Gadgets Pioneer speaker system rocks out

first_img Citation: Gadgets: Pioneer speaker system rocks out (2010, September 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The Pioneer XW-NAS3 speaker system Gadgets: Seek out ‘green’ gadgets in celebration of Earth Day 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. To sum it up if you want to read no further: The Pioneer XW-NAS3 speaker system for iPods and iPhones rocks the house even at the highest volume levels. The unit costs a little more than many similar systems, but in this case you certainly get your money’s worth. As the unit was unpacked and before it was turned on, it was obvious this is a well-constructed and heavy (12 pounds) device. Packed into the system is a pair of 52mm full-range speakers, along with a separate down-firing subwoofer. Once you dock your iPod and turn it on, it’s obvious why this is a great unit. In reviews, I’ve often remarked that a system provides sound but won’t be the life of a party. That’s not the case with this one; it will fill a room with great-sounding, clear music. The attractive desktop unit measures 8.3-by-16.5-by-5.8 inches with an attractive glossy black finish (also available in white) and includes a wireless remote. It becomes Bluetooth-enabled for an additional purchase ($99) of an adapter, allowing broadcast from smartphones equipped with Bluetooth technology. With the video output ports, users can add a monitor for viewing movies broadcast over the unit’s speakers. Details:, $449.00 is the suggested price but Amazon has it for $335.56 ___ Regardless of how you store your cell phone, it’s easy to leave behind it or other high-priced items so attractive to thieves. With the keychain-sized ZOMM paired to any Bluetooth-enabled cell phone or other high-priced smartphone, a wireless leash is formed between the phone and the owner. Just like any other Bluetooth cell phone option, pair it up with a phone to function as an adequate hands-free device. Calls are answered and heard over a built-in speaker; the microphone includes noise-cancelling technology.center_img (c) 2010, Gregg Ellman. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. Explore further The main function of the device is to alert users when the ZOMM separates from its partner. Once that separation occurs, the ZOMM vibrates, lights flash and an alarm sounds. If you separate the two on purpose, simply press a button on the ZOMM to cancel the alarm. A nice safety feature allows owners to activate a panic button, which sounds an alarm up to 40db and calls an emergency number, which can be programmed by the user. According to company tests, users can expect up to three days of battery life before the lithium-ion battery needs recharging with the included micro-USB wall charger or via any USB port on a computer. Details:, $79.99 at Best Buy ___ It’s interesting to see how many accessory product e-mails I get after Apple makes any kind of product announcement. To the inbox first, just minutes after last week’s new iPod line was announced, came a press release from Scosche announcing cases for the new touch and nano. The announcement included six new stylish case designs for the new Apple products — each of which offer added functionality and superior protection. These include my favorite “flyer friendly feature” of the company’s signature kickBACK case. When in use with the kickBACK, the new iPod touch gen 4 media player can be positioned sideways for landscape video viewing. The case is built with a polycarbonate exterior along with a flexible impact resistant rubber interior. Also included is the Scosche beefKASE t4 featuring genuine leather back and a polycarbonate shell to provide a unique professional look and feel. Among the announcements for the nano are the tightGRIP case packs. These are silicone enclosures to provide grip and protection and come in packs of 3 with choices of black, blue, clear, pink, purple or red. Users of the new iPod touch can also get the silicone enclosures in 3 packs in black, blue and red choices. Check the company’s website for the full line of new cases and accessories, which range in price from $14.99 to $39.99. Details: scosche.comlast_img read more

Lunar discovery Two new moon rock types

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Image via Wikipedia One of the most interesting things about the rock found on the far side of the moon is that it contains magnesium spinel, which has not been seen on the moon yet. On earth, a large amount of this spinel is considered a gemstone. According to Universe Today, the new moon rock is concentrated in an area that also lacks minerals that scientists have come to expect on the moon. The discovery of this strange rock might mean a change in how we look at the moon, according to Dr. Carle Pieters, the scientist who identified the rock and who was interviewed by Universe Today:So this is a big mystery and it is a very exciting one because now we have to reexamine our understanding of the character of the lunar crust, in particular to the depths that might have been tapped by this enormous basin and that we are now looking at as exposed on the surface. …These are old surfaces that have been undisturbed but have an extremely unusual composition. And even the space weathering that has occurred on the surface throughout the billions of years of history on the Moon has not erased their unusual compositions. So, they are unusual for the kind of compositions we see, but they are also unusual because they have no identifying property that allows us to identify them in our imagery which is quite unusual for features on the surface of the Moon.It may not be so surprising to some that a new moon rock discovery was made on the far side of the moon. But the second moon rock was found on the near side of moon. The scientist in charge of identifying the moon rock on the near side of the moon, Dr. Jessica Sunshine, knew about the discovery made by Pieters. However, when Sunshine looked at a rock sample from an area with “dark mantle” (from firefountain deposits during the moon’s earlier geologic activity), she discovered that it contained chrome. Universe Today reports on her comments on where the rock was found:This came from explosive eruptions of lava and gas over large areas of the Moon, about the size of Massachusetts. And we knew that three of them were there, it just turned out that one of them was compositionally different from the other ones, and in particular it had the kind of spinel which is a chromite, because it has chrome in it, and now we’re busy trying to figure out why this deposit is different from the one next door, and what does it mean.Clearly, whatever we think we know about the moon, moon rocks and the formation of the moon, there are still mysteries to solve. Purdue University to display moon rock More information: Nancy Atkinson, “Two New Kinds of Moon Rocks Found,” Universe Today (November 4, 2010). Available online: … of-moon-rocks-found/ Many of us think of our nearest celestial neighbor as having few secrets to give up. However, we are still finding out new things about the moon. The latest discovery is of two types of moon rock not seen before. The last time scientists identified a different type of moon rock, it was in the 1970s. One of the new types of rock was found on the far side of the moon, but the other was found on the near side. Citation: Lunar discovery: Two new moon rock types (2010, November 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Meta glasses to place virtual reality worlds at fingertips w Video

first_img( —Yawn. Two startup visionaries claim they have just the device to replace keyboard and mouse forever and ever. Where have you heard that before. But maybe these two have something important. Meron Gribetz, the startup founder and CEO and Ben Sand, the co-pilot and evangelist, are behind something called the Meta wearable computer headset, which consists of stereoscopic glasses and camera. It’s the way computers always should have been: wearable, viewed through both eyes, and directly controlled using the entire arms and hands, according to its founder and CEO Gribetz. The belief is that the future of computing is in this technology that can display information from the real world and control objects with one’s fingers, Tony Stark-style, at low latency and high dexterity. Meta founder and CEO Gribetz referred to the technology as the keyboard and mouse of the future. 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. A “meta 1 Dev Kit” will be available for $750. The SDK provides gestures and finger tracking, general depth data that works with objects in range of the depth camera, RGB data and surface tracking (access planes and meshes of surfaces in the real world, so virtual objects can be anchored to them, or augmented in other ways.”Our software stack is very open. Our depth camera exposes all depth data at the low level and at the higher levels give you access to object meshes, fingers/hands and gestures.” More information: … ed-reality-interface Google Glass may run with laser-projected keyboard This is a technology project that dates back several years, when the initial concept for a dual screen 3-D interface took hold. Lab work on the software and hardware included building the first 3-D occlusion algorithms to mesh the real and virtual world together in realtime. Supported platforms are Windows 32bit/64bit. Other platform support is still in development. Scenarios in which the Meta system might be applied include surgeons who could be assisted by floating 3-D models of CAT scansA number of sites commenting on the device made note of its less than ideal bulky looks, calling attention to the big size of the glasses. Meta’s team is planning to improve on the looks, though, and intends to have a next iteration as lighter and more fashionable. meta is a Y Combinator backed augmented reality venture and right now, the focus, in the form of a Kickstarter campaign, is to lure more developers on board, and their campaign seeks funds for making the Meta systems for application developers. The goal is $100,000; the project will be funded if at least $100,000 is pledged by June 16. At the time of this writing, they raised $75,393.center_img © 2013 Meta grew out of a Columbia University project where a team built advanced surface tracking algorithms. The algorithms allow the anchoring of virtual content to the real world, without use of fiducial markers.The Meta effort in wearable computing eyewear is not to be treated as competition for Google Glass, which may be an easy connection to make once the words wearable computing and spectacles are mentioned. The Meta team makes a point of calling out the two as different. As their promotional video said, “This is true augmented reality, not just popups from the corner of your eye.” The Google Glass display is different, as Meta’s is in the center of the field of view rather than above the eyeline. The role of the two are different, if one thinks of Google Glass as a helpful companion while navigating city streets, looking for landmarks, restaurants, or translations for signs in foreign languages. Meta’s augmented reality eyewear is immersive applied to games, for example, played in front of your face or to working on a surface, while you use your hands to interact with your virtual reality. The system includes 3-D glasses supplied by Epson and a 3-D camera to track the user’s hand movements. Explore further Citation: Meta glasses to place virtual reality worlds at fingertips (w/ Video) (2013, May 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

First mathematical analysis of gun policy tradeoff emphasizes need for more data

first_imgFor this reason, the researchers view their model as a first step on the path to scientifically and logically formulating the issues involved in the gun control debate, and to guide the design of future epidemiological studies. As they explain, “any mathematical model of a behavioral process represents by definition a simplification and abstraction of a complex system.” From this perspective, the researchers propose that the gun control debate should focus on the scientific methods of gathering and interpreting data, rather than on single gun-related events that capture the public’s attention or anecdotal evidence.”What we tried to do is to examine how different strategies regarding gun availability in the general population influence the amount of shooting-induced murders that will occur,” Wodarz said. “This is a scientific question, similar to asking how certain biomedical strategies influence the incidence of a disease (such as cancer) in the population. “It was an interesting finding that the two extreme strategies minimize gun-induced murders. Regarding practicality: There are other issues that are relevant, such as constitutional issues in the US, which can limit the policies that can be implemented. However, our goal was to ask a very focused question about the amount of gun-induced murders, and to use scientific methods, based in the field of disease epidemiology. It is our hope that this will initiate a different kind of discussion, where people argue about scientific assumptions, data, and scientific methodologies. This would be the most immediate practical implication of our work, and I think if this was achieved, it would be very valuable. “Another, equally important practical implication of this work is that it identifies what needs to be measured statistically in order to make more precise predictions. Therefore, it serves as a guide for the design of future statistical studies, which will hopefully result in the availability of more data and thus more accurate predictions. As mentioned in the paper, right now only a limited amount of data is available in the literature and more data are needed to better parameterize and refine the model.”Here’s some of the data that the researchers considered in their analysis: Currently, about 30% of all American households own a gun. Assuming that gun ownership offers some protection against attacks, this percentage does not provide sufficient protection against attacks to counter the increase in gun-related deaths that occurs under a “guns for all” policy, according to the model. If a “guns for all” policy were to be effective, the government would have to persuade more people to purchase guns and carry them around at all times. There is evidence that gun ownership by potential victims does not offer any protection from attacks. Previous studies have found that gun ownership by potential victims actually increases their chances of being fatally shot during an attack compared to potential victims who do not carry a gun. These studies suggest that gun possession might escalate a gun fight and make it less likely that the potential victim will retreat. The majority of gun-related homicides in the US are one-against-one attacks, although one-on-many attacks are usually more widely publicized. The researchers suggest that the results from one-against-one attacks should dictate policies in order to minimize the overall gun-related homicide rate. A study of a UK prison population that was not legally allowed to own guns revealed that 8% had illegally owned guns during the past year, of which 23% had taken the gun with them on an offense. That is, less than 2% of the individuals who were not legally allowed to own guns owned and used a gun for criminal purposes. Finally, the researchers note that gun policy is not the only factor that contributes to the gun-related homicide rate. This fact is highlighted by the gun policies of the UK and Switzerland. Both countries have drastically lower rates of gun-related homicide than the US, but very different gun policies. In the UK, private gun possession is largely banned, while gun prevalence in Switzerland is widespread. Clearly, other factors such as socioeconomic conditions and cultural differences also play an important role in reducing gun-related homicides. Journal information: PLoS ONE 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. © 2013 All rights reserved. Dominik Wodarz and Natalia Komarova, both from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and the Department of Mathematics at the University of California Irvine, have developed the first mathematical analysis of the gun availability tradeoff. Their paper is published in PLOS ONE.With 11,000 gun-related homicides occurring each year in the US, the gun policy tradeoff has been the subject of many recent arguments. While a strict “no guns” policy would seem to decrease the overall number of available guns and therefore decrease gun use, a “guns for all” policy that allows anyone to own a gun may arm potential victims and deter criminals from attacking in the first place. And then there is also a middle ground: a moderate gun policy in which certain kinds of guns are available to some people under certain circumstances.So which policy is best? According to the model, the somewhat surprising result is that the gun-related homicide rate can only be minimized for the two extreme strategies: either a complete ban or a “guns for all” policy. The moderate policy—although seemingly most realistic of the three—results in a higher homicide rate than either of the two extreme policies. So the problem is still far from solved.”The effect of partial restriction of gun ownership is complicated,” Wodarz told “According to the model, a partial reduction in gun ownership can lead to a certain reduction in the gun-induced homicide rate, even if it does not minimize it. However, it is also possible that a partial reduction in gun ownership first leads to an increase in gun murders, and only leads to a reduction once gun ownership is restricted substantially. There is not enough data available at the moment to determine which outcome is more likely. Once more data are collected, we will be able to say something more concrete.”Overall, the big takeaway of the study is not a comparison of the effectiveness of different gun policies, but that the data required to make such a comparison is lacking. The researchers’ model makes several assumptions, such as the degree of law enforcement to prevent criminals from illegally owning guns, the degree of protection provided by guns to potential victims, and the fraction of the population that actually takes up its right to own and carry a gun, for which limited data exists. With high-tech guns, users could disable remotely The first mathematical analysis of the gun policy tradeoff makes several assumptions due to a need for more scientific data. Citation: First mathematical analysis of gun policy tradeoff emphasizes need for more data (2013, August 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Dominik Wodarz and Natalia L. Komarova. “Dependence of the Firearm-Related Homicide Rate on Gun Availability: A Mathematical Analysis.” PLOS ONE. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0071606 ( —While many people have already taken a stance on whether gun control laws need to be stricter or more lenient, a pair of researchers from the University of California Irvine argues that there isn’t yet enough scientific data to make an informed policy decision either way. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Chinese team finds drinking Sprite might help prevent hangover

first_img Human beings have likely been looking for ways to cure the negative side-effects of consuming alcohol since first stumbling across the fermentation process. Symptoms such as an aching head, dry mouth and sensitivity to noise have been the sad result of untold numbers of nights spent drinking. Unfortunately, none of the remedies discovered thus far have proven to be of much help. That may change soon, if the team in China is right. Drinking Sprite they say, just might build up a good enzyme that helps to get a bad chemical out of the body as quickly as possible.The team in China based their study on other research that has found that when people drink an alcoholic beverage, the body undertakes a two-step process in dealing with the alcohol in it. First, an enzyme called alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) sets to work to breaking the alcohol down into acetaldehyde. Next, another enzyme, called aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) breaks it down further into acetate. It’s the first step, apparently, that causes problems—it’s acetaldehyde that causes the brain to swell leading to hangover pain. The team in China believes that chemicals that cause an increase in ALDH should help alleviate the problem by getting rid of the acetaldehyde faster—before it can cause brain swelling. But rather than working up a new drug, they looked at commercially available beverages to find out if any of them might do so naturally. They tested 57 different beverages ranging from teas to soft drinks—of all of those tested, Sprite (called Xue bi in China) performed the best.The team hasn’t yet begun testing the use of Sprite to prevent a hangover in actual human subjects just yet, but indicate they are making plans to do so. They may not have to, of course, as news of their research will almost certainly lead to widespread testing of the soft-drink as a hangover preventative technique by large numbers of drinkers worldwide. ( —A team of Chinese researchers working at Sun Yat-Sen University has found a possible way for drinkers of alcoholic beverages to minimize their risk of developing a hangover and other negative side-effects: consume Sprite. In their paper published in the journal Food & Function, the team describes how they tested a host of beverages to determine which best boosts the production of an enzyme that breaks down acetaldehyde, a harmful chemical that is created as the body breaks down alcohol. Explore further © 2013 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: Effects of Herbal Infusion, Tea and Carbonated Beverage on Alcohol Dehydrogenase and Aldehyde Dehydrogenase Activities, Food Funct., 2013, Accepted Manuscript, DOI: 10.1039/C3FO60282FAbstractVarious alcoholic beverages containing different concentrations of ethanol are widely consumed, and excessive alcohol consumption may result in serious health problem. The consumption of alcohol beverages is often accompanied by non-alcohol beverages, such as herbal infusion, tea and carbonated beverage to relieve drunk symptoms. The aim of this study was to supply new information on effects of these beverages on alcohol metabolism for nutritionists and the general public to reduce harm of excessive alcohol consumption. Effects of 57 kinds of herbal infusion, tea and carbonated beverages on alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase activities were evaluated. Generally, effects of these beverages on alcohol dehydrogenase and aldehyde dehydrogenase activities are very different. The results suggested that some beverages should not be drunk after excessive alcohol consumption, and several beverages may be potential dietary supplement for the prevention and treatment of harm from excessive alcohol consumption. First evidence from humans on how alcohol may boost risk of cancer Citation: Chinese team finds drinking Sprite might help prevent hangover (2013, October 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from read more

Best of Last Week – speed of light may be wrong fungus

first_img Explore further Mechanical oscillators translate an applied force into measureable mechanical motion. The Standard Quantum Limit is imposed by the Heisenberg uncertainty principle, in which the measurement itself perturbs the motion of the oscillator, a phenomenon known as ‘quantum back-action.’ Credit: Kevin Gutowski Physicist suggests speed of light might be slower than thought ( —Last week saw the physics community buzzing as a physicist suggested that the speed of light might be slower than thought—James Franson of the University of Maryland posted an article in a peer-review journal putting forth the idea that the speed of light might be slower than we think due to vacuum polarization. If he’s right, it’s going to mean a lot of upheaval for astrophysics in the coming years. Also, a team of physicists find way to boot up quantum computers 72 times faster than previously possible. They found a way to use an engineering algorithm to greatly reduce the set-up time for daily recalibrations needed for quantum computers. Another pair of physicists at King’s College in London wonder should the Higgs boson have caused our Universe to collapse? They suggest observations by researchers with the BICEP2 collaboration last March show that we shouldn’t have been around to observe what occurred, thus something new must be present. Another team of physicists at the University of California built an experiment with not much force: Researchers detect smallest force ever measured—their laser and trapping system based on optics detected a force not much above the Standard Quantum Limit.Also, after recent revelations regarding the speed at which bacteria develop resistance to antibacterial agents, welcome news comes as a team unearths what may be a secret weapon against antibiotic resistance—a soil fungus found in Nova Scotia. It’s effective against New Delhi Metallo-beta-Lactamase-1—one of the most dangerous antibiotic-resistance bacteria out there. In other news from the biological community, pesticides threaten birds and bees alike, study says—by a Task Force advising the International Union for Conservation of Nature—it’s the same chemicals that are believed to be responsible for killing bees all over the world.Technologists have kept busy as well, as news of a robot valet to park cars at German airport has been making waves. Also, a team in the U.K. has announced: Hydrogen breakthrough could be a game-changer for the future of car fuels—they’re found a way to store the fuel in a safer way by using ammonia as an energy source.And finally, good news on the medical front, as a study finds association between maternal exposure to agricultural pesticides and autism. They found that pregnant women living near farms that use pesticides have a 2/3 increase in chance of having a baby that develops the disorder. Finding the source, is of course, the key to prevention.center_img © 2014 Citation: Best of Last Week – speed of light may be wrong, fungus fights resistant bacteria and link between pesticides and autism (2014, June 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from 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

Simulation suggests warm Jupiter exoplanets can be pushed closer to their star

first_img Citation: Simulation suggests warm Jupiter exoplanets can be pushed closer to their star by another planet (2014, October 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from A couple of decades ago, astronomers discovered that some Jupiter sized exoplanets orbited very closely to their stars. They also found that some of those gaseous planets were also hotter than Jupiter, and were given names to indicate how much: warm or hot. This uncovered a puzzle because solar system and planetary formation theories suggest that large gassy planets almost certainly form very far away from their star. So, what caused them to move closer?Prior research has hinted that the answer may lie with other planets in the same system causing some sort of gravitational influence that might cause movement towards a central star. In this latest effort, the research pair carried this line of thinking further by constructing multiple simulations of systems where there is a warm Jupiter and another planet large enough to exert influence with its gravity. For each such system, they ran approximately 1000 simulations, modifying the parameters as they went mimicking the passage of 200 million years. They found that if two planets did not lie in the same plane (with angles ranging from 35 to 65 degrees) it was possible for the second planet to pull the warm or hot Jupiter closer towards the central star under certain circumstances.While it was once thought that that most if not all planetary systems were flat planed, findings over the past several years have shown that the flat plan demonstrated by our own solar system is not necessarily the norm. Many non-planer systems have been found, leading to theories being developed to explain how it may happen. They all start by suggesting planets form on a plane due to accretion from disc material, thus, planets that orbit their star out of that plane must get pushed there somehow—current thinking is that it’s likely due to the planets pulling on one another, particularly when some develop later than others. Astronomers find ‘cousin’ planets around twin stars Journal information: Science Explore further This artist’s concept depicts a planetary system. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltechcenter_img © 2014 ( —A pair of astronomers with the University of California has demonstrated via computer simulation that the reason some hot or warm Jupiter exoplanets orbit their star so closely is because they are pulled there by another planet. In their paper published in the journal Science, Rebekah Dawson and Eugene Chiang describe their simulations and what their observations revealed. More information: A class of warm Jupiters with mutually inclined, apsidally misaligned close friends, Science 10 October 2014: Vol. 346 no. 6206 pp. 212-216. DOI: 10.1126/science.1256943ABSTRACTThe orbits of giant extrasolar planets often have surprisingly small semimajor axes, large eccentricities, or severe misalignments between their orbit normals and their host stars’ spin axes. In some formation scenarios invoking Kozai-Lidov oscillations, an external planetary companion drives a planet onto an orbit having these properties. The mutual inclinations for Kozai-Lidov oscillations can be large and have not been confirmed observationally. Here we present evidence that observed eccentric warm Jupiters with eccentric giant companions have mutual inclinations that oscillate between 35° and 65°. Our inference is based on the pairs’ observed apsidal separations, which cluster near 90°. The near-orthogonality of periapse directions is effected by the outer companion’s quadrupolar and octupolar potentials. These systems may be undergoing a stalled version of tidal migration that produces warm Jupiters over hot Jupiters, and they provide evidence for a population of multiplanet systems that are not flat and have been sculpted by Kozai-Lidov oscillations. 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

Simple method for selective bioconjugation of native proteins

first_img Citation: Simple method for selective bioconjugation of native proteins (2015, April 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2015 Using DNA to assemble a protein lattice More information: “One step site-specific modification of native proteins with 2-pyridinecarboxyaldehyde” Nature Chemistry Biology published online: 30 march 2015. DOI: 10.1038/nchembio.1792 The next step was to optimize the reaction conditions to make this an easily adaptable bioconjugation reaction. MacDonald et al. used RNase A as a model protein substrate, and included additives to the reaction mixture to replicate the chemistry of the protein surface. They found that RNase A was selectively modified at the N-terminus with optimal conditions at 10 mM 2PCA in 50 mM phosphate buffer at pH 7.5 and 37oC for 16 hours. Protein concentration played little role in the success of the reaction, and the reaction tolerated a variety of buffers without interacting with the additives.After optimizing the 2PCA reaction, the next step was to modify 2PCA with functional groups that are of interest for bioconjugation reactions. Other studies have shown that an acylation reaction with 2PCA and N-hydroxysuccinimide (NHS) esters have worked well as a straight-forward way to modify 2PCA. MacDonald et al. were able to make protein-PEG bioconjugates using 2PCA-PEG. Characterization studies showed no side products due to non-site-specific reactions.Importantly, this reaction worked well for a variety of commercially available proteins, including those with free cysteines. The authors tested their procedure with aldolase, a homotetramer with eight free cysteines per subunit. They were able to successfully modify the N-terminal group as well as selectively modify two of the eight free cysteines. They were also able to successfully modify 2PCA using a variety of substrates that might be of interest for protein modification.The next question is whether the secondary and tertiary structures affect the 2PCA modification of the N-terminal group. Since a key part of the reaction is the formation of the cyclic imidazolidinone, steric hindrance from the three dimensional conformation of the protein may affect reactivity. They compared the reactivity of lysozyme and its N-terminal peptide analog. They found that the peptide was more reactive than the intact protein, confirming that access to the N-terminal group is an important factor in reactivity.Finally, this procedure was used to modify estrogen receptor alpha (ERα’), a receptor that binds selectively to estrogen. This is of interest because of recent concerns over drinking water contaminated with certain hormone disruptors. ERα’ was modified with 2PCA-biotin using the reported procedure, producing the bioconjugated product in 80% yield. The biotinylated ERα’ was immobilized on a streptavidin resin and loaded with fluorescent ethinyl estradiol. In the presence of ethinyl estradiol, the fluorescent reporter is released from the binding site and detected by fluorescence spectroscopy. This demonstrates that the ERα’ maintained its functionality even after modification, and it demonstrates a relatively simple method that might be used for detecting hormone disruptors in drinking water. Overall, this method is a simple, mild reaction that is adaptable to a diverse set of proteins. Furthermore, it works with native proteins without the need for genetic modification, does not seem to compromise protein functionality, and is site-specific even in the presence of highly reactive amino acids. Journal information: Nature Chemical Biologycenter_img Ways to work around this problem include genetically engineering parts of the protein, but this can lower proteins expression levels, or devising a reaction scheme that is specific to a particular target on a protein; however, this is often complex, low yielding, and not scalable. James I. MacDonald, Henrik K. Munch, Troy Moore, and Matthew B. Francis of the University of California at Berkeley may have a solution. They have devised a general method for site-specific modification of the N-terminal portion of the protein that is mild, versatile, scalable, and does not require genetic engineering. Their work is presented in Nature Chemical Biology.Many of these amino acids on the protein surface have reactive functional groups that will react with a substrate, even if the substrate is designed to target a different site. For example, cysteine has a thiol side chain. The thiol is highly reactive, which is helpful for many bodily processes, but makes selective chemical modification in the presence of a free cysteine difficult. One site of interest for protein modification is the N-terminus part of the protein. This free amine is able to undergo various reactions, such as acylation. However, most reactions involving the N-terminus are multi-step and are often specific to certain N-terminal amino acids. MacDonald et al.’s simple, one-step reaction expands on this work by selectively modifying the N-termini of a variety of proteins.Their first step was to identify the right substrate to react with the free amine. Prior studies had shown that several types of aldehydes react with the N-termini to form 1:1 condensation products. Aryl aldehydes, specific derivatives of pyridinecarboxaldehydes, offer better site specificity because they form a cyclic imidazolidinone with the N-terminal amine and the neighboring amino acid. While a series of aryl aldehydes were tested as potential candidates for the modification of the N-termini of angiotensin I, 2-pyridinecarboxaldehyde (2PCA) offered the best yields under mild conditions. Further studies verified that 2PCA selectively reacted with the N-terminus of angiotensin I and that neighboring amino acids had little effect on reactivity. Further studies using these reaction conditions revealed that all possible N-terminal amino acids showed excellent yields, with proline and glycine as the least reactive. 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. Whether it is for pharmaceuticals, or imaging, or proteomics, many scientists are interested in finding better ways to chemically tweak proteins. However, proteins are chemically complex, and targeting one particular place on the protein surface without also chemically modifying the surrounding amino acids can be tricky.last_img read more

Smallformat works shine like gems

first_imgAt a time when only the big and the bizarre capture most eyeballs, here is a show that will perhaps be a refreshing change at the fifth edition of India Art Fair starting 31 January. Gallerie Ganesha will exhibit artworks, both paintings and sculptures, by some of the best known names of Indian contemporary art — A Ramachandran, Ganesh Pyne, Jayasri Burman, Jogen Chowdhury, KS Kulkarni, KS Radhakrishnan, Lalu Prasad Shaw, Laxma Goud, Paresh Maity and Neeraj Goswami to name just a few — in miniature format. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Says Shobha Bhatia, Director, Gallerie Ganesha: ‘At a time when the trend is towards monumentality and making a splash, our attempt is to draw the viewer into an intimate dialogue with the artworks in keeping with the Indian tradition of miniature paintings and smaller formats. These cannot be viewed at a mere glance but invite the spectator to a closer look in order to get an insight into the artist’s mind. This collection consists of exhibits by artists who have mastered the art of working on both scales.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAgrees Paresh Maity: ‘Miniatures are like jewels, they are deeply rooted in our history. India has a tradition of miniature art, from Mughal Miniatures to Rajput Miniatures, Kangra School, Pahari School. From the beginning of my career, I have been influenced by miniatures, their colours, dimensions and detailing.’Says artist Neeraj Goswami: ‘Small format or miniature work gives a different high to the painter as well as the viewer. It is more like a spiritual discipline where the artist can easily unite with his true inner self.’ A similar thought process is shared by veteran Sakti Burman who feels that a ‘small painting is like chamber music, delicately played by three or four musicians. Small works generate an intimate relationship between the painter and the viewer.’ Says Neelkant Chowdhary: ‘Small-format paintings are capable of producing a powerful effect. It makes one aware of one’s space as well as the space in the painting. There is something about small-format paintings that has always been intriguing. Their greatest merit is that they usually are the source of idea, the creative drive of an artist that ultimately shapes the final works. It has always taken less time while working on a small format, yet they create same challenges.’last_img read more

WBSCL join hands with Howrah City Police to impart training to unemployed

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal Swarojgar Corporation Limited (WBSCL) has joined hands with Howrah City Police to impart training to unemployed youth under the latter’s jurisdictional area so that they become self-reliant. The training under Project Kiran initiated by Howrah City Police will be offered to 250 such youth under seven police station areas.”We are starting with the training of 250 youth but our target is to train 1,000 such youth in various vocations so that they become self-sufficient,” said Pulak Roy, chairman of WBSCL. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedA senior official of WBSCL, which comes under the aegis of the Self-Help Group (SHG) department of the state government, informed that two places have already been earmarked for imparting the training. The areas in which the youth will be trained are tailoring, beautician, driving and medical representative. Professionals and experts in the mentioned fields have been roped in by WBSCL so that the training is of international standards. “We have held talks with a leading garment organisation who will be offering a one month training to those who successfully complete our tailor training. Following this, they have agreed to absorb these youth. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPDriving licences will be given free of cost to those who successfully complete our driving training,” a senior WBSCL official said.The SHG department will hold job fairs to facilitate the trained youth seek employment. Apart from local unemployed youth, the Howrah City Police have identified unemployed persons from the police family and from those who had once been criminals but are now seeking a path of reform to reap the benefits of the training. Kolkata Police had launched its Kiran programme a few years back and already more than 800 people have received training.last_img read more

Deloitte KPMG PWC empanelled for RBIs info systems audit

first_imgDeloitte, KPMG, PWC and four others have been empanelled by the Reserve Bank for conducting audit of information systems of the central bank. The other agencies are, AAA Technologies, Auditime, Digital Age Strategies and Mahindra SSG. “With reference to our Expression of Interest (EOI) sought for ‘Empanellment of Firms for Conducting Information Systems/ Information Technology (IS/IT) Audit’ within the Bank, we advise the…(seven) firms have been included in the panel for conducting Information Systems/Information Technology Audit…,” the Reserve Bank said. The panel will remain valid for a period of three years, in normal course, subject to the condition that the firms/ individuals continue to be on the panel of approved auditors released by the CERT-In (Indian Computer Emergency Response Team), it said.The broad scope of work include security assessments/ reviews of — application, network, operating systems, databases, source code and System Development Life Cycle, among others.last_img read more

Finger tracing can help students perform better in maths Study

first_imgMathematics has always been a troublesome and scary subject for many children. But a recent study has found that school kids who trace math problems using fingers are able to solve them more quickly and easily. Students who use their fingers to trace over practice examples while simultaneously reading geometry or arithmetic material were able to complete tasks more quickly and correctly than those who did not use the same technique, according to researchers. “Our findings have a range of implications for teachers and students alike. They show math learning by young students may be enhanced substantially with the simple addition of instructions to finger-trace elements of math problems,” said Paul Ginns, senior lecturer at the University Of Sydney. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“We are cautiously confident such effects could be applied in the classroom and to subjects outside of math, but more research is clearly required,” he said.The research is published in Learning and Instruction and Applied Cognitive Psychology. The study involved 275 children aged between nine and 13 and found that tracing over elements of math problems enhanced how they understood and solved problems in geometry and algebra.Using an index finger to physically touch and trace the angles of a triangle can result in that information receiving processing priority in the brain. Doing so may reduce the load on working memory and its ability to retain complex material by ‘chunking’ information together, the scientists suggested. “At the classroom level, teachers can assist students to learn new mathematical content by giving instructions to ‘trace over’ the important elements of worked examples that already appear in mathematics textbooks or worksheets,” Ginns stated. “This simple, zero-cost teaching approach can enhance the effectiveness of mathematics instruction across multiple areas of the subject,” Ginns explained.Researchers are only now starting to explore if finger tracing’s benefits could extend to more complex mathematical tasks that require higher levels of abstract thinking and problem solving.last_img read more

Fire fighting mechanism in govt hospitals to be assessed

first_imgKolkata: The state Health department will undertake drives in all government medical colleges and hospitals to assess the existing fire fighting mechanism.The incident of fire at the iconic MCH building of Calcutta Medical College Hospital (CMCH) on last Wednesday prompted the Health department to look into the fire fighting systems installed in these medical colleges.The Health department will also investigate the fire fighting system in other medical colleges and hospitals that are situated in the districts. In case of CMCH, the Health department has been waiting for the report which will be submitted by the 6-member team constituted following the incident of fire. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the CMCH authorities had claimed there was adequate fire fighting mechanism in the MCH building that houses various important departments including pharmacy that had caught fire.Rogi Kalyan Samiti Chairman of CMCH, Dr Nirmal Maji, on the day of the incident said this could be an incident of sabotage. Dr Maji further mentioned that renovation works were carried out at the Public Works Department (PWD) a few days ahead of the incident and submitted a report saying there was hardly any possibility of a short circuit. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedTaking a lesson from the CMCH incident, the Health department has decided to assess the fire fighting systems in all the five state-run medical colleges in the city. The PWD engineers will also be asked to check and repair any possibility of short circuits. The steps have been taken to iron out the risks of fire. Thousands of patients visit the city’s medical colleges on a daily basis while many others undergo treatment at these hospitals.It may be mentioned that the electrical engineers of the PWD conduct surveillance in all the medical colleges and hospitals in the city from time to time to ensure that such incidents do not happen. All the other medical colleges and hospitals that are situated in the districts will also be asked to put in place adequate fire fighting mechanism.The district health officials have also been asked to carry out surveillance in all the hospitals under their jurisdiction.Meanwhile, after carrying out a preliminary enquiry forensic experts suspect that a computer inside the pharmacy might had been on.They are investigating if the fire was caused due to the incident.The fire already had an impact on the health services of the hospital as most of the medicines were destroyed in the fire on Wednesday.last_img read more

Traders to bring out affected articles from inside their shops from today

first_imgKolkata: The work for vacating the articles stacked inside the affected shops at Bagree Market will begin from Tuesday. The decision was taken during a high-level meeting at the headquarters of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) that was chaired by Mayor Sovan Chatterjee. Senior officials of Kolkata Police, CESC, the traders’ association and other stakeholders were present.Experts from IIT Roorkee who have been roped in for recommending the fate of the market urged the state to make arrangements for vacating the affected portions at the earliest to rule out chances of caving-in. The market has been subjected to prolonged exposure to extreme heat as fire continued for many hours and hence, chances of the structure collapsing cannot be ruled out. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeA source in the KMC said that work for emptying the affected shops could have been done earlier but the affected traders, on compassionate grounds, were given a certain period of time during the festive season to concentrate on their business activities. “The space in the corridor and the staircase have already been vacated. But a number of shops still have articles crammed inside them. The job for emptying these shops will start from Tuesday and it will be carried out by the traders themselves. “Officials and vehicles from the Solid Waste Management (SWM) department will be present for disposing of the things that will be brought out by the traders,” a senior official of the KMC said. CESC will make arrangements for temporary electric connection to facilitate the traders and Burrabazar police station will deploy forces for smooth work. After the affected portion is completely vacated, the team from IIT Roorkee will survey it again in detail and accordingly make recommendations on its fate.last_img read more

Boy thrashed after being caught stealing money

first_imgKolkata: A boy was beaten up by some locals after they suspected him to be a thief.The incident took place near Denguajhar area of Jalpaiguri on Tuesday morning. Police have not yet revealed the name of the victim. Some local businessmen alleged that the boy was trying to steal money from a local shop. The locals told police one Mintu Dey, a local shop owner, was away from his shop in the morning when the accused attempted to steal money from the cash box. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSome other businessmen in the area got hold of the boy. They beat him up after tying him to a lamp post. The victim had received injuries on various parts of his body in the incident. None of the locals came to his rescue till the matter was reported to the local police station. Some police personnel rushed to the spot immediately and freed him from the clutches of the businessmen. The victim was later rescued by the police and he was taken to a hospital. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe incident triggered tension among the locals. Some, however, raised questions on why the boy was badly beaten up by the local shop owners instead of handing him over to the police. The shop owners in the area told the police that they managed to catch the boy while stealing money from Dey’s shop. After starting a probe, police came to know that the victim is a resident of Rajgunj area of the same district. The locals are being interrogated in this connection. Police have started a detailed probe in this regard.last_img read more

Several Puja committees come under IT scanner over TDS details

first_imgKolkata: A number of Puja committees in the city have come under the scanner of the Income Tax department regarding the furnishing of Tax Deducted at Source (TDS) details.Sources in the I-T department said that they had sent notices to around 40 Puja committees, directing them to turn up with details of their TDS in connection with organising Durga Puja. They have been asked to be present on Monday and Tuesday. A number of clubs in the city spend a lot on theme Pujas every year, for publicity, decoration of pandals and idols, lighting, etc. “We are ignorant about dealing with the TDS issue. We are also not too sure on whether we have to submit TDS for this year or for the next year,” said a Puja organiser in North Kolkata who refused to be named. As per figures available with the I-T department, the expenditure during Durga Puja 2018 has been to the tune of around Rs 5,000 crore by the different clubs.last_img read more

Travel tips to empower firsttime travellers

first_imgArm yourself with some handy tips to overcome barriers when you travel to unknown destinations — whether in India or overseas, say experts. Here are a few things you need to keep in mind when travelling in India if you are a foreigner:If you know English, then there are chances that you might survive easily. Though you can easily find English-speaking people everywhere in the country, the regional difference in the accent makes it really difficult to understand the language. Despite the language barrier, you can survive in this country by following some simple tips: Also Read – Add new books to your shelf– Break your sentences into simple comprehensible parts. Make sure you carry a pen and a notepad to draw pictures or write words. Pen down all the important names and addresses before your leave your hotel. Look for locals who speak in English and record your route.This country is widely known for its delicious cuisine with all kinds of curries, breads, chutneys and sweets. Indian food is spicier for its foreign visitors. Also, tourists fall victim to the infamous ‘Delhi Belly’ due to the poor sanitation facilities when they travel in India. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveHere is how to avoid an upset stomach:– Eat cooked food and avoid salads or juices from any local vendors.– Consider becoming a vegetarian while in India.– Avoid eating too much spicy food, especially chillies.– Wash your hands often.– Carry probiotics that suit your body.Indian news channels are usually filled with news related to how one community has hurt the religious sentiments of another community. Being Indians, we might be familiar with such a thing but witnessing this might turn out to be really scary for a foreigner. They are in constant mental dilemma on what to wear, when to cover their head, what to touch and so on.To avoid offending anyone, you must keep these things in mind:– Respect local dress codes.– Take your shoes off before you enter a place of worship.– Don’t eat or pass things from your left hand as it is considered uncouth.– Don’t discuss religion with the locals.– Taking a photograph of the deity in a temple is not permitted at most places.While wandering in India, you will come across a number of hawkers, local guides and auto-drivers who will be eager to assist you. But remember that most of them are just looking for a chance to extort some money.– Travelling in a group is best.– Drinking and smoking in public is offensive.– Don’t hire taxis or auto-rickshaws from unlicensed operators.– Never book tickets from unauthorised travel agents.last_img read more

Varsity inaugurates martyr monument on Bhasha Divas

first_imgKolkata: Nearly seventy years ago, a group of students from the Dhaka University, died fighting for recognition of Bengali as an official language of Bangladesh.They also protested to protect the self-entity, culture and heritage of their nation. Indian Institute of Engineering, Science and Technology (IIEST) in Howrah inaugurated a new monument on Thursday to pay homage to the Dhaka University students who died fighting for the cause. The monument, which has been built by the students of the architecture department of the 162-year-old institute, is a replica of Shahid Minar in Dhaka. The assistant registrar of the institute, Bibhor Das, had teamed up with a bunch of students to construct the monument on the campus which has been installed next to the academic building. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThe students of the institute constructed the monument using scrap material such as parts of broken furniture, aluminum staircase handrails and wires, commonly found in the garbage dumps of the institute. In a report, registrar of IIEST Biman Bandyopadhyay said the idea was to help the students to develop love for literature in their respective mother tongues. He further said since the students who study engineering, usually spend most of their lives without reading much literature in their mother tongue so it leaves them incomplete in a way. The institute is trying to make the literary culture stronger. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataTo encourage the students to read more literary texts in the vernacular language, the institute has also planned to set up an exclusive library. The library will be installed in the heritage Madhusudhan Bhavan on the campus, which is about to be restored. Commemorating the occasion, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted: “Best wishes to all on International Mother Language Day. Respect all languages but take pride in your mother tongue”.last_img read more

1000 OBC certificates distributed in S Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: Rajib Banerjee, state minister for Backward Classes Welfare Department, along with Chandrima Bhattacharya, minister of state for Health distributed 1000 OBC certificates at Harijan Basti in South Kolkata on Wednesday.”This is a great initiative by our Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, who has thought about the Backward Class people and their future security. These certificates will help the OBC children to get admission in schools and elderly people to get the benefits offered by the state government,” said Chandrima Bhattacharya. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseSK Thade, principal secretary, Backward Classes Welfare Department, said the response of the people was very encouring and more such camps will be held in south Kolkata. A special camp was organised on Tuesday, by district development office of Kolkata, and Backward Classes Welfare Department for distributing certificates and application form to the Scheduled Caste and other Backward Classes of ward number 86, under Kolkata Municipal Corporation. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataAfter coming to power in 2011, Mamata Banerjee had urged the Backward Classes Welfare department to take special initiative to issue caste certificates among the beneficiaries. Earlier, people faced enormous problem to get caste certificates and as a result they could not avail various benefits given by the Centre and state government. Camps are being held throughout Bengal to distribute caste certificates. After receiving the applications, certificates are issued within 15 days after making necessary verification.last_img read more

Get finest jewellery collection for upcoming festive plans

first_imgHeritage jewellery-house Shyam Sundar Co. Jewellers launched their latest showroom located at 131A, Rashbehari Avenue, Kolkata. Following the existing stores across the city, this latest store offers a complete range of Adi-Kriti, Classic Calcutta, Shubh-vivah, Samudra, Butterfly, The Rainbow Collection, Bishnupur Collection and other contemporary sets. Renowned actor Rituparna Sengupta, vocalist Ustad Rashid Khan, Mayor Counsel Debasis Kumar, Swami Purnatmananda, Bakul Saha along with Arpita Saha and Rupak Saha from Shyam Sundar Co. Jewellers were present at the auspicious moment. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfShyam Sundar Co. Jewellers started their journey long back in 1960 at Agartala and have four stores across Tripura. They launched its first store at 125, Rashbehari Avenue, Kolkata in August 2011. Since then, the brand has two more showrooms in Kolkata- Behala, and Barasat respectively. “It’s our endeavour to offer our valued customers more space and making it a shoppers’ paradise. The store is open on all days from morning to night. For Valentine’s day, Shyam Sundar Co. Jewellers have some exciting offers for their customers – assured gold coin with every purchase, special discounts on gold and diamond jewellery making charges, and another attractive gift with every purchase”, Rupak Saha, Director, Shyam Sundar Co. Jewellers, elucidated during the function. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe flagship store would be exhibiting an exclusive collection with a combination of traditional and contemporary designs. The 2,500 sq ft. showroom boasts of its finest collections in Gold, Diamond, Polki, Meenakari and Jadau jewellery. It is an amalgamation of the finest of jewels handcrafted to suit one’s taste and finesse. One can experience the exclusive pieces in gold, diamonds and precious stones in the upcoming festive and wedding season.With elegant interiors, Shyam Sundar Co. Jewellers’ new store is fashionable and individualistic, providing not just value for money but a collection of the finest quality. It’s courteous, warm store staff, and homely ambience completes the ultimate shopping experience.last_img read more