests it as a likely possibility, which, in a broader sense, offers yet more evidence of the negative consequences of deforestation of the rain forests—a possible increase in the spread of bacterial infections—at least initially. Their research also showed that as deforested land was converted to human use, even lower-order organisms were eventually pushed out, along with the bacteria they were carrying. More information: A. L. Morris et al. Deforestation-driven food-web collapse linked to emerging tropical infectious disease, Mycobacterium ulcerans, Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600387AbstractGeneralist microorganisms are the agents of many emerging infectious diseases (EIDs), but their natural life cycles are difficult to predict due to the multiplicity of potential hosts and environmental reservoirs. Among 250 known human EIDs, many have been traced to tropical rain forests and specifically freshwater aquatic systems, which act as an interface between microbe-rich sediments or substrates and terrestrial habitats. Along with the rapid urbanization of developing countries, population encroachment, deforestation, and land-use modifications are expected to increase the risk of EID outbreaks. We show that the freshwater food-web collapse driven by land-use change has a nonlinear effect on the abundance of preferential hosts of a generalist bacterial pathogen, Mycobacterium ulcerans. This leads to an increase of the pathogen within systems at certain levels of environmental disturbance. The complex link between aquatic, terrestrial, and EID processes highlights the potential importance of species community composition and structure and species life history traits in disease risk estimation and mapping. Mechanisms such as the one shown here are also central in predicting how human-induced environmental change, for example, deforestation and changes in land use, may drive emergence.center_img Citation: Deforestation in French Guiana linked to increase in infectious tropical disease (2016, December 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-12-deforestation-french-guiana-linked-infectious.html Apatou, French Guiana, January 2004. Credit: public domain © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—An international team of researchers has found evidence that suggests human deforestation efforts in French Guiana has led to an increase in the number of animals and insects infected with the tropical disease Buruli ulcer. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes their study of the bacteria that causes the disease and what their findings imply for the study of the spread of diseases in such areas.last_img read more

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Astronomers detect flickering from the star EF Aquilae

Astronomers detect flickering from the star EF Aquilae

first_img More information: Discovery of optical flickering from the symbiotic star EF Aquilae, arXiv:1702.08243 [astro-ph.SR] arxiv.org/abs/1702.08243AbstractWe report optical CCD photometry of the recently identified symbiotic star EF Aql. Our observations in Johnson V and B bands clearly show the presence of stochastic light variations with an amplitude of about 0.2 mag on a time scale of minutes. The observations point toward a white dwarf (WD) as the hot component in the system. It is the 11-th object among more than 200 symbiotic stars known with detected optical flickering. Estimates of the mass accretion rate onto the WD and the mass loss rate in the wind of the Mira secondary star lead to the conclusion that less than 1 per cent of the wind is captured by the WD. Eight further candidates for the detection of flickering in similar systems are suggested. (Phys.org)—European researchers have detected optical flickering from a distant symbiotic star known as EF Aquilae (EF Aql for short). The new findings, presented Feb. 27 on the arXiv pre-print server, offer important hints on the nature and composition of this binary star. Citation: Astronomers detect flickering from the star EF Aquilae (2017, March 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-03-astronomers-flickering-star-ef-aquilae.html Located about 11,000 light years away from the Earth, EF Aql is a symbiotic star, a member of the symbiotic Mira subgroup. Symbiotic stars are long-period interacting binaries consisting of an evolved giant transferring mass to a hot compact object – usually a late-sequence red giant providing material to a white dwarf. Although EF Aql was identified as a variable star in 1925, it was confirmed as a symbiotic star in 2016. However, this star has not been thoroughly studied yet, and its nature is still poorly understood.To gain more insights about EF Aql, a team of astronomers led by Radoslav Zamanov of the National Astronomical Observatory (NAO) Rozhen in Bulgaria has recently carried out a series of CCD photometric observations of this star. For this job, they employed five telescopes equipped with CCD cameras between August and November 2016—four located in Bulgaria and one in Spain.These photometric observations allowed the researchers to detect rapid aperiodic brightness variations, like the flickering seen from cataclysmic variables.”Our observations in Johnson V and B bands clearly show the presence of stochastic light variations with an amplitude of about 0.2 mag on a time scale of minutes,” the team wrote in the paper.Such flickering in the form of stochastic photometric variations on timescales of a few minutes with amplitude of a few 0.1 magnitudes is typical for accreting white dwarfs in cataclysmic variables and recurrent novae. Therefore, it strongly indicates that the hot component in the studied symbiotic star is, indeed, a white dwarf.”The presence of flickering strongly suggests that the hot component is a white dwarf,” the paper reads.The researchers estimated that EF Aql’s mass loss rate is about 2 millionths of the mass of the sun year-1, which means that the white dwarf is capturing less than 1 percent of red giant’s stellar wind.”Estimates of the mass accretion rate onto the white dwarf and the mass loss rate in the wind of the Mira secondary star lead to the conclusion that less than 1 percent of the wind is captured by the white dwarf,” the scientists concluded.The research adds EF Aql to the currently very short list of symbiotic stars with detected optical flickering. Although there are more than 200 symbiotic stars known to date, only 10 of them show flickering activity, namely: RS Oph, T CrB, MWC 560, Z And, V2116 Oph, CH Cyg, RT Cru,o Cet, V407 Cyg, and V648 Car. The team also noted that the flickering source in EF Aql is similar to the flickering source in T CrB and RS Oph, which also contain a red giant mass donor. The mysterious cataclysmic variable star Mu Centauri (Update) 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. © 2017 Phys.org Explore further Detection of optical flickering of EF Aql. In each panel two check stars are also shown on the same scale. It is clearly seen that EF Aql varies with an amplitude larger than 0.15 mag. Credit: Zamanov et al., 2017.last_img read more

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NSD catches Shakespeare in myriad moods

NSD catches Shakespeare in myriad moods

first_imgLiterature, clashing cultures and global performance genres merge quaintly on the Indian stage, riding on legendary 16th century playwright William Shakespeare’s works at the National School of Drama’s annual theatre fest in the Capital.The annual showcase of the country’s premier drama school turned its spotlight on ‘inter-cultural Shakespeare’ this time, with a cache of six productions from across the world.These are a Hindi version of Twelfth Night; an Indian-British interpretation of The Tempest; a Bengali Macbeth; a retelling of Othello in Malayalam; a non-verbal Indian-American Shakespeare collage, The Knocking Within; and Julius Ceaser in Assamese by Guwahati’s Seagull Theatre group. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Theatre critics said the festival reflected the globalization of a trend that began nearly 300 years ago in India when the British rulers brought Shakespeare’s plays to these shores to entertain the ‘white crew’ of the erstwhile East India Company.Today, Shakespeare has become part of the Indian heritage, a favourite across class and language divides. His works now spawn cross-cultural innovations.The flavour of Shakespeare on the Indian stage is now one of innovative conceptualism, where the bard’s stories are expressed as ideas. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixYamadoothu – After the death of Othello – a bilingual adaptation of Othello in Malayalam and Hindi by B. Abhimanyu dramatises the 30 minutes between the death of the body and the death of mind in the case of Othello. The play runs for 73 minutes.The production Indianised the performance without digressing from its original elements. Kalaripayatu – the native martial dance of Kerala – was used to good effect.’Before making the performance text, we had a clear cut idea about death – and the difference between body death and mind death. It is a scientific thing, the time period when you can see people but you can’t respond. It gives us a certain language to perform. All things appear dreamy,’ said Thrissur-based Abhimanyu. Explaining one possible reason why Shakespeare may be easily adapted across the world, Paddy Haytor, founder of French repertory company Footsbarn Theatre, said: ‘It is believed that most of Shakespeare’s plays were collated into a compendium of texts after his death as a result of which the texts were improvised many times.’Haytor has adapted Shakespeare’s The Tempest in English, Malayalam, French and Sanskrit in the outdoor style using traditional, operatic, Western folk and contemporary theatre elements. Last year, London’s Globe Theatre had commissioned Mumbai-based The Company Theatre to produce Piya Bahuroopiya, an Indian adaptation of Twelfth Night for the ‘Globe to Globe Shakespeare’ festival to coincide with the London Olympics.‘It renders itself to any language. But we were meant to stay with the rules of Shakespeare when we staged the play. But it has changed after we moved out of the Globe Theatre. We have restructured on the floor, allowing it to grow organically,’ director Atul Kumar told.The National School of Drama has re-invented Shakespeare in the Indian context. Two of the most memorable productions were a 1965 rendition of King Lear starring Om Shiv Puri and a 1989 production directed by Amal Allana in a Rajasthani milieu.last_img read more

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Govt looks to overhaul ITIs across Bengal to review selection process of

Govt looks to overhaul ITIs across Bengal to review selection process of

first_imgKolkata: In a significant stride towards overhaul of the Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs) across the state, the Technical Education department has decided to review the process of selection of the private companies with which the state has joined hands in running some of these institutes. There have been complaints of improper administration, particularly against those ITIs that are run under public-private mode.There are 76 ITIs in the state that are run under public-private mode. As per terms and conditions, the state allocates the building, designs the course curriculum, earmarks the fees and arranges Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeadmission for 80 percent of the students in these institutes. The equipment, faculties and other infrastructure are provided by the private body that is selected through tendering.”We have withheld tenders of as many as 19 ITIs after there were complaints regarding administration. We are conducting a probe and there will be re-tendering. Some private companies were having administrative control of a number of institutes and in the process, were unable to run them in proper manner. A single company will not be allowed to run four or five institutes,” Basu said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedA senior official of the department indicated that heads will roll at the top level of some of these institutes.It may be mentioned that state Technical Education minister Purnendu Basu had himself conducted visits at a number of ITIs across the state, to devise means of overhauling the infrastructure of ITIs, wherever needed.Technical Education has seen a major infrastructural boost under the Mamata Banerjee government since 2011. “When we assumed office there were 80 ITIs. Now we have 248 ITIs – both government and private,” the minister added. The department has also decided to upgrade the course curriculum at the ITIs keeping in pace with market demand. “A number of machines are lying defunct at workshops of some of our old ITIs. We will repair some of those and will replace the outmoded ones,” Basu maintained.Upgradation of the hostels are also under the radar of the department with segregation of the students of first year. “Sometimes there are complaints of ragging by first year students against the seniors. So we have decided to have separate hostel facilities for first year students wherever possible,” the minister said.last_img read more

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Coal scam Jindal denies building pressure on Koda with Cong help

Coal scam Jindal denies building pressure on Koda with Cong help

first_imgFormer MP Naveen Jindal on Tuesday refuted the Central Bureau of Investigation’s (CBI) allegation in a special court that he had pressurised the then Jharkhand Chief Minister Madhu Koda to recommend his firms for coal block, with a promise to garner support of the Congress for his unstable government.Senior advocate SV Raju, appearing for Jindal, said his client had nothing to do with the Congress’ outside support to Koda’s government from 2006 to 2008 and it was senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel who was concerned with it. Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra dam“I (Jindal) was only an MP of the Congress and had nothing to do with the party’s support to the Madhu Koda government in Jharkhand….there are statements of CBI witness who says that Koda had met Ahmed Patel in Delhi,” Raju told Special CBI Judge Bharat Parashar during arguments on framing of charges.“It was Ahmed Patel who was concerned with the Congress party’s support to Madhu Koda’s government. As far as support to Koda’s government is concerned, I (Jindal) had no role in that,” he said. Also Read – Union Min doubts ‘vote count’ in Bareilly, seeks probe“As far as the alleged political compulsion of Koda is concerned, I had nothing to do with it. It was Ahmed Patel who was the man concerned,” he argued, adding: “The CBI’s allegation that I was pressurising Koda, is vague.” This assumes significance as the CBI had claimed in its charge-sheet that Jindal, who was then a Congress MP, had conspired with Koda and promised to help him in completing his term as Chief Minister in return for allocation of coal block in Jharkhand to his firms. Koda, who was an Independent MLA, was Jharkhand Chief Minister from September 14, 2006, to August 23, 2008, with the support of Congress, RJD and other parties.last_img read more

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Take steps to hasten execution of development projects CM

Take steps to hasten execution of development projects CM

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has taken up measures including setting up of a five-member Group-of-Ministers (GoM) to further expedite implementation of development projects throughout the state. At the same time, there was discussion about the formation of new mechanisms for better work implementation at Panchayat level.Banerjee held a review meeting on Thursday with ministers and senior officials of a number of departments including Panchayats and Rural Development, Finance, Irrigation and Waterways, Health and Family Welfare, Education, Agriculture, Urban Development and Municipal Affairs, Housing and Fisheries. The top brass of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) was also present in the meeting along with all the District Magistrates. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt is learnt that the Chief Minister has urged all the concerned officials starting from the District Magistrates to Block Development Officers (BDOs) to take necessary steps to ensure proper monitoring of mid-day meal schemes, vector control measures, functioning of ICDS centres etc.Sources further added that the Chief Minister has set up the GoM comprising state Panchayats and Rural Development minister Subrata Mukherjee, state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim, state Food minister Jyotipriya Mallick, Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari and state Public Works Department minister Aroop Biswas to oversee the same. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAfter the meeting that continued for more than two long hours at the Nabanna Sabhaghar, Banerjee said: “There was an elaborate discussion in the meeting and officials starting from the District Magistrates to BDOs have been directed to take up necessary measures for proper monitoring to ensure timely implementation of projects.” While speaking on the implementation of the scheme of 100 days work and functioning of Panchayats, Banerjee said there was no problem at all in executing the project. “There are certain systems that need to be followed. There is a case pending with the Supreme Court. The matters will become clear once the Apex Court gives its order for which we are waiting,” she said, adding that the District Magistrates or BDOs were authorised to carry out the work where the boards in the Panchayat level are yet to be formed so that beneficiaries of the 100-days work scheme do not face problem in getting their payments on time.Sources said the Chief Minister had a detailed consultation over the functioning of the Education department and urged state Education minister Partha Chatterjee to speak on the related issues. She also expressed her annoyance over the failure of some officials to implement the view of the minister and urged the state Chief Secretary to look into the matter. At the same time, she also directed a senior official of the Land and Land Reforms department to take up certain issues with some of the Block Land Reforms Officers (BLROs).The KMC and PWD were directed to take steps in areas where roads are not in good condition, one of the sources added.last_img read more

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50 Richter scale tremor felt in South Bengal districts

50 Richter scale tremor felt in South Bengal districts

first_imgKolkata: A tremor was felt at some places in South Bengal districts, including Hooghly and West Midnapore.The magnitude of the tremor was 5.0 on the Richter scale and the intensity was moderate. According to the regional meteorological department, the time of origin of the earthquake was 6.33 pm and its epicenter was somewhere near Khanakul block in Hooghly district, at a depth of 10 km.Concerned officials of the state Disaster Management department have initiated collecting information about the situation in the districts after the tremor was felt.last_img

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1 killed 3 injured after car rams into divider

1 killed 3 injured after car rams into divider

first_imgKolkata: One person was killed and three injured after an app cab toppled after ramming into the median divider of the road on Eastern Metropolitan (EM) Bypass onWednesday morning. According to locals, on Wednesday morning around 7:05 am, an app cab bearing registration number WB 04G 2440 was moving towards Chingrihata from Science City with four passengers. Near Metropolitan Housing Complex, the driver identified as Ajay Roy somehow lost control and collided with a median divider on E M Bypass. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalLocals and on-duty traffic police personnel ran to the accident spot and rushed the injured to a private hospital near Kadapara where the doctors declared one of the passengers identified as Sudip Chakraborty (35) brought dead. The driver and another passenger identified as Angshuman Dey are still undergoing treatment at the same hospital. Another passenger Dhritiman Ghosh was treated and discharged by the doctors. Sources informed that Chakraborty was a Information Technology (IT) employee. He used to travel using app cab to reach office at Sector V. It is suspected that the driver had driven throughout the night and had fallen asleep while driving and lost control over the vehicle. A case has been registered with Pragati Maidan police station against the driver on charges of causing death by negligence (304A IPC), rash driving or riding on a public way (279 IPC) and causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others (338 IPC).last_img read more

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For a healthier body mind and soul

For a healthier body mind and soul

first_img“I woke up and I had a big ideaTo buy a new soul at the start of every yearI paid up and it cost me pretty dearHere’s a hymn to those that disappear…”If you too do feel that you’ve lost a part of your soul, fret not, there is hope and there are ways of recovering that lost self. At a recently held session on healing therapies in the Capital at The Imperial, healers from various parts of the country came by to discuss and share their methods with Delhiites. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBaani from Tathaastu says, “There are times when one feels as though they have lost a part of their soul, it can happen for any given reason – harsh words from a friend, or some traumatic incident – which may lead a piece of one’s soul to break away from the body. You can realise it later when you notice that you are not the same person anymore, as you don’t like certain things the way you used to. Among all healings techniques, Soul Retrieval is the one which helps us bring pieces of one’s soul back.” Modern Science works on proofs and facts while spiritual healing works through belief. Says Baani, “The process works faster and better when one believes in it. If one is resistant to the idea, it takes more time than usual to heal someone.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveEven if you are sceptical about spiritual healing because of the unexplained facets of the procedure, Almas Lokhandwala had her arena set up with the Himalayan singing bowls, ready to talk about how sound vibrations can heal even one’s tumours! To give her visitors a feel of it, she strikes the edge of the largest bowl with a mallet creating a soft ‘aum’ sound that lingers on for a minute. Sound therapy causes the sound vibrations to relax one and help concentrate in meditation. “When we are nourished with sound, the cells in our body start vibrating and reorganising themselves into a state of well being. The rich sonic vibrations of the Himalayan Singing Bowls alter space mind and time,” explained Almas Lokhandwala. With increasing cases of illness in people, and helpless modern medicines, many choose to try out or walk the path of spiritual healing.last_img read more

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ER runs special train to commemorate 123rd day of Swamijis return to

ER runs special train to commemorate 123rd day of Swamijis return to

first_imgKolkata: The Eastern Railway ran a special EMU train from Budge Budge to Sealdah station, to commemorate the 123rd anniversary of Swami Vivekananda returning to Kolkata. The train left Budge Budge at 12.50 pm and stopped at all stations en route.Swami Vivekananda had returned to Kolkata on February 19, 1897, after spending four years in the West. He was given a hero’s welcome at Sealdah station. The whole station was decorated with flowers and petals and welcome arches were built on Harrison Road, which is Mahatma Gandhi Road now. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseBraving sharp winter cold, thousands had gathered at the station to welcome the local boy. Youths removed the horses of the carriage and drove it themselves. Swamiji was accompanied by Mr and Mrs Savier and J J Goodwin. They were taken to Ripon College, which is Surendranath College now. He was then taken to the house of Dr Pasupati Bose in North Kolkata. Thousands stood on the road to have a glimpse of Swami Vivekananda. Swamiji tried to address the gathering both at Ripon College and then at Bose’s house but because of the huge crowd, his words became inaudible. Later, in the last week of February, Vivekananda was given a civic reception at Sobhabazar House of the Debs. Sobhabazar Football Club had also accorded a civic reception to him.last_img read more

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Mamata congratulates PM Modi will skip swearingin ceremony

Mamata congratulates PM Modi will skip swearingin ceremony

first_imgKolkata: Congratulating Prime Minister Narendra Modi a day before the swearing-in ceremony which is scheduled to be held on Thursday, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has requested the former to excuse her for not attending the function.Earlier, Banerjee had decided to attend the function in Delhi and was scheduled to leave for the national Capital on Wednesday afternoon. Meanwhile, the Bengal BJP has decided to take the members of 54 people whom they termed as “martyrs” to attend the swearing-in ceremony. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataReacting sharply, Banerjee said the BJP’s claim that 54 people died in political violence is “completely untrue.” There have been no political murders in Bengal and the persons might have died due to family feud or personal enmity or other disputes. She remarked that the swearing-in ceremony is “an august occasion to celebrate democracy” and should not be devalued by any political party that wants to use it as an opportunity “to score political points.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateShortly after cancelling the trip to Delhi, she tweeted: “Congratulations, new Prime Minister Narendra Modi ji. It was my plan to accept the “Constitutional Invitation” and attend the oath-taking ceremony. However, in the last one hour, I am seeing media reports that the BJP are claiming 54 people have been murdered in political violence in Bengal. This is completely untrue. There have been no political murders in Bengal. These deaths may have occurred due to personal enmity, family quarrels and other disputes, nothing related to politics. There is no such record with us. So I am sorry Narendra Modi ji, this has compelled me not to attend the ceremony.” She further mentioned: “The ceremony is an august occasion to celebrate democracy, not one that should be devalued by any political party which uses it as an opportunity to score political points. Please excuse me.” Political experts felt that as the administrative head of the state, Banerjee has taken the right decision. It is an insult to her to share the same dais with the family members of the deceased as to accept it will mean a stamp on BJP’s tall claims. The saffron party claims that 46 party workers had died during the Panchayats election held in 2018 and five during the recently-concluded Lok Sabha election.last_img read more

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Arpita Ghosh expels three TMC leaders over multiple charges

Arpita Ghosh expels three TMC leaders over multiple charges

first_imgBALURGHAT: South Dinajpur Trinamool Congress president Arpita Ghosh expelled three party leaders on Tuesday. Prasanta Mitra, Chiranjit Mitra and Ratan Ghosh were removed after receiving several charges like extortion of money from public, corruption and anti-party activities.Ghosh announced the message of their removal at a press conference in Balurghat Municipality’s seminar hall Subarnatat. “Trinamool Congress-led Gangarampur Municipality chairman Prasanta Mitra, assistant public prosecutor of Gangarampur court Chiranjit Mitra and Trinamool trade union leader Ratan Ghosh are being expelled from the party as there were serious objections like extortion of money from public, corruption and anti-party activities being brought against them. Soon, the party will announce the name of the new chairman of Gangarampur Municipality instead of him, as we have majority there. We have also decided to call a no-confidence motion against Prasanta,” Ghosh said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataIt may be mentioned that Prasanta and Chiranjit are brothers of Biplab Mitra, former district Trinamool president, who joined BJP on Monday. Announcing the stern message of their removal and stating that the party has majority in Trinamool-led South Dinajpur Zilla Parishad and Buniadpur Municipality, Ghosh said: “We still have majority in South Dinajpur Zilla Parishad, even when a group of elected members have announced to join BJP, along with one of our veteran leaders (without naming Biplab Mitra). The members said they were misguided by him and expressed their wish to come with us. Therefore, BJP’s dream of capturing the Zilla Parishad and two municipalities of Gangarampur and Buniadpur will not be fulfilled.” Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in state”If anyone is thinking of leaving our party, he/she may leave but the elected members, either from Zilla Parishad or Municipality, have some limitations as they were elected on our party ticket. We will also recommend cancelling their memberships through official procedure shortly,” she said. Ghosh also announced popular Trinamool leader Majiruddin Mondal’s name as new district INTTUC (Indian National Trinamool Trade Union Congress) president, as the post had been lying vacant since long.last_img read more

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Westbrook missing the playoffs with OKCs talent would define his career

Westbrook missing the playoffs with OKCs talent would define his career

first_imgBen Simmons is an all-time NBA talentBen Simmons and the Sixers are the NBA’s hottest team heading into the playoffs, and are doing it while Joel Embiid is sidelined with a facial fracture.Colin has been critical of ‘The Process,’ but thinks Simmons is a transcendent all-time talent and a more physically gifted version of Magic Johnson. The scary part is he’s dominant now without having anything resembling an outside shot. Even though Embiid gets more headlines, Simmons is the true foundation of the Sixers. He could end up as one of the greats. Westbrook missing the playoffs with OKC’s talent would define his careerRussell Westbrook and the Thunder are fighting for their playoff lives as the regular season finishes up. Colin thinks if OKC misses the playoffs they would be the most talented team in NBA history not to qualify for the postseason.Even with the MVP and all the triple doubles, if Westbrook misses the playoffs with Paul George, Carmelo Anthony and Steven Adams, it would define his career. Also:– UFC needs Mayweather– Colin’s ‘Mocked Draft’ 1.0. His dream scenario for the 2018 NFL Draft Guests:Doug Gottlieb – FS1 Analyst and host of The Doug Gottlieb Show and the All Ball Podcast is in-studio talking Ben Simmons incredible season; and why UFC doesn’t need Floyd Mayweather.Ray Lewis – NFL Hall of Famer and Super Bowl champion is in-studio discussing Dez Bryant’s future in Dallas, and what he would tell Odell Beckham if he had the opportunity.Dahntay Jones – 13-year NBA Veteran and NBA champion is in-studio talking Colin’s Great 8 NBA player list; what he saw up close that makes LeBron so special; why Ben Simmons is just scratching the surface.last_img read more

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New Look LinkedIn Redesigns iPhone Android Apps

first_img Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global If you’re constantly checking or updating your company’s LinkedIn page over a mobile phone, the professional networking site has some good news for you today. LinkedIn has redesigned its apps for iPhone and Android phones with the goal of giving them a more engaging stream and more personalization features.”We want to make it easier for our members to quickly discover and engage with the rich professional insights being shared across LinkedIn to help them make smarter decisions from wherever they may be working,” said Tomer Cohen, LinkedIn’s mobile product lead, in a blog post announcing the redesign.Here are the three areas where users should see significant changes:Related: What You Can Learn From Disney, CNBC and Adobe About Creating a Great LinkedIn Page1. A more interactive content stream.With the redesign, LinkedIn says it will surface the most relevant and timely insights into users’ streams. Meaning, content streams will feature updates tailored to users’ interests and connections, news and original posts from LinkedIn’s Influencers such as President Barack Obama and business titan Richard Branson. Liking and commenting features have been built directly into the stream.2. Updated navigation.Now, all users have to do is swipe a finger to navigate away from LinkedIn’s main homepage. Simply slide the homepage screen to the right to access options such as your private messages, connection invitations, calendars and groups you belong to.3. More emphasis on international users.LinkedIn says more than 60 percent of its members are located outside the U.S. In response, the network has expanded its language capabilities, adding Dutch and Norwegian for iPhone, and Turkish, Dutch and Norwegian for Android. This brings the total count to 15 available languages for both apps, LinkedIn says.Related: The 10 Most Overused Buzzwords on LinkedInLinkedIn will also start adding advertisements in the form of sponsored content in the stream of these new smartphone apps, according to TechCrunch.Beyond its smartphone apps, LinkedIn has made a number of changes in recent weeks. Last week, it spent $90 million to acquire Pulse, a well-regarded news reader with 30 million users. In February, it improved its LinkedIn Jobs service, making it easier for job searchers to find specific positions in specific areas. Last fall, LinkedIn rolled out a major redesign for Company Pages.LinkedIn’s redesigned apps are available for free for iPhone as well as Android-powered smartphones.Related: 10 Mistakes Your Business Might Be Making on LinkedInWhat do you think of LinkedIn’s new smartphone apps? Let us know in the comments below. 3 min readcenter_img April 18, 2013 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box.last_img read more

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