Month: August 2019

Plants live die according to their size

first_imgPlants self-regulate their populations to maintain stability and optimize their lives, with the lengths of their lives directly related to their mass, a recent study has found. Further, a single scaling power for lifespan holds true across the entire spectrum of plants, from single-celled phototrophs to giant redwoods. Citation: Plants live, die according to their size (2007, October 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-10-die-size.html “Plant metabolism increases with increasing temperature, and, thus, plant life span and birth and mortality rates are expected to increase with temperature as well,” explained Marbà. “Hence, global warming may have consequences for the stability of plant populations. If temperature increases mortality and birth rates equally, plant populations will turn over faster but they would remain stable. Otherwise, plant populations will decline. In any case, a faster plant turnover, coupled with higher metabolic rates of decomposing microorganims with warming, may lead to a reduction in the CO2 sink capacity of vegetation.”Despite the delicate balance between mortality and birth rates, the actual mechanisms governing plant life and death are still unclear to biologists. Most certainly, controls include an assortment of metabolic processes interacting at all levels, from molecular to organismal, and include respiration, reproduction, cellular damage, and structural imbalances. Because plants, unlike animals, retain their reproductive capacity throughout their lives, evolution might put greater selective pressure on plants’ lifespans. The researchers plan to continue investigating how these processes combine to influence plant life histories. Citation: Marbà, Núria, Duarte, Carlos M., and Agustí, Susana. “Allometric scaling of plant life history.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 2, 2007, vol. 104, no. 40, 15777-15780.Copyright 2007 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Mortality and birth rates are nearly identical for all plants, keeping their populations stable. Credit: Núria Marbà, et al. ©2007 PNAS. Scientists have long known that animals’ lifespans are closely scaled to the species’ body size, with elephants living longer than mice. But while plant biologists have predicted such a connection in plants, a full study has never been performed until now.Researchers Núria Marbà, Carlos Duarte and Susana Agustí at the Mediterranan Institute for Advanced Studies—a joint institute between the CSIC (Spanish Council for Scientific Research) and the University of the Balearic Islands in Esporles, Spain—have recently examined more than 1,000 reports of plant birth and mortality rates across a wide spectrum of species, discovering that the connection holds with extreme precision.The researchers found that both population mortality rates and population birth rates of all plant species scale as the –¼ power of plant mass. In other words, the smaller a plant, the higher its mortality and birth rates, meaning the shorter its lifespan. Hence, plant lifespan scales as almost exactly the ¼ power of plant mass. “The functioning of biological systems depends to a large extent on their metabolism, i.e., on how they process energy and materials, such as light, water, and nutrients,” Marbà explained to PhysOrg.com. “Small plants require fewer resources per unit of time than large ones, and, therefore, they are able to turn over the individuals of their populations faster than large plants. As plant size increases, more resources and time are needed to produce a fully grown individual, and thus their lifespan increases, resulting in small plants having shorter life spans than larger ones.”An interesting aspect of these relationships is that mortality and birth rates are nearly identical within a species, keeping the population extremely stable. Nature has additional reasons for this perfect balance, too, which include stabilizing carbon cycling, optimizing plant life histories, and stabilizing the ecosystems the plants inhabit. The scientists suggest that, to achieve this balance, plant mortality rates have evolved to match the birth rates.The group also investigated whether temperature entered the equation. According to the metabolic theory of ecology, metabolic rates (which determine lifespan) should be temperature-dependent. However, the researchers found that, unlike animals, plants’ mortality and birth rates are independent of temperature, or at least within the variation of their data. This finding contrasts with previous evidence that mortality rates of phytoplankton, macroalgae, and land plants increase with increasing temperature when the response of single species to temperature is examined. The researchers explain that resolving this issue could have a fundamental impact on predictions of global warming. center_img Live fast and die young, or play the long game? Scientists map 121 animal life cycles 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.last_img read more

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Mice and possibly humans make their own morphine

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — New research has confirmed that mice have the biochemical pathways required to manufacture morphine from intermediates. Morphine is a powerful drug usually derived from the opium poppy, but scientists have long speculated animals may be able to synthesize it, especially as they have brain receptors responding specifically to morphine. Tetrahydropapaveroline (THP) and other alkaloid precursors of morphine have been discovered in brain tissue and urine, but until now animal studies were largely inconclusive because of the difficulty of excluding environmental contaminants. The new research gives more conclusive evidence that excludes the possibility of contamination. Researcher Dr Meinhart Zenk, from the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center in St Louis, Missouri, injected mice each day with THP and other morphine precursors and then analyzed the mouse urine samples. The potential precursors injected into the mice were labeled with deuterium and could therefore be distinguished from any morphine contaminants found in the environment or in the food. The alkaloids were isolated from the urine and then examined using mass spectrometry.The analyses identified a number of intermediate steps in the biochemical pathway between THP and morphine. One of these was a four-ringed molecule called salutaridine, a metabolite of THP found in the biochemical pathway that synthesizes morphine in the opium poppy. When they injected salutaridine into the mice they found thebaine, a five-ringed opiate in the urine. Injecting thebaine resulted in codeine, morphine, and a third opiate, oripavine, being identified in the urine.Dr Zenk said the later stages of morphine production are the same in the opium poppy and mammals, but the stages preceding salutaridine differ in that the precursor has an extra hydroxyl (OH) group in animals. The difference is enough to suggest the morphine pathway in mammals and plants evolved independently.Zenk and his colleagues did not find morphine in the mouse blood or tissues, and so the research does not prove the morphine produced was used for any purpose such as pain relief, or that it was involved in an addiction. It does not prove that humans and other mammals also possess the same biochemical pathways, but it seems likely since traces of morphine have been found previously in human urine as well as mouse urine.The team plans to use more sensitive techniques to identify traces of morphine in tissues, and further research is needed to identify enzymes involved in the biochemical pathways. More work also needs to be done to show whether or not the endogenous morphine exists naturally and has a significant function, although Zenk said because morphine is found “we have to consider that there must be a function for it.” One of the future research projects Zenk hopes to do is to find out if people suffering from pain have raised levels of endogenous morphine.The paper is published online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Explore further More information: Urinary excretion of morphine and biosynthetic precursors in mice, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Published online before print April 26, 2010, doi:10.1073/pnas.1003423107 Citation: Mice (and possibly humans) make their own morphine (2010, April 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-04-mice-possibly-humans-morphine.htmlcenter_img Unlocking the opium poppy’s biggest secret (w/ Video) 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. © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

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Researchers engineer molecular magnets to act as longlived qubits

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Some physicists today are investigating the possibility of using molecular magnets as information storage units in future quantum computers. Molecular magnets are molecules whose magnetic moments prefer to lie along a particular axis with respect to the molecular structure. They have electron spin structures that can be magnetically tuned to more than one state and, at low temperatures, can retain this state even in the absence of a magnetic field, potentially allowing them to store information. More information: C.J. Wedge, et al. “Chemical Engineering of Molecular Qubits.” PRL 108, 107204 (2012). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.108.107204 Chemical structure of a molecular magnet. Image credit: C.J. Wedge, et al. ©2012 American Physical Society Copyright 2012 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Citation: Researchers engineer molecular magnets to act as long-lived qubits (2012, March 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-03-molecular-magnets-long-lived-qubits.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. Breakthrough in quantum computing: Resisting ‘quantum bug’ Now a team of researchers from the UK have demonstrated that the phase of quantum mechanical superpositions between the magnetic states can last for more than 15 microseconds, allowing their spin states to be repeatedly switched before they lose their information through decoherence. This finding adds to the evidence that molecular magnets may be useful as qubits, the components of a quantum computer.The researchers, C.J. Wedge, et al., from the University of Oxford and the University of Manchester, have published their study on how to chemically engineer molecular qubits to increase their phase memory times in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters. Previously, the researchers achieved a phase memory time of 3.8 microseconds, and studies of other molecular magnet systems have yielded times on the 1 microsecond time scale.  “Phase memory time and coherence time are very similar concepts,” coauthor Arzhang Ardavan of the University of Oxford told PhysOrg.com. “[Long phase memory time] means that it is possible to manipulate the qubit many times before the quantum information is lost. That is the greatest significance, but we were also pleased that it was possible to control the molecular structures precisely so as to determine the various decoherence mechanisms and to reduce them as far as we were able.”In their study, the researchers focused on Cr7Ni molecular magnets, which they had previously shown to have  coherence times that greatly exceed the 10 nanoseconds needed for single-qubit manipulations. Here, they have taken the next steps and investigated the specific sources of the molecular magnet’s decoherence (nuclear spin diffusion and spectral diffusion), as well as how to optimize the structures to delay decoherence as long as possible.To do this, the researchers compared different Cr7Ni structures by changing two key components, certain cations and ligands. They specifically investigated how well the different structures retained their spin states at low temperatures, as measured by the structures’ phase-coherence relaxation time. The researchers found that optimally engineered Cr7Ni molecular magnets can have phase memory times exceeding 15 microseconds, which is several orders of magnitude higher than the time required for single-qubit manipulations, and significantly longer than previous demonstrations.The researchers predict that the results will lead to the ability to manipulate quantum states within molecular magnet clusters. They plan to further investigate ways to manipulate molecular magnets in the future.“We will examine various possibilities,” Ardavan said. “Our collaborators who work on the chemistry of these molecules are able to synthesize structures incorporating several coupled molecular magnets. We will work on simple multi-qubit algorithms using these kinds of molecules. “Recently, it was proposed theoretically that electric fields could be used to manipulate the magnetic states of molecular magnets,” he added. “We are examining these possibilities experimentally.”last_img read more

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Researchers create image of weak hydrogen bond using AFM

first_img(Phys.org) —Researchers at China’s National Center for Nanoscience and Technology and Renmin University have used Atomic Force Microscopy (AFM) to create an image of the weak hydrogen bonds present in a molecule. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes how they used the non-contact form of AFM to capture an image of weak hydrogen bonds in a 8-hydroxyquinoline molecule (8hq). Until recently, the most accurate images of molecules were obtained using scanning tunneling microscopy, recent advances with AFM, however (particularly the addition of a carbon monoxide molecule to the probe tip) have made it the method of choice for obtaining actual images of molecules and the bonds that hold them together. In this new effort, the research team has advanced the science of AFM by capturing an image of the weak hydrogen bonds present in a 8hq molecule. Understanding how hydrogen bonds work is a very important part of science—they are responsible, for example, for holding together strands of DNA. Currently, there are two ways to capture images using AFM: contact, and non-contact imaging. With contact imaging, the tip of the mechanical probe is made to touch the surface of the material being analyzed. The amount of deflection of the probe tip as its dragged is used to create an image. In non-contact mode, the tip is brought near to the surface, but doesn’t touch it. An image is created by measuring changes to the oscillating tip probe from weak forces emanating from the source.The team in China used the non-contact form of AFM and chose 8hq as a test subject because it’s a relatively flat molecule. The resulting image is the first created using AFM to show weak hydrogen bonds, and is important because there is still debate about the nature of hydrogen bonds. For many years it was considered to be purely an electrostatic interaction—new evidence has cast doubt on that idea, suggesting that it might be at least partially chemical. The new image doesn’t clear up the debate, but does offer some intriguing possibilities for the future as it demonstrates that as AFM matures, it will offer more and more evidence of the true nature of molecules and how they interact. 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: Researchers create image of weak hydrogen bond using AFM (2013, October 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-image-weak-hydrogen-bond-afm.html More information: Real-Space Identification of Intermolecular Bonding with Atomic Force Microscopy, Published Online September 26 2013. Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1242603ABSTRACTWe report a real-space visualization of the formation of hydrogen bonding in 8-hydroxyquiline (8-hq) molecular assemblies on a Cu(111) substrate using noncontact atomic force microscopy (NC-AFM). The atomically resolved molecular structures enable a precise determination of the characteristics of hydrogen bonding networks, including the bonding sites, orientations, and lengths. The observation of bond contrast was interpreted by ab initio density functional calculations, which indicated the electron density contribution from the hybridized electronic state of the hydrogen bond. Intermolecular coordination between the dehydrogenated 8-hq and Cu adatoms was also revealed by the submolecular resolution AFM characterization. The direct identification of local bonding configurations by NC-AFM would facilitate detailed investigations of intermolecular interactions in complex molecules with multiple active sites. © 2013 Phys.orgcenter_img Journal information: Science In world’s first, atomic force microscope sees chemical bonds in individual molecules (w/ video) AFM measurements of 8-hq assembled clusters on Cu(111). (A and B) Constant-height frequency shift images of typical molecule assembled clusters, and their corresponding structure models (C and D). Imaging parameters: V = 0 V, A = 100 p.m., Δz = +10 pm. Image size: (A) 2.3 nm × 2.0 nm, (B) 2.5 nm × 1.8 nm. The dashed lines in (C) and (D) indicate likely H bonds between 8-hq molecules. Credit: Science DOI:10.1126/science.1242603 Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Observations uncover details about the open cluster IC 4996

first_img Citation: Observations uncover details about the open cluster IC 4996 (2019, February 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-uncover-cluster-ic.html Using the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope (VATT) and data from ESA’s Gaia satellite, astronomers have conducted a new study of the young open cluster IC 4996 and its vicinity. The research, presented in a paper published January 31 on arXiv.org, reports more details about properties of this cluster. IC 4996 is a young open cluster in the constellation Cygnus, believed to be a member of an OB association known as Cygnus OB1 (or Cyg OB1), Although numerous observations of IC 4996 have been performed to date, its distance and age remain uncertain. Some studies suggest that it is located about 5,400 light years away from the Earth, while other papers estimate that it may reside as much as 2,400 light years farther. Similarly, its age estimates range from 6 million to 9 million years in various studies.In order to resolve these discrepancies and to learn more about the nature of IC 4996, a group of astronomers led by Vytautas Straizys of Vilnius University, Lithuania, conducted their own study of this cluster. For this purpose, they used the 1.8-meter VATT telescope located on Mt. Graham, Arizona, and data from Gaia’s Data Release 2 (DR2). Published in April 2018, DR2 contains high-precision measurements, including positions in the sky, parallaxes and proper motions for more than 1 billion sources in the Milky Way galaxy. Such information is crucial for determining distances and ages of stars more accurately.”In this article, we attempt to determine the parameters of IC 4996 with new spectroscopic MK types of the brightest stars and two-dimensional photometric spectral types of fainter stars based on their CCD photometry in the Vilnius system and individual dereddening,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.The study reveals that the Gaia parallax of IC 4996 is 0.522 mas, which corresponds to a distance of 6,243 light years. The age of the cluster was estimated to be between 8 million and 10 million years.Given that the distance to Cyg OB1 is known to be about 5,483 light years, the researchers noted that IC 4996 is most likely not a member of this association. However, they added that this cluster more likely has a common origin with the Cygnus OB3 (Cyg OB3) association, which is located between 5,870 and 6,500 light years away.Furthermore, the research found that the interstellar extinction (dimming due to the presence of dust in the interstellar medium) of IC 4996 covers a wide range of values, from 1.3 to 2.4 mag, while the mean value in the central part of the cluster is 1.8 mag. The authors of the paper also noted that DR2 dataset allowed them to identify 72 new possible cluster members.In concluding remarks, Straizys’ team emphasized that their research proves that a two-dimensional classification of stars based on multicolor photometry, together with astrometry from Gaia, can be applied for obtaining physical parameters of open clusters. According to the researchers, the study also shows that boundaries of stellar associations should be revised. Open cluster IC 4996. Credit: Peter Wienerroither. Astronomers investigate open cluster NGC 6530 © 2019 Science X Network Explore further More information: V. Straižys et al. Young open cluster IC 4996 and its vicinity: multicolor photometry and Gaia DR2 astrometry. arXiv:1901.11375 [astro-ph.GA]. arxiv.org/abs/1901.11375 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Are women really moving up in the workplace

first_imgMeanwhile, men were significantly more sanguine about progress: 33 percent said they’ve seen positive change in the last five years. Only 20 percent of women agreed things have gotten better for women in their companies in the last five years, according to a new ASCEND-Morning Consult poll. The #MeToo movement has thrown a spotlight on gender discrimination issues in the workplace. But is office culture really changing? It depends on whom you ask.center_img “We were actually quite surprised,” Katherine Phillips, a Columbia Business School professor who analyzed the poll’s results for Ascend and Morning Consult, told “Morning Joe” co-host and Know Your Value founder Mika Brzezinski. Read the whole story: NBClast_img read more

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Textiles get a glam touch

first_imgThe Capital’s textile and handicraft hub — popularly known as Dilli Haat, turned into a ramp on Thursday night with leading models strutting their stuff in ensembles designed by well-known designers. Hosted by the Ministry of Textiles, Government of India, Incredible Handicraft was a  fashion show that brought together designers like Abraham & Thakore, Payal Jain and Samanth Chauhan who showcased fashion creations based on the Indian handicrafts. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ India, which is well-known for its handicrafts and textiles, was the focus of the fashion show. ‘The Development Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India endeavours to sustain and nurture the essentially diminishing art of Indian handicraft. The office seeks to promote the artisans and the practitioners of the trade and aims at improving their daily quality of life by supporting them in their quest of preserving their natural and traditional skills along with fostering their knowledge and craft skills,’ said SS Gupta, Development Commissioner, O/O Development Commissioner, Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India.  ‘By bringing together the big names of the Indian fashion Industry, our endeavour is to introduce the current generation to the uniqueness of Indian handicrafts and encourage them to endorse the wonderful creation of Indian legacy,’ he added.  Models like Sonalika Sahay, Donna Masih, Aanchal Oberoi, Anousha Chauhan, Himani Thapa, Priyanka Bhau and others showcased creations that included the traditional kedia silhouette with handcrafted shibori, Lucknowi chikankari work and Bhagalpur silk. The Indian handicrafts sector provides employment to people belonging to socially and economically weaker sections of the country, particularly in rural areas.last_img read more

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Hong Kong student protesters clash with police at government HQ

first_imgWith morning rush hour under way, fresh scuffles broke out between police and demonstrators at the main Admiralty protest site.Tearful protesters were forced from the government site and roads were cleared for traffic, but government offices remained closed with the de facto parliament suspended. Emotions continued to run high with clashes between police and protesters at a shopping arcade near the Admiralty site, with at least one person stretchered away, according to a reporter at the scene. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenIn chaotic scenes overnight, hundreds of protesters wearing helmets and wielding umbrellas spilled into a major road outside the office of Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as police tried to beat them back with batons and pepper spray. “I want true democracy!” protesters yelled. “Surround the headquarters. Paralyse the government.” Protesters have been staging mass sit-ins in Hong Kong since late September, demanding free leadership elections for the semi-autonomous Chinese city. China’s communist authorities insist candidates for the 2017 vote must be vetted by a loyalist committee, which the protesters say will ensure the election of a pro-Beijing stooge. Police said they had made 40 arrests overnight and 11 officers had been injured. Several protesters were injured in the overnight clashes. One was seen led away by police with a bloodied face, while others were tended to by first-aid volunteers after being fired at with pepper spray.last_img read more

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ITBP jawan opens fire in Mussoorie IAS Academy kills officer

first_imgAn ITBP jawan on Friday went on a shooting spree killing his officer and injuring another personnel inside the prestigious IAS academy here, a day after he was punished by the senior. The misery for the force did not stop here as the accused constable, Chandra Shekar, ran away with an assault rifle and 70 rounds of bullets from Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration.The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force guards the premier institute located on this hill station in Uttarakhand. The story of the gory incident is said to have begun on Thursday when sub- inspector Surendra sentenced Shekar for a day’s punishment over disciplinary issue. Apparently peeved over the decision of his superior, the constable opened fire with an LMG killing Surendra and injuring constable Mohammed Alam at around 6 pm. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary  said that he has ordered a court of inquiry into the incident and directed for the “immediate” replacement of the unit from the task. Officials said the incident was reported around evening when it is suspected that an altercation broke out between the two men and subsequently Shekhar grabbed an LMG and pumped at least three bullets into the SI and also shot at few others standing nearby.They said the firing of the bullets led to some panic inside the Academy, however, senior officials soon announced that the situation was under control. Senior ITBP commanders of the force and those from local police and administration rushed from state capital Dehradun to the Academy. Officials said a search has been launched to nab the accused who joined the force in 2012.last_img read more

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Mentally deranged woman beaten up on childlifter charges

first_imgDhupguri (West Bengal): A mentally deranged woman has been beaten up in Jalpaiguri district of North Bengal on suspicion of being child-lifter, police said today. The incident occurred yesterday evening at around 8 pm at Barogharia Gram Panchayat area in Dhupguri Block. Locals claimed thar the woman was spotted in the neighbourhood for the past few days and used candies to lure children. “There have been incidents of child trafficking here. We found that the woman was carrying several candies,” Samir Roy, a resident of Barogharia said. The bruised woman was taken to a hospital yesterday and was released after initial treatment. “We are investigating the incident. We have taken the mentally deranged woman into our custidy,” Jalpaiguri Superintendent of Police Amitava Maity said.last_img read more

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Bridging the fashion divide

first_imgThe different techniques of embroidery, colour combinations and stitching methods have embellished the creative attires adorned by fashion aficionados since time immemorial. Creative trends in fashion today have managed to reach a much wider audience through various mediums such as films, TV and the internet. Between India and Pakistan, the proximity had enabled the transfer of various techniques of embroidery since the pre-partition era, a time when people knew about Chikankari or Multani Tanka. Later, as political complications restricted it, the need for another way of accessing the latest trends, arose. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Initially films were used to showcase various fashion trends, cuisines and talents in the two neighbouring countries but soon it became more one-sided with only Indian films and fashion trends making their way to the other side. It was only after the introduction of Pakistani TV serials (through the TV Channel Zindagi) that the affection for Pakistani artists and their fashion trends reached its zenith in India, which has further prompted events, combining and showcasing the efforts of both the nations. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe launch of Shaan-e-Pakistan is the latest event in line for these collaborations. Here, the latest fashion trends of both the countries will be showcased. Huma Nassr, the curator of Shaan-e-Pakistan revealed, “The different kinds of embroidery such as Chikankari, Kundan, Mukaish work, Zardozi and Multani Tanka will be showcased through the bridal collections along with the works focusing on the high-street fashion by the Indian and Pakistani designers.”  When asked if the Pakistani TV serials have contributed in any way to popularise the event, Nassr said, “Yes, Pakistani serials have helped to promote Pakistani fashion to Indian audience with some of the Pakistani and Indian celebrities even supporting this event.” Supported by Pakistan High Commission, New Delhi and Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO), the three-day event which will be starting from September 10, will showcase the works of Indian designers such as Anju Modi, Vinky Singh, Sadan Pandey, Poonam Bhagat along with their Pakistani counterparts like Huma Nassr, HSY, Mona Imran, Nadia Hussain among others. Vinky Singh, who will be showcasing her Fulkari collection said, “I am looking forward to the fashion show and I hope that it brings the two nations closer.”last_img read more

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Education dept to crack down on saffronisation of schools

first_imgKolkata: The state Education department is all set to take strong measures to tackle alleged saffronisation of education in the state. State Education minister Partha Chatterjee will hold a meeting with Gerry Arathoon, the Chief Executive and Secretary of the ICSE council, soon after the pujas.It has been learnt that the Education minister will seek his opinion on the secular education system in the country and will follow it up with leading institutions like Ramakrishna Mission and seek their viewpoint in this regard. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the number of RSS minded schools in the state is more than 1,000 and some of these schools are affiliated to the ICSE council.”The state is of the opinion that the lessons that are imparted in these schools go against the culture and tradition of education in the state. If everything goes as per plan, the meeting with Arathoon will be held on November 2,” a senior official of the Education department said.The minister has repeatedly expressed his concern over the mushrooming of such RSS backed schools in the state and had directed his department officials to prepare a list of such schools. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe state has identified around 493 such schools, among which 125 are running without no objection certifi-cate of the state. The state wants to ensure closure of these schools.It may be mentioned that a handful of these schools have been found imparting lessons on how to fight with sticks. They also have certain religious texts that encourage religious intolerance. “We have to see whether these schools are running with proper permission of our department and also examine what is being taught,” the official added.last_img read more

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Prolonged daily sitting causes 4 of deaths globally says study

first_imgSitting for more than three hours per day is responsible for nearly four per cent of deaths in the world, shows an analysis of surveys from 54 countries around the world.Reducing sitting time to less than three hours per day would increase life expectancy by an average of 0.2 years, the researchers estimated.In order to properly assess the damaging effects of sitting, the study analysed behavioural surveys from 54 countries around the world and matched them with statistics on population size, actuarial table and overall deaths. Researchers found that sitting time significantly impacted all-cause mortality, accounting for approximately 433,000, or 3.8 per cent, of all deaths across the 54 nations in the study.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’They also found that sitting had higher impact on mortality rates in the Western Pacific region. The findings were published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. While researchers found that sitting contributed to all-cause mortality, they also estimated the impact from reduced sitting time independent of moderate to vigorous physical activity. “It was observed that even modest reductions, such as a 10 per cent reduction in the mean sitting time or a 30-minute absolute decrease of sitting time per day, could have an instant impact in all-cause mortality in the 54 evaluated countries, whereas bolder changes would represent at least three times fewer deaths versus the 10 per cent or 30-minute reduction scenarios, explained lead investigator Leandro Rezende.last_img read more

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Girl sexually abused by social media friend

first_imgKolkata: A young girl was allegedly raped after being by promised of a chance in modeling. On Wednesday, the victim girl lodged a complaint with Barasat Woman Police Station against one of his Facebook friends, who is a resident of Jadavpur area.Sources informed that on October 7, the girl went to Barasat with his social media friend.According to the statement provided to police, the girl was promised she would meet some persons who would give her an opportunity in modelling. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeOn arrival in Barasat, both of them went to Vidyasagar Kriangan to watch a football match. After the match was over and spectators left the stadium, the girl was taken to an isolated place at the ‘B’ gallery and sexually molested. The accused youth fled the stadium.The victim girl somehow managed to reach home in South Kolkata.After two days, she narrated the incident to her family members. After hearing the incident, her family members decided to lodge a police complaint. On Wednesday, she along with her family members went to Barasat Woman Police Station and filed an FIR.Soon after the complaint was lodged, police took the girl to Barasat Distict hospital for medical examination. Police sources informed that necessary probe is on. But till Wednesday night, the accused was not arrested.last_img read more

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Ornaments of Kali idols stolen in Birbhum villagers protest

first_imgSuri (WB): The ornaments of two Kali idols of a temple were stolen at Chinpai village of Birbhum district triggering furore among locals who blocked road, the police said. The idols were decorated with gold and silver ornaments on the occasion of Kali puja Tuesday. Those were found missing by the priest this morning, they said. Angry over the theft, hundreds of villagers, including women, sat on the busy national highway. Initially, police tried to disperse the villagers, but failed. Once the officer-in-charge of the local police station reached the spot, he was chased by them. After about two hours, Additional Superintendent of Police Subimal Pal arrived and the blockade was lifted. Superintendent of Police Kunal Agarwal said that the situation was under control. Senior police officers were camping in the spot.last_img read more

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Hills to soon get slew of new tourist spots says Goutam Deb

first_imgDarjeeling: Darjeeling is all set to get a number of new tourist spots along with the revamping of existing tourist facilities. The new tourist facilities, including a location for destination weddings, is also being developed by the state Tourism department.State Tourism minister Goutam Deb, while on a two day tour of the Darjeeling Hills, stated that a number of key tourism projects are on the anvil. A high-end property will be developed by the Tourism department at Dhotoreah below Rongbul. “It is an abandoned tea garden land. We will reclaim around 25 acres for this project. It is a beautiful flat land which offers a 360 degree view. We will have high-end cottages, a multi-purpose hall where destination weddings can be held, a walk trail and a helipad. We will renovate the 5km long access road to this property,” said Deb. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Darjeeling Tourist Lodge is also being revamped, at a cost of around Rs 25 crore. “6 architects have been shortlisted from 14. They will be redesigning the tourist lodge. They are scheduled to hand in the drawings soon. Tenders will be called once the drawings are finalised,” said the minister. The revamped tourist lodge will boast of a state-of-the-art lobby, rooftop restaurant, bar, a landscaped lawn and more than 40 rooms. The Kurseong Tourist Lodge will also be revamped, with expansion of the property also on the cards. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”There is a property below the Kurseong Tourist Lodge, which can be used to expand the existing building. We will renovate the rooms, include a modular kitchen, renovate the restaurant, add a deck and landscape the surrounding areas,” Deb said. The 140 year old Botanical garden in Darjeeling is all set to get a major facelift as well. After visiting the garden on Friday morning, the minister stated: “The garden is of immense importance to students, researchers and tourists from all over the world. It has thousands of species of plants, especially of Himalayan origin. The Tourism department and the Forest department will be working together to give it a facelift. A DPR is being prepared.” The roads and drains inside the sprawling garden will all be revamped, along with the green house. A new tourist destination point will come up on an acre of land adjoining the garden. In Kalimpong, Hill Top and Morgan House will be revamped, along with a new property that will be built in Delo. In Tiger Hill, Tonglu and Phalut, trekker huts will be built. “These will be tent-type accommodations with semi permanent light construction. At each destination, the cost of construction will be around Rs 8 crore. We are also rebuilding the old British bungalow at Tiger Hill that was torched during the 1986 agitation,” said Deb. New properties are also coming up at Mongpu, Jhalong and Chalsa.last_img read more

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