Strained silicon carries light for cheaper commercial electronics

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. By physically compressing a silicon waveguide – and thus allowing variations in the way light travels through the material – scientists have discovered a key to creating a silicon electro-optic modulator. This method could greatly decrease the cost of modern computers. Explore further Organic solar cells that last 10 years in space “Inside your computer, there are a bunch of small black components,” explains Rune Jacobsen, coauthor of a recent paper in Nature on strained silicon. “There is a silicon die inside each component, and it is in these chunks of silicon where all the ‘magic’ happens.”Silicon, considered the material of choice in electronics for decades, now has one more reason to be at the top. Scientists have observed electro-optical effects in silicon, which is the ability to convert electronic signals into optical signals. Previously silicon was thought to have limited optical properties due to its strong symmetrical traits and lack of an electro-optic coefficient.“We discovered a method that induces an electro-optic effect in silicon, which is done by deposition of a straining layer on top of the silicon crystal,” says Jacobsen. “The straining expands, and hence it deforms, the crystal structure of the silicon underneath [see figure]. This is not difficult, but until we made the discovery, it was not realized that you could make silicon electro-optically active by breaking the crystal symmetry.”The straining layer, composed of silicon nitride glass, compresses the silicon waveguide, a structure that guides light waves in the silicon. Using this straining method to break silicon’s crystal symmetry, the team has realized the possibility of using silicon to modulate a beam of light.The glass straining layer acts purely as a physical strain, asymmetrically compressing the silicon waveguide so that the waveguide expands horizontally. This physical change enables silicon’s bulk refractive index to vary linearly under the influence of an external applied electric field, creating electro-optic effects. “The index change is caused by a perturbation of the electron orbitals, which is the fastest physical process possible at room temperature,” says Jacobsen. “The time constant is typically lower than 10-15 seconds; i.e. the effect can be as fast as 1,000,000 GHz.”Another way to put it is that the electric field can slow the velocity of light waves in silicon due to the material’s broken symmetry. Once applied, the electric field can instantaneously determine whether or not light travels through a silicon modulator. “Such an electro-optic modulator is typically used when transmitting data, where transmitted light corresponds to a ‘1’ bit and no light to a ‘0’ bit,” wrote the scientists.This design differs from previous demonstrations of silicon modulators, which have used an electric current traveling through the silicon to achieve modulation. “In our demonstration, we use an electric field to achieve modulation instead of electric current,” says Jacobsen. “In 1987, Richard Soref et al. showed that you can make a modulator by leading an electrical current through the silicon and then changing the size of the current (ref: Soref, R. A. & Bennett, B. R. Electrooptical effects in silicon. IEEE J. Quant. Electron. QE-23, 123–129 (1987)). However, today, almost 20 years after the demonstration, you cannot buy commercial silicon components based on this technique, and it is still unsure if the technique is good enough for commercial use.”To negate the possibility of an electric current in this experiment, the scientists sandwiched a spacing layer made of silica glass between the silicon waveguide and the straining silicon glass on top. With this arrangement, no electric current travels through the waveguide. “The advantage to using silicon compared with other electro-optics materials is the price,” says Jacobsen. “If you can use silicon, the price will potentially become very low.”Citation: Jacobsen, Rune S. et al. Strained silicon as a new electro-optic material. Nature. Vol 441. 11 May 2006.By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.com Citation: Strained silicon carries light for cheaper commercial electronics (2006, May 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-05-strained-silicon-cheaper-commercial-electronics.html The silicon waveguide at left contains a crystal symmetry and no electro-optic effect. At right, the silicon waveguide has a straining layer that breaks the symmetry. The broken symmetry makes it possible to change the phase of light by applying an electric field across the waveguide, which can create an electro-optic modulator. Photo credit: Rune Jacobesen.last_img read more

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Motorized knee can make you run faster

first_img Overweight men at risk of osteoarthritis of both hip and knee This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The motorized knee comes in a 5 kg kit, part of which straps to your leg, and part of which (the control unit and battery) is worn as a backpack. The device is not designed to help people who are physically handicapped, but is designed to support the flex of the knee for people who just want to run more efficiently. The strap-on knee assistant allows runners to jog steadily at 7.5 km/h, but using 30% less muscle power than they would use for unassisted running. The researchers do not say how much of the saving in muscle power is offset by carrying the 5 kg weight of the gadget.The research team who developed the device is confident it will be commercialized within the next three years, and that there is a market for it. There are similar devices that help the physically handicapped walk, but the new gadget will be much smaller and lighter by the time it comes to market, and is intended for healthy people who just want to run more efficiently. Video: Robot suit HAL(Hybrid Assistive Limb) The motorized knee has a small motor that helps flex the knee, a sensor that detects the degree of flexing of the knee, and a safety lever.One apparent flaw in the idea seems to be that most joggers seem to jog precisely because they want to build up muscle power and get fit, and so the device would in effect mean they would have to jog for longer to get the same benefit to their fitness level. This may make the gadget a contender for next year’s “Ignobel” awards . It might possibly be useful for people recovering from a knee replacement or other knee operation, but if so, the researchers don’t mention the possibility, and have not designed it for rehabilitation or other medical purposes.Tsukuba University also developed the Robot Suit HAL, (Hybrid Assistive Limb) which is a cyborg-type robot that can help paralysed people learn to walk. It is also responsible for the Yotaro baby simulator. Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Scientists at the Tsukuba University in Japan have come up with a motorized knee you can attach to your leg to make you run faster and use less muscle power. Citation: Motorized knee can make you run faster (2009, December 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-12-motorized-knee-faster.html © 2009 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

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Water still has a few secrets to tell

first_img “Due to long range interactions, you can obtain a ‘solid like’ behavior in certain types of measurements for liquids,” Jan Swenson, one of the scientists on the project, tells PhysOrg.com. “These hidden slow dynamics has been suspected, but because they are impossible to observe straight on in dielectric measurements, they have been difficult to find. We are quite happy that we have come up with a method that can help us probe a little more deeply into the dynamical behavior of water and other liquids.” Swenson, and his colleagues, Helén Jansson and Rikard Bergman, have started to use a method demonstrating for the first time that water can exhibit a very slow relaxation process. Their results can be seen in Physical Review Letters: “Hidden Slow Dynamics in Water.”“It all started when we were studying protein solutions,” Swenson explains. “We used Teflon films to reduce conductivity and electrode polarization, and then measured the solvents and the proteins. We saw low frequency dynamics in the solvent, and saw that it was not due to the protein.” Swenson and his peers decided to see if it was perhaps due to the Teflon, but then saw it wasn’t, although the Teflon film plays an important role in identifying water’s hidden dynamics, due to its suppression of electrode polarization and conductivity. “Without a different way of analyzing this and using the Teflon film, it was practically impossible to see these dynamics.”For the most part, though, slow dynamics have a rather small effect. “This is a very weak feature,” Swenson concedes. “It does not dramatically change the behavior of liquids, but it is an interesting feature that could be of importance. Understanding it could be useful, at least in better understanding the structure and behavior of liquids.”Swenson thinks that these dynamics might apply to all hydrogen bonded liquids. “So far, it appears that this might be universal. We have been looking at different liquids, and have seen something similar. However, we have only tried it with hydrogen bonded liquids.” The next step, then, is to analyze liquids without hydrogen bonds. “We want to see if it has something to do with the hydrogen bonds. Are these dynamics related to the strength of the hydrogen bonds on the short range scale? We want to test as many liquids as we can to see the results.”In the end, it appears that there is more that we can learn from studying water, and its dynamics. “We always have a lot to learn, and it could prove helpful for our understanding,” Swenson says. Citation: Water still has a few secrets to tell (2010, January 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-01-secrets.html Explore further Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Data Effort Improves Flow Toward ‘Greener’ Chemistry This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Helén Jansson, Rikard Bergman, and Jan Swenson, “Hidden Slow Dynamics in Water,” Physical Review Letters (2010). Available online: link.aps.org/doi/10.1103/PhysRevLett.104.017802 Water droplet. Image: Wikimedia Commons (PhysOrg.com) — We are used to thinking of water as a substance with relatively few secrets left. Its basic structure has been studied by high school students for decades, and water is considered essential to our survival, as it is so abundant. We tend to think that we’ve got water pretty well figured out, and what we know about it is of vital importance to life on Earth. But, as a team at Chalmers University of Technology in Göteborg, Sweden, recently found, water isn’t as straightforward as we might think. last_img read more

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GE Unveils Their Electric Vehicle WattStation w Video

first_img Smart Charger Controller simplifies electric vehicle recharging (w/Video) (PhysOrg.com) — On Tuesday GE announced their new smart-grid-connected electric vehicle charger called the WattStation. The WattStation will help accelerate the adoption of plug-in electric vehicles by significantly cutting charging time on a 24 kWh car battery for an EV from 12-18 hours to approximately 4-8 hours by using Level 2 (240V) charging. 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. GE’s WattStation enables fast level 2 charging at home and on the road. More information: GE WattStation GE and Project Get Ready unveil the WattStation, a new electric car charger. The WattStation was designed in part by renowned industrial designer, Yves Behar. The WattStation is intended to become as common as gasoline stations are today.In an earth2tech interview Behar said, that the GE WattStation can act as a digital platform and a connection to mobile devices. For example, one day you may be driving around in your EV in a city and receive a text message that an open WattStation charger is close by. Behar also said he envisions an ecosystem of applications eventually being built around the WattStation.The GE WattStation will be commercially available globally in 2011, and a home version will be unveiled later this year. No price has been announced for the home version. The top angled circle is surrounded by LEDs that glow to indicate if the charger is available or not.center_img Dan Heintzelman, president and CEO of GE Energy Services, said: “For more than 100 years, GE has worked to optimize energy use. Given our expertise in electrical distribution, WattStation is a natural progression in our commitment to creating cutting edge innovation for the next century.” Explore further The GE WattStation significantly decreases time needed for vehicle charging and using smart grid technology, can also be connect to the smart grid that will allow utilities companies to manage the impact of electric vehicles on regional and local grids. Citation: GE Unveils Their Electric Vehicle WattStation (w/ Video) (2010, July 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-ge-unveils-electric-vehicle-wattstation.html © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

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Researchers develop mRNA based flu vaccine

first_img RNA is a molecule that performs various functions in living organisms related to the regulation of expression of genes. mRNA is a type of RNA molecule whose function is to carry genetic information from DNA to the ribosome, which tells cells which proteins to manufacture. Introducing mRNA that has been preprogrammed to specify particular proteins into an animal or person can cause a predictable immune response – in this case targeting an infectious agent such influenza. The researchers report that their designer vaccine has demonstrated an ability to instill protective immunity in mice, ferrets and pigs.Currently, it takes up to six months to create and manufacture a flu vaccine; cultures of the virus are grown in chicken eggs and once mature are mixed with other ingredients to create a solution that can be injected into a person that causes their immune system to attack if the virus is ever detected in the body. Other new research has focused on cell cultures but that process also takes months. In contrast the new vaccine takes just six weeks to produce and the researchers report that thus far, it has shown itself to be just as effective as traditional vaccines in preventing flu symptoms.The researchers also report that the vaccine can be easily manufactured in large quantities and unlike other flu vaccines, doesn’t require refrigeration. They also noted in addition to providing immunity for averaged age animals, it also worked equally well in both very young and very old mice.To date, the team has tested the vaccine against several class A flu viruses, which include H1N1pdm09, swine flu and the H5N1 bird flu virus and have found it to be effective against all of them. It is not known yet if the same results might be found with its use in humans, though that the team reports, is the ultimate objective. More information: Protective efficacy of in vitro synthesized, specific mRNA vaccines against influenza A virus infection, Nature Biotechnology (2012) doi:10.1038/nbt.2436AbstractDespite substantial improvements, influenza vaccine production—and availability—remain suboptimal. Influenza vaccines based on mRNA may offer a solution as sequence-matched, clinical-grade material could be produced reliably and rapidly in a scalable process, allowing quick response to the emergence of pandemic strains. Here we show that mRNA vaccines induce balanced, long-lived and protective immunity to influenza A virus infections in even very young and very old mice and that the vaccine remains protective upon thermal stress. This vaccine format elicits B and T cell–dependent protection and targets multiple antigens, including the highly conserved viral nucleoprotein, indicating its usefulness as a cross-protective vaccine. In ferrets and pigs, mRNA vaccines induce immunological correlates of protection and protective effects similar to those of a licensed influenza vaccine in pigs. Thus, mRNA vaccines could address substantial medical need in the area of influenza prophylaxis and the broader realm of anti-infective vaccinology. Explore further 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: Researchers develop mRNA based flu vaccine (2012, November 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-11-mrna-based-flu-vaccine.html © 2012 Phys.org Journal information: Nature Biotechnology (Phys.org)—A joint research effort by the Friedrich-Loeffler-Institute and pharmaceutical company CureVac, both based in Germany, has resulted in the creation of a new type of flu vaccine. The vaccine, as the team describes in their paper published in the journal Nature Biotechnology, relies on the use of Messenger Ribonucleic Acid (mRNA) instead of the cultivation of cultures in chicken eggs, which means it can be created and manufactured in weeks rather than months. Study suggests potential hurdle to universal flu vaccine development may be overcomelast_img read more

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Inventor creates replica of Vermeer painting using modified camera obscura

first_imgThe Music Lesson by Johannes Vermeer © 2013 Phys.org New rheumatoid arthritis treatment shown to be effective: Half of all patients symptom-free within six months Explore further Citation: Inventor creates replica of Vermeer painting using modified camera obscura (2013, December 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-inventor-replica-vermeer-camera-obscura.html (Phys.org) —Inventor Tim Jenison may have finally solved the mystery of how famed Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer was able to create paintings that so closely resembled photographs. His five year mission to learn Vermeer’s secrets has been filmed and a documentary made describing what he’s learned. More information: via VanityFair 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. Johannes Vermeer was a 17th century painter who stunned the world by suddenly appearing on the painting scene producing impressively realistic paintings, all seemingly without any training. Critics at the time suggested he “cheated” by using a device called a camera obscura, which is essentially a lens and mirror set up in a way to allow for better reference—it would be akin to painting using a photograph posted next to the canvas. The argument surfaced again in 2006 when modern painter David Hockney announced that the only way Vermeer could have painted the pictures he made, were by using some sort of mirror and lens contraption. The problem with the argument was that it couldn’t explain how the lighting could have come out the way it did—a mirror/lens device would have produced an image that was upside down.Shortly after Hockney’s announcement, millionaire inventor Tim Jenison became intrigued by the argument. His background was in optics, so it seemed a natural way to pass his time investigating the possibilities. Instead of a hobby, however, it became more of an obsession. Jenison traveled to Amsterdam to see an example for himself. He claims that led to an epiphany—one so strong that he learned Dutch so he could read original texts. He learned about early paints and how to make mirrors and lenses himself. Eventually, he even faithfully recreated the room and sunlight conditions of where Vermeer sat while painting “The Music Lesson,” one of his most famous pieces.As time passed, Jenison became convinced he had an inkling of how Vermeer pulled off his trick—he’d added another mirror to his camera obscura, causing the image it created to become right side up. By positioning a lens and two mirrors just right, he found he could create what would look like a photograph, just next to the canvas, allowing for simple replication of an actual setting. Putting all that he’d learned together, Jenison created what he believes are the conditions Vermeer was working under. And to prove his point, he even created a stunning painting of his own—one that very closely resembles “The Music Lesson.” He says, he’s 90 percent sure he’s solved the mystery. That last ten percent, he says, is there because he can’t figure out how Vermeer managed to hide the knowledge of his improved camera obscura.last_img read more

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Researchers combine terra preta finds with statistics to map early Amazonian population

first_imgProbabilities of terra preta occurrence based on predictive models.. The black line indicates a potential cultural boundary where the probability of terra preta formation decreases and disappears and is replaced by alternative subsistence strategies in southwestern Amazonia. Credit: doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2475 (Phys.org) —A team of researchers from the U.S. and Brazil has created a virtual map of possible ancient human population centers in the Amazonian jungle by using statistical methods that connect modern terra preta areas. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the team describes how they applied archeological site information with statistics to come up with a way to guess where other early population sites might be. Despite years of work, modern scientists still don’t really know much about the people that populated that Amazonian basin prior to the arrival of European explorers. The dense jungle growth has made it difficult to study the area, and the preponderance of poor soils suggests that the area could not have supported large groups of people anyway—the soil would not support the farming necessary to support them. In more recent times, some evidence (ancient roads and earthworks) has been uncovered that indicates that large settlements of people may indeed have indeed populated the area, which would have been made possible by a soil enrichment technique known as terra preta (adding nutrients that resulted in fertile “black earth” that can still be seen today.). Because very few terra preta sites have been found, researchers aren’t sure if they are few and far between, or if there are more simply hidden in the jungle. To find out, the researchers with this new effort created maps that displayed all of the known terra preta locations. They then noted geographical details about each site and discovered there were some possible correlations between them, e.g most tended to exist on bluffs overlooking rivers. Using such information, they applied statistical analysis to maps of the area and came up with a model that predicted where other terra preta locations may be found. Their results indicate that more than three percent of the total Amazonia basin may be hiding terra preta sites.The team has not been able to test their maps yet, so it’s not yet known how accurate their guesses may be, but the hope is that by uncovering more terra preta sites, more information can be gleaned from the area to help uncover chapters of human history in South America that until now have remained hidden. 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. © 2014 Phys.org More information: Predicting pre-Columbian anthropogenic soils in Amazonia, Published 8 January 2014 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2475AbstractThe extent and intensity of pre-Columbian impacts on lowland Amazonia have remained uncertain and controversial. Various indicators can be used to gauge the impact of pre-Columbian societies, but the formation of nutrient-enriched terra preta soils has been widely accepted as an indication of long-term settlement and site fidelity. Using known and newly discovered terra preta sites and maximum entropy algorithms (Maxent), we determined the influence of regional environmental conditions on the likelihood that terra pretas would have been formed at any given location in lowland Amazonia. Terra pretas were most frequently found in central and eastern Amazonia along the lower courses of the major Amazonian rivers. Terrain, hydrologic and soil characteristics were more important predictors of terra preta distributions than climatic conditions. Our modelling efforts indicated that terra pretas are likely to be found throughout ca 154 063 km2 or 3.2% of the forest. We also predict that terra preta formation was limited in most of western Amazonia. Model results suggested that the distribution of terra preta was highly predictable based on environmental parameters. We provided targets for future archaeological surveys under the vast forest canopy and also highlighted how few of the long-term forest inventory sites in Amazonia are able to capture the effects of historical disturbance.center_img Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Explore further Researchers find renewable energy leftovers could fertilize, cut carbon emissions Citation: Researchers combine “terra preta” finds with statistics to map early Amazonian population centers (2014, January 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-01-combine-terra-preta-statistics-early.htmllast_img read more

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Study suggests there are only two tiger subspecies

first_img Big cats are disappearing from the wild, with one of the most prominent being the tiger—they live on islands in and around Indonesia and on the Asian continent, from parts of Russia to Southeast Asia, and there is a big effort to save them. Up till now, there have been nine “official” tiger subspecies: Bengal, South China, Siberian, Sumatran, Malayan, Indochinese, Caspian, Bali and Javan. But these new researchers suggest that there are really only two subspecies: continental and sunda. The former would include all tigers living on the Asian continent, while the latter would include all those living on islands.The researchers came to this conclusion after conducting a study both of existing literature and of examples of tiger bones and other tiger parts in museums—more specifically they looked at bone structure, fur patterns and genetic makeup. They note that despite some genetic differences, there was just not enough evidence to separate continental tigers into different subspecies—the same held true for island tigers, though they do note that there was more than enough evidence to separate continental and sunda tigers.The team suggests that if others would accept their results, it might mean helping some of the more endangered tigers survive. South China tiger numbers are so low now, for example, that unless something big is done to save them, they will join Caspian, Bali and Javan tigers on the extinct list. They suggest introducing other continental tigers into the area, as was done in the U.S. to save the Florida panther—if they were considered to be the same subspecies than no dilution would occur.And added bonus of re-categorizing the tiger subspecies’ might be a reexamination of the entire system used to categorize animals and perhaps an overhaul resulting in a system that clearly defines where subspecies lines should be drawn. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with affiliations to institutions in Germany, Denmark and the U.K. has concluded after extensive research, that there are really only two subspecies of tigers, as opposed to the nine that have been widely accepted for many years. In their paper published in Science Advances, the team describes their analysis of tiger similarities and differences and why they believe there are only two subspecies and why changing the classification could help save some of them. © 2015 Phys.org Citation: Study suggests there are only two tiger subspecies (2015, June 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-tiger-subspecies.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. Explore furthercenter_img Siberian tiger (P. t. altaica), also known as the Amur tiger. Credit: Wikipedia. Team studies DNA of tigers Journal information: Science Advances More information: Planning tiger recovery: Understanding intraspecific variation for effective conservation, Science Advances  26 Jun 2015: Vol. 1, no. 5, e1400175. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1400175AbstractAlthough significantly more money is spent on the conservation of tigers than on any other threatened species, today only 3200 to 3600 tigers roam the forests of Asia, occupying only 7% of their historical range. Despite the global significance of and interest in tiger conservation, global approaches to plan tiger recovery are partly impeded by the lack of a consensus on the number of tiger subspecies or management units, because a comprehensive analysis of tiger variation is lacking. We analyzed variation among all nine putative tiger subspecies, using extensive data sets of several traits [morphological (craniodental and pelage), ecological, molecular]. Our analyses revealed little variation and large overlaps in each trait among putative subspecies, and molecular data showed extremely low diversity because of a severe Late Pleistocene population decline. Our results support recognition of only two subspecies: the Sunda tiger, Panthera tigris sondaica, and the continental tiger, Panthera tigris tigris, which consists of two (northern and southern) management units. Conservation management programs, such as captive breeding, reintroduction initiatives, or trans-boundary projects, rely on a durable, consistent characterization of subspecies as taxonomic units, defined by robust multiple lines of scientific evidence rather than single traits or ad hoc descriptions of one or few specimens. Our multiple-trait data set supports a fundamental rethinking of the conventional tiger taxonomy paradigm, which will have profound implications for the management of in situ and ex situ tiger populations and boost conservation efforts by facilitating a pragmatic approach to tiger conservation management worldwide.last_img read more

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Whats new about news

first_imgIt has been a big news week -BCCI, Telangana and there after, Mamata’s panchayat poll clean sweep and well, of course, there is Modi and never-ending debate about the impending 2014 elections. As much as one conspicuously tries to avoid the bitter world truths, the louder the television seems to scream. The nation wants to know – self explanatory?We aren’t exactly sure how many people really noticed, but as channels were dutifully surfed to pick up the best of the news channels, gather information to buffer up an article – almost every channel seemed to have the same debates, the same people on those debates and the same topics being pulled and pulled some more. There was nothing ‘new’ out there.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Each party representative worked harder to shut the opponent party out, some remained mute trying to signal to the anchor that their audio was faulty, while others just seemed happy with the on-air spree. Endless discussions about who would be the prime ministerial candidates is old topic. But there was no stopping a particular channel as they went into life size graphics with numbers pert in place to debate the same odds. Well if the nation wants to know… Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix Now how is a news channel expected to up the ante on others without sensationalising? We speak entirely from the lay-audience’s perspective. Maybe some more enlightening debates or some new faces? Most definitely – an hour of news that doesn’t scream. Alternately there’s Breaking Bad on Star World, Revenge, Suits Season 2 on Comedy Channel and Nigellisima on TLC and the international Masterchef chapter is going to start soon – change the channel and get your peace. If international entertainment is not your pick – there’s Comedy Nights with Kapil on Colors. Rumour has it that it is the funniest thing on Indian television in a long, long time. Try it for yourself – we aren’t recommending any yet. And then there always is the hoard of talent shows and soaps. Anything but news perhaps? When Jhinuk Sen is not procrastinating on Twitter, she is changing channels.last_img read more

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St Stephens orders inquiry into Dash suspension

first_imgDU’s St Stephen’s College has set up a inquiry committee on Friday to probe into matter of administrative officer Subha Kumar Dash who was allegedly suspended for “gross misconduct”.“In the governing body meeting on Friday, one man inquiry committee was formed to look into the matter. Also, ‘hopefully’ the committee will  also probing allegations made against principal Valson Thampu,” said a source. He further said that though earlier dissent and clarification for the same was given against suspension of Dash, they were not taken into account. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreThe issue brewed up when Dash alleged that Valson Thampu, principal of Delhi University St Stephen’s College forced him and his family to convert to Christianity. He was suspended by the principal on December 10, 2014, for “gross misconduct” after which Dash filed a petition in High Court against suspension order. Following that, Thampu reinstated him but again suspended him after a meeting with the governing body in December, 2014.“There is no protection by DU for administrative officers. The suspension order should be sent to the Vice-Chancellor and after investigation, the decision should be passed. But no such procedure is there and principal does as he wishes to,” said a DU administrative officer.last_img read more

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Nirbashito not a biopic on Taslima

first_imgChurni Ganguly, the director of Nirbashito, says the acclaimed film is not based on the biography of controversial Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen but rather inspired by her life post exileChurni said her debut film, is centred around the solitary life of the author and her relation with her pet cat. “The movie is in no way a biopic and is not intended to make a political statement either,” Churni, an established actress in Bengali cinema, sai The film, which won the best film award at the 2014 Delhi Film Festival and two National Awards earlier this year, features several poems written by Taslima as part of the background score.last_img

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Three killed in truck accident

first_imgKolkata: Three helmet-less bikers were killed after being hit by a truck on Tuesday morning at Rejinagar in Murshidabad.Locals put up a road blockade protesting against the reckless driving of vehicles. The incident caused traffic congestion in the area for sometime in the morning.Senior police officers rushed to the spot and brought the situation under control. The agitation was lifted after the police officers assured locals that action would be taken against the vehicles flouting traffic norms. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifePolice said the victim, Bimal Ghosh (40), Babu Ghosh (35) and Poltu Pramanik (35) were going to Dadpur from Rejinagar at around 11.30 am when they were knocked down by a speeding truck.According to police, the victims were friends, who had gone to Rejinagar area for some work. The incident occurred when they were returning to Dadpur.The eyewitnesses told police that the victims were on a motorcycle along the road.The truck was running at high speed when the driver lost control over the vehicle and hit the motorcycle. All the victims were thrown off the bike as the impact was quite high.The locals rushed the injured victims to Murshidabad Medical College and Hospital where they were declared brought dead. The bodies were sent for autopsy. The truck driver fled with the vehicle after the accident. The road blockade caused inconvenience to people.Vehicles remained stranded for a while until senior police officers brought the situation under control.Police are conducting raids to nab the driver.last_img read more

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Free treatment Darjeeling flags off Clinic on Wheels

first_imgDarjeeling: The “World Cup Town” finally paved way to “Clinic on Wheels.” The ambulance was flagged off on Sunday in Darjeeling.Run by Darjeeling North Point School Alumni Association (DNPSAA) and supported by Darjeeling Planters’ Association, “Clinic on Wheels” is a unique outreach programme named after Late Father Van, former Rector of St. Joseph’s.An ambulance fitted with medical test facilities including ECG and 42 different tests will visit far flung remote areas including tea gardens offering medical services free of cost.DNPSAA had organised the event “Darjeeling the World Cup Town 2018″ on June 2 to raise funds for the outreach programme — Fr. Van Memorial Clinic on wheels. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThousands had participated in the football parade followed by a variety entertainment programme at Chowrasta on June 2. The proceeds from the World Cup Town programme in the form of registrations helped fund the ambulance.”We also organised the first medical camp at Happy Valley Tea estate in Darjeeling,” stated Deven Gurung, President, DNPSAA.90 patients were checked and tests including ECG conducted. “Many of the patients were unaware of their medical complications. There were patients with coronary artery disease, sinus tachycardia and anemia with hemoglobin less than 6 gm,” stated Dr. Plaban Das.Camps will be conducted twice a month initially. “In the Hills, hypertension and anemia are common health problems. It is a common practice specially in remote areas to drink salt tea which aggravates hypertension,” stated Dr. Devendra Pradhan,last_img read more

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Figurative sculptures reflecting society

first_imgTo present a blend of beauty and strength, a solo show by artist Arun Pandit titled ‘Power & Pathos’ will be held from April 2-8 at Lalit Kala Akademi in the national Capital. The show, which has been curated by Uma Nair, will feature sculptural work by Arun Pandit.Arun Pandit’s artwork is a perfect blend of aesthetic value and realistic approach towards the subject. There are two distinctive features of Arun’s sculpture: one is his endeavour to give a three dimensional appearance along with the motion of the object and other one is the use of a cast in the final product. The cast is used as an inseparable part of his sculptures. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Artist Arun Pandit creates a suite of 20 sculptures. Human figures and bulls become his metaphors for the observations and comments he makes on everyday society. Totally taken in by the invasion of the internet age and its paralysis with the term Error 404, these works sometimes give us a mirror image of multiple reflections that go back and forth in time. While his bulls and human forms create a stirring residue of emotions within us what unveils is both the power and pathos of human endeavours and predicaments.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThough he admires installations, Pandit could never garner the courage to make them because of space constraints but he has always been on the lookout for the medium that he combines with sculptures to give them movement and life and shake the conscience of the viewer.“For me the internet experience is a kind of disorientation which is the beginning and ends in a way where it’s like a closed question that operates in a basic perceptual textbook in the human psyche.You see the image one way and if you turn in space then it becomes different experientially”, said Arun Pandit.The best part of the show is when the  artist’s works give us an abstraction born out of realism. If his human figures make you stand and think and ponder then his Bull series reflect the Error 404-as an impassioned fragment of the unfinished business of time.Curator Uma Nair commented: “To the term ‘curiosity’ we can also add the word ‘openness’. We may not feel curious, but there is something there that we want to figure out. I think that Pandit’s work is about experience and the analysis of the human angst within. His work ‘Maa’ is an impassionate work that combines feminine and abstract tenors.”last_img read more

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Promising doubles shuttler electrocuted to death

first_imgKolkata: Bengal’s number one doubles badminton player Trinankur Nag died of electrocution on Monday after suffering severe burn injuries while working in a railway carshed here, an Eastern Railway spokesman said.The 26-year-old shuttler came in contact with a high tension overhead electrical wire at his workplace in Kankurgachi carshed here on Saturday. He was under treatment at Eastern Railway’s B R Singh Hospital where he died on Monday morning. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeHe was working for more than five years at the Kankurgachi carshed. He had proper training as well. Nag was a technician II with the electrical department. On November 24, he accidentally touched the wrong wire and got electrocuted at around 6 pm in the evening. “We will look after his family and we’ll see whatever best can be done. He had 80 percent burn injury. He was given all possible treatment at the B R Singh Hospital but he succumbed to his injuries on Monday. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedExpressing grief at the untimely death of Nag, Eastern Railway General Manager Harindra Rao said if anyone is found guilty of negligence in connection with the incident, the person will be punished. “He is a part of the railway family and we are deeply grieved,” Rao said. The only son of his parents, Nag is survived by his parents. He was a member of the U-19 Indian team for a coaching camp-cum-tournament in Mauritius in July 2011. The current number one ranked state doubles player, Nag had represented Bengal for many years at junior and senior categories. “Nag had brought many laurels with his enviable skill and passion for the sport. His absence would certainly leave behind a deep void in Bengal badminton,” West Bengal Badminton Association Sekhar C Biswas said in his condolence message. With agency inputslast_img read more

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IISWBM likely to be upgraded to university says Partha Chatterjee

first_imgKolkata: Indian Institute of Social Welfare & Business Management (IISWBM) — the country’s oldest B-school — will surely get the status of a university, said state Education minister Partha Chatterjee after attending a meeting comprising the Board of Directors (BoD), at the management institute on Monday afternoon.Chatterjee happens to be the president of the BoD of IISWBM that was set up by the Calcutta University senate together with the then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, the then Bengal Chief Minister Bidhan Chandra Roy and Dijendra Kumar Sanyal Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifein 1953. “We have had a detailed discussion in the Board of Directors’ meeting. All the members have agreed that IISWBM should have the status of a university,” Chatterjee said after the meeting. A senior official of the state Higher Education department said the parameters like teacher transfer, student-teacher ratio and other modalities will be finalised soon. “This is the first business school not just in India but in entire south-east Asia. If this becomes a management university then several management schools and institutes scattered all over the state will come under our aegis,” a top IISWBM official said Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned that the state government has allocated a land of 3-acre to IISWBM for setting up its second campus at Rajarhat opposite to Amity University. The work for the building has already started. The management institute has seen a phenomenal placement in recent times. As per statistics, in 2015-16 the placement was 96 percent, while in 2016-17, it was 98 percent. It has recently set a precedence in its placement record with one of its students bagging a job with Amazon India with a hefty monthly pay package of Rs 12 lakh. It may be mentioned that at present, Calcutta University grants degrees to our students since IISWBM is affiliated to it.last_img read more

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Mamata inaugurates Sangeet Mela 2018

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday instructed officials of the state Information & Cultural Affairs department to take Sangeet Mela upto the block level from next year.”We have to take Sangeet Mela right upto the grassroot level. We are organising the fair in different localities in the form of ‘Paray Paray Sangeet Mela’. We also organise fairs for the adivasis. There are many talented artistes and such fairs on the block level will provide a good platform for them,” Banerjee said at the inaugural programme of Sangeet Mela held at Uttirna in Alipore on Friday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”I travel to districts and often listen to local artistes whose voice and rhythm make me mesmerised. The folk music that they render is simply outstanding. Music is life and it will continue to be so till eternity,” Banerjee maintained. As many as 9 artistes were conferred the Sangeet Maha Samman award by the state government. The recipients included Arijit Singh, Santanu Mukherjee (popularly known as Shaan), Raghab Chatterjee and Rupankar Bagchi to name a few. As many as 11 artistes were awarded Sangeet Samman by Banerjee at the programme. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe awards were introduced by the state government in 2011, to recognise outstanding contribution to the world of music. The Bangla Sangeet Mela will be held in as many as 10 venues in the city from Friday till December 22, in which an estimated 2,000 singers, including those from districts, are expected to perform. The Biswa Bangla Lok Sanskriti Utsav was also flagged off at the same event and it will be held side-by-side from December 14-18 at Ektara Mukta Manch. This is for the first time when students from 32 schools and 16 colleges will be participating in Sangeet Mela. Around 2,000 singers and 450 artistes who are adept in playing different musical instruments, will take part in the mela. Rabindra Sadan, Sisir Mancha, Rabindra Okakura Bhavan, Phanibhusan Bidya Binod Jatra Manch, Mohor Kunja, Hedua Park, Madhusudan Mukta Mancha, Ektara Mukta Mancha, Deshapriya Park and Rajya Sangeet Academy Mukta Manch will be the venues for the mega event. Deshapriya Park will see performances from promising Bangla bands and budding artistes. There will be an exhibition of a variety of musical instruments titled ‘Banglar Lokbadya’ at Gaganendra Pradarshanshala in the Nandan complex from December 15 to 22. The Ektara Mukta Mancha will host a discussion on basic Bengali songs and Bengali film songs on December 22. The Sangeet Mela will conclude with a night-long musical programme at Rabindra Sadan on December 22.last_img read more

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Crowd funded film screened in Capital

first_img‘Life of an Outcast’ touches plight of Dalits which is prevalent even in this age. Written and directed by Pawan K Shrivastava, the movie’s private screening was held at Film Division Auditorium, New Delhi on May 29 in the presence of Manish Sisodia, an Indian and the Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi.The film has captured the agony of a Dalit family and their struggles against caste oppression in today’s age. When Identity politics is on rise, ‘Life of an Outcast’ throws a new light on Dalit politics in modern India. The protagonist of this film Ravi Sha (PansinghTomar and Filmistan fame) and KalpanaPatowary (Singer, BeghumJaan, Mukkabaaz) played their part with full zeal. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOne of the biggest highlights of this movie is that the subject has touched the hearts of hundreds and attracted fundings majorly through social media. At a private screening in Delhi last evening, filmmaker Pawan K. Shrivastava confirmed, “We have collected Rs. 4 Lakh through crowd-funding which was used in its making as well as for post-production of this amazing film. We will release this 90 minute movie in 500 Villages of India in 10 different regional languages.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”A film Idea which is not welcomed by the producers in Bollywood, is now being loved by masses and produced through crowd funding”, added Pawan.The movie is co-produced by National Convention of Dalit and Adiwasi Rights (NACDAOR), Mohd. Asif, Dr. Altaf, Raju Shaeikh, Mohd. Maoon, Arun Kumar Goyal, Narendra Kr. Jindal.Manish Sisodia, Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi said, “States should be given the power to make any good movie, play or other thought-provoking presentations tax free.”last_img read more

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Celebrating achievements fostering excellence

first_imgThe mentor group of StratFirst India honoured and celebrated the achievements of Dr Gagandeep Kang – first Indian woman scientist elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, and Dr Virander Singh Chauhan’s Lifetime achievements in science and institutional leadership.StratFirst India is a private initiative to promote excellence in teaching and research, particularly amongst institutions of higher learning in India. Set up by a group of visionary advisors and mentors that include some of the most respected names in education, industry and public policy, StratFirst is working to ensure that at least 50 Indian Universities or deemed Universities are ranked in the top 500 institutions globally. Team StratFirst is committed to adhering to the highest standards of corporate best practices; every client is a partner and solutions are customised and built on the rich experience, out-of-the-box thinking and relies on the extensive global network of associates. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSpeaking on the occasion, Professor Amitabh Mattoo Chair of the Mentor Group of Stratfirst India said, “At Stratfirst we believe in celebrating achievements as well as fostering excellence.” Nancy Jain, CEO Stratfirst India said, “We focus particularly on the triple helix of the complex challenges of education in India: Access, Equity, and Excellence. StratFirst is on a mission of maintaining quality and excellence, and is our top most priority.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAt the event, Dr V S Chauhan said, “We are the second largest system in India and it is a great time to raise quality of education in the country. Apart from investment, we require capability also. We need to own our responsibilities at the individual departmental and institutional level. We have huge potential as far as education is concerned. The world is looking at us and we have to utilise the huge talent pool.” Discussing the need of the hour, Dr Gagandeep Kang said, “In India, we have to look at peculiar problems and matters related to immunisation and vaccination. Keeping in mind the heterogeneous population of India we need to understand the human system better and the patterns of its immune system and utilise our pool of scientist who is looking at excellence in research regarding the same.” Dr Bijayalaxmi Nanda, Principal Miranda House College, said that it’s an honour which brings together excellence of women scientists and engage with emerging concerns of research in medical science and its significant link with public health. Present on the occasion were Dr Harsha Vardhana Singh, Former Deputy Director-General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr DP Singh Chairman UGC, Professor Yogesh Tyagi VC Delhi University, Professor RC Kuhad, Vice-Chancellor of Central University of Haryana , Professor Ashok Aima, VC of Central University Jammu and Kashmir, Professor Mehraj-ud-Din, VC Central University Kashmir, Trustee of Navchetna Naveen Chawla, Former S K Sopory VC JNU, and top civil servants, academician and intellectuals.last_img read more

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New books to add in your shelf

first_imgKundan Lal Saigal once strode like a collosus over the Hindi and Bangla music worlds, jovial and good-humoured but never sharing his personal tribulations – here’s why; next, explore a new world where changes in technology make one wonder what the next generation will turn into; and finally, learn how gravitas not only inspires you but also inspires greatness in others. Here are a few new releases, which you can add in your collection:’Kundan – Saigal’s Life and Music’ by Sharad Dutt (translated by Jyoti Sabharwal Also Read – Add new books to your shelfHis unique voice and singing style, coupled with an acting prowess, has not possibly been emulated – and for good reason. “The litmus test of any artistic endeavour lies in the fact that even with a classical base, it invades the realm of popularity and enchants the masses. That was the warp and weft of Saigal’s craft that immortalised his songs,” writes National Award-winning author Sharad Dutt, a former DDG of public broadcaster Doordarshn. In a film career that spanned 15 years – 1932-46 – Saigal performed in some 36 films in varied genres of songs, ghazals and bhajans each of which tug at the heart even when heard to this day. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”It is often stated that a musical rendition makes a mark when it emanates from a wounded heart…At what point Saigal was grievously hurt could not be established but the anguish in his voice remained unextricable, be it in his acting prowess or his skilled singing,” Dutt writes. ‘Where Will Man Take Us?’ by Atul JalanWill the perfect partner need to be charged before bed? Will we soon be taking happiness pills before breakfast? Will the screen that we peer into soon be within us? Has the first person who will live to be 150, been already born? It’s a new world we are walking into and the man who began this journey is not the man who will end it. In this debut novel, Atul Jalan, a science storyteller and futurist, the founder-CEO of pioneering AI venture Manthan, explores how the technology man has built is transforming him and the institutions he has created. “I like to call ours a Gutenburg moment. As Johannes Gutenburg looked at his first proofs, did he for a moment think that he was flagging off one of the golden ages of mankind?…We are witness to a similar moment in history when mankind takes another giant leap. One that will elevate man again – as a species infintely more sapient,” Jalan writes. ‘Authentic Gravitas – Who Stands Out and Why’ by Dr Rebecca Newton Authentic gravitas means you are respected and trusted, your words carry weight, your ideas are taken seriously and your contributions valued. This also requires you to bring out these qualities in others. Thus, you are not only inspiring but also inspire greatness in others. “Throughout this book, you will meet some truly inspiring leaders and professionals who built true gravitas and you will learn how they did it. We’ll look at what gravitas is, what it isn’t, and debunk gravitas myths to discover the surprising truth about who stands out and why,” writes Newton, an Organisational Psychologist and Senior Visiting Fellow at the London School of Economics and Political Science in the Department of Management.last_img read more

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