Manthropology: The Science of the Inadequate Modern Male. Neanderthal/human relationship questioned 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.
Brewing the world’s hottest Guinness (Phys.org)—A panel of experts on the Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC) has decided to recommend closing the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) in New York. The move comes after budget cuts for physics research via the Department of Energy, (DOE) in the United States, has led to making hard decisions regarding which facilities to continue to fund, and which to cut. As of 2007, the DOE was responsible for funding three major nuclear research facilities with a budget standing at $547 million. The panel found itself tasked with choosing between three very expensive projects. The first, RHIC, has been in operation for approximately 10 years and revolves around studying what happens when heavy ions are smashed together (inside twin accelerators) and the incredibly hot temperatures that result. Closing the facility would mean shutting down the last big collider in the U.S. The second project, the Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF) in Virginia is currently under renovation. Researchers there accelerate electrons to the point where it becomes possible to study the proton and its particles, e.g. quarks, etc. The third project, currently under construction in Michigan is called the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB) – its mission will be to study exotic nuclei.Ultimately, the decision came down to what made the most sense financially. Money has already been allocated to CEBAF ($310 million), thus shutting it down would have meant throwing away the initial investment. And FRIB has received a lot of funding from the state of Michigan, thus it was seen as safe. RHIC, on the other hand, because it competes with the Large Hadron Collider, seemed more expendable because research done there might in some ways be replicated.The committee’s recommendation isn’t the final word on the matter, of course, but officials at the DOE have in the past tended to follow the guidelines of its own recommendation committee, which in this case will almost certainly mean the shuttering of the RHIC facility. Doing so, many in the field, have lamented, will mean loss of physics jobs, lost research opportunities, and perhaps, a degrading of the edge the United States still holds in nuclear physics research. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: NSAC to recommend closing BNL Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider facility (2013, January 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-nsac-bnl-relativistic-heavy-ion.html © 2013 Phys.org Explore further More information: www.bnl.gov/rhic/www.tvworldwide.com/events/DOE/130128/default.cfm read more
(Phys.org) —Mercedes-Benz is to show off its electric car at the New York International Auto Show, open to the public from March 29 to April 7 at the Jacob Javits Center. Mercedes-Benz calls its vehicle the B-Class Electric Drive. This is an all-electric five-seater to be available for sale in the U.S. next year. What was MB thinking in coming up with such an unfortunate title for such a good-looking vehicle? Naming it B-Class Electric Drive, while indicating it is one of MB’s smaller designs, in a larger context may be confused with a general perception of the letter B as signifying mediocrity, which is not the case with this vehicle. The car maker is positioning it as “the first luxury battery electric car from Mercedes-Benz in the market,” one that will give its drivers “electric driving at the premium level.” The B-Class Electric Drive is actually based on the B-Class car introduced in 2011, but this time around with special features, from instrumentation to total design. The power display is of note; when power is being consumed, a pointer rises in a clockwise direction from a green to red area, and drops back below the zero line when the vehicle is feeding recuperative energy back into the battery. 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. Geely McCar: Electric vehicle and scooter in one Three large, round air vents are “sporty” features, according to the company, and above those vents is a display screen. The car’s connectivity features include an embedded data connection that allows owners to check battery and charge status via their computer or smartphone.According to the publicity release, the maximum speed is electronically limited to 100 mph (160 km/h) in the interests of operating range. Depending on the driving cycle, the range is around 115 miles (200 km). For a sprint from 0 to 60 mph, the electric car requires less than ten seconds. A lithium ion battery is placed in the vehicle’s underfloor, for crash protection. The B-Class Electric Drive can be recharged via standard household power sockets. The charging time for a range of about 60 miles (100 km) is less than two hours at 240 V/40 A.Wired estimated the B-Class will cost in the mid-$30,000 range, but the actual selling price is not yet known. The new B-Class Electric Drive will be available initially in the US from early 2014, and will be launched in European markets after that. More information: via Autopia Explore further © 2013 Phys.org Citation: New York auto showcase is venue for Mercedes-Benz EV (2013, March 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-03-york-auto-showcase-venue-mercedes-benz.html read more
(Phys.org) —A new study conducted by a team of American and Greek researchers has found that the people of the ancient Minoan civilization living on the island of Crete most likely came from Europe. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the team says mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) evidence contradicts the long held notion that the people of the long lost civilization came from Africa. Evidence of the great Minoan civilization first came to light in 1900, when an excavation by Sir Arthur Evans discovered the Palace of Minos on the island of Crete. Noting similarities between artwork discovered there and in parts of Egypt, Evans suggested it was possible the early inhabitants of the island came from Africa. Since that time, others have concurred, while some suggest the Minoans more likely came from the Middle East, or even from Europe. In this new study, the researchers turned to mtDNA for the true answer.The team took samples from skeletal remains of over 100 early denizens of the island that had been found in a cave by other researchers. They then compared the mtDNA from those samples with samples taken from people living in the modern world, as well as with some samples from other old world inhabitants. Citation: mtDNA study shows Minoans came from Europe not Africa (2013, May 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-05-mtdna-minoans-europe-africa.html One of the buildings in Knossos restored by British archeologist Sir Arthur Evans. Knossos was the major civil center of the Minoans. Credit: Getty Images © 2013 Phys.org Explore further Illustration of the Bull-leaping Fresco from the Great Palace at Knossos, Crete. Credit: Getty Images More information: A European population in Minoan Bronze Age Crete, Nature Communications 4, Article number: 1861 doi:10.1038/ncomms2871AbstractThe first advanced Bronze Age civilization of Europe was established by the Minoans about 5,000 years before present. Since Sir Arthur Evans exposed the Minoan civic centre of Knossos, archaeologists have speculated on the origin of the founders of the civilization. Evans proposed a North African origin; Cycladic, Balkan, Anatolian and Middle Eastern origins have also been proposed. Here we address the question of the origin of the Minoans by analysing mitochondrial DNA from Minoan osseous remains from a cave ossuary in the Lassithi plateau of Crete dated 4,400–3,700 years before present. Shared haplotypes, principal component and pairwise distance analyses refute the Evans North African hypothesis. Minoans show the strongest relationships with Neolithic and modern European populations and with the modern inhabitants of the Lassithi plateau. Our data are compatible with the hypothesis of an autochthonous development of the Minoan civilization by the descendants of the Neolithic settlers of the island.Press release Journal information: Nature Communications War was central to Europe’s first civilization, contrary to popular belief An analysis of the test results indicates that the early inhabitants of Crete were likely farmers who settled on the island long before the appearance of the Minoan society. This suggests that the Minoan civilization most likely came about as a result of the evolution of the early farmers. No evidence of African ancestry was found.The Minoan civilization existed for approximately 1,200 years, vanishing around 1500 BC. Some suggest their sudden disappearance was due to a volcanic eruption and tsunami, while others say it was more likely the inhabitants of Crete were wiped out be an invading army. In any case, the Minoan civilization is considered to be first advanced civilization of Bronze Age Europe—the people there left behind huge buildings, impressive artwork and mysterious hieroglyphs. It appears likely the early farmers were part of a wave of immigrants coming from the Middle East and Anatolia to Europe looking for land to farm.As for the similarity between artwork found in Crete and Egypt, the researchers suggest it was most likely the result of trade between the two civilizations. 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. read more
When an epidemic strikes in a remote location, medical personnel need to take blood samples to see who is infected and who is not—that is just one situation where blood samples are taken from people in remote locations and transported to a sometimes distant lab. But, blood samples taken in remote locations are notoriously difficult to preserve in useful ways—left alone proteins in blood may be consumed by enzymes in the blood or be deformed by heat. Where it is possible, such samples are refrigerated while being transported to a lab for testing. In places where cooling is not possible, one preservation technique that has been developed is to place droplets on a small sheet of cardboard and allow them to air dry. But this technique suffers from a small sample size and damage due to heat and/or humidity. In this new effort, the researchers describe a new approach they have developed using silk.In a prior effort, some of the team members developed a silk powder and a silk solution for use in various applications. They found that when they mixed the powder with a blood sample and then allowed the result to air dry, that the blood remained stable, even when exposed to temperatures as high as 37 °C. Furthermore, all that was needed to make the preserved blood samples testable, was dipping them in water—almost all of the important proteins required for testing remained viable. They report that the technique proved to be more reliable than either normal drying or freezing.The researchers acknowledge that thus far the idea is still in its infancy—testing has been done under ideal, controllable conditions. It still is not clear how well the samples would fare when exposed to real world conditions, such as a hot arid desert where there is a lot of dust or a muggy rain forest, and perhaps most importantly, when there may be long time delays. But the team plans to continue testing and if all goes well, to eventually mass produce their product for use in places where it is needed most. © 2016 Phys.org Explore further Encapsulating blood samples in silk protein extracted from silk worm cocoons protected biomarkers effectively even at high temperatures. Credit: Tufts Silk Lab Cellphone-sized device quickly detects the Ebola virus More information: Jonathan A. Kluge et al. Silk-based blood stabilization for diagnostics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2016). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1602493113AbstractAdvanced personalized medical diagnostics depend on the availability of high-quality biological samples. These are typically biofluids, such as blood, saliva, or urine; and their collection and storage is critical to obtain reliable results. Without proper temperature regulation, protein biomarkers in particular can degrade rapidly in blood samples, an effect that ultimately compromises the quality and reliability of laboratory tests. Here, we present the use of silk fibroin as a solid matrix to encapsulate blood analytes, protecting them from thermally induced damage that could be encountered during nonrefrigerated transportation or freeze–thaw cycles. Blood samples are recovered by simple dissolution of the silk matrix in water. This process is demonstrated to be compatible with a number of immunoassays and provides enhanced sample preservation in comparison with traditional air-drying paper approaches. Additional processing can remediate interactions with conformational structures of the silk protein to further enhance blood stabilization and recovery. This approach can provide expanded utility for remote collection of blood and other biospecimens empowering new modalities of temperature-independent remote diagnostics.Press release (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Tufts University has developed a new way to store blood samples taken at remote locations—using a silk protein to stabilize blood samples without the need for cooling. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes the silk protein, how it is used to preserve blood samples and how the results can be recovered via dissolution in water when ready for testing. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Silk protein used to air-dry blood samples for remote testing (2016, May 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-silk-protein-air-dry-blood-samples.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. read more
Some of the best art works adorn temple walls across our country. Out of these one of the most prominent tropes in art is the tradition of murals. The history of the mural painting tradition of Kerala goes back to the 8-9 century AD. The linear quality of the murals in Tirunandikkara temple in the southern part of Kerala (Chera at that time) showed a distinctive character that could be termed as ‘Kerala idiom’ though one could relate it to the common southern heritage. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The iconic beauty delineated in linear rhythm with just five colours (Pancha Varna formula) and the fine modeling of figures with perfect mastery over tonal gradations kept the compositions unique. As a part Renaissance of Kerala during the century all the neglected art forms got a new source of energy and the mural 20 tradition also attracted the people like Ananda Coomaraswami, Stella Kramrisch and others. Artist Sadaanandan, after his five year study under the master artist Mammiyur Krishnankutty Nair, started as a free lance artist who carved a niche for himself with his identifiable unique style and thematic selection. He presents his stock of some classic works of art in the Capital. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixHis infatuation with nature demanded such a luminosity that could encode the spirit of intuitive relation he has with it. The classical literature of India gives artists of imagination a lot of chances to find out new compositions; and Sadaanandan with his master brush works has captured the spirit of Sakuntalam and Ritusamhara by Kalidasa. The acquired knowledge of the miniature tradition of India helped him a lot to create a world of expression mixed with the Kerala idiom. read more
Sahara Welfare Foundation has been awarded the ‘Corporate Foundation with Best Corporate Social Responsibility Practices’ in a glittering Asian Leadership Awards ceremony held at Dubai. Sahara Welfare Foundation was presented with this prestigious award on the basis of CSR work undertaken by the Sahara Group in uplifting the lives of underprivileged in the country and for the humanitarian work being done under the VEDAS (Village Esteem Development Adoption by Sahara) project. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This is the first international award that Sahara Welfare Foundation has received as an organisation.Speaking on the occasion, Kumkum Roy Choudhury, Executive Director Worker, Sahara India Pariwar, said ‘Sahara India Pariwar has always been committed in extending support under the aegis of Sahara Welfare Foundation to the needy and underprivileged in the country. This award is the recognition of our incessant efforts towards mainstreaming the lives of the helpless and underprivileged people. In fact, it’s the firm conviction of ‘Saharasri’ Subrata Roy Sahara, Managing Worker & Chairman, Sahara India Pariwar that every organization, along with its own development and progress should also contribute towards the cause of the society and the nation at large. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThis international award will surely act as a catalyst in boosting us with even more confidence to continue our endeavours for the betterment of mankind. The Asian Leadership Awards happens to be a leading industry event, recognizing and rewarding outstanding achievements in sustainability in the built environment and are a key benchmark for achieving best practices in the sector. These Awards are endorsed by the Asian Confederation of Business as well as World CSR Day. Over 20 categories under the Asian Leadership Awards recognize the achievements made by selected high profile corporate business leaders in Asia and honour their great contributions towards the country’s post-recession economic development. read more
This story comes a long way. From a Bangla band, not unlike so many in Kolkata in the 1990s, to a full-fledged album in 2014. The journey is a long one and obviously not an easy one, especially when it spans two continents and tries something very new. Shikawr (roots in Bengali) is a cumulated effort from musicians across two continents, coordinating through Whatsapp, Skype and Facebook! Shikawr is well-known singer Sahana Bajpaie’s first contemporary album. Sahana is better known for her work with Rabindrasangeet, Baul and folk songs. Also Read – CBI examines former ISRO chief Radhakrishnan‘Like most university-going lads back in late 90s growing up in Kolkata, I had a Bangla rock band – where I used to write the lyrics and strum guitars. Come 1999 I left Jadavpur University, left the city and started living a nomads life across continents and that was pretty much the end of doing any music,’ says Saptarshi Routh, the man behind the lyrics and the music for Shikawr. Between 1999 and 2014, Saptarshi lived across three continents, hardly ever touched the guitar, as he says. Also Read – Centre to procure pulses directly from farmers starting NovemberHe however, did the ‘B-School thing’ at Oxford, climbed the stairs that people usually climb, ending up as a director and European Practice lead at one of the world’s most respected research and advisory firm, Gartner. So perhaps the no-touching-the-guitar was not a bad thing! But well, that space of having done it all needed something more. Musicians are musicians at the end of the day! After realising, thanks to a friend, that he had pretty much done all that he wanted to and didn’t know what he wanted to do next, Saptarshi took a step backwards to his Bangla band days and started writing lyrics in Bengali. The journey, left behind after college, restarted for Saptarshi. ‘And then realising I have no one to go to, no band to form, I started composing. First time in my life (and I don’t have any formal music background, I was just a self taught and very average guitarist). Scary, I know. Even more scary was to approach Sahana, who has a pretty decent fan following, to ask her to sing – and I was one of the fans,’ Saptarshi says. Sahana agreed and clearly there was no looking back! Saptarshi feels that the singer agreed to join ‘forces’ because they shared some common perspectives – like loving and hating the city they left behind in equal measures and then some. All of these come to life through the lyrics Saptarshi penned. The next step was collaborating with Samantak, a very talented musician and singer from Kolkata who did the music arrangement and direction for Shikawr. ‘We agreed to do something unusual, that is to design the soundscape fully in the acoustic mode with no programming whatsoever. Using a host of relatively unconventional instruments like the cello, rabab, esraaj, accordion, harmonica et al. – giving it a distinct non-band like feel,’ says Saptarshi. ‘The whole project was designed and executed across two continents – London and Kolkata (Sahana and me in London, Samantak and my other singer, Gorki in Kolkata) so most songs took full shape over Skype/Whatsapp/Facebook and long distance phone calls. It was fun!’ Saptarshi adds. Now the finished product has hit the stands. And we for one cannot wait to find out how it all adds up for music lovers and critics. Even if you aren’t Bengali – find these guys and give them a listen. We have heard a bit and we assure you – you won’t regret it. read more