Bowhead whales using the Northwest Passage

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. Citation: Bowhead whales using the Northwest Passage (2011, September 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-bowhead-whales-northwest-passage.html (PhysOrg.com) — According to a new study published in Biology Letters, the climate changes and melting of ice in the Northwest Passage are leading to the mingling of two bowhead whale populations that have been separated by ice for close to 10,000 years. More information: The Northwest Passage opens for bowhead whales, Biology Letters, Published online before print September 21, 2011, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2011.0731AbstractThe loss of Arctic sea ice is predicted to open up the Northwest Passage, shortening shipping routes and facilitating the exchange of marine organisms between the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans. Here, we present the first observations of distribution overlap of bowhead whales (Balaena mysticetus) from the two oceans in the Northwest Passage, demonstrating this route is already connecting whales from two populations that have been assumed to be separated by sea ice. Previous satellite tracking has demonstrated that bowhead whales from West Greenland and Alaska enter the ice-infested channels of the Canadian High Arctic during summer. In August 2010, two bowhead whales from West Greenland and Alaska entered the Northwest Passage from opposite directions and spent approximately 10 days in the same area, documenting overlap between the two populations. Scientists stunned as grey whale sighted off Israel Bowhead Whales (Balaena mysticetus). Image: Wikpedia. The researchers, led by Mads Peter Heide-Jorgensen from the Greenland Institute of Natural Resources, have tagged more than 100 bowheads with satellite tracking systems over the last 10 years. Recent travels into the Northwest Passage confirm previous DNA samples that showed that these two different populations have mingled before.Previously discovered bones found in Nunavut’s High Artic islands show that between 8,500 and 11,000 year ago there was open water in the Passage for the whales to travel between the Atlantic and Pacific, but until recently, this had been restricted by frozen waters.The first evidence of bowhead whales moving into the Northwest Passage occurred in 2002. A 40 foot male bowhead whale from West Greenland traveled 93 degrees W. in the Northwest Passage in the fall months before turning around and heading to the Hudson Straight.The fall of 2006 found another male whale from Alaska traveling east to Banks Island. However, both this whale and the whale from 2002 were unable to travel any farther because of dense ice blocking the passage.In 2010, the passage was nearly ice free by August 10 and the researchers tracked two male whales, one coming from each direction in September. Both of the whales arrived in the Viscount Melville Sound and spent two weeks in the area before crossing paths in the Parry Channel and returning home.The researchers are unclear as to what attracted the whales to this area as it is not known for producing high feeding opportunities. They do note that all the whales they have tracked into the area are males and may indicate that the males are more exploratory than female whales.The declining amount of ice in the Northwest Passage may open up areas that the bowhead whales have not inhabited for many years. The presence of bowhead whales are not the only whales that have been seen in the Northwest Passage in recent years. Belugas and narwhals have also been spotted. Explore further © 2011 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Willow Garage spinoff debuts robot ripe for picking

first_imgUBR-1 Citation: Willow Garage spinoff debuts robot ripe for picking (2013, October 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-willow-garage-spinoff-debuts-robot.html © 2013 Phys.org Robots learn how to arrange objects by ‘hallucinating’ humans into their environment (w/ video) 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.center_img More information: spectrum.ieee.org/automaton/ro … ll-change-everythingspectrum.ieee.org/automaton/ro … nipulation-with-ubr1unboundedrobotics.com/blog/ UBR-1 will be demonstrated at RoboBusiness 2013 in Santa Clara, California, later this week. As the title suggests, RoboBusiness is a business development event for the global robotics industry, and it runs from October 23 to 25. Oh yes, and the price. The UBR-1 will cost $35,000, which is a “selling” point that is not minimized by its creators. The newcomer, priced at a tenth of the cost of some other expensive robots, could possibly motivate businesses and labs that did not consider the use of robotics as helpers to take interest. “You’re now transforming a community that so far has had a hard time growing due to the sheer cost of the platform,” said company CEO Melonee Wise in an interview with the IEEE Spectrum.UBR-1 is three feet, two inches tall, has a seven degrees of freedom arm and pincer grip. The robot navigates with a laser scanner in its base. Its eyes are 3D sensors, developed by PrimeSense, for perception. The UBR-1 has a continuous run time of three to five hours and an idle run time of over 10 hours. Charge time is posted on the company site as 3.5 hours to 90 percent charge.The robot comes pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux LTS and ROS, and with applications such as MoveIt!, navigation, calibration, and joystick teleoperation. Wise, in the interview, also called attention to the benefit of the robot with MoveIt! in place, for realtime pick-and-place. For those doing vision research, for example, “they don’t want to know about robot arms; once they tell the robot where the object is, they just want the robot to pick it up.” Another core feature is that the robot can move around on a circular base with hidden wheels, anywhere in the building where wheelchairs can go. UBR-1 also has a smaller footprint, suitable for factory or store environments with limited space.Unbounded Robotics, formed in January this year, is a Willow Garage spinoff. Above all, the company engineers emphasize that the robot is not so much a product but a platform. The designers including Wise wanted this robot to be customizable. The gripper, for example, was created to be as modular as possible so that any customer wanting more fingers or suction cups or other features could fashion the gripper to their own requirements. Also, the customer can attach new sensors. Unbounded Robotics plans to start shipping the robots in summer 2014. (Phys.org) —A mobile robot a little over three feet with one arm that can move around the building and watch where it’s going made its debut on Sunday with capabilities and a pricetag that could eventually earn the robot a place alongside humans in the workplace. The robot is called the UBR-1, suitable for manual labor tasks such as picking and stocking shelves. Created by a young startup called Unbounded Robotics, the robot carries a formal description as a “state of the art ROS based mobile manipulation platform designed for robotics researchers and business.” The ROS refers to the open source Robot Operating System that is the robot’s framework. The big deal about the debut is that this is a robot small enough, with a small enough footprint, to take its place more easily than big robots on factory floors, in service environments and in research labs.last_img read more

Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells

first_img The achievement by the team is actually a replication of work done by another team just last year—in that effort the team did the same thing but used donor cells from infants. In this new experiment, two men aged 35 and 75 donated skin cells. Technically called somatic-cell nuclear transfer aka “therapeutic cloning” the process is similar to that used to clone Dolly the sheep back in 1997. Since that time, researchers have run into a myriad of obstacles in achieving the same results in humans, though it should be noted that there is a major difference in objective—with humans, the aim is to clone stem cells so that they can be used to treat diseases, not reproduce whole human beings.To clone the stem cells, the researchers used unfertilized eggs donated by several unidentified women. After removing the DNA material inside the egg, new DNA material extracted from the skin cells of the male donors was injected inside and the resulting filled egg was exposed to a small dose of electricity to cause fusing—the egg was then allowed to “rest” for two hours. Afterwards each egg reprogrammed itself and grew into a blastocyst which eventually grew into a pluripotent stem cell that genetically matched the skin donor. Theoretically such stem cells could then be engineered to grow into various cells, e.g. heart, lung, liver, for transplant into a patient. Funding for the research was provided by an unnamed foundation and the Korean Government—the experiments were conducted in a lab in California. The researchers point out that the process cannot be used to create a whole human being.The team notes that despite their success, there is still a lot of work to do before cloned stem cells become a viable option for treating medical problems in people. They note that out of 77 eggs donated and used in the experiments, only two led to successful cloning—one from each of the male donors. Their experiments do prove however, they add, that successful cloning of human stem cells is possible with donors of any age. © 2014 Phys.org (Phys.org) —An international team of researchers, led by Robert Lanza, of Advanced Cell Technology, has announced that they have performed the first successful cloning of adult human skin cells into stem cells. A paper by the team describing their work has been published in the journal Cell Stem Cell. 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. Credit: Cell Stem Cell, DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2014.03.015 More information: Human Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Using Adult Cells, Cell Stem Cell, dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.stem.2014.03.015SummaryDerivation of patient-specific human pluripotent stem cells via somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) has the potential for applications in a range of therapeutic contexts. However, successful SCNT with human cells has proved challenging to achieve, and thus far has only been reported with fetal or infant somatic cells. In this study, we describe the application of a recently developed methodology for the generation of human ESCs via SCNT using dermal fibroblasts from 35- and 75-year-old males. Our study therefore demonstrates the applicability of SCNT for adult human cells and supports further investigation of SCNT as a strategy for regenerative medicine.center_img Explore further Researchers discover ancient virus DNA remnants necessary for pluripotency in humans Citation: Researchers successfully clone adult human stem cells (2014, April 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-successfully-clone-adult-human-stem.html Journal information: Cell Stem Celllast_img read more

Geoscientists insist weather forecasting is more accurate than ever and could get

first_img © 2019 Science X Network A trio of geoscientists with Pennsylvania State University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has published an an update in the journal Science on the state of weather forecasting. In their paper, Richard Alley, Kerry Emanuel and Fuqing Zhang report statistics demonstrating the increased accuracy of weather forecasting, and their views on where the field is headed. Journal information: Science More information: Richard B. Alley et al. Advances in weather prediction, Science (2019). DOI: 10.1126/science.aav7274 Credit: George Hodan/public domain Citation: Geoscientists insist weather forecasting is more accurate than ever and could get even better (2019, January 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-geoscientists-insist-weather-accurate.htmlcenter_img Explore further Why the weather forecast will always be a bit wrong 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. Most people have a love-hate relationship with their local weather forecaster—when they are right, we carry on as best we can given conditions outside. But when they are wrong, we cast aspirations on their character and wonder why we listen to them at all. But weather forecasters have become more accurate, the authors claim, noting that today, a five-day forecast is as accurate as a one-day forecast was as recently as 1980. And a 72-hour hurricane warning today is more accurate than a 24-hour warning was 40 years ago. It is also far more accessible. Not very long ago, we had to wait for the morning paper or the evening news to get our report, but now we can fire up a phone app and get not just a forecast, but up-to-the-minute radar images of moving storms.The researchers point out the improvements are mostly due to technology. They note that the same basic tools are used for forecasting, but improvements to those tools have made results far more impressive. Foremost among them are improvements in computer hardware and software. They also point out that forecasting is more than just predicting rain or snow, it also includes things like hints on which way forest fires will move, how much ice will melt in the Arctic, or how much the sea will rise, leading to flooding in the future. It is also playing an increasingly larger role in helping people plan renewable energy projects.Looking to the future, the authors offer a generally sunny forecast. As computers and weather models improve, so will the forecasts they offer. But they also note there is a catch—weather forecasting costs more than it used to, so it is important that investments by both government and private entities continue or even increase. Also, important is data sharing between entities, particularly between different countries. Accurate data, they note, will only benefit everyone.last_img read more

NDLI now available with around 2 crore ebooks

first_imgKolkata: The Union Human Resource Development Minister, Prakash Javadekar on Tuesday inaugurated National Digital Library of India (NDLI) with 2 crore e-books, available online at the click of a mouse, in New Delhi. The project is spearheaded by IIT Kharagpur.NDLI is a project of the Ministry of Human Resource Development under the aegis of National Mission on Education through Information and Communication Technology (NMEICT).The objective of NDLI is to make digital educational resources available to the citizens of the country to empower, inspire and encourage learning. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flights”NDLI has been dedicated to the Nation by Government of India. It is a proud moment for IITKGP and MHRD teams,” IIT KGP director Partha Pratim Chakrabarti wrote on his Facebook page.NDLI is the single window platform that collects and collates metadata from premier learning institutions in India and abroad, as well as other relevant sources.It is a digital repository containing textbooks, articles, videos, audio books, lectures, simulations, fiction and all other kinds of Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedlearning media.According to sources, NDLI makes quality learning resources available to all learners and has 1.7 crore content from more than 160 sources, in over 200 languages, 30 lakh users are registered on NDLI as on date and the target is to increase the users 10 times in a year.NDLI is also available on the Mobile app. The mobile app is enabling access to rich digital content of libraries across the country and even foreign repositories to users even in theremotest of areas.The App, which has been downloaded over 6.70 lakh times, is currently available for both iPhone and Android users. Users can search for content using various parameters like subject matter, source, content type and more. The App is available in three languages – English, Hindi and Bengali.last_img read more

Childrens Play

first_imgTo showcase the work of different theatre groups working with and for children.The festival will be organised in the national Capital from November 14 to 25, and for the first time will see international participation. The festival is a reputed theatre experience focusing on the children, representing various regions and languages from across the country and beyond. The National School of Drama campus will be turned into an exciting kid’s mela for this 12-day theatre carnival, as thousands of kids are expected to be a part of the festival.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfTwenty productions from India and seven productions for abroad, like Sri Lanka (English and Sinhala), Pakistan (Urdu), Turkey (Gibberish), Israel (Non Verbal), France (Non Verbal) and Switzerland (English) will feature with around 500 artistes participating in the festival. The 20 productions selected out of 149 entries comprise of plays from Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Delhi, West Bengal, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, Assam, Manipur and Tripura. The language of the plays will be Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, English, Assamese, Malayalam and Non-verbal.  Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe inaugural ceremony for the festival will be held on November 14 at the NSD campus at 5:30PM. Five professional groups from Rajasthan, Punjab, Gujarat and Delhi and schools based in Delhi-NCR, under the direction of Dr Laique Hussain will perform Bal Vrind- a musical dance to kickstart the gala event. In the inaugural ceremony NK Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Govt of India will be the Chief Guest, Manoj Joshi, eminent film and theatre personality will be the special guest while Mukesh Tiwary, eminent film and theatre personality will be the guest of honour. Irrfan Khan, alumnus of NSD, eminent film and theatre personality will be present at the culmination ceremony.   Waman Kendre, Director, National School of Drama said, “Children’s theatre is the most important aspect of theatre expression. Through ‘Jashne Bachpan’ we are trying to build the foundation of theatre from the grassroots and inculcate interest about theatre amongst the children from their childhood.  Children from various cultural and demographic backgrounds will get a chance to interact and exchange their ideas. In the process, they will make friends from across the world.This is a testing ground for world children theatre because if we succeed in generating interest towards theatre among the kids, this will be an opening door for them for future theatre expression.”The festival comprises of three distinct categories – performance by children, performance by children and adults and performance by adults. Underprivileged children from various NGOs will be invited to come and enjoy the theatre festival. The idea is to bring those children to the mainstream and inculcate enthusiasm for art and culture along with entertainment at a global platform like ‘Jashne Bachpan’.last_img read more

AAI celebrates 23rd Annual Day with a cultural extravaganza

first_imgAirports Authority of India (AAI), the mainstay of Civil Aviation in the country, celebrated its 23rd Annual Day on April 1, at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi with a cultural extravaganza – ‘Horizon.’ Jayant Sinha, Union Minister of State for Civil Aviation was the Chief Guest of the event.The colourful evening of music and celebration started with the felicitation of AAI airports that made a mark in ACI-ASQ and CSI awards respectively. While the Airport Directors of Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Indore, and Pune were felicitated for their respective airports making it under various categories of the coveted list of ACI-ASQ Awards 2017, APDs of AAI’s Raipur, Udaipur and Dehradun were felicitated for their respective airports achieving first, second and third ranks in the Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) Survey. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfApart from various airports, Subhash Kumar, General Manager (Fire), the recipient of President’s Medal for Fire Safety was also felicitated. While addressing the audience, Jayant Sinha congratulated AAI family and acknowledged the significant role it plays in the growth of the civil aviation sector in India. He applauded significant strides that AAI made in the last year in terms of financial performance and also commended its CSR initiatives in serving the society. This was followed by an exciting cultural evening.last_img read more

EC set to introduce health kits in polling booths

first_imgKolkata: In a unique move, the Election Commission is all set to introduce health kits at the polling booths in the state on election days.The health kits will contain all the essential medicines and other medical items. The office of the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) had urged the Election Commission of India (ECI) in Delhi, seeking permission for the same. The ECI has given an approval in this regard and hence all the polling booths will have health kits. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataA senior official of the CEO’s office has officially unveiled the health kit, which will eventually be delivered to all the polling booths across the state. If the voters or any polling personnel need any medical intervention, the kits would come handy. Meanwhile, it may be mentioned that the Income Tax department has confiscated a huge amount of money from the state. The matter was reported to the Election Commission. The I-T department is now conducting a probe to ascertain if the money was supposed to be used in the election process. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateThe commission has taken a stand on fair and clean polling in view of the Lok Sabha elections. A couple of days ago, the EC had confiscated more than Rs 54 lakh from four people in Alipurduar. Apart from I-T, various other election machineries like state police and flying squads are constantly on the lookout and also conducting raids at various places across the state. The commission has also recently recovered more than 59 weapons, ammunition and 6,757 kg of ammonium nitrate and 2,676 kilogram of gelatine stick powder from different districts of the state. Around 3,782 litres of liquor was also recovered.last_img read more

Petfree upbringing raises mental illness risk

first_imgChildren raised without pets in an urban setting are more vulnerable to mental illness than those raised in a rural environment, surrounded by animals and bacteria-laden dust, says a new study. Kids raised in rural settings may grow up to have more stress-resilient immune systems and might be at lower risk of mental illness, according to the study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS).The study adds to mounting evidence supporting the “hygiene hypothesis,” which posits that overly sterile environments can lead to health problems. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe research also suggests that raising kids around pets might be good for mental health.”It has already been very well documented that exposure to pets and rural environments during development is beneficial in terms of reducing risk of asthma and allergies later in life,” said study co-author, Christopher Lowry, Professor at the University of Colorado Boulder in the US. “This study moves the conversation forward by showing for the first time in humans that these same exposures are likely to be important for mental health,” Lowry added. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFor the study, led by Professor Stefan Reber of the University of Ulm in Germany, the scientists recruited a small group of healthy German men between ages 20 and 40. Half had grown up on a farm with farm animals. Half had grown up in a large city without pets.On test day, all were asked to give a speech in front of a group of stone-faced observers and then asked to solve a difficult math problem while being timed.Blood and saliva were taken five minutes before and five, 15, 60, 90 and 120 minutes after the test. “People who grew up in an urban environment had a much-exaggerated induction of the inflammatory immune response to the stressor, and it persisted throughout the two-hour period,” Lowry said.Previous studies have shown that those with an exaggerated inflammatory response are more likely to develop depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) later in life.Research has also shown that our immunoregulatory response to stress develops in early life and is shaped largely by our microbial environment.More than 50 per cent of the world’s population now lives in urban areas, meaning humans are exposed to far fewer micro-organisms than they evolved with, the authors noted.”If you are not exposed to these types of organisms, then your immune system doesn’t develop a balance between inflammatory and anti-inflammatory forces, and you can develop a chronic, low-grade inflammation and exaggerated immune reactivity that makes you vulnerable to allergy, autoimmune disease and, we propose, psychiatric disorders,” Lowry said.last_img read more

Bengal Chamber collaborates with IAICC to promote SMEs

first_imgKolkata: A MoU was signed between the Bengal Chamber and the Indian American International Chamber of Commerce (IAICC) to provide business advisory services to small and medium enterprises of India and USA.The collaboration aims to facilitate B2B links between American businesses and their Indian counterparts of East and north-east. Subhodip Ghosh, director general, the Bengal Chamber, Ambarish Dasgupta, founder and senior partner, Intueri Consulting LLP, A Mukherjee, senior vice-president, The Bengal Chamber, Patricia Hoffman, Consul General of The United States of America in Kolkata, K V Kumar, chairman and CEO of IAICC and other delegates were present during the MoU signing. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata”The Bengal Chamber has always been at the forefront to provide platforms for business links irrespective of geographical boundaries and Kumar has served in Trump campaign’s Asian American and Pacific Islander Advisory Council. Being an authority on government relations, alliance building, crisis management and his long association with the World Bank, his visit would be integral for forging business developments between America and India. We have signed an MoU with IAICC to create a joint council to offer services to stake holders in form of B2B links and advisory services for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Whenever, a delegation would come from the US, Kolkata would be a stopover,” said Subhodip Ghosh, director general, The Bengal Chamber. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateKV Kumar said: “The IAICC is seeking to open offices in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Dubai, Hong Kong and 30 chapters in the US itself. We are looking forward to creative and innovative ways of doing business. There are about 600,000 Indian-American businesses in the US. West Bengal being strategically placed is ideal to act as a gateway to accessing markets in the ASEAN countries. At present, we are working in four states in India where each state has made a Chamber of Commerce a platform to create business links. We are putting up an innovative challenge — a new platform for doing business, which is part virtual and part real, where businesses are initiated through virtual media between traders, buyers, sellers establishing B2B links that later involves personal meet ups and visits to check products or services. We are going to invite Amit Mitra, West Bengal state minister of Finance and IT, and Electronics, Industry, Commerce, Enterprise and E-governance and MSME to USA on August 30 to attend a business forum where the innovative ideas would be introduced.” The IAICC works with entrepreneurs, professionals, businesses and governments to develop entrepreneurship and commerce through mentor-protégé programmes, training, seminars and networking opportunities.last_img read more