Month: August 2019

Scientists propose hidden 3D optical data storage technique

first_img The scientists, Konstantinos Iliopoulos and coauthors from the University of Angers, France, have published their study in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The researchers designed a new class of nonlinear optical (NLO) coumarin-based polymers that can be reversibly transformed into dimers (which are large molecules made of two identical smaller molecules) under irradiation by different wavelengths of light. Whereas wavelengths greater than 300 nm can produce dimers, wavelengths less than 280 nm do the reverse, separating each dimer into two individual molecules. Since each type of molecule is electronically and structurally very different, optically controlling this process can provide the basis for writing, reading, erasing, and rewriting data.“The most important issue is the conjugation of several aspects in one system,” coauthor Denis Gindre of the University of Angers told “First, a high density of data storage; second, re-writability; and third, the fact that these issues can only be addressed by a non-linear technique (and are non-detectable by linear techniques).” To demonstrate the possibility of writing data in this way, the scientists irradiated a coumarin-based polymer with a laser with a wavelength of 700 nm (for a two-photon process at 350 nm). The laser created a photodimerization reaction of the coumarin molecules, changing the polymer into a dimer form. By controlling the irradiation, the scientists demonstrated the recording of lines and dots.The recorded data could be read by a method called second-harmonic generation (SHG)-assisted imaging, in which photons interacting with the NLO material combine to form photons with twice the energy. The level of SHG signals is significantly lower than the unwritten background area, resulting in two distinct logical levels. No loss of recorded bits along the reading process was observed because the UV light generated by SHG is not absorbed by the molecules, avoiding the erasing of information by further chemical reaction.Finally, the scientists showed that the data could be erased and rewritten in the same area. To erase, the written polymer was exposed to a UV light with a wavelength of less than 280 nm, which converted the dimer polymer back into its original form. After using SHG imaging to confirm that the data was erased, the scientists repeated the writing process with the longer-wavelength laser. This novel approach to optical data storage has the potential to provide an efficient, high-capacity data storage method, the scientists note. Also, because the reading process can be carried out only by SHG imaging, the technique could be used for the sensitive field of hidden 3D data storage.“This technique can, in principle, be applied to a bulk 3D material,” said coauthor Marc Sallé of the University of Angers. “With such a concept, it is impossible to read the written information with conventional linear techniques like optical microscopy, polarization microscopy, atomic force microscopy, and so on. This is why the term ‘hidden’ was used. One potential application is, for instance, undetectable marking to detect fakes or counterfeits.” 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. Five-Dimensional DVD Could Hold Data of 30 Blu-ray Discs Explore further (Top) The image in (a) shows lines written using the photodimerization technique, corresponding to lower SHG signals in (b). (Bottom) These images show a line that was (a) written, (b) erased, and (c) rewritten perpendicular to the first line. Image credit: Iliopoulos, et al. © 2010 American Chemical Society. More information: Konstantinos Iliopoulos, et al. “Reversible Two-Photon Optical Data Storage in Coumarin-Based Copolymers.” Journal of the American Chemical Society, Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/ja1047285 Copyright 2010 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Citation: Scientists propose ‘hidden’ 3D optical data storage technique (2010, October 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — By using a laser to reversibly combine and separate molecules, scientists have demonstrated a new optical data storage technique. Because the data can be read by only one kind of imaging technique (second-harmonic generation-assisted imaging), the new method could be used for hidden 3D data storage.last_img read more

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The Virus Turns 40

first_img Citation: The Virus Turns 40 (2011, March 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Statistical physics shows new approach to fighting viruses More information: You can find more information about the most intriguing viruses over the last 40 years and how they’ve evolved over time here. ( — Today we have the dubious honor of wishing a happy birthday to the computer virus. It is hitting its 40th birthday, so get out the grim reaper cake and “Over the Hill” balloons. While we certainly won’t be wishing the virus many happy returns, we can get a look at how the virus has evolved over time. 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 © 2010 Explore further You may be wondering what the first virus was? As it turns out that the first virus was created in 1971, and was promptly given the name Creeper. The Creeper most noticeable side effect was when the virus displayed the message “I’m the creeper, catch me if you can!” on the screens of the infected machines. Scooby Doo fans may also remember this name from another campy 70’s creation. A villain named The Creeper made an appearance in the animated film Scoobie Doo and the Ghoul School.Bad 70’s jokes aside, and trust me with those hairstyles and mustaches this reporter could go on for at least another 500 words, this virus was the beginning of the digital war that we are living in today: where companies try harder and harder to shore up the holes in their operating systems while the creators of malicious code work their hardest to exploit them. This war is about more than simple exploitation, it is a numbers game as well. When you consider that viruses have grown from 1,300 viruses in 1990 to over 200 million computer viruses on the web currently, we can see how things have grown exponentially.And while the amount was changing, the nature was too. Early viruses were simply an annoyance, done mostly to prove that the designer could. Current models are usually designed with another type of crime in mind, usually identity theft or creating a botnet. The first virus to really exploit the commercial potential of the virus was the Melissa, which ran rampant in 1999, and the first virus to make botnets came about in 2005. It was named MyTob.You may be wondering, on this anniversary what will be the next frontier for the virus? Most experts predict that it will be smartphones.last_img read more

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Patterned media technique achieves Terabit data recording densities

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. Copyright 2011 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of The researchers, Joel K. W. Yang, et al., from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering and the Data Storage Institute at A*STAR (the Agency for Science, Technology and Research) in Singapore, as well as the National University of Singapore, have published their study in a recent issue of Nanotechnology. As Yang explained, the new method pushes the boundaries of hard disk drive recording densities.“Yes, 3.3 Tbit/in2 is one of the highest demonstrations to date,” Yang told “Though there are other non-magnetic patterns that have higher densities, we believe we’ve fabricated and tested magnetic bits that are the most densely packed.”Today’s hard disk drives have recording densities of up to 0.5 Tbit/in2, but improving this density beyond 1-1.5 Tbit/in2 may not be possible using the same granular method. The difficulty stems from two limits. The first is a limit on the minimum number of grains per bit (each bit requires at least a few tens of grains), which is due to the need for a sufficient signal-to-noise ratio. The second limit is the superparamagnetic limit, which limits the minimum grain size. If the grain size is too small, the magnetization state becomes thermally unstable and the grains can no longer store data.In contrast with the conventional method, patterned media (or bit-patterned media) doesn’t face the same limits. Because the magnetic cells are lithographically patterned in ordered arrays, the signal-to-noise ratio is significantly improved, and each individual magnetic cell can serve as a bit. And since the magnetic cells are larger than the grains, they don’t run into the superparamagnetic limit. By overcoming the limitations of granular media, patterned media has the potential for achieving recording densities well beyond 1 Tbit/in2. Some patterned media techniques have even demonstrated original pattern resolutions of up to 10 Tdot/in2 (before the dots become functional bits), but these fabrication techniques rely on pattern-transfer methods such as etching or liftoff that degrade the resolution of the original pattern, and reduce the final density. (a, b) In the first step of the process, tiny pillars are patterned onto a surface. (c, d) In the second step, a magnetic film is deposited onto the posts, turning them into magnetic bits. The 35-nm spacing corresponds to a recording density of 0.6 Tbit/in2. A sample with 15-nm spacing (not shown) corresponds to a recording density of 3.3 Tbit/in2. Image credit: Yang, et al. ©2011 IOP Publishing Ltd More information: Joel K W Yang, et al. “Fabrication and characterization of bit-patterned media beyond 1.5 Tbit/in2.” Nanotechnology 22 (2011) 385301 (6pp). DOI:10.1088/0957-4484/22/38/385301 ‘3-D towers’ of information double data storage areal densitycenter_img ( — In an effort to increase the recording densities of hard disk drives, patterned media has become one of the most promising strategies for achieving recording densities beyond 1 Tbit/in2. In patterned media, data is stored in a uniform array of magnetic cells that each contain one bit, rather than in groups of randomly arranged magnetic nanograins in a thin-film magnetic alloy, as in today’s hard disk drives. In a new study, researchers have developed a simplified patterned media method by reducing the number of steps in the process, and have demonstrated high densities from 1.9 Tbit/in2 to 3.3 Tbit/in2, although the latter density still needs to be characterized by higher resolution magnetic force microscopes than were available for the study. Explore further Citation: Patterned media technique achieves Terabit data recording densities (2011, September 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from To address the pattern-transfer problem, the researchers from Singapore have developed a patterned media process that doesn’t require any kind of pattern transfer. Their technique consists of just two steps: (1) using electron beam lithography to pattern arrays of dots (or tiny pillars) as small as 10 nm in diameter on a resist material, and (2) using sputtering techniques to deposit 21-nm-thick magnetic films on top of the entire resist material. The magnetic material that lands on top of the nanoposts serves as magnetically isolated bits. By avoiding etching and liftoff processes, the resolution of the final patterns are basically identical to the resolution of the original lithographic pattern.“The etching step could be avoided as the e-beam pattern resist itself, while being an excellent imaging medium for the electron beam, doubles up as a robust material that can be used in hard-disk platters,” Yang explained.Using the new method, the researchers fabricated samples with a patterning density of up to 3.3 Tdot/in2, and scanning-electron microscope images showed that the final magnetic bits maintain the same densities, up to 3.3 Tbit/in2. Because the magnetic bits are physically connected to their neighbors by tiny magnetic links, the researchers had to confirm that the individual bits were still magnetically isolated and that these links did not interfere with each bit’s ability to store data. To do this, they observed the samples under a magnetic force microscope while applying magnetic fields of different strengths to switch individual bits. For samples with densities up to 1.9 Tbit/in2, the microscope showed that individual bits can be switched independently of their neighbors; beyond that, the microscope could not resolve individual bits due to its own resolution limit.“The biggest advantage of this technique is that the final density/resolution of the fabricated bits were kept as close as possible to that of the lithographic step,” Yang said. “If we had introduced pattern-transfer steps such as etching, the maximum achievable resolution would be significantly lower due to pattern degradation during etching. As a bonus, reducing steps also reduces cost and increases throughput, especially when combined with high-throughput processes such as nanoimprint lithography and guided self-assembly.”The researchers predict that higher resolution magnetic force microscope techniques will verify the individual switchability of the bits at 3.3 Tbit/in2. They also predict that the new patterned media technique can enable the fabrication of memories at the highest possible densities (in the range of 10 Tbit/in2). If the electron beam lithography step can be combined with, or replaced by, other scalable patterning methods such as templated self-assembly, the new technique could be used for the large-scale manufacturing of future ultrahigh-density hard disk drives.last_img read more

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DNA as invisible ink can reversibly hide patterns

first_img The researchers, Jian Liang and Giacinto Scoles from Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Matteo Castronovo from Temple University and CRO-National Center Institute in Aviano Pordenone, Italy, have published their work on using DNA as invisible ink in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. To write with DNA as invisible ink, the scientists used a nanolithography technique called nanografting, in which nanostructures are written using an atomic force microscope. Unlike other nanolithography techniques, in which nanostructures are written on top of a surface, nanografting first removes the original molecules in the scanning region and then writes new molecules in their place. Using this technique, the scientists first covered a gold surface with a monolayer of thiolated single-stranded DNA (ssDNA) molecules using a self-assembly process. Then they embedded the same type of DNA using nanografting into the thiolated DNA background. At this point, the nanografted DNA pattern is invisible, as it has the same thickness and chemical makeup as the background. However, the nanografted DNA is different from the self-assembled DNA background in that the nanografted molecules have a tighter packing order. Although the packing order is invisible under the initial conditions, a tighter packing order makes the nanografted DNA more sensitive to hybridization. The scientists found that performing a hybridization process that involves immersing the DNA film in a fluid containing the complementary DNA (cDNA) increases the thickness of the nanografted DNA much more dramatically than that of the self-assembled DNA. As a result, the nanografted DNA pattern emerges and becomes visible.By dehybridizing the DNA film, the researchers could reverse the thickness increase and make the DNA pattern invisible again. To dehybridize, the researchers incubated the DNA film in ultrapure Milli-Q water for several hours, and the pattern disappeared. The researchers found that they could repeat the hybridization/dehybridization process multiple times, and the pattern could still be switched between visible (“on”) and invisible (“off”) with high fidelity.The scientists noted that this ability to write, read, and erase is not very common in nanolithography. This novelty makes the DNA invisible ink an intriguing discovery that could be used for manipulating biological molecules and generating new encryption technologies. The encryption ability could also be combined with other techniques such as DNA stamping, which allows patterns to be transferred using a programmable, reversible, and recyclable mold. ( — While most people know of DNA as the building blocks of life, these large molecules also have potential applications in areas such as biosensing, nanoparticle assembly, and building supramolecular structures. And now scientists have added another use to the list: invisible ink. More information: Jian Liang, et al. “DNA as Invisible Ink for AFM Nanolithography.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI:10.1021/ja2076845 Explore further (A) ssDNA is nanografted into a background of self-assembled ssDNA, with both having the same height (“off” state). (B) Hybridizing the ssDNA reveals the hidden pattern (“on” state) due to the increased height of the nanografted DNA. (C) Dehybridizing reverses the height increase (“off state). (D) The pattern is restored. (E) and (F) show the height of the pattern in the “off” and “on” states, respectively. Image credit: Liang, et al. ©2011 American Chemical Society Citation: DNA as invisible ink can reversibly hide patterns (2012, January 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society Copyright 2012 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of 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. DNA falls apart when you pull itlast_img read more

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Adapteva 99 parallel processing boards targeted for summer

first_img Citation: Adapteva $99 parallel processing boards targeted for summer (2013, April 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from “We don’t have time to wait for the rest of the industry to come around to the fact that parallel computing is the only path forward and that we need to act now. We hope you will join us in our mission to change the way computers are built,” they had said when appealing earlier for support. The Lexington, Massachusetts, company has now announced they built the first Parallella board for Linux supercomputing. They made the announcement at the Linux Collaboration Summit in San Francisco earlier this month. (The summit is a gathering of core kernel developers, distribution maintainers, ISVs, end users, system vendors and various other community organizations.) The Linux distribution being used is Ubuntu 12.04 © 2013 Adapteva’s board is the size of a credit card. This comes with a dual-core ARM A9 processor and a 64-core Epiphany Multicore Accelerator chip. Parallela’s details include 1GB of RAM, two USB 2.0 ports, a microSD slot, and an HDMI connection. Active components and the majority of the standard connectors are on the top side of the board. The expansion connectors and microSD card connector are at the bottom side of the board.Olofsson said the company’s first audience target is developers. “We need to make sure that every programmer has access to cheap and open parallel hardware and development tools,” said an Adapteva program note for the Linux event. Massively parallel computing will become truly ubiquitous once the vast majority of programmers and programs know how to take full advantage of the underlying hardware They see a critical need to close the knowledge gap in parallel programming. They said their targeted our second tier are the people who just want an awesome computer for $99.Platform reference design and drivers are now available. Explore further Information technology needs fundamental shift to continue rapid advances in computingcenter_img The processor board running on Linux is called Parallella. According to the Kickstarter page, pledges totaled $898,921 from 4,965 backers when Adapteva set its goal for funding. The company decided to go through the crowdfunding route in order to produce the Parallella boards in volume. They sought funding for adequate tooling to accommodate volume, to make this board effort viable, to get the platform “out there.” The company’s hurry-up drive on making parallel processing access easier for more people has a sense of urgency because the company wants to speed adoption of parallel processing in the industry. Founded in 2008, the company’s chip technology has gained traction with government labs, corporate labs, and schools but getting large corporations to buy into parallel computing is challenging. They were convinced that the only way to create a sustainable parallel computing platform was through a grass roots movement. The company founder, Andreas Olofsson, said that parallel computing is the only way to scale to energy efficiency, performance, and cost. Systems, he stated, need to be parallel and they need to be open “Our 99 dollar kit is going to be completely open,” he said, and the Parallella open platform will educate the masses on how to do parallel computing. More information: … a-hardware-platform/ … -name-is-parallella/ ( —The semiconductor technology company Adapteva earlier this month featured its parallel-processing board for Linux supercomputingts at a major Linux event, and the board is targeted to ship this summer. The board will be going out to those who pledged money in last year’s Adapteva Kickstarter campaign and to other customers. Not a minute too soon. To hear the story of computing as Adapteva tells it, the future of computing is parallel. Big-data and other demands pose a processor challenge and Adapteva recognizes a problem in energy efficiency that is calling for action. Adapteva is on a mission to “democratize” access to parallel computing. 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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Researchers find winds on Uranus and Neptune confined to thin atmosphere layer

first_imgAfter analyzing all the data, the researchers concluded that the winds that blow on both planets, due so in a very thin layer in the atmosphere—no more than 600 miles deep. Because of the large size of the planets, the layers are proportionally very small—just 0.15 percent of the mass of Uranus, and 0.2 percent for Neptune. This suggests, the researchers propose, that the winds are mostly driven by atmospheric and surface conditions (possibly moisture evaporating and condensing) rather than some forces deep inside the planets icy interior.Using gravity to estimate wind conditions on other planets is a new approach, one that will likely be applied to exoplanets now that it appears to have provided useful information about planets closer to home. This is an image from the Voyager 2 flyby of Neptune in August 1989 (NASA). In the middle is the Great Dark Spot, accompanied by bright, white clouds that undergo rapid changes in appearance. To the south of the Great Dark Spot is the bright feature that Voyager scientists nicknamed “Scooter.” Still farther south is the feature called “Dark Spot 2,” which has a bright core. As each feature moves eastward at a different velocity, they are rarely aligned this way. Wind velocities near the equator are westward, reaching 1300 km/h, while those at higher latitudes are eastward, peaking at 900 km/h. Credit: NASA More information: Atmospheric confinement of jet streams on Uranus and Neptune, Nature 497, 344–347 (16 May 2013) doi:10.1038/nature12131AbstractThe observed cloud-level atmospheric circulation on the outer planets of the Solar System is dominated by strong east–west jet streams. The depth of these winds is a crucial unknown in constraining their overall dynamics, energetics and internal structures. There are two approaches to explaining the existence of these strong winds. The first suggests that the jets are driven by shallow atmospheric processes near the surface, whereas the second suggests that the atmospheric dynamics extend deeply into the planetary interiors. Here we report that on Uranus and Neptune the depth of the atmospheric dynamics can be revealed by the planets’ respective gravity fields. We show that the measured fourth-order gravity harmonic, J4, constrains the dynamics to the outermost 0.15 per cent of the total mass of Uranus and the outermost 0.2 per cent of the total mass of Neptune. This provides a stronger limit to the depth of the dynamical atmosphere than previously suggested, and shows that the dynamics are confined to a thin weather layer no more than about 1,000 kilometres deep on both planets.Press release 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. Jet streams on the planet Neptune. Credit: Yohai Kaspi/ Weizmann Institute of Science/ NASA With the downgrading of Pluto, Neptune and Uranus are now listed as the planet’s in our solar system the most distant from the sun. Because of that, the least is known about them. To date, just one spacecraft has flown close enough to either of them to offer useful information: Voyager 2 back in the 1980’s. Scientists would like to know more of course—of particular interest are the bands of winds that blow at high speeds in the atmospheres of both planets. Are they fueled by mostly atmospheric conditions or by an unknown inner planetary dynamic? No one knows for sure, but work done in this latest effort suggests it’s more likely the former.To learn more about the weather systems going on with both planets, the research team dug up gravity data from the Voyager 2 missions, used current telescopes and created models to help identify the factors that contribute to the wind bands. They focused specifically on each planets’ gravitational field, noting that variations can occur due to a variety of factors. Some of those include the amount of mass beneath a point being measured, how compressed the spherical nature of the planet is due to spin, and the amount of material held in the atmosphere by winds. center_img Computer simulation shows Solar System once had an extra planet ( —A team of researchers from the U.S. and Israel has deduced that the winds that blow on Uranus and Neptune are confined to relatively thin atmospheric layers. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes how they used data from Voyager 2, ground based satellites and models to work out the thickness of the weather systems on the two ice giants. © 2013 Citation: Researchers find winds on Uranus and Neptune confined to thin atmosphere layer (2013, May 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Naturelast_img read more

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Astronomers discover new gas giant exoplanet

first_imgObserved data for event OGLE-2014-BLG-0676/MOA-2014-BLG-175 from the MOA (gray), OGLE (red) and Wise (green) microlensing survey groups along with data from the RoboNET/LCOGT (cyan) and MiNDSTEp (magenta) groups. Also shown is the best-fitting binary lens model light-curve (black line). The epoch when the OGLE collaboration issued an alert for this event is indicated with a black arrow. Data with extremely large errors are omitted. Credit: Nicolas Rattenbury et al., 2016. © 2016 , arXiv 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. Impostor planet exposed by astronomers Journal information: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (—Using the gravitational microlensing method, an international team of astronomers has recently detected a new gas giant exoplanet three times more massive than Jupiter. The newly discovered planet received designation OGLE-2014-BLG-0676Lb and is an important addition to the short list of extrasolar worlds detected by the microlensing technique. The discovery was described in a paper published Dec. 12 on Citation: Astronomers discover new gas giant exoplanet (2016, December 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: N. J. Rattenbury et al. Faint source star planetary microlensing: the discovery of the cold gas giant planet OGLE-2014-BLG-0676Lb, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (2016). DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stw3185 , On Arxiv: report the discovery of a planet —- OGLE-2014-BLG-0676Lb —- via gravitational microlensing. Observations for the lensing event were made by the MOA, OGLE, Wise, RoboNET/LCOGT, MiNDSTEp and μFUN groups. All analyses of the light curve data favour a lens system comprising a planetary mass orbiting a host star. The most favoured binary lens model has a mass ratio between the two lens masses of (4.78±0.13)×10−3. Subject to some important assumptions, a Bayesian probability density analysis suggests the lens system comprises a 3.09+1.02−1.12 M_jup planet orbiting a 0.62+0.20−0.22 M_sun host star at a deprojected orbital separation of 4.40+2.16−1.46 AU. The distance to the lens system is 2.22+0.96−0.83 kpc. Planet OGLE-2014-BLG-0676Lb provides additional data to the growing number of cool planets discovered using gravitational microlensing against which planetary formation theories may be tested. Most of the light in the baseline of this event is expected to come from the lens and thus high-resolution imaging observations could confirm our planetary model interpretation. Unlike other methods of detecting exoplanets, microlensing is most sensitive when it comes to searching for exoworlds that orbit around one to 10 AU away from their host stars. These planets are of special interest for astronomers studying planetary formation theories due to proximity to their parent stars, within the so-called “snow line.” Just beyond this line, the most active planet formation occurs; therefore, understanding the distribution of exoplanets in this region could offer important clues to how planets form.So far, 47 planets have been discovered by microlensing. Currently, several ground-based observation programs routinely monitor dense stellar fields to search for microlensing events. When a new event is discovered, an alert to the broader scientific community is issued in order to allow follow-up observations. Astronomers are particularly interested in events showing evidence for perturbations that could be due to the presence of a planet, or which are predicted to have a high sensitivity to such perturbations.OGLE-2014-BLG-0676, discovered in April 2014 by a Polish astronomical project called the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment (OGLE), is one of those interesting microlensing events. Recently, a collaboration of researchers consisting of the OGLE group, the Microlensing Observations in Astrophysics (MOA), the Wise Observatory Group and the Microlensing Network for the Detection of Small Terrestrial Exoplanets (MiNDSTEp), has detected an anomalous signal in this event consistent with a planetary lens system.”The source star passed through the central caustic, with the second caustic crossing being well recorded by the MOA microlensing survey collaboration. Observations at epochs between the unrecorded first caustic crossing and the second caustic crossing were made by the OGLE, Wise and MOA collaborations. (…) All analyses of the light curve data favor a lens system comprising a planetary mass orbiting a host star,” the paper reads.According to the research, the newly discovered planet has a mass of about 3.1 Jupiter masses and orbits its parent star at a deprojected orbital separation of about 4.4 AU. The host star is approximately 38 percent less massive than our sun and was classified as a K-dwarf. The distance to the lens system is about 7,200 light years.Moreover, the team revealed some information about the source star. They revealed that is rather faint and very red, noting that there is a possibility that the source may be blended with a nearby red star, causing an incorrect identification of the source star type.In conclusion, the scientists emphasize the importance of their discovery, noting that OGLE-2014-BLG-0676Lb could serve as a test bed for planet formation scenarios. “Planet OGLE-2014-BLG-0676Lb can be added to the growing list of planets discovered by microlensing against which planetary formation theories can be tested,” the researchers wrote in the paper.last_img read more

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Wisdom of the protists electron flow tricks for controlling cancer

first_img We can state this distinction more directly. eukaryotes run one very specialized version of the electron transport chain while procaryotes run a more generalized system of multiple simultaneously operating electron transport chains. In eukaryotes, it looks something like this:NADH → Complex I → Q → Complex III → cytochrome c → Complex IV → O2 NADH (dehydrogenase) is the electron donor, Complexes I, III and IV are proton pumps, Q is the membrane soluble mobile electron carriers—the quinone pool, and cytochrome c the soluble electron carrierThe prokaryotic chain (bacteria and archaea), on the other hand, includes multiple donors that can input electrons at three levels. Not only are there typically several different initial dehydrogenases used here, there are often different membrane soluble electron carriers that can contribute to the quinone pool, and multiple oxidases and reductases. Borrowing directly from Wikipedia, the generalized schematic looks like this: All schoolchildren learn that the difference between eukaryotes and prokaryotes has something to do with a nucleus. This is usually around the same time they learn that the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. The real difference between these two life forms, however, has more to do with how they control the flow of electrons to make their living, i.e., their electron transport chains going from donors to acceptors via redox reactions. © 2018 Although eukaryotes use just one instance of this chain, they have been able to borrow a few tricks from prokaryotes that they can call upon when needed. Under certain circumstances, reverse electron flow can occur at one or more of the respiratory complexes. One thing we left out in the eukaryotic chain above is complex II, which is a branch point that feeds into the Q pool. In a post here on Wednesday, we discussed in some detail how this particular enzyme system (Succinate dehydrogenase) is regulated in the brain by GABA to regulate mitochondrial access to purine nucleotides. Succinate dehydrogenase is also a major stop on the citric acid cycle. When there are local reversals in the direction of the citric acid cycle here, there must also be reverse electron transport at complex II in respiration.Quinones I have known and lovedA recent paper published in eLife describes how and when this occurs in a peculiar protist called pygsuia. The authors discovered that this organism makes a special kind of quinone using an enzyme that it acquired from bacteria by horizontal gene transfer. Pysugia is an anaerobe and it no longer retains full blown mitochondria. Instead, it uses remnant organelles similar to hydrogenosomes. Instead of using coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone), like humans use in their quinone pool, Pysugia modifies ubiquinone to a molecule called rhodoquinone (RQ) using a specific methyltransferase to replace one methoxy group with an amine. Credit: eLife (2018). DOI: 10.7554/eLife.34292 Credit: Matthew W. Brown et al / Proc. R. Soc. B. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1755 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore furthercenter_img Citation: Wisdom of the protists; electron flow tricks for controlling cancer (2018, May 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: eLife The beauty of RQ is that it retains all the structural assets that make ubiquinone so useful—essentials like multiple oxidation states and adjustable length lipid soluble isoprenoid tails for membranes of different thicknesses—but has a reduction potential significantly more negative than ubiquinone (-63 mv vs +100mv). What this means for electron transport is that the reverse reaction at complex II, namely the reduction of fumarate to succinate, becomes much more favorable. When there is no oxygen around (which is normally the terminal electron acceptor used at complex IV), there is little reason for organisms like pysugia to retain any respiratory complexes beyond succinate dehydrogenase. Therefore, they reoxidize RQH2 back to its original RQ form at complex II and generate succinate. Complex I can then cycle again. RQ is not the only alternative to ubiquinone. Bacteria frequently make use of the menaquinone (aka vitamin K2), which is the molecule we utilize for carboxylation of glutamate residues in our coagulation pathway proteins. Plants use phylloquinone (vitamin K1) in photosystem I, and plastoquinone in photosystem II, which has methyl groups in place of ubiquinol’s methoxy groups. Some makers of dubious anti-aging miracle molecules have been known to peddle various plastoquinone-related derivatives. One potential supplement called SkQ1 was specifically designed to penetrate mitochondrial membranes. Another, SkQR1 is a rhodamine-containing analog that has antioxidant and protonophore activity.Many mammalian parasites have a life cycle that requires transit through tissues with widely different oxygen levels in order for them to mature. Some of them, like the ascaris nematode, have managed to get the best of both worlds. They can print off different versions of complex II subunit, along with different Q pool electron carriers, and optimally run reverse electron transport as oxygen levels require. Adult ascaris worms live in low-oxygen intestines and expel their eggs with the feces of their host. When a larva is ingested by a new host, it hatches and invades its intestinal wall, then proceeds to migrate through the host’s organs until it eventually winds up in the lungs, where oxygen alters development. By some hideous magic only a parasite could appreciate, ascaris causes the host to violently cough up the maturing larva, after which they are subsequently swallowed and directed again to the small intestine. Here, they turn off production of complex III and IV, but can continue to make ATP by pumping protons and oxidizing NADH at complex I while recycling RQ at complex II. When organisms like ascaris, or E. coli, or C. elegans maintain dedicated enzymes for running reverse electron transport at complex II, these enzymes are called fumarate reductases as opposed to succinate dehydrogenases.If you need to kill any such parasite lurking within you, this can be a special thing. Researchers have uncovered compounds, like nafuredin, that specifically inhibit the NADH dehydrogenase complex in the mitochondria of helminths. Similarly, atpenin and flutolanil inhibit complex II at its quinone binding site. To appreciate why we said ‘controlling cancer’ in the headline, we need to open one final gift from science: Many human cancers can thrive in poorly vascularized centers of tumors or other low-oxygen pockets in the body. Of particular note, fumarate respiration has been observed in many kinds of cancer.Ascaris makes different varieties of each of Complex II’s four subunits; a flavoprotein subunit (Fp), iron–sulfur subunit (Ip), cytochrome b large subunit (CybL), and cytochrome b small subunit (CybS). Humans don’t have special RQ quinones, nor do they keep any bonafide fumarate reductase enzymes on tap. However, they do have two separate versions of the Fp subunit, and produce them both in most tissues. Researchers have found that many cancers including breast, lung and lymphoma preferentially make the type II Fp subunit.Genetic sequencing has revealed that several varieties of tumors, like pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma, are associated wth certain variants of complex II genes. These tumors are also associated with specific assembly factors that help construct and position complex II. Complex II is unique in that all its subunits are encoded in the nucleus. There is still some debate about where and how many complex II units get coordinated into larger respiratory supercomplexesthat can confine the Q and cytochrome C mobile electron carriers. It is now understood that the translation and early assembly of complex III and complex IV occur at the inner membrane boundary while that of complex V takes place deep in the cristae.Today, many new therapies depend on which particular variants you and your tumor happen to have. Before antihelminthic compounds become a standard of care tumor treatments, there are several other important enzyme systems that deal in quinones that may need to be fully investigated. For example, these include quinone biosynthesis enzymes, alternative oxidase, glycerol-3-phosphate dehydrogenase, and dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (DHODH).DHODH is a critical step in de novo pyrimidine biosynthesis and requires complex III to regenerate ubiquinone in order to function. Appreciating these many subtle links between electron transport and synthesis of the fundamental building blocks of life is critical to understanding what cancer is. More information: Courtney W Stairs et al. Microbial eukaryotes have adapted to hypoxia by horizontal acquisitions of a gene involved in rhodoquinone biosynthesis, eLife (2018). DOI: 10.7554/eLife.34292 Photosynthesis involves a protein “piston”last_img read more

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Not too pink but happy in HKV

first_imgThree dimly-lit floors and a nicely-done up terrace. The Pink Room impresses you with the decor when you walk in. Wooden chests that double up as tables, comfortable sofas and chairs, quirky posters and lyrics of songs and framed photographs of musicians — this newly-opened place in Hauz Khas Village is your typical after-work den. With music in the background, a bar that serves regular alcohol (nothing too fancy mind you, except the Grey Goose) and some pretty chilled out spaces are things that work in favour of this restaurant. Going by the name, one would expect that everything would be overtly pink and therefore either very garish or very girly. Thankfully, the owners have ensured that one disaster is avoided. The colour pink is present here, though very subtly. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The menu is all that’s popular now in the youth circuit — Thai, Italian and Mediterranean, with bits of Punjabi and includes a breakfast selection. The beverage menu is average and there is a lot of scope of improvement, especially in the cocktail section which is average. Also, the staff need training in the serving of alcohol with the right amount of accompaniments like ice and soda. often, too much water or molten ice spoilt the drink when I went there. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe food again, is mostly average with the exception of some fantastically cooked dishes. Worth a mention is the Lamb Tajine with cous cous prepared with some very fresh and soft lamb. Skip the risotto even if you are fond of it. Another item I liked was the Roasted chicken pesto pizza with extra cheese. Thin crust and really nice.  Overall, go to The Pink Room for the ambience, if not so much for the food.DETAILAt: 29 A, Hauz Khas VillageTimings: Noon to midnightPhone: 30146122 Meal for Two: Rs 2,100last_img read more

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1 killed 23 injured in separate road accidents across state

first_imgKolkata: One person was killed and as many as 23 people were injured in several road accidents in the state since Tuesday night. Around 20 passengers travelling in two private buses were among the injured as one bus rammed into another on Jessore road in Birati.In the first incident, a middle-aged man was killed after being hit by a speeding vehicle while he was trying to cross the road in North port police station area. When the victim fell on the road, he was crushed under the wheels. The truck driver fled the spot along with the vehicle after the accident. The victim died on the spot. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAfter being informed, police reached the spot and sent the body for the post -mortem. Locals staged a demonstration in the area alleging poor condition of the road. They also alleged that there are no proper street lights in the area. The vehicles often over speed resulting in road accidents.The matter was raised with the local police administration but no steps were taken in this regard. Senior police officers later pacified the mob and gave them assurances that surveillance would be carried out in the area to control the speed of the vehicles. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIn a separate incident, around 20 persons,who were travelling in two private buses, were injured after one bus hit the other on Jessore road near Birati More on Wednesday afternoon. The incident caused traffic congestion on the busy Jessore road.According to locals, the incident occurred when a private bus of DN 8 route was competing with another private bus of L238 route to pick up extra passengers.Both the vehicles were running at high speed when the bus of DN 8 route hit the L238 from behind. Around 20 passengers travelling in both the vehicles were injured in the incident. Many other passengers were traumatized following the incident. Both the buses were going to Barasat. Locals took part in the rescue operation and rushed the injured passengers to a nearby municipality hospital. Police later reached the spot and seized the vehicles. A probe has been initiated in this regard.Three persons were injured in two separate accidents in New Town. One incident took place near Eco Park gate number 6 at around 8 am on Wednesday.A woman, identified as Feroza Bibi, was injured after being hit by a Tata Sumo.She was taken to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital. In the other incident, two private cars collided near Biswa Bangla Convention Centre injuring two persons.Police seized both the vehicles and started a probe.last_img read more

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China approves prisoner amnesty to mark WW II anniversary

first_imgChina will grant official pardon to thousands of war veterans besides juveniles, elderly and sick prisoners as part of its commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II next week.The prisoner amnesty law, promulgated by President Xi Jinping on Saturday, comes 40 years after China granted an amnesty to war criminals in 1975 and 56 years after it granted its first pardon to non-war criminals in 1959.This is the eighth amnesty since the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949.The amnesty is designed to exclude people guilty of embezzlement and corruption as China continues a campaign against official corruption, said Li Shishi, director of the committee’s legislative affairs commission.last_img read more

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Paris attacks shift spotlight back on security

first_imgFriday’s attacks in Paris have once again put the spotlight on security in Europe, especially in France, as terror groups seem to be increasingly able to strike anywhere, anytime, at will.Despite a heightened security environment in preparation for the climate change summit – COP21 – later this month when several heads of state and government are expected to arrive in Paris, such an event occurred.There had been a lot of chatter heard by intelligence agencies here that the terrorists, suspected to be mainly from the Islamic State (IS), were planning something big, either just before or during the summit when over 40,000 persons, including around 50 heads of states would arrive from around the world. Also Read – Gateway of criminal justiceThe French government had visibly ramped up the security in Paris and the major cities of the country, with all important railway stations and airports being patrolled by army units.The surveillance of suspects within France, as well as outside, had been upped and borders were being monitored very closely. As many as 30,000 security personnel are believed to have been deployed in order to secure the French capital.Yet, the attackers managed to carry out a dramatic attack, duplicating the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai, with similar elements of hostage-taking and random attacks on restaurants. Also Read – Turning a blind eyeThe 13/11 attacks were the bloodiest that the French capital has seen since the second World War and were different from the January attacks on the French weekly newspaper, Charlie Hebdo, for many reasons.The first big change in the terrorists’ strategy is the target itself. The January attacks targeted a group of journalists, who the terrorists blamed for insulting Prophet Mohammed, through their caricatures. The second main target was a Jewish grocery store. But Friday’s attacks did not target any particular group. Instead, they were aimed at creating panic, fear and a sense of deep insecurity amongst the French. The attackers picked up venues where the young would be present in large numbers.And it looks that they have achieved their objective of a massive massacre. France has declared a state of emergency, tightened border controls and put greater pressure on its security apparatus.It is evident that the attacks were the handiwork of the IS, the terror group which wants to establish an Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East and parts of Europe.Nearly 2,000 French nationals, mainly Muslims, are believed to have gone to Syria and Iraq to join in the battle led by IS. Some of them may have gone there because of the hype built around the European and US intervention in Libya, Iraq, and Syria.The propaganda clearly swayed many Muslim youths in France who went to join the battle at a time when the French authorities did not really monitor the people going to these countries. Many of them have since returned to France as hardcore sympathisers and see themselves as continuing their jihad in Europe.The French security forces have been requesting additional means – manpower, equipment, and legal backing – to be able to monitor and control high-risk elements, but so far little has come of it.Friday’s attacks may change the equation and the French President Francois Hollande will be under severe pressure to bring in significant changes in the way the country’s security apparatus is run and the means that it has at its disposal.The carnage will also have deep political implications. France is headed for regional elections in less than three weeks and for the first time ever, the extreme right wing party, Front National (FN), led by Marine Le Pen is leading both the traditional parties, the Republicans led by former President Nicolas Sarkozy and the Socialists led by President Hollande, in the recent pol.The attacks are bound to push more French voters towards Le Pen as some have come to believe that they cannot live in peace with the immigrants, especially the Muslim populace. The FN has been calling for stringent curbs on certain sections and certain practices, targeting mainly the Muslims in France who number about 10 percent of its 62 million people.More worryingly for the French political mainstream would be the impact of 13/11 attacks on the presidential elections, slated within 18 months. The divide in the French society is set to become deeper and perhaps more violent in the run-up to the elections.                 (Ranvir Nayar is a senior Paris-based journalist. Views expressed are strictly personal)last_img read more

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Elderly couple roughed up by daughterinlaw in Malda

first_imgKolkata: An elderly couple was roughed up by their daughter-in-law. The incident took place at English Bazar in Malda.The victims Santosh and Santana Chowdhury received injuries in the incident. They lodged a complaint at the local police station on the basis of which the police have started a detailed probe.The couple was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment. It was learnt that Santosh Chowdhury received an injury on his head. He is a retired government employee. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe victims told police that their son got married to the accused woman around seven years ago. For past three years, the woman has started mounting pressure on them over property issues. The accused woman wants their entire property. As they refused to do so, their daughter-in-law started abusing them.The incident turned ugly on Friday when the accused woman beat them up badly and tore their clothes.It was alleged that she also tried to steal some valuables from the house. The incident occurred when their son was away from home on Friday morning and triggered tension in Deshbandhu Nagar area of English Bazar.Locals rescued the elderly couple and sent them to hospital.They were later released. The police have assured the victims that a probe has been initiated and action will be taken against the woman who left her in-laws house immediately after the incident.last_img read more

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Bidhannagar police mull online permission for Pujas in New Town

first_imgKolkata: Bidhannagar Police Commissionerate is considering a proposal to give online permission to hold Durga Puja in New Town.A meeting between senior officials of Housing Infrastructure development Corporation (HIDCO), New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA), Fire and Emergency Services department and Bidhannagar Police Commissionarate will be held in New Town on Wednesday to discuss the matter. For quite some time, officials of the Fire and Emergency Services department and NKDA officials had asked whether puja permission could be given online to the housing complexes and residents’ associations in blocks. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeDurga Puja in New Town is becoming quite popular and people from Kolkata and its neighbourhood are visiting the place to see the pandals.HIDCO is also considering a proposal to give prizes to the puja organisers online. A blockchain enabled company will look after the whole affair. As HIDCO is supporting blockchain and startups, it will be a new venture. From paying property tax to getting trade licence and birth certificates, HIDCO has gone digital.last_img read more

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Three including two students held for possessing drugs

first_imgKolkata: Three persons including two students were arrested for allegedly selling and possessing drugs, in front of a hotel in the city. According to the police, they had brought the drugs from Delhi to sell at a party here.Sources informed that sleuths from the narcotics cell of Kolkata Police had a tip about some youths whose movements were found to be suspicious. For the last few days, members from the narcotics cell were keeping strict vigil on them. Recently, police got information about a party about to be organised in a hotel in Shakespeare Sarani, near a private nursing home. Based on the tip, a team from the narcotics cell kept an eye on the hotel on Saturday night. Around midnight, sleuths identified three youths whose movement looked suspicious. Later, some members from the team identified the trio. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeImmediately, they were intercepted. During their body search, 7 grams of MDMA, 4 blots of LSD and 3 grams of cocaine were found. Immediately, the trio, identified as Sankalp Singh, Aditya Majumder and Anupam Singh, were arrested.Later, a case was filed under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances (NDPS) Act at the Shakespeare Sarani police station. Among the three accused, Manoj is a second year student in a South Kolkata College, while Majumdar is studying in Class XII.last_img read more

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Administration to slap Rs 1001 fine on those spitting inside Dakshineswar skywalk

first_imgKolkata: The North 24-Parganas district administration will slap a fine of Rs 1,001 on those who will spit inside the recently inaugurated Dakshineswar skywalk.The decision was taken after it was found that some visitors had spoiled some pillars inside the skywalk by spitting on them. The skywalk, which is the only of its kind in the country, has been constructed at an estimated cost of Rs 60 crore and was inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on November 5. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe skywalk, having a length of 340 metres and width of 10 metres, will take the devotees straight to Dakshineswar Temple from the main road intersection. During her inaugural speech, Banerjee requested the visitors and the Dakshineswar temple management to keep the skywalk clean. She had instructed the Kamarhati municipality to engage workers under 100 days work, to keep it clean. But unfortunately, within 24 hours of its inauguration, it was found that some people had spit on the pillars. The photograph was uploaded on social media. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe officials of district administration are informing the people about the penalty through the public address system. The devotees welcomed the move taken up by the district administration and said that more stringent action should be taken against the habitual offenders. They said that those who chew tobacco, have a tendency to spit on walls. Senior officials of the district administration said workers will be posted inside the skywalk, who will request people not to spot on the walls or pillars and maintain it properly.last_img read more

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When Kathak meets philanthropy

first_imgIt is very rare to find people who think for others welfare and especially if they themselves are occupied by their work. But here is a person, who, with all her heart, is continuously working towards the welfare of underprivileged children and women. Dr Rekha Mehra is a trained classical dancer, who has acquired a unique style of her own. An exponent of Kathak Dance, Choreographer, Guru and social activist, she has skilfully blended Indian mythology with traditional dance style along Jaipur and Lucknow Gharana. From last five years she is teaching dance & music to underprivileged children. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShe has performed for several International festivals in India and abroad namely – Lucknow Mahotsav, Mahakhumbha, International Trade Fair, Khajuraho Festival, Festival of India, Common Wealth Games Programme, Sharjah festival, Onam festival in Maldives and many more. “I have been teaching and learning dance for the past 35 years and when I saw these girls from the underprivileged section of our society, I thought about helping them in any way I can. I thought it would be amazing if I could promote them in any way possible,” says Dr Mehra who has been previously associated and empanelled with Ministry of culture, Govt of India, ICCR, Zonal cultural centers, Sahitya Kala Parishad and Sangeet Natak Akademi. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveShe has choreographed few dance and thematic events for the promotion of physical, social and mental well-being of Women and children like HIV-AIDS ‘Nidaan,’ Global warming, Women empowerment, war and peace, Dhani, Chunaria, Road safety, Athithi devo bhava, Save girl child, Ladli, Bhagidari mela in front of National and International audience.Her performance on February 25 at CGO Complex, Scope convention is the first for the underprivileged children along with Dr Mehra on stage. It is a Kathak Dance recital and ballet on Buddha. “Why are people getting more inclined towards Buddhism and chanting? It is because we all live a stressed, unhealthy life and this is the reason why this performance is based on the teachings and the life of Buddha.”last_img read more

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Glam up your work wear with right jewellery

first_imgJewellery constitutes an integral part of a women’s wardrobe and accessorizing oneself with the right ornaments for an occasion is very important to lift up your styling essence. Things get a little tricky when you have to pick the right pieces for work. Pearl earrings to white stone bracelets, experts list some options. Here are a few important tips to enhance your office look by selecting the right kind of jewellery:Choosing right pair of earrings for your office appearance is very important as it can make or break your entire look. Therefore one should pick elegant earrings in serene pearls or gemstones that can impart a sophisticated look with their attractive designs. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfBold metallic rings look very stylish at workplace when they are worn with the smaller ones in the same finger, above the knuckle. To let them shine, keep rest of your fingers bare.Delicate chains or necklaces are more appropriate for office environment than big neckpieces. They add a hint of elegance to the attire without drawing much attention. Buying high-quality, timeless necklaces are considered a sound investment.One should never choose a bracelet with small tinkling bells as it can create a disturbance in the decorum of the office. Rather one should opt for chic and modish tennis bracelets embellished with Swarovski crystals and white stones that can instantly uplift your confidence.Take your boardroom look a notch higher by ditching your simple round studs. Break the monotony by opting for either bar shaped studs or small hoop earrings.Opt for diamond or gold delicate bracelets or bangles which will give you a more professional look rather than big, chunky cuffs or bracelets.last_img read more

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Transport dept looks to retire all old buses to cut down on

first_imgKolkata: The state Transport department has started the process of phasing out buses which are over 15 years old, in a bid to check the pollution level in the city.According to the Transport department officials, as many as 3,000 buses would be taken off the roads in Kolkata gradually. The old buses and other vehicles contribute greatly to the pollution level, which in turn takes a heavy toll on the environment. It may be recalled that there has been a furore over the air quality of the city for the past few months. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseIt has been learnt from the sources that many school buses that have been plying in the city are also under scanner. The school buses that are more than 25 years old have been identified and they will soon be banned, keeping in mind the environmental concerns. It is expected that entry of all the old buses into the city will be restricted within the next two months. The process had begun in January this year. It is assumed that many buses and some trucks have no proper registration. According to sources, around 1.25 lakh commercial vehicles ply in the city every day. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMany in the city are apprehensive that the phasing out of a huge number of buses would have an impact on the passengers. The Transport department officials have, however, assured that the move would have no adverse effect on the transport system of the state. The state government had also submitted a report to the National Green Tribunal (NGT), detailing the steps it has taken to control vehicular pollution. Vehicular pollution has always been a cause of concern for experts dealing with air pollution, especially in the metros across India. The NGT had earlier observed that tail-pipe emission of vehicles and “re-suspension of road dust” had a direct correlation to the amount of particulate matter in the urban air. Various health experts and doctors in the city said that prolonged exposure to air pollutants can trigger a host of critical ailments, including lung cancer. State Transport minister Suvendu Adhikari said that the process of phasing out the old vehicles has begun in January. “We will restrict the old vehicles that flout traffic norms,” he said.last_img read more

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BJP supporters attack police for stopping illegal bike rallies

first_imgKolkata: Police were heckled by BJP supporters across the state after their bike rallies in the name of ‘Sankalpa Yatra’ were stopped due to lack of permission. In multiple places, police personnel were injured after being attacked by BJP supporters.On Sunday, BJP supporters organised multiple bike rallies from various parts of Kolkata. However, as no permission had been taken for the same, police tried to stop the bike rallies. Despite repeated requests to stop, the BJP supporters tried to continue forcefully. Later, forces of Kolkata Police intervened and arrested 135 BJP supporters. 59 bikes were seized as well. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseApart from Kolkata, the incident also occurred in several districts. On Sunday morning, a bike rally led by Union minister Babul Supriyo commenced from Nuni Mor at Asansol. After the rally reached Amdiha, police stopped the rally. Immediately, the BJP supporters allegedly attacked on-duty police personnel. They resorted to hooliganism and used sticks and bamboos to beat up the police. The officer-in-charge of a local police station was injured in the scuffle. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataMeanwhile, the situation turned worse when police stopped another bike rally at Goaltor in West Midnapore on Sunday. Immediately, police and BJP supporters got involved in a tussle. Soon, some BJP leaders started pelting bricks at the police. A brick hit Uttam Mitra, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Operations. Five more police personnel including an assistant sub-inspector were also injured. They were rushed to Goaltor Hopsital. Later, several BJP supporters were arrested in connection with the incident. In Birbhum, police stopped another bike rally organised by BJP. Several supporters were detained. Due to intervention by the police, BJP supporters failed to start their ‘illegal’ bike rally at Ashoknagar in North 24-Parganas. They put up a blockade on Jirat Road, which was cleared later. The party allegedly tried to create unrest in the name of their ‘Sankalpa Yatra’ in other states as well.last_img read more

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