Report suggests more rigorous assessment of nanosilver use

first_img More information: Nanosilver Revisited Downstream, Bernd Nowack, Science 19 November 2010: Vol. 330 no. 6007 pp. 1054-1055. DOI:10.1126/science.1198074 These hand sanitizers and many other consumer products on the market contain nanosilver. Nanosilver is the most commonly used nanoparticle found in consumer goods, and is being used as an anti-odor, antibacterial agent in fabrics, deodorants, toothpastes, and even cement. It is also found in a wide range of other applications, including paints, medical devices, bandages, food containers, and electronics equipment and washing machines. Silver is widely used because it is believed to be harmless to humans except in high concentrations, but it is known to be toxic to fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms, and little is known about its effects on wastewater systems or the wider environment. Previous studies in Europe have shown that around 15 percent of the total volume of silver in wastewater is biocidal nanosilver originating in consumer goods and medicinal uses.Author of the report, Dr. Bernd Nowack of the Swiss Federal Laboratory for Materials Science, Empa, said that while silver has long been known to be a biocide, nanosilver seems to have unique properties because of the nano-scale (less than 100 billionths of a meter) size of the particles. He said this suggests there should be more rigorous assessments of the risks to humans and the environment.Dr. Nowack said one of the risks arises because some of the wastewater and sludge from sewage treatment plants ends up on farms in fertilizers, and could therefore enter the food chain. Another risk is that nanosilver could have a detrimental effect on the nitrifying bacteria that are vital to the effluent treatment processes, and could prevent treatment plants from working properly.Nowack’s report said in earlier studies some nanosilver had been shown to bond with sulfur in sewage sludge to produce non-toxic silver sulfide nanoparticles, but it is not known how efficient sulfur is at removing biocidal silver.In the US and many other countries manufacturers have no obligation to disclose the presence of nanoparticles in consumer goods. Citation: Report suggests more rigorous assessment of nanosilver use (2010, November 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-11-rigorous-nanosilver.html Popular nanoparticle causes toxicity in fish, study shows (PhysOrg.com) — A new report published in the journal Science suggests the risks to the environment of nanosilver used in consumer goods should be examined more stringently. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Inspector General audit finds problems with NASAs cloud computing efforts

first_img © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Inspector General audit finds problems with NASA’s cloud computing efforts (2013, July 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-07-inspector-problems-nasa-cloud-efforts.html CIA faulted for choosing Amazon over IBM on cloud contract Explore further Over the past several years, the Office of Management and Budget, which controls the purse strings of federal entities, has demanded that governmental agencies, such as NASA, begin transferring some or all of its data processing and storage activities to the cloud. The idea is that doing so will save the government a lot of money. In following the directive, however, it appears that managers at NASA have failed to ensure that cloud operations are undertaken with the knowledge and approval of the agencies top information officer. Worse, it appears that many of the cloud initiatives were undertaken without due consideration given to necessary security precautions that must be put in place when applications and data become accessible across the Internet.More specifically, the auditors found over a 100 NASA websites—both internal and external—had never been tested for security integrity. Incredibly, many of those same websites were found to have no security controls in place at all.Government agencies have two main options when moving applications to the cloud—set up facilities on their own or contract out. NASA, like most other federal agencies has chosen the latter. Unfortunately, the auditors found that officials at the agency in many cases failed to include security issues when writing contracts, which of course resulted in them not being put in place.Overall, the IG’s report has found that weaknesses in cloud applications have impeded the agency from reaping the benefits of cloud computing—namely reducing costs. And worse, the approach taken thus far has put NASA data at risk. Out of five contracts reviewed, the auditors found “none came close” to operating with industry standard security precautions.The auditors recommend that NASA set up an office dedicated to cloud computing and the security issues that must be put in place when such initiatives are undertaken. 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 Office of the Inspector General, led by Paul Martin, has published the results of an audit of NASA’s cloud computing efforts and has found many such efforts lack proper security. The report also notes that many cloud efforts run by the agency were operating without the knowledge of its own Office of the Chief Information Officer.last_img read more

Researchers to use exosuit to explore ancient Antikythera wreck

first_img Deep-Diving Exosuit The team has scheduled a test run of the suit this summer at a site called the Canyons off the coast of Rhode Island. If all goes well, plans for exploring the Antikythera wreck can proceed, paving the way for a whole new way to explore undersea wrecks from virtually any era. More information: The Exosuit: www.amnh.org/exhibitions/past- … ibitions/the-exosuitvia Newscientist (Phys.org) —Marine archeologists with the Hellenic Ministry of Culture research program (with support from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) are planning to explore the ancient Greek Antikythera wreck in the Agean Sea, using an exosuit developed by Nuytco Research—originally for use in helping workers in New York’s water treatment facilities. The iron-man looking exosuit allows a diver to descend to 1000 feet for hours at a time without need for decompressing upon returning to the surface. 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. Credit: American Museum of Natural History Credit: American Museum of Natural History The Antikythera was discovered by divers in 1900—attempts to explore the wreck resulted in recovery of many artifacts, mostly famously, one that is known as the Antikythera mechanism—now referred to as the world’s oldest computer. But it also led to injury and death due to the extreme depth (120 meters). Subsequent attempts more recently have led to more discoveries, but time constraints have prevented a thorough study of the wreck. Wearing the exosuit, the researchers hope will not only allow for mapping the wreck, but for discovery of more artifacts, some perhaps as interesting as the Antikythera mechanism.The suit, which is essentially a body submarine, allows for both arm and leg movements, courtesy of multiple patented rotary joints. It also has 1.6 horsepower thrusters that are activated by the “pilot” via pads inside the boots. It’s made of mostly aluminum, and weighs 530 pounds. The hands are claw-like, which has meant many hours of training in pools for the research team. The suit also has external LED lights and cameras, an oxygen replenishment system and a tether to the surface with a fiber optic gigabit Ethernet that allows for two-way communications, a live video feed, and monitoring of the suit and its wearer. In the event of an emergency, the suit has backup batteries and systems to maintain life support—if necessary, the four man crew up top can take over control of the suit to bring the diver out of harm’s way. © 2014 Tech Xplore Citation: Researchers to use exosuit to explore ancient Antikythera wreck (2014, June 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-06-exosuit-explore-ancient-antikythera.html Archaeologists return to ancient Greek ‘computer’ wreck site: official Explore furtherlast_img read more

Researchers outline the process by which viruses spread from bats to humans

first_img Citation: Researchers outline the process by which viruses spread from bats to humans (2014, November 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-11-outline-viruses-humans.html Bats identified as hosts of Bartonella mayotimonensis Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Zoonosis. A dog with rabies. Credit: CDC (Phys.org) —A large team of researchers with members from the U.S. and Australia has created a paper that delineates the cross-species spillover dynamic involved with viruses that spread from bats to humans. In that paper, published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the team concludes that the relatively recent trend of humans contracting more and more diseases that originate in bats is likely due to human activities such as encroachment on land already being used by bats. More information: Ecological dynamics of emerging bat virus spillover, Proc. R. Soc. B, 7 January 2015 vol. 282 no. 1798 20142124 Published 12 November 2014. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2124 AbstractViruses that originate in bats may be the most notorious emerging zoonoses that spill over from wildlife into domestic animals and humans. Understanding how these infections filter through ecological systems to cause disease in humans is of profound importance to public health. Transmission of viruses from bats to humans requires a hierarchy of enabling conditions that connect the distribution of reservoir hosts, viral infection within these hosts, and exposure and susceptibility of recipient hosts. For many emerging bat viruses, spillover also requires viral shedding from bats, and survival of the virus in the environment. Focusing on Hendra virus, but also addressing Nipah virus, Ebola virus, Marburg virus and coronaviruses, we delineate this cross-species spillover dynamic from the within-host processes that drive virus excretion to land-use changes that increase interaction among species. We describe how land-use changes may affect co-occurrence and contact between bats and recipient hosts. Two hypotheses may explain temporal and spatial pulses of virus shedding in bat populations: episodic shedding from persistently infected bats or transient epidemics that occur as virus is transmitted among bat populations. Management of livestock also may affect the probability of exposure and disease. Interventions to decrease the probability of virus spillover can be implemented at multiple levels from targeting the reservoir host to managing recipient host exposure and susceptibility.center_img © 2014 Phys.org Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In recent years, bats have joined the list of animals (birds, pigs, etc.) that harbor so named zoonoses—infections that move between species. One of those diseases in the news is the Ebola virus, which many scientists believe originated in bats. Sadly, our knowledge of how viruses move from one species to another is still rather limited, the authors note, which means a lot of work needs to be done. Figuring out how it happens might help prevent it from happening in the future. To further that cause, the researchers with this effort have outlined the path by which diseases make their way from bats to humans.The researchers don’t know how bats get a disease in the first place, but suspect its part of a process that has been going on for thousands of years. Bats live closely together and tend to infect others of their kind quite rapidly. But, over time, the bats have developed an immunity of sorts. They get the disease, but it doesn’t kill them, or stop them from living their lives—and that’s part of the problem. They leave behind urine, feces and saliva, all of which can serve as a carrier to another species—horses, for example, or monkeys. If a horse eats the grass that is growing under a tree habituated by bats, it’s very likely to get a disease. This happened with the Hendra virus in Australia. And if that horse makes its way back to the barn, it’s likely to infect other horses that live there. And if a human being takes care of that horse, that person is likely to become infected as well.It’s all happening, the researchers claim, because humans are cutting down trees used by bats and using the land for other purposes—to put up houses, for example, some of which have trees in their yards. If they are fruit trees, the bats will take up residence, increasing the likelihood of a virus being spread to the people who live there. They note that getting rid of bats is not an option—that would be an ecological disaster—instead they suggest that the best way to prevent viruses jumping to people is to stop people from encroaching on the land where bats live.last_img read more

General principles to explain DNA brick selfassembly

first_imgControlled nucleation is essential for robust self-assembly. (A) An example 86-strand DNA-brick structure and (B) its associated connectivity graph. (C) Incidental interactions between dangling ends, shown in orange, lead to incorrect associations between fragments. Credit: (c) 2015 PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1502210112 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)—DNA bricks are an odd phenomenon. They are nanostructures built from synthetic, single-strand DNA that self-assemble into 3D structures. Several years ago, researchers at Wyss Institute at Harvard demonstrated the self-assembly of designed 3D structures made from 1,000 “bricks” that fit together like molecular Legos. One of the curiosities about these DNA bricks is why this complex self-assembly process works so well. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences In an effort to uncover the nuances of DNA brick self-assembly, William M. Jacobs, Aleks Reinhardt, and Daan Frenkel from the University of Cambridge conducted theoretical studies to understand what drives the assembly process. Their studies reveal how temperature, kinetics, coordination number, and bond energies, contribute to the unique behavior of DNA brick self-assembly, and while it is a nucleated process, it does not behave according to classical nucleation theory. Their work appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.In order to optimize DNA brick assembly, Jacobs, et al. wanted to investigate whether these systems had a nucleation barrier. In classic nucleation theory (CNT), the nucleation barrier is the energy cost for making an ordered structure, such as a crystal. This energy barrier must be overcome before a compound can settle into its equilibrium structure. The authors found that DNA brick assembly does have a nucleation barrier, but, unlike CNT, this barrier is determined by the way the bricks are connected in the target structure. They identified several factors that contribute to this non-classical behavior.DNA bricks are designed to assemble in particular ways by matching certain sections of a DNA strand with a complimentary section. These designed interactions need to be stronger than incidental interactions. They found that there is a critical number of DNA strands that must be assembled to promote the formation of the target structure, meaning that the the nucleation barrier is a consequence of the number of subunits that must be assembled.Additionally, DNA-bricks have a certain temperature range at which the nucleation barrier is overcome, but over which the free energy of the final structure is higher than the initial monomers. This deviates from CNT which predicts that a nucleus with more than the critical number of DNA strands will assemble into the complete structure. This difference is due to DNA bricks forming stable intermediate structures. Experimentally, this means that self-assembly occurs in a narrow temperature range in which nucleation begins at a high temperature, and as the structure is gradually cooled, the target structure is favored.In prior studies, the maximum number of bonds made by each brick in the interior of a structure was four, but it is possible to have different coordination numbers. The question was whether the coordination number affected the nucleation barrier, and whether four bonds were necessary. It turns out that DNA brick self-assembly works well because each subunit makes only a small number of bonds. When the authors tested higher coordination numbers, they found that the system behaved analogously to CNT.Finally, Jacobs et al. found that contrary to theories that homogenous bond energies would decrease the number of errors during DNA brick assembly, it is the diversity in bond energies that contributes to enhanced kinetics of DNA brick self-assembly. This was likely due to stabilizing unstable intermediate structures.Jacobs, et al. have identified several key features that aid in understanding why DNA brick self-assembly works as well as it does. Features such as ramping down the temperature and optimizing the coordination number explain why there are so few errors in the self-assembly process. And, their discovery that heterogeneous bond energies promote target molecule formation is a practical place where researchers can improve yields and decrease errors in DNA brick assembly. More information: “Rational design of self-assembly pathways for complex multicomponent structures” PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1502210112AbstractThe field of complex self-assembly is moving toward the design of multiparticle structures consisting of thousands of distinct building blocks. To exploit the potential benefits of structures with such “addressable complexity,” we need to understand the factors that optimize the yield and the kinetics of self-assembly. Here we use a simple theoretical method to explain the key features responsible for the unexpected success of DNA-brick experiments, which are currently the only demonstration of reliable self-assembly with such a large number of components. Simulations confirm that our theory accurately predicts the narrow temperature window in which error-free assembly can occur. Even more strikingly, our theory predicts that correct assembly of the complete structure may require a time-dependent experimental protocol. Furthermore, we predict that low coordination numbers result in nonclassical nucleation behavior, which we find to be essential for achieving optimal nucleation kinetics under mild growth conditions. We also show that, rather surprisingly, the use of heterogeneous bond energies improves the nucleation kinetics and in fact appears to be necessary for assembling certain intricate 3D structures. This observation makes it possible to sculpt nucleation pathways by tuning the distribution of interaction strengths. These insights not only suggest how to improve the design of structures based on DNA bricks, but also point the way toward the creation of a much wider class of chemical or colloidal structures with addressable complexity.center_img Citation: General principles to explain DNA brick self-assembly (2015, May 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-05-principles-dna-brick-self-assembly.html © 2015 Phys.org Crystallizing the DNA nanotechnology dream: Scientists have designed the first large DNA crystals Explore furtherlast_img read more

Programming human cells to follow sets of logical instructions

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)—A team of researchers at Boston University has developed a new way to engineer mammalian cells that allows for programming them to behave in desired ways. In their paper published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, the team describes their technique and where they believe such technology is heading. Explore further As scientists around the world look for new ways to prevent and treat diseases, new techniques are emerging, some of which involve programing human cells to behave in desired ways—such as killing cancer cells. In this new effort, the researchers have developed a new way to program mammalian cells using DNA recombinases.To learn how to program cells researchers have worked with simple organisms such as bacteria, which has led to the use of proteins called transcription factors that regulate genes. Unfortunately, that technique has proven unsuitable for programming mammalian cells because it does not produce the same results consistently in all environments. To get around that problem, the researchers instead chose to work with DNA recombinases—enzymes that can be used to cut DNA in predesignated ways and put them back together in new and useful ways.Cutting DNA and sewing it back together allows for programming cells because DNA controls which proteins a cell makes. By cutting and sewing in a certain way, the researchers were able to induce a human kidney cell to produce a fluorescent protein which caused the cell to light up under desired conditions. Inserting other snippets allowed for modifying recombinases that were activated only in the presence of a certain chemical. By cutting multiple DNA snippets, adding new ones and sewing them back together, the researchers found that they were able to create 113 unique circuits that demonstrated a 96.5 rate of success. In one instance, they created a bio-circuit that mimicked a Boolean lookup table—it had six inputs that allowed for executing 16 logical operations.The work by the team was a proof of concept, they’re optimistic that their technique could be used to create new therapies such as bolstering the immune system by programming T cells—perhaps causing them to attack tumor cells. Another possibility is using the technique to program stem cells to grow into desired tissue. New stem cell method produces millions of human brain and muscle cells in days Journal information: Nature Biotechnologycenter_img A depiction of the double helical structure of DNA. Its four coding units (A, T, C, G) are color-coded in pink, orange, purple and yellow. Credit: NHGRI More information: Benjamin H Weinberg et al. Large-scale design of robust genetic circuits with multiple inputs and outputs for mammalian cells, Nature Biotechnology (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nbt.3805AbstractEngineered genetic circuits for mammalian cells often require extensive fine-tuning to perform as intended. We present a robust, general, scalable system, called ‘Boolean logic and arithmetic through DNA excision’ (BLADE), to engineer genetic circuits with multiple inputs and outputs in mammalian cells with minimal optimization. The reliability of BLADE arises from its reliance on recombinases under the control of a single promoter, which integrates circuit signals on a single transcriptional layer. We used BLADE to build 113 circuits in human embryonic kidney and Jurkat T cells and devised a quantitative, vector-proximity metric to evaluate their performance. Of 113 circuits analyzed, 109 functioned (96.5%) as intended without optimization. The circuits, which are available through Addgene, include a 3-input, two-output full adder; a 6-input, one-output Boolean logic look-up table; circuits with small-molecule-inducible control; and circuits that incorporate CRISPR–Cas9 to regulate endogenous genes. BLADE enables execution of sophisticated cellular computation in mammalian cells, with applications in cell and tissue engineering. Citation: Programming human cells to follow sets of logical instructions (2017, March 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-03-human-cells-logical.html © 2017 Phys.orglast_img read more

Books and then some

first_imgThe 20th edition of Delhi Book Fair and 16th Stationery and Office Automation Fair at Pragati Maidan ended on 31 August. The last day of the event featured award giving ceremony by Rita Menon, Chairperson and Managing Director, India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) for Excellence in Display.Awards were presented in different categories comprising Hindi, Regional and English languages. In Hindi language category, Prabhat Prakashan won the gold trophy, Kitabghar Prakashan won silver and Hindi Book Centre won bronze trophy while  in  the English language category, MBD Group, Full Marks Pvt. Ltd. and Amity University Press won the gold, silver and bronze trophies, respectively. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’National Book Trust bagged the gold trophy and Sahitya Akademi won the silver trophy in the Regional language categories. Ballarpur Industries Limited bagged the gold trophy and Paper Theatre and GSC Glass Ltd. received the silver and bronze trophies, respectively, for Excellence in Display in the Stationery and Office Automation Fair. The event also witnessed a workshop on book review Let’s Review a Book and an interactive session-cum workshop with an illustrator for school children on 29 August organised by National Centre for Children’s Literature, a wing of National Book Trust. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe programme was divided into two sessions. The first session on book review was conducted by Nandini Sahu, Associate Professor of English, IGNOU and creative writer. The second session was on illustration was conducted by Subir Roy, renowned illustrator and Art Director at Children’s Book Trust.While giving details on how to write a book review, Sahu said ‘The role of reviewer is very important as the reviewer tells the reader what the book is all about. Since the reviewer has the freedom to write about the book, his mind should be open and should not have negative approach towards the writer.’ In the second session, Roy gave an insight into designing a cover of the book. He informed children about the young Indian artistes who have won several awards at international level. Roy shared his experience as an illustrator and gave tips to children to draw good illustrations.More than 150 children from various schools of Delhi and NCR including DAV Public School Paschim Enclave, DAV Public School Shreshtha Vihar, Ahlcon Public School, Mayur Vihar, Shraddha Public School, Faridabad participated in this programme.The best twenty students in the workshop were given away awards and certificates. The next edition of the fair will be organised from 29 August to 6 September, 2015.last_img read more

Life is a mashup

first_imgNew DJ on the block DJ Chetas was in town at A State of Music (ASOM) Radisson Blu, Dwarka to give Delhi a heady taste of good old Bollywood music and his famous mashups. We had a word with him about it all. Here’s what he had to say…Tell us about yourselves. How did you start off?DJing started off as a hobby and will end also being a hobby cause my priority would always be my family business of road constructions. I started off playing for my friends private parties. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ What was the first big break for you?My first big break was with T-series and my remix for Aashiq Banaya Aapne at the age of 16 . How would you define your musical philosophy?  Tell us a bit about your music, what do you think defines you?Mashups have always been what I wanted to do. When I started making mashups, people, in fact even my close friends said that this concept would not work, but as you know today, everyone grooves  to mashups!How easy (or difficult) is it to make a mark in the music scene? What do you think about the main issues are? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIt’s not easy create you mark in the music scene, it’s a lot of hard work and dedication that goes in. Trying to get everyone like your track is the challenge, all though you can never please 100 per cent of the audience , that should always be your goal. What/Who inspires you? Family and friends and of course my team – Life is a mashup!  Tell us about your best tracksI think Balam Pichkari was my first massive remix , so that’s one, and the Break Up Mashup. These are tracks closest to my heart. What songs top your playlist right now?All Arijit Singh tracks . What suggestions/advice would you have for newbies in music?Follow your heart , do what you love , but also remember that music wont fill your stomach so its always good to have a backup job. How has Delhi been for you?Delhi’s like second home now, we are here at least twice or thrice a month.last_img read more

The Spanish dream

first_imgChef Moreno will present a beautifully crafted menu comprising of specialties from the Extremadura region, such as the famous Jamon Iberico pork, exceptional olive oil, fresh paprika and freshly sourced ingredients including soft sheep’s cheeses from the Serena and Casar. The menu includes regional favorites such as ‘Asparagus tempura with paprika flavoured potato foam’,’Coca Catalana with Green Olive Tartar and goat cheese’ and various dishes with Iberian cold cuts and meats.  The extravaganza will continue till December 6. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Extremadura in Spain is home to a National Park and several areas of outstanding natural beauty, especially in the north of the region. The Tapas festival in the city is organized with the support of Government of Extremadura and the Spanish Embassy with an aim to showcase the gastronomy of the region.Named after Seville, the famous art and cultural capital of southern Spain, Sevilla at The Claridges New Delhi is the city’s most recognised Mediterranean restaurant known for its new-style Spanish cuisine. The styling at Sevilla is inspired by the azure skies and landscape of the Mediterranean that creates a visual delight with the indoors and outdoors merging to provide a free flowing, casual dining experience reflecting the Spanish Riviera. The restaurant continues to win unprecedented praise and rave reviews for its innovative gastronomy from southern coastal Europe and Casablanca.last_img read more

Madrassa students to interact with Howrah cops over road safety

first_imgKolkata: Howrah city police is going to organise an awareness campaign in which students from Madrassas will be interacting with policemen, who are experts in traffic management, on a one-to-one basis, at Safe Drive Save Life Park. The move was taken considering it will help Madrassa students learn about road safety in details and they can circulate the message of safe drive save life among more people including their family members.A unique Park has been set up off Foreshore Road and it has been named after this statewide road safety campaign, ‘Safe Drive Save Life’, which was launched by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to check road accidents. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsHowrah city police has so far taken several initiatives to create awareness among people on road safety. A park has been set up beside Foreshore Road through which thousands of people pass everyday. The decorative pieces and paintings in the park, which were done based on the theme ‘Safe Drive Save Life’, attracts attention of all passersby and it creates awareness among people. A senior officer of Howrah city police said around 50 students from different Madrassas in Kolkata’s twin City will be participating in the programme that is going to be held at Save Drive Save Life Park on Saturday. Senior officers of Howrah city police including those who are mainly involved with regular traffic management and road safety issues will be present at the venue. As per the plan, the officers will be interacting directly with the students. First, they will give a brief description on road safety and traffic related matters to the students and subsequently they will also explain the aspects related to traffic management as per the queries of the students present. It may be mentioned that Kolkata Police, district police and all the police commissionerates under it have organised several awareness programmes in schools and colleges. Howrah Police is also involved in organising such programmes and students from different schools are already associated with road safety campaigns. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedNow, the students from Madrassas are also going to be a part of the campaign. The police officer said the knowledge they will gain during the interactive session on road safety will help them immensely and at the same time they will be able to spread the same message and knowledge among their close ones. This is how more number of people will become aware and eventually start to follow the traffic norms. Zafar Ajmal Kidwai, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) of Howrah City Police, said: “It is a continuous process. There will be awareness campaigns by students from Madrassas on Saturday at Safe Drive Save Life Park. Students from schools of all other mediums including Bengali and Hindi will also be brought under the programme.”last_img read more

52yrold womans body found in Tagore Park flat

first_imgKolkata: The body of a 52-year-old woman was recovered from her residence at Tagore Park under Kasba police station area on Saturday late afternoon. Police suspect that the woman, identified as Shila Chowdhury, an officer of National Atlas who used to live alone in the apartment, was murdered.There were injury marks at the back side of the woman’s head and the body was lying in the kitchen.A charred night dress has also been recovered from beside the body. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe regulator of the cooking gas was found open and a rope was tied to the gas nozzle in such a manner so that it could be pulled from outside the house in the ground floor room.”The assailant might have suffocated the woman to ensure death,” a senior police officer said.The wires connecting the calling bell of the house was also found snapped off and the almirah was in a rummaged condition.”Two glasses of juice were found in the drawing room. We feel it was an act of someone known to the lady,” an investigating officer said..The sleuths are questioning the woman’s driver who had come to the house in the morning and also her neighbours for further leads.The woman’s only son settled in abroad has been informed of her death.last_img read more

Jai Ho Manusher Sathe to be theme of Kolkata Police programme this

first_imgKolkata: This year, Kolkata Police’s programme Jai ho is going to be based on the theme — “Manusher Sathe” (With People). Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to be present at the function which is due to be held on August 24 at Netaji Indoor Stadium.It was after the change of guard in the state in 2011, Kolkata Police has been organising this programme, based on different themes, every year. “It may be recalled that the themes of the programme in 2016 and 2017 were “Safe Drive Save Life” and “Women Empowerment” respectively. It was in 2016, when the Chief Minister had launched the state wide — “Safe Drive Save Life”— campaign to bring down road accidents. Similarly, “Women Empowerment” was the theme in 2017 after the Chief Minister bagged the first prize in United Nations Public Service Award for Asia Pacific in the Netherlands for Kanyashree Prakalpa. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe programme will start at 5 pm on Friday and there will be performances based on the theme by both men and women police personnel. As many as 39 police personnel will put up a dance performance choreographed by Sudarshan.The police personnel will depict the theme “Manusher Sathe” through their performances.”Kolkata Police is always beside the citizens and rushes to extend their help. The performances will also depict how police always remain beside people,” the officer said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”Every aspect of the programme will be based on the theme — ‘Manusher Sathe’,” said a senior police officer adding that Tollywood actors will also be present and many will perform.He added that the yearly recreational programme of Kolkata Police Jai Ho is one of the events in which family members of the city police’s rank and file are invited to be a part of the extravaganza that continues for around 5 hours.It may be mentioned that after coming to power, the Mamata Banerjee government has taken up several initiatives for the police personnel who relentlessly carry out their duty and take additional responsibilities during any festival in the state.last_img read more

ZSI researchers discover 7 new species of jumping spiders

first_imgKolkata: Researchers from Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Kolkata, have discovered and described seven species of jumping spiders which are new to science.The species were discovered from the northern part of India with two each from Rajasthan, Uttarakhand, Assam and one from the century old National Zoological Collections (NZC) from West Bengal. Two genera, Colyttus and Mogrus have been recorded for the first time in India. “The jumping spider family (Salticidae) is the most diverse spider family, with their world fauna consisting of 6,088 described species. In India, there are about 250 species of jumping spiders known till date. They are diverse, tiny creatures, easily recognised by their large anterior median eyes. These diurnal predators are well known for their excellent vision, swift reflexes and their ability to jump long distances,” said Dr Vikas Kumar, Officer-in-Charge of the Centre for DNA Taxonomy who along with other members of the Centre, John Caleb, Sumantika Chatterjee, Kaomud Tyagi and Shantanu Kundu carried out the studies. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeTwo species, Epocilla Sirohi and Mogrus Rajasthanensis were discovered from Rajasthan. The species E. Sirohi is distinctive and can be easily recognised by the uniquely long embolus in its copulatory organ. The genus Epocilla presently contains 12 species, of which 11 are known from Asia. The genus Mogrus comprises of 29 species from Asia, and a few species from Africa and Europe. Two more species were described from Assam, Colyttus Proszynskii and Synagelides Brahmaputra. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe genus Colyttus is recorded for the first time in India. Most of the members of the genus are inhabitants of rain forests in south-east Asia and similarly, the new species was also found to be dwelling in the rain forest inside Dehing Patkai Wildlife Sanctuary. Synagelides Brahmaputra is named after the river Brahmaputra. The species was collected near Bherjan-Borajan-Padumoni Wildlife Sanctuary. Two new species, Nandicius Vallisflorum and Pellenes Himalaya were described from the Western Himalayas, Uttarakhand. They were found from the alpine meadows of the Valley of Flowers. The species Nandicius Vallisflorum was named after the Valley of Flowers and Pellenes Himalaya after the majestic Himalayas. The study is part of the project — “Biodiversity Assessment through Long-term Monitoring Plots in the Indian Himalayan Landscape” funded by the Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) through National Mission on Himalayan Studies (NMHS). The project is led by the Director and Principal Investigator, Dr Kailash Chandra. All these findings have found its place in leading reputed science journals. One species, Brettus Gravelyi is described from West Bengal. The study was carried out by John Caleb, Shelley Acharya and Vikas Kumar. The specimen was collected in the year 1916 from Peshok, Darjeeling district by Dr Fredrick Henry Gravely, a well-known British arachnologist. The species is known only from the male sex, while the females remain unknown. Additional surveys from the same location are required to understand the species in detail with regard to its biology, life history and habitat preferences.last_img read more

RKM president unveils exhibition art galleries

first_imgKolkata: Swami Smarananandaji, president Ramakrishna Math and Mission inaugurated the annual exhibition 2019 titled Bharat Parikrama of Swami Vivekananda at the Ramakrishna Mission Institute of Culture at Golpark on Monday.He also inaugurated two art galleries at the institute. The sketches were made of line drawing on Swamiji’s travels in India as a wandering monk after the death of Sri Ramakrishna in 1886 till he left for The United States to attend the World’s Parliament of Religions which was held in Chicago in 1893 have been made by Rathin Mitra. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMitra has donated 138 line drawings to the institute. Inspired by the philosophy of Swamiji since school days, the nonagenarian artist travelled extensively in the country and visited the places where Swamiji had visited before he left for the US. Swamiji stayed in the houses of the kings, senior government officials among others and interacted with people all walks of life. The exhibition tells the story of Swamiji as a wandering monk. In modern India Swamiji was the first person who travelled extensively in the country to know the rich heritage and culture of the ancient country and its people. It will be held till May 4 from 11am to 6pm except Sundays and holidays. It may be mentioned that a museum was recently inaugurated by Swami Suviranandaji, general secretary Ramakrishna math and Mission at Khetri in Rajasthan. The Raja of Khetri Ajit Singh was Swamiji’s disciple and the latter stayed in his palace. Mitra was born in Howrah in 1926. His works have been appreciated both in the country and abroad and exhibitions have been held in different parts in the country, including the Victoria memorial Hall. From the 1980s he started working on the heritage buildings of Kolkata and made their sketches. It was around this time when many of the landmark buildings in the city had been demolished to make room for high-rises.last_img read more

Bringing the best of classical music to Delhi

first_imgTeamwork Arts, a pioneering entertainment company, renowned for curating innovative and experiential events in association with ‘The Raag Mantra Music Foundation’ is organising ‘The Raag Mantra Festival’ – bringing the best of Indian classical music to iconic heritage venues across India.On December 9, under Delhi’s architectural landmark – the Qutb Minar, Ustad Zakir Hussain, Ustad Rashid Khan, and Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan will take the stage for a concert which has been twenty years in the making. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSet against the backdrop of the Qutb Minar, this unforgettable musical night is the first in series of concerts showcasing Indian classical music against scenic heritage venues across India. Commenting on this initiative, Sanjoy K Roy, Managing Director, Teamwork Arts, said, “Our musical legacy has survived due to patrons and speaking as a serious music enthusiast, I am eagerly looking forward to a magical night created by these three maestros. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the discerning audience of Delhi for giving us the strength and support to initiate new projects time and time again.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIndian classical music is timeless, ethereal and steeped in history and legend. It is the embodiment of India’s cultural legacy and takes one back to durbar evenings in Mughal courts when musicians would serenade royalty and the aristocracy. ‘The Raag Mantra Music Festival’ seeks to recreate the magic of those evenings by bringing stellar Indian classical musicians to venues synonymous with India’s heritage. Ustad Zakir Hussain, one of the performers for the evening, is a classical tabla virtuoso who plays with uncanny intuition and masterful improvisational dexterity, rooted in formidable knowledge and study. He is a Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee. Ustad Shahid Parvez Khan on the other hand is a classical sitar player and member of the illustrious Etawah gharana. He also claims roots in the Imdadkhani gharana which is credited with the development of the surbahar as well as structural changes to the sitar itself. He is Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee. And lastly, Ustad Rashid Khan is a Hindustani classical vocalist who practices Rampur-Sahaswan gayaki, which is closely related to the Gwalior gharana. He has recorded film scores, performed on several albums and has worked with AR Rahman and Shankar Ehsan Loy. He is a Padma Shri and Sangeet Natak Akademi awardee.last_img read more

Maruti Suzuki drives in new WagonR with bold stance

first_imgMaruti Suzuki India launched the 3rd generation WagonR. The big new WagonR is poised to impress customers with its bold design, enhanced space, comfort, next-generation infotainment system and advanced K-series engine offering excellent fuel efficiency and driving pleasure. A true tall boy, the big new WagonR has a robust body language with a wide stance, which makes it strikingly attractive.Maruti Suzuki and its partners have invested approximately Rs 670 crore for development of Big New WagonR. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSince its debut in 1999, WagonR has over 2.2 million happy customers and it’s the first car for nearly half of them. The iconic car from Maruti Suzuki continues to feature among the top 5 best-selling cars in India for nearly two decades. The special unveiling of the big new WagonR was done jointly by Ranjan Kumar Mishra, Chief General Manager-SBI (Kolkata Circle) and Pankaj Prabhakar, General Manager (East) Maruti Suzuki India Limited (MSIL) along with General Managers, P Sivakumar and Mahesh Goel from SBI at SBI LHO on January 25. SBI emphasized the importance of finance in purchasing of the car. To take this strategic partnership to the next level, SBI has announced 100% on road finance for the big new WagonR to suit customer needs.last_img read more

Stree Vision Saluting Indian Women

first_imgIndian women are the forerunners in all fields of life whether it is science, arts or politics; and fittingly Lalit Kala Akademi has decided to bring an exhibition of works by these superwomen. The choice to include only women was a powerful statement, a pointed perspective. Eschewing the categories of Life Cycles, Identities, Emotions, and Politics, the exhibition is divided into more literal themes: Motherhood; Sexuality and the Body; Self as Subject/Object; Cultural Encounters; and Power, Violence, and Protest. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfTitled ‘Stree Vision’ (Contemporary Indian Women Printmakers), the show is being organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, and Eugeniuz Geppert Academy of Art and Design, Wraclow, Poland. It will be inaugurated by Jacek Sutryk, Prezydent Wroclawia on June 12, at Gallery Betonowy in Eugeniusza Gepperta Academia of Art and Design Wroclaw – most beautiful space in the Geppert Academy. It is also one of the oldest and most visited galleries in the Akademi of Fine Arts. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe show is inclusive of 51 works of Indian Women Printmakers carefully selected from all over India, namely Anita Das Chakraborty, Anu Gupta, Anupam Sud, Hem Jyotika, Hemavathy Guha, Jin Sook Shinde, Jyoti Deoghare, Kanchan Chander, Kaika Shah, Kinnari Tondlekar, Kshitij Bajpai, Lajja Shah, Lina Ghosh, Medha Satpalkar, Naina Dalal, Nandini Pantawane, Neha Jaiswal, Paula Sen Gupta, Pushpa Dullar, Rajani Sahani, Rini Dhumal, Satwinder Kaur, Seema Gondane, Seema Kholi, Shalini, and others. Dr Uttam Pacharne, Chairman, Lalit Kala Akademi, stated, “I am thankful to Eugeniuz Geppert Academy of Art and Design, Wroclaw, Poland for giving us this opportunity to hold the current exhibition comprising of 51 Indian women printmakers in their university. This exhibition is the gateway to a long-lasting association between both countries. The Indo-Polish ties run deep. The first agreement concerning cultural co-operation between India and Poland was signed in 1957. It is an art show to be presented when the friendship moves to its 61st year. Akademi’s collection also has the works of many polish artists. The show is a landmark event in art.”last_img read more

The Real Life Most Interesting Man in the World

first_img“A giant among men” is a phrase that’s been applied to many over the years, but it’s much more apt for Peter Freuchen than any other. Born Lorenz Peter Elfred Freuchen in 1886, he was a Dane of Jewish descent. A giant of a man, standing more than six and a half feet tall, and sporting a truly impressive beard, Freuchen resembles our images of the Vikings of old.His adventures as an explorer and anthropologist only serve to reinforce that image.Peter FreuchenFreuchen’s early adult life started normally enough. At the behest of his father, he enrolled at the University of Copenhagen, planning to study medicine.His father, a businessman, put a high value on order and stability and wanted that for young Peter.It didn’t take very long, though, before Peter learned that those were not his values and that he was more driven by a desire for action and adventure.Peter Freuchen with guests at the Danish island of Enehøje on Nakskov Fjord.Having learned that about himself, he did the only thing that made sense to him — he dropped out of university and began exploring.His first trip, in 1906, was to Greenland. Freuchen and his friend Knud Rasmussen sailed from Denmark, going as far north as they could by water before leaving the boat and covering another 600 miles by dogsled. While they were traveling, they met Inuit people, hunted with them, and learned their language.Peter Freuchen with his wife Dagmar Cohn.The Inuit hunted a variety of arctic animals, ranging from seals and walruses to whales and polar bears, and with the advantage of his substantial size, Freuchen did well at hunting. He eventually made himself a coat from a polar bear that he killed.In 1910, Freuchen and Rasmussen opened a trading post in Greenland which they called Thule, a reference to the phrase “Ultima Thule,” which was used in ancient cartography to indicate that which was beyond the boundaries of the known world. The Thule Trading Station became the base for seven different exploration expeditions between 1912 and 1933, according to Arctic Thule.Knud RasmussenThe first of these expeditions was undertaken by Freuchen and Rasmussen, and its goal was to test the theory that there was a channel dividing Greenland from Peary Land. The trek covered more than 600 miles across inland Greenland and nearly resulted in Freuchen’s death.An enormous blizzard caught the adventurers and, despite taking cover under a dogsled, he found himself completely buried in snow, which swiftly turned into ice, forming a cave. When this happened, he didn’t have his usual assortment of diggers and tools on him and so was trapped without any tool to free himself.Reportedly, he ended up using his own frozen feces to make a dagger to dig himself out. As a result of this misadventure, he lost one leg to frostbite and several toes to gangrene, which he removed himself out there in the wild.Inuit man in kayak, photo by Edward S. Curtis. Noatak, Alaska, c. 1929.In addition to his various expeditions Freuchen was also an author, writing about his exploits and the Inuit culture. When he returned to Denmark in the 1920s, he became a Social Democrat and wrote articles for a paper called Politiken.Some years later he became involved in the film industry as a scriptwriter and consultant, especially for Arctic-related movies. In 1932, he returned to Greenland on a trip paid for by MGM studios. The most well-known movie he was involved with was a 1933 Oscar-winning film called Eskimo (called Mala the Magnificent in the UK and Australia), in which he appeared as an uncredited role as a ship’s captain.Ray Mala, the star of Eskimo.He continued to be interested in travel, and in the mid to late 1930s went to South Africa and Siberia. In 1938, he founded the Adventurers Club in Denmark as a group for men interested in travel exploration. The club originally consisted of Freuchen and nine other men. It continues to this day, and is now 110 members strong, still holding to the same values.During World War II he became actively involved in the Danish resistance against the Nazi occupation. The Germans captured and incarcerated him with a pending death sentence, but Freuchen escaped, fleeing to Sweden.Freuchen and his wife, Dagmar, eventually moved to the U.S. and lived in New York City. In 1956 he was a contestant on a new television quiz show called The $64,000 Question, and was one of the show’s earliest winners of the $64,000 prize.Read another story from us: The Disastrous Attempt to Reach the North Pole by BalloonFreuchen died of a heart attack in 1957 in Alaska, and his ashes were scattered on Thule Mountain in Greenland, marking the end of new stories about a truly fascinating man.last_img read more

SelfDestructing Messages

first_img A controversial new service makes it possible to send electronic messages that leave no record of their existence. VaporStream is a web-based recordless e-mail/IM hybrid messaging service. Messages sent using VaporStream can be viewed but can’t be forwarded, copied or otherwise recorded. The sender and recipient information never appear on the same screen as the message, so VaporStream subscribers’ identities remain completely private.If you have a pressing need for confidential conversations with no paper or digital trail, the service could be useful, but be very careful not to run afoul of record-keeping regulations. You should also consider whether to put this sort of capability in the hands of your employees. An individual subscription costs $39.99 per year. The Enterprise edition is also $39.99 per year per user, plus a $5 setup fee per account. Mobile access is an additional $5 per user. Register Now » This story appears in the January 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » 1 min read January 1, 2007 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more