Month: August 2019

Month: August 2019

first_img Citation: Gadgets: Pioneer speaker system rocks out (2010, September 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-09-gadgets-speaker.html 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: pioneerelectronics.com, $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: zomm.com, $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


Month: August 2019

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: www.universetoday.com/77315/tw … 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 https://phys.org/news/2010-11-lunar-discovery-moon.html © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more



Month: August 2019

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 Phys.org. 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 Phys.org. “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 https://phys.org/news/2013-08-mathematical-analysis-gun-policy-tradeoff.html 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 (Phys.org) —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


Month: August 2019

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. (Phys.org) —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 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.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 https://phys.org/news/2013-10-chinese-team-sprite-hangover.htmllast_img read more


Month: August 2019

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 (Phys.org) —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 Phys.org 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 https://phys.org/news/2014-06-week-wrong-fungus-resistant-bacteria.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.last_img read more



Month: August 2019

center_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


Month: August 2019

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


Month: August 2019

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


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