Month: August 2019

Could an AquaNet Bring Water to the Desert

Could an AquaNet Bring Water to the Desert

first_img Citation: Could an Aqua-Net Bring Water to the Desert? (2010, July 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-aqua-net.html Explore further Satellite Imagery of Watertown Tire Fire (PhysOrg.com) — Challenges of the future include energy use and continued population growth. And, while there are millions of square miles of land available in the world, not all of it is considered fit for human habitation. Shimizu Corporation, the company contemplating the Luna Ring, has another interesting project in the “just coming up with an idea” stage: The Desert Aqua-Net. Image source: Shimizu Corporation The Desert Aqua-Net is an idea that involves the building of interconnected lakes in the desert. These 18-mile-diameter lakes would be connected by canals fed from the ocean. The lakes would include built islands that could serve as homes for cities teeming with people. Supposedly, this would work because water from the lake would cool the cities, making them livable. There would also be arable land, theoretically, after this cooling above the desert lake islands. The cities would be powered by satellite power stations, and by the sun. One of the biggest draw backs is that the lakes would be filled with seawater. While the salt water would provide the opportunities for water-based wildlife, and even for biomass development, it doesn’t provide much opportunity for drinking. However, Shimizu plans that the some of the water would be desalinated, and thus made fit for human consumption and for irrigation of crops.Of course, cost is a huge barrier to a project like the Aqua-Net. It would be extremely expensive, not to mention use vast resources, to build this Desert Aqua-Net. Other problems could easily arise, related to impacts on oceans and rivers. And, of course, predicting weather patterns, and changes to the climate, could present problems, since these cities could be impacted quite a bit. Finally, and not least, issues of sovereignty would likely arise — especially since the Desert Aqua-Net would require a great deal of cooperation between countries. More information: “Desert Aqua-Net Plan,” Shimizu Corporation. Available online: www.shimz.co.jp/english/theme/dream/desert.html. © 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.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Researchers find proteins responsible for orchid shape

Researchers find proteins responsible for orchid shape

first_img The science of spring flowers—how petals get their shape Journal information: Nature Plants Explore further Phalaenopsis orchids. Credit: Chang-Hsien Yang (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with National Chung Hsing University in Taiwan has found the proteins responsible for determining the shape of orchid lips. In their paper published in the journal Nature Plants, the team describes how they unlocked the secret of orchid shape and by so doing were able to alter the shape of the plant on demand. Barbara Gravendeel and Anita Dirks-Mulder of the Naturalis Biodiversity Center and the University of Applied Sciences Leiden, Sylviusweg, The Netherland, have published a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. © 2015 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Model for perianth formation in orchids, Nature Plants 1, Article number: 15046 (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nplants.2015.46AbstractOrchidaceae, the orchid family under the order Asparagales, contains more than 20,000 accepted species in approximately 880 genera. In contrast to most flowers of actinomorphic symmetry, orchid flowers typically have zygomorphic symmetry with a striking well-differentiated labellum (lip) that acts as the main pollinator attractant by employing visual, fragrance and tactile cues. Genetics models controlling patterning formation of actinomorphic flowers, such as Arabidopsis, are well known. However, the mechanisms of sepal/petal/lip determination remain obscure. Here, we demonstrate a conserved principle, called the Perianth (P) code, which involves competition between two protein complexes containing different AP3/AGL6 homologues to determine the formation of the complex perianth patterns in orchids. In the P code, the higher-order heterotetrameric SP (sepal/petal) complex (OAP3-1/OAGL6-1/OAGL6-1/OPI) specifies sepal/petal formation, whereas the L (lip) complex (OAP3-2/OAGL6-2/OAGL6-2/OPI) is exclusively required for lip formation. This model is validated by the conversion of lips into sepal/petal structures in Oncidium and Phalaenopsis orchids through the suppression of the proposed L complex activity in lips using the virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) strategy. A comprehensive examination of four different subfamilies of Orchidaceae further validates the P code and significantly extends the current knowledge regarding the mechanism and pathways of perianth formation in orchids. Phalaenopsis orchids. Credit: Chang-Hsien Yang Citation: Researchers find proteins responsible for orchid shape (2015, April 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-proteins-responsible-orchid.html Orchids make up the largest species of the plant family, with over 26,000 recognized. They are also somewhat unique in that they have an irregularly shaped, elongated petal called a lip, which plant scientists believe has evolved to served as a landing place for pollinators—a feature that appears to have given the plant an evolutionary advantage. But the lip is not the same for all species, or sometimes even in the same species, which has caused scientists to wonder what is the controlling mechanism for it.In this new effort, the researchers took a closer look at plant genes A,B,C,D and E, which prior research has shown are responsible in general for plant shape. Until now, no one has been able to figure out which one, or combination of the genes is responsible in particular for lip shape. Because the B class has been found to be heavily involved in petal formation in general, the researchers looked at the proteins that are expressed by that gene in orchids. They found that there were two types of protein complexes, one called the L complex (for Lip) and another called the SP complex (for sepa-petal)—both of which were made up of four proteins. They found that there was a tug-of-war between the complexes, when one exerted more influence, the plant exhibited more of that attribute. To prove their findings, they introduced a virus that was capable of knocking out one or the other of the protein complexes—in the absence of an L complex, the lip was replaced by a normal petal, whereas in the absence of an SP complex, the lip was prominent.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Three new gas giant exoplanets discovered by SuperWASPSouth

Three new gas giant exoplanets discovered by SuperWASPSouth

first_img SuperWASP-South and SuperWASP-North in the Canary Islands, Spain, belong to an international consortium called WASP (Wide Angle Search for Planets) which is conducting an ultra-wide angle search for exoplanets using the transit photometry method. The observatories are equipped with eight wide-angle cameras each, that simultaneously monitor the sky for planetary transit events. With more than 150 exoplanets discovered to date, the SuperWASP program is currently the leading ground-based transit survey.Now, a team of astronomers led by David Anderson of Keele University in the U.K. reports another significant discovery under the SuperWASP program, based on a series of observations of three different stars, namely WASP-91, WASP-15 and WASP-107. The observational campaign using SuperWASP-South, the Euler-Swiss telescope and the TRAnsiting Planets and PlanetesImals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) was carried out between February 2009 and December 2014. While SuperWASP-South detected the transit events, follow-up spectroscopic and photometric observations conducted with Euler-Swiss and TRAPPIST telescopes confirmed the planetary nature of these events.”In this paper, we present the discoveries of three transiting exoplanets by the WASP survey: WASP-91b and WASP-105b are warm Jupiters orbiting metal-rich, early/mid-K stars; and WASP-107b is a warm super-Neptune/sub-Saturn orbiting a solar-metallicity, late-K star,” the researchers wrote.According to the research, WASP-91b is similar in size to Jupiter but 34 percent more massive than our solar system’s biggest planet. It was classified as a “warm Jupiter” as it has an equilibrium temperature of 1,160 K. The planet orbits its parent star of spectral type K3 in the constellation Tucana every 2.8 days. Another “warm Jupiter” – WASP-105b – is almost the size of Jupiter with a radius of approximately 0.96 Jupiter radii. This gaseous exoworld is more massive but cooler than WASP-91. It has a mass of about 1.8 Jupiter masses and an equilibrium temperature of 900 K. The host star WASP-105 lies in the constellation Phoenix and has a spectral type K2. The star is orbited by WASP-105b every 7.9 days.WASP-107b is much less massive than the two previously described planets and the lowest-mass planet discovered by WASP to date. While it is 96 percent of Jupiter’s size, it has a mass of only 12 percent of the mass of the solar system’s gas giant. Therefore, this extrasolar world most likely belongs to the super-Neptune or sub-Saturn group of planets. With an equilibrium temperature of 770 K, WASP-107b is also the coolest exoplanet of the newly discovered trio. It has an orbital period of about 5.7 days, circling a K6-typ star in the constellation Virgo.WASP-107b’s large radius combined with relatively low mass raises questions about the internal structure of this planet. The authors of the paper assume that it is a low-mass gas giant, with a hydrogen/helium-dominated composition. However, in order to finally resolve this issue, the team suggests further spectroscopic observations of this exoplanet. Journal information: arXiv © 2017 Phys.org Citation: Three new gas giant exoplanets discovered by SuperWASP-South (2017, January 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-gas-giant-exoplanets-superwasp-south.html WASP-91b discovery data. WASP lightcurve folded on the transit ephemeris. Credit: Anderson et al., 2017. More information: The discoveries of WASP-91b, WASP-105b and WASP-107b: two warm Jupiters and a planet in the transition region between ice giants and gas giants, arXiv:1701.03776 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1701.03776AbstractWe report the discoveries of three transiting exoplanets. WASP-91b is a warm Jupiter (1.34 MJup, 1.03 RJup) in a 2.8-day orbit around a metal-rich K3 star. WASP-105b is a warm Jupiter (1.8 MJup, 0.96 RJup) in a 7.9-day orbit around a metal-rich K2 star. WASP-107b is a warm super-Neptune/sub-Saturn (0.12 MJup, 0.94 RJup) in a 5.7-day orbit around a solar-metallicity K6 star. Considering that giant planets seem to be more common around stars of higher metallicity and stars of higher mass, it is notable that the hosts are all metal-rich, late-type stars. With orbital separations that place both WASP-105b and WASP-107b in the weak-tide regime, measurements of the alignment between the planets’ orbital axes and their stars’ spin axes may help us to understand the inward migration of short-period, giant planets. The mass of WASP-107b (2.2 MNep, 0.40 MSat) places it in the transition region between the ice giants and gas giants of the Solar System. Its radius of 0.94 RJup suggests that it is a low-mass gas giant with a H/He-dominated composition. The planet thus sets a lower limit of 2.2 MNep on the planetary mass above which large gaseous envelopes can be accreted and retained by proto-planets on their way to becoming gas giants. We may discover whether WASP-107b more closely resembles an ice giant or a gas giant by measuring its atmospheric metallicity via transmission spectroscopy, for which WASP-107b is a very good target.center_img Explore further Astronomers discover seven new giant exoplanets (Phys.org)—Astronomers report the discovery of three new gas giant planets using the SuperWASP-South Observatory in South Africa. Two of the newly detected alien worlds were classified as the so-called “warm Jupiters,” while one of them is most likely a super-Neptune or a sub-Saturn planet. The findings were presented in a paper published Jan. 13 on the arXiv preprint server. 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

Continue Reading

Chemotactic movement used to carry drugs through bloodbrain barrier

Chemotactic movement used to carry drugs through bloodbrain barrier

first_img 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 Medical scientists have worked for many years to find medications to treat brain ailments, many of which have proven effective—but their use has been stymied by the blood brain-barrier. The blood-brain barrier is a filtering mechanism involved with capillaries that carry blood to the brain. The filter is adapted to prevent harmful chemicals from entering one of the most critical organs. Scientists have looked at a variety of ways to coax chemicals through the blood-brain barrier, and while some have met with success, there is still a great need for improved options. In this new effort, the researchers have found a way to use chemotactic movement to carry desired chemicals through the filter.Chemotactic movement occurs when an organism responds to chemicals in the environment, causing them to move. The new technique does not involve inserting a foreign organism into the blood stream, of course; instead, it involves injecting vesicles (dubbed “nanoswimmers”), which are little pods filled with chemicals that move on their own through a chemical action called Brownian motion. Such motion is induced by making the vesicles asymmetric, with one side more permeable than the rest of the vesicle shell. This allows more of the material inside to react with material outside at just one side of the vesicle, causing it to move toward the material it finds attractive. (Phys.org)—An international team of researchers has developed a way to take advantage of chemotactic movement to carry drugs through the blood-brain barrier. In their paper published on the open access site Sciences Advances, the researchers describe the technique and its effectiveness in test rats. Play Glucose-guided nanoswimmers in a petri dish. Credit: Joseph et al., Sci. Adv. 2017;3: e1700362 Building a better blood-brain barrier model Explore further More information: Adrian Joseph et al. Chemotactic synthetic vesicles: Design and applications in blood-brain barrier crossing, Science Advances (2017). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1700362AbstractIn recent years, scientists have created artificial microscopic and nanoscopic self-propelling particles, often referred to as nano- or microswimmers, capable of mimicking biological locomotion and taxis. This active diffusion enables the engineering of complex operations that so far have not been possible at the micro- and nanoscale. One of the most promising tasks is the ability to engineer nanocarriers that can autonomously navigate within tissues and organs, accessing nearly every site of the human body guided by endogenous chemical gradients. We report a fully synthetic, organic, nanoscopic system that exhibits attractive chemotaxis driven by enzymatic conversion of glucose. We achieve this by encapsulating glucose oxidase alone or in combination with catalase into nanoscopic and biocompatible asymmetric polymer vesicles (known as polymersomes). We show that these vesicles self-propel in response to an external gradient of glucose by inducing a slip velocity on their surface, which makes them move in an extremely sensitive way toward higher-concentration regions. We finally demonstrate that the chemotactic behavior of these nanoswimmers, in combination with LRP-1 (low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 1) targeting, enables a fourfold increase in penetration to the brain compared to nonchemotactic systems. 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. Play A summary of how the glucose-guided nanoswimmers could deliver drugs to the brain and other hard-to-reach parts of the central nervous system. Credit: Joseph et al., Sci. Adv. 2017;3: e1700362 The researchers noted that one of the main materials that passes through the blood brain barrier is glucose, because the brain uses it as an energy source. By causing the vesicles to be attracted to glucose in higher concentrations, the researchers were able to coax the vesicle through the blood-brain barrier and into the brains of test mice. Once there, the vesicles were free to dissolve, releasing the chemicals inside. The researchers report finding a four-fold increase in the amount of medicine reaching the brain as compared to conventional methods. Journal information: Science Advances © 2017 Phys.org Citation: Chemotactic movement used to carry drugs through blood-brain barrier (2017, August 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-08-chemotactic-movement-drugs-blood-brain-barrier.html 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 fullscreenlast_img read more

Continue Reading

Measuring impact of likes by users on Facebook being targeted by sellers

Measuring impact of likes by users on Facebook being targeted by sellers

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. Explore further Citation: Measuring impact of ‘likes’ by users on Facebook being targeted by sellers (2017, November 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-11-impact-users-facebook-sellers.html More information: S. C. Matz et al. Psychological targeting as an effective approach to digital mass persuasion, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2017). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1710966114AbstractPeople are exposed to persuasive communication across many different contexts: Governments, companies, and political parties use persuasive appeals to encourage people to eat healthier, purchase a particular product, or vote for a specific candidate. Laboratory studies show that such persuasive appeals are more effective in influencing behavior when they are tailored to individuals’ unique psychological characteristics. However, the investigation of large-scale psychological persuasion in the real world has been hindered by the questionnaire-based nature of psychological assessment. Recent research, however, shows that people’s psychological characteristics can be accurately predicted from their digital footprints, such as their Facebook Likes or Tweets. Capitalizing on this form of psychological assessment from digital footprints, we test the effects of psychological persuasion on people’s actual behavior in an ecologically valid setting. In three field experiments that reached over 3.5 million individuals with psychologically tailored advertising, we find that matching the content of persuasive appeals to individuals’ psychological characteristics significantly altered their behavior as measured by clicks and purchases. Persuasive appeals that were matched to people’s extraversion or openness-to-experience level resulted in up to 40% more clicks and up to 50% more purchases than their mismatching or unpersonalized counterparts. Our findings suggest that the application of psychological targeting makes it possible to influence the behavior of large groups of people by tailoring persuasive appeals to the psychological needs of the target audiences. We discuss both the potential benefits of this method for helping individuals make better decisions and the potential pitfalls related to manipulation and privacy. Fake Facebook ‘like’ networks exploited code flaw to create millions of bogus ‘likes’ Credit: CC0 Public Domaincenter_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Most people who use Facebook know that the people behind the social behemoth collect data regarding everything users do on the site and then sell that data to companies who use it to create targeted ads on the same site. But until now, what has not been clear is if there are ways to manipulate the model in a way that may not be as obvious. In this new effort, the researchers looked at the impact of targeting users based on nothing more than “likes” they made for two given entities.In a prior effort, researchers at Cambridge had created a massive database by combing information available from user profiles on Facebook. Part of that data included “likes” made by users for other users or entities such as corporate pages. In this new effort, the researchers looked at “likes” given for just two of those: Lady Gaga and Stargate. The team at Cambridge had found some evidence suggesting that girls or women who “liked” Lady Gaga’s page tend to be more extroverted than average. In contrast, girls or women “liking” Stargate’s page tend to be more introverted.The researchers then worked with an online beauty product maker who used the data from Cambridge to create and buy ads on Facebook targeted at women based on whether they were deemed more extroverted or introverted as determined solely on their decision to click on a “like” for one or the other chosen pages.After running the ads for a period of time (which reached a total of 3.1 million people), the unnamed beauty product maker reported back to the researchers that the scheme had resulted in a clear increase in both clicks on their ads (1.4 times as many) and in sales (1.5 times as many) as compared to untargeted advertising on the same site. This, the researchers note, could have far reaching implications, because the same technique could also be used for other purposes, such as influencing elections. © 2017 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers from Columbia Business School, Stanford University and the Wharton School of Business all in the U.S. and the University of Cambridge in the U.K. has found a way to show that sellers targeting ads at users based on their profiles on Facebook can have a dramatic impact on sales. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes the experiment they carried out, what they found, and some possible implications of their findings.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Nailed It Bringing Science Into Nail Art

Nailed It Bringing Science Into Nail Art

first_imgNailed It: Bringing Science Into Nail Art Shuran Huang by NPR News Luisa Torres 8.24.19 2:56pm Of all the things I love about being a girl, I love doing nail art the most. But I’m also a scientist, and scientists aren’t usually associated with perfectly manicured nails. Nail art became my way of debunking some common stereotypes, including those that associate scientists with being cold or unapproachable.I got into nail art four years ago after a friend of mine bought a beginner nail art kit. It contained one metal plate with various nail-sized designs etched on the surface – animals, flowers, food – along with nail polish, a scraper and a silicone stamper.Here’s how it works: Cover a design on the plate with nail polish, then spread the polish into the etched-out spaces with the scraper. Press the stamper onto the plate and then onto your nail.I remember awkwardly pressing the stamper against my red-colored nails. When I looked at the end result — a flower pattern, albeit with some smudged edges — I was instantly hooked. I ordered a kit for myself that night, and I never paid for a salon manicure again.Following my first try at nail stamping, I searched for tutorials on YouTube and Instagram to improve my technique. I discovered a whole world I didn’t know existed, including more advanced nail stamping techniques that allowed me to create my own nail designs to transfer to my nails. I experimented with flowers and butterflies and colorful geometric shapes. That was good practice for a later attempt at snowflakes (above).At the time, I was working as a research scientist studying Alzheimer’s disease at Cornell University, where I was looking for ways to get lay people interested in science. On Instagram, I found some science communicators using drawings or video to explain concepts like how stem cells help heal wounds.Then I had an epiphany! None of these science communicators were using nail art as a platform. And none of the nail artists I followed were doing scientific designs.I had been blogging about science for a while, but I wanted to try something new. So on October 10, 2018, I started an Instagram account (@nailsciart) where I’d use nail art to reach a very specific demographic: teenage girls. I wanted to show them the fun side of science through an art form many of them could find appealing — and that it’s possible to have polished nails and work on cool science.I pick themes according to the season. Last October, I did a Halloween series explaining what bats do for humans and the environment.I’ve also done designs that illustrate my interviews with scientists for Locally Sourced Science, a radio show hosted by my local radio station in Ithaca, N.Y. When I interviewed the curator of the fungi collection at the Cornell Plant Pathology Herbarium, I stamped colorful fungi on my nails (above). Lately, I have been experimenting with drawing brain cell types such as neurons (shown below) and microglia using fine brushes. I used one of those designs to accompany an Instagram post about a story I wrote for NPR as an intern this summer, which was about detecting brain activity in seemingly unconscious patients.Part of my internship was writing for the global health team. My nail art of parasitic worms (below, from left to right: a flatworm, a hookworm and a tapeworm) and microbes connects to many topics in this field.The reactions to my posts have always been positive. Some compliment my designs, while others like the novelty of using nail art to talk science. And I love hearing from people who say they’ve learned something new.Having my nails done instantly boosts my confidence (as do the encouraging Instagram comments). Doing science nail art gives me an excuse to show what a scientist looks like today.Tips:Get a stamper with a clear bottom so you can see where on your nail you are placing the stamp.For crisp stamps, use stamping polishes with a thick consistency. I recommend Maniology’s products.If you want to color your stamped designs, use the reverse-stamping technique. This involves stamping on a silicone mat on which you can use different polishes to color the design and finish by covering it with a layer of clear polish. This turns the design into a decal that you can peel off and paste on your nail. For this, I recommend a Bliss Kiss silicone mat.Use 100% acetone to clean your plates and scraper. Use a lint roller or Scotch tape to clean your silicone stamper.Luisa Torres was this summer’s AAAS Mass Media Fellow on NPR’s science desk. She’s on Twitter @luisatorresduq.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.last_img read more

Continue Reading

1 killed 6 injured in 3 separate road accidents

1 killed 6 injured in 3 separate road accidents

first_imgKolkata: One woman was killed in a road accident in North Bengal while six others including a police constable were injured in two separate accidents in the city and its Southern fringes on Tuesday.The first incident took place in North Dinajpur’s Raigunge when a woman was crossing the National Highway 34 near Sohrai More. The identity of the woman is yet to be ascertained by the police. The incident caused traffic congestion on the busy National Highway 34 in the morning. The eyewitnesses told the police that a loaded truck was running at a top speed when the woman suddenly came on the road. The driver applied a sudden brake to save the woman. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAs the vehicle was at a top speed, he could not control the vehicle and it hit the woman. Locals rushed the injured victim to a nearby hospital where the doctors declared her brought dead. Some locals staged a protest demonstration in the area alleging that vehicles often ply through the area at a top speed. They demanded that police must maintain surveillance in the area to ensure that vehicles do not flout traffic norms. Vehicles remained stranded for sometime in the morning. A huge contingent of police rushed the spot to bring the situation under control. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedSenior police officers assured the locals that steps would be taken to check speeding vehicles in the area. The traffic movement became normal gradually. The truck driver, however, fled the spot along with the vehicle immediately after the accident. Police are conducting raids to nab the truck driver.In the other incident, a police constable was injured when the bike he was riding was hit by a car on DL Khan road near AJC Bose Road crossing on Tuesday afternoon. The victim has been identified as Rabindra Nath Dhibar. A constable of Park Circus traffic guard Dhibar received injury on his knee. He was immediately taken to SSKM Hospital for treatment. The driver of the car has been arrested and the vehicle has been seized.In the third incident, five including two women were injured when a truck hit three shops on the Canal Side Road under Sonarpur police station. The victims were passing through the area when the truck driver lost control over the vehicle and hit the shops. They were taken to a hospital for treatment. Police have seized the vehicle while the driver has fled the spot after the accident.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Highfat diet can make you depressed

Highfat diet can make you depressed

first_imgA diet high in fat content can lead to anxiety and depression by causing measurable changes in the brain, researchers report.Also, the beneficial effects of an antidepressant were blunted in mice fed with a high-fat diet. When treating depression, there is no predictor of treatment resistance.“So if we consider metabolic disorders as a treatment resistance predictor, this should encourage psychiatrists to put in place a personalised treatment with antidepressant drugs that do not further destabilise metabolism,” explained Bruno Guiard, senior author of the study appeared in the British Journal of Pharmacology.The results set the tone for future investigations on potential mechanisms that may link metabolic and psychiatric disorders.last_img

Continue Reading

Global breakthrough in handmade carpets

Global breakthrough in handmade carpets

first_imgIndia has an unchallenged global leadership in handmade carpets with an impressive 38 per cent share in world exports. Unique designs and skilful hand-knotting, hand tufting and hand weaving leave international consumers simply in awe. In FY 2014-15, India’s handmade carpet exports went up by a healthy 17 per cent. Carpet Export Promotion Council (CEPC) has played a key role in establishing this lead over the last two decades through consistent efforts towards skill development, market promotions and fulfilling Corporate Social Responsibility.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’It regularly runs several projects towards education, health, social welfare and social infrastructure in clusters like Bhadohi. CEPC also acts as a catalyst among international buyers, Indian exporters, government and the carpet weavers.  India offers unique carpets and rugs in blends like cotton-jute, jute-wool silk-blends and other combinations with wool and silk. Indian weavers are quick to respond to diverse design and product needs. That is why, despite severe competition, Indian handmade carpets continue to enjoy increasing demand worldwide.   Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhat is the current position of India’s carpet exports? Inspite of many ups and down in international markets, 2015 was a steady year for us.  Problems like migrants from Syria etc. have disturbed economic sentiments in Europe. Other regional economic and political problems too have adversely impacted our carpet exports. But demand in USA has picked up, increasing its share in our exports up to 45-46 per cent from 35 per cent. This set off the decline in European share, enabling us to maintain our export growth at 10-12 per cent, which considering the market conditions, must be considered healthy.  During FY 2015-16, we shall meet the target of Rs 10,000 crore, which is much higher than Rs 8,600 crore in FY 2014-15.   Where does India’s share stand in the world market?It remains at 37-38 per cent. We are optimistic to increase it further.Do you see a major impact of the Middle-East crisis like Syria on India’s carpet exports?Crisis like wars and instability always cause a concern in any market and their impact definitely percolates down on the people.  They start worrying about the basics and lose focus on luxury items like carpets. So, some impact would be there. Does India import carpets too?Only machine made carpets. But there is no competition between handmade and machine made carpets as buyers are different for both. What is the share of handmade carpets in overall global carpet consumption?Only about 10-12 per cent.Are Indian manufacturers switching over to machine-made carpets as well?Some of them are.  But only to cater to the domestic demand. But for exports, there is no production of machine made carpets. As India doesn’t have much production of machine made carpets, lot of cheap machine-made carpets are also being imported.  Where do you see the demand trend going for handmade carpets in the next one year, especially in terms of products and designs?Abstract designs are a major trend. People have been buying oriental designs for quite some time and certainly seek a change now. In terms of materials, wool and viscose blends and pure viscose will be preferred over pure wool. This is because the younger generation prefers fashion elements like viscose that has shine, like resilience and strength. They do not want very long lasting, but bright, trendy and cheaper floor coverings, which they can change frequently.What is the current situation with Kashmir, especially with its silk carpets?Silk carpet production is quite stable. With neither a surplus nor a scarcity of goods, the demand and supply situation for silk carpets in Kashmir is quite balanced. There is no disruption in regular production and hence the situation is healthy.What is the status of the Training Programme for carpet weavers started by the Council recently?CEPC took a very big initiative last year, beginning with Jayapura, which is from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s constituency. We started training local women of that village in carpet weaving in their own places. In due course, the training programme was further expanded to Bhadohi, Mirzapur and other areas under the Cluster Development Scheme of Ministry of Textiles, government of India. By now we have successfully opened 144 Training Centres. Each centre trains 24 persons, 12 on hand knotted and 12 on hand tufted carpets. 70 per cent of the trainees are women.last_img read more

Continue Reading

Two Class XII girls from same school attempt suicide within 15 minutes

Two Class XII girls from same school attempt suicide within 15 minutes

first_imgKolkata: Two girl students of Class XII from a school in North 24-Parganas’ Deganga attempted suicide in a gap of 15 minutes during school hours triggering tension among other students.Both the victims have been undergoing treatment at Barasat District hospital. One of the victims is stated to be critical. The incident took place at Chuarashia High School in Deganga. It was learnt that both the victims were behaving normally on Monday morning.Their classmates do not have the slightest idea as to why the duo attempted suicide inside the class. The victims are from two different sections of the same class. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAfter the second period got over and teacher left the classroom, one of the victims suddenly took out a blade and slit her wrist. Her classmates suddenly found the victim bleeding profusely from her left wrist.After being informed the headmaster of the school and other teachers rushed to the classroom. They took the victim to Barasat District Hospital.When the victim was taken to the hospital, the other student attempted suicide by consuming poison that she might have carried to school from home. The two incidents occurred in a gap of 15 minutes.The second victim fell unconscious after consuming the poison. Some school teachers took her to Barasat District Hospital. The school authorities are yet to ascertain the cause as to why the two girls attempted suicide. The school authorities have lodged a complaint with the local police station on the basis of which a probe has been initiated. Police are investigating if the victims attempted suicide after being jilted in love.According to hospital sources, the one who slit her wrist is in a serious condition, while the other girl is showing a sign of improvement. Both the victims have been kept under close monitoring, hospital authorities said.last_img read more

Continue Reading