Month: August 2019

CarbonNanotube Toxicity Test Tricks Scientists

first_img Citation: Carbon-Nanotube Toxicity Test Tricks Scientists (2006, September 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-09-carbon-nanotube-toxicity-scientists.html Recent research has revealed that a standard cell-viability test may be causing carbon-nanotubes to “fake” toxicity. This work may explain why some studies have concluded that carbon nanotubes – which are being studied for their potential to improve building materials, drug-delivery systems, and electronics, to name a few applications – are dangerous to human health while others have not. 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.center_img Researchers from the Institute of Toxicology and Genetics at the Karlsruhe Research Center in Karlsruhe, Germany, exposed human lung cells to single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) – large cylindrical carbon molecules – and conducted several tests to determine the nanotubes’ effect on the cells’ viability. Three tests showed the nanotubes to be non-toxic, but a fourth curiously produced the opposite result.“Each of the four tests gauges the toxicity of the SWCNTs in a different way, using different indicators, but we would expect them to yield the same result,” said the study’s lead scientist, Harald Krug, to PhysOrg.com. “The fact that one test appears to produce a ‘false positive’ in terms of toxicity suggests that past carbon-nanotube toxicity studies may be flawed.”The first test, known as the MTT assay, works by measuring how a salt, methylthiazol tetrazolium (MTT), is chemically converted to formazan, a purple dye, after being applied to nanotube-exposed cells. This conversion only takes place when certain cell mitochondria enzymes are active – that is, if the cell is alive and well. According to the results of the MTT assay, the nanotubes compromised cell viability.Krug and his colleagues attempted to verify the results of the MTT assay using another salt-based viability test, the water-soluble tetrazolium (WST) assay. According to this test, the nanotubes had no negative effect on the cells. Two other tests also showed no reduction in cell viability.Why the discrepancy between the MTT assay and the other tests? The answer seems to be due to the non-soluble nature of MTT and formazan. Using an electron microscope, the researchers saw that MTT-formazan crystals had covered the nanotubes, clumping everything together. The nanotubes were reacting with the MTT, causing the formazan to withdraw from the assay. This made the formazan undetectable and, as a result, made the nanotubes appear toxic. Several attempts to dissolve the crystals, as well as heat treatments, were unsuccessful.“In these studies, the viability assay of choice really needs to be double-checked, since interferences and disturbances are likely,” said Krug. “Further, we think our work demonstrates that standards should be established when testing the toxicity of carbon nanotubes and other nanomaterials.”An in-depth paper on this work can be found in the June 2006 edition of Nano Letters.Citation: Nano Lett., Vol. 6, 1261-1268 (2006)By Laura Mgrdichian, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

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The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider Makes Some Noise

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. (PhysOrg.com) — A group of physicists studying heavy-ion collisions at the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC), a large particle accelerator located on Long Island, New York, recently showed that the collisions can create acoustic shock waves — sonic booms. This new information could be used to learn even more about the intriguing state of matter produced during the collisions. Explore further The matter, known as a quark-gluon plasma, is produced because the collisions are so energetic and hot that the ions’ constituent particles, quarks and gluons — known collectively as partons — which are normally tightly bound together, “melt” into a fluid-like particle soup.”What does a quark gluon plasma sound like? We wanted to find out,” said Duke University physicist Bryon Neufeld to PhysOrg.com, the paper’s corresponding author. “Sound waves are commonly used as a probe of everyday matter. But sound may also be a useful tool for researching matter at temperatures many thousands of times hotter than the sun.”Our work addresses the question of sound from a different perspective: What is the sound generated by highly energetic particles moving through the quark-gluon plasma, and how can we use it to explore the properties of the plasma?”Neufeld co-authored the paper on this research, appearing in the October 13 edition of Physical Review C, with physicists Berndt Mueller (Duke University) and Jorg Ruppert (McGill University, Montreal, Canada and J. W. Goethe-Universitat, Frankfurt, Germany).The group was looking for evidence of a Mach cone — the cone-shaped shock wave caused by the pressure difference created when an object, like an airplane or particle, exceeds the speed of sound in that particular medium (the speed of sound is different in different media).Said Neufeld, “Highly energetic particles traveling faster than the speed of sound may produce characteristic sound patterns, such as Mach cones, which create distinctive experimental signatures. These experimental signatures can help determine certain characteristics of the medium they are traveling through, such as the speed of sound and viscosity.”After the heavy-ion beams collide (in this case the beams consisted of either gold or lead nuclei), some partons back-scatter into the plasma rather than out of it. The physicists modeled the case of a single parton moving through the plasma, depositing energy and momentum in its wake. They took that model and used it to solve the hydrodynamic equations of the plasma. The solutions show that, mathematically, if the parton is moving faster than the speed of sound in the plasma a Mach cone trails behind it.Citation: Phys. Rev. C 78, 041901 (2008)Copyright 2008 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. Citation: The Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider Makes Some Noise (2008, November 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-11-relativistic-heavy-ion-collider-noise.html New tool predicts how electrical stimulation promotes healing An aerial view of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, NY. Image: AIPlast_img read more

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Computer scientists say its time to start looking at treatment of data

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — As anyone who has ever used a Windows based computer for any length of time knows, the longer you have it, the slower it goes; this is because of the accumulation of data files and entries in system logs; information that in many cases isn’t really necessary. Thus, our computers slow down due to the accumulation of “waste.” Now, two computer scientists from Johns Hopkins University have published a paper on arXiv, where they argue that data waste management on computer systems could, and should be handled similarly to the way physical-world waste is managed. More information: The Life and Death of Unwanted Bits: Towards Proactive Waste Data Management in Digital Ecosystems, Ragib Hasan, Randal Burns, arXiv:1106.6062v2 [cs.ET] arxiv.org/abs/1106.6062AbstractOur everyday data processing activities create massive amounts of data. Like physical waste and trash, unwanted and unused data also pollutes the digital environment by degrading the performance and capacity of storage systems and requiring costly disposal. In this paper, we propose using the lessons from real life waste management in handling waste data. We show the impact of waste data on the performance and operational costs of our computing systems. To allow better waste data management, we define a waste hierarchy for digital objects and provide insights into how to identify and categorize waste data. Finally, we introduce novel ways of reusing, reducing, and recycling data and software to minimize the impact of data wastage. Citation: Computer scientists say it’s time to start looking at treatment of data waste (2011, July 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-scientists-treatment.html Explore further E-waste trade ban won’t end environmental threatcenter_img © 2010 PhysOrg.com In their paper, Ragib Hasan and Randal Burns pick up where computer scientists at Cornel University left off after discovering in 1999 that up to 80% of files written to the hard drive by the Windows NT operating system were deleted within five seconds of being created.Hasan and Burns analyzed three computers: a MacBook laptop, a desktop running Ubuntu Linux and a Fedora Linux fileserver in the University Library (Linux is a variant of the Unix operating system used primarily at educational and research institutions). Their intent was to find out what percentage of the files on each of the computers had not been accessed since their creation. They found that the percentages for each were: MacBook: 20.6, Desktop: 47.4 and Server: 57.1 and that the percentage of disk space used for each was 98.5, 38.1 and 99.5 respectively; clearly indicating that a large number of files using a lot of disk space had never been used again once being created. This is clearly an inefficient use of resources.It is for this reason that the duo suggest a new approach be used for data waste, one that takes advantage of the research already done with physical waste; specifically, they suggest a pyramid approach be used, similar to the one put in place by physical waste management companies. At the bottom of the new pyramid would be the worst case scenarios, then moving up, the next best and so on till reaching the top, and that they be labeled as such: Dispose, Recover, Recycle, Reuse and Reduce, with zero data waste being the optimal goal.In this case, Dispose is just that, erasing the data, Recover refers to extracting usable components, Recycle would be refurbishing component for reuse, and Reuse would be using those recoverable components in another way, and Reduce, the ultimate goal would be creating software that doesn’t create waste data in the first place.Besides slowing computers down due to I/O bottlenecks, data waste can also contribute to faster burnout times for flash technology, which have a limited number of lifetime write/rewrites before dying, something the authors point out, will likely become more important as such technology is increasingly being used in hand-held computing devices. 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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Hydrogen fuel cells provide power when fuel supply is off

first_img Journal information: Nano Letters 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. (Phys.org) — Fuel cells, which generate electricity from the chemical energy of a fuel such as hydrogen, are not intrinsically capable of storing energy. When a fuel cell’s hydrogen supply runs out or is temporarily interrupted, the cell’s power output quickly decreases to zero. If an application requires energy storage, then the fuel cell must be coupled to an external charge storage device, such as a battery, which increases the weight and volume of the system. But now researchers have designed a hydrogen fuel cell with a new anode that can supply electricity up to 14 times longer than conventional fuel cells, which could be particularly useful for mobile energy applications. New fuel cell keeps going after the hydrogen runs out Copyright 2012 Phys.org 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. Explore further (Left) Each dark speck within the nine white circles is a tiny fuel cell. An AA battery is shown for size comparison. Image credit: Caroline Perry, SEAS Communications (Right) One of the nine circles is magnified in this image, showing the wrinkled surface of the electrochemical membrane. Image credit: Quentin Van Overmeerecenter_img For now, the researchers do not know exactly what allows the new fuel cell to run after its supply is cut off. They identified and tested three possible charge storage mechanisms, with the results showing that reversible oxidation of the anode contributed a portion of the observed charge, but did not account for all of it. The finding suggests that the power generation in the absence of fuel arises from multiple mechanisms.Although identifying the underlying mechanisms will require further research, the discovery that vanadium oxide anodes can store energy and deliver power when the fuel supply is depleted could be useful for developing future miniature power sources. Applications could include miniature autonomous systems, military technologies, and other devices that need to operate for short time periods.”Unmanned aerial vehicles, for instance, would really benefit from this,” said Van Overmeere. “When it’s impossible to refuel in the field, an extra boost of stored energy could extend the device’s lifespan significantly.” More information: Quentin Van Overmeere, Kian Kerman, and Shriram Ramanathan. “Energy Storage in Ultrathin Solid Oxide Fuel Cells.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/nl301601y The laboratory setup for testing solid-oxide fuel cells. Image credit: Caroline Perry, SEAS Communications Citation: Hydrogen fuel cells provide power when fuel supply is off (2012, July 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-hydrogen-fuel-cells-power.html The researchers, Quentin Van Overmeere, Kian Kerman, and Shriram Ramanathan, at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in Cambridge, Massachusetts, have published their study on the energy-storing solid-oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) in a recent issue of Nano Letters.In their study, the researchers fabricated the solid-oxide fuel cell’s anode with either vanadium oxide or a combination of vanadium oxide and porous platinum. Vanadium is known for its tendency to change oxidation state, a process that involves the transfer of electrons. Since a key to enabling fuel cells to store charge is to use materials that can reversibly transfer electric charges, vanadium’s properties make it a good candidate for these technologies. “This thin-film SOFC takes advantage of recent advances in low-temperature operation to incorporate a new and more versatile material,” said Ramanathan. “Vanadium oxide at the anode behaves as a multifunctional material, allowing the fuel cell to both generate and store energy.”The researchers’ experiments showed that, after the hydrogen fuel supply is turned off, fuel cells with the vanadium oxide anode could generate power for more than 3 minutes, compared with about 10-15 seconds for fuel cells with porous platinum anodes. Both fuel cells produced a comparable amount of power, and the researchers expect that future improvements will further extend this time. With the ability to store electrochemical energy, the new device could be thought of as combining the characteristics of a fuel cell and a battery.last_img read more

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Researchers seek to explain why there are so few land dwelling bioluminescent

first_img © 2012 Phys.org Explore further Image: Naturwissenschaften, DOI: 10.1007/s00114-012-0956-7 The work by Vršanský el al comes on the heels of news that a rare species of cockroach, Lucihormetica luckae, specimens of which were found on the slope of a volcano before its subsequent eruption, appear to glow to mimic the click beetle which lives in the same general area. Click beetles glow, researchers believe, to warn predators of its toxic nature, thus preserving itself. The cockroach that mimics it on the other hand is not toxic, but it’s markings are so similar that it appears it evolved it’s luminescent abilities for the express purpose of fooling predators into thinking it was a click beetle and thus toxic.Vršanský and colleagues believe it’s possible that land dwelling bioluminescent species came to exist only after nocturnal life on land diversified to the point where such an ability would be useful. They also theorize that it’s possible that it took longer for bioluminescence to evolve in land creatures because of the toxic nature of the chemicals involved in growing glowing organs. Marine animals live in a colder and in some sense cleaner environment, it’s easy to wash away residue. Land species on the other hand would have had to evolve a way dispose of the toxins in a way that didn’t harm its carrier.The team also notes that because land dwelling bioluminescent species are so rare, it’s likely they might be at risk of disappearing altogether. L. luckae might be gone already, as no specimens have been found since the volcano on which it lived, erupted. And the most evident example of them all, the firefly has been found to be dwindling in numbers over the past decade as well. More information: Light-mimicking cockroaches indicate Tertiary origin of recent terrestrial luminescence, Naturwissenschaften, DOI: 10.1007/s00114-012-0956-7AbstractBioluminescence is a common feature of the communication and defence of marine organisms, but this phenomenon is highly restricted in the terrestrial biota. Here, we present a geographical distribution of only the third order of luminescent insects—luminescent cockroaches, with all 13 known and/or herein reported new living species (based on deposited specimens). We show that, for the first time, photo-characteristics of three examined species are nearly identical with those of toxic luminescent click beetles, which they mimic. These observations are the evidence for the mimicry by light—a new type of defensive, Batesian and interordinal mimicry. Our analysis surprisingly reveals an evolutionary novelty of all living luminescent insects, while in the sea (and possibly in the soil) luminescence is present also phylogenetically in very primitive organisms. Mushroom lights up the night in Brazil: Researcher finds bioluminescent fungus not seen since 1840center_img Journal information: Naturwissenschaften Citation: Researchers seek to explain why there are so few land dwelling bioluminescent species (2012, August 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-bioluminescent-species.html (Phys.org)—Visitors to the world’s oceans are likely to find a wide variety of bioluminescent creatures, especially as they descend to depths where sunlight can’t reach. The ability to glow has evolved in underwater organisms for a variety of reasons, from attracting prey to helping find a mate. On land however, things are very different. Other than 13 known species of insects, which of course include the firefly, very few other creatures have evolved the ability to glow and now, new research suggests that virtually all of them evolved much more recently than did marine dwellers. Peter Vršanský and colleagues from the Slovak Academy of Sciences have found after studying the collective history of all known bioluminescent species that land dwellers apparently evolved from a single source some sixty five million years ago, whereas their marine counterparts first came about closer to four hundred million years ago. Their paper describing their findings has been published in the journal Naturwissenschaften. 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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ZSW engineers build lithiumion battery able to last for 27 years

first_img © 2013 Phys.org 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: www.zsw-bw.de/uploads/media/pi … hiumbatterien_EN.pdf (Phys.org) —Officials at Germany’s Centre for Solar Energy and Hydrogen Research Baden-Württemberg, (ZSW) have issued a press release describing improvements they’ve made to lithium-ion batteries. They claim their improvements allow a single battery to be recharged up to 10,000 times while still retaining 85 percent of its charging capacity. Such a battery, if used in an electric car, they note, would allow its owner to recharge the battery every day for 27.4 years. Citation: ZSW engineers build lithium-ion battery able to last for 27 years (2013, June 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-06-zsw-lithium-ion-battery-years.html Besides the initial high cost of car batteries for electric vehicles, one of the main factors preventing further adoption of electric vehicles is the knowledge that the batteries will need to be replaced after just eight to ten years of use (and in some cases as few as just 3). Batteries that could last 25 or 30 years would likely outlive many of the other cars’ parts, or the car itself, and if not too expensive, could finally give car buyers a compelling reason to switch from those that still rely on gasoline.ZSW’s announcement doesn’t come as a surprise to most in the auto industry—the company published a paper in Journal of Power Sources last year describing ongoing research into electrode manufacturing process improvements that they claimed could dramatically improve the longevity of lithium-ion batteries. They noted then that electrode thickness changes, how much the electrodes compact during use and the type of conducting agent used in their construction when engineered in a new way, could help such batteries endure more recharging.The newly redesigned batteries have approximately four times the density of current batteries (1,100 Watts per kilogram) and have been designed for use in storing power created by wind and solar farms and also in automotive vehicles.ZSW doesn’t say in its press release when they expect to deliver their new battery to manufacturers for use in actual cars or alternative storage devices. This likely means the company is still testing its concept to ensure that not only will the batteries hold up to claims of longevity but are safe in other ways as well. The company also noted that it has designed the new cell type itself as well as developing the manufacturing process used to make the battery. They’ve also made several prototype batteries in the 18650 format. Explore further Credit: ZSW Understanding the life of lithium ion batteries in electric vehicleslast_img read more

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Lunar rock samples reveal variations in water concentrations

first_img Citation: Lunar rock samples reveal variations in water concentrations (2014, May 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-05-lunar-samples-reveal-variations.html (Phys.org) —A team of researchers studying rocks returned from the moon by Apollo 17 astronauts has found that rocks found in different locations have different amounts of water in them. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the team describes their findings and offer possible explanations for the concentration differences. Secondary electron image of pits left by ion microprobe analyses of a heterogeneous apatite grain in Apollo sample 14321, 1047. Water has now been detected in apatite in many different lunar rock types. Credit: K.L. Robinson, HIGP. Optical micrograph of pyroclastic glass beads in Apollo sample 74220, 383, the famous “orange soil”. Water was first detected by Saal et al., 2008 in glass beads similar to these. Credit: G.J. Taylor, HIGP More information: Heterogeneous distribution of water in the Moon, Nature Geoscience (2014) DOI: 10.1038/ngeo2173AbstractInitial analyses of lunar samples returned by the Apollo missions indicated that the Moon was essentially devoid of water. However, improved analytical techniques have revealed that pyroclastic glass beads in Apollo samples contain measurable amounts of water. Taking into account volatile loss during eruption of the glass beads onto the surface, the pre-eruption magma could have contained water on the order of 100 ppm by weight, concentrations that are similar to the mantle sources of mid-ocean ridge basalts on Earth. Lava flows from vast basaltic plains—the lunar maria—also contain appreciable amounts of water, as shown by analyses of apatite in mare basalt samples. In contrast, apatite in most non-mare rocks contains much less water than the mare basalts and glass beads. The hydrogen isotopic composition of lunar samples is relatively similar to that of the Earth’s interior, but the deuterium to hydrogen ratios obtained from lunar samples seem to have a larger range than found in Earth’s mantle. Thus, measurements of water concentration and hydrogen isotopic composition suggest that water is heterogeneously distributed in the Moon and varies in isotopic composition. The variability in the Moon’s water may reflect heterogeneity in accretion processes, redistribution during differentiation or later additions by volatile-rich impactors. Explore further © 2014 Phys.org Digging deep in search of water on the moon Journal information: Nature Geoscience It was just six years ago that scientists learned that there was water on the moon, prior to that, conventional wisdom suggested the moon was not only barren, but completely dry. That discovery led to more research which revealed that not only is there water on the moon, but it’s actually widespread—sealed inside of rocks, but present nonetheless. In this new effort, the research team reports that in studying the findings of several other teams analyzing the rocks since water was first found in them, they’ve discovered that some of the rocks have more water sealed inside of them than others—the difference appears to be related to where on the moon the rocks were found. This suggests, the team reports, that some parts of the moon are wetter than others. The new research team also found that the chemical composition of the water was different depending on the rock source as well.The findings have led the researchers to consider how differing water concentrations relate to theories regarding the origin of the moon. Most scientists believe the moon came to exist approximately four and half billion years ago when a collision occurred between Earth and another planet. The general consensus is that some of the moon came from Earth, some from the other planet and the rest from other bodies such as comets and asteroids that subsequently struck the moon. Water on the moon could therefore have come from the Earth, the other planet or comets. Intriguingly, the researchers have found that the chemical makeup of water samples in some of the rocks (volcanic glass) is similar to magma samples that once resided in Earth’s mantle. Others, on the other hand, were found to be much drier. The researchers conclude that the formation of the moon appears to have been a far more complex series of events than theories have suggested. 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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The flow state Where creative work thrives

first_imgCsikszentmihalyi moved from Hungary to the US to study psychology and the question that had obsessed him since childhood. Growing up in World War Two-ravaged Europe, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi saw the adults around him struggling to rebuild their lives – and often losing the will to try. He became preoccupied by a question that doesn’t trouble most kids: what makes life worth living? He wondered how wealth fit into the happiness equation, but the data suggested money wasn’t the answer; beyond a certain, basic threshold, increases in income hardly affected well-being. So, as he recounted in a TED talk enticingly subtitled The Secret to Happiness, he decided to explore “where in everyday life, in our normal experience, do we feel really happy?”. Read the whole story: BBClast_img read more

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Stop Posting Your Childs Tantrum on Instagram

first_imgNaturally, joking serves a purpose — it provides psychological distance from negative feelings like shame or anxiety. A study of 105 wheelchair-bound college students found that humor, especially concerning bladder and bowel problems, was a key method of coping with distress. As one respondent said, “We have to laugh at ourselves to make life easier.” Read the whole story: The New York Times Publicly laughing at your toddler’s distress has somehow become not only acceptable but encouraged. Websites offer “best of”compilations, or canned quips readers can use when posting tantrum photos and videos (“Metallica has a new lead singer”). As psychologists and parents ourselves, we understand the urge to laugh when a child howls because he’s forbidden to eat the packing peanuts from the Amazon box, and we also understand the impulse to make these moments public. The problem is the mockery.center_img What should a parent do when a 2-year-old shrieks inconsolably because her string cheese wrapper tore “the wrong way”? Increasingly, the answer is “snap a photo, add a snarky caption and upload it to Instagram.”last_img read more

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Monochrome state of mind

first_imgThe colours that ruled Day 1 seemed to have stayed on through most of the collections witnessed on 27 March as well.The day kicked off with Myoho by Kiran & Meghna, Prama by Pratima Pandey and Vaishali S.  My Village by Rimzim Dadu and Kallol Datta’s 1955 came next followed by Anand Bhushan, Nachiket Barve, Amit GT, Charu Parashar, Ashima-Leena, Malini Ramani, Nikasha and finally the new wunderkind of Indian fashion – Rahul Mishra.Malini Ramani’s explosive collection of glam blacks accentuated with silvers, golds, pinks and reds and Nikasha’s pretty pastels for Bibi got our attention on Day 2.last_img read more

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Bucknell calls for pvt investments to restore heritage assets

first_imgKolkata: Private investment is required to restore the heritage assets here, British Deputy High Commissioner Bruce Bucknell said. Fortunately the private sector is coming forward to save many such sites of heritage, Bucknell told reporters after unveiling of the restored RNM Galleria by a heritage conservationist in the city last evening. Stating that the city has rich associations in so many places, Bucknell said he would certainly work towards drawing the attention of the private sector to support the cause. “I am very supportive to various organisations working with this objective”. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights Observing that there are not just buildings retaining British or European architectural style, he talked about some of the lesser known terracota temples in different parts of Bengal. He said one should keep in mind that architecturally preserved places could draw more visitors from outside and not just Britishers. “I am delighted to be here to support this fantastic building (RNM Galleria) where restoration took five long years with private investment. It is a labour of love,” he said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed The building was constructed in 1910 and restored in the past five years. Referring to the ‘Danish Tavern’ restored in Serampore and serving customers as a cafeteria, he said “such social models may make an impact on heritage restoration. If you can’t generate income you can’t preserve.” US Consul General Craig L Hall said Kolkata remained special because of its rich US connections “having one of America’s oldest diplomatic posts in the city as President George Washington nominated the first American Consul to Kolkata in 1792. Kolkata has also been a very enriching place and “we have so many common interests of things in which we work together – from culture to science,” he said. The RNM Galleria will promote performing art, house The Calcutta Heritage and Art Club and a Cafe Galleria 1910 on its different floors.last_img read more

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Art and evolution

first_imgWorks of artists from Portugal, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique and India comprise the travelling exhibition underway at the India International Centre here. The series of uncanny artworks seem to tell a story. An anti-clock wise tour of the gallery indicates an evolution, a moving forward of time.Organised by Perve Galeria with support of the Portugal Embassy, the exhibition Lusophonies/Lusofonias display both modern and contemporary art by different generations of the Portuguese speaking countries or Lusophones which include Portugal, Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique and certain parts of India. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’All the artworks in the exhibition have a common connection, whether experiential or through a formal aesthetic, related to African roots. A troika of oxymoronic images, two from India and one from Africa, serves as a prologue to the collection which manifests the cross-cultural developments that followed the colonization across continents and the struggle against it.“The origin of this collection was the need to reflect on how lusophone countries saw and see Lusophonie, a plural and dialectical vision, full of discrepancies, ambiguities and mutual contamination about culture, society, and even about a common language,” says Nunes. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe show has been chronologically divided into three sections: ‘Colonialism’, ‘Independence’ and ‘Miscegenation and Diaspora.’  Moving from one period to another in the anthology portrays a clear evolution from the “tendency to use art as a revolutionary discourse” in colonies to the establishment of sovereign political regimes after independence.“In Portugal, the freedom of speech that followed several decades of repression was a symptom of the artistic development,” says Nunes. The final part of the Lusophonies exhibition represents the artistic development that has occurred over time extending up to the present, not only in the lusophone world, but also in the countries where artists today work about Lusophonie and African influence issues. Representation from India includes two photographs by Subodh Kerkar and a set of pots or ‘matkas’ usually used by women in Indian villages to carry water.Closing this chapter of exhibition, which speaks majorly of the African influence, is a box of postcard sized artworks, some of them suspended in the air through strings around it, by Nobel Laureate author Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The exhibition is set to be on display till February 15.last_img read more

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Wellknown eateries in Balurghat run without Food Safety Licences

first_imgBalurghat: Most of the well-known eateries running in Balurghat have no ‘Food Safety Licences’.The matter came to light following joint drives conducted by the officials of the concerned district Food Safety Department and Balurghat Civic Body over the past two days.It may be mentioned that the state Urban Development department has instructed all civic bodies to conduct raids at restaurants and eateries after a racket selling rotten and stale meat was unearthed in Kolkata. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe concerned officials have asked the owners of the restaurants and eateries to follow the food safety norms strictly, failing which they will close down the establishments.During the drives, the officials found that the hotels and restaurants are being run flouting the mentioned norms. In most of the restaurants, the kitchens are being run in unhygienic conditions. However, no stale and rotten meat was found stored in the freezers. Civic officials said the former Left board was largely responsible for the menace of flouting the food safety measures by the owners of those eateries and running their establishments without any hindrance. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAccording to a civic official, the erstwhile Left board had only distributed registrations to the owners of those establishments for Rs 100 to start their trades.District Food Safety Department official, Biswajit Manna said: “It is unfortunate that most reputed hotels and restaurants in town have no proper infrastructure. The kitchens are unhygienic. The establishments have no Food Safety Licenses too. We have instructed to follow the rules and regulations immediately.” The chairman of Balurghat Municipality, Rajen Shill echoed Manna and said: “We will monitor the situation. Several drives will also be conducted at the eateries in Balurghat in future. We have talked to the officials of district Food Safety Department regarding the matter.”The officials said the raids will be held everyday and restaurants found not following the norms will be booked.It may be mentioned that in Birbhum district, the civic officials have collected food samples from several restaurants and sent them to the laboratories for analysis.last_img read more

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BJP supporters injure 10 policemen in Kharagpur

first_imgKolkata: Ten policemen, including an additional superintendent of police (ASP), were injured when BJP supporters beat them up at Chowringhee in Kharagpur on Monday afternoon.The injured policemen were taken to hospital where they were treated. The police have started an inquiry.Some trucks were carrying BJP supporters to attend Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s meeting at Midnapore College. The supporters asked the police to clear the traffic jam as they were getting late.When police failed to clear the jam, the BJP supporters got down from the truck and beat up the policeman on duty. They also beat up three police officers who came to his rescue. Later, a large contingent of policemen appeared on the scene and brought the situation under control.Calling the incident “unfortunate”, state BJP president Dilip Ghosh said action would be taken against the party workers involved in the matter.last_img read more

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A banana a day may keep blindness away

first_imgIf you love apples, so also love the humble banana. Eating a banana daily is likely to boost eye health and prevent vision-related diseases, a study has found.Researchers have found that bananas have carotenoid – a compound that turns fruits and vegetables red, orange or yellow and are converted into vitamin A, important precursors for eye health — in the liver.According to previous research, foods containing high levels of carotenoids also protect against chronic diseases, including certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The study showed that banana rich in provitamin A carotenoids may offer a potential food source for alleviating vitamin A deficiency — important for sight.To combat vitamin A deficiency, researchers have been investigating methods to boost carotenoids in bananas. Cara L Mortimer and other researchers from Queensland University of Technology in Australia studied two banana varieties to find out why they make very different amounts of carotenoids. They found that the pale yellow, low-carotenoid cavendish variety produces more of an enzyme that breaks down carotenoids. In addition, another variety stashes its carotenoids in microscopic sacs during ripening, shifting the chemical equilibrium in the fruit so it can make even higher levels of these substances. The findings, published in ACS’ Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, can someday help in the development of banana varieties with enhanced health benefits.Bananas are ideal food for young children and families for many regions of the world, because of their sweetness, texture, portion size, familiarity, availability, convenience, versatility and cost.last_img read more

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