Rightleft handedness of snails changed in the lab

first_img Snail shell spirals are often used as examples of chirality. The direction of the spiral is important because the sexual organs are twisted, which makes it difficult for snails to mate unless their handedness matches. Chirality is inherited from the mother and is therefore predictable. The study found snails that were genetically programmed to have right-handed spirals could be induced to have left spirals, and vice-versa.The research team, led by Dr Reiko Kuroda of the University of Tokyo, used tiny glass rods to physically invert the direction of four of the eight cells in over 100 embryos of the giant pond snail Lymnaea Stagnalis. When the snails matured to adulthood, around 78% had the opposite handedness, and the shell spiraled in the opposite direction to that expected. The snails were otherwise normal, fertile and healthy.The nodal signaling pathway was also affected, with the expression patterns of the nodal gene that control it being reversed. The nodal signaling pathway is the system that determines handedness and laterality in embryos in many species. The specific gene that determines chirality has not yet been identified.The study found the altered handedness was not inherited by subsequent generations of snails, which shows the genetic programming passed on to offspring takes precedence over the effects of the manual manipulations. Dr Kuroda said the same effects were not found in two or four cell stages. She said that pinpointing the stage of onset of handedness at the eight cell stage may help in studies of chirality in more complex organisms.Stuart Newman of the New York Medical College said the discovery that changes to cells at an early stage can make large changes to the body may have implications in evolutionary studies, since evolution can proceed in large jumps as well as in tiny increments.The report was published in the online edition of Nature on 25 November.More information: Chiral blastomere arrangement dictates zygotic left-right asymmetry pathway in snails, Nature advance online publication 25 November 2009, doi:10.1038/nature08597© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Like most animals, snails have either left- or right-handed asymmetry (chirality), both internally and externally, and the handedness is hereditary. A new study has for the first time found that handedness, as seen in the direction of a snail shell spiral, can be reversed by manual manipulation of eight cell stage embryos, which is much earlier than previously thought. Snails and humans use same genes to tell right from left Lymnaea stagnalis. Image: Wikimedia Commons Citation: Right/left handedness of snails changed in the lab (2009, November 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-11-rightleft-handedness-snails-lab.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

Scientists discover first multicellular life that doesnt need oxygen

first_imgLight microscopy image of the undescribed species of Spinoloricus, stained with Rose Bengal. The scale bar is 50 micrometers. Image credit: Danovaro, et al. “The results reported here support the hypothesis that the loriciferans inhabiting the anoxic sediments of the L’Atalante basin have developed an obligate anaerobic metabolism and specific adaptations to live without oxygen,” the researchers conclude. “Although the evolutionary/adaptative mechanisms leading to the colonization of such extreme environments by these metazoans remain an enigma, this discovery opens new perspectives for the study of metazoan life in habitats lacking molecular oxygen.”The work is financially supported by the EU within the framework of the HERMES (Hot Spot Ecosystem Research on the Margins of European Seas) and HERMIONE (Hotspot Ecosystem Research and Man’s Impact On European Seas) projects. More information: Roberto Danovaro, et al. “The first metazoa living in permanently anoxic conditions.” BMC Biology 2010, 8:30 doi:10.1186/1741-7007-8-30 Because previous studies have reported the presence of cadaverous metazoans that had sunk to anoxic deep-sea sediments in the Black Sea, the researchers here stained the newly collected specimens with Rose Bengal, a protein binding stain that colors living organisms with a much greater intensity than deceased organisms, demonstrating that the new species were indeed alive. In addition, the scientists observed specimens of the undescribed species of both genera Spinoloricus and Rugiloricus that had a large oocyte in their ovary, which showed a nucleus containing a nucleolus, providing evidence of reproduction. The discovery of the new species, which live buried in sediment under the Mediterranean seafloor, is significant in that it marks the first observation of multicellular organisms, or metazoans, that spend their entire lifecycle under permanently anoxic conditions. A few metazoans have been known to tolerate anoxic conditions, but only for limited periods of time.The team of Italian and Danish researchers, Roberto Danovaro, et al., that discovered the new life forms has identified the creatures as belonging to the animal phylum Loricifera, the most recently described animal phylum. Loriciferans, which have a length of less than one millimeter, typically live in sediment. The three new organisms belong to different genera (Spinoloricus, Rugiloricus, and Pliciloricus), although their species have not yet been named. Despite belonging to previously known taxonomic groups, the new species possess some radical differences compared with other metazoans. Most significantly, the new species do not have mitochondria, the cellular organelles that use oxygen and sugar to generate the cell’s energy. Instead, the new loriciferans have organelles that resemble hydrogenosomes, which are used by some single-celled eukaryotes to generate energy without oxygen. However, this is the first time that these organelles have been observed in multicellular organisms. Previous research has indicated that hydrogenosomes may have evolved from mitochondria, while other research suggests they evolved independently.To find the new species, the researchers carried out three oceanographic expeditions from 1998 to 2008 to search for life in the extreme environments located more than 3,000 meters (about two miles) under the Mediterranean Sea. The researchers focused on an area called the L’Atalante basin, which is located off the southern coast of Greece. As the scientists explain, this type of “deep hypersaline anoxic basin” was created by the flooding of mineral sediments from 5.5 million years ago. For the past 50,000 years, the basin has possessed a dense hypersaline brine layer up to 60 meters thick. The brine serves as a physical barrier that prohibits oxygen exchange between the water and sediment, making the basin completely oxygen-free. In addition, the basin is rich in methane and hydrogen sulphide, and is also home to a diverse assembly of prokaryotes that have adapted to these conditions. LM image of the undescribed species of Spinoloricus stained with Rose Bengal showing the presence of an oocyte. Image credit: Roberto Danovaro. Citation: Scientists discover first multicellular life that doesn’t need oxygen (2010, April 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-04-scientists-multicellular-life-doesnt-oxygen.htmlcenter_img Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Oxygen may not be the staple of modern complex life that scientists once thought. Until now, the only life forms known to live exclusively in anoxic conditions were viruses, bacteria and Archaea. But in a new study, scientists have discovered three new multicellular marine species that appear to have never lived in aerobic conditions, and never metabolized oxygen. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Researchers discover new microbial life in the Mediterranean 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

US Air Force connects 1760 PlayStation 3s to build supercomputer

first_img © 2010 Phys.org More information: via: Gamasutra and The Plain Dealer Explore further (Phys.org)—About the 33rd largest supercomputer in the world right now is the US Air Force Research Laboratory’s (AFRL) newest system, which has a core made of 1,760 Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3) consoles. In addition to its large capacity, the so-called “Condor Cluster” is capable of performing 500 trillion floating point operations per second (TFLOPS), making it the fastest interactive computer in the entire US Defense Department. The Condor Cluster consists of 1,760 Sony PlayStation 3’s, and is the US Department of Defense’s fastest interactive computer. Image credit: US Department of Defense. IBM To Build Supercomputer For U.S. Government Citation: US Air Force connects 1,760 PlayStation 3’s to build supercomputer (2010, December 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-12-air-playstation-3s-supercomputer.html The supercomputer, which is located in Rome, New York, was formally presented yesterday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony. It will be used by Air Force centers across the country for tasks such as radar enhancement, pattern recognition, satellite imagery processing, and artificial intelligence research. Its speed allows it to analyze ultra-high-resolution images very quickly – at a rate of billions of pixels per minute – to greatly reduce the amount of time required. Due in part to the video game consoles’ cutting-edge graphics capabilities, the supercomputer also has improved algorithms that can better identify blurred flying objects in space than previous computers could. The Condor Cluster project began four years ago, when PlayStation consoles cost about $400 each. At the same time, comparable technology would have cost about $10,000 per unit. Overall, the PS3s for the supercomputer’s core cost about $2 million. According to AFRL Director of High Power Computing Mark Barnell, that cost is about 5-10% of the cost of an equivalent system built with off-the-shelf computer parts.Another advantage of the PS3-based supercomputer is its energy efficiency: it consumes just 10% of the power of comparable supercomputers. In addition to the PS3s, the supercomputer also includes 168 separate graphical processing units and 84 coordinating servers to direct traffic within the system. The PS3s are the older, larger variety, since the newer slim models don’t allow for the installation of Linux. 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

New fundamental limitation restricts position accuracy of quantum objects

first_img Explore further Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Quantum no-hiding theorem experimentally confirmed for first time 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. This expectation has been confirmed and made precise by the Wigner-Araki-Yanase (WAY) theorem, which was developed in the early 1960s. In a new study, researchers have extended this theorem by showing that the conservation of the total momentum of a quantum object and measuring apparatus places a fundamental limit on how accurately the object’s position can be measured.Professor Paul Busch and Ph.D. student Leon Loveridge, mathematical physicists at the University of York, UK, have published their study on this previously unknown fundamental limitation in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.The scope of the original WAY theorem was limited in that its proof only applied to a restricted class of physical variables and conserved quantities. Ever since the discovery of the theorem, researchers have wondered whether it might extend to the important case of the position of a quantum particle. In 1991, Japanese physicist Masanao Ozawa, then at Harvard University, developed a model which seemed to suggest that the position can be measured with arbitrary accuracy and repeatability using an interaction that leaves the total momentum of the quantum object and apparatus conserved.In the new study, Busch and Loveridge have analyzed Ozawa’s model and found that, contrary to Ozawa’s conclusion, momentum conservation does in fact limit the accuracy and repeatability of position measurements: they have shown that good accuracy and repeatability of a position measurement can only be achieved by using a sufficiently large apparatus. The researchers also developed an alternative model that identifies a particular condition underlying the WAY theorem: the so-called Yanase condition, which stipulates the compatibility of the indicator variable of the apparatus with the conserved quantity. This alternative model shows that, if it were allowed to disregard and violate the Yanase condition, position measurements could be done with arbitrary accuracy, even with a small apparatus. However, if one tries to exploit this escape route from the WAY theorem, one is only faced by the puzzling prospect of the same limitation reappearing for the apparatus indicator variable.“This is perhaps surprising for a number of reasons,” Loveridge told PhysOrg.com. “Firstly, it is exponentially more accurate than an old model of von Neumann which did not obey the conservation of momentum – one might have thought that by including the conservation law things should get worse. Secondly, in the discrete and bounded case one has to give up repeatability and the Yanase condition for accurate measurements with no size constraint. In this model, we can still have arbitrarily good accuracy and repeatability, without any constraint on the size.”As Busch and Loveridge explain, understanding these kinds of quantum limitations on measurements is important for developing a more complete description of physical reality. In addition to being of theoretical interest, such limitations must also be taken into account in the engineering of single quantum objects.“On a fundamental level, it is important to understand any physical theory as thoroughly as possible, and in turn to understand how nature behaves or at least manifests itself through observation,” Busch said. “Some would say that this is the primary goal of scientific investigation. On a more practical level, as discussed in our paper, there are potential ramifications for the processing of (quantum) information in which the information is encoded in a continuous variable.”center_img (PhysOrg.com) — Although the uncertainty principle is probably the most well-known example of a fundamental limitation of measurement precision in quantum mechanics, it is not the only one. In fact, every physical system is characterized by a number of variables that do not change their values as the system evolves over time; such variables are called conserved quantities and they are said to obey a conservation law. The fact that some quantities cannot change their values suggests that there might be restrictions on the possible ways in which a measurement device can interact with a quantum object and extract information from it. Citation: New fundamental limitation restricts position accuracy of quantum objects (2011, March 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-03-fundamental-limitation-restricts-position-accuracy.html More information: Paul Busch and Leon Loveridge. “Position Measurements Obeying Momentum Conservation.” Physical Review Letters 106, 110406 (2011). DOI:10.1103/PhysRevLett.106.110406last_img read more

Japanese company builds 96inch 4K x 2K LCD panel

first_img Explore further Citation: Japanese company builds 9.6-inch 4K x 2K LCD panel (2012, October 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-japanese-company-inch-4k-2k.html © 2012 Phys.org The current high-definition standard for television, known as HDTV, is based on a 2K resolution and has saturated the market to the extent that new higher-resolution standards have been proposed. Currently, the leading contenders are 4K and 8K, both proposed by NHK Science & Technology Research Laboratories as defined by the International Telecommunication Union. Thus far, devices built with such technology are still in the research and development phase. However, the 8K version has been approved by the UN’s communication standards setting agency, which paved the way for NHK to showcase examples of broadcast television based on this technology at the recent summer Olympic Games.More recently, Sony began selling an 84-inch television that adheres to the 4K standard. Larger television sets show the most improvements over HDTV when implementing the new standard, as more pixels result in a sharper image when viewed from a distance. More pixels on a small screen, on the other hand, have been described as unnecessary due to the human eye’s inability to discern the difference in size of the ultra-small pixels. In its announcement describing the new ultra-high-definition panel, Ortus says the focus will be on selling the new screen to developers who require high resolution in a small device, such as those used for video editing, medical equipment, or broadcasting monitors.To build this small panel with such a large number of pixels, Ortus says it used special liquid crystal alignment technology based on the HAST [Hyper Amorphous Silicon TFT (Thin Film Transistor)] standard in its microfabrication process: a technology the company developed itself. In addition to its high resolution, the company says the panel has a 160 horizontal-and-vertical degree viewing angle.The new panel is to be on display at the electronica 2012 trade fair being held in Munich next month. The worlds smallest 3D HD display (Phys.org)—Japanese firm Ortus Technology Co., Ltd. has revealed its development of what the company is calling the world’s smallest LCD display panel that meets the 4K standard. At just 9.6 inches with a resolution of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, the new display will be small enough for use in handheld devices. 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

Japanese mobile provider develops exercise breathalyzer device to test for fat burning

first_img © 2013 Phys.org Credit: Yuki Yamada Citation: Japanese mobile provider develops exercise breathalyzer device to test for fat burning (2013, August 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-japanese-mobile-breathalyzer-device-fat.html Journal information: Journal of Breath Research Pocket-sized sensor gives instant fat burning updates More information: A prototype portable breath acetone analyzer for monitoring fat loss, Tsuguyoshi Toyooka et al 2013 J. Breath Res. 7 036005 DOI: 10.1088/1752-7155/7/3/036005AbstractAcetone contained in our exhaled breath is a metabolic product of the breakdown of body fat and is expected to be a good indicator of fat-burning. Typically, gas chromatography or mass spectrometry are used to measure low-concentration compounds in breath but such large instruments are not suitable for daily use by diet-conscious people. Here, we prototype a portable breath acetone analyzer that has two types of semiconductor-based gas sensors with different sensitivity characteristics, enabling the acetone concentration to be calculated while taking into account the presence of ethanol, hydrogen, and humidity. To investigate the accuracy of our prototype and its application in diet support, experiments were conducted on healthy adult volunteers. Breath acetone concentrations obtained from our prototype and from gas chromatography showed a strong correlation throughout the experiments. Moreover, body fat in subjects with a controlled caloric intake and taking exercise decreased significantly, whereas breath acetone concentrations in those subjects increased significantly. These results prove that our prototype is practical and useful for self-monitoring of fat-burning at home or outside. Our prototype will help to prevent and alleviate obesity and diabetes.via MIT Tech Reviewcenter_img Research has shown that one of the difficulties people encounter when attempting to lose weight is the lack of real-time feedback. Weight loss effort results don’t typically show up for days, or even weeks, leaving those dieting and/or exercising in limbo, wondering if what they are doing is the right approach. To address such concerns, researchers with Docomo have been studying ways to provide dieters with more immediate feedback. One way they’ve found, is by measuring the amount of acetone in the breath.When fat is burned in the body, one of the end products is acetone—it winds up in the blood which makes its way to the lungs and is expelled when a person breathes out. Up till now, measuring how much acetone is in the breath required expensive and bulky lab equipment. Docomo appears to have solved both problems—its device is roughly the same size as a smartphone. A user places a tube in the mouth and blows—the device measures the amount of acetone in the breath and displays a Fat Burning graphic on a smartphone screen along with an encouraging message.Before announcing the product, Docomo conducted research where overweight volunteers were enlisted to discern how well the device worked. Some volunteers were asked to perform a small amount of exercise over a period of days, another group was asked to both exercise and reduce their caloric intake. A control group that neither reduced calories nor exercised was also included. The researchers found that the breathalyzer performed nearly as accurately as a standard chromatograph at measuring acetone levels. During the course of the research, the volunteers were also monitored for changes in body weight—those that exercised or exercised and ate less lost weight—those in the control group did not, of course.The breathalyzer is one of a growing list of medical devices designed to work with smart phones, indicating a growing trend towards using such devices for serious applications, rather than for entertainment. Explore further (Phys.org) —NTT Docomo, Japan’s largest mobile-phone provider has developed a new smart phone peripheral that lets a person know if they are burning fat by analyzing their breath. To emphasize that the device is not a gimmick, researchers with the company conducted experiments testing how well the device worked compared with high-grade lab equipment. They have had the results of their study published in Journal of Breath Research. 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

Going down South

first_imgCarnatic music is part of an unbroken tradition of classical music in Tamil Nadu.  In order to revive its legacy, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts and Shanmukhananda Sangeetha Sabha are up with Chithirai Music And Dance Festival. The three-day festival aims to showcase a wide range of dance performances and vocals in Tamil by traditional and contemporary composers.S Sowmya, Kunnakkudi Balamurali Krishna and Priya Venkataraman will be dedicating the festival to other Tamil composers.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Sowmya will be dedicating her performance to M M Dandapani Desikar, S Ramanathan Koteeswara Iyer, Arunachala Kavi, Ambujam Krishna, Periasami Thooran, Thevaram and Tiruppavai.Krishna  will be presenting his vocals dedicated to T M Thiagarajan, Madurai T.Srinivasan, Papanasam Sivan, Nilakanta Sivan, Gopalakrishna Bharath, Kulasekara Alwar, Arunagirinathar and Ramalinga Vallalar.Venkataraman, known for her adherence to the classical style of traditional Bharatanatyam will be dedicating her performance to Thirunyana Sambandar, Tanjore Quartette,Subramanya Bharathi, Madurai Kavi, C.Rajagopalachari and Madurai T.Srinivasan.When: 18-20 AprilWhere:  IGNCA Auditorium, CV Mess Janpathlast_img read more

GTA to allot land right papers to forest villagers

first_imgDarjeeling: The Gorkhaland Territorial Administration (GTA) has initiated the process for allotting land right documents (patta) to forest villagers residing in the GTA area. “In the first phase, we will hand over land documents to 168 forest villagers in Darjeeling and Kalimpong district” stated Binay Tamang, Chairman, Board of Administrators, GTA.Tamang was addressing media persons after a meeting between the GTA and state government officials at Lal Kothi, the GTA Secretariat in Darjeeling on Friday. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe meeting was attended by district administration including the District Magistrates of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, Land and land Reforms officials; Forest Department and GTA officials. “The meeting discussed in depth the process of handing over land right documents to forest villagers,” stated Tamang.Incidentally, Forest Rights Act came into force in the country in 2006. Despite being implemented in different districts of the State, it is yet to be implemented in the GTA area. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”This is owing to the fact that the Panchayat system has been nearly defunct since 2005 owing to some constitutional complications. However, the GTA will be implementing the Forest Rights Act and handing over land right documents to forest villagers, which is the first step in this direction,” added Tamang.The district administration will soon hold meetings with forest villagers. “The forest villagers will be sensitised on how to apply for the land documents along with the documents they need to submit with their applications. They have to apply within three months,” stated Tamang.last_img read more

Drones to detect mosquito larvae on roofs of highrises

first_imgKolkata: The state Urban Development and Municipal Affairs department is mulling to use drones for detecting mosquito larvae particularly at roofs of high-rise buildings in the urban local bodies. A preliminary demonstration about the effectiveness of using the technology was undertaken at Ward 82 in South Kolkata on Friday afternoon. State Municipal Affairs minister Firhad Hakim and the department’s Principal Secretary Subrata Gupta was present at the time of the exercise. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe drone was used to capture footages of roofs of some high-rises to find out whether any garbage or water accumulation is there. “We were satisfied with the footage captured by the drone and suggested certain improvement in the software so that it can serve our purpose. The private company that has developed the technology made a note of the same and will accordingly work for the same,” a senior official of the Municipal Affairs department said. It may be mentioned that the state government has a database of all the high-rise buildings in the city and its urban areas in the state in terms of their holding numbers. “Our plan is to capture the footage and then connect it with our Geographic Information System (GIS) which will track the problematic building as per its holding number. As soon as we locate the building, we will slap a notice to it for taking up cleanliness with immediacy. We have made it clear to the agency that their technology should meet our requirements,” the official added.last_img read more

Checking your fridge before shopping can curb food waste

first_imgIf you want to contribute towards curbing food waste, something as simple as checking the fridge prior to shopping can have a large impact, suggests a Danish expert on the food sector.Overall, one third of the world’s food is lost or wasted, and this has serious environmental implications while contributing directly to global warming, Jessica Aschemann-Witzel from Aarhus University in Denmark pointed out in an article published in the journal Science. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“We know more or less the extent of the problem, and what are the causes of food waste – the next step is action, and here research is needed to help identify what is most effective, so that policy makers know what to focus on,” Aschemann-Witzel said. But food waste has different causes in different parts of the world. In relatively poor countries, it is an upstream problem, and most waste takes place in the production phase mostly due to sup-optimal methods of harvesting and transportation. The solution in these cases includes building better infrastructure through transfer of knowledge and technology. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn the developed countries, downstream factors are more relevant, and consumer choices are much more important. Up to 30 per cent of household food ends in the bin, often due to factors such as cultural norms that prescribe offering plenty of food to guests, misperceptions about food safety and exaggerated disgust. At the same time, however, there is a widespread feeling that throwing away food is wrong, giving cause for hope. “The fact that consumers and stakeholders alike perceive food waste as obviously unethical makes it a good starting point for individual consumers to become engaged in sustainability,” Aschemann-Witzel said. There is no single solution to the problem of food waste, but a variety of practically feasible steps at the micro-level can go a long way towards ensuring greater sustainability. For example, something as simple as checking the fridge prior to shopping can have a large impact in the aggregate, she noted.In addition, governments can contribute by changing overly strict food safety laws, while producers can introduce innovative packaging solutions that allow the withdrawal of small amounts of food while the rest remains fresh, Aschemann-Witzel noted.Changes designed for the developed world are likely to have an even bigger impact in future, as countries such as Brazil, India and China become more urbanised and dietary preferences change. In such countries, Aschemann-Witzel argued, food waste volumes are likely to increasingly shift to the consumption stage.last_img read more