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Month: August 2019

Watch Listen and Feel Movies with a Haptics Jacket

first_img Citation: Watch, Listen, and Feel Movies with a Haptics Jacket (2009, March 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-03-movies-haptics-jacket.html (PhysOrg.com) — Sometimes you may feel a shiver go up your spine as you’re watching a chilling movie scene, but a new jacket can actually give you a real shiver. The haptics jacket, designed by scientists at Philips Electronics, can enable movie viewers to feel movies through a sense of touch, in an attempt to provide full emotional immersion in a film. Concept of Wearable Electronics Gains Momentum A sensor-studded jacket lets viewers feel movies, allowing for emotional immersion. Image credit: Steve Brewster. Explore further Paul Lemmens, a Philips senior scientist, explains that the jacket isn’t meant to make viewers feel the actual punches and blows that the actors are receiving on the screen. Rather, the intentions are more subtle. The jacket’s purpose is to make viewers feel anxiety and other emotions through signals such as sending a shiver up the viewer’s spine, creating tension in the limbs, and creating a pulse on the chest to simulate a rapid heartbeat. “People don’t realize how sensitive we are to touch, although it is the first sense that fetuses develop in the womb,” said Lemmens, who will be presenting recent research on the jacket at the IEEE-sponsored 2009 World Haptics Conference 2009, in Salt Lake City.To produce these emotional sensations, the jacket contains 64 independently controlled actuators, which can cycle on and off 100 times per second. Because of the way the brain perceives touch, only eight actuators on each arm placed six inches apart are enough to cover sensations on the entire arm. The system uses such a small amount of current that two AA batteries could provide power for an hour if 20 motors were operating simultaneously. The jacket can respond to signals encoded in a DVD, or it can be controlled on the fly, adding another element of reality to entertainment.Via: IEEE Spectrum© 2009 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.last_img read more

Poison dart frog neurotoxin synthesized

first_img Explore further Journal information: Science The poison dart frog has been known to scientists (and locals who have used its skin chemicals as a poison applied to the tips of blow-darts, which led to the name of the frog) for many years and several researchers have attempted to synthesize the batrachotoxin molecule in the toxin responsible for causing heart attacks in its victims. Until now, all have failed, and the task has been complicated in recent years due to the diminishing numbers of the frogs in their native northern Colombian rain forests. In this new effort, the researchers used data from other studies to understand the makeup of the molecules, then used what they found to create an artificial version. The team says the process involved 24 steps and also led to the synthesis of the toxin’s chemical mirror image.The toxin causes problems for victims by forcing sodium ion channels to remain open. When this occurs in heart muscle, the inflow of sodium causes constriction. But because the channels are stuck open, it cannot be released., and the result is cardiac arrest. The toxin also causes problems in other body parts such as the nervous system. Interestingly, after testing, the researchers found that the mirror image molecule was also deadly, but for the opposite reason—it forced sodium ion channels to remain closed, preventing the outflow of sodium necessary for relaxation.The newly synthesized molecule has a variety of possible applications. Because the effort also resulted in a chiral twin, the work is expected to help researchers better understand the way ion channels function in general. And now that the molecule can be synthesized in a lab, it will be readily available to anyone wishing to study how it works—perhaps even those wishing to create a bio-weapon. And finally, it could play a role in medical science due to its unique impact on sodium ion channels—by serving as a prototype for creating local anesthetics. More information: M. M. Logan et al. Asymmetric synthesis of batrachotoxin: Enantiomeric toxins show functional divergence against NaV, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aag2981AbstractThe steroidal neurotoxin (−)-batrachotoxin functions as a potent agonist of voltage-gated sodium ion channels (NaVs). Here we report concise asymmetric syntheses of the natural (−) and non-natural (+) antipodes of batrachotoxin, as well both enantiomers of a C-20 benzoate–modified derivative. Electrophysiological characterization of these molecules against NaV subtypes establishes the non-natural toxin enantiomer as a reversible antagonist of channel function, markedly different in activity from (−)-batrachotoxin. Protein mutagenesis experiments implicate a shared binding side for the enantiomers in the inner pore cavity of NaV. These findings motivate and enable subsequent studies aimed at revealing how small molecules that target the channel inner pore modulate NaV dynamics. © 2016 Phys.org The first gene-encoded amphibian toxin isolatedcenter_img Phyllobates terribilis. Credit: Wilfried Berns/Wikipedia 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: Poison dart frog neurotoxin synthesized (2016, November 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-11-poison-dart-frog-neurotoxin.html (Phys.org)—A small team of researchers from Stanford University has synthesized the neurotoxin present in the skin of the poison dart frog. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes how they accomplished this feat, the steps involved and what they found when they also synthesized a mirror image of it.last_img read more

A mathematical approach for understanding intraplant communication

first_img Citation: A mathematical approach for understanding intra-plant communication (2019, January 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-mathematical-approach-intra-plant.html Even though each root acted independently from the others, the researchers observed the emergence of some self-organizing behavior, aimed at optimizing the internal equilibrium of nutrients at the whole-plant level. While this past study yielded interesting results, it merely considered a small part of the complexity of intra-plant communication, completely disregarding the analysis of above-ground organs, as well as photosynthesis-related processes. “In this paper, we do not aspire to gain a complete description of the plant complexity, yet we want to identify the main cues influencing the growth of a plant with the aim of investigating the processes playing a role in the intra-communication for plant growth decisions,” the researchers wrote in their recent paper. “We propose and explain here a system of ordinary differential equations (ODEs) that, differently from state of the art models, take into account the entire sequence of processes from nutrients uptake, photosynthesis and energy consumption and redistribution.” Explore further Photo by Alex Loup on Unsplash.com. In the new study, therefore, the researchers set out to develop a mathematical model that describes the dynamics of intra-plant communication and analyses the possible cues that activate adaptive growth responses in a single plant. This model is based on formulations about biological evidence collected in laboratory experiments using state-of-the-art techniques.Compared to existing models, their model covers a wider range of elements, including photosynthesis, starch degradation, multiple nutrients uptake and management, biomass allocation, and maintenance. These elements are analyzed in depth, considering their interactions and their effects on a plant’s growth.To validate their model and test its robustness, the researchers compared experimental observations of plant behavior with results obtained when applying their model in simulations, where they reproduced conditions of growth similar to those naturally occurring in plants. Their model attained high accuracy and minor errors, suggesting that it can effectively summarize the complex dynamics of intra-plant communication.”The model is ultimately able to highlight the stimulus signal of the intra-communication in plants, and it can be expanded and adopted as a useful tool at the crossroads of disciplines such as mathematics, robotics and biology, for instance, for validation of biological hypotheses, translation of biological principles into control strategies or resolution of combinatorial problems,” the researchers said in their paper. Recent studies have found that rather than being passive organisms, plants can actually exhibit complex behaviors in response to environmental stimuli, for instance, adapting their resource allocation, foraging strategies, and growth rates according to their surrounding environment. How plants process and manage this network of stimuli, however, is a complex biological question that remains unanswered. Researchers have proposed several mathematical models to achieve a better understanding of plant behavior. Nonetheless, none of these models can effectively and clearly portray the complexity of the stimulus-signal-behavior chain in the context of a plant’s internal communication network. The team of researchers at GSSI and IIT who carried out the recent study had previously investigated the mechanisms behind intra-plant communication, with the aim to identify and exploit basic biological principles for the analysis of plant root behavior. Their previous work analyzed robotic roots in a simulated environment, translating a set of biological rules into algorithmic solutions. A team of researchers at the Gran Sasso Science Institute (GSSI) and Istituto Italiano di Technologia (IIT) have devised a mathematical approach for understanding intra-plant communication. In their paper, pre-published on bioRxiv, they propose a fully coupled system of non-linear, non-autonomous discontinuous and ordinary differential equations that can accurately describe the adapting behavior and growth of a single plant, by analyzing the main stimuli affecting plant behavior.center_img Hormone keys plant growth or stress tolerance, but not both More information: Fabio Tedone et al. Plant behavior: A mathematical approach for understanding intra-plant communication. DOI: 10.1101/493999. https://www.biorxiv.org/content/early/2018/12/11/493999 The model is composed by 11 non-linear equations: Credit: Tedone et al. © 2019 Science X Network 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

Multiwavelength observations of starforming region uncover dozens of new celestial objects

first_img Star-forming regions are essential for astronomers to better understand the processes of star formation and stellar evolution. Observations of such regions have the potential to expand the list of known stars, protostars, young stellar objects and clumps, which could be then be studied comprehensively in various wavelengths in order to get more insights into initial stages of stellar lifecycle.Located most likely some 5,900 light years from the Earth and about 850 light years above the galactic plane, G345.5+1.5 is a star-forming region composed of two dusty ring-like structures (known as G345.45+1.5 and G345.10+1.35) and classified as H II regions. Given that G345.5+1.5 is above the plane of the Milky Way galaxy, it is not covered by most surveys, and therefore needs more dedicated studies.So a group of astronomers led by Miguel Figueira of Laboratory of Astrophysics of Marseille in France conducted submillimeter and molecular observations of G345.5+1.5. For their observational campaign they used the Large Apex BOlometer CAmera (LABOCA), and the NANTEN2 Telescope, as well as data from 2MASS, Hi-GAL and Spitzer-GLIMPSE surveys.”We used the APEX-LABOCA 870 µm and NANTEN2 12CO(4−3) molecular line, complemented with 2MASS, Spitzer, and Herschel Hi-GAL observations, to study the G345.5+1.5 region,” the researchers wrote in the paper.The observations identified at least seven late-B and early-O high-mass stars (which could increase to 12), 45 870-µm clumps, 107 12CO clumps, and 79 Hi-GAL sources. According to the paper, the 870-µm clumps have diameter between 1.3 and 3.9 light years, and masses between 43 and 3,923 solar masses. When it comes to 12CO clumps, they are similar in diameter to the 870-µm clumps, but with masses in the range of 28 to 9,433 solar masses.The astronomers noted that more than half of the newly identified clumps are protostellar, and a new generation of stars will emerge from them. Moreover, the boundedness of the protostellar clumps also indicates that most of them will be able to host star formation in the future.All in all, results of the study confirm that G345.5+1.5 actively forming stars, while its properties, especially star formation rate (SFR) and SFR density (ΣSFR) are comparable to other star-forming regions found within the galactic plane. “This is in agreement with the high percentage of bound 12CO clumps and its SFR and ΣS FR, which are comparable to other well-known star-forming regions of the galaxy,” the paper reads. More information: M. Figueira et al. Multiwavelength study of the G345.5+1.5 region? Astronomy & Astrophysics manuscript no. G345_corrected c ESO 2019 January 31, 2019. arxiv.org/pdf/1901.10905.pdf 1.2 mm emission map of the GMC G345.5+1.0 (López et al. 2011). The white ellipses represent the two rings of the region: G345.45+1.50 and G345.10+1.35. The area above the red dashed line represents the region studied by the team. Credit: Figueira et al., 2019. Citation: Multiwavelength observations of star-forming region uncover dozens of new celestial objects (2019, February 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-multiwavelength-star-forming-region-uncover-dozens.html Explore further © 2019 Science X Network Astronomers study star formation and gas flows in the galaxy NGC 1365 An international team of astronomers has conducted multiwavelength observations of the star-forming region G345.5+1.5. The observational campaign discovered dozens of massive stars as well as protostellar and bound starless clumps in the region. The study is presented in a paper published January 30 on arXiv.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.last_img read more

Astronomers detect Xray emitting clumps ejected from the binary PSR B1259–63LS 2883

first_img Pulsar punches hole in stellar disk More information: George G. Pavlov et al. High-speed Ejecta from the Gamma-ray Binary PSR B1259-63/LS 2883. arXiv:1903.00781 [astro-ph.HE]. arxiv.org/abs/1903.00781 Located around 8,800 light-years away in the constellation Crux, PSR B1259–63/LS 2883 is a binary with an orbital period of approximately 3.4 years, composed of a rotation-powered pulsar named PSR B1259-63 and a fast-rotating blue star of spectral type O9.5Ve, designated LS 2883. The pulsar is known for its emission of very high energy (VHE) gamma-rays, which varies on a timescale of several days.Now, a team of astronomers led by George G. Pavlov of Pennsylvania State University reports the detection of X-ray emission having its source in ejecta from PSR B1259–63/LS 2883. The emission was spotted by Chandra’s Advanced CCD Imaging Spectrometer (ACIS) during observations of this system between 2010 and 2017. Images from the space telescope clearly show X-ray-emitting clumps moving from the binary.”In this work, we describe the main properties of the X-ray emitting ejecta detected in a series of high-resolution Chandra observations during two binary cycles,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.During observations conducted between 2010 and 2014, the scientists have identified a southward extension in the X-ray image of PSR B1259–63/LS 2883 when the binary was close to its apastron. Another clump, apparently moving in the same direction, was spotted during the next binary cycle between 2014 and 2017.According to the paper, the clumps were moving from the binary with apparent velocities at a level of around 10 percent the speed of light, possibly with a significant acceleration. The research found that the clump detected in the 2010-2014 cycle faded with increasing separation from the binary, while the second clump brightened almost two times in one of the observations.Trying to find the most plausible explanation for the nature of the clump X-ray emission, Pavlov’s team noted that it could be produced by relativistic electrons, likely supplied by the pulsar. They added that in that case, the possible emission mechanisms are synchrotron radiation in the clump’s magnetic field and inverse Compton scattering of ultraviolet photons from the luminous high-mass companion off the relativistic electrons. According to the researchers, the collected data favors the synchrotron mechanism scenario.Furthermore, studying the motion and evolution of the clumps, the astronomers found the lack of any deceleration of these features. This indicates an extremely low density of the ambient medium.”Such a medium could be created by the pulsar wind, which sweeps out the matter of the stellar wind bubble in a cone confined by the shock that separates the colliding stellar and pulsar winds,” the paper reads.Therefore, the authors of the study concluded that the clumps ejected from PSR B1259–63/LS 2883 are likely composed of a mixture of stellar matter with the shocked pulsar wind, noting that they are formed by the complex interaction of the stellar and pulsar winds. Explore further Images of the moving clumps from PSR B1259–63/LS 2883 in the binary cycles 2010-2014 (top) and 2014-2017 (bottom). The ∆t values show the number of days since the most recent periastrons. Credit: Pavlov et al., 2019. © 2019 Science X Network Citation: Astronomers detect X-ray emitting clumps ejected from the binary PSR B1259–63/LS 2883 (2019, March 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-astronomers-x-ray-emitting-clumps-ejected.html Using NASA’s Chandra X-ray observatory, astronomers have spotted X-ray-emitting clumps being ejected with high velocities from the gamma-ray binary PSR B1259–63/LS 2883. The findings were presented in a paper published March 2 on arXiv.org, in which the authors also discuss possible explanations of this phenomenon. 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

KMC to organise workshop on vectorborne diseases

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will organise a workshop on vector-borne diseases at Rabindra Sadan on April 28, to create awareness among people from all walks of life, including doctors and paramedical staff.Mayor Sovan Chatterjee will inaugurate the workshop, while Chandrima Bhattacharya, minister of state for Health, will be the chief guest. Atin Ghosh, member, mayor-in-council (Health), all the councillors of KMC, senior officials of KMC Health department and representatives of various NGOs will also be present. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsIt may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has asked all the civic bodies, Gram Panchayats and Zilla Parishads to take up the issue of vector-borne diseases and unknown fever seriously and clean the areas under their jurisdiction, round the year. In all the administrative review meetings which were held recently, Banerjee had repeatedly directed to take up drives against dengue “very seriously”. The state government has also given Rs 4 crore to KMC, to create awareness against vector-borne diseases. The workshop is a part of the awareness campaign. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAtin Ghosh said as the dengue carrying mosquitoes have changed their breeding pattern due to global warming, KMC is carrying out anti-larvae drives throughout the year. KMC officials are visiting the houses to inspect underground reservoirs and overhead tanks.In places where the covers of the reservoirs are found to be missing, the owners are being requested to replace them immediately. In January, KMC had held a march where people from all walks of life took part. People have also been asked to clean containers used to store water. A close interaction between KMC doctors and their counterparts in state-run hospitals and private nursing homes are required, as KMC is following the guidelines of World Health Organisation (WHO) to combat Dengue. There are 15 free Dengue detection centres run by KMC. He said cooperation of people from all walks of life is required for successful prevention of the outbreak of the disease.last_img read more

Miscreants shoot two in Titagarh no casualties

first_imgKolkata: Two persons were shot at by four miscreants at Titagarh area of North 24-Parganas on Saturday night, spreading panic among the local residents. Police said that Vicky Rajak and his nephew Guddu Rajak had gone to have dinner in a hotel near Titagarh railway station, when a gang of four miscreants shot at them from point-blank range. The incident had left the local people shaken. The victims run a meat shop in a nearby area. They are also residents of the station area. Police have already identified two miscreants after going through the CCTV footages. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPolice said that the criminals had come on two motorcycles and shot at them from point-blank range. A bullet pierced Vicky’s shoulder. The miscreants also shot Guddu. Both the victims fell on the ground after getting shot. The miscreants fled from the spot immediately after the incident. The local residents rescued the victims and sent them to Barrackpore BN Bose Hospital. They were later shifted to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital, as their condition deteriorated. Eyewitnesses told the police that one of the accused took out a gun and shot them from point-blank range when they were about to enter a local hostel. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAccording to the police, the victims have been running a meat shop in the area for quite some time. After being informed, police reached the spot and started a probe. They are interrogating the local people in this connection. After going through the CCTV footages, police came to know that two youths were loitering in the area on Saturday evening, a few hours before the incident. The investigators have been able to identify the two.The local residents have raised their protest against the anti-social activities that are on the rise in the area. They alleged that a year ago, a similar incident had taken place in the area, in which a local fruit seller was shot dead. They demanded strengthening of police vigil in the area.Police are yet to ascertain the motive behind the incident. Preliminary investigation suggests that an old business rivalry might have led to the shooting. Police suspect that some local criminals might have been involved in the incident. Raids are being conducted to nab the miscreants.last_img read more

Vin Diesel pays tribute to Paul Walker on death anniversary

first_imgVin Diesel and his Fast & Furious castmates paid tribute to Paul Walker on the second anniversary of the actor’s death.Walker was killed when the sportscar he was a passenger in slammed into a light pole in Santa Clarita, California and burst into flames, reported In Touch magazine.Two years later, his co-stars from the blockbuster franchise have taken to social media to remember their friend, and Diesel led the tributes with a touching post on his Facebook page. Also Read – A fresh blend of fame“No matter where you are in this universe, you will always be, my brother,” he wrote.Diesel also shared a photo of himself sitting next to his late friend on Instagram, with the phrase “Brotherhood has no limits” displayed above it.Actor Jordana Brewster, who played Walker’s onscreen love interest, also posted a photo of the actor on Instagram, and offered up a quote by writer Ralph Waldo Emerson as her tribute. “The largest part of his power was latent,” she wrote. Also Read – Martin Freeman confirms ‘Black Panther’ return“This is that which we call Character, a reserved force which acts directly by presence, and without means.#paulwalkerforever.”  The second anniversary of Walker’s death comes just days after the actor’s father filed a wrongful death suit against Porsche bosses, claiming insufficient safety equipment in the car in which he was passenger was to blame for his son’s death and not the accident itself.last_img read more

When Imagination inspires art

first_imgThe show, which is being held by Gallerie Ganesha will celebrate art and artists who find their muse from what they see around themselves.The show, which will be shown at booth no. E-3, India Art Fair in the national Capital, will be held from January 28 to January 31.Artists whose work will be shown include A Ramachandran, Alok Uniyal, Avijit Dutta, Babu Xavier, Badri Narayan, Chotu Lal, Devdatta Padekar, Ganga Singh, Ganesh Pyne, GR Santosh, Jangarh Singh Shyam, Jayasri Burman, KS Kulkarni, Maya Burman, Mohan Singh, Nandan Purukayastha, Nayanaa Kanodia, Neeraj Goswami, Neelkant Choudhary, Paresh Maity, Sakti Burman, Satish Gujral, Shyamal Datta Ray, Sisir Sahana, Sunil Das and Vinita Karim. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Shobha Bhatia, Director, Gallerie Ganesha said: “All that appears real is, in fact, an illusion. It is “maya”. Reality is ever-changing and can be manifested at will, if the sacred texts are to be believed. What appears normal to one person may be unimaginable for another. What may be inconceivable for most may be one person’s daily reality. This show celebrates the element of fantasy in art.”With their heightened imagination and unique power of observation, the artists in the show will visualise reality in a way quite different from our perception of the same. It then becomes their life’s endeavour to express this fantasy, which exists in their minds, in a way that the viewers will feel touched and elevated by the experience. One could say that all artworks are, in a way, a work of fantasy. But there are times when an artist can bridge the gap between fantasy and reality and make it actually seem plausible…when the totally fantastic elements are presented in such a manner that one accepts them in a very matter of fact way.WHERE: India Art Fair, NSIC GroundsWHEN: January 28 till Jan 31last_img read more

2 nabbed in Bengal for gang rape

first_imgKolkata: Two youths were on Wednesday arrested for the gang rape of a teenage girl in West Bengal’s North 24 Parganas, police said. A 15-year-old girl from Haroa was gang raped three days back on an open field adjacent to her house, a police officer said. “Sabir Mollah, 19, and Laltu Mollah, 22, both from that village were arrested on Wednesday. They knew the victim. The accused have been in the hiding since the incident on Sunday night,” the Haroa police station officer added. The condition of the rape survivor was stable, he said. She was taken to the hospital on Monday morning. Later send home. Whether there were any previous relations between the attackers and the victim would also be probed, the officer said.last_img read more