Motioncapture helping reveal how kangaroos hop

first_img The researchers, Dr Alexis Wiktorowicz-Conroy of the Royal Veterinary College in London and colleagues in the US and Australia, used an array of outdoor cameras at the Alma Park Zoo in Brisbane, Queensland, to record reflected infrared light from highly reflective ball markers stuck onto the fur of kangaroos. High-speed video cameras were also used to record the movements.The same kind of motion-capture technology is used in sports studies such as analyzing golfing swings, and has also been used in movies such as the Lord of the Rings to translate the motions of actors onto animated creatures. The technology is usually used indoors to avoid the infrared light from the sun, but the fiber-optics company Vicon developed a motion capture system that can be used outdoors and allowed the researchers to borrow the equipment.The researchers also had the kangaroos hop on a series of force plates, which measured the forces exerted by the kangaroo’s feet onto the ground.One aim of the research is to understand how kangaroos change their body posture and the mechanics of their hopping in different sized species of kangaroo. Many animals become more upright as their body size increases, but kangaroos do not. At slow speeds kangaroos use their tail rather like a fifth limb, but at faster speeds they hop and can bounce along at high speeds and long periods without changing posture and apparently without fatigue.Dr Wiktorowicz-Conroy said the team want to understand how even large and heavy kangaroos can hop so fast and not change posture. Scientists have not yet been able to explain how large kangaroos can do this without their bones breaking. She said other scientists were looking at their ankle joints but their research was focusing more on the other joints in the hind limbs.The infrared motion capture system records the same kind of data that can be obtained by analyzing high-speed film frame by frame, but does it automatically. The system has provided the researchers with large amounts of data, which they are currently analyzing. Dr Wiktorowicz-Conroy said the data should help them solve at least some of the biomechanical puzzles and increase their understand more about animal location and especially hopping.Their preliminary findings show the kangaroos’ movement is highly efficient at conserving energy, and they use their tails as a counterbalance while hopping, which reduces the energy expended. Citation: Motion-capture helping reveal how kangaroos hop (2011, March 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — Scientists in Australia, the UK and US have for the first time used infrared motion capture technology outdoors to work out how kangaroos distribute their weight and the forces as they hop along. 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. © 2010 Explore further Australian kangaroo cull prompts outragelast_img read more

Field study shows glassfrog embryos hatch early if not well cared for

first_imgHyalinobatrachium fleischmanni. Credit: Mauricio Rivera Correa/Wikipedia © 2014 Citation: Field study shows glassfrog embryos hatch early if not well cared for by parent (2014, April 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further The early hatching frogs did not mature any faster and survived by continuing to eat the yolks from their egg sacks. The work suggests the embryos are able to somehow understand their situation and to take action if necessary to ensure their own survival. Seagulls: Are males the weaker sex? Credit: Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published 30 April 2014. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3237center_img More information: Glassfrog embryos hatch early after parental desertion, Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Published 30 April 2014. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.3237AbstractBoth parental care and hatching plasticity can improve embryo survival. Research has found that parents can alter hatching time owing to a direct effect of care on embryogenesis or via forms of care that cue the hatching process. Because parental care alters conditions critical for offspring development, hatching plasticity could allow embryos to exploit variation in parental behaviour. However, this interaction of parental care and hatching plasticity remains largely unexplored. We tested the hypothesis that embryos hatch early to cope with paternal abandonment in the glassfrog Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni (Centrolenidae). We conducted male-removal experiments in a wild population, and examined embryos’ response to conditions with and without fathers. Embryos hatched early when abandoned, but extended development in the egg stage when fathers continued care. Paternal care had no effect on developmental rate. Rather, hatching plasticity was due to embryos actively hatching at different developmental stages, probably in response to deteriorating conditions without fathers. Our experimental results are supported by a significant correlation between the natural timing of abandonment and hatching in an unmanipulated population. This study demonstrates that embryos can respond to conditions resulting from parental abandonment, and provides insights into how variation in care can affect selection on egg-stage adaptations. 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. Glassfrogs live in Central and South America—they get their name from their translucent skin. Another of their interesting characteristics is that it’s the males that brood the eggs, which are laid by the females on the underside of tree leaves. The male’s job is to fertilize the eggs, of course, but also to sop up water then sit or lay on the eggs to allow the water to seep into them, keeping them hydrated. But, as it turns out, some of the males do a lot better job of it than others, which in turn causes the developing embryo to hatch earlier if need be.Nature is full of examples of animals hatching early or late depending on environmental conditions, but until now, none had been found that do so in response to parental care. The team, working in a field in Mexico, were studying glassfrogs in general and decided to see what would happen if males were taken away from their duties attending to the eggs. The removed 40 fathers from their wards at different time intervals (from two to eight days after the eggs were laid) and then noted when the eggs hatched. They found that the embryos hatched on average 21 percent earlier in the absence of fatherly care (as compared to a control group of 50 other frogs under observation that tended their eggs). They also found that the embryos were likely to hatch on average 34 percent earlier if the weather was dry. More specifically, the team found that if the father abandoned the eggs after just two days, all the embryos died. But if the father tended to his duties for 3 to 8 days, the embryos not only survived, but hatched 12 days earlier than those in the control group. ( —A trio of researchers has found that glassfrogs (Hyalinobatrachium fleischmanni) tend to hatch early if their male parent doesn’t keep them hydrated. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the team describes how they studied glassfrogs in the wild and what happened when they removed some of the males to see how the embryos would respond. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society Blast_img read more

Researchers construct a model of impact for El Nino La Nina events

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ( —A small team made up of researchers from the U.S. and Europe has constructed a model that helps map parts of the world that are most at risk of flooding due to El Niño/La Niña events. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes how they compared weather data over the past half century with economic impacts of actual floods to create a model that may soon be used to help predict flooding events in the future. Explore further By now, most everyone has heard about El Niño/La Niña weather events— El Niño is where warm water west of South America causes more rain to fall in some places. La Niña is where the same waters are cooler than normal resulting in different changes to rain patterns. Perhaps less well known is that such events have a worldwide impact, causing more flooding than normal in some parts of the world and less in others. Oftentimes the flooding that occurs results in damage to property and loss of life, thus it would be a good thing if forecasts could be made, warning people in areas most at risk. Unfortunately, up till now, such forecasts have not been available because such events don’t always cause the same types of flooding in the same places. In this new effort, the researchers sought to provide a model for building such a forecasting ability by using data over a long period of time.The research team obtained weather data for the years 1959 to 2000, pulling out periods of El Niño/La Niña weather events which they then compared with reports of damage due to flooding. Next they compared those results with flood reports during normal times and used what they found to create a model. The model showed that during El Niño events, 34 percent of the Earth’s surface had higher or lower than normal amounts of flooding—that number jumped to 38 percent for La Niña weather events.The model also showed which parts of the planet are more susceptible on average, to flooding due to such events. The Southwest in the U.S. for example and parts of South America, both experience more flooding during El Niño events, while places like the Sahel in Africa, and most of Australia experience less.The research team acknowledges that their model is still in its infancy but believe that over time, as more research is conducted, it will improve to the point that it will be useful in helping areas prepare for flooding during El Niño/La Niña weather events. Different types of El Nino have different effects on global temperature More information: Strong influence of El Niño Southern Oscillation on flood risk around the world, PNAS, Philip J. Ward, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1409822111AbstractEl Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is the most dominant interannual signal of climate variability and has a strong influence on climate over large parts of the world. In turn, it strongly influences many natural hazards (such as hurricanes and droughts) and their resulting socioeconomic impacts, including economic damage and loss of life. However, although ENSO is known to influence hydrology in many regions of the world, little is known about its influence on the socioeconomic impacts of floods (i.e., flood risk). To address this, we developed a modeling framework to assess ENSO’s influence on flood risk at the global scale, expressed in terms of affected population and gross domestic product and economic damages. We show that ENSO exerts strong and widespread influences on both flood hazard and risk. Reliable anomalies of flood risk exist during El Niño or La Niña years, or both, in basins spanning almost half (44%) of Earth’s land surface. Our results show that climate variability, especially from ENSO, should be incorporated into disaster-risk analyses and policies. Because ENSO has some predictive skill with lead times of several seasons, the findings suggest the possibility to develop probabilistic flood-risk projections, which could be used for improved disaster planning. The findings are also relevant in the context of climate change. If the frequency and/or magnitude of ENSO events were to change in the future, this finding could imply changes in flood-risk variations across almost half of the world’s terrestrial regions.center_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2014 The 1997 El Nino seen by TOPEX/Poseidon. Credit: NASA Citation: Researchers construct a model of impact for El Nino / La Nina events (2014, October 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Supercomputer study shows Lambda baryon a type of quark molecule

first_img Scientists have learned over the years that subatomic particles can link or bond together in ways that are similar to atoms in molecules. One such particle Λ(1405) has been the focus of much research and discussion among physicists as it has defied the description of a typical baryon (a subatomic particle with a mass greater than or equal to a proton and which exist as a nucleon or hyperon)—they are supposed to have three quarks. Instead, they have shown behavior that suggests a molecule-like structure consisting of a quark pair and a triplet—prior research has shown that it takes less energy to cause it to be excited than should be the case for three quarks bound together, suggesting that there is something else at play, such as extra quarks. The apparent oddity has had physicists debating its nature for over half a century.Particles that have quarks are typically divided into two categories, two-quark mesons and three-quark baryons. Some researchers in the past had theorized that Λ(1405) particles could be actually be a combination of mesons and baryons which would result in a particle “molecule” with five quarks. In this new study, the researchers ran simulations of quark interactions (using algorithms based on lattice quantum chromodynamics) on a supercomputer that appears to confirm that theory—they found a magnetic moment of zero when calculating the quark contribution to the particle, which suggested instances of a meson (antikaon) coupled to a baryon—the first such example of a meson-baryon molecule.The research by the team builds on the efforts of others who have recently suggested other types of couplings (such as two mesons) might occur. The researchers believe further research will reveal other meson-baryon pairings as well that until now have been thought to be unique types of baryons. More information: Lattice QCD Evidence that the Λ(1405) Resonance is an Antikaon-Nucleon Molecule, Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 132002 – Published 1 April 2015. . On Arxiv: almost 50 years the structure of the Λ(1405) resonance has been a mystery. Even though it contains a heavy strange quark and has odd parity, its mass is lower than any other excited spin-1/2 baryon. Dalitz and co-workers speculated that it might be a molecular state of an antikaon bound to a nucleon. However, a standard quark-model structure is also admissible. Although the intervening years have seen considerable effort, there has been no convincing resolution. Here we present a new lattice QCD simulation showing that the strange magnetic form factor of the Λ(1405) vanishes, signaling the formation of an antikaon-nucleon molecule. Together with a Hamiltonian effective-field-theory model analysis of the lattice QCD energy levels, this strongly suggests that the structure is dominated by a bound antikaon-nucleon component. This result clarifies that not all states occurring in nature can be described within a simple quark model framework and points to the existence of exotic molecular meson-nucleon bound states. © 2015 Journal information: arXiv , Physical Review Letters (—A team of researchers with the University of Adelaide and the Australian National University has found that the excited state of the Lambda baryon, Λ(1405), is actually a type of quark molecule. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe how they ran simulations on a computer that confirmed the properties of the unique particles. How CERN’s discovery of exotic particles may affect astrophysics Explore further Citation: Supercomputer study shows Lambda baryon a type of quark molecule (2015, April 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The quark-mass dependence (mq∝mπ2) of the lowest-lying Λ(1405) states observed in our lattice QCD calculations is illustrated by the discrete points at each of the pion masses available in the PACS-CS ensembles. The low-lying energy spectrum of our Hamiltonian model (solid curves) constrained to the lattice QCD results (discrete points) is also illustrated. The associated noninteracting meson-baryon basis states are illustrated by the dashed curves and the vertical dashed line indicates the physical pion mass. Credit: Phys. Rev. Lett. 114, 132002 – Published 1 April 2015. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.114.132002 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

Researchers find means by which mushrooms glow

first_img More information: Zinaida M. Kaskova et al. Mechanism and color modulation of fungal bioluminescence, Science Advances (2017). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1602847AbstractBioluminescent fungi are spread throughout the globe, but details on their mechanism of light emission are still scarce. Usually, the process involves three key components: an oxidizable luciferin substrate, a luciferase enzyme, and a light emitter, typically oxidized luciferin, and called oxyluciferin. We report the structure of fungal oxyluciferin, investigate the mechanism of fungal bioluminescence, and describe the use of simple synthetic α-pyrones as luciferins to produce multicolor enzymatic chemiluminescence. A high-energy endoperoxide is proposed as an intermediate of the oxidation of the native luciferin to the oxyluciferin, which is a pyruvic acid adduct of caffeic acid. Luciferase promiscuity allows the use of simple α-pyrones as chemiluminescent substrates. © 2017 Citation: Researchers find means by which mushrooms glow (2017, April 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Bucket of Neonothopanus gardneri in the dark. Credit: Cassius V. Stevani/IQ-USP, Brazil Neonothopanus gardneri time-lapse. Credit: Cassius V. Stevani/IQ-USP, Brazil Explore further Mycena lucentipes in the light. Credit: Cassius V. Stevani/IQ-USP, Brazil (—A team of researchers from Russia, Brazil and Japan has uncovered the means by which two kinds of mushrooms glow in the dark. In their paper published on the open-access site Science Advances, the group describes their study of Neonothopanus gardneri and Neonothopanus nambi—mushrooms that grow and glow in Brazil and Vietnam respectively. Neonothopanus gardneri time-lapse. Credit: Cassius V. Stevani/IQ-USP, Brazil Scientists have long been fascinated by organisms that produce their own light (bioluminescence) and research has led to an understanding of how the process works in many insects and seafaring organisms (and recently in a frog). But how it works in fungi has remained a mystery. In this new effort, the researchers have finally solved that mystery.Prior research has found just 80 species of fungi that are bioluminescent out of approximately 100,000 around the globe. It is believed that such fungi glow in the dark to attract wasps, beetles, flies, ants and other creatures—spores adhere to their bodies and are carried to other places, colonizing new territory.The new research showed that bioluminescence occurred in the mushrooms when luciferin molecules interacted with a luciferase enzyme in the presence of oxygen—the reaction resulted in the production of a light-emitting substance called oxyluciferin. Over time, the oxyluciferin released its oxygen bringing the luciferin back to its ground state. The process repeated, allowing the mushrooms to emit light in the presence of oxygen. The team also found that luciferase in fungi appeared to be what they describe as “promiscuous,” because it interacts with a multitude of luciferin molecule derivatives. They also found that they could change the colors emitted by a slurry of ground-up mushroom parts by changing the amount of luciferin in the mix, which suggests they may be useful in synthetic form in human applications such as imaging research—luciferase could potentially be used as a reporter gene in genetic research, for example. Some mushrooms glow, and here’s why Journal information: Science Advances This artistic conception summarizes one main finding from the present paper. Although all bioluminescent fungi emit green light (the true mushroom is the green one), the fungal luciferase can use different substrates leading to changes in intensity and color of emission. Credit: Cassius V. Stevani/IQ-USP, Brazil Play Field examination of Neonothopanus gardneri. Credit: Cassius V. Stevani/IQ-USP, Brazil Learning more about how nature produces bioluminescence has already led to applications in human endeavors—bio-researchers, for example, use them to aid in tracking cells to learn more about biological processes. Mycena lucentipes in the light. Credit: Cassius V. Stevani/IQ-USP, Brazil 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

Physicists investigate fundamental limits of quantum engines

first_img Physicists Obinna Abah and Eric Lutz at the Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nürnberg in Germany have published a paper on the energy-efficient quantum machines in a recent issue of EPL. Abah is currently a Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 research fellow at Queen’s University in Belfast, UK.The performance of any kind of engine—quantum or classical—is largely determined by its energy efficiency (the ratio of energy output to energy input) and its power (the rate of energy output in a given time). Conventional thermodynamics imposes a tradeoff between an engine’s efficiency and its power—meaning when you increase one, the other decreases. For quantum engines, however, it’s possible to increase both the efficiency and the power at the same time. This means that, with the proper methods, quantum engines can potentially produce more energy output from a given amount of energy input, and do so at a faster rate than before the improvement.Some of the methods that allow for the simultaneous increase in efficiency and power are called “shortcut-to-adiabaticity” techniques. Adiabatic transformations are highly desirable because they dissipate little energy, which increases the efficiency of the system and speeds up the system’s dynamics, which increases the system’s power output. As their name implies, shortcuts to adiabaticity allow quantum machines to mimic adiabatic operation in a much shorter time than is possible using genuine adiabatic transformations, which are infinitely slow. Although previous research has demonstrated the advantages of shortcuts to adiabaticity for enhancing the performance of heat engines, these methods typically do not account for the energy cost of the shortcut protocol when calculating the final efficiency of the system. As a result, the efficiency improvements due to shortcuts to adiabaticity appear to be for free, exaggerating their effects.In the new study, Abah and Lutz developed a method for evaluating the performance of a system that accounts for the energy cost of these shortcuts. Their results show that shortcuts to adiabaticity enhance the performance of a system only if the shortcut is sufficiently fast, since faster shortcuts have lower energy costs. On the other hand, very slow shortcut protocols have higher energy costs that may exceed any potential energy gains. “Our work shows that higher efficiency and higher power may be achieved at the same time with the help of shortcut-to-adiabaticty methods, even when the energetic cost of the shortcut is taken into account,” Abah told physicists also showed that there is a fundamental limit to the efficiency of any quantum engine, no matter what kind of shortcuts to adiabaticity it uses. Surprisingly, the limits on a quantum engine are stricter than the limits imposed by the second law of thermodynamics, which sets the ultimate limits on the efficiency of classical engines. As the physicists explain, the reason for the tighter bounds on quantum engines is because classical mechanics does not place restrictions on the speed of a process, whereas quantum mechanics does have speed restrictions, which are given by “quantum speed limits.” The scientists plan to compare different shortcut methods in order to determine the one leading to the most energy-efficient machine. Understanding quantum speed limits and their fundamental limitations on quantum systems is essential for designing future quantum engines.”The advent of miniaturization will unavoidably lead to machines that are so tiny that their dynamics will generally obey the laws of quantum mechanics instead of those of classical mechanics,” Abah said. “Their properties will then be governed by quantum thermodynamics.” Citation: Physicists investigate fundamental limits of quantum engines (2017, August 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further More information: Obinna Abah and Eric Lutz. “Energy efficiency quantum machines.” EPL. DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/118/40005 © 2017 Journal information: Europhysics Letters (EPL)center_img Quantum shortcuts cannot bypass the laws of thermodynamics (—Quantum engines are known to operate differently than—and in some cases, outperform—their classical counterparts. However, previous research on the performance of quantum engines may be overestimating their advantages. In a new study, physicists have developed an improved method to compute the efficiency of quantum engines. They show that the ultimate efficiency of quantum systems is subject to tighter fundamental limits than those imposed by the second law of thermodynamics, which governs the efficiency of classical systems. A quantum engine in which work is produced during the first and third strokes. Credit: Abah et al. ©2017 EPL 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

Using optogenetics to program yeast to produce more isobutanol

first_img © 2018 A team of researchers at Princeton University has developed a way to cause yeast to produce more isobutanol, a possible candidate for use as a biofuel. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes their use of optogenetics to increase isobutanol production by yeast. As the search for alternatives to petroleum continues, scientist continue to look for new sources of biofuels. In this new effort, the researchers genetically altered yeast to produce more isobutanol in the absence of light.As the researchers note, it would be convenient if yeast could produce isobutanol all the time, but that does not appear to be possible, because isobutanol is actually toxic to yeast—if it builds up, the yeast will die. Because of that, yeast must be allowed to go into a growth phase in which the yeast builds up precursor substances that it needs to remain healthy. Prior efforts have shown that it is possible to get yeast to switch between production and growth phases, but such efforts have not been uniform, which has resulted in the production of disappointing amounts of isobutanol. In this new effort, the researchers looked to optogenetics to provide a more efficient means for getting the yeast to switch between the two phases.Optogenetics involves programming cells to respond to light. To that end, the researchers added a light-sensitive transcription factor obtained from a marine animal into the yeast. They also introduced changes to another gene, enabling it to block transcription factors. The end result was a yeast that could be switched on and off using light—when light was present, the yeast produced ethanol as normal; when it was turned off, it produced isobutanol.The researchers found that the modified yeast is capable of producing 8.5g of isobutanol per liter of a glucose solution, which they note is five times more than any other method has delivered. Unfortunately, they note, that amount is still not high enough to make the process commercially useful. Explore further In experiments, researchers used light to control yeast. Credit: Sameer Khan/Fotobuddy This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The team plans to continue their research, looking to further optimize the process to see if they can improve yields. They are also considering adding biosensors that can switch the light source on and off automatically, possibly improving efficiency and making the process easier to carry out.center_img Citation: Using optogenetics to program yeast to produce more isobutanol (2018, March 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Nature Reversible OptoEXP system based on VP16–EL222 that is sensitive to 450 nm light. hν indicates the energy of photons. HTH, helix–turn–helix DNA-binding domain. Credit: Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/nature26141 More information: Evan M. Zhao et al. Optogenetic regulation of engineered cellular metabolism for microbial chemical production, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/nature26141AbstractThe optimization of engineered metabolic pathways requires careful control over the levels and timing of metabolic enzyme expression. Optogenetic tools are ideal for achieving such precise control, as light can be applied and removed instantly without complex media changes. Here we show that light-controlled transcription can be used to enhance the biosynthesis of valuable products in engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae. We introduce new optogenetic circuits to shift cells from a light-induced growth phase to a darkness-induced production phase, which allows us to control fermentation with only light. Furthermore, optogenetic control of engineered pathways enables a new mode of bioreactor operation using periodic light pulses to tune enzyme expression during the production phase of fermentation to increase yields. Using these advances, we control the mitochondrial isobutanol pathway to produce up to 8.49 ± 0.31 g l−1 of isobutanol and 2.38 ± 0.06 g l−1 of 2-methyl-1-butanol micro-aerobically from glucose. These results make a compelling case for the application of optogenetics to metabolic engineering for the production of valuable products.Press release Engineering cells for more efficient biofuel productionlast_img read more

Hemimastigotes found to represent a major new branch on evolutionary tree of

first_img Long-term study shows atmospheric biome fluctuates by season A team of researchers at Dalhousie University has found evidence that suggests hemimastigotes represent a major new branch of evolutionary life. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their genetic study of the dirt-dwelling microbe. Journal information: Nature The researchers note that hemimastigotes have been known to scientists since the 19th century, but it was not until very recently that technology has allowed scientists to learn how different they are from other eukaryotic life forms. The researchers report that one of their team members, Yana Eglit, had been digging in a local park just outside of Halifax. Intrigued by the microbes she found in the dirt, she isolated a group that appeared to be hemimastigotes. After letting the microbes reproduce in a small dish filled with nothing but dirt and water for a month, she collected samples that the team used to conduct a genetic analysis.The researchers report that the hemimastigotes are so different from anything observed before that fungi and animals are actually more closely related. They describe the microbes as being approximately two-hundredths of a millimeter long—they move using over a dozen flagella. And they survive by eating other microbes. It was the latter characteristic that led the team to name the species Hemimastix kukwesjijk, in honor of a hairy man-eating ogre from Mi’kmaq (native people in Nova Scotia) folklore.The researchers describe hemimastigotes as representing a major new branch on the evolutionary tree—standing above the level of a kingdom. The team was able to analyze hundreds of samples, thanks to Eglit’s efforts in getting them to reproduce, which provided a very clear understanding of the genetic makeup of the microbes. They also suggest their findings fill some evolutionary holes in the tree of life. They also note that in addition to learning about how different hemimastigotes truly are from other life forms, the work by Eglit also offers a lesson for other researchers in how to grow such species in large enough volume to allow for such thorough study. More information: Gordon Lax et al. Hemimastigophora is a novel supra-kingdom-level lineage of eukaryotes, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0708-8 © 2018 Science X Networkcenter_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. Explore further Citation: Hemimastigotes found to represent a major new branch on evolutionary tree of life (2018, November 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Credit: CC0 Public Domainlast_img read more

Game for pain Heres how to benefit from it

If getting inked is on your mind, the India International Tattoo convention [IITC] is just the right place for you. In its second year now, the show puts up the latest trends, fashion and techniques in tattoo art. Seminars, training as well as demonstrations are scheduled combined with lots of music, get togethers, parties, food and fun for the participants and tattoo families. It provides a platform for all tattoo professionals across the country. ‘There are around 40 to 50 tattoo artistes who have come together to learn at this convention. The inter-country participation at the event is a great learning experience. One of the major advantages is that the skills and techniques of the art gets upgraded,’ said Aditi Naithani, a participant and a tattoo artiste.‘Tattooing as an art is interesting. It requires physical labour coupled with mental concentration. Once you indulge in it, you are transfered beyond the tangible and the audible. The more exposure you have, the more your artistic skills grow and conventions like these help to achieve that,’ added the 28-year-old.DETAILAt: Surajkund, FaridabadOn Till: 7 OctoberTimings: 11am- 7.30 pm read more

CESC restores all electrical faults within two days of norwester

first_imgKolkata: CESC has managed to repair all electrical faults within its jurisdiction by Thursday. Ever since the Nor’wester hit the city and its adjoining areas in the evening of April 17, the employees of the CESC acted promptly and worked on a war footing to control the situation.CESC power supply was disrupted specially in areas where the city is served by overhead wires. The city’s underground cables remained largely unaffected. However, a number of cases were reported where lamp posts belonging to other agencies were also affected due to storm. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to a senior official of CESC, after a long time, so many faults had taken place during the storm. In first 24 hours after the incident, CESC received altogether 36,000 telephone calls from different parts of the city and adjoining areas.CESC had carried out repair works in Howrah’s Belur area on Thursday morning. Amongst the worst affected areas were Northern and Eastern parts of the city, including Patuli, Panchasayar, Survey Park, Lake Town, Bangur, Dum Dum, Kamarhati, Khardah, Sodepur, Howrah and Serampore.According to the CESC spokesman: “Works were done on a day-and-night basis, which had enabled the agency to bring the situation under control within the next day. In most of the cases, the normalcy was restored within Wednesday afternoon.last_img read more

The saga of epic love

first_imgIndira Gandhi National Centre for Arts (IGNCA) unveiled the first ever new-age multimedia presentation of The Gita Govinda, a 12th century Sanskrit poetry by Jayadeva on May 27. Jawhar Sircar, CEO, Prasar Bharati presided as the chief guest. The project is an outcome of an extensive research spanning over two decades, on Gita Govinda. This was done under the supervision and expertise of Kapila Vatsyayan, a scholar of Gita Govinda for nearly fifty years.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’She’s an internationally acknowledged authority and pioneer of inter and multi-disciplinary studies in the humanities, and arts. Pratapanand Jha, director, Cultural Infomatics Lab, executed the program and was in charge of the technology aspect of the presentation. The Gita Govinda consists of twelve chapters, further classified into twenty-four songs. For this presentation IGNCA has selected six songs and presented them in six singing, six dance and six painting traditions. Gita Govinda as a religious text has a pan-Indian presence, with it being offered as sacred music at the temples of Kerala, Orissa, Assam among other states. Initially, Ranjit Makkuni, a researcher at Xerox PARC, USA led the research and design activities of the presentation. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixKapila Vatsyayan, Trustee, IGNCA Trust, expressing her delight towards the work said: “Gita Govinda is very close to my heart as I’ve devoted twenty years of my life researching and conceiving the content. Gita Govinda, the most luscious love story of Radha and Krishna could not have been explained better without this Multimedia presentation. The story is described at two levels, at the human level, it means the love of a man and a woman, at the divine level there is love and separation of the human and the divine.  In the terms of multiplicity of expressions, a single poem and just six verses could create an entire cosmic vision. Many artists have tried to interpret the text as it has several dimensions of meaning and expression” The artistic genres represented in the presentation included paintings from Jaur, Mewar, Bundi, Jaipur, Basohli, Kangra and Orissa schools while the music traditions of classical Hindustani and Carnatic music. The dance styles included Bharatnatyam, Mohiniattam, Odissi, Manipuri and Kathak.Scholastic interpretation given by Vatsyayan on the sublime meaning of the text on Gita Govinda has added value to the work. The concealed meaning, of the relationship between jeevatma and paramatma, portrayed in the poem as love play between Radha and Krishna, is elucidated in clear language by her.Appreciating the project, Jawhar Sircar, chief executive officer, Prasar Bharti said: “This gives me immense pleasure to know that something like this has been done to re-live the Gita Govinda. It is a wonderful and a very innovative presentation of an ancient love story of Radha and Krishna.The paintings, songs and the music has done justice to the poetry.”On the release, Chinmaya Gharekhan, President IGNCA Trust, expressed happiness at the release of the multimedia presentation. He said: “This is the second major academic work being released by IGNCA using the latest technology tool. Previously, a year ago. It had released an interactive multimedia presentation on the millennium year old Brihadeeswara in Tanjavur, Tamil Nadu.”last_img read more

Crimes against women on the rise Report

first_imgAmidst the Delhi Police and the Delhi government being busy in a tug of war over policing matters in the light of rape of a two-year-old, four-year-old and five-year-old in the national Capital, cases of molestation, rape and other crimes pertaining to women have been increasing over the past one year. According to the Delhi Police data, in 2015, from January 1 to October 15, 4,406 molestation cases have been registered with the police. In 2014, total number of molestation cases registered were 4,322 and from January 1 to October 15 in 2014, 3,487 cases of molestation were registered which means there is an increase of 26.35 per cent in molestation cases. The number of rape cases have seen a spurt in the past one year. In 2015, 1,750 cases of rape have been registered till October 15. In 2014, 2,166 cases of rape were registered, out of which 1,725 were registered with the police till October 15. This means that there is an increase of 14.53 per cent in rape cases over the past one year. Apart from molestation and rape, crimes against women include snatching and robbery have also seen a hike over the past one year. According to the Delhi Police data, in 2015, from January 1 to October 15, 7,724 cases have been registered. In 2014, total number of snatching cases recorded with the police was 7,350, out of which from January 1 to October 15, 5,612 snatching cases were registered with the police. This means that there has been an increase of 37. 63 per cent. As per records for robbery cases, in 2015, from January 1 till October 15, 6033 cases of robbery have been registered. In 2014, total cases of robbery registered with the police were 6464 and from January 1 till Oct 15, 4962 robbery cases were registered. This suggests that there has been an increase of 21.58% in robbery cases over the past one year.last_img read more

Kolkata Bridge Collapse Commuters get alternative road

first_imgKolkata: An alternative road parallel to a bridge that collapsed over a month ago in south Kolkata was thrown open to the public on Friday, much to the relief of a large number of daily commuters to and from the city and its suburbs. A portion of the Majerhat Bridge in south Kolkata collapsed on September 4, killing a city youth instantly and injuring at least 19 others. Two bodies of Metro rail workers were recovered from under the debris two days after the accident. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life The new road along with two bailey bridges over the Chetla canal and railway level crossing were constructed within 20 days in close coordination between the Public Works Department (PWD) and Eastern Railway. According to senior PWD officials, initially one-way movement of small and medium vehicles will be allowed on the road. The city police will take a call regarding both-way vehicular movements after the Durga Puja festivities. “The bridge, along with the level-crossing, is connecting the southward extension of Alipore Avenue with Block G in New Alipore,” an official said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed Urban Development Minister Firhad Hakim said that though the bridge collapse was an unfortunate incident, the Bengal government had shown that they can make the impossible possible. Eastern Railway officials said train services on the Sealdah-Budge Budge line will be restricted to keep the level-crossing gate between New Alipore and Majerhat station operational. “To ensure smooth road and rail movement, six pairs of EMU locals on the Sealdah-Budge Budge section will remain suspended from Saturday until further notice. Rest of the 52 locals (trains) will continue to ply with slight changes in schedule.”last_img read more

This book is about the sense of loss Anupam Kher

first_imgThe veteran actor of B’town Anupam Kher was out here in Delhi for the release of a book ‘The Spirit of the River’, a spiritual fiction, based on the concept of depression. Apart from him the author of the book, Karina Arora and the CEO of Hay House publishers Ashok Chopra were present to grace the launch event.Featured by the Hay House publishers ‘The Spirit of the River’ highlights every kind of emotional and spiritual load, which is carried by humans on a daily basis. The story line of the novel follows the story of Zoe, a newly turned adult’s young life and her tragic experience compels us to start a conversation about loss and its implications. With her 18th birthday still a happy new memory, is confronted with the untimely death of her parents. The reality of such a huge loss throws Zoe into the dark corners of grief but leads her on an unexpected journey where she learns to experience life on her own. The simplicity in narration is fresh and the story-telling is both engaging and inspiring. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”This book is about the sense of loss, about losing parents at such an age, and how the young girl Zoe copes up with the sense of loss she has been through, is the most amazing factor of the book,” said Anupam about the book he narrated. Whereas on talking terms about depression among youngsters, he stated, “I think today’s youth has the stress about fitting into circumstances, like, ‘I want to fit in, I want to look cool’ this is one of the biggest reason for them to indulge in such a stressful zone.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveOn materialistic things and social media, he said, “You cannot be constantly with machine, like mobile, internet, and things like that because there comes a time when you will become like a machine. Information turns into knowledge only by going through life, otherwise it will be just information.” On the other hand the author of the book Karina Arora shared her own views and thoughts regarding the same, she said, “This book is about your inner self, it is about what you are from inside; it is not about the outside factor and what you look like. Writing a book is one of the ways to cope up with depression. This is a very far out concept, I haven’t experienced this situation personally, but as I read several books, I formed different outlook and perspective for life.”Karina Arora was 17 when she started writing this book, and by the age of 18 she completed it. Based from Delhi, presently she is pursuing her business degree from Australia.last_img read more

Connecting South Asian artists

first_imgSouth Asia is land of great beauty, opportunities, natural and cultural diversity. It’s a land of varied beliefs and practices in culture, literature, religious life and identities; which have co-existed and negotiated their space through dialogues. South Asia is not a paradigm but a ‘discursive formation’, with its remarkable capacity of ‘giving birth simultaneously to mutually exclusive objects, without having to modify itself.The region is a also a hotbed for conflicts and more often than not arising out of vortex of political ambition of superpowers and exploitation of fissure lines which are intrinsically present in context of religion and ethnicity, leveraging the poor economic conditions. The voice of art has been throttled, manipulated and patronized to voice the dubious ideologies, as ‘intimidation’ is the the order which threatens to transform ‘humanity into ‘silhouettes’. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfYet there have been voices which have existed and that too sometimes appropriated by ideology. It is art which can make sense and harmonise the diverse condition of the South Asian region. It is with the idea of connecting the artists of the South Asia region, in spite of the differences and lack of resources in order to find ways to be sustainable in their practices that the first ever Mountain Fringe Festival in India: The South Asian Fringe: Mountain India Editions will take place on May 5 at Jogibara Village, Himachal Pradesh, India. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThis 3 days festival promotes counter culture, alternative arts and performances will showcase theatre, performance art, video art, music, poetry and dance by young contemporary artists from throughout the world. The festival will also feature the #International Video Art Xibition , which will exhibit the video art works of top international artists like Robert Cahen (France), Wilfried Agricola de Cologne (Germany), Francesca Fini (Italy), Marcus Shahar (Israel), Nezaket Ekici (Turkey) and many other outstanding international video artists. The spaces for the performances are all very unique and beautiful and definitely will be a memorable experience for the audience and tourist this weekend.The South Asian Fringe is a festival platform which explores spaces, communities and identities in South Asia. The festival will add to sustainability of artists and spaces while also promoting tourism.last_img read more

Oyo plans centre of excellence for training capacity building in city

first_imgKolkata: In a significant stride to extend its footprint further in Bengal, Oyo Hotels and Rooms is planning to come up with a centre of excellence for training and capacity building in Kolkata. The hotel chain also offered to help the state in maintaining a real-time digital data repository for ‘Digital Arrival & Departure Register’.”We are looking to come up with an OYO Centre of Excellence (OYO Skill Institute) by the end of this year as a part of our effort to increase our business further in Bengal. The state government has expressed to lend its support regarding the space needed,” Aditya Ghosh, Oyo CEO India and South Asia said on Monday on the sidelines of Destination East 2019, organised by the CII in association with the state Tourism department. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalWhile addressing the event, West Bengal Housing & Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) chairman Debashis Sen welcomed Ghosh’s ideas and said if Ghosh plans to come up with such a facility in New Town then space can be provided on rent. Ghosh maintained that the size of the Oyo training institute would depend on the space. As per officials in Oyo, they currently train about 3,500 people per month from around 26 institutes globally. “West Bengal has been one of the leading markets for us and we approximately have around 7,500 room capacities in this state,” Ghosh added. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedOyo currently has 1.64 lakh rooms across the country and 4.5 lakh in the world. Expressing his desire to provide assistance to the state government with regard to a real-time digital data repository, he said inflow and outflow of tourists can be managed more efficiently and transparently in comparison to the manual process. State Tourism minister Goutam Deb said the state is joining hands with private companies to come up with new projects at Jharkhali in South 24-Parganas and Sabuj Deep in Hooghly. He also announced of developing an app so that tourists can submit their feedback through it. State Principal Secretary, Tourism, Atri Bhattacharya said the government is emphasising on developing heritage tourism in the state.last_img read more

Le Rythme enthralls the music lovers of Delhi

first_imgMusic lovers of the Capital were left spellbound by the melodious performances at CR Park, New Delhi when musical maestros came together to perform at a two-day festival titled, ‘Meri Maa – The Rhythm of India’. Le Rythme on the occasion of its 10th annual cultural festival, organised this cultural event to encourage the development of soft skills for the underprivileged children and to save girl child. While on the first day, the audience heard some melodies by Manavendra Maharaj of Rama Krishna Mission, Delhi and Rythme School of Music; Pt. Ronu Majumdar mesmerized everyone with his flute on the second day. That’s not all, stalwarts like Mohan veena maestro and Padmabhusan Pt. Vishwa Mohan Bhatt played raga Iman with shehnai maestro Pt. Rajendra Prasanna and tabla maestro Pt Kumar Bose. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfRenowned vocalist Rini Mukherjee engaged the audience with her melodious renditions and the song “Leelabali Leelabali” got rich applause from the audience. Later, around forty students, of Rythme School of Music played orchestra with different musical instruments.The programme ended with the mesmerizing performances of the Chief Guest – renowned playback singer and Minister of State for Heavy Industries and Public Enterprises – Babul Supriyo in the presence of music director, Lalit Pandit. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSubhash Bhadana, the Dy. Chairman of SDMC and Saurabh Bhardwaj, the local MLA expressed their gratitude and pleasure to organize such a magnificent musical event at CR Park, where all the musical maestros performed under one roof. “It’s a matter of pride for all of us,” said Bhadana as he thanked Rythme School of Music and Le Rythme for organizing the same. Rajib Mukhapadhyay, Secretary of Le Rythme, mentioned, “It’s the prime responsibility of the trust to upgrade the musical skills of the students through skill development programme. We pay special attention to the underprivileged class of the society for a long-term sustainable future and offer them a big platform to showcase their talents. The benefits are manifold. The young generations will inherit the richness of our culture and will drive the same. Music therapy has got incredible value. Anyone, including mentally or physically challenged children, can learn art, music, dance or vocal at a very negligible cost. In turn, in the next few years, they can be the real contributor to the society.”last_img read more

119 docs tender resignation at North Bengal Medical College in solidarity with

first_imgDarjeeling: 119 doctors have handed over their resignations at the North Bengal Medical College and Hospital (NBMCH) near Siliguri on Friday, in solidarity with the junior doctors on strike at NRS Medical College and Hospital in Kolkata.”We have received resignations from 119 doctors. We have also written to the Health department that if this spate continues it will be very difficult to continue giving services,” stated Prabir Deb, principal of North Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataBengal Medical College and Hospital. It may be mentioned here that services are provided by 300 senior faculty members and doctors with the help of around 200 interns and junior doctors at NBMCH, where the interns and junior doctors are currently observing ceasework. On Friday, the Outpatient Department (OPD) at NBMCH remained shut, while emergency patients were treated by the senior doctors. “We have appealed to the students and junior doctors to normalise the situation,” stated Kaushik Samaddar, superintendent of NBMCH.last_img read more

Four footwear options to wear on a date

first_imgConfused what to wear on your date this Valentine’s Day? Opt for flirty ankle strap heels or playful pumps with a bardot neckline tiered dress or just the classic little black dress to woo your partner, suggest experts. Here is a list of tips on what footwear to opt: Ankle strap heels: Ankle strap heels are a must-have this season. Sophisticated and chic, these look effortlessly on trend with any outfit. Sling backs and ankle straps accented in metallic buckles, floral eyelets and criss-cross pleats are ideal for the much needed stability in your stride. Be date-ready in candy colours, subtle golds and deep maroons. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfPumps: Classic pointed pumps are stylish. It is one of the most versatile styles. Pumps look great with cropped pants, mini-skirts, and, well, just about anything for the perfect date. Styled in vibrant prints, embossed textures and embellished mesh details, pair these pumps with your favourite sling/clutch to complete the look. Sneakers: The minimal look is here to stay. Globally, designers continue to show their love to this most wearable style. The humble sneaker is undoubtedly the biggest footwear trend of the year and has kicked off a total fashion revolution. Sported by models, celebrities, bloggers and designers, sneakers have worked for almost all occasions as a fashion statement. Classic sliders: Classic sliders in pastel hues are the ideal accessory this summer. The ease to slip on and off make slides the perfect companion for a beach sundowner or poolside party.last_img read more

Poetry biennale ends with hopes of freedom peace

first_imgAfter running successfully for a week, Raza Biennale of Asian Poetry, VAK, turned the weekend for national capital into a conquest for finding themselves in the times of post-truth; evoking their deepest thoughts about freedom. Organised by Raza Foundation at India International Centre, from February 15 to 17, VAK 2019 witnessed 20 international poets (from 18 Asian countries), and six Indian poets, who came together to remind people of the continuing struggle, resistance for truth, tolerance, and nonviolence through hard-hitting poetry and discussions. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfWhile Palestinian poet Najwan Darwish on the first day of the Biennale contested that due to prevailing new forms of colonialism in societies and among some poets, it is becoming difficult to be a poet in these dark ages, Israeli poet Amir Or on the second day said that poetry has always been a threat to power politics and regimes. He was of the view that things haven’t changed for the poets and their poetry throughout the ages, and that “poets have been either silenced or forced to praise the ruling party”. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveDarwish, on the other hand, said that when we talk about poetry we should also talk about freedom of having a political voice and saying the truth, as the two should always go hand in hand. The Biennale had six poetry sessions and three talk sessions featuring some of the most important poetic voices from Asia including Ko Un from South Korea, Mohammad Afsar Rahbeen from Afghanistan, Kutti Revathi from India, and Marine Petrossian from Armenia. On first day of the Biennale, Hindi poet and managing trustee of the Raza Foundation Ashok Vajpeyi, along with Director of India International Centre also released a small booklet titled ‘VAK – A collection of Asian Poetry’ with prints of the handwritten poetry by each of the poets. Although each poet had a different story to tell to the audiences, they all revolved around the same theme of struggle, freedom, truth, non-violence, and tolerance. “My vision is that Asia has too many tongues and many different poetics. For example, while the Japanese poetics seem to be woven around the sense of smell and Arabic poetics around utterance, the Indian poetics is all about taste,” Vajpeyi said. But, all of them together are concerned with freedom, dissent, truth, justice, and plurality, and VAK brings all of them together,” he further added.last_img read more