Monthly Archives: August 2019

Neanderthal Lacked Anatomical Competitive Edge Skeletal Remains Tell the Story

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — A new study of the skeletal fossils of Neanderthal and Early modern man suggest the lack of a “throwing arm” may have made the difference in human evolution. Researchers Jill A. Rhodes and Steven Churchill, evolutionary anthropologists published their findings in the January 2009 edition of the Journal of Human Evolution. The paper entitled, “Throwing in the Middle and Upper Paleolithic: inferences from an analysis of humeral retroversion,” provides some clues to the extinction of Neanderthal. Projectile weaponry was an important component of early man’s survival toolkit. Traces of projectile weaponry have been found in Africa dating back some 80,000 years. The mass migration by early man out of Africa into Europe some 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, show early European man developed and used bow and arrows and other projectile devices. The Rhodes/Churchill small sampling of Neanderthal’s skeletal remains indicate he was outmatched by early modern man’s development of a “throwing arm”. This anatomical feature is measured by the degree of humeral retroversion in the dominant arm and in bilateral asymmetry. Neanderthal’s short squat body, massive limbs and lack of backward displacement at the shoulder joint may have hampered their ability to incorporate projectile weaponry. According to Jill Rhoades, an evolutionary anthropologist examinations of early modern European fossils show the backward displacement at the shoulder joint, but none of the small sampling of Neanderthal’s skeletal remains carry this anatomical characteristic. Modern athletes like baseball pitchers have this characteristic in one shoulder joint and it is referred to generally as their “throwing arm”. When engaging in over head throwing activity, such as throwing a baseball or a spear, this increases the movement of the muscles and gives greater velocity and speed to the throw, according to Steven Churchill an anthropologist at Duke University. This missing technology, along with climate change and competing arrow-shooting humans significantly challenged Neanderthal and may have led to an eventual extinction. According to the Rhodes/Churchill study, habitual behavior patterns, including those related to the production and use of technology, can be imprinted on the skeleton through both genetic and epigenetic pathways. Samples of bilateral humeri sufficient for measurement of Neanderthals are rare. The study consisted of two males and one female. The study concludes, that while the sample was small, consistently it was found that Neanderthal lacked the characteristic “throwing arm” found in early modern man. According to archeologist Eric Boeda of Paris X, Nanterre, Neanderthal was not without his resources. Boeda’s team identified bitumen, a tar-like substance on sharpened stones in Syria inhabited by Neanderthal nearly 70,000 years ago. The bitumen was used as an adhesive to attach sharpened stones to wooden handle in a procedure called hafting. This finding by the Boeda research team using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry and carbon isotopes at 40km from the source places the hafting practice back 30,000 years from the date previously set in other research. Anthropologists agree, Neanderthal could throw spears short distances, but never graduated to the use of bow and arrows or spear-throwing technologies. Some 40,000 years ago, modern humans trekked out of Africa to Europe taking their bows and arrows with them for fishing, hunting and warfare. The bow and arrow enabled modern man to engage his environment and adapt to various environments. While it is cannot be stated with absolute certainty, Neanderthal’s inability or lack of interest in developing projectile weaponry may have been an important factor in his eventual demise. Scientists are uncertain as to whether modern human used bow and arrows or projectile devices against Neanderthal, but it is a distinct possibility. For further reading on the subject, See Journal of Human Evolution, Volume 56, January 2009, Throwing in the Middle and Upper Paleolithic: inferences from an analysis of humeral retroversion, Jill Rhodes and Steven Churchill.© 2009 PhysOrg.com The Reconstruction of the Funeral of Homo neanderthalensis. Captured in the Hannover Zoo. (Via Wikipedia) Citation: Neanderthal Lacked Anatomical Competitive Edge: Skeletal Remains Tell the Story (2009, January 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-01-neanderthal-lacked-anatomical-competitive-edge.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Researchers use quantum entanglement to improve differential interference contrast microscopy

first_img Citation: Researchers use quantum entanglement to improve differential interference contrast microscopy (2014, February 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-02-quantum-entanglement-differential-contrast-microscopy.html Illustration of (a) LCM-DIM and (b) the entanglement-enhanced microscope. The red and blue lines indicate horizontally and vertically polarized light. (c), (d) and (e) The change in the signal while the sample is scanned. Credit: arxiv.org/abs/1401.8075 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. Physics team entangles photons that never coexisted in time Besides offering a way to create sharper images, the new technique might also prove useful for looking at material that is easily damaged by strong light—it might also lend itself to other types of measuring devices such as interferometers. © 2014 Phys.org More information: An entanglement-enhanced microscope, Nature Communications 4, Article number: 2426 DOI: 10.1038/ncomms3426 . On Arxiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1401.8075AbstractAmong the applications of optical phase measurement, the differential interference contrast microscope is widely used for the evaluation of opaque materials or biological tissues. However, the signal-to-noise ratio for a given light intensity is limited by the standard quantum limit, which is critical for measurements where the probe light intensity is limited to avoid damaging the sample. The standard quantum limit can only be beaten by using N quantum correlated particles, with an improvement factor of √N. Here we report the demonstration of an entanglement-enhanced microscope, which is a confocal-type differential interference contrast microscope where an entangled photon pair (N=2) source is used for illumination. An image of a Q shape carved in relief on the glass surface is obtained with better visibility than with a classical light source. The signal-to-noise ratio is 1.35±0.12 times better than that limited by the standard quantum limit.center_img Explore further Journal information: Nature Communications (a) Atomic force microscope (AFM) image of a glass plate sample (BK7) on whose surface a ‘Q’ shape is carved in relief with an ultra-thin step using optical lithography. (b) The section of the AFM image of the sample, which is the area outlined in red in (a). The height of the step is estimated to be 17.3 nm from this data. (c) The image of the sample using an entanglement-enhanced microscope where two photon en- tangled state is used to illuminate the sample. (d) The image of the sample using single photons (a classical light source). Credit: arxiv.org/abs/1401.8075 Scientists have been using a type of microscope that relies on reading information from pairs of photons reflected off of a surface for several years. The difference between the information provided by each of the photons (the difference in phase) allows for creating an image. The result is stunningly sharp ultra-close-up images of three dimensional surfaces (such as microchips or microorganisms). Until now, however, the resolution of this type of microscopy—known as differential interference contrast microscopy—has been limited by the standard quantum limit—which is based on the Heisenberg uncertainty principle. Scientists have also known for some time that if entangled photons were used instead, they could bypass that limit and create images with better resolution. In this new effort, that’s exactly what the researchers have done.The reason that using entangled photons allow for more information is because measuring one gives information about the other, which results in more information obtained than from two un-entangled photons. The researchers tested this theory by replacing the part of the microscope that emits photons, with one that emitted entangled photons—with it in place they etched the letter “Q” into a glass plate and then proceeded to create an image of it using their new and improved microscope. In so doing, they found an improved signal to noise ratio of 1.35—which can be seen by the naked eye when comparing photographs of the same etching done by both the new and old method. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members from Hokkaido and Osaka Universities in Japan has used quantum entanglement of photons to improve image results created using differential interference contrast microscopy. In their paper published in Nature Communications, the team describes how they used entangled photons to enhance an image taken of an etched (to a depth of just 17 nanometers) letter “Q” on a glass plate, and how much improvement was observed.last_img read more

Sperm tested as possible candidate for delivering cancer medications in female patients

first_img © 2017 Phys.org In recent years, medical researchers have been focusing on developing carrier systems for delivery of chemicals to targets inside the body to treat ailments such as cancer, but thus far, it has been slow going due to a variety of issues such as the body responding in unhelpful ways or targets such as tumors putting up a tough front. In this new effort, the researchers looked into the idea of using a natural carrier to deliver helpful drugs to specified targets—sperm cells delivering drugs guided to tumors and other problem sites in the female reproductive tract.While it is known that sperm cells will swim around in the vagina searching for an egg to fertilize, and in some cases, have been known to swim up and fertilize eggs still in the fallopian tube, the randomness of their behavior was deemed too untenable for drug delivery—the team wanted to be able to steer individual sperm cells. To accomplish that feat, they coaxed sperm cells to swim into a very tiny helmet coated with iron that would adhere to its head. The sperm could then be steered using an external magnet. The helmet was designed with a quick-release mechanism that allowed it to dislodge from the sperm when it ran head first into something, such as a tumor cell, allowing the sperm cell to penetrate the tumor cell the same way it would an egg, delivering the drug. The researchers also found that they could cause a sperm cell to absorb a cancer drug simply by soaking it in a solution containing the drug.The researchers tested their idea using bull sperm on a tiny track in their lab. They report that they were able to successfully move the sperm cell to a desired location, HeLa cells and HeLa spheroids—stand-ins for tumor cells. They report also that the helmet caused the sperm to swim 43 percent more slowly than normal. Though the test results proved impressive, there are many hurdles to overcome before such a technique could actually be used in humans—first and foremost, preventing accidental pregnancies. There is also the issue of what happens to the abandoned helmets (thousands would be left behind) and whether a sperm cell could be steered around inside the human body. And then there is the problem of obtaining the sperm. Schematic depicting tumor targeted drug delivery by a sperm-hybrid micromotor under magnetic guidance with mechanical sperm release trigger. Credit: arXiv:1703.08510 [physics.med-ph] This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Sperm tested as possible candidate for delivering cancer medications in female patients (2017, April 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-04-sperm-candidate-cancer-medications-female.html (a) Schematic illustration of the sperm-hybrid micromotor and the sperm release process. Black arrows represent the reactive force on the arms upon hitting an obstacle. (b) Top view of the tetrapod microstructure with schematic sperm head (c) SEM images of an array of printed tetrapod microstructures. (d) Simulation results demonstrating the deformation of one single arm. Yellow arrows represent the applied forces. (i) Applied force is 128 pN from a motile, non-hyperactivated sperm. (ii) Applied force is 450pN from a hyperactivated sperm. Credit: arXiv:1703.08510 [physics.med-ph] More information: Sperm-hybrid micromotor for drug delivery in the female reproductive tract, arXiv:1703.08510 [physics.med-ph] arxiv.org/abs/1703.08510AbstractA sperm-driven micromotor is presented as cargo-delivery system for the treatment of gynecological cancers. This particular hybrid micromotor is appealing to treat diseases in the female reproductive tract, the physiological environment that sperm cells are naturally adapted to swim in. Here, the single sperm cell serves as an active drug carrier and as driving force, taking advantage of its swimming capability, while a laser-printed microstructure coated with a nanometric layer of iron is used to guide and release the sperm in the desired area by an external magnet and structurally imposed mechanical actuation, respectively. The printed tubular microstructure features four arms which release the drug-loaded sperm cell in situ when they bend upon pushing against a tumor spheroid, resulting in the drug delivery, which occurs when the sperm squeezes through the cancer cells and fuses with cell membrane. Sperms also offer higher drug encapsulation capability and carrying stability compared to other nano and microcarriers, minimizing toxic effects and unwanted drug accumulation. Moreover, sperms neither express pathogenic proteins nor proliferate to form undesirable colonies, unlike other cells or microorganisms do, making this bio-hybrid system a unique and biocompatible cargo delivery platform for various biomedical applications, especially in gynecological healthcare. Journal information: arXiv Explore further (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences in Germany has tested the possibility of using sperm cells to deliver drugs to cancerous tumors in female patients. In their paper uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, the group describes how such a technique might work, their initial test results and what they learned from their experiments. Sperm with specific ‘looks’ are selected to fertilise bird eggs, say scientistslast_img read more

Customs Agents Make Unusual Seizur

first_img by NPR News Sasha Ingber 8.23.19 3:47pm U.S. Customs and Border Protection said it recently made an unusual seizure at a port in California.Agents in Long Beach intercepted three shipments containing nearly 53,000 sights, stocks and other gun parts that came illegally from China.”There was no attempt to hide the importation,” Jaime Ruiz told NPR on Friday. He said the gun parts were correctly labeled and still had their original trademarks. And all three shipments were headed to a legitimate seller and distributor.”It’s kind of an unusual situation,” Ruiz said.CPB stopped the shipments over the past three months and consulted with investigators at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The agency concluded that the cargo breached multiple regulations, including an arms embargo that the United States imposed on China.The seizure comes at a time when confiscations of gun parts, munitions, explosives and fireworks have increased 18% over last year, across the United States’ 328 ports of entry, Ruiz told NPR. But usually smugglers attempt to illegally export weapons and ammunition made in the United States.”We can’t characterize this as a new trend, but something really unusual, as China historically is the main source of other items like wearing apparel, footwear, watches, jewelry, handbags, wallets and electronics,” Ruiz said.The CPB has noted a different trend feeding a black market — the flow of counterfeit computer networking equipment from China. A Homeland Security report found that last year, CPB and Homeland Security Investigations seized 213 shipments containing routers and other equipment sporting fake trademarks, a 25% increase in seizures from 2017. Last year’s seizures were valued at nearly $15.5 million.Phony routers could possibly be linked to the Chinese government, says Will Carter, deputy director at the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Technology Policy Program, “but the bigger concern is that the routers are not properly maintained” by a supplier to patch vulnerabilities. “They can be built with poor-quality components,” he told NPR.In a publicized federal case from 2008, the FBI identified some 3,500 counterfeit network components from China through an effort called Operation Cisco Raider. “Crimes like these threaten international commerce, national security and the very safety of our citizens,” a Homeland Security assistant secretary said at the time.CPB said the recently confiscated shipments of gun parts were worth about $378,225. The seizure led some to wonder whether the items were a test to see how closely the U.S. government was monitoring shipments or a business was just trying to cut corners by buying cheaper parts.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. Customs Agents Make ‘Unusual’ Seizure Of Nearly… last_img read more

Minimise Your Foodprint

first_imgThink. Eat. Save- Reduce our Foodprint. Follow the theme of the year as the world gets together to celebrate the World Environment Day. Capital joined in the global celebrations with a function organised by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. 5 June was declared as the ‘World Environment Day’ on the recommendations made by  UN Conference on Human Environment in 1972.Raising awareness about the environmental consequences of our food choices, this year’s campaign calls for minimizing waste of food at all stages of the food chain. This is to ensure that everyone gets enough to eat and no one is left malnourished or undernourished. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Jayanthi Natarajan, Minister for Environment & Forests presided over the function to celebrate  World Environment Day. Addressing the gathering, she said that there cannot be sustainable development without environment given due importance. Emphasizing the importance of sustainable development in everyday life, Natarajan said that the debate of progress versus environment or development versus environment is completely irrelevant and unnecessary.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix On the occasion, Natarajan  presented this year’s ‘Young Environmentalist of the Year Award – 2013’ to   Arundhati Srivastava, for winning a national poster making competition on the theme: Face of Climate Change.As the part of the celebrations, five publications namely, Animal Discoveries- 2012, Plant Discoveries 2012, Coastal Zones of India, National Wetland Atlas: High Altitude Lakes of India and National Wetland Atlas : Wetlands of International Importance under Ramsar Convention were released for sensitizing the citizens. Highlighting the importance of this year’s theme, Natarajan said, that there is an urgent need to become more aware of environmental impact on the food choices we make. If food is wasted, it means all resources and inputs used in the production of all those foods are also lost, she added.last_img read more

Developers cant take investors for a ride Apex Court

first_img“You cannot be holding back money of investors who do not want to be relocated in other projects… Developers can’t take investors for a ride. If they want refund of their investments, can we deny them this relief,” a bench headed by Chief Justice HL Dattu said. Terming it a victory of the investors, office bearers of RWA Emerald Court, the welfare association which had moved the court against the wrong doing, said that the guilty persons must be punished. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 crore“The court’s order is in pursuance of Allahabad High Court which has already declared construction of twin towers as illegal. As the high court has prosecuted the guilty, we hope the same from the apex court in the next hearing. With the order to return the whole amount with annual compound interest, our stand has been proved, finally,” said Vashisth Sharma, an office bearer.The court in its order said: “We direct the respondent (Supertech) to refund the amount sought by the petitioners. Principal amount shall be paid in 30 days,” the bench, which also comprised Justice A K Sikri, stated. The apex court also directed the company to refund the interest within 60 days after the principal amount is paid to the investors. Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedEarlier, it had directed Supertech to give back money within a month to the flat owners who had sought refund of their investments, after the 40-storey residential twin towers Apex and Ceyane in Noida were directed to be demolished by the Allahabad High Court.Holding that flat owners cannot be forced to remain in a limbo and wait indefinitely due to litigation, the bench had also directed the company to pay compound interest at the rate of 14 per cent per annum to the allottees by the end of October, 2014. It had turned down the plea of Supertech which had contended that it was not in a position to pay back the money as the interest part has grown more than the principal. The price of the flats, located in the outskirts of Delhi, ranged from Rs 65 lakh to Rs 1.25 crore.last_img read more

Gurusaday museum A priceless collection of rare artefacts

first_imgKolkata: The Gurusaday museum, set up in the year 1961, highlights the exquisite collection of Bengal’s rare art and culture. There are 2325 specimens collected by Gurusaday Dutt, an ICS officer, during his tenure as a district magistrate and collector between 1929 and 1939. An agreement was signed between the President of India and representatives of Gurusaday Dutta Folk Arts Society in 1984 over the maintenance of the museum. Dutt, who had travelled to the West, thought that the art and folk of rural Bengal should be showcased to attract people from across the world. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe museum situated on Diamond Harbour Road off Joka is a treasure of folk art and culture. The museum provides an enormous collection of different kinds of kantha stitch that have been a part of Bengali tradition for decades. As one enters the museum, there are mesmerizing kantha stitch items towards the left and central part of the Museum. There is the sujni kantha bed sheet with a central lotus surrounded by flowers, fish, elephants, tigers and birds, all stitched in geometric designs. There is also a huge collection of different designs of beytan kantha, durjani kantha and the arshilata kantha, which is used for covering mirrors, to protect it from dirt. The last one is the rumal kantha, which was and is still used in designing handkerchiefs. There are paintings from the 19th century undivided Bengal, showcasing various mythological characters like Labh-Kush, Radha-Krishna and Dissembling Vaishnava. There is a section of wooden masks with the face of Asuras.The last gallery is a circular frame, with the upper frame containing terracotta plaques of temples, square paintings and wooden dolls. The lower frame has moulds for mango paste or aamshotto, sweet-meat mould, jewelleries made of paddy and shells, old musical instruments made in Birbhum, which include Dhol and Damaru. However, the artefacts have to be maintained properly so that they can be preserved for years.last_img read more

Kashmiri youths swindled on pretext of jobs at IndiGo Airlines miscreants held

first_imgWith the arrest of two persons, who set up a website and duped several Kashmiri youths on the pretext of jobs as crew members and ground staff in Indigo Airlines, the Delhi Police has stumbled upon an inter-state fake job module operating from Central Delhi, the police said on Thursday.The matter came into light when a 22-year-old man, along with 15 other youths, from the Anantnag district of Jammu and Kashmir approached the Jama Masjid police station on March 16. While, two of the identified accused – Irfan and Mohammed Shahid, have been arrested, two others – Amir Shora and Yawar Naik, still remain at large. “We suspect that the module had been working from a long time and have duped hundreds of youths. There could be more members in this module and investigations are underway,” said Paramaditya, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central). Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreAccording to the police, the accused set up a website named Peace Career Consultancy and Job Assistance and advertised themselves through OLX.com. On March 8, the 22-year-old complainant came across the advertisement and applied for the job, for which he first had to meet Yawar and deposit a registration fee of Rs 1,000 at the consultancy office in Anantnag. The next day, the complainant, along with around 50 others were interviewed by Amir Shora, who claimed to be a representative of Indigo Airlines. Soon, the complainant was informed that he has been selected as a ground staff, with a start-up salary of Rs 17,000. But he was also asked to leave for Delhi immediately for the final round of interaction and for collecting the appointment letter. Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedOn March 10, on his way to Delhi in a bus, the complainant met 15 others who were selected as ground staff in Indigo Airlines through the same consultant. They lodged themselves in the same hotel in old Delhi’s Jama Masjid area. Meanwhile, the interaction scheduled on March 12 went on getting postponed and on March 15, the applicants were asked to report at the Indigo Airlines headquarters in Gurgaon. When they went there, they were told that there was no interview. That is when they started suspecting the consultant. On March 16, the consultant sent two persons – claiming to be Head Representatives – to the old Delhi Hotel for the final interaction. The job-seekers then immediately asked them to show their identity cards. When they refused, they were asked several questions – like the address of their head office and so – which they apparently had no clues about. The duo then tried to run away when the youths got hold of them and handed them over to the police. They were identified as Irfan and Mohammed Shahid.They have been booked under charges of cheating and other relevant sections of IPC. A team shall soon be sent to Anantnag to nab the other accused, said a police official.last_img read more

Topdar likely to submit detailed proposal on Kanchrapara Airfield to CM today

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee received a proposal from former Barrackpore MP Tarit Baran Topdar to develop Kanchrapara Airfield into a second airport near Kolkata.Topdar had met the Chief Minister at the state Assembly on August 13 and gave the proposal in this connection.It has been learnt that he will be giving the proposal in further detail to the Chief Minister and a written communiqué in this connection is expected to be sent to the Chief Minister on Wednesday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the airfield was constructed during World War II. This comes at the time when there have been discussions between the Airports Authority of India (AAI) and the state government, in connection with setting up of a new airport near the city.Sources said that the state government has already taken steps to develop many such airfields to ensure air connectivity in most parts of the state. The state government is also looking into the proposal of developing Kanchrapara Airfield positively. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe decision on carrying out a feasibility test will be taken after the written proposal with more details gets submitted to the Chief Minister.The Kanchrapara Airfield is around 1,500 metres in length. Considering that the location is suitable to develop the same for flight operation, there could be steps to expand it further.According to the experts, the airfield is close to Kalyani Expressway. So, connectivity will not be a major problem and it will not take much time to reach the city from the airfield. At the same time, AIIMs is also coming up at Kalyani. It would also not take much time to reach there from the airfield.last_img read more

Exercise counters brain shrinkage in Parkinsons disease

first_imgprotecting the brain from shrinkage, aerobic exercise may slow the progression of Parkinsons disease, a progressive disorder of the nervous system, says a neurologist.In an editorial published online in the journal JAMA Neurology, neurologist J Eric Ahlskog from Mayo Clinic in Minnesota recommends that modern physical therapy practices should incorporate aerobic exercise training and encourage fitness for patients with Parkinson’s disease.Aerobic exercise means vigorous exercise, which makes you hot, sweaty and tired, Ahlskog explained. This could include activity such as walking briskly or using an elliptical machine. That does not mean stretching or balance exercises are not helpful, Ahlskog noted. Those types of exercises help with Parkinson’s symptoms, such as rigid muscles, slowed movement or impaired posture and balance. But to help fight the progression of Parkinson’s disease, including dementia — one of the most feared long-term outcomes of the disease, aerobic exercise enhances factors that potentially have a protective effect on the brain, Ahlskog noted.For instance, aerobic exercise liberates trophic factors —small proteins in the brain that behave like fertiliser does when applied to your lawn, he said citing scientific studies.Exercise helps maintain brain connections and counters brain shrinkage from Parkinson’s disease as well as from brain ageing, Ahlskog noted.last_img read more