first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Researchers at the U.S. National Ignition Facility (NIF) report that they are growing ever closer to reaching the ignition point with their laser generated nuclear fusion project. The facility, part of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has been doing research to find out if very high powered lasers could be used to create nuclear fusion that could then be used to drive steam turbines to make electricity. In related news, officials for UK companies AWE and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory have announced that they are joining forces with the research team working on the NIF project, adding years of expertise in both nuclear fusion and laser technology. To achieve inertial confinement fusion, researchers at the NIF project shoot multiple (192) very high powered lasers at a single pellet comprised of the hydrogen isotope deuterium, which causes it to compress to a fraction of its original size and fuse into helium atoms -releasing neutrons. The neutrons could then, in theory, be used to heat water to drive steam turbines. The only problem is, thus far, the power consumed by the lasers (some shots use more power than the whole rest of the United States) exceeds the power produced by firing them at the pellet. But, that appears to be changing.At a meeting this past week, sponsored by London’s Royal Society, representatives from the US facility and its two new British partners met to announce the terms of agreement between them all. NIF Director Ed Moses told the group (according to the BBC) that one shot of the NIF recently produced, for just the tiniest fraction of a second, more power than all the rest of the world was consuming. And while that is certainly impressive, it’s still just a fraction of what is needed to achieve ignition; the point where a self-sustaining chain reaction occurs (required for energy gain). Moses added that he believes the group will achieve ignition within the next couple of years. Part of the reason for his optimism is the advances that have been made in high power laser diodes over the ten years since the NIF was first designed. Laser Bay 2, one of NIF’s two laser bays, was commissioned on July 31, 2007. Citation: Researchers at NIF moving closer to fusion ignition point (2011, September 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-nif-closer-fusion-ignition.html One possible issue the group will certainly need to discuss is the enormous number of hydrogen pellets that would be needed to feed a facility that was actually engaged in producing electricity; some estimates range to 10 pellets a second, or a million every day.If the team is successful in its endeavor, the enormous amounts of tax dollars spent will be more than made up for in energy production. Just 1300 pounds of water, for example, could provide as much electricity as 2 million metric tons of coal. 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. © 2011 PhysOrg.com More information: lasers.llnl.gov/Update (9/15/2011): The story has been corrected to reflect inertial confinement fusion at NIF. NIF’s power conditioning system has more than 160 kilometers of high-voltage cable, which delivers energy to the system’s 7,680 flashlamps. Physicists demonstrate conditions for laser-driven fusionlast_img read more

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first_imgFig.1 One of two enantiornithine with fossilized ovarian follicles. Credit: ZHOU Zhonghe (Phys.org) —A team of paleontologists with the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing has discovered what are believed to be fossilized ovarian follicles in three birds from approximately 125 million years ago. As they describe in their paper published in the journal Nature, one of the birds appears to be a known type—Jeholornis—a bird from the Early Cretaceous that retained some non-avian features. The other two specimens were not well enough preserved to identify. Citation: Paleontologists discover fossilized ovarian follicles in three birds from Early Cretaceous (2013, March 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-03-paleontologists-fossilized-ovarian-follicles-birds.html 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. Fig.3 The evolutionary gradient from crocodilians to living birds. Credit: SHI Aijuan Scientists have for many years been interested in learning more about how it was that birds evolved avian traits distinct from non-avian dinosaurs—one of which was the change from two ovaries to just one. Modern crocodiles for example, have two, whereas all modern birds have just one (on the left side). It is believed this change came about to help reduce weight for flying females. Researchers have found fossilized pre-avian bird samples, called maniraptorans, which are in essence, flying dinosaurs, but evidence of birds from the time when the changeover was occurring has been scant. Fossilized bird specimens with traits retained from their forebears, such as the bony tail found with Jeholornis, are rare as are those where the single ovary can be seen. In this new discovery, all three birds have what appear to be not just single ovaries, but follicles (structures within ovaries that hold developing eggs) inside of them. © 2013 Phys.org Fig.2 Close-up of fossilized ovarian follicles in one of two enantiornithine. Credit: ZHOU Zhonghe More information: Preservation of ovarian follicles reveals early evolution of avian reproductive behaviour, Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature11985AbstractThe two groups of archosaurs, crocodilians and birds, form an extant phylogenetic bracket for understanding the reproductive behaviour of dinosaurs. This behaviour is inferred from preserved nests and eggs, and even gravid individuals. Data indicate that many ‘avian’ traits were already present in Paraves—the clade that includes birds and their close relatives—and that the early evolution of the modern avian form of reproduction was already well on its way. Like living neornithine birds, non-avian maniraptorans had daily oviposition and asymmetrical eggs with complex shell microstructure, and were known to protect their clutches. However, like crocodilians, non-avian maniraptorans had two active oviducts (one present in living birds), relatively smaller eggs, and may not have turned their eggs in the way that living birds do. Here we report on the first discovery of fossilized mature or nearly mature ovarian follicles, revealing a previously undocumented stage in dinosaur reproduction: reproductively active females near ovulation. Preserved in a specimen of the long bony-tailed Jeholornis and two enantiornithine birds from the Early Cretaceous period lacustrine Jehol Biota in northeastern China, these discoveries indicate that basal birds only had one functional ovary, but retained primitive morphologies as a result of their lower metabolic rate relative to living birds. They also indicate that basal birds reached sexual maturity before skeletal maturity, as in crocodiles and paravian dinosaurs. Differences in follicular morphology between Jeholornis and the enantiornithines are interpreted as forming an evolutionary gradient from the reproductive condition in paravian dinosaurs towards neornithine birds. Furthermore, differences between the two enantiornithines indicate that this lineage might also have evolved advanced reproductive traits in parallel to the neornithine lineage.Press release Journal information: Nature Tree resin captures evolution of feathers on dinosaurs and birds The researchers have deduced that the structures they’ve discovered are follicles by eliminating the possibility that they are something else, such as seeds or rocks, rather than by proving it through analysis—their placement in the body (on the left side), for example, their shape and size, and the fact that they were compressed flat along with the rest of the body as they fossilized (indicating they were of soft material), all point to follicles similar to those found in modern birds. Also their numbers indicate that early birds produced far more eggs than is common with birds today—one of the specimens had 20 follicles—a sign of not just a large clutch, but of small eggs and possibly protection and care given by males. They also noted that some of the bones of one of the birds had not fused, indicating that early birds were likely able to reproduce at a younger age than modern birds as well.last_img read more

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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. They wrote that their map displays the approximate location of unregistered users and the articles that they edit. The map, being “live,” is an entertaining data dalliance as no other. Each time an edit is made, a map shows where it was made from and text reveals which article was edited. Someone in Jordan edited French Open. Someone in LA edited Haym Solomon. Someone in Copenhagen edited Alcatraz Island. Therein lies at least one facet of the magnetic draw, as the map shows how people’s interests go beyond their own locales. The site only maps the contributions made by unregistered Wikipedia users. When such a user makes an edit, they are identified only by IP address. Unregistered users make only 15 percent of the contributions to the English Wikipedia so the map represents a small portion of the total edit activity. When an unregistered user makes a contribution to Wikipedia, that contribution is identified by IP address and the IP address is translated to the contributor’s approximate geographic location. Components used in LaPorte and Hashemi’s map include the JavaScript libraryD3 (Data Driven Documents); datamaps-world.js; and freegeoip.net.D3.js is a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data. DataMaps are interactive maps for data visualizations, bundled into a single Javascript file. freegeoip.net is a public web service for searching the geolocation of IP addresses and host names. freegeoip.net began as a web server research project in 2009 hosted at Google’s App Engine. A year later it moved to its own server infrastructure. Wikipedia needs little introduction as the world’s crowdsourced encyclopedia, maintained by users who are constantly making edits to articles. While traditional encyclopedias edited the world, the world edits Wikipedia. (Phys.org) —The show of shows: A realtime map that you can watch, and watch, which displays where in the word people are editing articles for Wikipedia. We are almost tempted to issue a warning here that the map we are about to discuss could be the most addictive Internet go-to you have experienced, and to please view with caution. Two programmers, Stephen LaPorte and Mahmoud Hashemi, the latter a “Wikipedian and Pythonist,” have created a method to display changes to Wikipedia, changes that are marked up on a world map in realtime. Their work is called the Wikipedia Recent Changes Map. This is an open source work available on github. More information: blog.hatnote.com/post/49342528 … a-recent-changes-map hatnote.com/#en Explore furthercenter_img New clues to Wikipedia’s shared super mind © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Realtime map shows Wikipedia changes worldwide (2013, May 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-05-realtime-wikipedia-worldwide.htmllast_img read more

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first_img Citation: Best of Last Week – Light’s pushing pressure, the riddle of Somerton Man and maintaining muscle strength as we age (2015, June 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-06-week-pressure-riddle-somerton-muscle.html © 2015 Phys.org In other intriguing news, after years of forensic investigation, Somerton Man’s identity remains a mystery, and now researchers have begun to apply modern techniques to solve the riddle of the man found dead on Adelaide’s Somerton Beach back in 1948, first by looking at the history and code and secondly via DNA, isotopes, and autopsy. The man’s body was found on the beach by two horseback riders, his unexplainable cause of death and piece of paper in his pocket with an apparent code written on it, caused a sensation at the time.In technology news, a combined team of researchers from several institutions in Japan announced that they had developed a solar cell that set a world record with a stabilized efficiency of 13.6%. Also, a company called Batteroo announced that it had developed the Batteriser, a $2.50 sleeve for ordinary batteries that is able to extend its life by 800 percent. Another team in Japan announced an amoeba-inspired computing system that outperforms conventional optimization methods—it is a new algorithm based on branching. Also in a bit of startling news, a team of researchers at the University of Iowa found evidence that suggests a certain kind of bacteria may cause type 2 diabetes—a simple staph infection caused the disease in rabbits. Also, another team found new evidence emerging on the origins of life—they were able to shed some light on the transition of amino acid building blocks into life that occurred four billion years ago.And finally, if you, like billions of people the world over, have been worried about growing feeble in your retirement years, you might be interested in knowing that a team of researchers has discovered a key to maintaining muscle strength while we age—it is a protein, apparently, that we tend to make less of as we age. 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. (Phys.org)—It was a very good week for physics as a team of researchers from China and Israel made the first observation of the pushing pressure of light—they were able to show the surface of a liquid bending inward when exposed to a wide beam of light in a large container. Also Texas Tech professor Bill Poirier suggested that the strange behavior of quantum particles may indicate the existence of other parallel universes—a theory he calls “Many Interacting Worlds.”center_img After years of forensic investigation, Somerton Man’s identity remains a mystery (Part 1: History and Code) (a) Minkowski’s momentum of light: the surface bulges out, indicating that light is pulling on the medium. This regime occurs when the light is not able to put the fluid in motion (the light is too focused or the container of fluid too shallow). (b) Abraham’s momentum of light: the surface bends inward, indicating a pushing force. This regime occurs when the light is able to move the fluid. In both figures, the surface deformations are exaggerated for making them visible. Credit: Zhang, et al. Explore furtherlast_img read more

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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. Explore further © 2019 Science X Network Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences A pair of researchers, one with the Paris School of Economics, the other with CNRS, UMR8545, Paris-Jourdan Sciences-Economiques, has found a possible reason for the gender gap in math fields—girls have an advantage in reading. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Thomas Breda and Clotilde Napp describe their study of test score data from thousands of students across the globe and what they found. More information: Thomas Breda et al. Girls’ comparative advantage in reading can largely explain the gender gap in math-related fields, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1905779116center_img In the U.S.. there is a drive to reduce the gender gap in STEM fields of study—there are many more men than women in science, technology, engineering and math professions. And part of that effort is dedicated to better understanding why the gap exists. Prior research has suggested that social factors play a strong role, such as a perception of such work as non-feminine—including the views of women who may want to go into such a field, others in the field, and society at large. In this new effort, the researchers suggest that there may also be another reason—girls are better with reading and communication skills.The study involved analyzing data from the Program of International Student Assessment (PISA), which is a series of tests given to students around the globe every three years. In their study, the researchers focused exclusively on students who were 15 years old—they suggest this age is when young people begin making serious plans for their future. In addition to testing students, the assessments also included questions about professional intentions. Prior research has shown that the fields that students report on the assessments tend to match up very closely with actual career choices.The researchers report that the data showed that those students who listed math as a career field were more likely to be male. Also, male students scored slightly higher than female students in math, but not by a statistically significant amount. The researchers noted that there were no signs in test scores that could explain the gender gap that would occur later on—or the gap in students listing math as a preferred field of study. But the researchers did note that on average, girls excel at reading compared to math, while the opposite is true for boys. They suggest this indicates that female students tend to lean toward reading and communications skills over math because they are better at it. The key to fixing the gender gap in math and science: Boost women’s confidence Citation: Study suggests girls’ advantage in reading explains gender gap in math fields (2019, July 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-girls-advantage-gender-gap-math.html Credit: CC0 Public Domainlast_img read more

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August 31, 2019

History on your plate

first_imgThey call it Daniell’s Tavern and they dish out some of the best recipes from the east, north and south of India. Of course I did a double take and checked out the name again. There’s a story behind it, the Sr. Executive Vice President and General Manager, Vijay Wanchoo had told me in a conversation. Daniell’s has a menu that revisits India from the eyes of Thomas and William Daniells. The uncle and nephew team came to paint the rich culture of India’s locales in 1786, in the midst of colonial era to assist the expanding British Empire. While they painted, they also got the chance to enjoy the local cuisine which got recorded meticulously in their diaries. The menu at this restaurant is right off those pages. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The restaurant greets you with a wonderful sense of comfort. It feels like splendid home to us localites, but for the foreign clientele, which Chef de cuisine Ved Prakash tells us – is the major bulk of diners;  it is a beautiful mix and match of luxury and indigenous charm. From the fresh marigolds on the tables to the live kitchen and the paintings on the walls – the romance fuses with the food on the plate. In a fresh innitiative to celebrate all things Punjabi, Daniell’s Tavern cooked up a storm. Apart from their signature dishes like Azeezun’s Glory (Navrattan Khaas) and Merchant’s Bounty (Keerai Masial), they dished out delicacies like Bhatti da Murgh, Macchli Amritsari, Maa ki Dal and Paneer Lababdaar. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixServed with Sadda Chawal and assorted Indian breads – ‘Punjab’ was quite a celebration. The Maa ki Dal was an absolute favourite. I do believe there is something eternally comforting about dal-chawal and no this isn’t the Bengali in me speaking! The Punjabi Meat Masala was perfectly done and that gets a thumbs up along with the Shamiana Prawns.The chef suggested the Tandoori Salmon (apparently a hit with foreigners) but it was turned down for the Macchli Amritsari – I was already bursting at the seams. Salmon is a very soft fish and it is almost a matter of mastery to not ruin it on the tandoor – definitely something to try the next time round.  With Hastings Choice (Matka Kulfi) to round it up – Daniell’s Tavern is not something you want to miss when you are at the Imperial. Pencil in a date soon! DETAILMeal for two: INR 4000 + taxes without alcoholTimings: 6:30pm to 11:45pmlast_img read more

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August 31, 2019

A hint of bling

first_imgIf you have an eye for pottery and sculptures, artiste Anju Kumar’s next exhibition is your place to be. Aptly, titled – Earthen Aura, this exhibition will showcase an array of brightly coloured vases, pots, lamps, sculptures and paintings too.One will find sleeping Buddha, baal Ganesha, craft pieces, golden-silver vases among other art works. Most of the work is done on clay, hand crafted terracotta and wood. The artiste has used earthy colour palettes ranging from muted, antique golds, oxidized silvers, and majestic beige to vibrant burnt sienna for all the art pieces. The paintings to be displayed largely consists two sets of divergent streams of art contemporary and fantasy art. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’With the festive season round the corner, another part of the exhibition is showcasing Ganesha series. It consists of several paintings of the god in his various avatars painted by the artiste as a tribute to the god.‘I have made the art work so it can generate a feeling of joy, happiness, contentment and fulfilment in the onlooker. Looking at the festive season around I tried to keep a blend of sculptural, architectural touch in the art work,’ said the artiste.last_img read more

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August 31, 2019

Trade and tradition

first_imgInaugurated by Maneka Sanjay Gandhi, Union Minister for Women & Child Development, the new opening offers traditional textiles from across the country like – Kutchi weaves, Kashmiri embroidery, Rajasthani madder and indigo block prints, bandhni and leheria. It also offers – Kanchipuram. Korainadu cottons and silks, Andhra telia, silk, tussar and kalamkari, Putupaka cottons, Mangalagiri cotton and silk, Khadi, Odisha Ikat, Bengal and Bihar tussars, matka and featherlite weaves from Fulia, Jamdani, Dhakai, Chanderis, Maheshwaris,hand prints in calligraphy, pashminas and much more.last_img

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first_imgDo you feel apprehensive about using frozen foods thinking they are not nutritious? Now put your doubts to rest about frozen food in cold storage.Frozen food brand McCain Foods India has elucidated on the IQF technology to help users get over their inhibitions, said a statement.There are 12 stages before a vegetable or fruit is frozen. First is the reception of the raw produce (actually a misnomer because the product which is perfectly ripe is brought to the factory for freezing).  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The other 11 stages are pneumatic cleaning, washing and de-stoning, visual inspection, trimming, shelling, sizing, pitting and skinning, blanching, cooling, sorting, individual quick freezing (IQF), grading, packing and storage. The IQF method of freezing ensures that the quality of the end product is much superior compared to other methods of food preservation like dehydration, canning or bottling as it does not lead to any loss of nutrients, flavours, colours, shape or texture. The process also results in a longer shelf life (up to 18 months), reduced thawing loss and no product deformation.last_img read more

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August 31, 2019

Exploring Buddhism

first_imgIn an attempt to explore the intricacies related to Buddhism, India International Centre hosted a three-day international conference on Buddhist Monasteries of South Asia and China. Organised by Society for Buddhist Art and Archaeology (SBAA) in collaboration with Indian International Centre (IIC), Rock Art Society of India (RASI), Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), the conference began on Monday.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Institute of Archaeology, Archaeological Survey of India also organised a photo exhibition at the venue based on the theme of the Conference. The conference along with the photo exhibition was inaugurated on Monday by Chief Guest-Prof Lokesh Chandra, President of ICCR and Guest of Honour Kapila Vatsyayan, chairperson, IIC-Asia Project. The inaugural session started off with the keynote address of Prof Chandra, and the Guest of Honour Dr Kapila Vatsyayan. The vote of thanks was given by Prof Chongfeng Li.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe conference included seven  academic sessions with 25 research papers in total. The first and second day was divided into two sessions and day three will have three sessions. The conference has  definitely brought to light several facets of the otherwise unknown culture of our neighbouring countries and also has ignited some healthy dialogues on varied issues and topics with the mutual cultural and religious binding called Buddhism.last_img read more

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