Breeding with Neanderthals appears to have helped early humans fight disease

first_imgHomo neanderthalensis, adult male. Credit: John Gurche, artist / Chip Clark, photographer New ancestor? Scientists ponder DNA from Siberia Explore further © 2010 ( — Following up on evidence that Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals mated and produced offspring, following the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome last year, Peter Parham, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford, set forth evidence in a presentation to the Royal Society in London last week that shows that humans benefitted from such encounters by having human leukocyte antigens (HLAs), added to their genomes, which in turn helped them to fight off diseases native to northern climates.center_img Citation: Breeding with Neanderthals appears to have helped early humans fight disease (2011, June 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from His findings show that as early humans began to move out of Africa, they mated with the race of incumbent Neanderthals producing offspring that were better suited to fighting off diseases that existed in the north, but not in Africa. Without this assistance it’s likely it would have taken Homo Sapiens much longer to adapt.HLAs comprise a group of about 200 genes that are a vital part of our immune system. Some of these genes, known as alleles, are variable due to natural mutations in our chromosomes that occur as we continue to evolve in ways that hopefully help us fight off new diseases.Parham found after studying HLAs in modern European and African people that early European humans developed alleles in their genes that were identical to the ones found in Neanderthals, which quite naturally leads to the conclusion that they got there via breeding. One allele in particular, HLA-C*0702, found in the Neanderthal, is quite common in modern European and Asian populations, but is absent in modern Africans.And while the more recently discovered race of hominins in Siberia, called Denisovans, hasn’t had its genome sequenced yet, evidence thus far suggest that early humans mated with them as well, which also led to new alleles appearing in their genes; one such, the HLA-A*11 shows up in Asians, but not Africans.To stress how important breeding with other hominins was to the success of early man, Parham notes that even though just 6% of the modern European genome comes from breeding with other early hominins, half of the existent HLA-A alleles owe their existence to such mixing of the races; and the percentage only goes up the farther native peoples were from Africa. 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

British team devises method for separating carbon nanotubes cheaply

first_img Developing seeds for growing whole gardens of identical SWCNTs Journal information: ACS Nano Citation: British team devises method for separating carbon nanotubes cheaply (2012, January 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — When single walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) are made, they come out in both metallic and semiconducting material form. Unfortunately, different applications require one or the other of these materials, but not both, which means they need to be separated. Even more unfortunately, efforts to do so have proven to be very expensive. Now, though, due to the efforts of a British team of physicists, as they describe in their paper in ACS Nano, a new method has been devised that allows SWCNTs to be separated cheaply enough to allow for bulk manufacturing. Explore further More information: Scalable Method for the Reductive Dissolution, Purification, and Separation of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes, ACS Nano, Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/nn2041494AbstractAs synthesized, bulk single-walled carbon nanotube (SWNT) samples are typically highly agglomerated and heterogeneous. However, their most promising applications require the isolation of individualized, purified nanotubes, often with specific optoelectronic characteristics. A wide range of dispersion and separation techniques have been developed, but the use of sonication or ultracentrifugation imposes severe limits on scalability and may introduce damage. Here, we demonstrate a new, intrinsically scalable method for SWNT dispersion and separation, using reductive treatment in sodium metal-ammonia solutions, optionally followed by selective dissolution in a polar aprotic organic solvent. In situ small-angle neutron scattering demonstrates the presence of dissolved, unbundled SWNTs in solution, at concentrations reaching at least 2 mg/mL; the ability to isolate individual nanotubes is confirmed by atomic force microscopy. Spectroscopy data suggest that the soluble fraction contains predominately large metallic nanotubes; a potential new mechanism for nanotube separation is proposed. In addition, the G/D ratios observed during the dissolution sequence, as a function of metal:carbon ratio, demonstrate a new purification method for removing carbonaceous impurities from pristine SWNTs, which avoids traditional, damaging, competitive oxidation reactions. It was only recently that a team at Stanford University devised a means for separating and sorting the two distinct forms of the SWCNTs, a breakthrough that had researchers dreaming of such exotic applications as artificial skin. Sadly though, the process they devised would have cost billions to produce just a kilo of the stuff, which of course very quickly put a damper on the development of applications.Now though, the team in Britain from London’s Imperial College, led by Milo Shaffer, has figured out a way to do the job cheaply, and it’s all due to researchers from another lab at University College, discovering that Buckminster fullerenes dissolve in ammonia. To develop the new process, teams from both labs worked together.The new process works like this. First the nanotubes are dissolved in a sodium and ammonia solution to purify and pull them apart, creating what they call a “nanotubide” solution; afterwards, the ammonia is removed. The result is a salt and nanotubide dry powder. The team then adds dimethylformamide to the powder which causes a portion of the salt-laden nanotubide to dissolve. By using just the right concentration in the original solution, the team has found that they can retrieve material that is mostly metallic SWCNT from the dissolved salt. And that, in all its simplicity, is pretty much all there is to it.Besides allowing for SWCNTs to be made cheaply, the new process also eliminate the need for using a centrifuge which was a part of the process used in earlier methods and sometimes caused damage to the final product. Also, because this new method appears to be ready to go as is, the team has already licensed it to Linde, an industrial gas company.This all means that those initial dreams of exotic products may now finally come to fruition, though of course, most of them, such as artificial skin, are still likely to be some ways off, as now that cheaply made SWCNTs can be had, there is still all the research ahead in actually using them to create such end products. © 2011 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

Removing black sheep could make Internet run more efficiently

first_img Citation: Removing ‘black sheep’ could make Internet run more efficiently (2012, February 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from As a consequence, removing these black sheep links significantly increased the network’s transmission capacity. From a practical perspective, removing these few links is easier than redesigning the entire network or developing a complex routing strategy. However, the researchers noted that there is a limit to removing links, where removing too many will lower the overall efficiency.In their most recent study, the researchers show that, in order for this method to work effectively, the network structure must be heterogeneous in terms of node betweenness values. In other words, the method works best for networks that have nodes with a greater diversity of betweenness values. In this way, networks with large heterogeneity, which can be measured by the well-known Gini coefficient, have more significant effects.“Our recent paper doesn’t further improve network capacity of the method, but points out that heterogeneity of network structure is a necessary condition for the effect’s existence, highlights the rationality based on betweenness, and discusses the effect’s applications in engineering practice,” Zhang said. “It also shows that the greater the heterogeneity of a network is, the better the effect is. In essence, our method can reduce the heterogeneity, hence load balance, and then capacity is enhanced.”Because the black sheep links often use the highest bandwidths, removing them provides another advantage: it saves energy and reduces the cost of bandwidth, construction and maintenance. The researchers hope that the combination of increased transmission capacity and reduced cost will motivate the wide application of this method to a variety of communication and transportation networks.“Edge removal is only an abstract concept, it may have different forms in different contexts,” Zhang said. “Let me take urban transportation networks as an example: blocking the entrance ramp can relieve congestion and help traffic move more smoothly during rush hour. Here, blocking the entrance ramp logically means edge removal. For the Internet, building overlay routing is an important way to improve network reliability. This can be achieved by setting up relay nodes to obtain path diversity and enhance forwarding efficiency. A relay node needs to close some key links during heavy load. Closing links can be easily implemented and automatically finished by software. In the second instance, closing links mean edge removal. In a word, edge removal has many variants in practice.” © 2011 Greedy Routing Enables Network Navigation Without a ‘Map’ The researchers, Guo-Qing Zhang, Di Wang, and Guo-Jie Li, from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, published the strategy in 2007. In their most recent paper, published in Scientia Sinica Informationis, they have continued to build on this idea by determining the necessary conditions for the effect’s existence.“Our main findings reveal the effect of enhancing network capacity of edge-removal in networks and the prerequisite of the effect,” Zhang told “However, the results of capacity expansion depend on specific networks. For the popular BA model network, this method increases network capacity more than 10 times.”The Internet is a combination of many interconnected networks, each of which consists of nodes (e.g., computers and routers) and links (e.g., cables and optical fibers). Structurally, this framework is similar to all networks in areas as diverse as biology, sociology, and statistics. In the case of the Internet, data is stored as bits, and thousands of bits are combined in packets that are directed by routers to their destinations. Routers use certain strategies to get packets to their destinations as quickly as possible, sending them along links from one node to another in a split second.The many different strategies proposed so far for increasing the Internet’s transmission efficiency fall under two categories: developing better routing strategies and optimizing the network itself. The researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences show that modifying the network does not necessarily require a complicated redesign; instead, deleting just a few well-chosen links is relatively easy and effective.The key is choosing which links to remove. To do this, the researchers analyzed a network model that simulates packet traffic. In the model, routers use a shortest path routing strategy to direct packets to their destinations. Then the researchers analyzed each node to see how often it lies along the shortest path between two other nodes. For instance, if the shortest path between nodes A and B passes through node C, then C would be between A and B, increasing C’s value of a quantity called “betweenness.” Because nodes with large betweenness values are part of a greater number of shortest paths than peripheral nodes, they become congested more easily. To decrease this congestion, the researchers removed a fraction of the links connecting two nodes with some of the highest betweenness values. As a result, packets had to detour around these hub nodes, taking a slightly longer path but easing congestion in the most congestion-prone areas. Explore furthercenter_img Partial map of the Internet based on data from 2005. Links connect nodes that represent IP addresses. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons, CC BY 2.5 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: Zhang GuoQing and Cheng SuQi. “Enhancing network capacity effects of edge-removal in small-world networks.” Scientia Sinica Informationis 2012, 42(2) 151-160 DOI: 10.1360/112011-421Guo-Qing Zhang, Di Wang,Guo-Jie Li. “Enhancing the transmission efficiency by edge deletion in scale-free networks.” Physical Review E, 76, 017101 (2007). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevE.76.017101 ( — Whether dealing with Internet traffic or vehicle traffic, congestion can slow everything down. One team of researchers working on improving network transmission efficiency has developed a strategy that identifies certain links or edges that can be removed to decrease the overall congestion. Somewhat counterintuitively, these links – which the researchers call “black sheep” – are those that connect the busiest hubs. In a sense, the strategy is similar to closing some of the busiest roads during rush hour, and finding that vehicles reach their destinations faster than before.last_img read more

Conductive paint lands in pens and pots for creatives

first_img Explore further © 2013 More information: Nontoxic and drying at room temperature, the product has caught on with educators, DIY makers and inventors. They have a number of products on sale, and Radio Shack stocks their paint pen.. Paper as a vehicle for delivering more information than immediately meets the eye via the painted object—that is what they see as their opportunity. Applications for their paint can easily translate into talking billboards and walls, where objects on surfaces turn interactive. A light switch painted on paper, when touched, can turn on a light, or a touch on a poster object can make a sound. Wanting to expand in recognition, they hope to appeal to a wide creative gamut of hobbyists, artists, and engineers for innovative ways to use their products. Bare Paint, they emphasized, is the first non-toxic electrically conductive paint available. As such the substance is child friendly, which opens the door to educational projects, including toys, and touch-sensitive paper drawings that play sounds. “We generally split applications into two simple classifications, signaling and powering,” they said. “Signaling could include using the Paint as a potentiometer while interfacing with a micro-controller, as a conduit in a larger circuit or as a capacitive sensor. Powering a device would include lighting LED’s or driving small speakers. The most interesting stuff happens when you combine these properties into something new.”According to the company, Bare Paint has a surface resistivity of approximately 55 ohms/square at 50 microns layer thickness. The product is water-based but it is not waterproof. One can paint over it with a waterproof paint or varnish, they said, depending on the application. The paint is only available in black, but it can be over-painted with any material with a wide range of other paints. London-based Bare Conductive Ltd. makes electrically conductive paint called Bare Paint. The substance allows the painting of “liquid wiring” on any surface. Except for skin, you can apply its paint on walls and assorted surfaces to conduct electricity. “Bare Paint” began as a project by the inventors, then students, at the Royal College of Art. Despite all the jokes about Wikipedia as a questionable knowledge crutch, the inventors credit Wikipedia as having helped them to learn what they had to know about working with conductive materials to get something going. In 2011 the RCA graduates were able to introduce Bare Paint. 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. Citation: Conductive paint lands in pens and pots for creatives (2013, May 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Honda develops ‘Honda smart ecological paint,’ highly functional painting technologylast_img read more

Ultraflexible batterys performance rises to meet demands of wearable electronics

first_imgThe wearable battery is embedded in the sweatshirt and in a watch strap. The battery in the watch strap is shown powering 6 LEDs. Both batteries are made of unconventional battery materials that are highly suitable for flexibility. Credit: Yong-Hee Lee, et al. “The greatest significance of our work is that the wearing capability of lithium ion batteries becomes facilitated by building the battery assemblies from the same material as the mother clothes, textile,” Choi told “Reshaping the battery system by engaging the materials of the target applications to which the batteries are attached is a key idea in the current work.”Together, these materials create a battery that has both a high performance and excellent flexibility. Performance-wise, the nickel coating gives the battery a very small resistance that is several orders of magnitude smaller than that of carbon nanomaterials, and similar to that of the aluminum used in conventional (inflexible) batteries. 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. NJIT researchers invent flexible battery made from carbon nanotubes Journal information: Nano Letters © 2013 All rights reserved. Explore further Now in a new study, researchers have completely overhauled the key components of a typical battery by using new materials that provide superior performance under extreme folding conditions compared to flexible rechargeable batteries made from carbon nanomaterials. Ultimately, such a textile battery could be either attached onto clothes or embedded between the woven layers of the clothing fabric. It would supply the power for wearable electronic devices that fulfill the functions of today’s smart phones, from watching videos to taking photos to using social media.The researchers, led by Taek-Soo Kim, Jung-Yong Lee, and Jang Wook Choi at the KAIST Institute NanoCentury at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon, South Korea, have published their paper on the new wearable battery in a recent issue of Nano Letters.Just as the limiting factor of flexible electronics is the battery, the limiting factors of the flexible batteries are the electrodes, current collector, and other key battery components that are traditionally made of rigid materials. Instead of using carbon nanomaterials for these key components, the researchers here investigated a wide range of unconventional battery material candidates. They ultimately settled on using polyester yarn as the textile substrate, which they coated with nickel as the current collector. The nickel coating was then coated with polyurethane to form the electrodes, along with the binder and separator, which support the electrodes. ( —While there has been much research lately on the development of flexible electronic devices that can be integrated into clothes, glasses, watches, and even skin, the limiting factor of this technology is the battery. Although flexible batteries made of carbon nanotubes and graphene have recently been developed, they still face hurdles due to their high resistance and scalability issues. The researchers demonstrated the battery’s good performance under folding conditions by building a home-made folding instrument that folds the battery every 1.5 cm at a tightly compressed folding radius of 0.65 mm—a degree of folding that is more extreme than that used to test most other textile batteries. Nevertheless, the new battery shows that, after 5500 deep folding-unfolding cycles, it retains 91.8% of its original capacity. (The capacity of this battery is 13 mAh, but can be improved to 85 mAh using a different method of weaving the polyester yarn, and the researchers expect further improvements in the future.)In addition to these attractive properties, the researchers also demonstrated that flexible polymer solar cells can be integrated into the textile battery and used to recharge the battery while it’s being worn, eliminating the need to wire the battery (and your shirt or watch, etc.) to a power outlet each time it needs to be recharged. The researchers write that the solar charging system is decent, and demonstrate that a fully solar-charged textile battery can light up nine LEDs, each of which has a power consumption of 0.042 W.Overall, the new textile battery shows that the energy storage component of wearable electronics is catching up with other the components, bringing wearable electronics a step closer to reality.”We need further tuning of battery properties in several aspects (energy density, operating voltage, etc.) depending on target applications,” Choi said. “Communication with industry dealing with end applications is currently going along this direction.” Citation: Ultra-flexible battery’s performance rises to meet demands of wearable electronics (2013, November 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Yong-Hee Lee, et al. “Wearable Textile Battery Rechargeable by Solar Energy.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/nl403860k Flexible solar cells can be integrated into the textile battery and used to recharge the battery while it’s being worn, eliminating the need to wire the battery to a power outlet. Credit: Yong-Hee Lee, et al.last_img read more

Genome sequencing shows maize adapted to highlands thousands of years ago

first_img Explore further Precision breeding needed to adapt corn to climate change (—An international team of researchers has found evidence showing that maize evolved to survive in the U.S. southwest highlands thousands of years ago. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group outlines their genomic study, which revealed the genetic changes that allowed the plant to live in the harsher environment. Maize diversity from the Native Seeds/SEARCH collection. Credit: Native Seeds/SEARCH © 2017 Unit where maize was recovered at Turkey Pen with side columns excavated. Credit: R.G. Matson Citation: Genome sequencing shows maize adapted to highlands thousands of years ago (2017, August 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The researchers suggest that learning more about how maize evolved to survive in the colder highlands offers insights as climate change forces many crop plants to do the same to survive in new conditions. They also noted that one type of maize high in carotenoids, which is now used to make popcorn, evolved in the southwest part of what is now the U.S. and not in Mexico. More information: Kelly Swarts et al. Genomic estimation of complex traits reveals ancient maize adaptation to temperate North America, Science (2017). DOI: 10.1126/science.aam9425AbstractBy 4000 years ago, people had introduced maize to the southwestern United States; full agriculture was established quickly in the lowland deserts but delayed in the temperate highlands for 2000 years. We test if the earliest upland maize was adapted for early flowering, a characteristic of modern temperate maize. We sequenced fifteen 1900-year-old maize cobs from Turkey Pen Shelter in the temperate Southwest. Indirectly validated genomic models predicted that Turkey Pen maize was marginally adapted with respect to flowering, as well as short, tillering, and segregating for yellow kernel color. Temperate adaptation drove modern population differentiation and was selected in situ from ancient standing variation. Validated prediction of polygenic traits improves our understanding of ancient phenotypes and the dynamics of environmental adaptation. Journal information: Science Sampled cobs from Turkey Pen Shelter. Credit: Bruce Benz Maize, more commonly known as corn, originated in Mexico and made its way to what is now the southwestern U.S. approximately 4,000 years ago. In doing so, it quickly became one of the most important crops in the North America. But, as the researchers note, it did not make its way into the highlands for another 2,000 years, a development that has puzzled archaeologists. To better understand why the delay occurred, the researchers studied samples of 2,000-year-old maize cobs found in a cave back in the 1970s in Utah’s highlands. To learn more about its physical attributes, they sequenced the genome of 15 of the cobs and compared the results to other maize lines. They report that the maize plants around the cave area were not as tall as other maize plants that grew at lower elevations and that it had more branches—in short, they describe the plants as more bushy than other maize plants, a trait that allowed the plant to thrive in colder places. They also found evidence that the plant flowered earlier than most other maize plants, an attribute that would help it produce seeds before the earlier frost at higher elevations.As the plants evolved to withstand the harsher environment, early people living there began to introduce maize into their diet, just as other early people had done in the southwest lowlands thousands of years earlier. 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

Study shows link between urbanization and changes in body size of animals

first_imgDaphnia magna, a large water flea and a highly efficient filter feeder, important in exerting top-down control on algal blooms, but often severely reduced in abundance in urbanized settings. Credit: Joachim Mergeay More information: Thomas Merckx et al. Body-size shifts in aquatic and terrestrial urban communities, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0140-0AbstractBody size is intrinsically linked to metabolic rate and life-history traits, and is a crucial determinant of food webs and community dynamics1,2. The increased temperatures associated with the urban-heat-island effect result in increased metabolic costs and are expected to drive shifts to smaller body sizes3. Urban environments are, however, also characterized by substantial habitat fragmentation4, which favours mobile species. Here, using a replicated, spatially nested sampling design across ten animal taxonomic groups, we show that urban communities generally consist of smaller species. In addition, although we show urban warming for three habitat types and associated reduced community-weighted mean body sizes for four taxa, three taxa display a shift to larger species along the urbanization gradients. Our results show that the general trend towards smaller-sized species is overruled by filtering for larger species when there is positive covariation between size and dispersal, a process that can mitigate the low connectivity of ecological resources in urban settings5. We thus demonstrate that the urban-heat-island effect and urban habitat fragmentation are associated with contrasting community-level shifts in body size that critically depend on the association between body size and dispersal. Because body size determines the structure and dynamics of ecological networks1, such shifts may affect urban ecosystem function. City fish evolve different body forms than country fish Journal information: Nature The researchers suggest that their results could offer a hint of things to come. As global warming occurs, they note, it appears likely that most species will shrink in size, while some others might just get bigger. A large international team of researchers has found a link between urbanization and changes in animal body size. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their study of animals living in both urban and rural areas in Belgium and what they found. 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.center_img © 2018 Explore further The White ermine Spilosoma lubricipeda; macro-moth communities consist on average of larger, more mobile species in urbanized settings Credit: Maarten Jacobs Citation: Study shows link between urbanization and changes in body size of animals (2018, May 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Prior research has shown that when temperatures grow warmer, animals tend to grow smaller due to an increase in metabolic rates. It is also well known that cities are typically hotter than surrounding areas because of all the heat-absorbing materials such as asphalt in roads. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if animals living in cities might be smaller due to the hotter climate.To find out, the group collected samples of invertebrates from 10 species in several parts of northern Belgium. Most were flying or crawling insects, but there were also some tiny water-based organisms such as water fleas (which feed on algae in the water). Collection areas ranged from natural, to rural to urban. In all, the team amassed a collection of 95,001 specimens which ranged from moths and butterflies to rotifers.After analyzing the data associated with the specimens, the researchers noted that there were far more animals in wild or rural areas than in urban areas and that there was less variation in cities as well. They also found that most of the species found in urban areas were indeed smaller than their natural counterparts, but there were some notable exceptions. Three groups, moths, butterflies and another that includes grasshoppers and crickets, were actually bigger than their country cousins. The researchers suggest this finding may have more to do with the landscape than temperature. They note that urban areas are very heavily segmented. Animals that can fly between the segments to find food and mate would likely have an advantage, and the bigger they get, the farther they can fly. They also noted that one of the most extreme cases of change in body size was for water fleas—in the city they were on average 44 percent smaller than their native counterparts.last_img read more

Ghost in Hill hospital

first_imgDarjeeling: ‘A well lit building. Suddenly a figure draped in white, with long flowing black hair appears and effortlessly climbs the pillars to disappear behind the balcony of the floor above…’ What could be a clip from any horror film is now doing the rounds on social media, with a person claiming to have clicked it in the middle of the night at the Darjeeling Sub-Divisional Hospital. The video, which has gone viral, has created quite an uproar in the Hill town. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe video, which had appeared on social media a few days ago, is accompanied by an audio clip, in which a male voice appeals to carefully watch the video that follows. He then goes on to claim that he had shot the clip at the Darjeeling Sadar Hospital.”This video clip was recorded by me in the out-patient department area of the Eden Hospital (Darjeeling Sadar Hospital). My aunt, who is terminally ill and admitted in bed number 135, wanted hot water and I had gone out to get it at around 11:40 pm when I saw this and recorded it,” stated the voice. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe clip soon became viral with questions being raised. “It is in no way the Sadar Hospital. We do not have such pillars. It is a prank and we are not giving much attention to this. However, the police and district administration should take action against any person or persons involved in such a prank,” stated Dr Saikat Pradhan, Superintendent of Darjeeling Sadar Hospital.Interestingly, the same video clip had earlier surfaced on social media in Bharuch, Gujarat.last_img read more

KMC mulls pilot project to put overhead wires underground in Park Street

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) is mulling the idea of commencing a pilot project in Park Street area, for putting all overhead wires underground.Mayor Sovan Chatterjee said on Wednesday that a meeting in this regard has already been held in presence of state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim and a number of agencies like cable service MSOs, CESC, BSNL and similar stakeholders, whose wires, hanging from lampposts, trees and every vantage point, is an eyesore in the city’s skyline. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”The state government is seriously trying to work out a strategy on how to clear this ‘jungle of wires’. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has formed a high level committee in this regard, that comprises ministers like Firhad Hakim, Chandrima Bhattacharya, Moloy Ghatak and me. Kolkata is not a planned city like New Town, Rajarhat or Nabadiganta area in Salt Lake. So, the process will take time,” Chatterjee said.Responding to a poser from CPI(M) councillor Madhuchhanda Deb at the monthly meeting of the civic body, the Mayor pointed out that the paucity of road space in the city is a major hurdle in putting the overhead wires underground. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”There are a number of such overhead wires belonging to utility services, which have gone defunct. Locating the operational ones among them is a difficult job. Putting such overhead wires underground throughout the city will not be possible. Hence, we are working out a strategy,” Chatterjee maintained.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, while addressing multi-service operators (MSOs) and cable operators in April, had asked them to clean up the mess of wires and urged all stakeholders, including Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), Public Works Department (PWD) and private utility CESC, whose posts are used to string up the cables, to chalk out a concrete plan that would set the house in order. It may be mentioned that the city has around 2,500 cable operators and 17 lakh cable homes, where the cables are connected. A conservative estimate puts the length of cables dangling all over the city at 20,000 km.In New Town, all cables have been underground since the inception. Pipes have been laid on both sides of the road at a depth of about 1 metre, to carry optic fibre cables or satellite TV cables. There are junction points every 20 metre or so, for connections to reach individual plots.last_img read more

Big B to appear in R Balkis next venture

first_imgFilmmaker R Balki has revealed his upcoming movie, which has Arjun Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor Khan in the lead, will have a ‘very special appearance’ by megastar Amitabh Bachchan.The yet untitled film will see Arjun teaming up with the Bajrangi Bhaijaan actor for the first time. “I will start shooting my next with Kareena and Arjun soon. It has Mr Bachchan in it. He is doing a very special appearance in the film. Without his appearance the film will not be possible,” Balki told a media person.The director, who is an ardent Bachchan fan, has worked with the actor in all the films including Cheeni Kum, Paa and his latest Shamitabh, which failed to create a buzz.last_img read more

Kolkata Metro sees hike in number of passengers

first_imgKolkata: Metro Railway has carried more number of passengers in the first three and half months of this financial year, against the corresponding period of the previous year.A spokesperson of Kolkata Metro informed that during this period (i.e. from April 1 to mid July) 5.92 crore passengers have travelled by Metro, against 5.81 crore passengers last year. “The increase has been around 1.83 percent from last year,” the spokesperson added.The earnings were also raised to Rs 56.96 crore during the same period this year, compared to Rs. 55.17 crore last year, thereby registering an increase of 3.25 percent. At present, Metro Railway has 14 AC rakes and 13 non-AC rakes operating in the 27 km-long line from Noapara in the North to Kavi Subhash station in the South. Also Read – 2 Group D staffers held for ‘assaulting’ minorsFour state-of-the-art AC rakes from Integral Coach Factory (ICF) in Perambur have already reached the city and the Metro authorities hope to introduce them before the Pujas. The Metro is gradually working towards replacing its old rakes, which have been a cause of worry for the authorities as they are often developing technical snags. Kolkata Metro has ordered 14 rakes from M/s Dalian Locomotives Ltd. of China, among which the first rake is expected in August.last_img read more

Private tutor sentenced to sixmonths imprisonment for beating boy

first_imgKolkata, Jul 24 (PTI) A Bidhanagar court today sentenced a private tutor to six months imprisonment for beating a three-and-a-half-year-old boy. The tutor, Pooja Singh, had beaten the boy at his home in Lake Town area in the northern fringes of Kolkata on July 22, 2014, following which a video of the incident had become viral. Justice Shubra Som Ghoshal sentenced her to six-months imprisonment and also imposed a fine of Rs 1,000 on her today. The court, however, granted her bail.last_img read more

Sahapedia to ease the dispersal of academic information

first_imgTo create a platform, which helps people know more about our tangible and intangible cultural heritage, is a mammoth task. But National Skill Development Agency, in association with IGNCA have come up with a website that eases the whole endeavour of finding academic information on different matters., which is the interactive platform on Indian and broadly South-Asian cultures, took off after five years of intense research. It was carried out on a co-operative basis, offering windows to store encyclopedic content, images and videos on subjects which come under so many topics. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Reliable and detailed information on matters ranging from visual arts, music, literature, cinema, dance, architecture, ecological systems, cuisine, percussion and oral histories among others will be integral to the website.“For now, much of the content is in English. Efforts are already on to incorporate Indian languages in a major move,” the former TCS chairman said at the function on Saturday evening. “Heritage education will be the focus, so as to kindle interest among the new generation about a range of sources of knowledge, starting from ancient to the modern,” he added. The platform, with scholar-curated modules on variety of topics, offers a rich multi-media experience also propped by the library which has various old and  new articles, journals, books, images from various institutions and authors. It has the option to filter by format, offers interactive timelines that allow users to scroll through developments—as the gathering was shown through a tour of the innovative portal. It not only serves information, but also promotes publication of reliable contributions from users—after review by a panel of subject experts. Also, it is not a place restricted to recording history; instead dynamically supplies information on current and emerging practices by also carrying out critical debate. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixArtist-author-researcher Dr Sudha Gopalakrishnan, executive Director of ‘Sahapedia’ said that the online platform had vast scope for cross-referencing content across domains. “All these would be constantly linked to the ‘Sahapedia’ library, helping to bring out new links across disciplines,” the former head of National Mission for Manuscripts pointed out in her welcome address.A panel discussion on ‘Culture Futures’ on Saturday, featured accounts of field experiences by folk traditions scholar Utpala Desai, digital empowerment activist Osama Manzar, architect-musician Meera Natampally, shadow puppeteer Ramachandra Pulavar and actor-director-publisher Sudhanva Deshpande. The function had began with a 30-minute recital by classical vocalist Dr Subhadra Desai.last_img read more

Style ideas for prewedding shoot

first_imgPlan to get yourself clicked before the big day? Pay attention to colours, fit and cut of your and your partner’s outfits to get the moment right.Meha Bhargava, wedding stylist and founder of, which provides styling services, and Abhilov Khandelwal, stylist, Zankyou Weddings, a wedding portal, have a few tips:Before choosing your wardrobe for the photo-shoot, meet the stylist and the photographer. Make sure that your outfit, the chosen theme and the location are in sync. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfPay attention to the colours you choose for your outfit. They should neither clash nor blend in with the background. Let you and your partner shine through in the pictures.The fitting and cut of the garments are extremely important. While baggy and loose garments might make you look sloppy, clothes that are too tight will make you feel uncomfortable and might show some unsightly bulges.One of the most important factors to consider while deciding what to wear for your pre-wedding shoot is the weather. The lighting, comfort and demands of the season tend to dictate what would look best on the day. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveWhile short summer dresses, maxis, suits and skirts in refreshing colours might look good in summer, anarkali gowns and saris look beautiful in the monsoon. Autumn and winter seasons call for gowns, short party dresses, and lehengas.It’s a good idea to wear colours that complement instead of matching clothes that might rob the pictures of class. Complementing colours tend to bring out the grace and contours tastefully.Accessories like scarves, hats and flowers can bring out joyful elements in a composition. It is important, however, to not over-accessorise it. When chosen wisely, the accessories can help the visuals bloom and bring in a unique class. The accessories can also be quite smartly used as props which make the photos look more natural.An attire is incomplete without shoes that accentuate the whole look. Choosing the shoes well is extremely important as clashing looks can destroy the whole ensemble. Comfort is an all important factor too while choosing the right footwear. Heels look great but wear them only if you are comfortable in them.last_img read more

Heres why eating chocolate may be good for your heart

first_imgLove to gorge on chocolates? According to a research, consuming up to six bars of chocolate a week may lower the risk of developing a common and dangerous type of irregular heartbeat linked with higher risk of stroke, heart failure, cognitive decline, dementia, and death by 20 per cent.Atrial fibrillation also known as heart flutter affects more than 33 million people worldwide, with one in four adults likely to develop it at some point during the life course. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf “Our study adds to the accumulating evidence on the health benefits of moderate chocolate intake and highlights the importance of behavioural factors for potentially lowering the risk of arrhythmias,” said lead author Elizabeth Mostofsky, from Harvard Chan School in the US. “Despite the fact that most of the chocolate consumed by the study participants likely had relatively low concentrations of potentially protective ingredients, we still observed a significant association between eating chocolate and a lower risk of atrial fibrillation – suggesting that even small amounts of cocoa consumption can have a positive health impact,” she added. “Eating excessive amounts of chocolate is not recommended because many chocolate products are high in calories from sugar and fat and could lead to weight gain and other metabolic problems. But moderate intake of chocolate with high cocoa content may be a healthy choice.”last_img read more

Khadi Indias flagship store makes a record sale

first_imgJust two days after Prime Minister’s appeal to the masses for buying Khadi products in his monthly radio-talk ‘Mann ki Baat’ on September 30, all the Khadi showrooms in National Capital Region of Delhi remained jam-packed till late evening on Gandhi Jayanti on October 2 this year.Altogether 13,657 Khadi-lovers visited Khadi India flagship store at Connaught Place, Delhi, and a total of 2,730 sales bills were issued in a single day. It was noted that the store made a record sale of Rs 1.06 crore. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe sale of Khadi products on the 150th birth anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi was the highest since the country started celebrating Gandhi Jayanti. It is also an increase of about Rs 36 lakh with respect to the sale of Rs 70.01 lakh on October 2, 2017 – a growth of 51 percent. There is a customary discount sale given by the Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) on Khadi products across the nation. According to the Minister of State for MSME, Giriraj Singh, the record sale on Gandhi Jayanti in Delhi this year was an exemplary display of Prime Minister’s connectivity with the masses. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”I am overwhelmed with this record sale,” he said. Also, KVIC Chairman Vinay Kumar Saxena, who was personally monitoring the customers’ influx in the outlet, expressed his appreciation towards the Prime Minister, saying, “The record sale is the translation of how Prime Minister has communicated his vision of economic transformation through Khadi clearly, creatively, and continually.” “The beginning of Khadi sale is extremely encouraging with a sweeter note of success this time and I hope that this year we will break our own record of highest sale in the days to come,” he further added. Apart from all the enthusiasm in the Capital, a Khadi Fest was inaugurated by the Minister of State for MSME and the KVIC Chairman, in Mumbai.last_img read more

Dance Extravaganza

first_imgNatya Vriksha, in collaboration with India International Centre, is organising ‘Samagama Leela’, an autobiographical journey into the ocean of Bhakti/Devotion by Bharatanatyam Dancer Padmashri Geeta Chandran. The performance will be introduced by Acharya Shrivatsa Goswami, Sri Caitanya Prema Samsthana, Vrindavan, UP, on June 29, Saturday, 6:30 pm onward. In her solo Bharatanatyam performance, Geeta will narrate how Bhakti impacted her life – from early childhood, and how it influenced her as a person.last_img read more

Hoard of Roman Coins found linked to epic revolt of Celtic Queen

first_imgA hoard of Roman coins dating from the time of Queen Boudicca have been found by a metal detectorist in a field. What makes this find especially fascinating is that they may have been hidden there during one of the most interesting periods in Britain’s early history, the revolt against Rome led by the Celtic Queen Boudicca. The trove of 60 denarii, dating between 153 BC and AD 60-61, was found in a field near Cookley, in Suffolk.  Dr. Anna Booth, who examined the find, told The Guardian there “might be a link with the Boudiccan revolt” and the coins.Most of the coins dated from the Republic era, pre-27 BC, but there were also denarii that were minted during the reigns of emperors Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, and Nero.The coins dated between 153BC and AD61. Photo courtesy of Suffolk City CouncilDr. Booth said,  “This hoard is interesting because the latest coin dated to the reign of Nero in AD 60-61. The final coin is often an indication of when a hoard is likely to have been deposited. There might be a link with the Boudiccan revolt which took place in AD61 in this region.”Boudicca was the Queen of the Iceni tribe of modern-day East Anglia. The Iceni King, Prasutagus, an ally of Rome, in his will divided his estate between his daughters and Roman Emperor Nero. When Prasutagus died, however, his lands were taken by Rome and the Iceni lost their status as allies.Boudicca statue in LondonBoudicca objected to Rome’s action. As punishment,  many historians say she was flogged and her two daughters raped. Boudicca then led  a serious revolt against Rome. Her warriors defeated the Roman Ninth Legion, destroying Colchester, which was the capital of Roman Britain at the time, and murdering the inhabitants. Her armies left the cities of Camulodunum, Londinium, and Verulamium in ruins and over 80,000 Roman citizens of Britain dead.Roman Governor Gaius Suetonius Paulinus eventually defeated her forces on the battlefield. Boudicca is said to have committed suicide by poisoning herself after her defeat.Boadicea, leader of the rebellion against the Romans, 1868While the site of the battle is unknown, it is referred to as The Battle of Watling Street and the precise location could be King’s Cross, London, or Church Stowe, Northamptonshire. Following Boudicca’s defeat, Suetonius instituted harsher laws on the indigenous people of Britain until he was replaced by Publius Petronius Turpilianus who ruled through gentler measures.These solid silver coins were found in August 2018. Two of the coins were silver-plated copies. Senior coroner Nigel Parsley declared it to be treasure at an inquest in Ipswich. The exact field that they were found in was not revealed and no specific value for the coins has been given.Related Video:Experts can’t say for sure whether the coins can be directly related to Boudicca “but her revolts did see a slight increase in hiding treasures due to it being such a turbulent time in Britain,” said The Sun.Aside from Boudicac and her rebellion, the Iceni of northern East Anglia are particularly well known for their gold and silver work. This industry provides one of the main archaeological indications of their existence. This is particularly true in terms of their coinage, which most likely started around 50 BC and continued until the Boudiccan Revolt. Like the Iceni themselves, it was tightly focused around Norfolk, north Suffolk, and the Cambridgeshire fens.Related Article: Wales’ Most Legendary Warrior Princess whose Name Turned into a Battle CryThere was no coinage production after the Boudiccan Revolt, and there are no reliable finds which link Icenian coinage to Roman coinage thereafter. It seems that while the Iceni were permitted by Rome to continue minting coinage after their conquest and up until the Boudiccan Revolt, afterwards it was halted and circulation ceased. This may be tied to the Icenian, which is full incorporation into Roman authority.Nancy Bilyeau, a former staff editor at Entertainment Weekly, Rolling Stone, and InStyle, has written a trilogy of historical thrillers for Touchstone Books. Her new book, The Blue, is a spy story set in the 18th-century porcelain world. For more information, go to www.nancybilyeau.comlast_img read more

WARNING Dwight Howard running point on the fast break may make you

first_imgDwight Howard signed with his hometown Hawks in the offseason after several disappointing seasons in Houston. He’s averaging a solid double double on the season (14.5 points, 12.9 rebounds), but has never been accused of having any offensive skill or ball handling ability in his career.In last night’s 109-107 loss to the Suns, Howard thought it would be a good idea to test out the old point guard skills in front of the Suns crowd. It went about as badly as you would expect.Howard ran the point on the fast break after getting a rebound in the first quarter. As he approached half court, for some reason he decided to try a one-handed, left handed, alley-oop off the bounce. No Hawks were in the zip code, and the pass rocketed off the glass and back to the Suns. Nice work.Don’t ever do that again, Dwight. Ever.Dwight Howard with the HANDLES ?— Only The NBA ™ ? (@OnlyTheNBA) December 1, 2016last_img read more

Andrew Luck and LeBron James are the most valuable American pro athletes

first_imgIn the final phase of Tom Brady’s career, the whispers will keep getting louder40-year-old Tom Brady is coming off another Super Bowl win, but when the Pats were trailing 28-3 Colin started to hear the whispers. ‘Brady’s finished.’ ‘He’s lost it.’ Unfortunately for Brady, as he continues to age, the whispers are only going to increase every time he doesn’t play well. Colin calls it the Whisper Tunnel phase of his career.Brady can’t be the best quarterback on the planet forever, and he’s played bad games in his 20’s and 30’s, but when older quarterbacks make mistakes, people are naturally going to jump to the conclusion that his poor play is due to his age and declining physical skills. It’s never going to be said to his face, but a narrative will be built that that the Patriots are better off without him. It won’t be this year, and may not happen next year, but eventually the whispers will become loud enough that they’ll push him out the door.Guests:Paulie Malignaggi – Former WBA welterweight champ and former Conor McGregor sparring.Michael Vick – Former Falcons and Eagles quarterbackJay Glazer – Fox NFL InsiderGreg Jennings – FS1 NFL Analyst and former Green Bay Packers wide receiver Andrew Luck and LeBron James are the most valuable American pro athletesThere is a difference between great and valuable. Great players with superior organizations aren’t as valuable as players with organizations that would bottom out if they left. Tom Brady may be the greatest quarterback in NFL history, but if he retired, the Patriots are prepared for life without him. If Steph Curry left the Warriors, they would still win plenty of games with Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.When it comes to the most valuable American professional athletes, Colin thinks the two most valuable are LeBron James and Andrew Luck. Both play for chaotic organizations that are only competitive because of their presence. When LeBron left Cleveland for Miami in 2011, the Cavs won 19 games after winning 63 the previous year.Similarly, Andrew Luck has literally propped up a disastrous owner, bad GM and awful defense since he entered the NFL. If he ends up missing this season, the Colts would be lucky to win 2 games. That is the definition of valuable.last_img read more