Researchers field test genetically modified mosquitoes to combat dengue fever

first_img More information: Field performance of engineered male mosquitoes, Nature Biotechnology (2011) doi:10.1038/nbt.2019AbstractDengue is the most medically important arthropod-borne viral disease, with 50–100 million cases reported annually worldwide1. As no licensed vaccine or dedicated therapy exists for dengue, the most promising strategies to control the disease involve targeting the predominant mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti. However, the current methods to do this are inadequate. Various approaches involving genetically engineered mosquitoes have been proposed2, 3, 4, including the release of transgenic sterile males5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. However, the ability of laboratory-reared, engineered male mosquitoes to effectively compete with wild males in terms of finding and mating with wild females, which is critical to the success of these strategies, has remained untested. We report data from the first open-field trial involving a strain of engineered mosquito. We demonstrated that genetically modified male mosquitoes, released across 10 hectares for a 4-week period, mated successfully with wild females and fertilized their eggs. These findings suggest the feasibility of this technology to control dengue by suppressing field populations of A. aegypti. Specialized mosquitoes may fight tropical disease (PhysOrg.com) — Oxitec, a British company spun off from Oxford University has announced the results of its field test of genetically altered mosquitoes to combat the infamous dengue fever. As they report in their paper published in Nature Biotechnology, the team found that their genetically altered males comprised 16% of those found in subsequent samples obtained from the area, and that they had sired 10% of the larvae. Explore further In past studies, insects have been genetically altered in ways that would make them sterile. The thinking went that they would mate with local females, but no offspring would result, which would then lead to a smaller population of mosquitoes because those females would not mate again. Unfortunately, in most cases, the modified males were also apparently less suitable mates and therefore met with little success in mating. For this reason, the Oxitec team took a different approach. Instead of creating sterile insects, they genetically altered male mosquitoes that produce offspring of both genders that die before reaching an age where they could mate. The idea being that male mosquitoes altered in this way, when released in the wild, would mate with females and produce offspring that would not live long enough to produce offspring of their own. To keep the genetically modified male mosquitoes alive so they could breed with the females once they were released, they were given an antibiotic. Based on the results of their field test, it appears the population of the targeted mosquitoes would be diminished by ten percent. By expanding the field test to include more mosquitoes released, and doing so repeatedly, theoretically, the population could be reduced dramatically.In the field test, just one species of mosquito was modified and released, Aedes aegypti. This is because it’s the sole carrier of dengue fever, as opposed to the myriad species that carry other diseases such as malaria. The gene modification causes both genders of the mosquito to overproduce a certain protein that leads to the underproduction of other proteins necessary to keep them alive. At a certain point, before they mature, they simply die. Tetracycline is used to keep the males alive that are bred in the lab and then released into the wild. Without the tetracycline, their offspring cannot survive.And while the field test, done in a part of the Caymen Islands, does appear promising, some worry that not enough testing was done to ensure that a monster species of mosquito isn’t created and unleashed unto an unsuspecting population. While that appears unlikely in this case, due to the fact that only males (who don’t bite people) are being modified, there is of course always a risk. Especially in light of the fact that some 0.5 percent of those modified are in fact female due to errors in separating the mosquitoes before the procedure is performed. There is also the worry about what happens when a very small number of those altered manage to survive and mate, producing over time, mosquitoes that evolve in ways that can’t be predicted. Field site and larval fluorescence. Image from Nature Biotechnology (2011) doi:10.1038/nbt.2019 © 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: Researchers field test genetically modified mosquitoes to combat dengue fever (2011, October 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-field-genetically-mosquitoes-combat-dengue.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

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Microsoft demos three new whizbang technologies its working on w video

first_img The first is a see-through interactive 3D desktop display which doesn’t appear to have a name as yet, but is truly one of the coolest displays to come along in quite a while. The reason its transparent is because the users hands and keyboard go behind the display so that both can be used to manipulate 3D images that appear to hover in space between the real objects and those displayed on the OLED screen. To move a cube for example, a user simply reaches back and grabs or pushes it (hand and head movements are tracked by a Kinect device). But that’s not all, the display is 3D from virtually any angle it’s looked at, within reason of course. This means if a user moves to one side, more of the three dimensionality of the object displayed on screen can be seen, just as would happen were a person to be looking at a true three dimensional object. Citation: Microsoft demos three new whiz-bang technologies it’s working on (w/ video) (2012, February 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-02-microsoft-demos-whiz-bang-technologies-video.html Next up is something called a Holoflector, which is of course a combination of Hologram and Reflector, which in this case is a slightly see-through mirror. The whole thing works by projecting holographic images generated by a very large LCD screen onto the back of an equally large semi-transparent mirror. The result is a blending of real world reflected objects (including the user of the system) with holographic images. And as if that isn’t enough, the system also employs a Kinect to allow it to monitor and track gestures. Then, all of that is combined with a Windows phone with orientation data that allows the system to know where the phone is, which allows the user to use it as a virtual device, similar to a Wii wand. The net result is a system that is not just eerie, but borders on bubbling over into excitement as it’s very clearly a stepping stone to a HoloDeck. As these demonstrations clearly show, Microsoft is not content to simply sit back and collect checks from Windows and its Office Suite of products, the company most definitely intends to play a big role in how users interact with their computing devices in the foreseeable future, which based on these demos, appears to be a very good thing. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Mercedes demos DICE — Interactive dashboard and Heads-Up display (PhysOrg.com) — Microsoft isn’t really known for giving the world at large much of a clue regarding what it’s working on regarding future products (other than Windows) thus it came as rather a surprise when the head of its research and strategy group, Craig Mundie, gave a presentation at TechForum recently, showing off three new technology products the company has in the works. © 2011 PhysOrg.com The third technology is something called IllumiShare, which is a little less high tech than the other two, but is perhaps more likely to show up as a product for sale sooner rather than later. It’s a technology that allows people to share imagery pertaining to their physical desktop, i.e. the one they use to set papers on, or write with a pen. What Microsoft has done is affix a camera/projector device above the desks of two users in two different locations. The images collected from one are projected down onto the desktop of the other and vice-versa. In this way, both users can view a shared physical workspace. The device on each desk looks a lot like an overhead desk lamp. More information: Microsoft blogs:blogs.technet.com/b/next/archi … -reality-mirror.aspxblogs.technet.com/b/next/archi … ough-3d-desktop.aspxblogs.technet.com/b/next/archi … d-blows-my-mind.aspxlast_img read more

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Researchers at SuperKamiokande report solar neutrino signal is slightly stronger at night

first_img Scientists have known for a while that neutrino’s change “flavor” as they journey through space—such as when they travel from the sun to our planet. The term “flavor” refers to its characteristics, which can be one of three: electron, muon, and tau. But until now, it wasn’t clear if traveling through an object could also cause them to change flavor. In this new effort, the researchers have found that they likely do indeed, which means that sometime in the future, neutrino detectors could be used to learn more about the interior of our planet.Scientists have found that approximately half of the low energy electron neutrinos emitted by the sun change to a tau or muon flavor before they reach us (which reduces the chances of electron neutrino detectors detecting them). An even smaller number of high energy electron neutrinos find their way here. Now the researches in Tokai are reporting that they’ve found evidence that because fewer electron neutrinos are detected at night, it’s reasonable to conclude that that some of them have changed back to muon or tau flavors as they pass through the Earth (it’s not likely the sun produces fewer neutrinos when the detector is on the dark side of the planet) which means that passing through the Earth has caused the neutrinos to revert back to the flavor they started out as.Perhaps just as exciting is that the measured results agree with theories made by Russian physicists Stanislav Mikheyev and Alexei Smirnov in 1986 who were basing their research on work done previously by Lincoln Wolfenstein back in 1978—they describe what has come to be known as the MSW effect.Because the work done falls below the 5σ needed for classification as a new discovery, however, more work will have to be done to find additional evidence of changes to neutrino flavors as they pass through a material before what the team has found will be considered as generally accepted by the physics community. Neutrinos change flavors while crossing Japan (Phys.org) —Researchers working at the Super-Kamiokande Collaboration in Kamioka, Japan are reporting slightly stronger neutrino detection occurring at night, due they say to changes that occur in flavor as the neutrinos pass through the Earth. In their paper published in Physical Review Letters, the researchers describe the results they found when analyzing a year’s worth of data from their detector, which showed a flux of solar neutrinos during nighttime that was approximately 3.2 percent greater than what was measured during the day. Explore further © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: Physical Review Letters More information: 1. www-sk.icrr.u-tokyo.ac.jp/sk/index-e.html2. First Indication of Terrestrial Matter Effects on Solar Neutrino Oscillation, Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 091805 – Published 7 March 2014. dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevLett.112.091805 . On Arxiv: arxiv.org/abs/1312.5176ABSTRACTWe report an indication that the elastic scattering rate of solar B8 neutrinos with electrons in the Super-Kamiokande detector is larger when the neutrinos pass through Earth during nighttime. We determine the day-night asymmetry, defined as the difference of the average day rate and average night rate divided by the average of those two rates, to be [−3.2±1.1(stat)±0.5(syst)]%, which deviates from zero by 2.7σ. Since the elastic scattering process is mostly sensitive to electron-flavored solar neutrinos, a nonzero day-night asymmetry implies that the flavor oscillations of solar neutrinos are affected by the presence of matter within the neutrinos’ flight path. Super-Kamiokande’s day-night asymmetry is consistent with neutrino oscillations for 4×10−5  eV2≤Δm221≤7×10−5  eV2 and large mixing values of θ12, at the 68% C.L. 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 at Super-Kamiokande report solar neutrino signal is slightly stronger at night (Update) (2014, March 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-03-tokai-j-parc-solar-neutrino-slightly.htmllast_img read more

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Researchers create windpowered mechanoluminescent lighting material

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. Citation: Researchers create wind-powered mechanoluminescent lighting material (2014, August 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-wind-powered-mechanoluminescent-material.html People have known about mechanoluminescence, for hundreds, if not thousands of years. It’s where a material emits light when forced to endure mechanical stress—breath mints are one example. Other than as a novelty, such luminescence hasn’t had much use, however—not only does its use mean the destruction of the material, but the light emitted is generally too faint to be of much use. The materials also tend to emit green or yellow light which most people don’t like looking at for very long. One way to make such materials more useful is to make them elastic, which is what the team in Korea has done. They mixed colored phosphors made out of copper-doped zinc sulfide and embedded the results in a plastic composite. The result was an elasto-mechanoluminescent material that emits white light that is brighter than other mechanoluminescent materials. The team found that the color of the light could be fine-tuned by altering the proportion of the phosphors used in the original mix. The elastic plastic material was shaped into tube-like structures that were mounted on a base. As wind blows across the tubes, they bend like grass or trees and light up. Taking the idea further, the team mounted several of the tube on a clear base arranged as letters—when artificial wind was introduced, the letters lit up the base like a sign.The material created by the team is still limited in one major way, it takes a lot of wind to get it to emit a reasonable amount of light—approximately 40m/s, which is comparable to a category 2 hurricane. There is also the problem of lack of luminescence when there is no wind blowing. Undaunted, the team believes they can improve their material to get it to respond to something closer to a gentle breeze, which should make it useful for outdoor applications such as street lighting. (Phys.org) —A team of researchers at South Korea’s Daegu Gyeongbuk Institute of Science and Technology has created an elastic-mechanoluminescent material that emits light when exposed to wind. At high wind speeds, the material has been shown able to emit light equivalent to a computer screen. Credit: Energy Environ. Sci., 2014, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C4EE01776E More information: Bright, wind-driven white mechanoluminescence from zinc sulphide microparticles embedded in a polydimethylsiloxane elastomer, Energy Environ. Sci., 2014, Advance Article, DOI: 10.1039/C4EE01776E . http://pubs.rsc.org/en/Content/ArticleLanding/2014/EE/C4EE01776E#!divAbstractAbstractA variety of mechanoluminescent (ML) materials have recently reinvigorated studies of luminescence activated by mechanical stress, but few practical applications have been demonstrated due to the destructive nature of the process. To overcome these shortcomings, elastico-mechanoluminescent (elastico-ML) materials, which generate luminescence under elastic deformation, have been suggested with a view to their use in practical devices. However, the weak brightness and limited white colour expression of these materials must be resolved before they can be employed in practical applications. Here, we report a wind-driven ML device that produces significant brightness and emits warm/neutral/cool white light over a range of colour temperatures from zinc sulphide (ZnS) microscopic particles embedded in a polydimethylsiloxane (PDMS) composite. Harnessing wind-activated mechanoluminescent devices in practical displays or lighting systems could pave the way to new environmentally friendly lights, which reduce energy waste and promote sustainability. © 2014 Phys.org LEDs: Better red makes brighter white Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Physicists continue to investigate why the universe did not collapse

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. © 2015 Phys.org The problem lies in part with Higgs bosons, which were produced during inflation and which explain why other particles have the masses that they do. Previous research has shown that, in the early universe, the Higgs field may have acquired large enough fluctuations to overcome an energy barrier that caused the universe to transition from its standard vacuum state to a negative energy vacuum state, which would have caused the universe to quickly collapse in on itself.In a new paper published in Physical Review Letters, Matti Herranen at the University of Copenhagen and coauthors may have come a step closer to solving the problem by constraining the strength of the coupling between the Higgs field and gravity, which is the last unknown parameter of the standard model.As the physicists explain, the stronger the Higgs field is coupled to gravity, the larger are the fluctuations that may eventually trigger a fatal transition to the negative energy vacuum state.In the new paper, the scientists calculated that a collapse after inflation would have happened only if the coupling strength had been above a value of 1. Combining this result with the lower bound of 0.1, which the same physicists derived last year by analyzing the requirements for stability during (rather than after) inflation, and the range of 0.1-1 constrains the coupling to near its historically estimated value of 1/6. This value of 1/6 is traditionally used as an estimate because it corresponds to zero Higgs-gravity coupling, though it is likely incorrect.Narrowing down the Higgs-gravity coupling strength will guide physicists when analyzing experimental data to help pinpoint the coupling value with greater precision. Data on the cosmic microwave background radiation and gravitational waves, for example, are expected to help further constrain the value. When combined with other parameters, the Higgs-gravity coupling strength should produce a picture of a universe that did not transition to a state of collapse. “It’s a combination of parameters that actually determines the occurrence of such a transition, including the Higgs coupling to gravity, but also the energy scale of the inflation, which are not tightly constrained by current measurements,” Herranen told Phys.org. “So, presently it is not possible to draw a conclusion on whether the standard model is in trouble due to instability-related issues, but it would be very interesting if the Higgs-gravity coupling and the scale of inflation could be constrained more tightly in the future by independent measurements, for example by observing primordial gravity waves resulting from inflation.”Taken together, the results should help scientists modify inflation models in order to describe a universe more like the one we live in. Journal information: Physical Review Letters (Phys.org)—According to the best current physics models, the universe should have collapsed shortly after inflation—the period that lasted for a fraction of a second immediately after the Big Bang. This is the “South Pillar” region of the star-forming region called the Carina Nebula. Like cracking open a watermelon and finding its seeds, the infrared telescope “busted open” this murky cloud to reveal star embryos tucked inside finger-like pillars of thick dust. Credit: NASAcenter_img Explore further Citation: Physicists continue to investigate why the universe did not collapse (2015, December 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-12-physicists-universe-collapse.html Gravity may have saved the universe after the Big Bang, say researchers More information: M. Herranen, et al. “Spacetime Curvature and Higgs Stability after Inflation.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.241301last_img read more

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Chinese team sends quantum keys to ground stations and teleports ground to

first_imgIllustration of the experimental set-up in the 1st paper. Credit: Nature (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nature23655 (Phys.org)—Two Chinese teams working with quantum encryption and entanglement have achieved two more goals toward building a quantum space-based communication network. In the first experiment, one team succeeded in sending quantum keys from a satellite to two ground stations. In the second, another team sent entangled photons from the ground to a satellite. Both teams were made up of researchers from several institutions in China and both have published their results in the journal Nature. Quantum-based networks have been proposed as the next innovation for both speeding up and sending more information through communications networks—to that end, teams in countries such as Japan, the U.S. and China have been working hard to better understand how to actually create them. Most in the field agree that national, international and global quantum networks will require data to be sent at least partially via satellites because traditional media such as fiber cable results in too much interference and data loss. Quantum networks are also theorized to be hack-proof because observing the keys that are used to unlock the data would destroy them due to their quantum nature. In this new effort, the two research teams have fulfilled the second and third goals (the first was to break the distance record for sending entangled particles and was achieved this past June) outlined by officials directing that country’s Quantum Experiments at Space Scale project, which involves making use of the Micius satellite—the first sent aloft to conduct quantum networking experiments.The first team reports that they have successfully transmitted multiple quantum keys from the satellite to two ground-based stations in China—one in Xinglong the other in Nanshan. The distance involved was between 645 and 1,200 kilometers. The main result of the experiment was proving that it could be done.The second team reported that they successfully sent entangled particles from ground stations in China to the satellite, complementing their experiments in June, in which the process was reversed.In achieving their goals, the Chinese researchers have moved to the forefront of quantum-based network communications and have demonstrated that the country’s leaders are serious about implementing the first global quantum system over the course of the next decade. Explore further Journal information: Nature © 2017 Phys.orgcenter_img Physicists transmit data via Earth-to-space quantum entanglement 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: 1. Sheng-Kai Liao et al. Satellite-to-ground quantum key distribution, Nature (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nature23655AbstractQuantum key distribution (QKD) uses individual light quanta in quantum superposition states to guarantee unconditional communication security between distant parties. In practice, the achievable distance for QKD has been limited to a few hundred kilometres, owing to the channel loss of fibers or terrestrial free space that exponentially reduced the photon rate. Satellite-based QKD promises to establish a global-scale quantum network by exploiting the negligible photon loss and decoherence in the empty out space. Here we develop and launch a low-Earth-orbit satellite to implement decoy-state QKD with over kHz key rate from the satellite to ground over a distance of up to 1,200 km, which is up to 20 orders of magnitudes more efficient than that expected using an optical fiber (with 0.2 dB/km loss) of the same length. The establishment of a reliable and efficient space-to-ground link for faithful quantum state transmission paves the way to global-scale quantum networks.2. Ji-Gang Ren et al. Ground-to-satellite quantum teleportation, Nature (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nature23675AbstractAn arbitrary unknown quantum state cannot be precisely measured or perfectly replicated1. However, quantum teleportation allows faithful transfer of unknown quantum states from one object to another over long distance, without physical travelling of the object itself. Long-distance teleportation has been recognized as a fundamental element in protocols such as large-scale quantum networks and distributed quantum computation5,6. However, the previous teleportation experiments between distant locations were limited to a distance of the order of 100 kilometers, owing to photon loss in optical fibres or terrestrial free-space channels. An outstanding open challenge for a global-scale ‘quantum internet’ is to significantly extend the range for teleportation. A promising solution to this problem is exploiting satellite platform and space-based link, which can conveniently connect two remote points on the Earth with greatly reduced channel loss because most of the photons’ propagation path is in empty space. Here we report the first quantum teleportation of independent single-photon qubits from a ground observatory to a low-Earth-orbit satellite—through an up-link channel—with a distance of up to 1,400 km. To optimize the link efficiency and overcome the atmospheric turbulence in the up-link, a series of techniques are developed, including a compact ultra-bright source of multi-photon entanglement, narrow beam divergence, high-bandwidth and high-accuracy acquiring, pointing and tracking (APT). We demonstrate successful quantum teleportation for six input states in mutually unbiased bases with an average fidelity of 0.80 ± 0.01, well above the classical limit. This work establishes the first ground-to-satellite up-link for faithful and ultra-long-distance quantum teleportation, an essential step towards global-scale quantum internet. Citation: Chinese team sends quantum keys to ground stations and teleports ground to satellite signals (2017, August 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-08-chinese-team-quantum-keys-ground.htmllast_img read more

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Bengal govt has always respected scribes says Mamata on World Press Freedom

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted on World Press Freedom Day, stating that her government in Bengal has always had respect for journalists.Banerjee tweeted: “Today is World Press Freedom Day. Our government in Bengal has always respected journalists and recognised the key role they play.”It may be mentioned that as a token of respect and responsibility of the state, the Bengal government has introduced health insurance scheme for journalists. At the same time, pension for journalists above the age of 60 has also been started. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIn this connection, Banerjee tweeted: “We have even started the Mabhoi insurance scheme for journalists and their families, and also recently launched a pension scheme for journalists above the age of 60.”With the launch of the health and personal accident insurance scheme, accreditated journalists up to the age of 65 years and even those who have retired, will come under the coverage of the insurance. Their family members including parents, children and minor brothers and sisters, will also be getting the benefit of the scheme, under which one can avail health facilities in the state-run health care centres and hospitals. At the same time, private health care centres enlisted with the government will also provide treatment under the scheme. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt was on March 29, when the much awaited notification in connection with the provision of pension to journalists above 60 years under the West Bengal Pension Scheme for Journalists 2018, was issued by the state government. It may be recalled that the step taken by the Mamata Banerjee government has fulfilled the expectation of many, which had not been regarded for a long time. It was on April 3, when the Chief Minister had criticised the Centre’s step to “curb freedom of Press”, in the name of controlling fake news. The Centre had backstepped after Banerjee demanded immediate withdrawal of the circular regarding suspension or cancellation of accreditation of journalists. Banerjee had tweeted: “The PIB circular on #FakeNews control is a brazen attempt to curb Press freedom, a sure sign that the govt has lost its way. We demand immediate withdrawal of such a draconian move. And what about #FakeNews spread by a political party on a regular basis?”The Chief Minister was the first to raise her voice against circulation of fake news with a purpose of fomenting trouble. She had also made people aware about the fake news often circulated through social media and urged them to avoid the same.last_img read more

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3 injured as container rams into rear end of car

first_imgKolkata: Three persons including the driver of a car were injured after a container rammed into the vehicle from behind.The incident took place on second Hooghly bridge on Sunday morning resulting in traffic congestion in the area. The injured victims were immediately taken to SSKM Hospital where they have been undergoing treatment. Some of the injured victims are stated to be in serious condition.Police are yet to divulge the identity of the victims. According to police, the container hit several other vehicles before ramming into the car and damaging the rare portion of it. Eyewitnesses told the police that the impact of the accident was less as the container had hit three other vehicles before finally hitting the car. The driver lost control over the vehicle due to some technical problems and hit the vehicles. The movement of the container slowed down when it hit the car. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe driver of the container and the helper fled the spot. The incident caused huge traffic jam on the busy Vidyasagar Setu. Senior police officers had to rush to the spot to bring the situation under control.The exact cause of the accident is yet to be ascertained. Vehicles were stranded following the accident. Police seized the car and the container. A detailed probe has been initiated in this regard. Raids are being conducted to nab the driver of the container, who has been at large since the incident took place. Police are examining if the vehicle had developed any technical glitch or the driver committed any mistake. A major tragedy has been averted as the movement of vehicles was slow due to rain.last_img read more

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KP Sharma Oli elected new Nepal PM

first_imgVeteran politician K P Sharma Oli was on Sunday elected as the next Prime Minister of Nepal defeating incumbent Sushil Koirala in a contest which became necessary after parties failed to forge a consensus amid violent protests over the country’s new Constitution.A total of 587 members had cast their votes. Lawmakers were not allowed to stay neutral during the voting.While Oli was backed by UCPN-Maoist, Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal, Madhesi Janaadhikar Forum-Democratic and some fringe parties; four Madhes parties in the United Democratic Madhesi Front had supported NC leader Koirala who himself became prime minister with the support from CPN-UML in 2014. Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra dam63-year-old Oli was elected chief of the CPN-UML last year. He was chief of party’s International Department before being elected to the top position of the party.Oli served as the nation’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs in the Girija Prasad Koirala-led interim government formed immediately after the 2006 People’s Movement.Back in 1994, he was the Minister for Home Affairs in the Cabinet led by the then UML Chairman Manmohan Adhikari. Also Read – Union Min doubts ‘vote count’ in Bareilly, seeks probeHe was elected a member of the Parliament thrice in 1991, 1994 and 1999 from various constituencies of Jhapa district from where he began his political career in 1966.Oli takes over as prime minister at a crucial time as Nepal has been wracked by violent political protests by Madhesi people protesting against the new Constitution. The country has also been locked in a diplomatic standoff with India over the supply of essential goods, including petroleum products, which has been hit due to blockade of border trade points with India following the violence. At least 40 people have died in over a month of clashes between police and protesters from the Madhesi and Tharu communities and ethnic minorities.last_img read more

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IndoGerman fusion creates magic

first_imgMusic lovers got to witness a rare combination of cultures when a jugalbandi between internationally acclaimed satvik veena maestro Salil Bhatt and German guitar player Matthias Muller was recently held in the national Capital.  The strings of satvik veena and guitar created ripples of music waves which spellbound the listeners. The musical programme was organised by Pracheen Kala Kendra, Chandigarh in collaboration with Lok Kala Manch.Hailing from a Jaipur-based family of musicians, Salil Bhatt represents the tenth generation of the famous Bhatt lineage where music has been flowing for more than five hundred years. Salil is the son of legendary slide player and India’s Grammy Award winner Padmashree Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt. Matthias Muller is well known Guitar player of Germany and he is an admirer of Indian classical music.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Salil and Matthias chose raga Basant Mukhari for the evening and began with the traditional Alaap, Jod and Jhala to unfold the mysteries of raga Basant Mukhri with maturity and perfect expansion. After this melodious presentation, the duo presented another raga Jog with jazz. Salil and Matthias were in tremendous form and enthralled the audience with their sheer virtuosity, deft handing of the raga, lightening speed tans and tihais. Raga Jog was followed by a crisp jugalbandi in rag Kirwani . The vocal and instrumental techniques, the traditional purity and modern guitar techniques were on display. The concert was concluded with raga Bhairavi. The duo displayed very interesting sawaal-jawaab sessions with the support of young and talented tablist Pranshu Chaturlal, which thrilled the audience. Dr Shobha Koser, Registrar and Sajal Koser, Secretary of the Kendra also honoured the artists.last_img read more

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Seven new buses to run between city N Bengal

first_imgKolkata: Seven new buses will start operating ahead of Durga Puja for better connectivity between North Bengal and Kolkata.Sources said that the buses will be inaugurated on Thursday from the Islampore depot of the North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC). State Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari is scheduled to be present at the programme.Out of the seven buses, three are air-conditioned ones that will connect Kolkata to Siliguri. There will be also buses to connect Raiganj and Balurghat. Two non air-conditioned buses will be operating from Raiganj and two others from Balurghat. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that many buses were introduced earlier and now with the introduction of the seven new buses, the service will improve further.Besides inauguration of the buses, the Islampore depot itself will also be inaugurated. The depot has been developed at a cost of Rs 58 lakh. At the same time, cheques will also be distributed among those whose vehicles were damaged on the day of the bandh on September 26. A Safe Drive Save Life programme will also be held, as a part of which helmets will be distributed at the programme.last_img read more

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Balurghat Natyatirtha hosts 7day drama workshop till Nov 3

first_imgBALURGHAT: A seven-day drama workshop jointly organised by West Bengal Natya Ekademi and South Dinajpur District Information and Cultural Office has started at Balurghat Natyatirtha on Sunday.According to the organisers, the main stress has been given on ‘body movement’ which is an essential part of the drama, while the trainees who have participated in it will learn different body movements, gestures and postures practically from popular Kolkata based theatre personalities. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifePopular theatre personality and director, Abhi Chakraborty said: “We have targetted to train new boys and girls who have enough potential in this particular sector of drama. Maximum stress has been given on body movements that they will learn from us while performing on stage. Sometimes it becomes tough for them to come to Kolkata to get groomed. Natya Ekademi used to organise such workshops every year. We are thankful to DICO too.” Apart from South Dinajpur, participants from Malda, Raiganj and Bankura take part in the workshop. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedBalurghat has rich cultural heritage and background. The town has four auditoriums where theatres have been showed in winter. “We are happy to take part in the workshop. It will help us to improve our performances in near future. We are grateful to Natya Ekademi to select Balurghat where the workshop takes place,” said a trainee, Keya Das, who is participating in it. DICO Santanu Chakraborty said: “The workshop started in Balurghat on Sunday and to be continued till November 3. Talented local boys and girls associated with stage performance will definitely get benefitted from it. Around 16 trainees have participated on Sunday’s workshop.” Professor of Rabindrabharati University Tarun Pradhan along with drama directors from Kolkata Sudipto Kundu and Sumit Kumar Roy also participated in the workshop.last_img read more

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TMC helps CPIM get back office at Kushmandi

first_imgBALURGHAT: Trinamool Congress has set an example by helping CPI(M) to get its party office back in SouthDinajpur’s Kushmandi. According to a local source in Kushmandi, the CPI(M)’s party office remained closed in Aminpur for over a few months due to a fiasco in the recently conducted Panchayat poll. The party office was captured by unknown persons and it was tough for the local Left leaders to bring it back in their own hands but thanks to Trinamool Congress for coming forward and forgetting Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifethe rivalry. Once upon a time, the entire Kushmandi block was known as ‘Left Citadel’ but after TMC came to power in 2011, CPI(M) started to lose their support base and many of their activists, workers and supporters joined TMC. Many of their party offices either remained closed or damaged due to lack of renovation and supervision. Local Left leaders including the acting secretary of Kushmandi block Gurupada Roy, former secretary Shyamal Ghosh, secretary of block Krishak Sabha, Abdul Kafi and DYFI’s district president, Darul Islam had earlier taken measures to get it back but failed. Later, with the help of TMC, they finally got the office back. “We have got our office and hoisted the party flag again. After Panchayat poll, we failed to keep it but now everything is back to normal,” said CPM’s district committee member, Goutam Goswami. TMC’s Kushmandi block president, Rekha Roy said: “It is our tradition to be courteous to opponents and it is natural in a democratic structure. Unfortunately here in Bengal, criticism is always biased and politically fabricated.”last_img read more

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54 mental hospital patients to get inked on May 19

first_imgKolkata: Fifty-four patients of Pavlov Hospital, who have recovered from mental illness, but couldn’t reunite with their families due the social stigma associated with people with mental disorders, will cast their votes for the first time in the last phase of Lok Sabha elections.Relentless efforts by the authorities of Pavlov Hospital, other hospitals treating people with mental illness in districts and an NGO helped to make the initiative a reality. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAuthorities of Pavlov Hospital and the NGO officials told the Election Commission that some patients in various mental hospitals have been not been taken back by their families despite the fact that they are completely fit. The NGO officials convinced the Commission that such patients should not be deprived from exercising the franchise as they have recovered from illness. Pavlov Hospital authorities sought the intervention of the EC for necessary permissions for the initiative, which was eventually granted by the Commission. The Election Commission has taken all necessary steps to help the patients of the mental hospital take part in the electoral process. Fifty-four inmates have already received their Electors Photo Identity Card (EPIC) and they will cast their votes on May 19, the day Kolkata North Constituency goes to polls. The NGO is conducting an awareness programme at the hospital. A senior official of the NGO said there are around 650 patients in the Pavlov hospital and 40 percent of the patients can be sent back home. A new law will soon be promulgated so that these patients can return to their families and those with acute mental illness will stay in the hospital for treatment. The patients, who received the EPICs, are all mentally fit. Sixty-four inmates of Berhampore Mental Hospital exercised their franchise at the polling station in Krishnanath School in Berhampore on April 29. The NGO played an important role in convincing the local administration and eventually making the initiative a reality.last_img read more

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Poor hygiene among contact lens wearers causes infection

first_imgLondon: Owing to poor hygiene, contact lens wearers in the UK are more at risk of developing a rare but preventable eye infection that can cause blindness, researchers have warned.The team from the University College London (UCL) found that the risk of developing the disease – Acanthamoeba keratitis – was more than three times greater amongst people with poor contact lens hygiene, people who did not always wash and dry their hands before handling their lenses. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShowering and face washing while wearing contact lenses are also likely to be risk factors.The eye disease causes the front surface of the eye, the cornea, to become painful and inflamed, due to infection by Acanthamoeba – a cyst-forming micro-organism, found more in the UK than in other countries.The study showed a threefold increase in Acanthamoeba keratitis since 2011 in South-East England.”This increase in cases highlights the need for contact lens users to be aware of the risks,” said lead author John Dart, Professor at the UCL. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”It is absolutely imperative that regulators and those working in the optical sector take the findings seriously, and use the recommendations to take immediate and urgent action on prevention.”Contact lenses are medical devices and should be supplied with warnings regarding safe use,” he added.People who used a lens disinfectant product containing Oxipol (now phased out by the manufacturer), and those who wore their contacts while in swimming pools or hot tubs were also found to be at high risk. “People who wear reusable contact lenses need to make sure they thoroughly wash and dry their hands before handling contact lenses, and avoid wearing them while swimming, face washing or bathing. “Daily disposable lenses, which eliminate the need for contact lens cases or solutions, may be safer and we are currently analysing our data to establish the risk factors for these,” Dart said.For the study, published in the British Journal of Opthalmology, the team collected incidence data from 1985 to 2016 in the country.They found an increase dating from 2000-2003, when there were eight to 10 cases per year, to between 36-65 annual cases in the past few years.last_img read more

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Navratri celebration brings festive cheer

first_imgNavaratri, the main cultural festival of Gujarat is celebrated every year with great pomp and show by the ‘Friends Sporting Union’ (FSU), a 67 year old institute with more than 4500 members.During the time of Navratri, FSU organises ‘raas’ in different corners of the city. The celebration features traditional music, and dance – ‘garba’ in which participants from seven to seventy years of age dance to the tunes of live music. The participants take part in several rounds of garba and dandiya and the winners get awards throughout the festival every night, followed by ‘champion of champions’ round in which ‘Player of the Tournament’ is announced and rewarded. This round is in fact one of the main highlights of the event. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe Gujarati society exists in Kolkata for more than 200 years. This society is mainly concentrated in central and south part of the city apart from Howrah district and Lake Town area. And hence, Navaratari celebrations are very much like any other major festival. Apart from the conventional garba and dandiya, Navaratris at FSU also include events like ‘Teen Taali’ and ‘Sanedo’. This year, during Ramzat 2018, they arranged a never-before-done ‘Neon Dandiya’ segment, which covered the entire banquet hall in neon lights, neon-painted dandiyas and accessories, to provide the best and enriching experience. More than a hundred prizes were distributed among the members to attract the new, young generation and make them culturally-inclined. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive’Ramzat 2018′ was celebrated on saptami, ashtami, and navami at the Sangam Banquet at JW Marriott, Kolkata, which is the largest banquet hall in Eastern India. They provided the best possible environment for the members to enjoy Navaratri 2018. This year, they invited a music group consisting of top singers and musicians from Gujarat, and organised exciting gift hampers along with lip-smacking street food across an area of 10,000 sqft. Miraj Shah, Senior Vice President of The Bhawanipore Gujarati Education Society Trustee of Friends Sporting Union, said “I am the fourth generation of Kutchi Gujarati in Kolkata and have been associated with these community events since many years. Navratri is celebrated with a lot of energy by the community. Lot of organizations organise Dandiya and Raas Garbs. The one organised by Friends Sporting Union is a very traditional one.” “The organisation and quality of the event is one of the best in the city. This event is much appreciated as their entire family comes together for it. The celebrations continue from evening to early morning and families bond in these days”. For the convenience and safety of the members, they provided bus services every hour from various points in the city to the venue and back, all of which were free of cost. FSU has been giving the City of Joy an essence of Gujarat during Navaratri year after year.last_img read more

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Will spend Rs 25 cr to turn Mahesh into religious tourism hotspot

first_imgKolkata: The state government will give Rs 25 crore to convert Mahesh in Hooghly district into a centre of religious tourism, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee announced on Thursday, while attending the Rathyatra festival there.Banerjee said the state government has already allotted Rs 10 crore for the renovation of the natmandir, guest house and its adjoining areas. Another Rs 15 crore will be given for the development of the area. The state government will repair ‘Mashir bari’ and its adjoining areas as well. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”Mahesh will be converted into a centre of religious tourism. More people will visit the area because of its historical significance,” she said. The state government has already developed the areas surrounding Bandel Church, Imambara and Tarakeshwar Temple, all situated in Hooghly district. It may be recalled that the state government has already spent more than Rs 100 crore to develop Gangasagar and has made it into a religious tourism hotspot. Meanwhile, ISKCON is making Mayapur into a world religious centre. The state government has given a go-ahead for the same and construction of the new temple is going on in full swing. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe Rathyatra festival at Mahesh is being celebrated since 1396, making it the oldest Rathyatra festival in the world. In the 14th century, Drubananda Bramhachari went to Puri where he had the desire to offer bhog to Lord Jagannath with his own hands. The temple authorities opposed it and Drubananda sat on a fast unto death. It is said that on the third day of the fast, he heard the voice of Lord Jagannath, who instructed him to go to Mahesh and set up a temple. Chaitanya Mahaprabhu visited the Mahesh temple and went into deep meditation. Drubananda requested him to stay at the temple because of his failing health. Mahaprabhu recommended Kamalakar Pippalai to become the priest.Pillai started the Rathyatra festival in Mahesh. The Rath that is being pulled today is 50 feet height and has 12 wheels. It was built by the Martin Burn Company. The Chief Minister also pulled the rope (rashi) of the Rath and inaugurated the Rathyatra festival of ISKCON in Kolkata. She offered Aarati to the trio as well and visited the ISKCON temple on Albert Road. The procession moved through important thoroughfares in Kolkata. A temporary ‘Mashir bari’ has been set up in Maidan, where the trio will stay for seven days.last_img read more

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Impossible Central Michigan stuns 22 Oklahoma State on a Hail Mary Hook

first_img Advertisement We have “The Play of the Century of the Week” and a shocker in Stillwater. #22 Oklahoma State was stunned by Central Michigan on an improbable game-winning Hail Mary Hook and Ladder. The home crowd at Boone Pickens Stadium is still wondering what the hell just happened.With Oklahoma State leading 27 – 24, the officials gave the Chippewas one last untimed down with :00 left from the 50 after an intentional grounding penalty that should have ended the game.Central Michigan quarterback Cooper Rush heaved a prayer that was caught by receiver Jesse Kroll at the 7 yard-line. Kroll had the presence of mind to lateral the ball to Corey Willis, who ran across the entire width of the field, barely stretching across the goal line for the score. Ballgame. Upset. Unreal.It’s only Week 2, but this is going to be hard to beat for College Football Play of the Year. Unbelievable! @CMU_Football shocks #22 @CowboyFB 30-27 with a ridiculous play to end the game! https://t.co/kOvdA4ldZq— FS1 (@FS1) September 10, 2016last_img read more

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Put on your tinfoil hat and watch the entire 1985 NBA Frozen

first_imgThe NBA Draft Lottery is tonight as the hardest tanking teams hope to change their fortunes and begin the road to trying to win basketball games on purpose.Regardless of what happens tonight, nothing will ever top the controversy surrounding the famous 1985 ‘Frozen Envelope’ Draft lottery, where the Knicks landed college player of the decade Patrick Ewing.The conspiracy goes that the envelope was placed in a freezer to make it easier to detect. It also alleged that the corner of the envelope was bent by throwing hard against the side of the hopper. All part David Stern’s devious master plan.The result. David Stern gets Patrick Ewing to the major market of New York, helping him build the league into a juggernaut. Or, there is no conspiracy. He does throw the envelope pretty hard against the side…..last_img read more

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WATCH Mahomes and Mayfields record shattering 2016 matchup might be the greatest

first_img The highlights may be the most entertaining offensive highlights in the history of college football.Even though he took the loss, here’s Mahomes record setting night. Maybe this is the film that sold Andy Reid. Looking back on his first 3 weeks of the NFL season it looks a massive flashing billboard saying “Draft ME!” As for Mayfield,  545 yards and 7 TD’s on 35 attempts is about as ruthlessly efficient performance as you’ll ever see. Colin would probably point out that the red Raider defense is trash and he had better offensive personnel (Joe Mixon went bananas), but it’s still impressive. Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield are two of the biggest stories from the young NFL season, and if their college football record shattering 2016 matchup while they were slinging it at Texas Tech and Oklahoma is any indication, it’s gonna be a show when they meet up for the first time in the NFL.For those that might have forgotten, or missed it, Mayfield and Mahomes combined for an NCAA record 1,383 combined total yards from two players when they met up in an October Big 12 shootout in Lubbock, and broke a boatload of school and NCAA records.The stat line reads like a Madden game set on pro with 12 minute quarters. Mayfield ended up on top, 66-59, and threw for 545 yards on 27 of 36 passing with a school record 7 touchdowns.Mahomes tossed for an NCAA record-tying 724 yards on a cartoonish 52 of 88 (!!) with 5 TD’s and a pick. Mahomes also rushed 12 times for 85 yards, which gave him the NCAA record with 819 yards total yards from scrimmage.center_img Advertisementlast_img read more

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