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Monthly Archives: August 2019

Sperm whales have individual personalities

first_img Sperm whales return to Mediterranean Sperm whale. Image credit: Ocean Footage Explore further ( — In a recent study published in Animal Behaviour by Dalhousie University biologists Hal Whitehead and Shane Gero, the concept that sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) are individuals is being learned. Researchers have known for years that other cetacean species use vocalizations for communication, however they have only been studied in bottlenose dolphins and humpback whales, and even that research is still in its infancy. Because sperm whales usually travel in large groups and over great areas, researchers have had difficulty studying and distinguishing their vocalizations. Researchers in the latest study were able to focus on a sperm whale family located in the waters around Dominique. These particular whales tend to stay in this local area enabled the researchers to conduct a long term study on their communication, as well as isolate individual whales and their distinct sounds. These researchers studied the pattern of clicks, or “codas” (this is the technical name given to a distinctive series of clicks), that the whales use for communication. These high-frequency clicks are created by air that gets pushed through the skull of the whale. It is the difference in skull size between each whale that seems to create the different reverberation rates in the clicks, thus enabling researchers to distinguish which whales are making which sounds.While the study of these codas is just beginning, researchers have discovered that they seem to fall into one of two different patterns, with the exception of the one mother whale within the group who had a separate set of vocalizations researchers believed to be a form of communication designed solely for the calf.The first pattern that researchers have distinguished is that of two slow-paced and consecutive clicks, followed by three rapid clicks. This distinct pattern has only been reported within the groups of sperm whales in the Caribbean. The belief of the researchers is that this pattern may be used to identify a particular family, or group of sperm whales, letting the others know that they are part of the family.The second pattern is heard from sperm whales all over the world and is composed of five regularly spaced clicks. It is this pattern that researchers believe could eventually point to way of individuality for each whale; in essence an individual name.While this study is preliminary, it does show the possibility of these sperm whales having a more complex knowledge and understanding, as well as a method of real communication. In other studies we have seen the social behaviors that show more background n culture rather than instinct, so this continuing research may open the doors to a better understanding of these large animals. Researcher Shane Gero believes that the research is just beginning and their understanding of these whales and their communication is nowhere near complete, but that the assumption that these whales have a sense of self can be made. More information: Individually distinctive acoustic features in sperm whale codas, Animal Behaviour, by Ricardo Antunesa, Tyler Schulzb, Shane Gerob, Hal Whiteheadb, Jonathan Gordona and Luke Rendell, Wired Citation: Sperm whales have individual personalities (2011, March 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (c) 2011 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Elliptic Labs develops ultrasonic gesture control for handheld devices

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 The next interface: Electrical fields, MGC3130, and your hand (w/ Video) To date, the vast majority of gesture control devices use infrared light, a system that has worked very well for gadgets such as Microsoft’s Kinect. But as owners of such devices can attest, they all have one major drawback—limited range. The chip by Ellipitc solves that problem by using sound waves instead of light. That means, as the company demonstrates in a video on its website, that users can control the device within a 180-degree field. The chip allows a device to “see” a hand held higher or lower than the screen, for example, or off to the left or right. Even more remarkably, it can do so from as far away as three feet. Company CEO Lila Danielson, says that the biggest advantage of using ultrasound over infrared is that it uses just a small fraction of the amount of power. And because the chip is tiny, that makes it a perfect fit for tablet computers or smartphones.Gesture control with hand-held devices would most likely be used by users to turn pages (when hands are dirtied from cooking, etc.) or to move through slides or songs in a playlist. Being able to swipe a screen from a distance offers users an additional degree of control.Elliptic Labs won the CEATEC 2013 Innovation Award in the Computing and Networking category this year for its innovative chip, because of its ease of portability to multiple devices and extremely small size allowing for embedding in virtually any device. It was at that ceremony that the company wowed an audience by demonstrating the chips capabilities by connecting it to an Android enabled smartphone. The company also notes that the chip can be easily integrated with new or current features of a device. One example is of a person using a smartphone snapping a photograph, then using a simple flinging gesture in the air, to send it over to a person holding another enabled device. © 2013 Phys.orgcenter_img Citation: Elliptic Labs develops ultrasonic gesture control for hand-held devices (2013, October 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: ( —Norwegian based Elliptic Labs has revealed that the company has not only developed an ultrasonic gesture control chip for hand-held devices, but that it is already in talks with Asian hand-held hardware makers to embed the new technology. Representatives from Elliptic Labs have told reporters that they believe their chip technology will be available to consumers inside main-stream devices, as early as next year.last_img read more

Spiders found able to custom build webs to trap best food source

first_imgDew on a spider’s web in the morning. Credit: Wikipedia/Luc Viatour/ Spiders partial to a side order of pollen with their flies Citation: Spiders found able to custom build webs to trap best food source (2015, March 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Spiders spin webs of sticky silk to capture prey as it flies by—the stickiness keeps the prey in place and the bounciness of the web alerts the spider that something has been caught—the spider than zips over to the prey and kills and eats it. It seems like a simple enough process, but now the researchers with this new effort have found that it is actually more complicated than it looks—because the spiders are noting how effective their webs are at trapping different types of prey, and are adjusting their web to increase its efficiency at capturing the kind of food it wants most.In their lab, the researchers set up four types of experiments involving the spiders along with crickets and flies (the two most common type of prey for the spiders) and the spiders’ web: live crickets, live flies, dead crickets with fly stimulation and dead flies with cricket stimulation. Crickets, the researchers note, create a lot of web action when they hit, and then they jab at the web as they try to hop out. Flies create very little shaking when they hit, and tend to vibrate the web in buzzing fashion due to wing action. The researchers also noted that crickets offer a lot more protein per meal than do flies, which makes them a preferable prey. But, flies can be more abundant, offering a more regular feast.In watching the spiders in action, the researchers found that the spiders would fortify their web if crickets were caught regularly, making sure it could stand up to the pounding it took, but if crickets were scarce, the spiders would increase the overall size of the web and decrease the mesh size, increasing the chances of capturing more flies.The researchers suggest that the protein the spiders find in their prey is the main driver of web construction, the more available in a meal, the more desirable it is. But, they also note that the spider has to calculate risks, because creating web strands uses up protein—if the spider miscalculates, it could wind up with a useless web. © 2015 Phys.orgcenter_img More information: Can differential nutrient extraction explain property variations in a predatory trap? DOI: 10.1098/rsos.140479AbstractPredators exhibit flexible foraging to facilitate taking prey that offer important nutrients. Because trap-building predators have limited control over the prey they encounter, differential nutrient extraction and trap architectural flexibility may be used as a means of prey selection. Here, we tested whether differential nutrient extraction induces flexibility in architecture and stickiness of a spider’s web by feeding Nephila pilipes live crickets (CC), live flies (FF), dead crickets with the web stimulated by flies (CD) or dead flies with the web stimulated by crickets (FD). Spiders in the CD group consumed less protein per mass of lipid or carbohydrate, and spiders in the FF group consumed less carbohydrates per mass of protein. Spiders from the CD group built stickier webs that used less silk, whereas spiders in the FF group built webs with more radii, greater catching areas and more silk, compared with other treatments. Our results suggest that differential nutrient extraction is a likely explanation for prey-induced spider web architecture and stickiness variations. Journal information: Royal Society Open Science (—A small team of researchers with affiliations in China, Taiwan, Australia and Denmark has found that orb-web spiders are able to customize their webs to help ensure they capture the most nutritious prey around. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the team describes how they set up several experiments to test spider web customization and what they found by doing so. 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

Scientists explore the origins of energy in chemical reactions using experimental quantum

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. In a new study, Cornell University chemists Dr. Martin Rahm and Prof. Roald Hoffmann (who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1981 for theories on the course of chemical reactions) have explored a new way of understanding the origins of energy in chemical reactions at the quantum level. Their paper is published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Energy breakdownAt the heart of the paper is the idea—which is generally widely accepted in chemistry—that all of the interactions between the molecules, atoms, and the electrons that bind atoms together can collectively be understood in terms of energy. However, the origins of this energy, and how the energy changes during a chemical reaction, remains an open question. Over the years, researchers have proposed various “energy decomposition analyses,” or interpretations of how this energy can be broken down.In their paper, Rahm and Hoffmann propose a new energy decomposition analysis in which the total changing energy of any chemical reaction can be broken down into three components: nuclear-nuclear repulsion (the repulsive energy between the positively charged nuclei of different atoms), the average electron binding energy (the average energy required to remove one electron from an atom), and electron-electron interactions (the repulsive energy between negatively charged electrons).To paint a picture of how this works, the scientists explain in their paper what happens when any two atoms are brought closer together. First, the repulsion between the two nuclei increases, which causes the electrons to move in between the nuclei in an attempt to shield some of this repulsion. In the presence of the two nuclei, the average binding energy of the electrons changes due to differences in electron-nuclear attraction. As the electrons move closer together, they also begin to interact more strongly with each other. Quantifying these electron-electron interactions is one of the greatest challenges in computational chemistry. One thing that this work demonstrates is that it is possible to estimate these electron-electron interactions (the third term) from experimental data. As the scientists explain, this is one area where chemistry becomes “quantum,” and has not been measurable before now. “Traditionally, knowledge of electron-electron interaction energies has only been attainable by first mathematically constructing a wave function and then approximating a solution to the so-called Schrödinger equation, i.e., by doing quantum mechanics,” Rahm told “This work demonstrates that such information can actually be extracted from sufficiently accurate experimental data. There are caveats and inherent approximations, but it is in principle possible.” Citation: Scientists explore the origins of energy in chemical reactions using experimental quantum chemistry (2015, August 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Martin Rahm and Roald Hoffmann. “Toward an Experimental Quantum Chemistry: Exploring a New Energy Partitioning.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b05600 (Left) The alternative definition of electronegativity (y-axis) proposed by Allen as the “average electron binding energy” produces experimental values that correlate linearly with values determined by the traditional Pauling definition (x-axis). (Right) (A) Experimental and (B) calculated values of Allen electronegativity for selected atoms and molecules. (C) Estimated values of Allen electronegativity for the valence bands of graphene. All values come from previous research. Credit: Rahm and Hoffmann ©2015 American Chemical Society Measuring electronegativityOther new possibilities arise from understanding the second term—the average electron binding energy—as an alternative interpretation of one of the most fundamental concepts of chemistry, that of electronegativity. As the scientists explain, electronegativity was traditionally defined by Linus Pauling in 1932 as “the power of an atom to attract electrons to itself,” and in this way it tells where electrons move when two or more atoms come together, which is the basis of bond formation. This is still the most widely used definition today. An alternative definition, proposed in 1989 by Lee Allen, is that electronegativity is the average binding energy of valence electrons (however, Rahm and Hoffmann use all of the electrons, not just the valence ones, in their energy partitioning proposal). Electronegativity values obtained using Allen’s definition correlate strongly with those obtained using Pauling’s, but the main advantage of Allen’s definition is that electronegativity defined in this way can be experimentally measured (such as by using photoelectron spectroscopy), while electronegativity using the Pauling definition cannot be. From fundamental understanding to practical useThe ability to experimentally measure the average electron binding energy, along with the fact that experimental data can be used to determine nuclear-nuclear repulsion and electron-electron interactions, provides some unprecedented abilities. Most importantly, it makes it possible to experimentally measure what percentage of the total energy change that each of the three components is responsible for. With this information, the scientists explain that all chemical reactions and physical transformations can be classified into eight types based on whether the reaction is energy-consuming or energy-releasing, and on whether it is favored or resisted by the nuclear, multielectron, and/or binding energy components. This information can provide valuable information about the nature of a chemical bond. The researchers also showed that, in four of the eight classes of reactions, knowledge of the binding energy alone (and by extension, either definition of electronegativity) is enough to predict whether or not the reaction is likely to proceed. In other words, as the scientists explain, “it allows researchers to predict when simple and intuitive rationales using the time-honored concept of electronegativity will work in predicting trends in energy, and when it will fail.”This paper is the first in a series in which the researchers plan to explore these ideas further, especially in regard to the potential usefulness of this new perspective of energy in chemical reactions. They note that one “tantalizing” prospect is the possibility to measure absolute energies, whereas most of chemistry relates to the measure of relative energies. An experiment would begin with the known measured absolute energy of a one-electron system (such as C5+, which is a carbon atom with all but one of its electrons removed), which can easily be measured since, with only one electron, there is zero electron-electron repulsion. Then the absolute energy of the carbon atom, and the electron-electron interactions within it, could be measured as electrons are added back one by one. This feat should be possible since it’s in principle possible to experimentally measure the average electron binding energy for each step. In this way, an alternative understanding of the fundamentals of chemistry may provide useful new tools and applications.”This paper has three important outcomes,” Rahm said. “It connects the central chemical concept of electronegativity with the total energy, whose changes govern most of chemistry. It tells us how we can estimate the importance of electron-electron interactions in governing chemical reactions, from experimental data. It is also the first energy decomposition scheme that can be interchangeably applied using either or both computed and experimental data. This should allow for quite some interdisciplinary bridging.”In the future, the scientists plan to apply this theoretical understanding to studying a variety of chemical reactions.”The next step will be to analyze the nature of the chemical bonds in larger diatomic molecules, such as molecular nitrogen (N2), carbon monoxide (CO) and fluorine (F2),” Rahm said. “After this, more complex reaction mechanisms and physical transformations will follow. Such work will show us the limits of our approach. Hopefully useful predictions will emerge that could, ultimately, help us understand and design different molecular and material properties.” Findings on how electrons are solvated in water widen the range of potential influences on chemical reactions © 2015 Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society Explore further (—One thing that all chemical reactions have in common—whether they are the reactions that take place inside a battery, the metabolic reactions inside a living organism, or the combustion reactions that cause an explosion—is that they all involve some kind of change in energy. On a large scale, the changes in energy of a reaction can usually be measured in various ways for practical purposes, but attempting to understand the fundamental origins of this energy at smaller and smaller scales becomes more complicated, especially as chemistry enters the quantum realm. Chemists propose that the energy, E, in all chemical reactions can be broken down into three components, as shown in this equation. The “X-bar” represents the average binding energy of electrons (the Allen definition of electronegativity), VNN represents nuclear-nuclear repulsion, and w represents electron-electron interactions. Credit: Rahm and Hoffmann ©2015 American Chemical Societylast_img read more

ScarTrace helps understand how multicellular organisms develop from embryonic progenitors

first_imgA team of researchers with Oncode Institute, Hubrecht Institute-KNAW and University Medical Center Utrecht in The Netherlands has developed a new method to conduct whole-organism clone tracing using single-cell sequencing. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes how they used their new method to conduct research on barcoded zebrafish cells. As the researchers note, embryonic development is an important stage for highly complicated organisms such as humans—only a very limited number of embryonic progenitors somehow manage to produce all of the cells that wind up in the adult body. To understand how this process works, the researchers further note, methods are required to measure the clonal history that occurs, and at the same time, perform cell identification at single-cell resolution. In this new effort, the researchers developed such a technique called ScarTrace. The name comes from a part of the technique that involves adding tandem copies of a fluorescent protein transgene that makes it possible to identify “scars” left behind in a transcription caused by CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing.Using the technique, the researchers were able to track the clonal roots and cell outcomes of coded zebrafish cells. More specifically, they were able to trace back adult cells from several sites such as the kidneys, eyes and fins to specific progenitors. They note that the technique was sensitive enough to study the process that occurs when a progenitor commits to producing a left or right eye. They also found that cells in the skin and the caudal fin arose from the same progenitors. They report the identification of immune cells in fish fins with a distinct clonal origin from other kinds of blood cells.The researchers suggest methods like theirs will help with the ultimate goal of tracing all the events that lead from a single cell to a fully developed body. Bolstering that claim was work by another team with members from China, the U.K. and the U.S.—they published a paper in the same Nature issue detailing their own work with a single-cell sequencing method they had developed called MAP-seq. Journal information: Nature Explore further Using CRISPR to create a cell ‘black box’ to record cell life events More information: Anna Alemany et al. Whole-organism clone tracing using single-cell sequencing, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/nature25969AbstractEmbryonic development is a crucial period in the life of a multicellular organism, during which limited sets of embryonic progenitors produce all cells in the adult body. Determining which fate these progenitors acquire in adult tissues requires the simultaneous measurement of clonal history and cell identity at single-cell resolution, which has been a major challenge. Clonal history has traditionally been investigated by microscopically tracking cells during development, monitoring the heritable expression of genetically encoded fluorescent proteins and, more recently, using next-generation sequencing technologies that exploit somatic mutations4, microsatellite instability, transposon tagging, viral barcoding, CRISPR–Cas9 genome editing and Cre–loxP recombination. Single-cell transcriptomics provides a powerful platform for unbiased cell-type classification. Here we present ScarTrace, a single-cell sequencing strategy that enables the simultaneous quantification of clonal history and cell type for thousands of cells obtained from different organs of the adult zebrafish. Using ScarTrace, we show that a small set of multipotent embryonic progenitors generate all haematopoietic cells in the kidney marrow, and that many progenitors produce specific cell types in the eyes and brain. In addition, we study when embryonic progenitors commit to the left or right eye. ScarTrace reveals that epidermal and mesenchymal cells in the caudal fin arise from the same progenitors, and that osteoblast-restricted precursors can produce mesenchymal cells during regeneration. Furthermore, we identify resident immune cells in the fin with a distinct clonal origin from other blood cell types. We envision that similar approaches will have major applications in other experimental systems, in which the matching of embryonic clonal origin to adult cell type will ultimately allow reconstruction of how the adult body is built from a single cell. Citation: ScarTrace helps understand how multicellular organisms develop from embryonic progenitors (2018, March 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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. © 2018 Phys.orglast_img read more

Study shows people rarely express gratitude to those closest to them

first_img Journal information: Royal Society Open Science More information: Simeon Floyd et al. Universals and cultural diversity in the expression of gratitude, Royal Society Open Science (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.180391AbstractGratitude is argued to have evolved to motivate and maintain social reciprocity among people, and to be linked to a wide range of positive effects—social, psychological and even physical. But is socially reciprocal behaviour dependent on the expression of gratitude, for example by saying ‘thank you’ as in English? Current research has not included cross-cultural elements, and has tended to conflate gratitude as an emotion with gratitude as a linguistic practice, as might appear to be the case in English. Here, we ask to what extent people express gratitude in different societies by focusing on episodes of everyday life where someone seeks and obtains a good, service or support from another, comparing these episodes across eight languages from five continents. We find that expressions of gratitude in these episodes are remarkably rare, suggesting that social reciprocity in everyday life relies on tacit understandings of rights and duties surrounding mutual assistance and collaboration. At the same time, we also find minor cross-cultural variation, with slightly higher rates in Western European languages English and Italian, showing that universal tendencies of social reciprocity should not be equated with more culturally variable practices of expressing gratitude. Our study complements previous experimental and culture-specific research on gratitude with a systematic comparison of audiovisual corpora of naturally occurring social interaction from different cultures from around the world. Explore further Frequency of expressions of gratitude after successful requests (928 cases). Credit: Royal Society Open Science (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.180391 © 2018 Citation: Study shows people rarely express gratitude to those closest to them (2018, May 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Saying “thank you” when someone does something for you is a way of expressing gratitude. It is also generally considered the polite thing to do—but mostly only in public conversations, the researchers with this new effort found.To learn more about expressions of gratitude as part of social interactions, the researchers installed microphones in the homes and community gathering places of volunteers. In all, the team recorded 1,057 conversations from which they counted instances when someone offered thanks to the other. They did this for people living on five continents using eight languages.In analyzing their tallies, the researchers found that people say “thank you” far less than might be assumed—at least when talking with family or close friends. They also found that there were differences among different groups. Those speaking English, for example, tended to offer thanks approximately 14.5 percent of the time. Those speaking Italian were close behind at 13.5 percent. But in other countries, it was much lower, such as just 2 percent for Polish speakers. Overall, the average was just 5.5 percent. The researchers suggest what they found is not an example of people feeling freer to be rude to family, but an example of a basic standard of reciprocity. This suggests, they note, that the default answer is “yes” when asked for something in a family situation. The expectation is that the person receiving the request will do it. And it happens a lot more than most might think. The researchers found that during normal conversation, people make requests of others approximately every 1.5 minutes, on average. They also noted that when thanks were not expressed, the other person was not upset—and, indeed, rarely even noticed it. It was only when the other person said “no” that the person asking responded in a meaningful way. And it was the same for the person being asked—they only felt the need to explain themselves when turning down a request. An international team of researchers has found that people around the world rarely say “thank you” to those closest to them. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes their study of expressing gratitude and what they found. What we mean when we ask for the milk 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

Hydrogen sulfide detected in the protoplanetary disk of GG Tauri A

first_imgChannel maps H2S 1(1,0) – 1(0,1) emission from the protoplanetary disk around the star GG Tauri A. Credit: Phuong et al., 2018. Citation: Hydrogen sulfide detected in the protoplanetary disk of GG Tauri A (2018, August 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Located some 490 light-years away from the Earth in the Taurus-Auriga star-forming region, GG Tauri (GG Tau for short) is a quintuple system with the GG Tauri A (GG Tau A) triple star. GG Tau is known to have a dense ring located between 180 and 260 AU from it, and a large disk extending out to 800 AU. Due to its large size, low temperature (about 20 K) and large mass (about 0.15 solar masses), the disk is perceived by astronomers as an excellent target to search for cold molecular chemistry.Recently, a group of astronomers led by Nguyen Thi Phuong of the University of Bordeaux in France, has conducted a chemical study of the circumstellar disk surrounding GG Tau A. Their research was focused on sulfur-bearing molecules, therefore, the scientists searched for hydrogen sulfide (H2S), carbon monosulfide (CS), sulfur monoxide (SO), and sulfur dioxide (SO2).The study, carried out with the use of the NOrthem Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA) interferometer located in Plateau de Bure in the French Alps, allowed the researchers to detect the hydrogen sulfide emission. As noted in the paper, this marks the first detection of that compound in a protoplanetary disk.”Using NOEMA, we have observed the GG Tau A outer disk in several molecules. We report the first detection of H2S in a protoplanetary disk,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.According to the study, hydrogen sulfide is clearly detected with a peak signal-to-noise ratio of four in several channels. The scientists revealed that most of the line emission originates from the dense ring between 180 to 260 AU and extends up to 500 AU. They also found that the measured hydrogen sulfide column density is a factor of three greater than the upper limits for systems with disks like DM Tau, LkCa 15, MWC 480, and GO Tau, probably reflecting the larger disk mass of GG Tau A.”Comparisons with other disks indicate that the detection of H2S appears to be facilitated by the large disk mass, but that the relative abundance ratios remain similar,” the paper reads.This, according to the researchers, indicates that GG Tau A could be a good test bed for studying chemistry in disks.Besides hydrogen sulfide, the team also detected HCO+, H13CO+, and DCO+ in GG Tau A’s protoplanetary disk. They added that the observed ratio of DCO+ to HCO+ is similar to those in other disks.However, the researchers noted that they were not able to reproduce the observed column densities of sulfur-bearing molecules, even with low sulfur abundance, which suggests that the understanding of sulfur chemistry on dust grains is still incomplete. Explore further An international team of researchers has detected hydrogen sulfide emission from the dense protoplanetary disk around the star GG Tauri A. It is the first detection of this chemical compound in a protoplanetary disk. The finding is reported in a paper published August 2 on the arXiv pre-print server. More information: First detection of H2S in a protoplanetary disk. The dense GG Tau A ring, arXiv:1808.00652 [astro-ph.SR] molecular species in protoplanetary disks is very useful to characterize the properties of these objects, which are the site of planet formation. We attempt to constrain the chemistry of S-bearing molecules in the cold parts of circumstellar disk of GG Tau A. We searched for H2S, CS, SO, and SO2 in the dense disk around GG Tau A with the NOrthem Extended Millimeter Array (NOEMA) interferometer. We detected H2S emission from the dense and cold ring orbiting around GG Tau A. This is the first detection of H2S in a protoplanetary disk. We also detected HCO+, H13CO+, and DCO+ in the disk. Upper limits for other molecules, CCS, SO2, SO, HC3N, and c-C3H2 are also obtained. The observed DCO+/HCO+ ratio is similar to those in other disks. The observed column densities, derived using our radiative transfer code DiskFit, are then compared with those from our chemical code Nautilus. The column densities are in reasonable agreement for DCO+, CS, CCS, and SO2. For H2S and SO, our predicted vertical integrated column densities are more than a factor of 10 higher than the measured values. Our results reinforce the hypothesis that only a strong sulfur depletion may explain the low observed H2S column density in the disk. The H2S detection in GG Tau A is most likely linked to the much larger mass of this disk compared to that in other T Tauri 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. © 2018 The simplest organic acid detected in a protoplanetary disk for the first timelast_img read more

Getting practical in the capital

With each artist making a canvas of their own expression, the exhibition Locus Solus: Rasa comprises a collection of paintings in different medium. Fromn oil on canvas, acrylics, collage and drawing on paper, installations, mixed media on paper and sculptures they are all there. ‘Each artist has a uniqaue expression and we have colloborated this inherent meaning into this exhibition,’ said curator Elizabeth Rogers. The 12 participating artists — Akhil Arora, Carol Diver, Darrell Roberts, Los Vendaval, Louis Hudson, Manoj Kumar Mohanty, Mitali Shah, Montse Caraballo Caro, Ravi Kumar Chunchula, Santosh Kumar Pedagadi and Surajit Biswas — are a part of NIV Art Centre’s International Artist Residency 2012. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Akhil Arora’s mixed media works reveal his detachment with the modern society. Carol Diver’s works — Dis-inundated and Mirchihot — brings in colours and the visual effects of light.‘My works till date has been about how light and its reflection has an effect on colour. I like to use ambiguity and tension to explore the visual possibilities of this combination,’ said Carol. Darrell Roberts’ works using vivid acrylics on canvas — Happiness and I am in Love Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix— catch the eye because of their brightness. ‘The finished painting is a physical manifestation, or residue, of the action. Although my paintings are seemingly abstract, they are rooted in my everyday experience,’ said Roberts.LosVendaval’s installations — Celosia, Mirror home, City sky Line etc — explore spaces and cities with their surroundings. ‘We have explored spatial occupation through modular pieces using various basic elements to create infinite formal possibilities,’ he says. Go check this out.DETAILAt: Lalit Kala Academy, Mandi  House On till: 20 October Timings: 11 am to 7 am read more

Tourism to fuel Bengals economic growth

first_imgA post-graduate in Bangla from Calcutta University, Bratya Basu, intellectual-turned-politician subscribing to the Trinamool Congress, is one of the youngest members of  Mamata Banerjee’s cabinet of ministers steering the government of West Bengal. The young minister, who made waves earlier as a theatre director-actor-intellectual is now re-defining the state’s tourism policy in an attempt to bolster the state’s economy and also, its public image. Also Read – Gateway of criminal justiceDeemed to be close to chief minister Mamata Banerjee right from the days of her land movement, Basu contested from the Dum Dum constituency against CPM heavyweight Gautam Deb in 2011 and defeated him by a huge margin in the Assembly polls. Prior to his stint as Trinamool MLA and minister for education in Banerjee’s cabinet, Basu made a mark as an eminent theatre director and actor. Some of the plays written and directed by Bratya Basu are Ashaleen, Aranyadeb, Shahariyar and Chatushkon. Basu also directed films like Raasta and Teesta and also acted in the film, Kaalbela. Also Read – Turning a blind eye What’s your primary objective now? The priority of the new government is to boost tourism footfall in our state,  to explore untapped resources with tourism potential, to provide last mile connectivity to tourist destinations and develop infrastructure at the tourist spots, through the PPP model.  The new destinations are Gajoldoba in Jalpaiguri, Jharkhali in South 24 Parganas, Jhargram Rajbari in Paschim Medinipur and Sabujdeep in Hooghly. We are promoting new home stay tourist destinations such as Takda, Tinchule Chimney, Sitong in Darjeeling district, Buxa, Joyanti, Murti in Dooars, home stay in Sunderbans, Mukutmonipur, Ranibandh, Susunia, Beharinath in Bankura, Joychandi, Telkupighat, Matha in Purulia, Motijhil in Murshidabad are some of the places worth mentioning. We are also providing better tourist amenities in our existing tourist destinations. The natural beauty of the state is tremendous. We are planning to maintain this through sensitizing different stake-holders and promote it through publicity and aggressive marketing it in different tourism fairs held in different states and abroad. West Bengal Tourism has been participating in major international events like WTM London, ITB Asia, ITB Berlin, and has attended many road shows organized by the Ministry of Tourism in Los Angeles, Seattle, Kuala-Lumpur, Malaysia, Singapore and Bangkok. B2B meetings with travel and tour operators of our state are being held with their counterparts in those countries. Your website mentions places like Darjeeling, Digha, Dooars, Kolkata and Sunderbans as prime tourist spots. Are there new tourist facilities coming up here? What are these?We are creating tourist amenities in the Dooars mega tourism project.  We are providing public amenities in Sunderbans, Sajnekhali and Gadkhali areas. How would you rate the state of tourism infrastructure in Bengal at the moment? How can  connectivity, govt tourist lodges and amenities available be bettered?At this moment it can be said that the facilities are good. We are trying to make it even better. We are putting emphasis on last mile connectivity of the tourist spots, setting up tourist amenities centre and making a clean environment at the tourist spots.  We are also giving importance for improvement of our lodge infrastructure and other allied services. To begin with we have brought out a thorough change in utensils in our Santiniketan tourist lodge depending upon the local crafts. Are you about to promote food and festival tourism or cultural tourism in Bengal in a big way? Bengal is a foodie’s delight, isn’t it?Yes, we promote many such fairs round the year and throughout the state, like the  Bishnupur Mela, Park Street, Beach Festival, Kenduli Mela, Mati Utsav, Pous Mela and Basanta Utsav and many other district village festivals. As for promoting food festivals, the WBTDCL has recently organised Ilish Utsav in a big way on a river cruise to celebrate delicacies available in our state.  The Hooghly has been compared to the Thames and Digha to Miami. How  soon are the beaches and waterfronts of Bengal going to be developed? Development, beautification, illumination, and provision of tourist amenities are being taken up at Digha, Udaypur, Tajpur, Sankarpur and Bakkhali area. We have also taken up river front beautification work along the river Ganges’ Kolkata and Howrah banks for a total cost of Rs. 20 crore. Are you looking at private players or foreign investment in tourism? If yes, then in which projects? Yes. Under the dynamic leadership and guidance of Mamata Banerjee the hon’ble chief minister of West Bengal, there has been a sea change in the tourism industry in West Bengal. Tourism has become a major engine in the economic growth of our state. Tourists coming to our state from India and abroad are now getting all sorts of services in our state. Our chief minister has insisted on infrastructure development for tourist facilitation in our state. There are already four such projects taken up for execution in PPP model, like Gajoldoba in Jalpaiguri, Jharkhali in South 24 Parganas, Jhargram Rajbari in Paschim Medinipur and Sabujdeep in Hooghly. You had a very active career in theatre and films. How do you plan to continue with it? I always put a balance between my theatre career and the portfolio. You may remember that I am here not from direct political milieu but from the cultural world. So, how can I forget my own identity? Theatre is my passion but politics is my duty under the guidance of Mamata Banerjee, the hon’ble chief minister. Does your ministry have targets and deadlines? Can you mention a few of them?We have specific deadlines on all of our flagship projects with specific deadline for completion at each stage of its execution. A few examples in this regard are Gajoldoba eco-tourism project, Jharkhali eco-tourism hub, Sabujdeep  eco-tourism project, Mukutmonipur, Beharinath, Susunia, Joychandi Pahar, Telkupighat eco-tourism projects in Bankura and Purulia, Jhargram eco-tourism project, home stay eco-tourism at Takda, Tinchuley, Chimney, Pokhiatar, Kodalbasti. What are the other things that Kolkata needs to make it like London? What is the status of the giant ferris wheel for example? It is the dream of our chief minister Mamata Banerjee to make Kolkata look like London in the spirit of the term. We have taken up many projects for beautification of Kolkata city. These are beautification/illumination of Jama Masjid, St. Paul Cathedral, Dakshineswar Temple, Shahid Minar, Kolkata Police Museum, Presidency University, Calcutta University, Calcutta Medical College & Hospital, Albert Hall, beautification of College Square, landscaping and illumination along the Ganges, beautification of Mayo Road, Eden Gardens, Outramghat and  Beleghata Subhas Sarobar.  How can a booming tourism industry help improve the image of West Bengal further? What is your vision?Under the dynamic leadership and guidance of Mamata Banerjee, there has been a sea change in the tourism industry in West Bengal. Tourism has become a major engine in the economic growth of our state.  Tourists coming to our state from India and abroad are now getting all sorts of services in our state. Our chief minister is putting emphasis on infrastructure development for tourists coming to our state. Given the geographical diversity of our state, from Darjeeling hills to Sunderbans mangroves, the natural beauty of Dooars, the heritage spots of Murshidabad and Malda, the beauty of Santiniketan and the beaches of Digha, Bengal could very well  be a unique tourist destination for the country and abroad.last_img read more

Kolkata Police dismisses Metiabruz captive girl rumours

first_imgKolkata: In the backdrop of an attempt to spread rumours by stating that a girl has been held captive in a Metiabruz house, Kolkata Police urged people not to lend their ears to the rumours, which are being purposely spread to create communal tension.Praveen Tripathi, Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime) of Kolkata Police, tweeted on Tuesday: “A false rumour is being spread on social media about a missing minor girl being held captive in a Metiabruz house and police being afraid of raiding the place. Don’t believe in rumours being spread to create communal tension. All indulged in spreading these would be severely dealt with.” Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe police circulated the message to reach the maximum number of people through different social networking sites, after the rumour was spread stating that a minor girl has been held captive in a house at Metiabruz. Experts are also not ruling out the possibility of the hands behind it looking to derive political mileage.It may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had repeatedly urged people not to believe in anything that is spread intentionally with a purpose to create disturbance in the state, which has a tradition of peace and harmony.The police have also created awareness among people through posts in social networking sites and people have also been urged to inform the police in case they find someone attempting to spread such rumours.last_img read more