China looks to combustible ice as a fuel source

first_img(Left) Methane hydrate consists of a cage of water molecules trapping a methane molecule within. Credit: Slim Films for Suess et al., Scientific American, Nov. 1999, pp. 76-83. (Right) When methane hydrate is brought to the surface, the methane can be burnt off. Credit: Gary Klinkhammer, OSU-COAS. Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Buried below the tundra of China’s Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is a type of frozen natural gas containing methane and ice crystals that could supply energy to China for 90 years. China discovered the large reserve of methane hydrate last September, and last week the Qinghai Province announced that it plans to allow researchers and energy companies to tap the energy source. Although methane hydrate is plentiful throughout the world, the key challenge for China and other nations will be to develop technologies to excavate the fuel without damaging the environment. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Methane hydrate is an ice-like substance that is sometimes called “combustible ice” since it can literally be lit on fire and burned as fuel. But rather than dig up the substance, excavators would likely melt the ice underground first, and then extract the methane gas. However, researchers are still investigating the most appropriate way to extract the fuel for commercialization.Methane hydrate is an attractive energy source due to its high energy density: one cubic meter of combustible ice contains about 164 cubic meters of regular natural gas. This high energy density is due to the fact that methane is trapped within the hydrate crystal structure and greatly compressed. According to the DOE, the immense energy content of methane occurring in hydrate form may possibly exceed the combined energy content of all other known fossil fuels. In addition, the frozen hydrate has few impurities, meaning it can burn cleaner with fewer pollutants than oil and possibly regular natural gas, as well.Combustible ice has already been discovered in more than 100 countries, buried in both the Arctic permafrost and beneath the ocean floor. Besides China, countries including the US, Japan, and the Republic of Korea have plans to tap the natural gas hydrate buried in their territories. Last summer, US scientists on a research vessel in the Gulf of Mexico discovered pockets of highly concentrated methane hydrate estimated to contain 6,700 trillion cubic feet of gas. The DOE has estimated that the total amount of methane hydrate worldwide could be as high as 400 million trillion cubic feet, including 85.4 trillion cubic feet buried in Alaska.Because methane is a potent greenhouse gas, researchers are also concerned about the environmental effects of extracting methane hydrate. However, if handled carefully, using methane hydrate as a fuel could be safer than simply letting it melt on its own. As the earth continues to warm, methane released into the atmosphere could cause even more damage than if it were burned for fuel. On the other hand, if large amounts of methane were accidentally released during extraction, the results could further aggravate global warming. Another risk from mining the combustible ice is geological slumping. For these reasons, developing a safe technology to excavate the fuel is a priority. With these challenges in mind, China’s Ministry of Land and Resources estimated last week that the country could begin using its combustible ice within 10 to 15 years, joining other countries in methane hydrate exploration. 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. More information: via: Xinhuannet and the US Dept. of Energy Citation: China looks to ‘combustible ice’ as a fuel source (2010, March 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-03-china-combustible-ice-fuel-source.html Alaskan drilling will assess gas hydratelast_img read more

Plasmonic device converts light into electricity

first_imgSurface plasmons on the top electrode in the MIM device can increase the current from the top electrode so that it is greater than the current from the bottom electrode, generating a positive net current. Image credit: Wang and Melosh. ©2011 American Chemical Society Electron transmission in MIM devices (a) with and (b) without surface plasmon excitations. (c) The measured photocurrent in a device with surface plasmons (black line) is higher than in a device without them (red line). Image credit: Wang and Melosh. ©2011 American Chemical Society Citation: Plasmonic device converts light into electricity (2011, November 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-11-plasmonic-device-electricity.html Nanopillars significantly boost the power conversion efficiency of thin-film solar cells (PhysOrg.com) — While the most common device for converting light into electricity may be photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, a variety of other devices can perform the same light-to-electricity conversion, such as solar-thermal collectors and rectennas. In a new study, engineers have designed a new device that can convert light of infrared (IR) and visible wavelengths into direct current by using surface plasmon excitations in a simple metal-insulator-metal (MIM) device. Explore further “SPs are excited by incident light when the photon and SP wave vectors match with each other,” Wang said. “For actual applications, it’s more realistic to use nano-grating patterns on one electrode to excite SPs. By simply controlling the pitches of these gratings, SPs can be excited at any specific wavelength. As a result, energy conversion efficiency could be enhanced in the optical band from infrared to visible.”The engineers calculated that these SP-enhanced MIM devices made with silver electrodes can achieve a power conversion efficiency as high as 4.3% for light with a 640-nm wavelength. Devices with gold electrodes have a maximum efficiency of 3.5% for light with a 780-nm wavelength. Both devices also have good theoretical efficiency across the entire solar spectrum – up to 2.7% for the silver-electrode device. The engineers also calculated that SPs can make silver devices almost 40 times more efficient than without the SPs for infrared light.In addition, the researchers fabricated a gold-alumina-gold device, with the top gold layer being slightly thicker than the bottom gold layer. Their experiments confirmed that light hitting the top layer excites SPs on the surface, which cause more hot electrons to be transmitted from the top to the bottom electrode. Although the resulting photocurrent that the researchers measured was smaller than the theoretical calculated value, they hope to increase the photocurrent in the future by using more effective coupling methods for SPs, optimizing metal thicknesses, and other strategies. Ultimately, the device could prove useful due to the wavelengths at which it operates.“It can work in the IR better [than other devices that convert light into DC], which can be used for energy scavenging,” Melosh said. The devices other advantages include easy fabrication and the possibility for being realized on flexible substrates.From now on, you can follow Physorg on Google+ too!center_img Copyright 2011 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. This ability to maximize current from one electrode while minimizing it from the other is one of the biggest challenges for MIM devices. To do this, researchers can change the thicknesses of the electrodes. However, there is a tradeoff, since in a thicker electrode, more photons are absorbed but fewer electrons reach the interface due to increased scattering. Wang and Melosh’s solution is to use a prism to excite surface plamons (SPs) on the metal surface of the electrodes when under illumination. The SPs, which are small electron oscillations, can create a higher concentration of hot electrons in one electrode by efficiently coupling to light. The SP coupling efficiency depends on several factors, such as the thickness of the electrode, the type of metal used, and the wavelength of incoming light. More information: Fuming Wang and Nicholas A. Melosh. “Plasmonic Energy Collection through Hot Carrier Extraction.” Nano Letters, DOI: 10.1021/nl203196z The researchers, Fuming Wang and Nicholas A. Melosh of Stanford University, have published their study on the new device in a recent issue of Nano Letters.“The greatest significance thus far is to show an alternative method to rectennas and PV devices for IR and visible light conversion,” Melosh told PhysOrg.com. “The conversion efficiencies aren’t amazingly high compared to a PV in visible, so it’s not going to replace PVs, but it could be used for energy scavenging later on.”The new device’s MIM architecture is similar to that of a rectenna. However, whereas rectennas operate with long-wavelength light such as microwaves and radio waves, the new device operates with a broad spectrum of infrared to visible wavelengths. When the MIM device is illuminated, incoming photons are absorbed by the top and bottom metal electrodes. Upon absorption, each photon excites an electron in the metal into a higher energy state so that it becomes a “hot electron.” About half of the hot electrons travel toward the metal-insulator interface, where they may be collected by the other electrode. However, photon absorption in the upper and lower electrodes generates currents with opposite signs, so a net DC current is achieved only if the absorption is larger at one electrode than the other. 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

IAIs military robot acts like barber in charity role

first_imgvia IEEE Fingertip positioning and grasp are especially impressive as shown inn the videos; the robot is capable of using a 29 degree of freedom system and the robot is shown deftly handling IEDs. It has three cameras, with pictures beamed back to a computer. The integrated video feeds from the cameras on the end of each arm are designed for better situational awareness, including depth perception.The MA-UGV was developed with support from the U.S. Army’s Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC).A focus by the U.S. Army on ground vehicle technology solutions to safeguard the lives of troops comes as no surprise and has kept robotics teams busy, considering the heavy toll of fatal explosive devices in Afghanistan and Iraq. Last year, the Harris Corp. in Melbourne Florida, made news with its robotic arm using haptic technology, to enable soldiers to disarm IEDS. Paul Bosscher, a robotics engineer at Harris, described the impressive features of its device to ABC News at the time.”The robot can cut wires, pull blasting caps, surgically defeat the explosive device and in the process save all of this forensic evidence that they use to ID who the bombmakers are what their bomb-making methods are,” Bosscher said. The device was shown last August at the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International convention in Washington DC. All such devices are considered a step up from endangering a human in a bomb suit who is asked to cut wires off an explosive device. With all the novel techniques and designs in robotics for troop and mission support, however, IAI’s three-armed robot has been the most successful in generating entertainment and in turn recognition. The MA-UGV was given the role of barber in this year’s charity event to raise funds for cancer research. The MA-UGV video of the robot cutting the hair of a volunteer has drawn many compliments among viewers, not so much for the genius of the robot but rather for the courage of the man who agreed to sit in the chair. More information: Robotic technology lowers military risks IAI has produced a set of impressive videos that show how the robot, whether cutting wires or tying knots, or extending its mechanical joints for better reach and precision, has capabilities to perform tasks requiring complex manipulation under military-type scenarios. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img (PhysOrg.com) — In robotics, three hands are better than one, in the form of a device that has been developed by Intelligent Automation Inc (IAI) for use as troop support. The Multi-Arm Unmanned Ground Vehicle (MA-UGV) is the name of this device from the Rockville, Maryland, R&D company that focuses on AI applications. The three-armed robot can protect troops by lending its handling skills to carry out backback inspections for explosive devices, for example, and, to use the military term, “disarm” Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs). Explore further Citation: IAI’s military robot acts like barber in charity role (2012, March 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-03-iais-military-robot-barber-charity.html © 2011 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Researchers devise a new way to plot circadian clock

first_img Citation: Researchers devise a new way to plot circadian clock (2012, August 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-plot-circadian-clock.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further Manipulating plants’ circadian clock may make all-season crops possible © 2012 Phys.org (Phys.org)—Everyone has an internal clock, that mysterious process which controls sleeping and hunger patterns, but now researchers are finding out that because the internal clock also controls metabolism, it would be helpful to be able to easily chart out a person’s personal rhythm because it appears many drugs work better or worse at certain stages of their cycle. Until now, charting out a person’s clock has involved taking blood samples every twenty minutes or so over a twenty four hour period and measuring melatonin levels. Now new research by a team in Japan has found what appears to be an easier way. They measure, as they describe in their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, certain metabolites using just two blood samples over a 12 hour period to prduce an accurate clock. 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. The team based their research on an idea by botanist Carolus Linnaeus, who suggested that a bio or flower clock could be made by observing the opening and closing times of different types of flowers and planting them amongst one another. A person could theoretically use the flowers to discern the correct time by noting which were open.Instead of flowers opening and closing, the researchers focused on metabolite (substances that take part in metabolism) levels which tend to rise and fall throughout the day. To find out which ones could be used to chart a circadian clock, the researchers enlisted six volunteers to live in a controlled environment for two weeks where their metabolites could be closely monitored. In so doing they identified several metabolites they believed would allow for plotting out a person’s circadian clock with just a few samples taken.To test their idea, they next took just two blood samples from three different male volunteers over a thirty six hour period, and found that in measuring the metabolites they had singled out previously, that they were able to chart out their internal clocks as accurately as could be done using the melatonin level test.Of course tests with much larger groups of subjects will have to be undertaken before the metabolite method of plotting a person’s circadian clock can be proven to be useful, but this study does suggest that there are better and easier ways to get it done with the hope that one day, it will become a routine part of a patient’s health care, leading to better results when taking medications and perhaps a better night’s sleep. More information: Human blood metabolite timetable indicates internal body time, PNAS, Published online before print August 27, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1207768109AbstractA convenient way to estimate internal body time (BT) is essential for chronotherapy and time-restricted feeding, both of which use body-time information to maximize potency and minimize toxicity during drug administration and feeding, respectively. Previously, we proposed a molecular timetable based on circadian-oscillating substances in multiple mouse organs or blood to estimate internal body time from samples taken at only a few time points. Here we applied this molecular-timetable concept to estimate and evaluate internal body time in humans. We constructed a 1.5-d reference timetable of oscillating metabolites in human blood samples with 2-h sampling frequency while simultaneously controlling for the confounding effects of activity level, light, temperature, sleep, and food intake. By using this metabolite timetable as a reference, we accurately determined internal body time within 3 h from just two anti-phase blood samples. Our minimally invasive, molecular-timetable method with human blood enables highly optimized and personalized medicine.last_img read more

Researchers find fishing tends to lessen population of best male bass

first_img(Phys.org)—A team of researchers from the University of Illinois has found that recreational fishing that employs the use of lures to catch largemouth bass, results in a reduction in male bass that make the best fathers. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group writes that their research shows that male bass that tend to their young are more likely to be caught by hooks hidden in fish lures. Depiction of largemouth bass in its habitat. Micropterus salmoides. Credit: Timothy Knepp/Wikipedia. © 2012 Phys.org With largemouth bass, after the female lays her eggs, it’s up to the male to protect them. They do so by fanning the eggs and driving away threats. Those that do a better job of it, tend to have more offspring survive. But, this new researcher suggests, the same aggressive behavior that some bass exhibit when protecting their young, can cause them to be more vulnerable to being caught by sport fishermen.Because of the popularity of bass fishing, the fish are bred in reservoirs and are then released into the wild in places where fishermen go to catch them; otherwise all the fish would be caught and there would be none left to fish. Over time those that manage fish populations have come to realize that some bass are more likely to strike at a lure and thus be caught then others. Some fishermen prefer such fish, while others prefer those that are more difficult to catch. To serve the needs of both, both types of fish have been bred and are then released into different areas to account for the different tastes.Suspecting that the two groups of fish might have other differences as well, the research team set up underwater cameras to watch the males as they cared for the eggs of their young in hatcheries. In so doing, they discovered that those fish that took their job very seriously, appeared to consider a lure a threat, and thus were more likely to attack it, resulting in them being caught. Conversely, those fish that were more lackadaisical in their responsibilities tended to be less likely to be caught.The end result, the researchers say, is that the best fathers wind up being the ones that get caught, thus their young never hatch and grow up to pass on their good father genes, which means that recreational fishing actually impacts the evolution of bass populations. Explore further Citation: Researchers find fishing tends to lessen population of best male bass (2012, December 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-fishing-lessen-population-male-bass.htmlcenter_img Largemouth bass vulnerability to being caught by anglers a heritable trait Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences More information: Recreational fishing selectively captures individuals with the highest fitness potential, PNAS, Published online before print December 3, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1212536109AbstractFisheries-induced evolution and its impact on the productivity of exploited fish stocks remains a highly contested research topic in applied fish evolution and fisheries science. Although many quantitative models assume that larger, more fecund fish are preferentially removed by fishing, there is no empirical evidence describing the relationship between vulnerability to capture and individual reproductive fitness in the wild. Using males from two lines of largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) selectively bred over three generations for either high (HV) or low (LV) vulnerability to angling as a model system, we show that the trait “vulnerability to angling” positively correlates with aggression, intensity of parental care, and reproductive fitness. The difference in reproductive fitness between HV and LV fish was particularly evident among larger males, which are also the preferred mating partners of females. Our study constitutes experimental evidence that recreational angling selectively captures individuals with the highest potential for reproductive fitness. Our study further suggests that selective removal of the fittest individuals likely occurs in many fisheries that target species engaged in parental care. As a result, depending on the ecological context, angling-induced selection may have negative consequences for recruitment within wild populations of largemouth bass and possibly other exploited species in which behavioral patterns that determine fitness, such as aggression or parental care, also affect their vulnerability to fishing gear. 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

Study finds sighted babies of blind mothers find other ways to bond

first_img Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B People staring into one another’s eyes is a well known form of communication, and has no doubt been observed between babies and mothers throughout human history. It’s a demonstrated means of bonding—babies that go without, such as those in an orphanage have been found to lack communication and social skills. But what happens when the mother is blind? Without eye-locking, do such babies develop any differently than babies with sighted mothers? That’s what the team members on this new effort sought to discover.To find out, they enlisted the assistance of five babies and their blind mothers. Each of the babies was tested for their communication skills at ages 6-10, 12-15 and 24-47 months. Babies were observed with their mothers and while watching videos of other women communicating—their eye movements were also tracked using face scanning technology. In all of the tests, the five babies were found to have communication skills comparable to babies born to sighted women, and even in some instances, appeared to have gained some advantages, such as better visual memory retention and quicker response times to changing images. It’s all due, the researchers speculate, to both the way the blind mother’s interact with their babies in non-visual ways, and the innate plasticity of the human brain.Interestingly, the babies tested appeared to also have developed separate communication skills for different people—when communicating with their blind mothers, for example, they used more verbal sounds than they did when trying to communicate with other people, such as their sighted father. The researchers compare this kind of adaption to babies that grow up in bilingual homes. Such babies gain a cognitive boost and as a result oftentimes become better communicators. (Phys.org) —A unique study carried out by researchers from the U.K., Australia and Canada has revealed that babies born to blind mothers don’t appear to suffer degraded communication skills compared to babies born to sighted mothers. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the researchers found that not only did the babies of blind mothers perform as well as did babies born to sighted mother’s on standard communication tests, but appeared to develop some advantages as well. © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Study finds sighted babies of blind mothers find other ways to bond (2013, April 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-sighted-babies-mothers-ways-bond.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img More information: The importance of the eyes: communication skills in infants of blind parents, Published 10 April 2013 doi: 10.1098/rspb.2013.0436AbstractThe effects of selectively different experience of eye contact and gaze behaviour on the early development of five sighted infants of blind parents were investigated. Infants were assessed longitudinally at 6–10, 12–15 and 24–47 months. Face scanning and gaze following were assessed using eye tracking. In addition, established measures of autistic-like behaviours and standardized tests of cognitive, motor and linguistic development, as well as observations of naturalistic parent–child interaction were collected. These data were compared with those obtained from a larger group of sighted infants of sighted parents. Infants with blind parents did not show an overall decrease in eye contact or gaze following when they observed sighted adults on video or in live interactions, nor did they show any autistic-like behaviours. However, they directed their own eye gaze somewhat less frequently towards their blind mothers and also showed improved performance in visual memory and attention at younger ages. Being reared with significantly reduced experience of eye contact and gaze behaviour does not preclude sighted infants from developing typical gaze processing and other social-communication skills. Indeed, the need to switch between different types of communication strategy may actually enhance other skills during development.Press release © The Babylab, Birkbeck, University of London Explore further It’s true – babies do direct their motherslast_img read more

Researchers suggest rate of evolution change can explain discrepancy between molecular clocks

first_img(Phys.org) —A pair of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Australia, believe they may have found a way to solve the discrepancy problem that exists between molecular biologists and paleontologists who disagree on the likely first appearance of placental mammals. They describe their new dating approach, which they call a “morphological clock” in their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Citation: Researchers suggest rate of evolution change can explain discrepancy between molecular clocks and fossil evidence (2014, August 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-evolution-discrepancy-molecular-clocks-fossil.html More information: Ancient dates or accelerated rates? Morphological clocks and the antiquity of placental mammals, Proc. R. Soc. B 22 October 2014 vol. 281 no. 1793 20141278. rspb.royalsocietypublishing.or … nt/281/1793/20141278AbstractAnalyses of a comprehensive morphological character matrix of mammals using ‘relaxed’ clock models (which simultaneously estimate topology, divergence dates and evolutionary rates), either alone or in combination with an 8.5 kb nuclear sequence dataset, retrieve implausibly ancient, Late Jurassic–Early Cretaceous estimates for the initial diversification of Placentalia (crown-group Eutheria). These dates are much older than all recent molecular and palaeontological estimates. They are recovered using two very different clock models, and regardless of whether the tree topology is freely estimated or constrained using scaffolds to match the current consensus placental phylogeny. This raises the possibility that divergence dates have been overestimated in previous analyses that have applied such clock models to morphological and total evidence datasets. Enforcing additional age constraints on selected internal divergences results in only a slight reduction of the age of Placentalia. Constraining Placentalia to less than 93.8 Ma, congruent with recent molecular estimates, does not require major changes in morphological or molecular evolutionary rates. Even constraining Placentalia to less than 66 Ma to match the ‘explosive’ palaeontological model results in only a 10- to 20-fold increase in maximum evolutionary rate for morphology, and fivefold for molecules. The large discrepancies between clock- and fossil-based estimates for divergence dates might therefore be attributable to relatively small changes in evolutionary rates through time, although other explanations (such as overly simplistic models of morphological evolution) need to be investigated. Conversely, dates inferred using relaxed clock models (especially with discrete morphological data and MRBAYES) should be treated cautiously, as relatively minor deviations in rate patterns can generate large effects on estimated divergence dates. Explore further Research team claims fossil-only study of placental mammalian evolution time frame is wrongcenter_img To date the first appearance of a something in the biological record, modern scientists have two main tools—dating fossils and using what’s known as a molecular clock, where DNA techniques are used to follow the evolution of species divergence. Problems come in when the two methods offer different results. That’s been the case with researchers attempting to date the first arrival of placental mammals. The earliest fossils suggest they showed up on the scene approximately 66 million years ago. The molecular clock approach, however, suggests it happened long before that, approximately 90 to 100 million years ago. In this new effort, the research pair suggest a way to resolve the difference (without claiming that the difference is because older fossils have just not been found.) They call their approach a morphological clock, which is based on the progression of anatomical differences that arise in a species, rather than DNA tracing. Using it, they suggest it’s possible that placental mammals first arrived as early as 160 million years ago. But they have a caveat, they suggest, that the speed at which evolutionary changes took place could have changed, which if taken into account, would bring the time frame closer to 66 million years ago. As for why a change in speed of evolution might have taken place, the team notes that it might have occurred soon after the dinosaurs went extinct—which would have opened up a whole new niche that could have been filled very quickly by the advent of placental mammals.If this new approach is to be taken seriously, it would cast doubts on the accuracy of molecular clocks in general—they’re based on the assumption that evolution occurs at a fixed rate. It could also help explain the “sudden” appearance of a wide variety of species 540 million years ago—the Cambrian explosion—which many believe led to the appearance of all modern animal groups. © 2014 Phys.org A four-day-old mouse. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0 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

Gravitational data from Dawn suggests dome on Ceres is made of volcanic

first_img Citation: Gravitational data from Dawn suggests dome on Ceres is made of volcanic mud (2019, June 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-gravitational-dawn-dome-ceres-volcanic.html © 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. Back in 2015, NASA’s Dawn space probe showed that there was a domed-shaped mountain approximately four kilometers high and seventeen kilometers wide—since named Ahuna Mons—rising from the surface of Ceres, a dwarf planet residing in our solar system’s asteroid belt. Initial inspection suggested volcanism; the dome-shape streaked mountain with salt on its slope looked reminiscent of volcanoes here on Earth, or even the icy domes seen on some of the solar system’s moons. But logic has suggested that the mechanics involved in creating volcanism on a dwarf planet would not work. Because of its small size, it would cool down and solidify, preventing any interior activity. But that logic appears not to apply to Ceres, the team found.The researchers noted evidence that the dome was created relatively recently, perhaps just a couple hundred million years ago—it has very few craters. Also, prior study of data from Dawn by another team led to the discovery that Ceres had a mantle loaded with fluids. To learn more, the team looked at gravity field maps built using data from Dawn. They found evidence of a plume extending from the mantle to the dome above it. A closer look suggested that the plume had at some point carried a mud-like mix of water, salt and other particles up into the area where the dome had formed.The researchers describe the plume as unlike any other documented to date, and thus is a novelty in the solar system. They also note that because of the composition of the plume, there is a possibility that Ceres’ mantle is still churning, pushing material up into the dome making it grow. Explore further Dawn snaps its best-yet image of dwarf planet cerescenter_img Journal information: Nature Geoscience More information: Ottaviano Ruesch et al. Slurry extrusion on Ceres from a convective mud-bearing mantle, Nature Geoscience (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0378-7 Colocation of volcanic dome and isostatic gravity anomaly. a, A false-colour mosaic (R, 0.97 µm; G, 0.75 µm; B, 0.44 µm) of the region of Ahuna Mons from Dawn Framing Camera observations. The dome of Ahuna Mons is close to the centre of the mosaic, and its high-reflectance areas are steep flanks rich in carbonates and phyllosilicates. b, The isostatic anomaly represented with spherical harmonic degrees l= 5–14 and showing about 50–60 mGal at approximately the same coordinates as Ahuna Mons for the same area as a. Credit: Nature Geoscience (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41561-019-0378-7 An international team of researchers has found evidence that suggests the large dome found on the surface of the dwarf planet Ceres is made of slurry—a mix of salty brine and solid particles. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the group describes their study of data from the Dawn spacecraft and what it revealed.last_img read more

Love can go a long way if it is true

first_imgMy daughter is in the 10th standard. She is always out with a group of girls who are much older than her. Her lifestyle is annoying me but she doesn’t listen to us! What can we do?Mrs. Sneha Singh, New DelhiTo begin with, I would want to know why you are feeling annoyed. Is it because of the fact that they are older and you fear that they may turn out to be a bad influence on her or is it just that you don’t know what kind of a friendship they have? These older friends could also be helping your daughter get through life more easily and things she feels she cannot discuss with you, she discusses with them. Talk to your daughter and have a heart-to-heart chat and both your problems can then be solved.   Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’I am a 24-year-old man. I was bullied mercilessly throughout my school years. I also failed my 12th standard exam. To add to all this misery I can’t even find a job… I need help to rebuild my faith in life. Please give me some advice.Name and address withheldI believe sometimes it is important to forgive in order to move on in life. I understand that you have been wronged but carrying the negative vibes with you in life is only serving as an impediment. Move on and believe in the best of you, love yourself the way you are and slowly you will be able to love and find peace which in turn will help you focus on the work at hand and soon success will follow. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixI am a 20 year old man. My girlfriend had a crush on a guy a long time ago. She hasn’t spoken to him in almost a year now. However, she still keeps talking about him all the time. She never fails to mention my shortcomings and point out his strengths. How do I make her stop talking about the other guy?Naresh, LucknowAre you sure your girlfriend is aware of the heartache she is causing you? Sometimes people do things unknowingly, please stop fuming over this communication gap only in your heart and try telling her how you feel. I am sure she will understand and you guys will be fine together. Just express yourself and don’t worry so much. Love is always meant to go a long way if it is true. I have been seeing a guy since last 3 years. He’s serious about the relationship but never mentions marriage. I’m 21 years old and he’s 24. Is this normal?Ayesha, New DelhiAre you listening to yourself? You both are probably too young to consider marriage. Enjoy each other and may be, just maybe, he is a little scared of commitment. Instead of nagging him about marriage try to have a mature conversation about your future. Sometimes people do take a lot of things for granted. Maybe that’s the case with him. He believes the theory of unspoken words being more powerful than said ones!I am not as good looking as my mother. Relatives always poke me on that and that is the reason why I avoid visiting them. I feel very hurt when anyone comments on my appearance. What can I do to get out of this?Divya, Madhya PradheshFirst and foremost convince yourself that you are an individual and beauty cannot be quantified or defined. As to the comments, whenever anyone says anything, just tell them you might be an ugly duckling but soon you will emerge a beautiful and serene swan.Have a love or life query you cannot find an answer to? Send your questions to – roopshashotm@gmail.comlast_img read more

Celebrating the legacy

first_imgAs part of its ongoing series of Sanchayan – screening of archival films and video recordings, Sangeet Natak Akademi presented the screening of the most celebrated Odissi dancer and guru Kelucharan Mohapatra’s performance on Saturday, December 27 at Sangeet Natak Akademi’s Meghdoot Complex, Copernicus Marg in the Capital. This screening was of the performance from the Swarn Samaroh that was held in 1997 at New Delhi.Kelucharan Mohapatra was among the great makers of dance in our times, an outstanding representative of India’s classical dance heritage and the well-known pioneer associated with the recreation of its Orissan bani. He was born in 1926 in the village of Raghurajpur in Puri district of Orissa in a family of Patachitrakars. He was groomed as a dancer by Pankaj Charan Das and Dayal Saran. He also mastered various percussion instruments, especially Pakhawaj, learning from Agadhu Moharana, Khetra Mohan Kar, and Harihar Rao.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’He joined Kala Vikas Kendra, Cuttack, in 1956 and enriching Odissi dance as a guru and choreographer. A dedicated teacher and prolific creator, Kelucharan Mohapatra trained a large number of dancers over the last four decades. Kelucharan created a number of dance compositions extending the technique and repertoire of the Odissi style. Together with his contemporaries and his teacher Shri Pankaj Charan Das, Guru Kelucharan Mohapatra was responsible for establishing Odissi as a vibrant language of Indian classical dance. He was honoured with the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award (1966), the Padma Shri (1972), the Padma Bhushan (1988), Kalidas Samman (1989), and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship (1991).last_img read more

Khalin Joshi wins Ahmedabad Masters

first_imgBangalore’s Khalin Joshi shot a course record of nine-under 63 on the final day to register a sensational come-from-behind victory at the PGTI Ahmedabad Masters golf championship on Friday.last_img

Indulge in king of cheeses this weekend

first_imgSorrento at Shangri La’s – Eros Hotel, presets an exclusive tribute to parmigiano reggiano till September 26. Parmesan cheese is a hard, granular cheese and Parmigiano is the Italian adjective for Parma and Reggiano is for Reggio Emilia province. It has also been called the ‘King of Cheeses’.The festival is a tribute to the legendary cheese that originates from the Parma region of Italy featuring 12, 24 and 36 months aged Parmesan showcased in a menu specially crafted by Italian maestro Chef Luigi Ferraro and Executive Chef Neeraj Tyagi. ‘Parmigiano Reggiano’ offers an exclusive a la carte menu of Italian specialties during lunch and dinner with special emphasis on Parmesan as the core ingredient paired with a selection of Italian wines.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfGuests will be able to savour various Italian flavors such as Culatello from Zibello with aged parmesan cheese served with chili jam and mustard from Cremona city, Risotto from Sibari with stewed duck leg, breast confit, alba truffle pate and gelato of Parmesan stravecchio- 36 months to a homemade fettuccine with forest wild mushrooms and 12 months aged Parmesan cheese sauce. The menu also offers Sous vide and wood fired oven cooked free range chicken, spinach, 24 month aged Parmesan with sauce Saracena Moscato and Sfoglia of vegetables with 12 months aged Parmesan, toy box tomatoes and basil pesto.One may choose to end one’s meal on a sweet note at Sorrento, with a Parmesan cheese cake and Parmesan gelato and spicy chocolate sauce or a Pizzo calabro tartufo.last_img read more

Happy concert for underprivileged children

first_imgWhile everyone is busy with Diwali preparation, there are many less fortunate children who are deprived of celebrating and sharing the joy of the festival. And even though there are myriad organisations working towards their well-being, food and shelter, only a few go beyond their way for the underprivileged children’s happiness. Music can be a vessel for good as it creates happiness in everyone’s lives. It is like a stress buster and increases the happiness quotient in a person’s life. Keeping this in mind, this Diwali, The Artiste Foundation (TAF) and Musical Dreams have started an initiative to spread the festive cheer and happiness amongst the underprivileged with a “Happy Concert”. Team TAF and young artists of Musical Dreams Shruti Dhasmana (singer) and Ram Nepali (Guitarist) visited a school for underprivileged children, Naya Prayas at Bhatti Mines where the artists performed for children on various Bollywood songs. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfMeeta Nagpal, founder of TAF said, “Entertainment and music is everyone’s need. We perform for people of all walks of life. We realized that the less privileged people have limited options for entertainment due to scarce resources. With Diwali round the corner, we thought it as the best time to spread joy and happiness to these kids. Our motive to do these concerts is solely to spread happiness. Their claps, smiling faces and dancing moves encourage us to spread happiness in whatever way we can. This is our little contribution towards the society.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveSinger Shruti Dhasmana who along with Ram Nepali performed at the occasion shared, “I have performed at various national and international concerts in front of different sets of audience. This was my first time when I was performing in front of underprivileged kids and I must say this is amongst my most memorable performances so far. After performing here I have realized that money can’t buy you happiness and the love which I have received”.last_img read more

Launch of Buddha Airs KolkataKathmandu flight deferred due to elections

first_imgKolkata: The ongoing Lok Sabha elections has delayed the launch of Nepal’s private airlines Buddha Air’s proposed flight between Kolkata and Kathmandu by over a month. The airline will now begin its operation from May 27 instead of its earlier plan to start from April 16, Buddha Air’s Marketing Director Rupesh Joshi said. “We will operate three weekly flights between Kathmandu and Kolkata on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from May 27,” he said. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata “Both the India government and all agencies involved with aviation business suggested to begin the service post election. So we decided to defer it,” he said. Buddha Air would be the second Nepali Airline to connect Kolkata with Kathmandu after the Royal Nepal Airlines’ withdrawal from Kolkata two decades back, Joshi said. The Royal Nepal Airlines now operates flights from Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore to Kathmandu, he said. Joshi said grounding of Jet Airways will affect tourism in Nepal and a large number of booking for hotels and tour operators have been cancelled. He said Jet was the key airline to bring foreign tourists to the Himalayan country. Now, return fare from Indian destinations from Nepal had soared four times the normal rate owing to grounding of the Jet Airways.last_img read more

FICN amounting 438 lakh seized in Kolkata 1 arrested

first_imgKolkata: The Special Task Force of Kolkata Police has seized fake Indian currency notes (FICN) with a total face value of Rs 4.38 lakh and arrested a person, an officer said on Saturday. Based on prior information, the officers intercepted the accused, Ishab Ali, 31, from the Sealdah area.last_img

State govt to build 83 lakh houses for the rural poor

first_imgKolkata: The state government has decided to construct 8.30 lakh houses for poorpeople living in the rural areas, under the Banglar Bari project. The houses will be constructed in the current financial year. In the 2018-19 financial year, 5.86 lakh houses have been built under the project, while in the current financial year, another 2.50 lakh houses will be set up. The houses will be built by the Panchayat and Rural Development department. The district magistrates have been asked to prepare a list of beneficiaries. The Central government will bear 60% of the cost, while 40% cost will be borne by the state government. The toilets will be constructed under Mission Nirmal Bangla project. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThe area of the houses will be 25 sq metres. There will be one room, a kitchen, a balcony and a toilet in each. It has been decided that in Jangalmahal, the beneficiaries will get Rs 1.30 lakh while their counterparts in other areas will get Rs 1.20 lakh. It may be mentioned that stress has been given on eight districts in this regard, namely South and North 24-Parganas, East and West Midnapore, Howrah, Hooghly, Murshidabad and East Burdwan. The ministry of Rural Development has increased the financial allotment in the current financial year, on the basis of the good performance of the state government in the last financial year. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has instructed that every house will bear the Banglar Bari tag. Under the project, the beneficiaries can decorate the houses on their own. A similar project for the urban poor has also been taken up. Around 8 lakh people living in the city and suburbs will be brought under the scheme. Around Rs 3.75 lakh will be allotted to construct each house under the project.last_img read more

In 2 weeks MCG commissioner transferred

first_imgGururgam: In a surprise move, Vinay Singh, the Municipal Corporation of Gurugram (MCG) Chief, who assumed office on June 14, has been transferred.The reason for his posting has not been given. His work will be presently seen by Amit Khatri till the new MCG Chief is appointed. According to sources, the tough stand taken by Singh was not favoured by the councillors and employees that has led to the move. Vinay Singh who was earlier the commissioner of Hissar division has now been entrusted with the responsibility of being the of new Municipal Corporation of Gurugram ( MCG) commissioner. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataSingh is the officer from IAS (2003) Haryana cadre besides being the MCG commissioner, Singh is also holding the responsibility of being the secretary of Haryana government’s forest department. He has earlier served as the deputy commissioner of Sonepat. Co-incidentally he was transferred to the senior post of commissioner in Hissar only in February this year. He replaced Yashpal Yadav who will now be the deputy commissioner of Palwal. The HCS officer who became the MCG commissioner in March 2018 was earlier the Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA).last_img read more

Womens unaccounted labour behind malnutrition

first_imgIndian women’s unaccounted contribution in agricultural work has a detrimental impact on the nutrition levels of the households, leading to malnutrition among children, a study suggests. According to the research from the University of East Anglia (UEA) in the UK, recognition of Indian women’s roles in both agriculture and domestic work is key to improving household nutrition outcomes. The research concludes women’s work in agriculture potentially has a negative impact on household nutrition, through a combination of reduced time for care work and seasonal energy deficits. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIn most of rural India, women work as agricultural and family farm labourers, in addition to performing nearly all the childcare and household duties. Often men have gone to work in urban areas, leaving women to balance agricultural and household work, including food gathering and preparation. Overall, women’s work in agriculture seems to have a negative impact on household nutrition, through a combination of reduced time for care work and seasonal energy deficits. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveLonger working hours for women or increased work intensity can have detrimental effects on their own health and, in turn, their ability to care for their children. This leads to poor child- and household-level nutrition outcomes. The research, published in the journal Feminist Economics, examines the intersections of gender with other forms of social identity and inequality. In India, class, caste and ethnicity play important roles in shaping access to resources, especially land. Those structural factors also determine women’s agency, social norms around appropriate behaviour, notions of care and food cultures. “This new research examines how social identity, seasonality and context shape women’s agricultural work, as well as food intakes and feeding practices,” said Nitya Rao, a professor at UEA. “Women’s agricultural work could potentially have negative outcomes, especially for the young child whose nutrition depends more on the mother’s time for breastfeeding and supplementary feeding,” said Rao. “The double burden of work and care often leads to a time trade-off between the two,” Rao said. The research draws on primary data from 12 villages in two Indian districts, Wardha in Maharashtra and Koraput in Odisha between 2014-2016. The study villages comprise a mix of castes and ethnicities, all with distinctive cultures and livelihoods, from land-owning cultivators to landless groups who survive by engaging in wage labour. Malnutrition is high in both areas, with near or more than 50 per cent of children underweight. In both regions, women account for nearly all the household work, such as bathing and feeding children, washing clothes and collecting water. In Wardha, women harvest cotton manually, but the semi-arid region has reported severe agrarian distress over the past decade. Moreover, the smell of cotton and cotton dust causes headaches and leaves workers with no appetite or desire to cook or eat, which has implications for the rest of the household. In Koraput, located in the semi-humid tropics, literacy rates and other human development indicators are low. People in this region work, on average, close to 13 hours a day, resulting in sleep deprivation, especially during the peak agricultural seasons of planting and harvesting. Rao said in order to improve women’s lives and household nutrition and health outcomes, policies need to be context-specific, taking into consideration factors such as caste and location. Regardless, though, policies must aim to reduce the time and effort of women’s agricultural work. “The lack of attention to women’s time as a key factor in child nutrition outcomes is perhaps the main reason for the persistence of poor nutritional outcomes despite economic growth,” said Rao.last_img read more

Sealdah flyover to remain shut for 4 days

first_imgKolkata: Traffic movement on Sealdah flyover will be suspended from August 15 evening to August 18 evening for the purpose of load capacity test of the flyover. During this period, the Kolkata Police has made an elaborate arrangement to divert the vehicular movement through various stretches.However, senior traffic police officials admitted that during the four days closure of Sealdah flyover, some of the stretches in the city may face traffic congestion and thus, people have been requested to plan their journey with sufficient time in hand. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAccording to Kolkata Police, during these four days, the stretch on the flyover between M G Road Crossing and Beliaghata Main Road Crossing will be closed. Vehicular movement on Sealdah flyover, North to South, and vice versa will be suspended from 6 pm on August 15. As a result, tram services along Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road, M G Road, Bidhan Sarani and Lenin Sarani will be suspended or restricted. As the Beliaghata Main Road will be open, passengers coming from South Kolkata will not have to face any difficulty to reach Sealdah railway station. Those coming from North Kolkata will have to avail M G Road, Amherst Street, B B Ganguly Street to reach Koley Market. From there, they have to take a left turn and move along the road under Sealdah flyover in order to reach the railway station. In another arrangement, vehicles going to Sealdah railway station will be diverted from Rajabazar Crossing to avail Narkeldanga Main Road, Canal East Road and Beliaghata Main Road. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateSouth-bound vehicles will be diverted through M G Road and Amherst Street and Lenin Sarani in order to reach Moulali Crossing. If the pressure of traffic increases at any point of time, traffic may get diverted from Maniktala Crossing to Amherst Street and from Shyambazar Crossing to Bhupen Bose Avenue and C R Avenue. The North-bound vehicles will be diverted using S N Banerjee Road via Janbazar/Esplanade, Dorina Crossing, Central Avenue and Colootola Street in order to reach APC Road in Sealdah. The buses will also follow the same routes except those which originate and terminate in and around Sealdah. Buses from few routes which come along the AJC Bose Road and usually terminate at Rajabazar will be stopped in and around NRS Medical College and Hospital. Buses from routes which terminate at Sealdah railway station area will be diverted to APC Road and will be terminated near Rajabazar. The South-bound heavy goods vehicles such as container trailers and others will be diverted from Shyambazar to Bhupen Bose Avenue to avail C R Avenue. South-bound medium and light goods vehicles will be allowed to move along the APC Road till Maniktala. From there, those will be diverted to Vivekananda Road and Girish Park to avail C R Avenue. Kolkata Police has also informed that during the four days of closure of Sealdah flyover, traffic movement along Amherst Street, BB Ganguly Street, College Street, N C Street, S N Banerjee Road, Creek Row and Rafi Ahmed Kidwai Road will be one way round-the-clock. Also ‘No Parking’ restriction will be imposed on these roads during the period of the closure. Apart from these restrictions, vehicular traffic may also be diverted from any arterial and feeder roads if necessary by the traffic officials.last_img read more

The Incredibly Realistic Face of Queen Elizabeth I

first_imgElizabeth I is one of the most recognizable monarchs of British royal history. Her flame-red hair, youthful complexion, characteristic clothing, and oversized neck ruffs mean that she is easy to spot in a line-up of British icons. Elizabeth was acutely aware of the importance of public image and worked especially hard to control the way in which she was represented in official portraits.However, a new exhibition at London’s Queen’s House in Greenwich is attempting to dismantle this carefully crafted regal image.Queen’s House in Greenwich, London, England.According to the Guardian, British artist Mat Collishaw has created an art installation that projects an alternative representation of Elizabeth in her later reign.The installation has been constructed directly opposite the Armada Portrait, probably the most famous painting depicting Elizabeth I. It was commissioned in 1588 in celebration of the impressive English victory over the Spanish Armada and is intended to represent the glory of England and her monarch.Portrait commemorating the defeat of the Spanish Armada, depicted in the background. Elizabeth’s hand rests on the globe, symbolizing her international power. One of three known versions of the ‘Armada Portrait.’In the painting, Elizabeth is dressed in a lavish gown with puffed sleeves, bows, and an enormous ruff surrounding her neck. Her auburn hair is studded with pearls. Her complexion is smooth and milk-white, and she appears remarkably youthful, considering that she was, at this point, in her mid-fifties.According to the Guardian, this carefully crafted image was explicitly designed to reinforce Elizabeth’s divine queenship. She favored colors such as black and white, which were said to represent her virginity and purity.Photo by National Maritime Museum, London. Courtesy the artist and BlainSouthernLike many women of the age, she wore a wig in public, which would be studded with pearls, once again symbolizing her virtue. Her jewelry and crown was a reminder of her royal authority, and her hand, delicately placed on the map of the world, pointed to England’s place as a global imperial power.According to the Telegraph, Collishaw wanted to challenge this “mask” of power and authority. As part of the installation, he has created an animatronic face, depicting Elizabeth as an older woman, with the trappings of her royal position stripped away.The ‘Darnley Portrait’ of Elizabeth I of England.This alternative mask shows Elizabeth without her wig, her eyes dark and slightly sunken, and her face without makeup. In her later years, Elizabeth wore a thick layer of makeup to cover her facial scars, the result of a brush with smallpox in 1562. In Collishaw’s animatronic we see Elizabeth’s wrinkles, scars, and even a little facial hair.Perhaps the most striking aspect of the piece, however, is the movement of the face. The eyes dart from side to side, creating the impression of fear and uncertainty, and contrasting with Elizabeth’s impassive expression and steadfast gaze in the Armada Portrait. The mouth opens and closes, but there is no voice, emphasizing Elizabeth’s lack of individual agency in her role.Elizabeth I in her coronation robes, patterned with Tudor roses and trimmed with ermine.This installation presents an alternative view of Elizabeth as a woman trapped in the role of queen, her individuality and self obliterated by the weight of the office that she bears. Collishaw’s “living death mask” is placed directly opposite the Armada Portrait, conjuring the idea that Elizabeth is looking in a mirror, with an alternate version of herself reflected back.Elizabeth was a female monarch in a deeply patriarchal society, and her position was always precarious. She needed to project two contradictory images simultaneously: a virginal, pure and chaste queen, and a virile, powerful and dominating ruler.Her body was viewed as an extension of the monarchy and the state itself, and was, therefore, a canvas on to which symbols of power and authority could be painted.Read another story from us: The Most Intriguing Special Privileges of Queen Elizabeth IICollishaw’s installation invites the viewer to look again at this iconic queen and to explore the “other face” of Elizabeth – a vulnerable woman in a dangerous, patriarchal world, in which her safety was guaranteed only as long as she continued to sustain a visual discourse of royal power.last_img read more