Month: August 2019

Drilling on Mars to find evidence of ancient organisms a second genesis

first_img It is already theorized that life on Earth shares a common ancestor with life on Mars brought about by an exchange of material from meteorites. Evidence of life on Mars would strengthen this theory and give insight to origins of life on Earth.Current research has focused on attaining fossils of Martian life which would only prove that life once existed on the planet. However, scientists from NASA and the SETI Institute believe that they can find out more information from Martian permafrost.If researchers could discover dead, but intact organisms from Mars, biochemical and genetic analysis could be performed. These methods would provide a way for direct comparison between the life once found on Mars and the life currently found on Earth. The best place to look for preserved Martian organisms is in the permafrost found on the Southern hemisphere of Mars. Heavily cratered, this terrain dates back to early Martian history when water was abundant and existence of life more likely.Scientists at NASA have several obstacles to overcome as they plan this study. Mars is under strict planetary protection laws set forth by the Committee on Space Research (COSPAR). Any robotic drilling missions would need to utilize sterile equipment to avoid introducing biological material into the Martian environment.Also, contamination of samples must be avoided to ensure that biological material taken from the permafrost was of Martian origin.Before a drilling mission to Mars is underway, more research is needed to develop automated drilling systems or systems for human operation.In the near future though, NASA hopes to find evidence of life on Mars. Could this evidence represent a second genesis of life, separate from that on Earth? The answers may be in the permafrost. Reference:Smith HD and McKay CP.Planetary and Space Science Journal. 2005. Article in Press.by Gina M. Buss, Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.com 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 Was there ever life on Mars? The answer to this question would do more than just satisfy curiosity. Researchers from NASA announce a plan to drill on Mars in search of ancient Martian organisms for comparison between life on Mars and life on Earth.center_img Becoming new parents increases produce purchases Citation: Drilling on Mars to find evidence of ancient organisms: a second genesis of life? (2005, September 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2005-09-drilling-mars-evidence-ancient-genesis.htmllast_img read more

Read More

Taiwan Scientists Discover Gold Nanoparticles Stabilize Organic Memory

first_img Citation: Taiwan Scientists Discover Gold Nanoparticles Stabilize Organic Memory (2007, December 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-12-taiwan-scientists-gold-nanoparticles-stabilize.html The scientists of the National Chung Hsing University of Taiwan claim break through technology in developing a new low cost memory array 16-byte device. The collaborative efforts of University scientists and the Industrial Technology Research Institute were able to produce an organic memory device that is non-volatile. Heretofore, engineers have endeavored to create a non volatile memory devices comprised of plastics and other carbon based chemicals. The flexible carbon organic memory is critical in the manufacturing of RFID, Smart Cards, and flexible displays for mobile phones. The main problem engineers and scientist have encountered is the organic memory devices tend to break down in air and under stress of many read-write cycles. The breakthrough technology memory device utilizes gold nanoparticles mixed into a polymer named PCm that is wedged between two aluminum electrodes. The structure in a dormant state produces little current. However, if the voltage is pushed 2 volts, the current jumps 10,000 fold. According to Cellular-News, the co-inventor of the process and assistant professor of electrical engineering at NCHU, Zingway Pei says that adding the gold nanoparticles made the organic memory stable and aided it in endurance of up to 1,000 switches. Pei and his colleagues theorize that the prior to reaching the threshold a small amount of electrons virtually hop from one gold nanoparticle to another. Some electrons get trapped and provide a conductive path to make the device functional . In the process smaller voltages will carry the higher current and it will begin storing current. The stored current can be wiped away by simply applying a negative voltage. The new device can retain data for up to 10 days even if it is exposed to open air. Professor Pei believes the stability will improve and retention time should reach 30 days. The United States provided 9.1 million dollars to ITRI in March, 2007 to set up the first flexible electronics laboratory. Other research groups are actively involved in projects involving organic nonvolatile memory devices. Some labs are exploring the use of other nanoparticles like carbon-60 that is embedded in the plastic. Others are researching the utility of plastic serving as a part of the organic transistor structure.The new flexible organic memory device was discussed at the 2007 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting in Washington D.C. The conference began on December 10 and will conclude December 12. According to Yu-Tzu Chiu of Spectrum On Line, the Taiwanese team consisting of NCHU and the Industrial Technology Research Institute plans to create smart cards that incorporate the new memory device. The device will be on show December 17-18 at the International Symposium for Flexible Electronics and Displays in Taiwan. Taiwan scientists and engineers have invented a nonvolatile organic memory device. The device uses gold nanoparticles mixed with a polymer that is wedged between two aluminum electrodes. New Flexible Organic Memory. Credit: Industrial Technology Research Inst. Scientists control the electrical characteristics of optical memory devices 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.last_img read more

Read More

Study suggest people act fairly due to spite not altruism

first_img Most people would like to think that they and other people are fair in their dealings with others because of some inherent goodness, i.e. some form of altruism. In this new study, Fober and Smead suggest that the real reason people are fair with one another is because they fear being the victim of a spiteful action.Spite, the researchers note, is the opposite of altruism—it’s when people cause something negative to happen to someone else, at their own expense. And it too, they add is a part of fairness, or at least in its perception.To come to their conclusions, the researchers built a math/computer model that simulates the Ultimate Game—players are given cash and told to give some to another player—who can than accept or reject the offer. The goal of course after several iterations is to be the player who winds up with the most cash. In studying the game, the researchers have identified four types of players: rational, fair, easy rider and spiteful. They found that in running the simulation, that spite evolved as a strategy—players would reject reasonable offers for example if they “felt” they had been slighted earlier. In such cases, both players wound up receiving nothing. As spite evolved, they found, so too did the advantage of the easy rider player—one who consistently made and accepted reasonable offers. Spiteful players played themselves out of the game, fair players got duped and rational players lost out to spiteful players. By playing reasonably, the easy riders were able to win out, which the researchers suggest, indicates that playing fairly, but reasonably, comes about out of a fear of losing to those who would spite us. The simulated game can’t mimic real life of course, with all its nuance, but it does shed some light on the real possible source of fairness in everyday life, even if it’s something we may not want to acknowledge. (Phys.org) —A study done by philosophers Patrick Forber of Tufts University and Rory Smead of Northwestern University, suggests fairness in societies evolves out of a fear of spite from others, rather than due to an increase in altruism. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, the two describe a mathematical/computer model they built based on a well-known game developed to study economics called The Ultimate Game and how it showed that spite, not altruism appears to drive fairness. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B 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 When fairness prevails: Research shows how uncertainty affects behavior © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Study suggest people act fairly due to spite, not altruism (2014, February 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-02-people-due-spite-altruism.html More information: The evolution of fairness through spite, Proc. R. Soc. B 7 April 2014 vol. 281 no. 1780 20132439, Published 12 February 2014 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.2439AbstractThe presence of apparently irrational fair play in the ultimatum game remains a focal point for studies in the evolution of social behaviour. We investigate the role of negative assortment in the evolution of fair play in the ultimatum game. Spite—social behaviour that inflicts harm with no direct benefit to the actor—can evolve when it is disproportionally directed at individuals playing different strategies. The introduction of negative assortment alters the dynamics in a way that increases the chance fairness evolves, but at a cost: spite also evolves. Fairness is usually linked to cooperation and prosocial behaviour, but this study shows that it may have evolutionary links to harmful antisocial behaviour.last_img read more

Read More

A Higgsgravity connection may leave traces in white dwarfs

first_imgImage of Sirius A and Sirius B taken by the Hubble Space Telescope. Sirius B, which is a white dwarf, can be seen as a faint pinprick of light to the lower left of the much brighter Sirius A. Image: NASA, ESA (Phys.org) —The discovery of the Higgs boson at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in 2012 marked an important step toward understanding the origin of the mass of fundamental particles. Since mass plays a major role in gravity, the Higgs could also reveal insights into the nature of gravity. One possibility is that the Higgs field could couple to a specific spacetime curvature, a scenario that is invoked in various extensions of the standard model. Journal information: Astrophysical Journal Explore further © 2014 Phys.org More information: Roberto Onofrio and Gary A Wegner. “Search for Higgs Shifts in White Dwarfs.” The Astrophysical Journal. DOI: 10.1088/0004-637X/791/2/125center_img Higgs boson could also explain the earliest expansion of the Universe Citation: A Higgs-gravity connection may leave traces in white dwarfs (2014, September 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-09-higgs-gravity-white-dwarfs.html Now, scientists have shown that dying stars called white dwarfs can be used to investigate and place limits on the coupling between the Higgs field and spacetime curvature. The study, by Roberto Onofrio at the University of Padova in Italy and the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Gary A. Wegner at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire, is published in a recent issue of The Astrophysical Journal.”Conceptually, I think that our work is trying to create a ‘common’ language between microphysics and macrophysics in the following sense,” Onofrio told Phys.org. “So far, people have looked for the consequences of the Higgs field in the microworld, at the so-called Fermi scale, i.e., the attometer scale (1 am = 10-18 m), and for the consequences of gravity at the macroscopic scale, from an apple upward in terms of size and masses. Yet, both have in common the central role that mass plays in the standard model of elementary particle physics and in gravitation. So by starting to talk of masses involving both the Higgs field (which is supposed to give inertial mass to all fundamental particles) and gravitation (where the gravitational mass of a body is a key concept), one can check for their consistency or for the presence of possible contradictions.”A handful of high-gravity astrophysical objects, such as primordial black holes and active galactic nuclei, have been proposed to investigate crosstalk between the Higgs and gravity. However, white dwarfs have the unique advantage of showing both molecular and atomic lines in their light emission spectra. Since the Higgs-curvature coupling is expected to affect the atomic lines, but not the molecular lines, a comparison of both lines is needed.The reason that the coupling only affects atomic lines is due to the different origins of the electron mass and the masses of protons and neutrons (nucleons). Most of the nucleons’ mass arises from massless gluonic fields; being massless, they do not couple to the Higgs field. Molecular transitions that only depend on the nuclei mass, therefore, are not affected by the Higgs-curvature coupling. In contrast, the Higgs-curvature coupling does affect the mass of electrons and other fermions by adding to these particles’ inertial masses. White dwarfs contain large amounts of carbon and emit a distinct spectrum involving vibrational spectra as well as vibronic transitions between electronic states. In the presence of a Higgs-curvature coupling, the vibrational levels, which are proportional to the nucleon mass, should stay constant. However, the electronic energy levels, which are proportional to the electron mass, should be shifted.The electron mass shift induced by the Higgs field sets an upper bound on the coupling between the Higgs field and spacetime curvature that is 10 orders of magnitude more stringent than bounds set by table-top experiments based on tests of the superposition principle for gravitational interactions. The new bounds are also the first set on this coupling by an astrophysical object.Understanding the Higgs-curvature coupling has several implications. A variety of proposed models that invoke this coupling suggest that the Higgs may play the role of the inflaton, or that the Higgs may serve as a mechanism to suppress the dark energy contribution of quantum fields to the level compatible with observations.In the future, the spectroscopic analysis could be improved by observing signals from additional white dwarfs, and perhaps extended to the case of stronger gravity neutron stars, though it is hard in this last case to detect spectroscopic features. 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

Read More

Astronomers take a closer look at emission from the supernova remnant MSH

first_imgSuzaku XIS1 image of the SW rim of MSH 15−56 in the 0.3−10 keV energy band. The SW region is shown by the blue elliptical area. The background region is indicated by the dashed box, and the white box represents the FoV of XIS1. Credit: Cesur et al., 2019. Citation: Astronomers take a closer look at emission from the supernova remnant MSH 15−56 (2019, June 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-astronomers-closer-emission-supernova-remnant.html More information: Nergis Cesur et al. A study of the composite supernova remnant MSH 15-56 with Suzaku, 2019. arXiv:1905.12473v1 [astro-ph.HE]. arxiv.org/abs/1905.12473 By analyzing archival data from the Suzaku X-ray satellite, astronomers have learned important information regarding thermal and non-thermal emission from the composite supernova remnant (SNR) designated MSH 15-56. Results of the study, available in a paper published May 29 on arXiv.org, could be helpful in advancing the knowledge about composite SNRs residing in the Milky Way galaxy. Astronomers investigate pulsar wind nebula DA 495 © 2019 Science X Network Supernova remnants (SNRs) are diffuse, expanding structures resulting from a supernova explosion. They contain ejected material expanding from the explosion and other interstellar material that has been swept up by the passage of the shock wave from the exploded star.When SNRs consist of an expanding shell into a surrounding medium and a pulsar wind nebula (PWN), they are called composite supernova remnants. This subclass represents a unique evolutionary phase of SNRs, where X-ray, gamma-ray and radio observations allow astronomers to study of the co-evolution of the emission from the shell-like shock front and from the PWN.Located some 13,400 light years away, MSH 15-56 (other designations: G326.3−1.8 and Kes 25) is a composite SNR containing a remnant shell and a displaced PWN with a comet-like morphology. Previous observations have revealed that the PWN resides in the southwest rim of MSH 15-56 and has a radius about 3.6 times smaller than that of the whole SNR.Given that X-ray observations have the potential to reveal detailed information about composite SNRs, a team of astronomers led by Nergis Cesur of Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands, decided to conduct a study of MSH 15-56 using data provided by the Suzaku X-ray astronomy spacecraft. An analysis of the data allowed them to investigate the nature of the emission and spectral parameters of this remnant.”Although the X-ray properties of the thermal and non-thermal emission were studied in detail by Yatsu et al. (2013) and Temim et al. (2013), we study this SNR using more recent atomic database (AtomDB) version 3.0.9 and give a comparison of metal abundances with xspec and spex software packages, which provide almost consistent results with each other except a few parameters,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.According to the paper, thermal and non-thermal emission from the southwest rim of MSH 15-56 were also found during the analysis of Suzaku data. The results are indicative of the interactive relation between the PWN and the thermal emission. pointing out the material in the remnant interior and an interaction of the SNR reverse shock with the pulsar wind nebula.”It is therefore likely that the thermal component integrated with the PWN spectrum may be explained by the morphological relation between the PWN and the shell region,” the paper reads.The astronomers added that the thermal component, with an electron temperature of around 0.64 keV and ionization timescale of approximately 100 billion cm3/s, dominates nearly half of the X-ray spectrum, accounting for about 54 percent of the total unabsorbed flux.Moreover, the researchers found slightly enhanced abundances of neon (Ne), magnesium (Mg), sulfur (S) and an enhanced abundance of silicon (Si) in the spectrum of MSH 15-56. These findings, according to the study, support evidence of ejecta heated by the reverse shock.”This result together with the small X-ray-emitting mass suggests that its emission arises from the shock heated ejecta,” the authors of the paper concluded. 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.last_img read more

Read More

Fostering IndoChinese ties through education

first_imgTaking forward the Sino Indian ties in the field of education, a leading information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider, Huawei, today announced its third edition of Huawei Maitree Scholarship programme.  The Huawei Maitree Scholarship aims at promoting Indo-China cooperation through encouragement to meritorious Indian undergraduate and post graduate students who are studying in China or have secured admission for the 2013 session. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The Huawei Maitree Scholarship was launched in 2011. Since then, fifteen Indian students have been awarded this prestigious scholarship and have pursued a variety of academic careers at premier institutes in China like the Peking University, Zhejiang University, Hong Kong Science and Technology University and various others.‘Indo-China collaboration is key to successful and sustainable development of both the countries. China also provides extensive opportunities for Indian students to pursue higher education.’ says, Mr. Weimin Yao, Senior Vice President of Huawei India.The scholarship aids each selected student with financial assistance of upto $ 5,000 USD per year.last_img read more

Read More

The journey of the mind

first_imgThe city is set to witness some great work as the art exhibition Spiritual Sojourn, is brought to us by  Shridhar Iyer. The exhibition showcases paintings and installations by him – organic installations, coir coats, canvasses and paper works form the show.Iyer’s works illustrate the range of approaches – from gestural to minimal, from chromatic to structural, from the expressionist exuberance of one age to the organic purity that characterises modern abstract art in general. Perhaps a closer scrutiny of those work and many others reflects wisdom, fortitude and spiritual fervour. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’For Iyer abstraction goes beyond the merely visual, and the aesthetic impact is heightened by the use of a flattened cubist space to tilt the pathology of perspective upward, as if it were about to spill out of the picture into the real world. Two videos with cosmic grooves and the khus installations are the highlight of this show by one of India’s finest abstractionists who believes art is a pilgrim’s journey.Iyer is known as a pilgrim in search of the intangible. A silent vibration of a mantra emanates from his countenance. His paintings are Pollockian canvasses that are beautiful and they are indepth conversations about the spiritual leanings that are specifically sited within the compartments of his interior journey. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix The artist says, ‘I have always  thought  long and deeply about  space and I imagine I would like to make something that I can carry and keep because my experience comes from my journey. So, coincidentally and perfectly, I am very happy that I am showing after a span of five years and in these years I have had many journeys. I think art is something that comes with one’s own feelings and every time I create its about the penetration of my mind into the satisfaction of what I create’. Tactility is central to Iyer’s works. He adds, ‘Yes it is the beginning and the end of the journeys that I take. After all my journey isn’t only going to a place of pilgrimage or Hrishikesh, Kumbh, Gangotri or any other place- it is also the journey that I carry in my mind. I want the desire to touch and the desire to breathe through creativity to be very much alive’.In the journey of what is partially doing and reconfiguring is that the artist becomes a veritable spinner who has created his own signature of techniques and sensibilities with a lot of effort. Everything has been brought to a certain stage and you can sense a releasing of the tension, in which there is a selective creation of the artist’s personal version. His works with three different entities of materiality to evolve the crucial construct.The installations showcase an incredible range of humble organic materials that he has experimented with over the years.last_img read more

Read More

Hired persons from outside behind Raiganj ruckus ADG

first_imgKolkata: Stating that there are constant efforts to bring in people from neighbouring states to create trouble ahead and during the Panchayat polls, the preliminary investigation in connection with the Raiganj incident revealed that “hired persons from outside” were behind the entire ruckus.Bullets were fired in the air, bombs hurled and many shops were ransacked in Raiganj when the “outsiders” instigated and actively took part to turn the situation worse as candidates of a few political parties headed to file their nominations for the Panchayat polls. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAnuj Sharma, Additional Director General of Police (Law and Order), said: “Preliminary report in connection with the Raiganj incident has been acquired and it states that some “hired persons from outside” created the trouble. In regard to this, we will take legal action against them.”He further said that a specific case has also been lodged in connection with the incident and law will take its own course. A further probe in this connection is going on. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe cops have also taken all the necessary steps to bring the situation under control. A large contingent of police and RAF were deployed and the mob was dispersed. It is learnt that the police are trying to identify the “outsiders” who were behind the entire episode.When asked about the attempts of bringing in people from outside to create trouble ahead of the Panchayat polls, the ADG (Law and Order) maintained: “Superintendents of Police of all districts and Commissioners of all the Commissionerates have been asked to conduct raids and to maintain a strict vigil to foil the attempts to bring in people from the neighbouring states.” It is learnt that police pickets have also been set up at the entry and exit points with the neighbouring states including Assam, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand. The vehicles entering and leaving the states are being checked thoroughly at these points. The police top brass in every district has also been directed to take immediate action and make arrests if they find anyone involved in any such acts.The Panchayat polls were announced on March 31 and the police have increased its vigilance to avoid any untoward incident mainly till the election is over. The cops have so far executed 1,041 warrants, arrested 818 people in connection with specific cases, 20 arms, 23 ammunition, 42 bombs and 8,300 litres of illicit liquor have been seized.See P3last_img read more

Read More

Two allies of Chinas exsecurity czar jailed for corruption

first_imgA former state-assets chief in China was on Monday sentenced to 16 years in jail for corruption along with a deputy party chief of Sichuan province, becoming the latest officials to fall under President Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-corruption drive against “tigers and flies”.Jiang Jiemin, former head of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission – the body that regulates China’s state-owned firms, and Li Chuncheng, former vice Communist Party of China (CPC) boss of Sichuan, joined the list of casualties in the three-year-long campaign that has punished as many as 80 top officials of the country. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortThe two officials are considered close to disgraced security czar Zhou Yongkang, the top-most CPC leader to be sentenced in China’s recent history after Bo Xilai, party leader from Chongqing. Jiang, 60, was found guilty of taking bribes, holding huge amount of property with unidentified sources and abusing power. Besides being sentenced to 16 years in prison, his personal assets worth 1 million yuan (about USD 1.60 lakhs) were also confiscated, the Hanjiang Intermediate People’s Court in central China’s Hubei Province said.  Also Read – Pakistan Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanJiang was chair of the board of China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) before working for the state-assets commission in March 2013.The court also ordered to confiscate other property he took as bribes or with unidentified sources as well as illegal earnings others got with his help.Jiang accepted his sentence and will not appeal.By the end of August, 2013, his personal and family property exceeded the legitimate earnings and he had 14.8 million yuan unaccounted, the court said.With instruction and consent from Zhou, former member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, Jiang violated regulations by helping others in businesses, causing huge losses to the state, it added.last_img read more

Read More

Bagree Market traders to meet Mayor on Tuesday

first_imgKolkata: The traders of Bagree Market are scheduled to visit Mayor Sovan Chatterjee on Tuesday afternoon. According to the traders, they are worried about the fate of the market building. Thus, they want to discuss and chalk out the future plan related to Bagree Market.Asutosh Singh, president of the Bagree Market Central Kolkata Traders Association, on Friday informed that some people from the association had gone to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s home. Hearing their plea, they were asked to e-mail their version and request to the Chief Minister’s office. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSources informed that as soon as the Chief Minister’s office got the mail, it was forwarded to Banerjee. Following that, as per instruction by the Chief Minister, the traders were asked to meet the Mayor of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Tuesday.”We are concerned about the fate of the building. Major parts of the building have not been affected much. We heard that the building might get demolished. We have been doing business here since a long time. We will be meeting the Mayor on Tuesday and request him to consider the fate of the traders,” said Singh. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe also alleged that Radha Bagree, owner of Bagree Market, had demanded money to make the fire-fighting system several times. But nothing had been done. She had also wanted to increase the price of electricity, which is illegal.”We were asked to increase the per unit electricity charge. We refused to do so and moved to the city Civil Court. Later, Bagree moved to the Calcutta High Court. But from every court the order was given in our favour. Only the electrical maintenance charge was increased as per the direction of the court. The Bagrees were also instructed to provide a copy of the electricity bill to every shop owner,” Singh added.last_img read more

Read More