Month: August 2019


Study shows how external ecological communities can affect the coevolution of hosts


first_imgPigeon Citation: Study shows how external ecological communities can affect the coevolution of hosts and their parasites (2011, May 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-external-ecological-affect-coevolution-hosts.html Explore further More information: Community interactions govern host-switching with implications for host–parasite coevolutionary history, PNAS, Published online before print May 23, 2011, doi:10.1073/pnas.1102129108AbstractReciprocal selective effects between coevolving species are often influenced by interactions with the broader ecological community. Community-level interactions may also influence macroevolutionary patterns of coevolution, such as cospeciation, but this hypothesis has received little attention. We studied two groups of ecologically similar feather lice (Phthiraptera: Ischnocera) that differ in their patterns of association with a single group of hosts. The two groups, “body lice” and “wing lice,” are both parasites of pigeons and doves (Columbiformes). Body lice are more host-specific and show greater population genetic structure than wing lice. The macroevolutionary history of body lice also parallels that of their columbiform hosts more closely than does the evolutionary history of wing lice. The closer association of body lice with hosts, compared with wing lice, can be explained if body lice are less capable of switching hosts than wing lice. Wing lice sometimes disperse phoretically on parasitic flies (Diptera: Hippoboscidae), but body lice seldom engage in this behavior. We tested the hypothesis that wing lice switch host species more often than body lice, and that the difference is governed by phoresis. Our results show that, where flies are present, wing lice switch to novel host species in sufficient numbers to establish viable populations on the new host. Body lice do not switch hosts, even where flies are present. Thus, differences in the coevolutionary history of wing and body lice can be explained by differences in host-switching, mediated by a member of the broader parasite community. (PhysOrg.com) — In a novel experiment running over three years, evolutionary biologists Christopher Harbison and Dale Clayton, both of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, sought to show that a certain species of lice evolved the way it did, in part due to the way it’s hosts evolved; while another species of lice on the same hosts, did not. By studying two different types of lice that live in the feathers of doves and pigeons, the two researchers, as described in their paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) show that one of the lice species had a similar evolutionary history to its host, while the other did not, due to its inability to migrate to other birds. Did dinosaurs have lice? Researchers say it’s possible © 2010 PhysOrg.com 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. Pigeons and doves, as many people well know, play host to lice; but not all the lice are the same. In fact, there are two distinct species of lice aboard any given bird; one that lives in the wings or tail feathers and one that lives on the belly, eating downy feathers. But only one of the species share a similar evolutionary history with the host; those that live on the belly; a fact that has bothered evolutionary biologists for quite some time. Harbison and Clayton suspected it had something to do with the hippoboscid fly, a species that survives by drinking bird blood; they suspected that the species of lice that lived on the wings of birds, because they have longer legs, were able to hop aboard the flies, which would then carry them to other birds of other species. The belly lice on the other hand, because they had shorter legs, would be unable to attach themselves and would thus be condemned to live out their whole lives on just one bird species, which would help explain why they were more closely tied evolutionary wise, with their host.To prove their idea correct, the duo set up a shed that housed two groups of pigeons; on one side was a group already infested with both species of lice; on the other, pigeons that had no lice at all. The pigeons could not reach one another due to a partition, but the hippoboscid flies that were introduced could; they were able to hop from bird to bird on either side of the partition as they chose. After studying the results over a three year period, the team was able to very clearly see that the lice that lived in the pigeons’ wings were able to make their way over to the clean birds on a consistent basis, while the belly dwellers were not able to at all.The results show that species interactions among communities can help explain evolutionary patterns, which suggests that further research among other species might yield new clues to help build a more accurate picture of how whole evolutionary systems might work.last_img read more


Polytron predicts glass smartphones by end of year w Video


first_img More information: www.polytronix.com/privacyglass_tech.html Citation: Polytron predicts glass smartphones by end of year (w/ Video) (2013, February 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-02-polytron-glass-smartphones-year.html The phone is being showcased in its early stages; there is no software running on the prototype. The goal is to get OEMs motivated enough to consider what this technology can offer. Polytron is anticipating that handset makers will want to build products with its special glass. As the prototype reveals, not all of the phone components are invisible; one can see the batteries, camera, and cards. In future design phases, when the phone proceeds further toward production, the plan is to hide the visible components with a darker cover. The glass technology behind this prototype phone is the company’s special glass which can transform itself from a cloudy-white, translucent barrier to an optically clear state. The company explains how this works. Explore further “The ordinary refractive index of these liquid crystal does not match that of the polymer, and the incident light is thus scattered, resulting in a translucent state. When an electric field is applied across the material, the PDLC droplets re-orient so that the extraordinary refractive index of the liquid crystal matches that of the polymer. Therefore, the incident light can pass through, resulting in a transparent state.”Consumer attraction toward modern design and consumer delight in the novelty of owning a glass phone cannot be dismissed, but a research director at Current Analysis noted that, despite the novelty, the glass phone realistically can hope to sell if the display quality is up to par with the best of today’s AMOLED and LCD screens.Polytron Technologies, meanwhile, has also produced a transparent USB memory stick that will go into production soon. The USB stick will come in 8, 16, and 32GB choices. The USB has an embedded LED so that the user knows it is connected and working. There was no information on pricing. A prototype transparent phone.center_img (Phys.org)—Polytron Technologies confidently says that this could be the very year that smartphone featuring transparent glass are available. Taiwan-based Polytron Technologies says the phones could arrive in late 2013. The company, which focuses on electronic and optical-vision glass, is a subsidiary of U.S.-based Polytronix. Polytron has been showing off a prototype smartphone that was built from a light piece of glass. © 2013 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. AGC creates 15% lighter glass for mobile deviceslast_img read more


Bangkok designers draw attention for airpurifying bike idea


first_img Explore further (Phys.org) —Some observers are calling it “the photosynthesis bike.” The bike of interest is only a concept, not even a prototype yet, from designers in Bangkok. Nonetheless, in concept alone, it has captured a lot if imaginations, press coverage, and even picked up an award in the 2013 Red Dot competition for design concept. Dubbed “Air Purifier Bike,” from Bangkok-based Lightfog Creative and Design, the bicycle presents a next-level functionality to bicycles as environmentally sound vehicles—to the point where the rider not only uses a clean mode of transport but also helps to purify the air along with the ride. (The Red Dot Award for design concept is part of a professional design competition for design concepts and prototypes worldwide.) Silawat Virakul, Torsakul Kosaikul, and Suvaroj Poosrivongvanid are the designers behind the award-winning idea. They said their Air-Purifier Bike incorporates an air filter that screens dust and pollutants from the air, a photosynthesis system (including a water tank) that produces oxygen, an electric motor, and a battery. “While it is being ridden, air passes through the filter at the front of the bike, where it is cleaned before being released toward cyclist. The bike frame houses the photosynthesis system. When the bike is parked, the air-purifying functions can continue under battery power.”According to a report on the bicycle and the designers behind it on the Fast Company Co.Exist site, the designers presently have mock-ups, but they have not yet built a prototype; they plan to build one soon. “We want to design products which can reduce the air pollution in the city. So we decided to design a bike because we thought that bicycles are environmentally friendly vehicles for transportation,” said creative director Silawat Virakul in an email to Co.Exist. © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Bangkok designers draw attention for air-purifying bike idea (2013, December 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-bangkok-attention-air-purifying-bike-idea.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.center_img More information: www.red-dot.sg/zh/online-exhib … e=923&y=2013&c=5&a=1www.fastcoexist.com/3023176/pu … -photosynthesis-bike If they were to advance their concept, they would be responding to many urban dwellers who are growing increasingly aware that bicycles ease pollution and are taking to bicycles for short-distance transportation. Earlier this year, Lucintel, a consulting and market research firm, analyzed the global bicycle industry in “Global Bicycle Industry 2013-2018: Trends, Profit, and Forecast Analysis.” They noted that government initiatives to promote cycling to reduce carbon emissions and noise pollution are a strong growth driver. In addition, bicycles’ energy efficiency, coupled with cycling as a fitness activity, will help propel demand during the forecast period. “Riding a bicycle can reduce traffic jam[s] in a city,” said Virakul. “Moreover, we wanted to add more value to a bicycle by adding its ability to reduce the pollution.” Bikes share space with cars at Detroit auto showlast_img read more


Two giant planets detected around an evolved intermediatemass star


first_img Citation: Two giant planets detected around an evolved intermediate-mass star (2016, January 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-giant-planets-evolved-intermediate-mass-star.html The planets were discovered by an international team of astronomers led by Bun’ei Sato of the Tokyo Institute of Technology. The researchers employed the Okayama Astrophysical Observatory (OAO) in Japan, the Xinglong Station in China and the Australian Astronomical Observatory (AAO) to observe HD 47366. The planets were detected by the radial velocity method, also known as Doppler spectroscopy, which uses gravity to detect exoworlds.The astronomers were searching for any signs of wobbling when observing HD 47366, as planets exert a gravitational tug when they orbit their parent stars, causing them to wobble back and forth. Three powerful spectrographs were needed to detect this wobbling: the HIgh Dispersion Echelle Spectrograph (HIDES) at OAO, the Coude Echelle Spectrograph (CES) at Xinglong and the University College London Echelle Spectrograph (UCLES) at AAO.Precise radial-velocity measurements using these spectrographs revealed the presence of two exoplanets orbiting HD 47366. By fitting a double Keplerian model to the obtained radial-velocity data, the researchers were able to determine the mass, semimajor axis and eccentricity of the newly discovered worlds. According to their computations, the inner and outer planet have minimum masses equal to 1.75 and 1.86 Jupiter masses, semimajor axes of 1.214 and 1.853 AU (astronomical units), and eccentricities of 0.089 and 0.278 respectively.With relatively small orbital separations, this planetary system has immediately become very intriguing for the scientists.”The planetary system is intriguing in the points that the best-fit Keplerian orbit is unstable, it is near but less likely in 2:1 mean-motion resonance, and could be stable if the orbits are nearly circular or in retrograde configuration,” the researchers wrote in the paper.To further investigate the orbital stability of the system and constrain orbital parameters, the astronomers performed dynamical analysis for the system. This analysis revealed that the best-fit orbits in prograde configuration are unstable. However, the scientists found that they are stable in the following cases: The two planets are in the 2:1 mean-motion resonance; the eccentricity of the outer planet is less than about 0.15; mutual inclination of two the planets is larger than 160 degrees.The researchers also assume that the current orbital configuration could also be caused by a possible third planet in this system. However, no convincing evidence supporting this theory has yet been released.According to the research team, it is still unknown why multi-giant-planet systems with small orbital separation are mostly found around evolved, intermediate-mass stars. The scientists have offered one possible explanation for this phenomenon.”It may be a primordial property of planets around intermediate-mass stars that could be an outcome of planet formation or an acquired one as a result of orbital evolution caused by stellar evolution (stellar tide and mass loss) of central stars,” the paper reads.To this date, precise radial-velocity surveys have found about 120 substellar companions around evolved stars. The discovery made by Sato and his team is another important finding increasing the population of multi-giant-planet systems found with relatively small orbital separations around evolved intermediate-mass stars. Planets around these type of stars, especially consisting of giant exoplanets, could be crucial for our understanding of formation and evolution of planetary systems. Explore further Monster planet is ‘dancing with the stars’ (Phys.org)—HD 47366 is an evolved star almost twice as massive as our sun. Located about 260 light years from the Earth, the star is approximately 1.6 billion years old, and, as it turns out, hosts two giant planets with a mass nearly two times that of Jupiter’s each. A research paper detailing the new findings was published online on Jan. 18 in the arXiv journal. More information: A Pair of Giant Planets around the Evolved Intermediate-Mass Star HD 47366: Multiple Circular Orbits or a Mutually Retrograde Configuration, arXiv:1601.04417 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/pdf/1601.04417.pdfAbstractWe report the detection of a double planetary system around the evolved intermediate-mass star HD 47366 from precise radial-velocity measurements at Okayama Astrophysical Observatory, Xinglong Station, and Australian Astronomical Observatory. The star is a K1 giant with a mass of 1.81+-0.13M_sun, a radius of 7.30+-0.33R_sun, and solar metallicity. The planetary system is composed of two giant planets with minimum mass of 1.75^{+0.20}_{-0.17}Mjup and 1.86^{+0.16}_{-0.15}Mjup, orbital period of 363.3^{+2.5}_{-2.4} d and 684.7^{+5.0}_{-4.9} d, and eccentricity of 0.089^{+0.079}_{-0.060} and 0.278^{+0.067}_{-0.094}, respectively, which are derived by a double Keplerian orbital fit to the radial-velocity data. The system adds to the population of multi-giant-planet systems with relatively small orbital separations, which are preferentially found around evolved intermediate-mass stars. Dynamical stability analysis for the system revealed, however, that the best-fit orbits are unstable in the case of a prograde configuration. The system could be stable if the planets were in 2:1 mean-motion resonance, but this is less likely considering the observed period ratio and eccentricity. A present possible scenario for the system is that both of the planets have nearly circular orbits, namely the eccentricity of the outer planet is less than ~0.15, which is just within 1.4sigma of the best-fit value, or the planets are in a mutually retrograde configuration with a mutual orbital inclination larger than 160 degree. 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. Upper: Radial velocities of HD 47366 obtained with HIDES-S (red), HIDES-F (blue), CES-O (brown), CES-N (magenta), HRS (cyan), and AAT (green). The error bar for each point includes the extra Gaussian noise. The double Keplerian model for the radial velocities is shown by the solid line. Bottom: Residuals to the Keplerian fit. Credit: arXiv:1601.04417 [astro-ph.EP] © 2016 Phys.orglast_img read more


Making PEACE posting ONLINE


first_imgTouchtalent.com, an online community of Creative Individuals is organising a one-week long online art exhibition. The theme of the exhibition is Friendship, focusing on cultivating warm ties that strengthen our common humanity and promote the well-being of the human family. This exhibition revolving around International Friendship day, would be live from1 August to 8 August. We have heard many instances of war and blood like Israel- Palestine, Russia-Ukraine, India-Pakistan. On this International Day of Friendship, let us encourage humanity and friendship and spread happiness all over the human folks in the form of art. Touchtalent strengthens the imaginative tradition of bringing people together through creativity with an inspired exhibition on friendship. This exhibition is beyond the barriers of social status, culture, religion and race.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Art is not something what you see, but what you make others see, Touchtalent is working on this path only through the medium of art by making others see, peace and art deprived under the blanket of war all over the nation. It is an ingenious way of saying ‘Make friends, Not War.’ They are looking for entries that can celebrate the power of camaraderie within nations and human race.Touchtalent connect creative users in over 192 countries. It has thus far organised more than ten global online art exhibitions with each generating around a million page views. This exhibition is expected to touch number of page views with peace not war.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAnkit Prasad, CEO Touchtalent.com said, ‘This is a grand opportunity for creative users to be part of friendship and peace exhibition. Artistes can upload their innovative work on www.touchtalent.com with #Friendship before 3 August. Through this exhibition we want to celebrate International day of Friendship in harmony.’Touchtalent.com is a community of creativity individuals who create original and imaginative content. It puts the hands together for the originality of individuals at a global level. With half a million monthly visits on web and equal number of downloads on Android, Touchtalent.com has stretched its vision of understanding and monetizing creativity at the global level. Everyday users from more than 100 countries visit Touchtalent to pitch their creative content in four diverse formats (visual, textual audio and video) under an assortment of categories (photography, painting, sketching, sculpting etc.)last_img read more


Bengal driver economy for eastern states says Fin Com


first_imgKolkata: Stating that Bengal’s economy is a “driver economy” for many other states in the eastern part of the country, N K Singh, Chairman of the 15th Finance Commission, praised the development projects taken up by the state government.The 15th Finance Commission headed by Singh and other members including Saktikanta Das, Dr Anoop Singh, Dr Ashok Lahiri and Arvind Mehta, Secretary, held a meeting with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Finance Minister Amit Mitra and senior officials of the state government on Tuesday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAfter the detailed discussions with the state government, Singh said: “Some of the development initiatives that have been taken up are commendable in multiple ways in terms of job creation, harnessing the comparative advantage that Bengal has in terms of its intellectual capital.”The Chairman also stated that the Finance Commission has recognised that in the past few years the economy of Bengal has made enormous progress in terms of key macro-economic parameters on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), on improved debt management and on enhancing its own tax revenue. “The state has also made several strides on human development particularly in education and health sector,” he added. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe Commission’s Chairman said: “Some initiatives in which job and employment hubs of a labour intensive nature have been undertaken, particularly the issues of Information and Technology sector and leather industry are the two illustrative cases which were brought to the Commission’s notice.”He maintained: “There are many virtuous features in what Bengal has done in terms of the tier three governance structure and delegation of substantial powers to the Panchayats and in terms of harnessing the comparative factors’ advantages of Bengal. These are the examples of key initiatives that would not only add to Bengal’s development but would be a pointer of how to harness comparative advantages of other states too.” Singh further added: “We agree based on today’s meaningful discussions to continue interaction and dialogue with the state government on what needs to be done in both short and medium term for Bengal to become an important multiplier state in terms of the overall growth picture of the country.”In the same breath, he said that it is a fact that the state’s economy is very strategically placed with three countries bordering it. It is a driver economy for many other states in the east that shares the border with Bengal.last_img read more


CBI raids nine places over chit fund scam


first_imgKolkata: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) conducted raids at different places in the state on Friday, in connection with a chit fund case of the ATM Group.Raids have been conducted at nine places, including the offices and residences of the Chief Managing Director (CMD) and other directors of the group.A case was registered in this connection on June 6 in 2017 under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC). The case had started on charges of criminal breach of trust (406 IPC), cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property (420 IPC), 120 B (criminal conspiracy), for voluntarily causing hurt (323 IPC), criminal intimidation (506 IPC) and acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention (34 IPC). Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe central investigating agency had initiated a probe following the Supreme Court’s order.Teams comprising CBI officers went to nine different places to conduct raids and several incriminating documents were seized.After preliminary investigation, CBI officers have come to know that the group had collected around Rs 4 to Rs 5 crore through different chit fund schemes.The modus operandi of the group was quite similar to that of other chit fund groups. Investigation has revealed that the group had assured high rate of return to collect money from people. But the investors have not got back their money and the invested amount has been allegedly misappropriated.Officers of the investigating agency have seized several documents during the raid and they will be going through the same to get more information about the group.It may be mentioned that the probe into all the chit fund cases have recently started gaining momentum and officers of the central investigating agency have conducted raids in connection with several chit fund cases in the past few weeks.last_img read more


Onduty doctor of staterun hospital dies suicide suspected


first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a doctor who was declared brought dead at SSKM Hospital on Sunday.The victim, identified as Saswata Hira (34), who was attached to Ramrik Das Haralalka Hospital (RDHH), an annex unit of SSKM Hospital, was found unconscious at RDHH on Sunday morning.He was taken to SSKM Hospital by the staff where Hira was declared brought dead.It was learnt that Hira had a night shift at the ICU of RDHH on Saturday.According to hospital sources, he was there at the ICU till 2 am on Saturday night. He was absolutely fine when the staff last saw him. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeOn Sunday morning, some staff spotted Hira lying unconscious inside the hospital campus.He was immediately taken to SSKM Hospital where he was declared brought dead.According to SSKM and RDHH, the cause of his death will only be confirmed after his post-mortem report is available.According to the sources at RDHH, the victim doctor had been suffering from mental depression due to some family problems.He had been under medication for his ailments.A section of the hospital staff suspects that he might have fallen inside the doctors’ room and this might have led to his death. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedPolice have already started a probe in this regard. They are investigating if the victim had committed suicide following mental depression.Cops are also suspecting that the doctor might have administered an injection to commit suicide.They are interrogating others doctors, nurses of the hospital and also the family members of the victim in this connection so far.The investigation officers are waiting for the post-mortem report which might throw some light on the nature of his death.Police are also looking into if there was any foul play behind the death of the doctor.last_img read more


Gay lesbians less likely to get leadership position


first_imgIf you are a gay or lesbian woman, chances are that you may face discrimination and be considered inadequate while seeking top positions at workplace, due to the sound of your voice, a new study has found.In a study, led by researchers at the University of Surrey in Britain, participants considered male candidates’ auditory features, not facial which impacted on whether they were deemed suitable for the role.It was because having a heterosexual rather than a ‘gay-sounding’ voice created the impression that the speaker had typically masculine traits, which in turn increased their perceived suitability for the role and the chance of receiving a higher salary. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfLesbian candidates were associated with a lack of femininity and identified as gender non-conforming and received less positive evaluation than heterosexual counterparts.”These results demonstrate that the mere sound of a voice is sufficient to trigger stereotypingm denying gay and lesbian-sounding speakers, the qualities that are considered typical of their gender,” said Fabio Fasoli from the University of Surrey.The study also revealed that people thought gay men should be paid less than their heterosexual counterparts. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”This study highlights that it can be a real problem in the workplace and for people’s career prospects,” Fasoli added in the paper appearing in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour.In addition, the participants were found to attribute more feminine traits to the gay than to the heterosexual speakers and lesbian speakers were more likely to be associated with masculine than to feminine characteristics.When asked which of the speakers the participants would choose as an acquaintance for an interaction, male participants were more likely to avoid male gay-sounding speakers, suggesting a subtle impact of voice on social exclusion of gay individuals, researchers noted.”This study demonstrates that unacceptable levels of discrimination, be they subconscious or conscious, still exists in our society, and we need to do more to tackle the discrimination faced by the LGBT community,” Fasoli said.IANSlast_img read more


Woman dies of burn injuries police suspect suicide


first_imgKolkata: A woman died after she got burnt mysteriously on Wednesday morning in Behala. Locals claimed that fire somehow occurred at her residence whereas police claimed that it is a case of suspected suicide.According to locals, on Wednesday morning at around 11:25 am, some residents of Bhupen Roy Road in Behala heard cries coming from a single-storeyed house. When some of the neighbours rushed there, they saw smoke coming out of the house and a woman trying hard to get out. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedLocal residents started spraying water and informed the fire brigade and police. Two fire tenders reached the spot within few minutes but till then, the flames had almost been doused. Later, one fire tender sprayed water and doused the flames completely by 11:50 am. Police and fire brigade personnel rescued the woman from inside the house who was later identified as Chandana Das (35). She was declared brought dead by the doctors at Vidyasagar State General Hospital in Behala. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseLocals suspect that the fire occurred due to a short circuit but police claim that Das committed suicide by setting herself on fire after pouring kerosene. She used to live there with her mother and sister. Though police claimed the incident as a suspected suicide, none of the locals could estimate why she had done this. Though no complaint has been received till Wednesday night, sleuths are probing the matter on the basis of an Unnatural Death (UD) case lodged at Behala police station.last_img read more