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: Fusion scientist revives magnetic mirror machine with cool new idea (2006, December 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-12-fusion-scientist-revives-magnetic-mirror.html In the cooling scheme, Fisch uses one-meter-long radio frequency waves to control nuclear fusion by cooling the alpha particle byproduct of fusion. This cooling wave resonates with specific alpha particles, cooling them and reducing their energy so that they diffuse to the periphery and quickly exit the machine. The alphas’ lost energy could possibly even heat the remaining hydrogen ions to repeat the process.Fisch’s magnetic mirror idea would allow the alpha particles to travel both perpendicular and parallel to field lines due to the open geometry of mirror machines. Torus-shaped tokamaks, on the other hand, bend the magnetic field lines back on themselves for confinement, prohibiting axial movement of particles.Fisch explains that implementing alpha particle channeling would require two conditions. Because not all particles will be affected by the radio wave (only those with identical resonances), a connection must exist between high energy particles in the center and low energy particles near the periphery so that the center particles have a path of escape. Second, too much energy gain could cause energy losses (e.g. from collisions), but since high energy particles are pulled to the magnetic axis, a particle’s distance to the axis would limit its energy gain. Fisch also predicts that, by arranging for several regions of radio waves at different frequencies, a full range of particles can be cooled and ushered to exit. He estimates that quickening this ash removal process could increase fusion reactivity in certain designs by almost three times by making more room for hydrogen fuel ions. “Right now what we have is not quite a full-fledged concept, but it is certainly an idea for a concept,” he says. “I like this cooling effect, simply because it is a ‘cool’ effect. It is just very interesting, either for tokamaks or for mirrors, or even more generally than that.” To take the next step and use these ideas in a mirror machine applicable for confining fusion, Fisch cautions that, while there is the potential to improve efficiency using these ideas, the appropriate waves need to be identified in detail. “We’re still a long way from application,” he says. “The largest challenges in controlled fusion will be to make a device that has engineering simplicity, which is where the open confinement concepts have the advantage. The open confinement concepts need to work better as confinement devices, though.”Citation: Fisch, N.J. “Alpha Channeling in Mirror Machines.” Physical Review Letters 97, 225001 (2006).By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.com Explore further “Now that we know that we can get to the high temperatures need for fusion, we are more concerned with the next engineering steps, like shoveling fuel in and taking the ash and heat out of the machines,” Fisch explains to PhysOrg.com. “In the long run, I would not be surprised if people eventually came back to improved open system concepts for economical fusion energy such as the mirror.”In fusion, light particles (often hydrogen nuclei) fuse into heavier ions (such as helium nuclei, or alpha particles) and release their excess mass as energy. In order to fuse, the particles must reach a very high temperature (e.g. tens of millions of degrees), transforming into the highly conductive plasma phase. Without any control of the energy being produced, though, continuous chain reactions would result in a massive explosion like the hydrogen bomb. Popular in the ‘70s but in little use today, magnetic mirror machines consist of a magnetic field with high strength at the magnetic axis in the center and low strength on the periphery. This set-up enables confinement of charged particles—and now, as Fisch finds, can allow an efficient method for cooling, which is important for controlled fusion. Fisch explains that his cooling method—called an alpha-channeling effect—is similar to an effect that he and his colleague Professor Jean Marcel Rax predicted in 1992 for use in tokamaks, which are arguably the most popular candidate for producing fusion energy today. Like magnetic mirrors, tokamaks also employ magnetic fields to confine the hot plasmas required for fusion.“In the 1980s, there was a big shoot-out between tokamaks and mirrors,” Fisch explains. “The tokamak concept won out because it simply confined heat better, and now the mirror concept is practically gone within the US. But in the 1980s people just wanted to resolve the ‘proof-of-concept’—whether or not you could bring plasma up to thermonuclear temperatures. The tokamak simply had a better shot at this because it had the better seal on heat and particles. “Now that we know that we can get to those temperatures, we are more concerned with the next engineering steps, like shoveling fuel in and taking the ash out,” Fisch continues. “But that means opening up that seal on the tokamak to accomplish these goals. The mirror machine is already ‘open’—that was its problem—so these tasks are easy. In a way, the development path for the mirror was unfortunate, since the problems it solved easily were the engineering issues which were not at the top of the then-list.” Best of Last Week: A loose thread in string theory, e-cigarettes harm brain stem, and diet’s role in obesity pandemic Since the development of the hydrogen bomb in the ‘50s, scientists have speculated that the power of fusion might serve as a renewable energy resource. Research has revealed the challenges of this goal, and although nothing close to such an application exists, recently, Professor Nathaniel Fisch from Princeton University has come up with a new idea for efficient fusion energy production based on the old concept of magnetic mirror machines. The GAMMA 10 tandem mirror at the University of Tsukuba in Japan is the world’s largest tandem-mirror plasma-confinement experimental device. In the future, such a device may use the cooling concept presented in this study by Nathaniel Fisch. Image credit: Teruji Cho, University of Tsukuba Plasma Research Center.
Explore further Squid could thrive under climate change Citation: Why Are Pygmies Short? (2007, December 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-12-pygmies-short.html A Baka pygmy dance group pictured with US Ambassador R. Niels Marquardt in Lobeke National Park, Cameroon, in 2006. Source: US Federal Government. The question is controversial. Traditional explanations attribute pygmies’ small stature to minimizing caloric requirements and walking in dense forests. However, a new study by researchers at the University of Cambridge suggests that there are some problems with this explanation, and offers an alternative hypothesis. Because of their short life expectancies, the researchers speculate that pygmies have had to shift their reproductive years forward. The average life expectancy at birth for different pygmy populations ranges from just 16 years to 24 years. Very few pygmy women reach the end of their reproductive period, as only a small percentage survive past age 40. In order to compensate for the lack of older reproductive women, natural selection has shifted the reproductive period forward. The fertility peak of age at first reproduction in the Aeta is around 15 years old, which reduces generation time and compensates for their short lifespan. In order to make this fertility shift, pygmies must reach full maturity faster than longer-lived human populations. For this reason, many pygmies stop growing at about age 12, several years earlier than other humans. Their childhood growth rate isn’t any more or less rapid than the growth rate of other (traditional) humans; pygmy youth are roughly the same size as non-pygmy youth. (This is the opposite of what is observed in cases of nutritionally induced stunting, where humans delay growth but achieve adult body size later). Instead of experiencing the “teenage growth spurt,” pygmies’ growth is simply truncated.Migliano also explained why pygmies’ growth rates don’t increase in the early years to compensate for their truncated growth at an early age.“I think that, besides the high mortality, they have very low calorie intake, so it is a combination of the two factors that lead to the different phenotypes,” she said. “The pygmies grow in the same rates as the Turkana [eastern African Pastoralists], who also suffer from poor nutrition – but because the Turkana have longer life expectancy, they have time to grow for longer and achieve larger body size. I would expect that a population with high mortality and high resources would grow fast and taller.” In other words, human height in general is partially influenced by lifespan.Still, the life history hypothesis leaves a few unanswered questions. For one, what originally caused the extremely high mortality rates among pygmies? The researchers suspect that the traditional hypotheses of environment, nutrition, thermoregulation, and other challenges may jointly or partially contribute to the high mortality rates observed in a wide variety of pygmy populations. In that case, the traditional explanations may be indirect causes of pygmies’ short stature, although the chain of effects would be much more complex than originally thought.More information: Migliano, Andrea Bamberg, Vinicius, Lucio, and Lahr, Marta Mirazon. “Life history trade-offs explain the evolution of human pygmies.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. December 18, 2007. vol. 104, no. 51, 20216-20219.Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Human pygmy populations are defined by an average male height of less than 5 feet (155 cm). By this definition, a wide range of pygmy societies exist today in parts of Africa, Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, and Bolivia – different environments that don’t match the traditional hypotheses for small body size. Besides the differences within pygmy populations, there are also some non-pygmy populations that face some of the same physical challenges as pygmies but haven’t evolved a short stature. For example, many human populations live in dense forests and experience regular food shortages, and yet these populations have larger body sizes. Now, scientists Andrea Migliano, Lucio Vinicius, and Marta Lahr have performed a study on two pygmy groups from the Philippines, the Aeta and the Batak, and concluded that there may be a better explanation for pygmies’ short stature. Their study is published in a recent issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The researchers point out that one characteristic unique to but common among many pygmy populations is their short lifespan compared to other humans. With this in mind, the researchers suggest that pygmies represent the “fast” extreme of life history strategies, with short stature being a side effect.“We first thought that we would find a relationship between small body size and increased fitness in pygmies – for example, that the shorter pygmies would have more advantages, such as higher fertility, than the taller ones,” Migliano told PhysOrg.com. “However, the smaller pygmies had lower fertility than the taller pygmies. So this gave us the idea that perhaps there was no advantage in being short among pygmies. “Then, when I went to the field, and started to interview them, I noticed the very high mortality rates – really high compared to any other population,” she said. “So when we checked that different pygmy groups followed the same pattern, we thought that these facts should be linked. Also, life history theory has been used for a long time to understand body size diversity among mammals, and we thought it should also apply to the understanding of human diversity.” 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.
(PhysOrg.com) — In an interesting study designed to determine how well ants are able to gauge a threat, Inon Scharf and his colleagues at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany, have shown that even simple ants are able to clearly distinguish between serious threats and those that aren’t so dire. In their paper, published on Ethology, the team found that a species of forest ant, Temnothorax longispinosus, are able to tell on sight if an invader is a serious threat, or just a mild one, and to react more stringently when the stakes are higher. To find out just how good ants are at distinguishing between threats, Scharf and his team assembled four different types of ants in their lab. The first was another species of ant unknown to T. longispinosus, the second were ants of the same species but from another nest; the third were ants from a different but familiar species, and the fourth were so-called slave-making ants; a very serious threat due to their tendency to kill off the queen and steal the young to enslave them as workers in their own nests.Temnothorax longispinosus, a forest dwelling ant specific to the American Northeast, generally have two forms of defense; they either bite and sting intruders or try to drag them out of the nest. In the study, the researchers found that upon discovering a slavemaker ant in the nest, T. longispinosus, came at the intruder with spread mandibles and began biting and stinging for all they were worth. When discovering any of the other ants in their nest, though, they instead opted for dragging, with different degrees of effort, based on the apparent degree of threat. The competitor ants were immediately dragged out, while the efforts to do the same with the familiar but different species ants were less urgent, and the species unknown to the ants were rarely attacked at all.From the study it appears that the ants have adapted to defending their nest in ways that are the most efficient; they only go full out when the threat is so severe that the survival of the nest is at stake. Dragging an intruder out involves fewer ants and doesn’t interfere with ongoing food retrieval activities. Common house ants form supercolonies, prosper in urban settings © 2010 PhysOrg.com 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. Temnothorax longispinosus. Image credit: Antweb.org More information: Differential Response of Ant Colonies to Intruders: Attack Strategies Correlate With Potential Threat, Ethology, DOI:10.1111/j.1439-0310.2011.01926.xAbstractAnimals are often threatened by predators, parasites, or competitors, and attacks against these enemies are a common response, which can help to remove the danger. The costs of defense are complex and involve the risk of injury, the loss of energy/time, and the erroneous identification of a friend as a foe. Our goal was to study the specificity of defense strategies. We analyzed the aggressive responses of ant colonies by confronting them with workers of an unfamiliar congeneric species, a non-nestmate conspecific, a co-occurring congeneric competitor species, and a social parasite—a slave-making ant. As expected, the latter species, which can inflict dramatic fitness losses to the colony, was treated with most aggression. A co-occurring competitor was also attacked, but the ants used different behaviors in their responses to both enemies. While the slavemaker was attacked by biting and stinging and was approached with spread mandibles, the competitor was dragged, a behavioral strategy only possible if the defending ant is similar in size and strength to the opponent. Non-nestmate conspecifics were treated aggressively as well, but less than the slavemaker and the co-occurring competitor, presumably because they are less easily recognized as enemies. An unfamiliar congeneric species was rarely attacked. This first detailed study comparing the aggressive responses of ant colonies toward slave-making ants to other species posing different threats indicates that the responses of ant colonies are adjusted to the risk each opponent poses to the colony.via BBC Citation: New research shows ants able to discern difference between threat levels (2011, July 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-ants-discern-difference-threat.html Explore further
Citation: New research suggests initial mass function for galaxies not universal (2012, April 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-mass-function-galaxies-universal.html © 2012 Phys.Org More information: Systematic variation of the stellar initial mass function in early-type galaxies, Nature 484, 485–488 (26 April 2012) doi:10.1038/nature10972AbstractMuch of our knowledge of galaxies comes from analysing the radiation emitted by their stars, which depends on the present number of each type of star in the galaxy. The present number depends on the stellar initial mass function (IMF), which describes the distribution of stellar masses when the population formed, and knowledge of it is critical to almost every aspect of galaxy evolution. More than 50 years after the first IMF determination1, no consensus has emerged on whether it is universal among different types of galaxies2. Previous studies indicated that the IMF and the dark matter fraction in galaxy centres cannot both be universal3, 4, 5, 6, 7, but they could not convincingly discriminate between the two possibilities. Only recently were indications found that massive elliptical galaxies may not have the same IMF as the Milky Way8. Here we report a study of the two-dimensional stellar kinematics for the large representative ATLAS3D sample9 of nearby early-type galaxies spanning two orders of magnitude in stellar mass, using detailed dynamical models. We find a strong systematic variation in IMF in early-type galaxies as a function of their stellar mass-to-light ratios, producing differences of a factor of up to three in galactic stellar mass. This implies that a galaxy’s IMF depends intimately on the galaxy’s formation history. (Phys.org) — Over the past several years there has been debate in the astrophysics community regarding the distribution of stars in galaxies, specifically their mass range. Astronomers use an initial mass function (IMF) to calculate the numbers of different kinds of stars in any given galaxy, but what’s not been clear is whether the IMF applies to all galaxies of all types. Now, a large international group of astronomers has found after studying data form 260 galaxies that the distribution of stars in early galaxies appears to be different from the distribution of stars in galaxies that formed later in time, casting doubt on the dependability of the IMF. They report their findings in their paper published in the journal Nature. Differentiating between the stellar and dark matter with integral-field stellar kinematics. Image: Nature, doi:10.1038/nature10972 Because some stars are too small to be studied individually, astronomers have come up with a way to measure the number of stars of different types in a galaxy by measuring the spectrum for the entire galaxy and then applying an initial mass function to it. Doing so gives a good approximation of the number of stars in any given mass range. The problem up till now however, is that it’s not been clear if the same IMF applies to all types of galaxies (spiral, elliptical or irregular). To find out, the researchers turned to the ATLAS3D project (a multi-wavelength survey of 260 so-called early type, i.e. elliptical galaxies) to help them generate a two dimensional distribution of stars in galaxies along with their statistical spectrums.Using the data they’d extracted, the team built several models (varying the dark matter composition) to generate galaxy structures. In so doing, they found that the ratio of mass to light from just the stars in their models (minus gas and dark matter) for some elliptical low mass galaxies did indeed look like spiral galaxies. But they also found some that did not, which means that the IMF is not universal. They also found generally the same results no matter which dark matter composition they used, which means of course that the results obtained were independent of mass.The team says this all means that a birthing star is influenced by the galaxy in which it is born. But that creates another problem, because prior research has shown that at least some large galaxies were created by the merging of smaller galaxies. But since the mass of the star doesn’t change over time, how could its current state reflect the galaxy in which it was born if it resides in a merged galaxy? The researchers don’t know, but suggest a serious rethinking of the IMF will have to be done to see if it actually holds any real value. Explore further An abundance of small stars Journal information: Nature 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.
This is not the first study to look for a correlation between male face shape and aggressive behavior. In 2008, Canadian researchers Justin Carré and Cheryl McCormick compared face shape and aggression in male hockey players—they found wider-faced men on average spent more time in the penalty box.In this new effort, the researchers relied on books commemorating Finnish soldiers who served in WWII. Photographs showing the soldiers’ faces were displayed along with personal data such as information marital status, number of children, rank achieved, etc. Also listed was information about where they had served and if they had survived the war.Loehr and O’Hara scanned the faces of 795 of the soldiers (from three regiments) and then used a simple algorithm that gave a ratio of face height to width to come up with a fWHR for each one of them. Personal data given for each soldier was entered into a database along with the fWHR. Graphing software was then used to reveal trends.In analyzing the graphs the researchers found that wide-faced men tended to have more children than those men with narrow faces. They also found that narrow-faced men tended to move up in rank more often than wide-faced men did. Face shape did not, however, appear to be connected to soldier survival rates in war. The researchers theorize that this is more likely due to modern warfare techniques and practices than aggressiveness in soldiers—when a shell lands in a foxhole, they note, everyone dies. They propose that wide-faced soldiers in more distant wars might have done better than their narrow-faced peers did if they were indeed more aggressive, as the Canadian study suggests. The thinking here is that aggressiveness would be an advantage in wars where soldiers had to rely on their own skills to survive, rather than sophisticated weapons. © 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. Finnish troops who participated in the Winter War 1939–1940 and the distribution of (a) scaled fWHR, (b) predicted probability of surviving the Winter War (adjusted so the posterior mode at mean face width is 0.85). Figure contains all 795 individuals. (c) Total number of children for fallen soldiers and (d) probability of attaining a rank depending on fWHR. Facial width increases with values. Dark shaded area represents 50% highest posterior density region and light shaded area represents 95% highest posterior density region. Credit: Biology Letters, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2013.0049 More information: Facial morphology predicts male fitness and rank but not survival in Second World War Finnish soldiers, Published 8 May 2013 doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2013.0049AbstractWe investigated fitness, military rank and survival of facial phenotypes in large-scale warfare using 795 Finnish soldiers who fought in the Winter War (1939–1940). We measured facial width-to-height ratio—a trait known to predict aggressive behaviour in males—and assessed whether facial morphology could predict survival, lifetime reproductive success (LRS) and social status. We found no difference in survival along the phenotypic gradient, however, wider-faced individuals had greater LRS, but achieved a lower military rank. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further (Phys.org) —Researchers in Finland, using photographs of soldiers marked with associated personal data have found that facial width to height ratio (fWHR) played a role in how many children they had and their rank. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, researchers John Loehr and Robert O’Hara describe how they measured the faces of men found in a war tribute book and compared them with personal data. Their study was part of an effort to see if they could find any correlations between wide-faced men and survival rates in war (possibly connected to aggressiveness). In so doing, they discovered some clear associations between wide faced-men and the number of children they had. They also found that narrow-faced men tended to rank higher than wide-faced men did. Citation: Researchers find correlation between face shape and procreation rates and rank in male soldiers (2013, May 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-05-procreation-male-soldiers.html Journal information: Biology Letters Having a short wide face may indicate sporting potential, study shows
© 2013 Phys.org The Bathys Cesium 133 wristwatch is reportedly capable of accuracy to one second in 1000 years according to a report in Watchuseek. Dr. Patterson is quoted in the report: “The technology found in this watch is something even a decade ago no one could imagine existing in such a small package.” He said that “Within a single chip there is a laser, a heater, a sealed cavity of cesium gas, a microwave filter and a photodiode detector.” He also said that, “Using the exact same principle of counting hyperfine lines of excited cesium 133 atoms used by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), our watch is able to achieve unprecedented levels of accuracy; on the order of 1 second per thousand years.” As for display, this is a traditional analog watch dial. The batteries are rechargeable lithium batteries. Goals are now to reduce the size and increase the battery life. When ready, a limited edition of 20 watches is planned for release. The estimated price of each Bathys Cesium 133 atomic clock watch is $12,000, according to the report.A forum of responses to the atomic watch news went up on the Watchuseek site, with some respondents taking issue with the size. One comment was that the definition of wristwatch was undergoing a stretch and another remarked that it looked like a clock strapped on to a wrist, while other posts expressed interest in what the company was trying to achieve. A response from “BathysHawaii” surfaced in the WatchuSeek forum with this to say: “It IS large…it’s huge in fact. But this is just a proof-of-concept prototype. You can’t get to the sleek watch we’d want to make until we made a rather crude version to test things such as integration, COM and power. There’s still a long way to go—but the point is that we’ve got a genuine cesium atomic oscillator functioning on the arm for the first time ever. It blows me away frankly that we’ve done this.” Explore further NIST ytterbium atomic clocks set record for stability Bathys Hawaii, a US-based watch company, has created the Cesium 133, a prototype wrist watch that has its own atomic clock. The fact that the clock is self-contained, integrated into the wristwatch, is the distinguishing factor. The clock does not need to collect information from an external source to keep accurate time, unlike watches using a government-generated radio signal as the external source. Bathys founder Dr. John Patterson and engineer George Talbot developed this watch. (German chemists Robert Bunsen and Gustav Kirchhoff discovered cesium in 1860 through flame spectroscopy. Cesium subsequently has been widely used in atomic clocks, and the first accurate cesium clock is credited to Louis Essen in 1955 at the UK National Physical Laboratory. The NPL is the UK’s measurement institute for developing accurate measurement standards.) More information: www.watchuseek.com/news/bam-ba … watch-the-cesium-133forums.watchuseek.com/f2/bam-b … um-133-a-921820.html 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: Watch company develops wristwatch with its own atomic clock (2013, October 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-company-wristwatch-atomic-clock.html
Aedes aegypti mosquitoes after an experiment. The lack of red in their guts indicates the compounds repelled the mosquitoes, which chose not to feed. Credit: Mayur Kajli Journal information: Science Advances DEET has been the leading mosquito repellent since the late 1940s and multiple studies have shown it to be safe to use—still, some believe its synthetic nature suggests it might be causing harm. Because of that, scientists have continued to look for a natural repellent. In this new effort, the researchers report that they have found a naturally occurring chemical that is even more repellent than DEET, though it will have to undergo extensive study to see if it is safe to use.The researchers report that their study began with Xenorhabdus budapestensis, a type of bacteria that takes up residence in soil-dwelling nematodes. The nematodes actually use the bacteria to help them parasitize insects. The researchers wanted to learn more about how the bacteria help kill insects and, in the process, found that mosquitoes were quite averse to its presence. This suggested the bacteria produced a chemical that caused the mosquitoes to stay away. To find out what it was, the researchers built an animal stand-in using a membrane filled with fake blood and then covered it with cheesecloth laden with chemicals from the bacteria. They put the stand-in inside of a container where they could release mosquitoes and used it to narrow down the chemicals produced by the bacteria to just one—one that was a member of a class called fabclavines. A trio of researchers at the University of Wisconsin has discovered that a common soil bacterium produces a chemical that is more effective in repelling mosquitoes than DEET. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, Mayur Kajla, Gregory Barrett-Wilt and Susan Paskewitz describe their search for the chemical made by the bacteria and their hopes for its future. Aedes aegypti mosquitoes engorged after feeding on a red-colored mosquito diet during a control experiment in which water was used in place of repellent. The experiment showed a cloth coated with compounds extracted from bacteria is an effective repellent. Credit: Mayur Kajli Citation: Soil bacteria found to produce mosquito repelling chemical stronger than DEET (2019, January 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-soil-bacteria-mosquito-repelling-chemical.html © 2019 Science X Network More information: Mayur K. Kajla et al. Bacteria: A novel source for potent mosquito feeding-deterrents, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau6141 Scientists investigate how DEET confuses countless critters This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Credit: University of Wisconsin-Madison When applied via the cheesecloth, the researchers found that the mosquitoes would rather starve to death than go near it. Further testing showed that the chemical was up to three times more repellent than DEET. The team also found that high concentrations of the chemical served well as a repellent, while small concentrations worked well as a deterrent from drinking the blood from a treated surface. The researchers note that their work is purely preliminary, they have no idea if the chemical would be safe for human use, or if it could be made in mass quantities.
It’s always exciting when an Indian author is considered for a prestigious award abroad. Even if that author is Jhumpa Lahiri, who would have spent little more than a few holidays in the country of her parents’ birth. But my relationship with Lahiri has been a difficult one – both as a reader and a journalist. And so it was with mixed feelings that I received the news of her having been long-listed for the Booker Prize for her yet to be released novel The Lowland. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’I was in college when Lahiri’s first collection of short stories, The Interpreter of Maladies, was released and won the Pulitzer award. It became something of a necessity to celebrate her work, much as a doting parent celebrates the first recitation or painting by a favourite child. My literature professor certainly believed I should like the book. And I still considered myself too young to be a sound critic of literature and confess what I really thought of it. Oh it’s not as if I didn’t think it was beautifully written. But I had a problem of principle with the subjects, or rather her representation of the Indian community, abroad and in India. It was, I felt, too stereotypical, too forced. I could tell her that you didn’t have to grow up in the US to know little of Indian history. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixEven students studying in one part of India, have little clue about the history and culture of another part. I could tell her of cousins who have grown up abroad and seemed totally rooted there, and no we didn’t make them repeat the names of their American classmates as part of any game played in candle light as one of Shoba’s relatives does in one of the stories. I could tell her that children born in the eighties and nineties in India, would as often shy away from watching their parents snap endless number of green chilies with their rice and dal meal and go for a pizza themselves, much like their counterparts in the West. And if you studied in a good English medium school in India, you had no trouble understanding Hollywood movies… the list of things I could tell her was endless.And herein lies my second peeve point – this time as a journalist, which is the wall that she builds around herself. I have repeatedly heard a senior colleague’s account of Lahiri’s closely guarded wedding in Calcutta in 2001. The family had done its best to respect Lahiri’s wish that it be a private affair, even going to the extent of setting dogs at the paparazzi members gathered outside the venue. But the venue, menu and all details of the wedding were an open secret with some friend or family member eager enough to inform, albeit, on condition of anonymity. I had a first hand feel of it, when the author returned to Calcutta for her daughter’s first rice ceremony. This time it was an eager aunt who was ready to spill the beans, even though the author and her family remained elusive. Of this I was certain, however, that it was not shyness that held back Lahiri from interacting with the media, from being more open, as her family had claimed during her wedding. The distance she maintained was calculated and by making herself inaccessible in general, she kept alive an interest about her, that ensured more than normal coverage on those rare occasions when she did subject herself to be interviewed – during the promotion of the movie Namesake, based on her novel of the same name or before the release of her second collection of short stories Unaccustomed Earth. Perhaps it was necessary. As a later day author explained to me, ‘To write a good book is not enough, you have to sell it.’ Some might go on a publicity spree, some price their books a certain way. Lahiri, chose distance. And I can’t say it’s not a classy way of selling yourself.Meanwhile, somewhere down the years, the reader in me had lost interest in her work. I had read The Namesake and again been troubled by the recurring theme of discomfort with one’s identity, of not being able to either accept or let go of one’s roots. I didn’t read Unaccustomed Earth. And it was with mixed feelings that I picked up The Interpreter of Maladies again after learning that Lahiri is being considered for the Booker. Imagine my surprise therefore, when I could identify with the screaming silence between the estranged couple in A Temporary Matter, empathise with Miranda’s aching desires in Sexy, understand Mrs Das’s need to unburden herself to a tour guide in The Interpreter of Maladies… Perhaps over the years, I have matured enough to tune out the forced Indianness of the stories and learnt to appreciate the play of emotions and relationships. I am now looking forward to reading Unaccustomed Earthand The Lowland. My only wish, as a now sincere reader, is that she would set her characters free, relieve them of their burden of assumed identity and let them be global citizens with universal feelings.
‘We began the process of breaking INS Vikrant yesterday and it will take at least seven to eight months to complete the job,’ Abdul Zaka of ship breaking company IB Commercial (IBC), which had won the bid for the decommissioned ship for Rs 60 crore, told . Zaka said after the Supreme Court in August rejected the PIL to convert the ship into a maritime museum, IBC obtained mandatory permissions from different government authorities for dismantling it at ship breaking yard at Darukana in south Mumbai. Around 200 men have been engaged for the job. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIBefore the Supreme Court’s verdict, the Maharashtra government had expressed its inability to maintain the vessel inducted into the Navy in 1961 and decommissioned in January 1997. In January 2014, during the hearing of a Public Interest Litigation that opposed the plan to scrap the ship, the defence ministry had told the Bombay high court that it had completed its operational life.Responding to the demand for converting it into a museum, Maharashtra government had expressed its inability to preserve it as a museum, citing financially troubles. The majestic-class aircraft carrier, purchased from Britain in 1957, played a key role in enforcing the naval blockade of East Pakistan during the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971.
With an aim to promote cultural tourism in the city, Delhi Tourism has been hosting a series of cultural events under the banner of Dilli Haat Utsav. This festival started on September 13, 2014 and will continue till March 31, 2015. In a bid to boost international as well as local tourism in Delhi, the festival will be on for nearly 6 months. Dilli Haat Utsav offers evenings full of cultural performances every weekend at all three Dilli Haats, at INA, Janak Puri and Pitampura. The festival is being held in collaboration with Department of Art, Culture and Languages (Govt. of Delhi) and gives a promising platform to new artistes to perform in the city. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This weekend also witnessed some enthralling performances. Dilli Haat INA witnessed Usha Chabra who charmed the visitors with her mastered story-telling skills on Saturday and Dushyant Ahuja’s Sindhi Folk Musical Group from Sindhi Academy presented light music on Sunday.Dilli Haat Pitam Pura saw Santanu Chakraborty and group from Sahitya Kala Parishad showcasing Bharatnatyam dance performance on Saturday, while Natras Cultural Group from the same academy enthralled the visitors with folk dance on Sunday.Dilli Haat Janak Puri hosted National Bamboo Expo Mart (Baans Bazar) from 28-30 November. It was organised by National Bamboo Mission.
National Book Trust organised the first edition of Uttari Delhi Nagar Nigam Pustak Utsav in association with North Delhi Municipal Corporation. The six-day event that started off on December 13 at Mahila Haat, Delhi Gate was inaugurated by Manoj Tewari, Member of Parliament. More than 30 publishers displayed their books in this fair. A large number of students from schools around Delhi participated in the book promotional events organised at the fair. Tiwari noted that such fairs enlighten readers about the books on several topics available across the world. “We should take books to the readers to connect them with books”, he added.Mohan Bhardwaj, Chairman, Standing Committee, Mira Aggarwal, Leader of the House, Mukesh Goel, Leader of Opposition, Yogender Chandolia, Mayor, North Delhi Municipal Corporation, PK Gupta, Commissioner, North Delhi Municipal Corporation graced the occasion by their presence.All the speakers on the occasion hoped that the readers especially youth and children would benefit from this book fair. MA Sikandar, Director, NBT said, “This is the first ever initiative taken by the National Book Trust, India and North Delhi Municipal Corporation to bring citizens of Delhi closer to the habit of reading.”
Kolkata: Poila Baisakh marks the beginning of the preparation of Durga Puja, with several Puja organisers visiting Kumartuli to place order for idols.Durga Puja is still 184 days away, but there are several Puja organisers in and around the city that consider the first day of the Bengali calendar as the auspicious one to place order for the idol of Goddess Durga and her entourage.There are around 600 artisans in Kumartuli and they make around 4,000 idols of Goddess Durga every year. Different Puja organisers follow different traditions. Some organisers place order for idols on Poila Baisakh, while the number of the same is more on the day of Rathayatra. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe artisans start making idols of which they get order on Poila Baisakh, in the first week of May. At the same time, they also complete the basic preparation for the idols they have to start making after Rathayatra.Kartik Pal, a senior member of the Kumartuli Mrit Shilpi Samity, said: “The organisers perform a Puja in their clubs on Poila Baisakh and many of them then come to Kumartuli in the afternoon or in the evening, to place order for the idols of Goddess Durga. It has been the tradition for many organisers and no one wants to discontinue it until and unless there is any difficulty.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThis year, Mahasaptami of Durga Puja is on October 16 and Puja organisers will start taking the idols to Puja pandals at least 10 days ahead of Mahasaptami. In some cases, it would happen at least 15 days ahead as well. Keeping this in mind, the artisans in Kumartuli have started making preparations, so that they do not face any trouble in allowing Puja organisers to take idols on time. Like all the previous years, the artisans are also taking necessary steps considering the problems that they usually face every year during monsoon.Most idols in and around the city are made in Kumartuli and it is also a place of tourist attraction for people who visit the city from different parts of the country and abroad.
Kolkata: A passenger who was trying to board a bus near College More in Sector V on Saturday afternoon had his leg crushed under the wheels of the vehicle as it sped up. Police have arrested the bus driver so far in connection with the incident which triggered tension in the area. According to the police, a middle-aged man whose identity is yet to be ascertained was trying to get into a state-owned bus when the driver suddenly sped up the vehicle. As a result, the victim fell on the road and the rear wheels of the bus went over his leg. The locals rushed him to Bidhannagar Sub-divisional Hospital. The incident occurred at around 3 pm. The bus driver fled the spot along with the vehicle. The Bidhannagar police swung into action and arrested him later in the day. According to the hospital sources, the injuries are serious in nature. Police have started a probe and the bus driver is being interrogated. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIn another incident, a cyclist was killed after being hit by a speeding truck. The incident took place at Matigara area on Phholbari-Ghoshpukur Road on Saturday morning. The locals told the police that the victim, Sambhu Bhagat, was cycling along the road when the speeding truck knocked him down. According to eyewitness, as the vehicle was running at high speed, the driver could not control it. He fled the spot along with the vehicle immediately after the accident.The locals rushed the victim to a nearby hospital where the doctors pronounced him brought dead. Police are conducting raids to nab the truck driver who has at been large since the accident took place.
Kolkata: Launching a scathing attack on the BJP government at the Centre, Abhishek Banerjee, Trinamool Congress MP and president of the party’s youth wing, said on Wednesday: “The beginning of the BJP’s collapse has started in Bengaluru and it will conclude in Delhi.”Abhishek, who was taking a stock of the preparations for the Martyrs’ Day rally on July 21, said results of the recently held elections have made it clear that the saffron party is not acceptable anymore to the people of the country. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe further said that next year, the entire country will witness the development work of Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee. When asked about the fight against the BJP in 2019 general elections, president of the party’s youth wing stated: “Of course the 2019 factor is there. But we interact with the masses round-the-year, starting with attending all the festivals with them to organising blood donation camps. Neither BJP nor CPI(M) is to be seen with them throughout the year.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe added: “This year, the Martyrs’ Day will enter its 25th year and we are all eagerly waiting to listen from Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee.” Every year, the party holds the Martyrs’ Day rally on July 21 in the city to pay homage to 13 Youth Congress workers, who were allegedly killed in police firing in 1993, when the Left Front government was in power. “Every year people start pouring into the city two days in advance. But this year, they have started turning up four-five days in advance,” said Banerjee who is entrusted with supervising the entire event and keep an eye so that people do not face any sort of inconvenience. This year, a record number of people are expected to turn up at the rally. In connection with the pandal collapse incident during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s rally in West Midnapore, he said: “We never do politics over these incidents. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was the first one to tweet praying for the speedy recovery of the injured persons. You all can see who is at present doing politics over the issue.”
Media magnate Indrani
Kolkata: A major clash broke out between two groups clash at Kashipur on Monday morning.Local sources informed that the two clubs in the locality on Khagen Chatterjee Road led by Ayub and Selim have been rivals for the past several years. On several previous occasions, members from both the clubs often fought with each other over handling of goods and other works at the railway siding. Chaos erupted on Sunday night when a cricket tournament was going on in the locality. During the match, some persons in an inebriated state pelted stones and bricks at the players on the ground. Later, the two groups got involved in a scuffle. But the matter soon ended following the intervention of senior residents. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHowever, some youths of one of the groups started pelting stones at their rival group members on Monday morning around 10:30 am and the area turned into a war zone. The parties were equipped with iron rods, sticks, hockey sticks and wickets. Several people got injured in the clash. Both the groups ransacked multiple cars and bikes which were parked on the roadside. In the meantime, Kashipur police station was informed. Depending on the situation, Chitpore police station was also informed. Later, police personnel from both Chitpore and Kashipur police stations dispersed the mob and brought the situation under control almost after an hour. The injured persons were rushed to a nearby hospital where they were treated and discharged. Police have initiated a case and had detained 13 persons including Selim and Ayub. A police picket has been set up in the area as the situation remains tense in the area.
Malda/Darjeeling: Four persons were killed in different incidents of lightning strike in Bengal’s Malda district on Wednesday, a senior police officer said.Superintendent of Police, Alok Rajoria said three persons were killed in the lightning strike during heavy rain in Gajole block and one in Manikchawk block of the district. Heavy rain accompanied by lightning hit Malda district on Wednesday. Meanwhile, incessant rainfall in Bhutan and North Bengal has thrown life out of gear. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataLarge stretches have been inundated in North Bengal with road communication disrupted. Water levels are dangerously on the rise in the rivers flowing down from Bhutan. A weather warning has been issued by the Indian Meteorological Department for North Bengal from June 26 to June 28. While there is a red warning (greater than 20 cm of rain forecasted) for June 26 and June 27, there is a orange warning (7cm to 20cm of rain forecasted) for June 28. “Due to strong moisture incursion from the Bay of Bengal and shifting of trough of low pressure along North Bengal enhanced rainfall activity is likely to continue over the district of North Bengal during June 26 to 28,” stated the bulletin. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateWide-spread rainfall has been forecasted over the districts of Coochbehar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling and Kalimpong. The National Centre for Hydrology and Meteorology, Bhutan, in a weather bulletin has warned of active monsoon to continue in the next 48 hours with heavy rains forecasted for the southern part of Bhutan. Bhutan has been witnessing incessant rainfall in the past few days resulting in flash floods and land slides. Many important roads have been closed down owing to this. The Phuentsholing to Thimpu road is also affected. “We are keeping tab and reviewing the situation on a daily basis. Heavy rainfall in Bhutan will definitely affect our district but we are ready. Our priority will be that we do not have any human casualty” stated Surendra Kumar Meena, District Magistrate, Alipurduar — the district sharing borders with Bhutan.
Ancient Roman emperors were masters of mass communication and visual propaganda. They carefully controlled the way in which they were represented in sculptures, paintings and on coins, and their faces could be seen, carved in stone or minted in gold, throughout the Roman world. When we look at these ancient faces in marble sculptures, paintings, or coins, we are seeing an idealized representation of the Roman emperors, devoid of imperfection.These portraits are not necessarily designed to be realistic, but instead to glorify the memory of the emperor — emphasizing his individual characteristics, but portraying him as powerful, majestic, and even god-like.Creating Julius Caesar. Photo Courtesy of Césares de RomaHowever, one talented Spanish artist aims to deconstruct this idealized image by re-creating sculptures of famous Roman emperors in a hyper-realistic style.The Césares de Roma project aims to bring the past to life with visceral realism, creating life-like versions of classical Roman sculptures. This is a brand-new reimagining of some of the most famous faces in Roman history.According to the project website, Césares de Roma focuses on three of ancient Rome’s most notorious figures: Julius Caesar, Augustus, and Nero.Octavian Augustus. Photo Courtesy of Césares de RomaThe sculptures are carefully produced using silicone casts, and then the features are painstakingly applied using paints and real human hair. Each hair is sewn into the face and head and then trimmed, creating an incredibly realistic effect.In taking this hyper-realistic approach the Roman emperors cease to be idealized visions of Roman power, omnipotence and authority, and immediately appear more human and recognizable.The sculpture of Julius Caesar, for example, shows a middle-aged man with bushy grey eyebrows and a receding hairline. His brow is slightly furrowed, and his intense stare gives the impression of a focused, single-minded ruler and a seasoned warrior.Julius Caesar. Photo Courtesy of Césares de RomaThe character evoked by the sculpture perfectly captures modern ideas about the character of Julius Caesar himself. He was an ambitious military general who was responsible for the conquest of Gaul before he installed himself as dictator in Rome.His assassination at the hands of his senators has gone down in history and literature as an iconic moment in Roman history, catalyzing the transition from Republic to Empire in the 1st century BC.Caesar. Photo Courtesy of Césares de RomaThe second sculpture in the series depicts Octavian, heir of Julius Caesar, and Rome’s first emperor, who ruled under the name Caesar Augustus.After the turbulent wars and internal strife that characterized Roman history in the 1st century BC, Augustus’ reign was viewed as a time of relative peace and harmony, dubbed the Pax Romana. His administrative reforms set the agenda for Roman imperial rule, and he is widely regarded as an impressive, formidable leader.In the Césares de Roma project, Augustus is shown as a youthful, clean-shaven man. Yet this sculpture also evokes something of the cunning, pragmatic and tenacious leader that Augustus developed into.Octavian Augustus. Photo Courtesy of Césares de RomaHis bright blue eyes are piercing and convey the impression of a ruler with considerable political acumen, who will stop at nothing to get his way.Octavian Augustus. Photo Courtesy of Césares de RomaThe final sculpture in the series depicts the emperor Nero. Perhaps the most infamous Roman emperor, Nero is remembered for his lascivious habits, undignified behavior and tyrannical rule.The Nero sculpture produced as part of the Césares de Roma project is perhaps the most striking, showing Nero with a mop of ginger hair and a wispy beard, and an intense, cunning expression.Nero. Photo Courtesy of Césares de RomaThese evocative portraits successfully bring the characters of these long-dead rulers to life, and represent a stark contrast to the glorious, god-like individuals seen in official Roman sculptures and coins.Photo Courtesy of Césares de RomaAlthough they are inspired by classical sculptures and use information from ancient sources about the physical appearance of the emperors (for example, eye and hair color), the artists do not claim to have created a historically “accurate” image of each subject.Photo Courtesy of Césares de RomaAccording to the Césares de Roma website, the idea for the project was inspired by a desire to “spread Roman classical history from a more human, real and modern perspective.”The aim is to promote an alternative form of learning, where realistic sculpture creates a visceral, empathetic connection between the viewer and the past. This is a re-imagining of the Roman past through modern eyes.Read another story from us: Ancient Roman Bathhouse still in use todayWith several more imperial figures in the pipeline, including Caligula and Trajan, the artist of this impressive project hopes to chart the story of the Roman Empire in a novel and exciting way, and share his passion and fascination for Roman history.
Colin loves Jerry WestbrookRussell Westbrook blew Colin’s mind last night and it wasn’t because he got his 578th triple double. It was because he played a disciplined, efficient game and showed an understanding of playing with tempo.Colin absolutely loves this Westbrook. For today, he isn’t Kanye Westbrook, he’s the new NBA logo, Jerry Westbrook. Kanye Westbrook is an all-star, Jerry Westbrook is an all-time talent. Colin hopes Westbrook doesn’t revert to Kanye when he plays James Harden and the Rockets coming up. Colin loves Jerry Westbrook.“Today, I’m changing his name to Jerry Westbrook. Disciplined. Logo. Good teammate. Formidable. Played with others. So, the new NBA logo, for a day, is Jerry Westbrook. I loved what I saw last night, and it had nothing to do with a triple double.”The Cowboys and Patriots are smart to hold on to their quarterbacks for nowTony Romo is sitting in limbo in Dallas and Jimmy Garoppolo is in the same position in New England. Colin thinks Jerry Jones and Bill Belichick are playing the situation correctly by holding onto Romo and waiting for teams to become more desperate, which will inevitably happen.One report says that Denver’s willingness to trade for Romo may depend on Paxton Lynch’s performance in OTA’s. If he struggles, it becomes more likely that John Elway would pull the trigger on a Romo trade if he thinks he’s looking at another 7-9 season. Garoppolo’s price will only skyrocket as the draft approaches, too.Driving the price up is never a bad thing when you’re the seller in a buyer’s market.“Recessions are garage sales for the rich.”Guests:Rob Parker – FS1 Analyst is in-studio to explain why Adam Silver isn’t getting the job done as NBA commissioner; why healthy NBA stars sitting is fraud;why Coach Cal needs to win a second title at Kentucky to be considered an all-time great.Joel Klatt – FS1 College Football Analyst is in-studio to explain why he thinks Nick Saban is wrong for bullying reporters; why he should be called out; his scouting report on Mitchell Trubisky; and why pro days are a joke.RJ Bell – Founder of Pregame.com joins the show to talk Sweet 16 upsets; why the wiseguys like West Virginia; why the theory that Cinderella always has a curfew is truer than ever this year; and why Lonzo Ball is causing huge amounts of public money to come in on UCLA.
Advertisement He finished off by personally thanking Jerry Jones, Jason Garrett, and all Cowboys past and present, and gave a bow of respect to the fans. It was all in good fun, even if Eagles fans can’t take a joke.The Cowboys took Colorado cornerback Chidobe Awuzie with the pick, but that’s a footnote in this classic NFL Draft moment.How ’bout them Cowboys?Watch Pearson drop the MOAB on Philly: Former Cowboys Pro Bowl wide receiver, and Dallas Ring of Honor inductee, Drew Pearson was given the honor of announcing the Cowboys 2017 second round draft pick in front of a sea of angry Philly fans who have hated a every fiber of his being for the past 40 years.As commissioner Goodell introduced Pearson to the crowd, the boos from Eagles fans rained down like LeBron’s first game returning to Cleveland after “The Decision.”Pearson didn’t just sit there and take it, he gave it right back, times 10.First, he trolled Eagles fans for “allowing” him to have a career in the NFL, then continued the ethering by pointing out the Cowboys were 5-time Super Bowl champs.