Reconstructed WW II Code Cracker Colossus Defeated

first_img Citation: Reconstructed WW II Code Cracker Colossus Defeated (2007, November 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-11-reconstructed-ww-ii-code-cracker.html A monumental achievment in reconstructing Colossus the first code cracker computer used by Allied forces in World War II. In a timed contest between Colossus and the modern PC Colossus was defeated by a modern program and a 1.4 GHz PC. A fourteen year project to reconstruct the World War II Allied forces Colossus the first code cracking computer ended in a match defeat against a modern 1.4 Ghz PC. The cipher event was instigated by The British National Museum of Computing and Cryptography at Betchley Park home of the newly reconstructed Colossus Mark II. The event challenged all interested parties to compete with Colossus in the deciphering of three enciphered messages. The German participants sent the messages utilizing the Lorenz SZ42 teleprinter using the same radio protocols as the German high command used in World War II.The original Colossus is regarded by many to have been instrumental in shortening the war in Europe by as much as 18 months. The Colossus about the size of a British small lorry was capable of deciphering messages sent by Hitler to his generals. The Nazi based Lorenz SZ40/42 machine enciphered messages that were sent by radio to the German high command. The only reason the messages were capable of deciphering was that the Lorenz SZ40 encryption was not entirely random.The process to unscramble the messages were painstaking and involved several layers of deciphering tasks. First the captured messages sent via the radio were punched on to paper tape. The paper tape was fed into Colossus at the rate of 5,000 characters per second. The inputted data became part of the memory of Colossus. Colossus then analyzed the data to determine the wheels of the Lorenz might have been set up to encipher the message. Various functions of the Colossus were used to perform this statistical analysis. The end result with a little luck thrown in would be a printed tape with the exact wheel of the Lorenz so the message could be deciphered. Generally it took about six hours to decipher a message. After World War II the six known Colossus computers were broken up and destroyed for a variety of reasons. Some 14 years ago Tony Sales and the founders of the aspiring British National Museum of Computing and Cryptography embarked on the project to reconstruct a Colossus using photos and scant information about the original machine. The winner of the cipher event Bonn, Germany resident Joachim Schuth used a program he wrote in ADA programming language to decipher the coded messages. The very noisy transmission was received by Schuth yesterday and his 1.4 Ghz PC took only 46 seconds to decipher the message using his program. The total time involved was two hours from the time when the message was first received to the end when it was actually deciphered. Unfortunately the radio transmission was troublesome due to atmospheric conditions. The Colossus got off to a rough start by getting the message late yesterday and beginning the process of deciphering early this morning when it was announced by Heise a German news service that Mr. Schuth had all ready cracked the code. 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. Colossus & Reconstructor Tony Sales: BBC – How Colossus Works EU fine on Google weighs on parent Alphabet profits Explore furtherlast_img read more

Researchers develop disposable paperbased touch pads

first_imgA paper-based touch pad on an alarmed cardboard box detects the change in capacitance associated with the touch of a finger to one of its buttons. The keypad requires the appropriate sequence of touches to disarm the system. Image credit: Mazzeo, et al. New multi-touch screen technology developed (w/ Video) (Phys.org) — Today, electronic touch pads are widely found on laptops, tablets, and other computing devices. Less common uses, but gaining in popularity, are book covers and food labels. These and other low-tech applications become possible as touch pads become extremely inexpensive, with applications ranging from beer bottle labels to disposable medical device labels. Now a team of researchers from the US and France have developed paper-based electronic touch pads that cost just 25 cents per square meter, a price at which touch pads can simply be thrown away when no longer needed. More information: Aaron Mazzeo, et al. “Paper-Based, Capacitive Touch Pads.” DOI: 10.1002/adma.201200137via: Chemistry World Explore further The touch pads are made of metallized paper, which is paper coated in aluminum and transparent polymer. The paper can function as a capacitor, and a laser can be used to cut several individual capacitors in the paper, each corresponding to a key on the touch pad. When a person touches a key, the key’s capacitance is increased. Once the keys are linked to external circuitry and a power source, the system can detect when a key is touched by detecting the increased capacitance.According to lead researcher Aaron Mazzeo of Harvard University, the next steps will be finding a power source and electronics that are cheap, flexible, and disposable. Among the applications, inexpensive touch pads could be used for security purposes. The researchers have already developed a box with an alarm and keypad that requires a code to allow authorized access. Disposable touch pads could also be useful in sterile or contaminated medical environments. © 2012 Phys.Org Citation: Researchers develop disposable paper-based touch pads (2012, May 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-disposable-paper-based-pads.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Researchers identify sterility genes in hybrid rice

first_imgThey identified three genes that contribute to the sterility in a “killer-protector” system that determines whether or not spores are formed. They found that Open Reading Frame (ORF) 5+ (killer) produces a protein that ORF 4+ influences to cause endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in the spore-producing cells, while a third gene, ORF 3+ (protector), produces a protein in response to the stress that counteracts it and protects the ER. The japonica variety has a different form of the gene, ORF 3-, which means that the hybrids often carry a muted ORF gene that is unable to protect against the hybrid’s more potent form of the killer ORF 5+, often resulting in premature death at the embryo-sac stage in the hybrid.The researchers explained in their paper in Science that a potent combination of ORF 4+ and ORF 5+ would allow genetic differentiation of the two subspecies and prevent genes being passed on, while a potent ORF 3+ and weaker combinations of the killer genes would allow hybrids to be fertile and genes to flow to the next generation.The findings add to the understanding of hybrid sterility, a process that restricts the flow of genes between populations, lead author Qifa Zhang said. He added that understanding the cause of the sterility may allow scientists to overcome it, and this could help in the development of more desirable and higher-yielding cultivated rice crops. Journal information: Science This image shows heterosis and sterility of hybrid between indica and japonica subspecies in rice. Credit: Jiangyi Yang and Qifa Zhang (Phys.org)—Hybrids of many plant and animal species and subspecies are sterile, and a group of researchers in China have now identified the genes that operate to make crossbred rice sterile. This image shows heterosis and sterility of hybrid between indica and japonica subspecies. Credit: Qifa Zhang The scientists, from the National Centre of Plant Gene Research at Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, examined two subspecies of the cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.), japonica and indica, and identified three genes that act together to regulate fertility in these hybrids. Japonica is a common variety of sticky short-grain rice also known as Japanese rice, sinica or sushi rice, and indica is a non-sticky long-grain rice. Both varieties are thought to have been first domesticated in Central China around eight thousand years ago, and from there they spread throughout Asia. When crossbred the hybrids tend to be more vigorous than the parent subspecies and can yield significantly larger crops of rice.The researchers used techniques such as gene sequencing and genotyping to analyze the genetics of hybrid indica-japonica rice in the region of a specific locus (S5) that had previously been shown to be involved in sterility in hybrids. They then compared their findings with genes in that region in other rice varieties, including Nanjing 11 (a subspecies of indica), Balilla (subspecies of japonica), and varieties producing fertile crossbred offspring: Dular and 02428. © 2012 Phys.orgcenter_img Explore further More information: A Killer-Protector System Regulates Both Hybrid Sterility and Segregation Distortion in Rice, Science, 14 September 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6100 pp. 1336-1340. DOI: 10.1126/science.1223702ABSTRACTHybrid sterility is a major form of postzygotic reproductive isolation that restricts gene flow between populations. Cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.) consists of two subspecies, indica and japonica; inter-subspecific hybrids are usually sterile. We show that a killer-protector system at the S5 locus encoded by three tightly linked genes [Open Reading Frame 3 (ORF3) to ORF5] regulates fertility in indica-japonica hybrids. During female sporogenesis, the action of ORF5+ (killer) and ORF4+ (partner) causes endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. ORF3+ (protector) prevents ER stress and produces normal gametes, but ORF3– cannot prevent ER stress, resulting in premature programmed cell death and leads to embryo-sac abortion. Preferential transmission of ORF3+ gametes results in segregation distortion in the progeny. These results add to our understanding of differences between indica and japonica rice and may aid in rice genetic improvement. Early agricultural piracy informs the domestication of rice Citation: Researchers identify sterility genes in hybrid rice (2012, September 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-sterility-genes-hybrid-rice.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

When green turns toxic Norwegians study Electric Vehicle life cycle

first_img Citation: When green turns toxic: Norwegians study Electric Vehicle life cycle (2012, October 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-green-toxic-norwegians-electric-vehicle.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Normalized impacts of vehicle production. Results for each impact category have been normalized to the largest total impact. Global warming (GWP), terrestrial acidification (TAP), particulate matter formation (PMFP), photochemical oxidation formation (POFP), human toxicity (HTP), freshwater eco-toxicity (FETP), terrestrial eco-toxicity (TETP), freshwater eutrophication (FEP), mineral resource depletion (MDP), fossil resource depletion (FDP), internal combustion engine vehicle (ICEV), electric vehicle (EV), lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4), lithium nickel cobalt manganese (LiNCM), coal (C), natural gas (NG), European electricity mix (Euro). Credit: (c) Journal of Industrial Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.x Explore further The “supply chain” part of the statement is key to the focus of their research. The electric car has been promoted heavily as a car for the future but quick takes on EVs as environmental vehicles of choice should be replaced with longer and careful looks, even oversight, at what occurs during the entire cradle-to-gate life cycle of a car’s production, use, and dismantling.Light-duty vehicles account for approximately 10 percent of global energy use and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and policy makers have braced themselves for what that means in climate change and air quality. In the Norwegian study, the authors looked at conventional and electric vehicles to see how all phases, from production to use to dismantling, affect the environment. They concluded that, “Although EVs are an important technological breakthrough with substantial potential environmental benefits, these cannot be harnessed everywhere and in every condition. Our results clearly indicate that it is counterproductive to promote EVs in areas where electricity is primarily produced from lignite, coal, or even heavy oil combustion.”The authors warned that the “elimination of tailpipe emissions at the expense of increased emissions in the vehicle and electricity production chains” carries risks for policy makers and stakeholders. The authors support serious attention to “life cycle” thinking. Their research was partly funded by the Norwegian Research Council under the E-Car ProjectEarlier this year, reports of a study of vehicle types in China concluded that electric cars have an overall impact on pollution that could be more harmful to health than conventional vehicles. The researchers in that study examined pollution in 34 Chinese cities and they found that the electricity generated by power stations to drive electric vehicles led to more fine particle emissions than petrol-powered transport. They analyzed five vehicle types—gasoline and diesel cars, diesel buses, e-bikes and e-cars. (Phys.org)—Questioning thoughts arise from a bracing study from Norway. The electric car might be a trade-in of an old set of pollution problems for a new set. Thanks but no thanks to a misguided cadre selling on the green revolution. Electric cars will eventually be one more pollutant source to campaign over. The study, “Comparative Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Conventional and Electric Vehicles,” appears in the Journal of Industrial Ecology. Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology declared in the study that “EVs exhibit the potential for significant increases in human toxicity, freshwater eco-toxicity, freshwater eutrophication, and metal depletion impacts, largely emanating from the vehicle supply chain.” China’s pollution related to E-cars may be more harmful than gasoline cars, researchers find More information: Comparative Environmental Life Cycle Assessment of Conventional and Electric Vehicles, Troy R. Hawkins, Bhawna Singh, Guillaume Majeau-Bettez, Anders Hammer Strømman, Journal of Industrial Ecology, Article first published online: 4 OCT 2012. DOI: 10.1111/j.1530-9290.2012.00532.xAbstractElectric vehicles (EVs) coupled with low-carbon electricity sources offer the potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and exposure to tailpipe emissions from personal transportation. In considering these benefits, it is important to address concerns of problem-shifting. In addition, while many studies have focused on the use phase in comparing transportation options, vehicle production is also significant when comparing conventional and EVs. We develop and provide a transparent life cycle inventory of conventional and electric vehicles and apply our inventory to assess conventional and EVs over a range of impact categories. We find that EVs powered by the present European electricity mix offer a 10% to 24% decrease in global warming potential (GWP) relative to conventional diesel or gasoline vehicles assuming lifetimes of 150,000 km. However, EVs exhibit the potential for significant increases in human toxicity, freshwater eco-toxicity, freshwater eutrophication, and metal depletion impacts, largely emanating from the vehicle supply chain. Results are sensitive to assumptions regarding electricity source, use phase energy consumption, vehicle lifetime, and battery replacement schedules. Because production impacts are more significant for EVs than conventional vehicles, assuming a vehicle lifetime of 200,000 km exaggerates the GWP benefits of EVs to 27% to 29% relative to gasoline vehicles or 17% to 20% relative to diesel. An assumption of 100,000 km decreases the benefit of EVs to 9% to 14% with respect to gasoline vehicles and results in impacts indistinguishable from those of a diesel vehicle. Improving the environmental profile of EVs requires engagement around reducing vehicle production supply chain impacts and promoting clean electricity sources in decision making regarding electricity infrastructure. © 2012 Phys.orglast_img read more

Researchers create reusable adhesive that liquefies under UV light

first_imgThe AIRT representative at the show noted that the material does not undergo a reaction where new bonds form and are broken as it moves between a liquid and solid state, instead, an isomerization reaction occurs where the shape of the material itself changes. Because of that, the material can be used over and over again without losing its characteristics. They also noted that the speed of the reaction varies depending on the amount of light applied. Also, to cause the material to liquefy, the light used must be in the range 365 nm to 385 nm. To cause it to harden, the material can be exposed to ordinary light, as it contains light in the green range. This is the slow way, they say—using a green light, speeds up the process dramatically—a film 10 microns thick, for example, would take about 2 minutes to harden under a 80mW light source. It’s important to note, they add, that the change occurs due to light only—no heat is required to cause it to come about. They add that the adherence strength of the material is roughly equivalent to double-sided tape.AIRT believes the new material might be useful in manufacturing applications, where parts need to be held together temporarily while work is done, than released. Other applications might be more difficult to implement due to the necessity of working with transparent materials that allow light to pass through to the adhesive. Company reps say their engineers are continuing to study the material to see if its adhesive strength might by increased, and to find a way to change its color. Explore further Engineers from AIRT demonstrated the material at NanoTech 2013, currently running in Tokyo. The material was first presented as a powdered solid. Shining UV light on it causes it to liquefy where it can be applied to a surface. Once in place, shining a green light on it causes it to become hard, bonding two pieces of material together. In the demonstration, two small glass plates were “glued” together using nothing but the material and UV light—they were subsequently “unglued” by shining a green light at the point of connection. In addition to changing between liquid and solid states, the material also changes color. It’s yellow as a solid, but turns orange as it liquefies. (Phys.org)—Researchers at Japan’s National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, (AIRT) have developed an organic material that can be liquefied or hardened by shining different types of light on it. The result is an adhesive that can be used over and over again. © 2013 Phys.org More information: via Diginfo.tv Citation: Researchers create reusable adhesive that liquefies under UV light (2013, February 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-02-reusable-adhesive-liquefies-uv.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Researchers create elastic material that changes color in UV lightlast_img read more

Defects in 2D semiconductors could lead to multicolored lightemitting devices

first_img The researchers, led by Sefaattin Tongay, Joonki Suh, and J. Wu, at the University of California, Berkeley, the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing, and MIT, have published their paper on the effects of point defects on 2D semiconductors in a recent issue of Nature’s Scientific Reports.”Typically, defects in materials are considered something not wanted,” Tongay told Phys.org. “On the contrary, most of the functionalities of the materials are enabled by various imperfections such as defects. In this work, we show that engineering the defects in two-dimensional materials allows us to create another light emission channel and also enhance the light emission. “This is likely to be a milestone in the field. We scientists did not know how to observe defects by optical methods, and here we have found the first signatures of defects in 2D semiconductors. That’s exciting. Apparently, defects are another way to tune/activate the material’s properties on-demand.”While the physics of point defects in 3D semiconductors has been widely studied, much less is known about point defects in the more recently developed 2D semiconductors. The low-dimensional electronic systems are highly susceptible to disorder and imperfections. In 2D semiconductors, this propensity is expected to strongly influence electronic and excitonic processes. One such type of newly emerging 2D semiconductor is monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). Because TMDs have direct band gaps, meaning electrons can directly emit photons, they are promising light-emitting materials. Here, the scientists found that removing chalcogen (sulfur) atoms from a 0.7-nm-thick sample of the TMD MoS2 significantly changes its optical properties. As the number of defects in the material increases, the overall brightness of the light that is emitted by the material increases. This light has a photoluminescence peak at 1.90 eV, which determines its wavelength and color. But the defects also created a new photoluminescence peak at 1.78 eV. Citation: Defects in 2D semiconductors could lead to multi-colored light-emitting devices (2013, September 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-09-defects-2d-semiconductors-multi-colored-light-emitting.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2013 Phys.org Explore further , Scientific Reports More information: Sefaattin Tongay, et al. “Defects activated photoluminescence in two-dimensional semiconductors: interplay between bound, charged, and free excitons.” Scientific Reports. DOI: 10.1038/srep02657center_img Journal information: Nature The photoluminescence spectrum at 77K for pristine MoS2 and MoS2 with defects created by two different irradiation doses. The defects enhance the intensity of the original photoluminescence peak (X0) as well as create a new peak (XB). Credit: Tongay, et al. ©2013 Nature Scientists enhance light emission in 2D semiconductors by a factor of 100 The scientists found that this lower energy peak dominates the photoluminescence spectrum at low temperatures, and becomes weaker as the temperature increases until it completely disappears above 250 K (-23 °C). However, at room temperature, the presence of such defects enhances the light emission. This observation goes against the conventional wisdom in the new field of 2D semiconductors, which has been that optical emission intensity at room temperature is sufficient criteria for assessing the crystal quality of 2D semiconductors; the results here suggest that assessments of crystal quality should involve low-temperature photoluminescence measurements.The scientists also demonstrated that vacancy defects have similar effects on the optical properties of two other TMDs, MoSe2 and WSe2. These results indicate that the effects of point defects are likely universal in other 2D semiconductors, as well.The researchers propose that the underlying mechanism of these effects depends on the interaction of the defect sites with nitrogen gas in the air. In vacuum, the defects did not have any effect on the TMDs’ optical properties. The scientists explain that N2 molecules in the air may drain free electrons from the material at the defect sites, which results in a greater proportion of free excitons (electrons bound to holes) in the material. Some portion of the free excitons then get trapped and bound by the defect vacancies, forming bound excitons. Eventually, both free and bound excitons recombine radiatively and yield two distinct light emission peaks at 1.90 eV (~650 nm) and 1.78 eV (~700 nm), respectively. Since researchers can create these defects by irradiation or thermal annealing, the defect density—and the resulting changes in the material’s optical properties—can be controlled via defect engineering. This ability could lead to the production of 2D semiconductors with multiple bandgaps, multi-colored light-emission devices, and optical gas sensors, among other applications.”With a smart design, point-defective 2D semiconductors potentially show better materials performance, which can be realized by uncovering defect physics in 2D systems,” Suh said. “That’s our team’s ultimate goal!” When scientists remove individual atoms in a semiconductor material, the resulting vacancies become point defects. Contrary to what their name implies, these defects can have beneficial effects on the semiconductor’s properties and enable most functionalities of electronic materials. In a new study, researchers have demonstrated that point defects in 2D semiconductors result in an increase in the overall room-temperature photoluminescence intensity. Further, the defects create a new emission peak that could lead to a better understanding of defect physics in 2D semiconductors as well as future applications such as multi-colored light-emitting devices.last_img read more

Sodium selective DNAzyme sensor

first_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2015 Phys.org However, studying sodium in real-time in living cells has proved difficult. Most biological fluorescence sensors are not selective for sodium, often binding to potassium, or are not feasible in a cellular environment, requiring organic solvents. Other applications cannot provide real-time data. A team from the Departments of Biochemistry, Chemistry, and Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has devised a biological fluorescent sensor that is selective for sodium ions and has demonstrated its ability to sense sodium in living cells. Their work was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The University of Illinois team took advantage of recent developments in developing deoxy-ribozymes, or DNAzymes. DNAzymes are a kind of catalytic DNA that is obtained in the lab using a high throughput selection process. Prior research has demonstrated how DNAzymes can be used as metal ion sensors by designing them to have fluorescent labels that are only “turned on” when the DNAzyme binds the target metal and catalyzes enzymatic reactions. While these studies have demonstrated DNAzymes that can bind monovalent ions, such as Na+ or K+, thus far they have not been selective for sodium over potassium. The University of Illinois team identified and tested a DNAzyme that is more than 1,000-fold selective for sodium ion over other metals. Furthermore, their DNAzyme can detect sodium concentrations that are within the range typically seen in cells (0.135-50mM), and their detection method is fast enough that real-time studies can be conducted.DNAzymes can be converted to a fluorescent sensor by placing a fluorophore on one portion of the DNAzyme and a fluorescence quencher on another potion. As long as the fluorophore and the quencher are in contact, only background fluorescence is observed. Once the DNAzyme binds the target metal ion, Na+ in this case, it initiates cleaving a loop of DNA at a particular nucleotide, releasing the substrate portion with the fluorophore. It is separated from the quencher resulting in a fluorescent signal. New test for germs: Fluorescing DNAzymes detect metabolic products from bacteria Citation: Sodium selective DNAzyme sensor (2015, May 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-05-sodium-dnazyme-sensor.html Scheme of the decaging process for the photolabile Na+-specific DNAzyme. Credit: (c) 2015 PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1420361112 Explore further More information: “In vitro selection of a sodium-specific DNAzyme and its application in intracellular sensing” PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1420361112AbstractOver the past two decades, enormous progress has been made in designing fluorescent sensors or probes for divalent metal ions. In contrast, the development of fluorescent sensors for monovalent metal ions, such as sodium (Na+), has remained underdeveloped, even though Na+ is one the most abundant metal ions in biological systems and plays a critical role in many biological processes. Here, we report the in vitro selection of the first (to our knowledge) Na+-specific, RNA-cleaving deoxyribozyme (DNAzyme) with a fast catalytic rate [observed rate constant (kobs) ∼0.1 min−1], and the transformation of this DNAzyme into a fluorescent sensor for Na+ by labeling the enzyme strand with a quencher at the 3′ end, and the DNA substrate strand with a fluorophore and a quencher at the 5′ and 3′ ends, respectively. The presence of Na+ catalyzed cleavage of the substrate strand at an internal ribonucleotide adenosine (rA) site, resulting in release of the fluorophore from its quenchers and thus a significant increase in fluorescence signal. The sensor displays a remarkable selectivity (>10,000-fold) for Na+ over competing metal ions and has a detection limit of 135 µM (3.1 ppm). Furthermore, we demonstrate that this DNAzyme-based sensor can readily enter cells with the aid of α-helical cationic polypeptides. Finally, by protecting the cleavage site of the Na+-specific DNAzyme with a photolabile o-nitrobenzyl group, we achieved controlled activation of the sensor after DNAzyme delivery into cells. Together, these results demonstrate that such a DNAzyme-based sensor provides a promising platform for detection and quantification of Na+ in living cells. (Phys.org)—Sodium ions are key regulators in cellular processes. The fluids in cells, whether it is water, blood plasma, or nutrients, are regulated by the sodium concentration in cells. If scientists could study sodium ions within a live cell, they would gain important insights into cellular processes including ways to reprogram these processes for biotechnological applications. DNAzymes are determined by subjecting a library of synthetic DNA candidates to in vitro binding studies using column-based and gel-based selection methods. Potential candidates are then amplified and tested until an optimal candidate is determined. Through this selection and amplification process, this group found a DNAzyme, labeled NaA43, that was selective for Na+. The next step was to make the fluorescent label. Every DNAzyme has two segments, the substrate and the enzyme strand. For this experiment, as NaA43S and NaA43E are the substrate and enzyme, respectively. The 5′ end of NaA43S was labeled with a known fluorophore, and a quencher was placed at its 3’end. An additional quencher was added to the 3′ end to ensure a minimal amount of background fluorescence. When Na+ was added, NaA43S was cleaved at the target nucleotide, and the fluorophore was released from quenchers. The result was an increase in fluorescent signal. Furthermore, fluorescence did not significantly change when twenty-two other metal ions were tested.Finally, the DNAzyme needed to be prepared for cellular insertion and detection. The process of delivering the DNAzyme into the cell could result in premature cleavage, so this team employed “photocaging” to control when the substrate was cleaved. Photocages are photoactive molecules that are placed at the cleavage site to prevent DNA substrate cleavage. When light at a certain wavelength is irradiated at the site, the photo-caged group is released, and then the substrate can be cleaved.Finally, in order to transport the DNAzyme through the cell membrane and into the cytosol, they used a class of alpha-helical cationic polypeptide that is known to facilitate transportation through the cell membrane. After four-hour incubation into living HeLa cells, NaA43ES was found to be located predominately in the cytosol and did not accumulate in other organelles. The cleavage site was “uncaged” by irradiating the cell with light (365 nm) for thirty minutes. Then they enhanced the sodium levels in the cells. As sodium ions traveled from the extracellular matrix to within the cell, fluorescence measurements increased during this time, demonstrating intracellular Na+ detection in living cells.This work reports the first use of a DNAzyme to make a real-time, selective sodium ion sensor that can be used in living cells. Since sodium selectivity has been difficult to achieve, and these studies will not only allow for additional studies on cellular activity but may also shed light on ion selectivity, in general. 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

Investigative report offers statistics and opinions on SciHub

first_img(Phys.org)—A correspondent for the Science family of journals has published an investigative piece in Science on Sci-Hub, a website that illegally publishes scholarly literature, i.e. research papers. In his article, John Bohannon describes how he made contact with Alexandra Elbakyan, the founder of what is now the world’s largest site for pirated scholarly articles, data she gave him, and commentary on what was revealed. Bohannon has also published another piece focused exclusively on Elbakyan, describing her as a frustrated science student. Marcia McNutt, Editor-in-Chief of the Science Family also weighs in on her “love-hate” relationship with Sci-Hub, and explains in detail why she believes the site is likely to cause problems for scholarly publishing heading into the future. More information: John Bohannon, Who’s downloading pirated papers? Everyone, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf5664 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. Journal information: Science Citation: Investigative report offers statistics and opinions on Sci-Hub (2016, April 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-04-statistics-opinions-sci-hub.html © 2016 Phys.org Research paper publishing sting reveals lax standards of many open-access journals Explore further As Bohannon notes, Sci-Hub exists because a grad student in a developing part of the world, Kazakhstan, found it nearly impossible to fulfill her graduate requirements—she needed to study and cite published papers, but was unable to do so either because she could not gain access to them, or because the cost of doing so was more than she could pay. Her frustration, Bohannon notes, has been reflected in the rapidly escalating size and use of Sci-Hub—Elbakyan started working on it just five years ago, and already it has grown so large that approximately 28 million papers were downloaded between September of last year, through February of this year—these figures came courtesy of Elbakyan, who was more than willing to share whatever Bohannon asked of her, which mainly consisted of raw data regarding usage statistics. One exception was her exact location—Elbakyan is fearful of arrest after ignoring a cease and desist order from a New York judge last year.But, Bohannon notes, the rise of Sci-Hub is not just about researchers in less developed countries trying to gain access to published research papers, it is also about the whole concept of access in general, or open access in particular. He notes that approximately 25 percent of downloads come from developed countries, including of course, those in Europe and the U.S. where researchers often have access to paywall sites. This, he suggests, is due to ease of access. Many researchers and students simply find it easier to track down papers they are looking for on Sci-Hub, so that is where they go.Going forward, it is not clear where Sci-Hub is headed, though most agree it will not go away through litigation, instead it may be leading the way towards what McNutt describes as “risking the viability of a system that supports the quality and integrity of science.” In this case, it appears, only time will tell.last_img read more

Curtains down

first_imgThe 15 days of cultural festivity in the city comes to an end today. The Seventh Edition of Delhi International Arts Festival organized by Prasiddha foundation and Ministry of Culture, Govt of India witnessed performances of different regions with a touch of both national and international colours.  The concept was conceived by Prathibha Prahlad 7 years back.DIAF started with a magnificent performance by the Pung Cholam from Manipur, Langas & Manganiars from Rajasthan, Hety & Zambo from Columbia, National Troupe of Folk Arts from Egypt, Rouf Dance from Kashmir and Traditional Dance from Srilanka at Purana Qila on 8th February. The festival witnessed enthralling shows and performances like the Visual Arts and Crafts exhibition, Pran & Farooq Shaikh Restrospective, a film festival to pay tribute to the legendary actors, Hollywood & Children’s Film Festival, Kalaripayattu Martial Arts from Kerala, Magic show by Spanish magician Murray Molloy, Dhrupad music. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Each year DIAF brings every genre of performing and visual arts ranging from the classical to the contemporary from across the world.  DIAF 2014 brought performances from remote parts of Kerala, Assam, Jharkhand, Bihar, West Bengal, Bihar and several others. Literature events included panel, discussions and talks at the Sahitya Akademi, Iranian illumination artistes and craftsmen who demonstrated their works at the National Museum and the Crafts Museum. It was an extraordinary time for the art and culture lovers of Delhi. Classical music lovers witnessed Dhrupad Festival which featured musicians from all over India like Ustad Wasiffudin Dagar, Ustad Hussain Sayeeduddin Dagar, Pandit Uday Bhawalkar and others. Theatre enthusiasts enjoyed the staging of Abhignana Shakuntala directed by KN Pannikar at the National School of Drama and a Spanish Play Holiday Out at the Institute of Cervantes.The gala closing took place at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts Lawns with a soulful Sufi and Qawwali by Barkat Sidhu from Punjab and Nazir Ahmed Khan Warsi & Naseer Ahmed Khan Warsi from Hyderabad.last_img read more

Handicapped city

first_img23-year-old Abhinav Nagar set out to explore this Christmas charm a couple of years ago in and around St James’ Church in Kashmere Gate, known to be the oldest surviving church in Delhi. Accompanying him were his three friends, all students from the same college, nurturing generous dreams of a grand future full of accomplishments. Nagar remembers chatting amiably with his friends and enjoying the cool breeze and the Christmas air. But what happened next changed their lives forever. Also Read – Find your own happinessThere was total blackness as a cow darted in front of their vehicle, forcing Nagar to lose control of the car completely and crash into a nearby lamp-post on the pavement. He hit his spine instantly and his friends were injured too. Nagar woke up the next day in hospital. He could not move either of his legs and his doctor told him that he could never walk again. At 23, Abhinav became wheelchair-bound, overnight, and his life changed forever.This is not an isolated case of compulsive disability. There are hundreds and thousands of people all over the world witnessing their lives change all of a sudden due to a mishap, accident or some disease. But what we, the other half of the population who can walk, run, jump and enjoy life and every bit of it, do not realise is the pain these people experience everyday to walk that extra mile which once seemed impossible. Also Read – Into the wildThere are ambitions plans to turn Delhi into a smart city. But our national Capital is thoroughly devoid of a disabled-friendly infrastructure and basic sensitivity essential to make this place accessible to them too. There is a gross negativity prevailing for the differently-abled, who are always subjected to mercy of others for any kind of help or acceptance. It would thus be a great idea to create an infrastructure or give them an ambience that would not make it imperative for them to move around with someone else’s help or acceptance. A recently conducted study reveals that some of the city’s busiest places like Connaught Place, Lodhi Road, Sarai Kale Khan and Nehru Place are devoid of street infrastructure for the differently-abled and even for the elderly to navigate. These places are even inaccessible for those with reduced mobility, pregnant women, children, persons carrying luggage and those with temporary ailments. Some of the key problems found at Connaught Place were lack of proper signages and audio signals, non-continuity of tactile pavers and pelican crossings. Footpath height and width varied at many places and there was lack of kerb ramps and pedestrian crossings in front of busy bus terminuses like the ISBT, coupled with open drains on footpaths and encroachments by hawkers.Abha Khetarpal, president of NGO Cross the Hurdles says: “Essential services like banks, ATMs, post offices still remain inaccessible for the differently-abled. Even many of the doctors’ clinics and diagnostic centres are not disabled friendly. Schools do not have proper infrastructure to accommodate students with disabilities. Though public buildings, many stadiums might have ramps for wheelchair users to enter the premises but washrooms inside the campus are inaccessible. Personally speaking, I have found no washrooms for disabled people at Thyagraj stadium near INA market that was built as a venue for the 2010 Commonwealth Games.”She further elaborates: “Movie theatres again are not friendly. ‘Disabled friendly’ does not mean just a ramp being made outside the premises for wheelchair users. It must cater to the needs to all the different kind of disabilities. Tactile surfaces and Braille signage are rarely found. Many hotels and restaurants still remain unfriendly.”The differently-abled also face insensitive behaviour of bus drivers and conductors, who many a times charge more than the designated fare, despite travel for the visually impaired being free in all state-run Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) buses and the National Capital Region (NCR). But statistics show that this is not restricted to Delhi or the NCR area alone. The 70 million disabled in India face similar problems in other parts of the country too and, possibly, things are much worse. Transportation in every Indian city and town has failed disabled citizens to live a smooth and uncomplicated life. Lack of awareness, contempt and lapsed policies contribute to their plight. Though low floor buses in several metropolises including Delhi are initiatives for making transportation smooth, it has hardly come as a boon.Javed Abidi, director, National Centre for Promotion of Employment for Disabled People in India mentions in a report: “Despite it being a norm, there are no ramps to get on to the bus stands in the national capital. It’s a shame that the DTC plays hoax on us by painting disabled-friendly pictures and signages at bus stops, as they never practice what they preach.” Unfortunately, there has been little done in this direction to address the issue.Khetarpal adds: “No railway station in Delhi has a lift. Though the bus stops show the universal symbol of disability has broken ramps or are just unreachable due the rugged surfaces or the large number of street vendors and hawkers.”Though many new pavements and sidewalks in most New Delhi Municipal Council and Municipal Corporation of Delhi (MCD) areas are spacious and well-laid, many of them are blocked by bollards or small iron posts through which a wheelchair can’t pass.According to disabled rights organisations, the special ramps constructed on many roads have faulty designs and do not follow international standards. Ideally, for a height of one metre the ramps should be 18 metres long (1:18 gradient). But the ramps are built on a 1:12 gradient and are steep. Moreover, they also do not provide a landing after every five metres. Even the parks in the national capital are not disabled-friendly. Summed together, there are as many as 14,000 parks in total but all of them more or less lie in a state of shambles and do not support visitors with disabilities. However, Mukesh Yadav, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of South MCD says: “Almost all our parks are disabled-friendly. All of them are at the ground level so there is particularly no need for a ramp. Also, there is one gate at the entrance of every park through which a wheelchair can easily enter.” But in reality, the story is a little different.Kanika Dua, an MA Psychology student in Delhi University who is partially visually impaired, says: ‘I’m very lucky that the crowd in my university is very good. People do help and try to understand our problems. Cops are very helpful. But when I go out of the campus, it is a little difficult as I don’t know all the roads, there are no Braille signages and mobility becomes an issue.’The Delhi Metro, often referred to as the lifeline of the national Capital, and rightly so, has stood the test of time in the last decade regarding performance. There is little doubt that the Metro has contributed in no small measure to taking Delhi and its infrastructural facilities to the next level! But this is just one side of the picture. Delhi Metro does seem ill-prepared not just for emergencies but also when it comes to helping the disabled with wheelchairs. The number of wheelchairs and stretchers at one of the busiest stations Rajiv Chowk, is limited to only three and five respectively!Shopping arcades and malls in Delhi are considerably better in terms of providing a friendly ambience for the disabled. Sonali Manilal, Marketing Head, DLF Promenade says: “The mall has reserved parking for physically challenged and senior citizens in B1. The parking has been reserved next to the elevator lobby with dedicated parking attendants. For physically challenged patrons, the mall is equipped with a dedicated and customized hydraulic elevator; all prominent entrances have wheel chairs stationed with an attendant; each shopping floor houses washrooms for the disabled.” In case of an emergency, she adds: “The staff is well trained in basic life saving skills and safety trainings. There is a medical room with bed and important medical equipment. The concierge is trained to use basic medical techniques and is always equipped with medical kit.” But for the past few years, there is a growing political momentum behind the need to take disability provision seriously.If available figures are to be believed, people with disabilities are more likely to be unemployed, illiterate, to have less formal education and less access to support networks. They are further isolated by discrimination, ignorance and prejudice. The World Bank estimates that about 20 per cent of the world’s poorest people are disabled. Poverty causes disability through inadequate access to medical treatment and vaccinations, and exposure to unsanitary and unsafe living and working conditions. Children with disabilities in India rarely progress beyond primary education, with school enrolment less than 10 per cent in many areas. This then reinforces social alienation and leads to very limited employment opportunities, leading to abject poverty. A universal barrier-free environment is every Indian’s dream. Reassuringly, a few have been lobbying for it for some time now, working towards creating and maintaining environments in which all people can participate in ways that are equitable, dignified, independent and safe for all. Obstacles of any kind affect the lives of people to a great extent, and it is not difficult to imagine the plight of millions of disabled people who face hurdles at every single step.last_img read more

Agri Marketing dept to set up more Sufal Bangla stalls in state

first_imgKolkata: The state Agriculture Marketing department is all set to add more Sufal Bangla stalls to the existing ones by the end of June. It may be mentioned that the state government has set a target of setting up 100 Sufal Bangla stalls and setting up more stalls is a part of the initiative taken to reach to the target. In June, four more stalls will be set up in Kolkata, Salt Lake and Birbhum.It may be recalled that the initiative to set up the Sufal Bangla stalls was taken up to ensure that people in the urban parts of the state get fresh vegetables at the right price. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe stalls are mainly run by Farmers’ Producers Organisations (FPOs), who collect vegetables directly from farmers and sell them in the Sufal Bangla stalls.One of the new Sufal Bangla stalls will be set up at Ahmedpur in Birbhum, while the other three will come up at Kolkata and Salt Lake.The one at Ahmedpur will be inaugurated on June 20. The one in Kolkata will come up at Belgachia and the two others will be set up in Salt Lake. The three stalls at Kolkata and Salt Lake will be opened on June 14. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAccording to a senior official of the state Agriculture Marketing department, the step to set up the stalls at these four locations has been taken following demand from the people of the area to set up the same. It may be mentioned that at present there are around 46 such movable stalls that keep moving from one point to another in a particular location in urban parts, to help common people get fresh vegetables at the right price. Moreover, there are around 21 stalls which have been constructed at different urban areas in the state. There are stalls in North Bengal as well.At the same time, the Agriculture Marketing department is also having plans to introduce some more items, mainly fruits, in the Sufal Bangla stalls. But the final decision in this connection will be taken in a meeting scheduled to be held in the end of the first week of June.last_img read more

Now licence a must to buy your new bike

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to check road accidents, the state government has made possession of driving licence mandatory to buy a motorcycle.The state Transport department has already sent letters to all its Regional Transport Offices (RTOs), stating that the existing law in this connection has to be enforced properly.It may be mentioned that as per the Central Motor Vehicles Act, it is mandatory to show driving licence before buying a motorcycle. But a large section of bike dealers hardly check whether a prospective buyer of a two-wheeler possesses a driving licence or not. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedNow, the top brass of the state Transport department has taken up the matter and made possession of driving licence mandatory to buy a motorcycle. A person interested in buying a motorcycle will have to produce driving licence to the dealer, who in turn will send the documents to the RTO. The applicants also have to appear before the RTO and show the driving licence.Only after the clearance is given by the RTO, can the dealer sell a motorcycle to a person. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPSuvendu Adhikari, the state Transport minister, said: “Why should one buy a motorcycle if the person does not know how to ride the same?” He further said: “The law in this connection already exists. We are now taking steps to implement it properly.”Sources said that the step has been taken after a survey revealed that a large number of victims of bike accidents didn’t possess driving licence. Many teenage boys ride motorcycles without having any proper training and many of them hardly bother to follow traffic norms, which lead to accidents. So, the state Transport department has decided to take the step to ensure that no bike is sold to a person who doesn’t have a driving licence. It may be mentioned that the state government has taken up several steps to check road accidents and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had launched the state-wide awareness campaign “Safe Drive Save Life”. It has helped to bring down the number of road accidents in the state.Earlier, the state government had directed authorities of all petrol refilling stations in the state that petrol cannot be sold, if a biker comes without wearing helmet. Display boards with the message – “No Helmet, No Petrol” – was put up at all refuelling stations and the police kept a close watch to ensure that it is followed.last_img read more

State govt to export 1000 MW power to Bangladesh per day Sobhandeb

first_imgKolkata: The Bengal government will soon export 1000 MW power to Bangladesh per day for which the state Power department has already taken various initiatives.State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay on Saturday said his department has already written to the Centre seeking permission in this regard. He was speaking at the second edition of “Young Thinkers’ Conference” at a city hotel.The British Deputy High Commission, Kolkata, in association with The Dialogue hosted the conference in which experts from various fields discussed the potential of East and Northeast India in education, technology, trade, investment, skills and entrepreneurship. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe theme of the conference was: ‘UK, West Bengal & Eastern India – Shared Prosperity for a Shared Future’. Speaking at the event, Chattopadhyay said the Bengal government had initially started exporting 500 MW power to Bangladesh and now the department is ready to increase the supply up to 1000 MW as of now. It has been waiting for the final clearance from the Centre.Giving a detailed account of what his department has achieved so far in the state, the minister elaborated that in the past six years, the number of consumers has gone up to 1.85 crore while the figure stood at 86 lakh before the change of guard in the government. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe further laid emphasis on the development of renewable energy saying that around 78.28 MW solar power is already produced in the state and the figure would soon reach 109 MW. However, there are some land constraints which he pointed out. He said it requires around 4.5 acre land for producing 1 MW solar power.He also welcomed other industries in the state by stating that Bengal is ready with infrastructure, power, workforce and other facilities. He once again reiterated that Bengal is a power-surplus state. Speaking on the topic ‘UK-Bengal Relations and Opportunities going Forward’, Bruce Bucknell, the British Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata, said: “Our digital world knows no borders. If our countries are to thrive in the age of instant global communications, we need to find new ways to co-operate. We need to develop the networks and contacts to share our ideas, shape the global debate and build a better world.”Bucknell also added that Britain and India have a shared history. The Indian diaspora in Britain is the most successful community and helps power ‘Global Britain’.Debasish Sen, additional Chief Secretary, department of IT in the state, said the perception about Bengal among people is changing very fast. The growth in the export of software has touched 135 percent in the past six years. The largest campus of TCS in Eastern India is coming up in Kolkata, Sen added.last_img read more

Telly soap shooting resumes after 5day deadlock

first_imgKolkata: A day after the intervention of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, the Bengali tele-industry has once again plunged into action after an impasse for the past few days.Banerjee held a meeting with the artistes, producers, technicians and script-writers at Nabanna on Thursday to bring an end to the deadlock. After the meeting, the Chief Minister announced that the work of the tele-industry will resume from Friday morning and a 13-member committee with state Youth Services and Sports minister Aroop Biswas as its Chairman and Soumitra Chatterjee as its Chief Advisor was formed to ensure that immediate steps are taken to solve any problem that might come up in the near future. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe scenario at the studios at Tollygunge was completely different on Friday morning compared to that of the past five days when work remained suspended.Everyone, starting from artistes to technicians, turned up quite early on Friday to ensure that work can start at the earliest.The Chief Minister had said during the Press conference after the meeting on Thursday that the Bengali tele-industry has huge prospects for job opportunities. Hence it is all the more important that it functions smoothly. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedPeople involved in the industry welcomed the move of the Chief Minister saying that they are thankful to her as the work in the industry has resumed without any further issues.”We were waiting anxiously for the day when work will resume after the deadlock. Thanks to our Chief Minister that her intervention brought an end to the problems and we have got the opportunity to come to work from Friday morning,” said Mrityunjoy Bhowmick, who works in a studio at Tollygunge. Everyone was quite enthusiastic to join work after a gap of five days and were even mentally prepared to work for long hours to gift new episodes to the viewers of the Bengali TV serials who are spread far and wide.It may be mentioned that old episodes of the Bengali TV serials were telecast in different channels as the work in the tele-industry remained suspended.This happened when people from almost every household are ardent viewers of the tele soaps.last_img read more

Going back to mythology

first_imgThe 9th edition of ‘Bal Sangam’ concluded on Wednesday with full fervour where the children from Imphal, Manipur performed Raas Leela in the national Capital. Maharas attempts at recapturing the spirit of Raas Leela, the celebrated round-dance which Krishna performed with the gopis at Vrindavan. Played even now on Kartik Purnima the theme and sequence of Maha Raas are based on the Bhagavatam in which the slokas of the Bhagavata text are recited and sung.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The story goes on where Krishna, on seeing the beauty of the full moon night and remembering his promises to the Gopis, he decides to play Raas Leela with Radha and gopis by playing on his flute on the shimmering sands of the jamuna.The gopis come forth and dance with him in repute. But when pride of dancing with him enters their hearts, he vanishes; and as soon as they became humble joins them again ,duplicating himself many times, Krishna seems to be throughout the circle, yet in reality remaining one. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTo add to the festivities, longmans, clowns, dhol drummers, tight rope walker, jugaad band performers, acrobats, jugglers, behrupiyas, magicians, kacchi-ghodi performers, kathputli exponents, and many more converged to present the cultural heritage of the country.Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama said, “This ‘Bal Sangam ‘is an unique effort to expose the children and young citizens to real strength of Indian folk and traditional performing arts. It is also an effort to understand the roots of our heritage and cultural treasure. Understanding of Indian value system and way of leading life only will help us mark our presence on the global platform. ‘Bal Sangam’ is about sharing, learning, teaching, enriching and gaining confidence for showing our indigenous cultural identity while facing the globe.”Also during this year’s ‘Bal Sangam’, the NSD authorities will be making special arrangements through various NGO working with underprivileged children and social organisations to reach out and invite children from the not so privileged class so as to give them the due privilege to experience and be enriched by this long awaited festival of National School of Drama for children.last_img read more

PWD makes visual inspection annual checkups mandatory for bridges

first_imgKolkata: The state Public Works Department (PWD) has made it mandatory to have “visual inspection” four times a year, along with an annual health check-up for proper maintenance of the bridges and flyovers under its jurisdiction.The respective divisions will be responsible for undertaking periodic inspection, taking up repairs and proper maintenance of the bridges under their jurisdictions. Each division will take up visual inspection of the bridges four times in a year – February, May, August and November. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”In case they notice any distress or any condition which requires expert opinion, they shall inform the same in writing to the Bridge Inspection and Monitoring Cell and follow up with them so that the advice is received early and action is initiated,” read the notification. Elaborating on the health check-up that will be done once a year, the notification stated that such process will include all non-destructive testing of various components of the bridge to find out indications of distress, a distress mapping of the bridge, prescription for repairs and other actions needed to restore the bridge to the condition it was in just after construction. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe Bridge Inspection and Monitoring Cell (BIMC) will empanel a list of agencies for conducting annual health check-up of the bridges. PWD has even specified the roles of the divisions and the BIMC. Apart from maintenance, visual inspection and repairing, the divisions have been empowered to impose traffic restriction/blockage and speed restrictions in consultation with the cell, as and when needed. It has to maintain a register for each bridge, with original drawings and specifications, details of all repair and other work carried out on the bridge and inspection reports. It will have to conduct annual health check-up by engaging agency, obtain reports, share the reports with BIMC and take follow-up action on recommendations in consultation with the cell. The BIMC will function under the direction of Chief Engineer (Planning), Roads. A Zonal Committee will monitor the activities of bridge inspection and rehabilitation at the zonal level each month.last_img read more

NASA Giving Away ApolloEra Saturn Rocket to Anyone who can Carry it

first_imgEver wanted your own Saturn 1 rocket? For anyone with the means to transport it, it can be yours. Live or work in one place for a long enough time, and you being to accumulate a growing stockpile of, well… stuff. That’s true for the average person’s home, but it’s equally true for organizations, even NASA. According to news site cnet.com, NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Alabama has ‘excessed’ a Saturn 1 Block 1 Booster, which is part of the Saturn rocket, and the space organization is looking to find it a good home. The booster itself is the bottom-most stage of the Saturn 1 rockets.  It’s a beefy apparatus designed to power out of the Earth’s atmosphere, and a precursor to the Saturn V that was used for Armstrong, Aldrin, and Collins’ historic trip to the moon. The MSFC was a major player in the development of the Saturn rockets in the 1960s.The Saturn 1 rocket they’re “giving away”. Photo credit: NASAIf you find yourself in the market for a rocket, there are two things you should know about this one.  The first is that it’s in mint condition and has never been used.  If it had, it would be at the bottom of the ocean somewhere, and not available for interested parties.AdChoices广告inRead invented by TeadsThe second thing you should be aware of is that even though NASA will ‘re-home’ it for free, there is one catch.  Whomever takes the rocket has to pay the whopping $250,000 cost to have it shipped.  The cost for transporting the behemoth certainly puts most individuals out of the running for getting it, but shouldn’t be a problem for many museums or educational institutions.Saturn 1B rocket on display at the rocket garden of the Visitor’s Center at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Photo credit: Dan Broadbent. His article and science blog can be found here.NASA does pre-screening for applicants who might be interested in obtaining this piece of our nation’s space history.  If you either have the cash to burn, or are part of an institution that would be interested in having the rocket, you can start the prescreening process here.The agency is still in possession of a lot of equipment from both the Apollo era and the shuttle program.  Some of it can be found in the rocket garden at the Kennedy Space center, but much of it is still in various NASA facilities, taking up — pardon the pun – space.Apollo 11 Launched via Saturn V Rocket.They have other bits of equipment available for those that are interested in obtaining items which have a significantly lower cost to ship, ranging from dehydrated food packets to bits and pieces from the shuttle program ranging from thermal blankets to strike test plates and shuttle tiles.Related Video:Currently, they’re even offering a turbine blade.  You can see photos of the various items currently available and the cost of having them shipped if you follow the link for pre-screening.  Unlike the hefty tag for shipping the Saturn 1, any of the smaller items can be shipped for less than $40, making them much more easily accessible to smaller schools and libraries.The main reason for having all of that outdated equipment cluttering up the corners is a pretty straightforward one: moving it is an expensive nuisance.  If it’s in a place where it’s not taking up space needed for something more current, or it hasn’t been purchased, it’s simpler, cheaper, and more convenient to just let it stay where it is.  When that becomes a problem, NASA often offers items, such as this rocket booster, to cultural and educational institutions, which is a win-win for both of the groups involved.Related Article: Historian Finds Never Before Seen Footage of Apollo 11 Moon LandingIt’s refreshing to find out that even NASA isn’t immune to the tendency to keep holding on to its old stuff, and exciting to know that when they finally need to clean out the corners in their facilities, they do it in a way that makes it possible for average people to touch the mysteries of space.last_img read more

NFL firstround draft picks are overvalued

first_imgColin says:The Vikings made the right move to grab Sam Bradford.Funny people know funny. Good coaches know good coaches.Colin is protesting Starbucks because they won’t use almond milk.Dallas still has a shot to win the NFC East.Hats off to the top programs playing tough competition in the opener.Guests:Charlie Strong – University of Texas Head Football Coach joins the show to reflect on the significance of their thrilling OT win over Notre Dame, why it takes time and patience to build, and the importance of having the trust of your players.Jimmy Butler – Chicago Bulls Shooting guard is in studio to look back at the Rio Olympic experience, what a gold medal means compared to an NBA championship, the difficulty of coming together as a team in a short time, whether Rio fears were overblown, and why he can’t stand the University of Texas.Peter Schrager – NFL Insider joins the show to dish the inside scoop on the Sam Bradford trade, why the Eagles are going with Carson Wentz as their starter, why he’s picking Cincinnati to win the AFC, and the secret to his hair’s luxurious full body.last_img read more

VIDEO Marc Gasol headed in a missed shot after the whistle for

first_imgIt wasn’t the first time Gasol finished a bucket with a header. Here’s one from earlier back in 2015 that’s arguably more impressive. Marc Gasol finished last night’s Game 2 loss against the Spurs with 12 points, 6 rebounds, and 1 goal.The Spaniard showed he still has respectable soccer skills for 7-footer, when he headed a missed Kawhi Leonard jumper into the basket after a whistle for a foul.Gasooooooooooooooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!Take that for data.last_img

Youll Never Guess What This FireSpitting Drone Is Used For

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Drones that spit fire. How crazy is that?That’s right. Forget delivery. These drones shoot fire. An electric company in Xiangyang, China, came up with the creative solution of equipping drones with flame throwers in order to burn trash off of the city’s power lines. Apparently, trash getting stuck on power lines is a thing. And, apparently, sending in fire-breathing drones is easier than forcing a human to climb up so high on a high-voltage power line.See the hot, hot action for yourself here:The drone apocalypse begins in 3, 2, 1…center_img February 20, 2017 1 min readlast_img