Neanderthals may have interbred with humans twice

first_img An examination of the DNA of 1,983 people from around the globe suggests that extinct human species such as Homo neanderthalensis or Homo heidelbergensis interbred with our own ancestors during two separate periods, and their genes remain in our DNA today. The research was carried out by a group of genetic anthropologists from the University of New Mexico, and leader of the team, Jeffrey Long, said the findings mean Neanderthals did not completely disappear, but “there is a little bit of Neanderthal left over in almost all humans.”The subjects of the study were drawn from 99 population groups in the Americas, Oceania, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and the researchers analyzed over 600 microsatellite positions on the genome, which are sections that can be used rather like fingerprints. Doctoral student Sarah Joyce then developed an evolutionary tree to explain the genetic variations found in the microsatellite positions. The results were unexpected, but Joyce said the best explanation for the variations was that our human ancestors and the archaic species interbred during two periods after the first Homo sapiens had left Africa: the first in the Mediterranean around 60,000 years ago, and the second in eastern Asia about 45,000 years ago. The group found no evidence of the interbreeding in the DNA of modern Africans included in the study.The findings suggest that after the first interbreeding populations migrated from the Mediterranean to North America, Europe and Asia. A second interbreeding in Asia then altered the genome of the people who went on to migrate to Oceania.The findings were presented on 17th April at the American Association of Physical Anthropologists’ annual meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico, where they created a great deal of interest among other researchers in the field, who had been attempting to explain some curious variations in the genome. One researcher, Linda Vigilant from the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, said the findings may help explain what she called “subtle deviations” in the genetic variations in the Pacific region.Other researchers from the Max Planck Institute, led by Svante Pääbo, finished sequencing the first draft of the Neanderthal genome last year. (See the PhysOrg article here.) The results are expected to be published soon and may shed more light on the possibility of interbreeding. Earlier research suggested interbreeding did not occur, but unlike Pääbo’s latest research these early results were not based on an analysis of the complete genome. Homo neanderthalensis, adult male. Credit: John Gurche, artist / Chip Clark, photographer Citation: Neanderthals may have interbred with humans twice (2010, April 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-04-neanderthals-interbred-humans.html © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore furthercenter_img (PhysOrg.com) — Extinct human species such as Neanderthals may still be with us, at least in our DNA, and this may help explain why they disappeared from the fossil record around 30,000 years ago. New ancestor? Scientists ponder DNA from Siberia 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

New horseshoe orbit Earthcompanion asteroid discovered

first_img A horseshoe orbit gets its name because when viewed from Earth’s point of view, the asteroid appears to travel in a shape of a horseshoe. However, from the perspective of the asteroid, it is in a continual orbit around the sun.To better understand this horseshoe orbit it must be understood that objects closer to the sun will orbit at a faster rate than objects of a further distance.Imagine this asteroid is on an orbit around the Sun just slightly closer than that of Earth. Given the fact the asteroid is closer it is traveling at a slightly faster rate than Earth. Eventually the asteroid will approach Earth and what happens next is what gives the appearance of a horseshoe.Given that the Earth is larger its gravity will work to pull the asteroid away from the Sun, eventually pulling the asteroid into an orbit which is a greater distance from the sun than Earth. The asteroids new orbital track will then be slower than that of Earth, making it appear to fall behind and look as though it is going in the opposite direction.As both the Earth and the asteroid continue to orbit, eventually the Earth will catch up to the asteroid and the process will reverse, with the Earth’s gravity pulling the asteroid back into the smaller orbit.The belief of astronomers has been that horseshoe orbits are not stable. However, Christou and Asher have run simulations and they show that SO16 remains in this horseshoe orbit for anywhere from 120,000 to over a million years.Currently SO16 is traveling at one of its closest approach points and will hold a place in the evening sky for several decades to come. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Horseshoe orbit. Image: NASA Asteroid To Fly By Earth Wednesday Is a Natural (PhysOrg.com) — Apostolos Christou and David Asher from the Armagh Observatory in Northern Ireland announced the discovery of an asteroid near Earth called Asteroid 2010 SO16 and their findings were published on arXiv.org. While finding near-Earth asteroids is not unusual, there is something quite rare about this particular asteroid in that it orbits the sun in what is referred to as a horseshoe orbit. © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: A long-lived horseshoe companion to the Earth, arXiv:1104.0036v1 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1104.0036via Technology Review Citation: New horseshoe orbit Earth-companion asteroid discovered (2011, April 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-horseshoe-orbit-earth-companion-asteroid.htmllast_img read more

The hidden nanoworld of ice crystals Revealing the dynamic behavior of quasiliquid

first_img More information: Quasi-liquid layers on ice crystal surfaces are made up of two different phases. Published online before print January 9, 2012, PNAS January 24, 2012 vol. 109 no. 4 1052-1055, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1116685109 Visualization of elementary steps growing beneath a thin liquid-like layer (β-QLL) at −1.0 °C. The gain and offset of the image A were further extremely adjusted to obtain image B. Image C was taken 3.27 s after image B. (D) A schematic cross-sectional view showing two possible mechanisms (red arrows) discussed in the text for the visualization of elementary steps beneath the β-QLL. (E) Schematic illustration of the appearances of two types of QLL phases (α and β). A movie of the process B-C is shown below. Copyright © PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1116685109 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. Led by Professor Yoshinori Furukawa and Associate Professor Gen Sazaki at Hokkaido University’s the Institute of Low Temperature Science, the research team faced a number of challenges in uncovering the subnanometer structures and processes that held the key to understanding QLLs. “In 2004, I and Olympus Corporation developed an advanced optical microscope,” Sazaki told PhysOrg.oom, “by which we can visualize elementary steps – that is, the growing ends of ubiquitous molecular layers that are several nanometers in height – on protein crystals. We kept improving this microscope further, and finally succeeded in visualizing elementary 0.37 nm-thick steps on ice crystal surfaces. Since this optical microscope has ultimate sensitivity in the vertical direction, we could visualize surface melting processes of ice crystals for the first time.” Sazaki quickly acknowledges, however, that the appearance of QLLs on ice was first proposed by English physicist Michael Faraday in 1842. Regarding the impact of the team’s findings on the development of applications and technologies where surface melting-induced QLLs are a key factor, Sazaki told PhysOrg that it’s been believed that QLLs play important roles in the variety of phenomena mentioned above. “Since we can now directly visualize the surface melting processes, we can start to reveal the secrets of those phenomena.”In addition, Sazaki concludes, their research “will contribute to various fields such as meteorology, environmentology, cryobiology, material science, crystal growth physics, and other important areas.” Summary of the main findings of this study. Hokkaido University researchers found that two-types of quasi-liquid layers (QLLs) appeared on a basal face of an ice crystal during surface melting. With increasing temperature, round liquid-like droplets (α-QLLs) first appeared at −1.5 to −0.4 °C. In addition, thin liquid-like layers (β-QLLs) appeared at −1.0 to −0.1 °C. The appearance temperatures of α-QLLs and β-QLLs exhibited slight variations, but β-QLLs always appeared at a higher temperature than α-QLLs in the same run. These two QLL phases moved around and coalesced on the ice crystal surface. The different morphologies and dynamics of the two types of QLLs demonstrate that the two types of QLL phases had different interactions with ice crystal surfaces, suggesting the necessity of constructing a novel picture of surface melting. Copyright © PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1116685109 Citation: The hidden nanoworld of ice crystals: Revealing the dynamic behavior of quasi-liquid layers (2012, January 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-hidden-nanoworld-ice-crystals-revealing.html PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreencenter_img Play Visualization of elementary steps growing beneath a β-QLL at −1.0 °C (see fig. above – B and C). Frame rate was 3.27 s per frame. The gain and offset of LCMDIM images were extremely adjusted to emphasize the contrast level of the images. An α-QLL is located at the center, and a β-QLL exists around the α-QLL.We could observe the growth of elementary steps even beneath the β-QLL, demonstrating that a β-QLL was a quasi-liquid layer. To reduce the file size, the video file was converted from 1024 x 1042 pixels to 256 x 262 pixels. Copyright © PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1116685109 In terms of simulation, Sazaki points out that it will be difficult to fully model two QLL phases in silico, since still the physical and chemical properties of those phases are unknown. However, he adds, studies using molecular dynamics will also contribute significantly to our understanding of surface melting. Swimming upstream: Flux flow reverses for lattice bosons in a magnetic field Copyright 2012 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. Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — A wide range of phenomena depend on ice – specifically, phase transitions during ice crystal surface melting. In this transition, which occurs near the melting point, the ice surface morphs into what is known as a quasi-liquid layer (QLL) – a thin layer of ice grains where the water molecules are not in rigid solid structure, yet not in the random order of liquid. While previous research showed that QLL thickness increased with temperature, the results varied by as much as two orders of magnitude. Recently, however, scientists at Hokkaido University, in conjunction with Olympus Engineering Co., Ltd., developed a technique – laser confocal microscopy combined with differential interference contrast microscopy – that increases spatiotemporal resolution to point needed to visualize transition process of the 0.37nm (the thickness of one water molecule) step-like crystal surface at 0.1 – 4 seconds per frame. Their findings provide molecular-level understanding of QLLs that has implications for many QLL-dependent applications, including skating rink slipperiness, regelation (pressure-induced change in freezing), ice column frost heave, recrystallization and coarsening of ice grains, morphological change of snow crystals, cryopreservation, and electrification of thunderclouds. Sazaki also outlined the key insights and innovations the team used to address these challenges. “So far, it has been thought that only one type of quasi-liquid layer appear uniformly on ice crystal surfaces during the surface melting below 0 °C. However, we found that two types of QLL phases appear dynamically and spatially inhomogeneously. This result marked a sharp divergence from the previous view.” In addition, Sazaki adds that it’s quite interesting, from the fundamental scientific viewpoint, that two liquid phases made up of same water molecules are immiscible – that is, not forming a homogeneous mixture when added together.Looking forward, Sazaki notes that surface-sensitive spectroscopy techniques, as well as scanning probe microscopy, will give the team a greater ability to understand the two QLL phases – in particular, how they differ. “We’re planning to develop a Raman microscope that, when combined with our present microscope, will allow us to measure the molecular motion of water. This will reveal how the two quasi-liquid layer phases are different.”last_img read more

Researchers discover how zombie worms bore into skeletons

first_img © 2012 Phys.Org With the mystery solved, the team hopes that more research by others in the field will focus on the somewhat mysterious life cycle of the so called zombie worms. Also of interest no doubt, will be the exact makeup of the acid the worms secrete and how it is dealt with by the internal bacteria that do the work of turning the bone material into food. To find out what was going on Katz and her team analyzed the green root-like part of the worm that attached itself to the outside of the bone. There they found that the structure was made of long cells, each with tiny protrusions that allowed the worm to cover a lot of bone territory. They also found that the cells had acid secreting enzymes that moved through the skin which was able to break down the minerals in the bone material, and that was how they managed to worm their way inside. (Phys.org) — In 2002, researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute discovered a unique species of worms in the ocean that live off of the skeletons of dead fish and whales on the sea floor, by boring into them; giving rise to the nick-name, zombie worms. What was perplexing though, was how they managed this trick since they lacked mouths, teeth or even a gut. Closer analysis over the years found that the worms lacked any other means for drilling as well, causing most to believe they made their way into bone material using some sort of chemical process, rather than drilling. Now new research by Sigrid Katz and colleagues from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography proves that to be the case. She and her team are to give a presentation regarding their findings at this year’s Society for Experimental Biology conference. These “bone-devouring worms,” known to both eat and inhabit dead whale skeletons and other bones on the sea floor, have a unique ability to release bone-melting acid. Credit: Greg Rouse The worms, of the Osedax (bone devourer in Latin) family, further added to their mystery when subsequent research failed to turn up any males of the species. More recently, other researchers found that this was because the males never grow out of their larval stage and simply live inside the bodies of the females indefinitely. Other researchers had also found that the worms had assistance from bacteria living inside of them to digest the bone material once it made its way inside. But how it got there was still a bit of a mystery. Citation: Researchers discover how ‘zombie worms’ bore into skeletons (2012, July 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-zombie-worms-skeletons.html Explore further The pinkish “bone-devouring worms” shown here on a piece of whale bone, eat and inhabit dead whale skeletons and other bones on the sea floor. A recent study has shown they have a unique ability to release bone-melting acid. Credit: MBARI Bone-eating ‘zombie’ worms can no longer hide More information: Conference abstract A7.17Drilling for nutrition: The physiological mechanism of bone penetration by OsedaxAnnelids belonging to Siboglinidae lack a gut and obtain nutrition via bacterial symbionts housed in a specialized organ called the trophosome.While most siboglinids host chemoautotrophic symbionts, which allow them to thrive in reducing habitats such as hydrothermal vents or methaneseeps, Osedax exploits vertebrate bones lying on the seafloor. In contrast to other siboglinids, Osedax house heterotrophic Oceanospirillalesbacteria in their posterior body, which are modified into so-called ‘roots’. These roots penetrate and ramify through the bone, which serves as their food source (Goffredi et al., 2007). Osedax lack any obviously bioabrasive structures and the physiological mechanism of bone erosion and nutrient absorption was virtually unknown. The ultrastructure of the root epidermis suggests secretory/ absorptive functions of this region and we hypothesized that Osedax demineralize the bone by secreting acid, followed by absorption of bone collagen and lipids for nutrition. Our analysis of putative acid-secreting proteins, namely vacuolar H+ -ATPase (VHA) and carbonic anhydrase (CA), by immunohistochemistry and quantitative immunoblotting, shows preferential location and high abundance of VHA in the root epidermal cells. CA also co-occurs with VHA in the root epidermis, and is found in other cells and body regions, suggesting that CA is also involved in maintaining the acid–base balance throughout the worm. These results support our hypothesis on bone erosion via acid secretion by Osedax, which is similar to chemical mechanisms employed for boring by some gastropods and for bone demineralization by human osteoclasts.Poster Session – Sunday 1st July 2012 Osedax frankpressi from whale-2893. Image: Vrijenhoek R. C., Johnson S. B. & Rouse G. W. (10 November 2009) “A remarkable diversity of bone-eating worms (Osedax; Siboglinidae; Annelida)”. BMC Biology 7: 74. doi:10.1186/1741-7007-7-74 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

Spicing up the winters

first_imgWe love our food, of course we do. And that is not just because it is a part of our job! What goes best with this season has already been talked about by Chef Saby (read it here – http://bit.ly/I0T0OP). But here we pick out a few places that you can add to your ‘have-to-eat-at’ list.Shiro, at the Samrat, is dishing out some great dishes at The Asian Grill festival that is on till 8 December. Take your pick from vegetarian, meats and the seafoods for some incredible flavours. With prices of each dish ranging between Rs 300 to Rs 800 (without taxes), one serving is not going to be enough to fill you up so make sure you order something more. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’We tried the Honey Black Bean Prawns, the Grilled Coffee Salmon, the Seven Spiced Pork Belly and the Miso Herb Lamb Chops. The flavours are delicate and very nice on the palate, though the salmon was a little disappointing the rest made up for that beautifully.The chef also recommended a great Indonesian fried rice which went very well with the prawns. You can take your pick from the regular menu as well as from the special grill menu they have for the festival. Vegetarians can try the Grilled Mushroom Skewers or the Pan Seared Tofu with Indonesian Ginger Sauce. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixShiro also has some mean cocktails. Head over!When you have Bengali food on offer – you don’t need to invite us twice! Baywatch at the WelcomHotel Sheraton has a great food promo, that they are calling Bhadrolok (Gentlemen in Bengali), on offer till 24 November.The range includes starters like Crabmeat Chop, Mochar Chop, Chicken Kabiraji Cutlet and more. The Crabmeat chop is a must try. They also have a the signature Macher Paturi that is criminal to miss when you trying a Bengali cuisine. The Kosha Mangsho and the Luchi is perfect but take it from us – you need to try the Cholar Dal they have – or regret it forever. Try it with the Koraishutir Kochuri (Green Pea stuffed Kachoris) and it is blissful.The dinner buffet is priced at Rs 2000 (plus taxes) and they are also celebrating a tie-up of sorts with Indus Pride beer. Winter isn’t a time for beer, but these great spiced varieties are not to be missed. Book a table fast!last_img read more

Not too tender to Rap

first_imgHeard Sajna Tere Bina or the Punjabi rap song, Ghaint Kudi? Well, the rapper you heard is the youngest female rapper. After Hard Kaur, Ish Kaur has made it big for herself in this male dominated form of art. More than a century before rap exploded onto the American music scene, west African musicians were telling stories rhythmically, with just the beat of a drum for accompaniment. Meanwhile, folk artistes from the Caribbean Islands were also telling stories in rhyme. Indeed, these singing poets from Africa and the Caribbean lay the foundation for modern-day American rap music. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The rhymes often address provocative subjects such as sex, violence and socio-political issues and has been acknowledged as the voice of the youth for decades and this is exactly where Kaur has made her place.At the age of 18, Kaur has bagged the Bharat Niraman Award for being the youngest female rapper. Since her childhood days she was influenced by Hip-Hop music and at the young age of 13 she wrote her first Rap Sajna Tere Bina. With her interest inclined towards an unusual profession, especially in our country, it was definitely not easy for her to convince her parents. But can talent stay latent for long? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSeeing her singing talent and her dedication, she successfully convinced her parents. It’s then she took her first step towards the commercial music. And let’s say that she convinced not just her parents, but also the social media world, where people are following not in hundreds but in thousands. An underground rap artiste, Kaur is fast emerging as a prodigy rap talent who has gone beyond the culture to fit into India’s young and happening crowd. She blends age old wisdom in her songs in a new Hip-Hop style of the youth which has made her appealing to the listeners. Apart from writing lyrics and rapping, she is also trained in many dance forms. From Bharatanatyam, Hip-hop to Salsa, she has got it all in her. Let’s say she has left nothing that wouldn’t craft her as a complete artiste on the stage. Being 18 also means board exams in India. Well, Kaur is not only a talented rapper but also a studious child. She cleared her 12 Board Examination, 2014 with 92%. She never mixed her professional life with her studies and is also very clear about completing her education. ‘Rapping has always been on my mind and Rap is what I live. With all the love, affection and blessings of my fans and well wisher, I hope to make it bigger in Rapping Industry’, says contented Ish Kaur.last_img read more

Of art and introspection

first_imgLooking Inward An Art Exhibition is a Group Show by 20 Artists, the show has been Curated by Elizabeth Rogers. The Exhibition is a part of the ongoing festival of Buddhism The Inner Path directed by Aruna Vasudev.The Artists who are participating are The 12th Kenting Tai Situpa , Shobha Broota, Arpana Caur, Jamyang Dorjee Chakrishar, Qamar Dagar, Vinita Dasgupta, Saba Hasan, Cannon Hersey,Jasleen, Rajeev Kumar , Bryan Mulvihill, Shefali Munjal, Felicia Murray , Sohan Qadri , SirajSaxena, Niren Sen Gupta, Sidharth , Kshipra Simon, Deepak Tandon, Aruna Vasudev. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Exhibition will be on from 21 – 24 November at the Alliance Francaise Lodhi Road. As this exhibition is a part of a Buddhism Festival all the Artists have created their art works related to the same topic.Creativity in art, even more so the spiritual, is an often misused, abused and misunderstood concept. How to render such an introspective, private process in an actual, tangible entity; such is the nature of art. The myriad manifestations are beyond sheer definition. The realms of sacred or spiritual inspiration inculcate complex relations between the artist and her/his work, and eventually the viewer. Historically, such work has required dedicated devotion, discipline and years of study. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixContemporary practice takes beings on varied trajectories, deploying a complex lexicon of form, imagery and iconography. Looking Inward presents works by artists from varying geographical and personal backgrounds. An underlying thread is their quest for a broader meaning and circumference for their vision. Beyond the medium, whether painting, calligraphy, sculpture, photography or ceramics, such a sense of deeper significance to their visual representations reigns. Buddhism in Art traditionally has evolved from the non-figural depiction of the Buddha to all forms. Thus, what imbues the creator is that upon which the energy of the work lies. As with meditation, the creative process delves into deeper levels of consciousness and awareness.The path to explore, question, and understand involves and challenges all beings. It is hoped that this project shall proffer fertile ground for renewed discourse, examination and insight.last_img read more

Air Asia to operate two new flights to Bagdogra

first_imgDarjeeling: Air Asia will be operating two new flights to Bagdogra Airport near Siliguri from May. Bagdogra has evolved into one of the busiest and most important airports of this region, with a manifold increase in passenger footfall. In the financial year 2017-18, the passenger figure is expected to cross 2.2 million. “From May, Air Asia will be operating two new flights to Bagdogra. This will help ease the passenger traffic, especially during the peak tourist season,” stated Rakesh Sahay, Director, Bagdogra Airport. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsFrom May 1, an Air Asia flight will depart from Delhi at 4 pm and arrive at Bagdogra at 6.15 pm. The flight will depart from Bagdogra at 6:45 pm and arrive at Delhi at 9.20 pm. Another Air Asia flight will commence service from Kolkata from May 11 onwards. The flight will depart from Kolkata at 9 am and arrive at Bagdogra at 10.20 am. It will depart from Bagdogra at 10.45 am and arrive at Kolkata at 11.55 am.At present there are 24 domestic flights connecting Bagdogra and one international flight from Paro in Bhutan to Bangkok, Thailand. Bagdogra is connected with Bangkok, Bangalore, Bombay, Kolkata, Delhi, Guwahati and Paro. “With night landing facilities, more flights are coming in. Passenger traffic is increasing by the day. On Thursday, the outbound passenger load was 3,872,” stated Sahay.last_img read more

Grim battle for acceptance

first_imgLand where life is good, a theatrical offering by final year students of National School of Drama (NSD) raised similar questions. The play talked about the various identities that are enmeshed in the blanket of a single identity called ‘Indian’. It tried to look at the confusion that this exercise of assimilation has created in the minds of the present generation, especially in the context of Nagaland. Bhaskar Boruah, essays the role of Tako, a young Naga boy grappling with his identity. The play revolves around his life journey and his attempt to find his lost identity. It conveyed a palpable sense of people as living, breathing creatures who are far more complex than their words might seem to suggest. The conflict between old and the new has been told in countless movies and plays, but the treatment here was gentle and humane.Director, Temjenzungba attempted to rediscover the true meaning of ‘Indian-ness’ and expressed his concern over the inability of cultural participation in the so called mainstream culture which leads to the seclusion of certain groups. Naga tribes being the classic example of such behaviour, face racial discrimination.The show may have lacked epic grandeur but by the end the audience understood the travails of these people to fit in. The show, in all, was a delightful combination of dance (showcasing dance of different states), drama, humor and emotions which managed to strike the right chords with the audience.last_img read more

NRI gets compensated after being duped over land deal

first_imgKolkata: State Consumer Affairs minister Sadhan Pande on Monday handed over a cheque of Rs 7.90 lakh to an NRI, who is presently lodged in London, duped with the promise of getting a land on the southern fringes of the city.”Octogenarian Dilip Bakshi had written to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee from London stating that the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has recently upheld a verdict of the state consumer forum and urged her to make arrangements for paying the compensation amount for being unable to hand over his land within the promised time. I was instructed by the CM’s office to do the needful and I acted accordingly,” Pande said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe minister handed over a cheque of Rs 7.9 lakh to Bakshi’s brother Sudip Bakshi, who accepted the cheque on behalf of his elder brother.He is presently settled in Baishnabghata area. Dilip had purchased a plot of land at Pailan on the southern fringes of the city and had moved the state forum in 2012 over the inordinate delay in handing over the land. After the verdict of compensation in the state forum, the land owner moved to higher forums challenging the verdict.”On behalf of my elder brother, I sincerely thank the Chief Minister and the Consumer Affairs department,” Sudip Bakshi said.last_img read more

One lakh flower cultivators to supply 50 lakh lotuses ahead of Durga

first_imgKolkata: With necessary infrastructure for storage developed by the state government, one lakh flower cultivators and traders are confident of supplying 50 lakh lotuses during Durga Puja this year.It may be mentioned that proper facility to store flowers had been a long standing problem for the flower cultivators and traders of the state. Soon, after it came to the notice of the concerned officials of the state government, necessary steps were taken and the Mamata Banerjee government has developed proper storage facilities in different parts of the state. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeMulti-purpose cold storages were set up at Bagnan in Howrah and Panskura in East Midnapore. Both Bagnan and Panskura are the two major flower producing regions in the state.According to the flower cultivators, there is a requirement of around 50 lakh lotuses in the state during the Puja. It also gets exported to other states. The demand for lotuses of Bengal remains high across the country because of its superior quality.In a bid to ensure that there is no shortage of lotuses during the Puja as per the demand, it is quite essential to start storing it for quite some weeks ahead of the Puja. But earlier there were no proper storage facilities in the state and as a result a large quantity of flowers used to get damaged. Now, the state government has set up multi-purpose cold storages to support flower cultivators and traders. The traders now face no problem in storing flowers. It also ensured sufficient supply of lotuses on the days of Puja. Durga Puja organisers visit markets mainly on Panchami and Sasthi to buy flowers and most Puja organisers prefer to visit wholesale markets such as Jagannath Ghat Flower Market that is situated near Kolkata end of Howrah Bridge. Jagannath Ghat Market is the Asia’s biggest flower market and people from all across Kolkata and its adjacent areas visit the place. Narayan Nayak, Secretary of West Bengal Flower Cultivators and Traders Samity, said: “Setting up of the multi-purpose cold storages have helped us a lot as it reduced the quantity of wastage. As a result of which farmers do not incur loss.”According to a senior official of the state government, steps are being taken to further develop infrastructure to support flower cultivators.last_img read more

State Health dept to submit its dengue report to CM soon

first_imgKolkata: The state Health department has prepared a detailed report on dengue which will soon be submitted to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.The Chief Minister who is also in charge of the Health department had a concern over the dengue situation in the state. She had instructed the state Health department and the civic bodies to take adequate preventive measures to check the spread of the disease. A report was also sought from the Health department on the exact scenario in the state. Senior Health department officials will soon meet the Chief Minister in this regard. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe dengue expert committee constituted by the state Health department has gone through the reports submitted by various state-run and private hospitals on dengue-related deaths. All these hospitals were asked to share treatment-related documents with the department. A review meeting was conducted by senior Health department officials at Swasthya Bhavan recently. Various aspects related to the disease had been discussed in the meeting. A report prepared by the Health department says as many as 20 persons have died due to the disease in the city and its adjoining areas in the current year, while the figure in the state stood at 50. It has been learnt that the toll due to dengue in the state remained at 47 last year. But the number of total patients affected with the disease in the state last year remained slightly higher than this year’s figure. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to a senior Health department official, the total number of dengue cases in the state slightly declined than that of the previous year due to the constant anti-dengue drives carried out by the Health department and also by the civic bodies. The official also added that out of the total 20 persons who reportedly died due to dengue, around 15 were found to have died due to multi-organ failure. The victims had caught dengue and later their organs stopped functioning. According to the Health department sources, the nature of the dengue virus is changing as a result of which many persons are getting affected. It has been found that many of these patients in the city and adjoining areas were affected with ‘Den 2’ virus which has gained some strength in the past couple of years. The senior Health department officials are of the opinion that the disease will start subsiding from November as winter sets in.last_img read more

Officials from KMC Beliaghata ID Hospital inspect Basanti Colony after 2 die

first_imgKolkata: Senior officials from Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) and Beliaghata ID Hospital on Saturday visited Basanti Colony in Ultadanga after two persons reportedly died of scrub typhus.It is a disease caused by bacteria and is spread among people through bites of infected rats and other insects. The most common symptoms of scrub typhus include fever, headache, body aches and sometimes rash. Basanti Colony falls under Ward number 32 of the KMC. A woman and a child died in the area after reportedly being affected by scrub typhus. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA 26-year-old woman, Sabina Bibi, died earlier this month while Subho Moira died on November 18. Both of them had been suffering from fever and other flu-like symptoms for few days before finally succumbing to their ailments. The locals suspected that the victims died of unknown fever. But the senior officials of the KMC now suspect that this could be a case of scrub typhus. Eight more patients from Basanti Colony area are also affected with similar symptoms. A team of civic officials and Belighata ID Hospital monitored the situation in the area and collected blood samples from nine fever-affected patients on Saturday. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe KMC officials have also undertaken a drive to clean the area. Dr Dipankar Maji, executive medical officer of borough 3 of the KMC, Sourabh Chatterjee, medical officer of Ward 32, Dr Rehena Sarkar, microbiologist, senior officials of Beliaghata ID Hospital and laboratory technicians, local councillor visited the spot. State Consumers Affairs minister Sadhan Pande also inspected Basanti Colony area to supervise the situation.last_img read more

Men dress up right for work

first_imgSmart dressing boosts up the confidence and helps in rendering an aura filled with passion and right attitude in office but at the same time looking sharp and relaxed is a key aspect in todays work wear fashion. From blending white and black to going for neutral or classic colour scheme can make you look different and classy. Tabby Bhatia, Director, Voganow.com, Saggar Mehra, Creative Director of brand Sunil Mehra and Salesh Grover, business head OSL Luxury talk about latest trending office wear look Also Read – Add new books to your shelf*To keep things more conservative, opt for patterns with a neutral or classic color scheme. This will tie your looks together more and will prove useful for versatility. Mixing differently textured shirts with tailored pants will also switch your looks up. Shirts are really the focal point of business casual looks, so ensure they fit well. *The work jacket’s main function is in practicality maneuverability, and it definitely adds an interesting twist to your attire. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive*Blending white or black round neck t-shirt with window checked coat is also an interesting way and you can complete the look with tassel loafers or suede shoes. *A sharp yet trendy look is a club printed shirt with a slim lapel jacket and a sleek tie. It is the ultimate combination that will make sure you are taken seriously. *Checkerd or pinestriped trousers with solid shirts are also a great pick and to make solid shirts interesting add details like printed inside collar band, contrasting coloured button placket or a double cuff with quirky Cufflinks. *For corporate guys who travel a lot for meetings can opt for a basket weaved office laptop bags in shades of tan or dark brown that can add a suave touch to the overall look. *Leather shoes are considered to be an undeniable part of a man’s wardrobe. Brogues are one of the promising shoe style, popped up in early 1900s in Ireland, this shoe style is setting impressive fashion trends at the workplace. Brogues in tones of tans, black, olives and grey are absolute timeless add on to a man’s wardrobe this season. *Also, a pair of double monk strap shoes handcrafted and hand painted in genuine leather with finesse gives a flawless styling appeal. Perfect for office and formal occasions, these pairs can be paired with chinos and crisp shirts. Break the monotony of laces shoes and go for a monk strap style to give impeccable impression at your workplace.last_img read more

Food for the soul

first_imgTamra, the award-winning multi-cuisine dining restaurant at Shangri-La’s Eros Hotel, New Delhi brings to its patron ‘Taste of Malaysia’ – an authentic Malaysian food festival with stimulating flavors and culinary styles which will whip just about anyone into an endless gastronomic frenzy. With skilful Malaysian chefs bringing authentic flavours from the heart of Southeast Asia to the heart of Delhi, Malaysia is yours to taste. Malaysian cuisine frequently known as ‘the first fusion food’ dates back to the 15th century originating from Malaysia’s multi-ethnic society. The festival offers a unique experience true to the palate of Malaysia with dishes on the buffet seasoned to perfection with intense spices sourced from the fields of Malaysia. The buffet menu is a sophisticated combination of salty, sweet and sour, joined with frequently a surprise inclusion of hot heat, which makes Malaysian food a delight to savor. Guests can indulge in dishes like Ulam-Ulam (Malaysian veggies salad), Sup Ayam Kampong (chicken soup), Udang Harimau Lemak Nenas (tiger prawn with pineapple coconut gravy), Kacang Panjang Dengan Udang Kering (Sauteed fine bean with dry shrimp) among many others. Along with the food, you can pamper yourself with ‘Teh Tarik’, a Malaysian national drink which is a strong tea cuddled up with condensed milk pulled until frothy. A myriad selection of dessert such as Puding Mangga (mango pudding), Puding Honeydew (honeydew pudding), Pizza Rendang (pizza topped with spicy rendang) and more will be a feast which you will relish with every spoonful. The food festival is a voyage that is meant to transport the connoisseurs into the beautiful country of Malaysia with live troops performance and traditional Malay music. The restaurant, a visual depiction of culinary delights will be adorned with artistic Malaysian aesthetic elements.last_img read more

Video games affect girls more than boys

first_imgDear parents, please take note. When it comes to video gaming, girls in the 6-12 age group are at a heightened risk of developing less social competence than boys, warn researchers. The researchers found that 10-year-old girls who played games frequently had less social competence than 12-year-olds than girls who played less frequently. The study by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), NTNU Social Research, the University of California, Davis, and St. Olav’s Hospital in Norway, however, found that playing video games is generally not harmful to boys’ social development. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf”Our study may mitigate some concerns about the adverse effects of gaming on children’s development,” said Beate Wold Hygen, post-doctoral fellow at the NTNU and NTNU Social Research. The popularity of interactive video games has sparked concern among parents, educators and policymakers about how the games affect children and adolescents. The new study, conducted in Norway, looked at how playing video games affects the social skills of 6- to 12-year-olds. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIt found that playing the games affected youth differently by age and gender. For the study, the researchers studied 873 Norwegian youth from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds every two years for six years when the children were aged 6 to 12. The findings suggested that girls who spent more time playing video games at age 10 developed weaker social skills two years later than girls who spent less time playing games.last_img read more

Colin Luke Walton has the toughest job in American sports

first_imgDespite the Lakers more than respectable 17-10 start to the year, the rumors are already flying that Luke Walton’s days could be numbered in Los Angeles.Walton finds himself in the same dilemma as other coaches who have inherited LeBron, and is finding out that no matter how good he is, it won’t be good enough. If he wins, he should because he has LeBron, if the Lakers struggle with a roster full of young players, he gets the blame.Unlike Erik Spoelstra and David Blatt, Walton has to win with the added pressure of the L.A. spotlight with Magic Johnson looking over his shoulder, and Kobe as a consultant. Right now, Luke has the toughest job in American sports.last_img read more

Four Alternatives to PowerPoint for Your Next Presentation

first_img Register Now » 6 min read September 16, 2011 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. PowerPoint, Microsoft’s presentation tool, was once ubiquitous as the business standard for organizing, distilling and demonstrating business ideas. Now, PowerPoint has far more competition. The Web has sparked a brisk market in alternatives for presenting your next big idea.And we spent about a month distilling the best among the new offerings in online presentation systems. Here are four worth knowing.Google Docs PresentationsWhat it is: Google Docs, part Google Apps’ set of Web-based tools, contains a presentation-building tool which is both simple and powerful. Similar to Google’s document-sharing capability, users can create, edit and collaborate over the Web on what are usually basic slideshow presentations. Slides can be shared, published, embedded in a website or posted online for mass consumption. Microsoft PowerPoint presentations from your computer can also be uploaded into Google Docs Presentations. What you might like: It’s easy and free. Even if your company doesn’t have its own paid Google Apps account, any person with a Gmail account has access to this presentation function at no charge. Hardcore Windows users will miss PowerPoint’s luxurious features like powerful graphics tools, easy to use animation features and myriad type styles, but even beginners can muddle through Google Docs Presentations to create professional-looking presentations.What you might not like: The tool’s features are limited. While art, audio, sophisticated graphics and even full motion video can be linked from elsewhere on the Web, doing so requires a good grasp of Google Presentations’ inner workings, which aren’t as easy to master as they may first appear.We found it usually made sense to do complex presentations elsewhere.SlideRocketWhat it is: For a full-featured, Web-based presentation builder, SlideRocket is the ticket. The online tool offers the same capabilities found in Google’s presentation tools, but with many premium features. Slideshows as well as slide libraries can be shared between users in a company’s SlideRocket account. Media and images can be stored and placed in more than one company presentation, where they can be used again without collaborators having to go searching for them. A stripped-down version is free. Versions with features such as the ability to share and view presentations offline start at $24 per user per month.What you might like: A rich set of design tools lets users create visually impressive slides with a reasonable investment of time and effort. Slideshows can include video and audio voice overs. There are also a number of features that go beyond presentation building. The Pro Version has an online meeting function as well as an analytics tool quantifying how viewers interact with user slideshows.What you might not like: SlideRocket requires a lot of work. Yes, it is a powerful presentation builder, but the average user is likely to need a commitment to learning it. If you have dedicated presentation developer, SlideRocket is a good bet. But for the average presentation, SlideRocket may not be worth the effort.PreziWhat it is: Prezi offers a different approach to building online presentations. Rather than a series of traditional slides, Prezi’s Web-based tool works from a single canvas where you insert elements such as text, images and video and then link them together to create visual storylines. A Prezi presentation starts as this mash of text, images and video and then zooms in on each cluster of connected ideas, topics and other media in the order determined by the user. If the tool sounds a little offbeat, it is. The basic tool is free. Paid versions start at $59 per year, and offer such features as personalized company branding, improved privacy settings so only those in your group see it, and you can work offline. What you might like: Prezi forces users to think about their presentations in sum and then visually diagram them with a what-you-see-is-what-you-get design tool. We found it easy to create nontraditional looking presentations. For example, connecting a series of facts on one slide to another would be tough to do with a more conventional tool like PowerPoint. And we liked a tool called the “Zebra,” which is basically a big cursor that allows for easy editing of complex elements. If you want to kick-start your demonstration ideas, Prezi is your choice.What you might not like: The unique Prezi presentation system will require buy-in from your team since it asks them to think about their presentations, and their ideas, not as a series of static, fact-filled slides, but a sequence of stills culled out of a larger visual theme. That means committed PowerPoint users could be Prezi haters. Plus, the sweep of Prezi tends to make presentations, how shall we say, “ambitious” because Prezi prompts users to think in a larger scale and then gives them powerful tools to present that large idea at full scale. So big ideas tend to get really big in Prezi. Plan on aggressive editing and review of Prezi content to keep it on message.SlideBoomWhat it is: SlideBoom offers an easy-to-use hosting service for PowerPoint users looking for a simple way to share their presentations online. SlideBoom converts PowerPoint presentations into Flash files which can be shared with others or embedded into a website. The service is free for uploading and sharing up to 100 presentations. The PRO Account, which runs $195 per year, includes up to 500 presentations and includes more options for embedding and sharing statistics showing how many people have viewed your slide shows.What you might like: SlideBoom is a quick and easy way to get your PowerPoint presentations from your computer onto the Web. It works with multiple PowerPoint versions, from 2010 all the way back to 2000. If you want to get that old PowerPoint where everyone can see it, and you don’t want to learn anything new, SlideBoom works.What you might not like: SlideBoom provides a nothing more than basic public Web link that shares your presentation. The bland page containing your slides can have advertisements, though ads-free slideshow channels can be branded for your company using a paid account. If a small-business owner is looking for a rich online experience for a presentation, SlideBoom isn’t likely to be the best choice. last_img read more

Pebble Unveils Slimmer Smartwatch

first_imgJanuary 6, 2014 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. 2 min read It’s been a busy year for Pebble Technology, the company behind Pebble, a watch-like device that syncs up with a user’s smartphone and alerts him or her of incoming messages and calls.Last year, Pebble debuted its first smartwatch at the 2014 International CES. This year, it’s back with a premium version: Pebble Steel has the same features as the original Pebble watch (ePaper display, weeklong batter life, waterproof design), but it comes in a smaller, thinner package with a subtler finish (brushed stainless or black matte). At $249, it’s a substantial price jump from Pebble’s original smartwatch, which retails for $150. The watch is available for preorder today (units start shipping Jan. 28).Related: Pebble’s $10 Million Crowdfunding Secret: Keep It SimpleThe company also announced plans to launch a Pebble appstore, which will live within the existing Pebble app on iOS or Android devices. “By the end of January, the Pebble appstore will offer a centralized location for users to discover, manage, and install apps and watchfaces,” the company said in a blog post.Finally, Pebble revealed that ESPN, Mercedes-Benz and Pandora have all created Pebble apps, which will be demoed at this year’s CES in Las Vegas. Register Now » Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalslast_img read more

Razers 3Screen Laptops Stolen From CES Booth

first_img Razer had some ambitious concepts at CES this year. Project Valerie, for example, was named Best Concept/Prototype of the show, while we also got a glimpse of game-projection prototype Project Ariana.Apparently we weren’t the only ones impressed by Razer’s innovations; someone at the show gave themselves a five-finger discount. In a Facebook post early Monday, Razer CEO Min-Liang Tan said he’d “just been informed that two of our prototypes were stolen from our booth at CES today.””We treat theft/larceny, and if relevant to this case, industrial espionage, very seriously — it is cheating, and cheating doesn’t sit well with us,” Tan wrote, possibly suggesting a competitor stole the machines. “Penalties for such crimes are grievous and anyone who would do this clearly isn’t very smart.”Tan added that Razer has filed “the necessary reports” and is now working with CES management and law enforcement to catch whoever stole the prototypes. He encouraged anyone with information about the theft to reach out to Razer’s legal team.”At Razer, we play hard and we play fair,” he wrote. “Our teams worked months on end to conceptualize and develop these units and we pride ourselves in pushing the envelope to deliver the latest and greatest.”In a statement to PCMag, a Razer spokesperson said two Project Valerie laptops were stolen from the Rader press room at around 4 p.m. on Sunday. The company is offering a $25,000 reward for “original information leading to the identification, arrest and conviction of a criminal suspect,” the spokesperson said. Razer’s 12K Project Valerie laptop sports two 4K displays, which spread out like wings from the main screen. Even with three screens, Project Valerie is only about as thick as two Razer Blade Pros stacked together, and was able to run a game at full resolution across the three screens. This thing may never end up as a consumer product, but it’s cool to dream about.Project Ariana, meanwhile, pushes games past the TV, using a projection system to flood your entire wall with whatever you’re playing. 2 min read Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. January 10, 2017 Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Register Now » This story originally appeared on PCMaglast_img read more