Scientists Build AntiMosquito Laser

first_img Citation: Scientists Build Anti-Mosquito Laser (2009, March 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-03-scientists-anti-mosquito-laser.html Explore further The anti-mosquito laser was originally introduced by astrophysicist Lowell Wood in the early 1980s, but the idea never took off. More recently, former Microsoft executive Nathan Myhrvold revived the laser idea when Bill Gates asked him to explore new ways of combating malaria. Now, astrophysicist Jordin Kare from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Wood, Myhrvold, and other experts have developed a handheld laser that can locate individual mosquitoes and kill them one by one. The developers hope that the technology might be used to create a laser barrier around a house or village that could kill or blind the insects. Alternatively, flying drones equipped with anti-mosquito lasers could track the insects with radar and then sweep the sky with the laser.The researchers are tuning the strength of the laser so that it kills mosquitoes without harming other insects or, especially, people. The system can even distinguish between males and females by the frequency of their wing movements, which may be important since only females spread the parasite. In experiments, the system could target mosquitoes with a flashlight, and then uses a zoom lens to feed the data to the computer, which fires at the insect. Each time the laser strikes a mosquito, the computer makes a gunshot sound. When the mosquito is hit, it bursts into flame and falls to the ground, and a thin plume of smoke rises. The anti-mosquito laser is just one of many novel ways to kill the disease-carrying insects, in addition to the conventional strategy of vaccinating humans. Other ideas include devices that disrupt the mosquitoes’ senses of sight, smell, and heat; feeding them poisoned blood; infecting them with a genetically altered bacterium; and creating a malaria-free mutant to overtake the natural mosquitoes.via: Wall Street Journal© 2009 PhysOrg.com A laser that kills mosquitoes could help reduce the spread of malaria. Image credit: PlaneMad/Wikipedia Protein plays key role in transmitting deadly malaria parasite (PhysOrg.com) — In an effort to prevent the spread of malaria, scientists have built a laser that shoots and kills mosquitoes. Malaria, which is caused by a parasite and transmitted by mosquitoes, kills about 1 million people every year. 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

Bees helping to monitor air quality at German airports

first_img Explore further Citation: Bees helping to monitor air quality at German airports (2010, July 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-bees-air-quality-german-airports.html Using bees for biomonitoring of environmental health around airports is a recent development, but insects have been used successfully for some time to monitor water quality at a number of sites.The honey produced at the airports is tested in the laboratory twice a year for heavy metals and certain hydrocarbons, and has so far been found to be comparable to honey produced in non-industrial areas. Volker Liebig, a chemist with Orga Lab, which tests the samples, said more data is needed over a longer period for the results to be conclusive, but he said preliminary results looked promising.Düsseldorf International Airport’s community liaison officer Peter Nengelken said this year’s first batch of honey, harvested in June from the 200,000 bees at the airport, had been tested and found to contain toxin levels far below recommended limits, and about the same as honey from rural areas. This is consistent with the results from the previous years since the bee monitoring began in 2006. Air quality at all the airports is also monitored in more traditional ways.Pollution at airports has a number of sources, including aircraft, cars, buses, and industries, which often cluster in the vicinity of airports. Around the world the air quality around airports is monitored, and the stringent monitoring requirements set by the International Civil Aviation Organization, a body of the United Nations, have led to a substantial reduction in pollution at major airports.Pollution reduction has been achieved by the development of cleaner aircraft engines and ground support vehicles, and by improvements in equipment operation procedures. Even so, some community groups remain concerned, especially about lead levels and the presence of ultrafine particles originating from jet aircraft, cars and trucks. In Germany, airport officials view the bees as a simple and easy-to-understand way to demonstrate to the public that airports are much cleaner and safer than they once were.The health effects of ultrafine particles are unknown as yet but there is some research suggesting they may pose a risk because the particles are fine enough to pass through cell walls and may be able to penetrate into the brain and other organs. Ultrafine particle emissions are currently not regulated in the US, but there are limits for vehicle emissions of ultrafine particles in Europe.The bees at Düsseldorf International airport are kept by local beekeepers, and the honey is bottled as “Düsseldorf Natural” and given away. Hidden threat: Elevated pollution levels near regional airports © 2010 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. (PhysOrg.com) — Air quality around eight airports in Germany is being monitored with the help of bees, whose honey is tested regularly for toxins.last_img read more

Chinese propose method for deflecting asteroid Apophis

first_img Apophis is approximately 880 feet in diameter and weighs an estimated 46 million tons. If it were to strike the earth, it would most certainly cause damage for thousands of miles around the epicenter, but wouldn’t spell doom for the planet as a whole.First discovered in 2004 by Roy Tucker, David Tholen and Fabrizio Bernardi at the Kitt Peak National Observatory, Apophis was after initial study, thought to have a possibility of hitting the earth; then after further study, it appeared that an impact was unlikely. Then later it was noted that when Apophis makes a close approach in 2029, there is a possibility that it could pass through what is known as a “keyhole” (a small gravitational zone near enough a planet to alter the course of an object) near our planet that could cause the next pass, in 2036, to hit us. Because of the dizzying number of variables involved in such a scenario, however, there appears to be differing views as to the probability of that actually happening. There also seems to be some disagreement as to the origin of its name; some suggest that Apophis comes from the ancient Egyptian deity, enemy of the uncreator Ra, Apep. Others suggest it’s simply a nod to the character Apophis on the television show Stargate SG-1.In either case, Gong et al, propose using a space vehicle propelled by a solar sail that would move in a retrograde (opposite) orbit relative to Apophis fast enough so that when the collision occurred (like two cars running head on into each other on a freeway) the vessel would strike the asteroid moving at a relative speed of some 55 miles per second, enough they say, to push the offending asteroid off its current path.The problem is, as the Chinese group readily admit, is in being precise enough in aiming the vessel. With all the variables at play (including the years it would have to travel) it would seem an almost impossible task. Nonetheless, the team seems undaunted, suggesting that such a vehicle could be built and launched in the time frame available. 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. Orientation of the sail cone and clock angles. Image: arXiv:1108.3183v1 [astro-ph.IM] More information: Utilization of H-reversal Trajectory of Solar Sail for Asteroid Deflection, Shengping Gong, Junfeng Li, Xiangyuan Zeng, arXiv:1108.3183v1 [astro-ph.IM] arxiv.org/abs/1108.3183AbstractNear Earth Asteroids have a possibility of impacting with the Earth and always have a thread on the Earth. This paper proposes a way of changing the trajectory of the asteroid to avoid the impaction. Solar sail evolving in a H-reversal trajectory is utilized for asteroid deflection. Firstly, the dynamics of solar sail and the characteristics of the H-reversal trajectory are analyzed. Then, the attitude of the solar sail is optimized to guide the sail to impact with the object asteroid along a H-reversal trajectory. The impact velocity depends on two important parameters: the minimum solar distance along the trajectory and lightness number. A larger lightness number and a smaller solar distance lead to a higher impact velocity. Finally, the deflection capability of a solar sail impacting with the asteroid along the H-reversal is discussed. The results show that a 10 kg solar sail with a lead-time of one year can move Apophis out of a 600-m keyhole area in 2029 to eliminate the possibility of its resonant return in 2036.Via ArXiv blog Explore further NASA Statement on Student Asteroid Calculations © 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: Chinese propose method for deflecting asteroid Apophis (2011, August 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-chinese-method-deflecting-asteroid-apophis.html (PhysOrg.com) — Chinese scientist Shengping Gong and associates at Tsinghua University in Beijin have proposed an alternative method of deflecting the asteroid Apophis to ensure that it does not strike the earth. They believe that rather than just blowing it up ala the European Space Agency’s Don Quijote project, a better approach would be to use a solar sail, as described in their paper on the preprint server arXiv, to slowly nudge the asteroid off its trajectory just enough to keep it from bothering us here on Earth. last_img read more

Robot firefighters help mitigate hazardous conditions

first_img(Phys.org)—Events worldwide remind us of the fact that modern-day fire-fighting has taken on added complexities such as explosions, chemical leaks, and nuclear accidents. In fact it was after Fukushima that two brothers in Waterboro, Maine, resolved to start making their fire-battling robots. The two had been working with the military and they realized how applicable their machines might be to help out in natural disasters. “We could have helped out in Fukushima,” they said, and they resolved to come up with robots that can reduce the exposure of human firefighters to out-of-control fires. Their company, Howe and Howe Technologies, offers a set of robots, in modular fashion, that are designed to clear paths, pull debris and bodies out of the way, and spray water, and the robots can be transported on an all-terrain customized truck. The Howe and Howe portfolio of robots includes the “Guardian” that uses its robotic arm to move debris out of the way of the disaster scene, the “Terra Maxa,” to clear the way with a plough, and the “Thermite” which uses a multidirectional nozzle that can spray 600 gallons of water every minute. 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. The creators developed the robots over three months. They were helped by a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, which is interested in new gear for first responders. The Thermite alone would cost $98,500. Howe and Howe Technologies have commercialized their firebots for sale. The two brothers note that their helpers are not intended to replace firefighters but to be another tool that human firefighters can use to save lives including those performing the rescue operations. The idea is to use the robots to bring the situation under control. Once under control the firefighters can go in to continue putting out the fire and assist victims. © 2012 Phys.org Citation: Robot firefighters help mitigate hazardous conditions (2012, October 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-robot-firefighters-mitigate-hazardous-conditions.html South Korea’s little firefighting robots (w/ Video) The Thermite is the centerpiece, a fire-fighting and emergency response robot propelled by caterpillar tracks which is remote-controlled from up to 1/4 mile away. The robot is hand-made from steel and aircraft-grade aluminum. The Thermite is small and compact enough to go through average door widths. Startup time to assume full robot functions is five seconds. The robots can arrive at the scene on the back of a truck called the “Bulldog,” a non-robotic component that acts as the water source for Thermite. The truck is outfitted with 54″ tires and can cross rugged terrain. More information: howeandhowe.com/robotics.php#last_img read more

Field study shows group decision making not always the best

first_img Explore further More information: Ant colonies outperform individuals when a sensory discrimination task is difficult but not when it is easy, PNAS, Published online before print July 29, 2013, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1304917110 Abstract”Collective intelligence” and “wisdom of crowds” refer to situations in which groups achieve more accurate perception and better decisions than solitary agents. Whether groups outperform individuals should depend on the kind of task and its difficulty, but the nature of this relationship remains unknown. Here we show that colonies of Temnothorax ants outperform individuals for a difficult perception task but that individuals do better than groups when the task is easy. Subjects were required to choose the better of two nest sites as the quality difference was varied. For small differences, colonies were more likely than isolated ants to choose the better site, but this relationship was reversed for large differences. We explain these results using a mathematical model, which shows that positive feedback between group members effectively integrates information and sharpens the discrimination of fine differences. When the task is easier the same positive feedback can lock the colony into a suboptimal choice. These results suggest the conditions under which crowds do or do not become wise. Citation: Field study shows group decision making not always the best (2013, August 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-field-group-decision.html Proportion of simulated individuals and colonies (population 100) selecting the better of two nests. Colonies perform better when the quality difference between the nests is small, but individuals choose more accurately when the difference is greater. Credit: PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1304917110 Ants share decision-making, lessen vulnerability to ‘information overload’ Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencescenter_img (Phys.org) —A combined team of researchers from Arizona State University and Uppsala University in Sweden has found that collective decision making by ants doesn’t always result in selecting the best option for adopting a new nest. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes experiments they conducted with ants and artificially lit nests to determine how the ants chose the best option. © 2013 Phys.org Temnothorax rugatulus, a type of ant that lives in Arizona, builds its nest in the ground—it has to pick a spot first however, and they way an ant colony does so was the focus of this new effort. The team wanted to know if collective decision making was always superior to that of individual ants.To find out, the researchers set up an environment where a colony of ants found itself in need of a new nest. Each test run involved a colony that had to choose between a control nest and one that varied in quality. Quality was based on how much light could enter the nest from holes that led to the surface. The more light, the lower the quality—ants like it dark and fewer holes mean less heat loss.The team noted that when one of the nests was obviously far superior to the other, both the colony as a whole, and individual ants more often chose the better option. What was surprising, however, was that individuals had a slightly better hit rate then the colony as a whole.When a colony “decides” it needs a new nest, scout ants are sent out to find a new site. When one of the scout ants finds one it likes, it releases a chemical that attracts another of the colony members. If that member also likes the site it too will release a chemical attracting another ant and so on. The site that gets the most “votes” is the one eventually chosen by the colony. But, when a single ant is forced (by the researchers) to make a decision about which site to pick, it has to look at all the options and make a decision on its own—that takes more time than the multiple ant approach because in that scenario, individual ants only ever review one site—its more efficient. It’s also more likely to lead to errors of course and that’s why the colony as a whole tended to choose the wrong best site more often than the single ants—when the choice was obvious—who could make the decision without having to waste time thinking it over. 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

A type of semitransparent polymer that can be mended at room temperature

first_imgCredit: Yu Yanagisawa A small team of researchers at the University of Tokyo has created a polymer that can be repaired when broken into two parts by applying a small amount of pressure at room temperature. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes how they came upon the polymer, how it was made, and how well it can be repaired. Materials may lead to self-healing smartphones 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 Journal information: Science The researchers report that to test the material, they cut a small tile into to two pieces, then pressed the two pieces together into the original configuration using just a small force at room temperature. After 30 seconds, they further report, the healed tile could support a 300-gram weight. They note that pressing the material for longer amounts of times allows for even stronger bonds to form—eventually, after a couple of hours, the material reaches the same degree of bonding as it had prior to being cut or broken.More work will have to be done with the material before it can be used in a smartphone screen, however, such as making it more transparent. More information: Yu Yanagisawa et al. Mechanically robust, readily repairable polymers via tailored noncovalent cross-linking, Science (2017). DOI: 10.1126/science.aam7588AbstractExpanding the range of healable materials is an important challenge for sustainable societies. Noncrystalline, high molecular weight polymers generally form mechanically robust materials, which, however, are difficult to repair once they are fractured. This is because their polymer chains are heavily entangled and diffuse too sluggishly to unite fractured surfaces within reasonable timescales. Here, we report that low molecular weight polymers, when cross-linked by dense hydrogen bonds, give mechanically robust yet readily repairable materials, despite their extremely slow diffusion dynamics. A key was to utilize thiourea, which anomalously forms a zigzag hydrogen-bonded array that does not induce unfavorable crystallization. Another key was to incorporate a structural element for activating the exchange of hydrogen-bonded pairs, which enables the fractured portions to rejoin readily upon compression. Engineers around the world have been working hard to find a type of glass or plastic that can be healed easily when broken to address the problem of broken screens on phones and other portable devices. While some progress has been made, there still exists a need for something better. In this new effort, the researchers report on a new type of plastic that can be healed by simply pressing the broken pieces back together.As the researchers describe it, a team member was investigating glue properties with polymers when they discovered that one of the polymers under study could mend itself just by pushing the pieces together. Intrigued, the group looked closer. They found that the hydrogen bonds in the polymer formed in a way that did not crystallize, allowing the molecular chains to move freely. This allowed the bonds to re-form easily under just a small amount of pressure. After working with several configurations, the team settled on a polymer called polyether-thioureas (TUEG3)—it offered the best healing properties of those tested. Citation: A type of semi-transparent polymer that can be mended at room temperature using small pressure (2017, December 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-12-semi-transparent-polymer-room-temperature-small.html © 2017 Phys.orglast_img read more

Get some France in your system Delhi

first_imgAfter a successful stint in 2009, Bonjour India is back with its second edition in India.This three-month event from January to April will take place across the country over 16 cities. Organised by the Embassy of France in India and the Institut Français en Inde, in association with the Alliance Française India and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), this event is something they have been planning for two years. Speaking at the unveiling of the Bonjour India website, H.E. François Richier, Ambassador of France said: ‘Bonjour India is an invitation to discover and re-discover France through its whole artistic dimension. As a real cultural dialogue between French and Indian artists, Bonjour India shows the friendship that links France and India.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Max Claudet, director, Institut Français en Inde, cultural counsellor French Embassy in India  highlighted the programmes scheduled and also gave an insight into the main purpose behind  the festival.He said: ‘The event will be inaugurated by Luminocity, by light sculptor Patrick Rimoux and Nandita Palchoudhuri in Delhi and Mumbai, also Ballet Preljocaj on the stage designed by Subodh Gupta as part of an exchange between India and France in the field of art, literature, cinema, education, sports, architecture, fashion, photography and performing arts.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe programme will kickoff with contemporary ballet, and then, One thousand years of peace by Bolshoi Theatre, and a grand show by Subodh Gupta, an aerial acrobatic show, Flying Angels, and a multidisciplinary show, Luminocity. In the dance section, there will be urban ballet Ganga, a choreographic piece uniting poetry, music and dance. In the music section, there will be a concert of sarod and symphony orchestra with electronic music. Composer Pierre Thilloy and Avignon Symphony Orchestra will  be in  performance with sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan. Pain and Pleasure at the Court of Versailles is a Baroque music presentation by Amarillis ensemble. Christohe Chassol Indiamore and Scratch Bandits crew will also be performing.Gates to India Song will be a love story performed by Marguerite Duras with Indian artist Nandita Das. For visual arts, there are installations and interactive choreographic navigations called Bangalore Fictions, France Heritage bringing in the historical landmarks of France, Quintessence will showcase paintings by  Dominique Paulin and  photographs by Michel Kirch. There will also be exhibitions on urban development and sustainable architecture, photography and painting exhibitions by Anay Mann and Gigi Scaria, respectively revisiting French heritage in India,.Another aspect of this event will be the strong presence of French literary circle at the Jaipur Literature Festival. The celebrated Albert Camus’ birth centenary will also be celebrated across India through the event. Gear up Delhi.DETAILAt: 16 cities across IndiaWhen: January to April 2013last_img read more

The essence of Indian art

first_imgCurating concepts to interpret the idea of India, a battery of designers, artists, artisans, architects and the best of technicians collaborated to deliver what is India’s largest art in public space initiative, The Art Program. Amongst these large installations, two are ready to be shipped off to the Mumbai airport where they will become a part of a collective manifestation of the best our country has to offer. But before that, Delhi gets a special preview of these artworks on the 9 July in Mehrauli, where visitors will have the opportunity to see the art works and interact with the creators over High Tea.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Over the last three years, Rajeev Sethi, an eminent scenographer and chairman of the Asian Heritage foundation spearheaded this programme to represent  21st century India in a manner that leaves visitors with no doubt that they are in India. The first work by Rajeev Sethi, Reappearances below the Tarmac was conceived as a play on the idea of the airport as a virtual metropolis, and the city that disappears and reappears around these 21st century hubs. The cross-runway unique to the Mumbai Airport transforms into a vortex amid an enormous mosaic reminiscent of the city as we fly in. Amid this terracotta skyscape fly mythical airplanes and whimsical flying machines crafted by the potters of Molela, a village near Udaipur, in a significant departure from the customary votive terracotta plaques of gods and goddesses they make. Interspersed between are contemporary studio photographs of young men and women, re-touched up by miniature painters. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix The second, Touché, also by Rajeev Sethi, is inspired by the panchamahabhutas in a symbolic elemental greeting. These coalesce in various permutations and combinations to create the Universe and the five senses by which we perceive them. Air, the second element, born of the agitation created in the vast stillness of space by primordial sound, is expressed as the pavan (wind) and sparsh or the sense of touch. Interpreting Jaipur’s Hawa Mahal or Palace of Winds as a visual metaphor, Touché celebrates the gentle breeze in the arid desert as it wafts through intricate jaalis and the joyous indulgence in this simple sensual pleasure. Referencing the quintessentially tactile quality of textiles, the Hawa Mahal here morphs into an enormous pagdi or turban – insouciantly transforming textile into architecture. Head over to see these two art installations being displayed for the first and the only time in Delhi.last_img read more

A fine selection

first_imgThe Imperial presents the Sunday brunch with some new offerings this time. Live seared foie gras, display of raw seafood and fish like rainbow trout, clams, mussels, squids, perch, mackerel, scallops (steamed, baked, grilled etc.) are included in the menu.Home cured and preserved cold meats, home smoked duck and home smoked salmon complement the innovatively laid out non alcoholic hangover shots to get over the heavy head from last night’s party. That’s not all hand-made pasta made live and filled with the goodness of whole wheat, home-made fancy cup cakes and vegan ice creams, liquid sandwich/ sugarfee desserts, dainty french pastry – Macaroons, Eclairs, millefieulle, home grown microgreens  – wheat grass, lentils, green peas, red amaranthus, mustard cress, raddish cress etc, are truly a feast to satiate you heart and tummy at the same time.The feast also offers selection one special starter served on your table. Adding to it The Imperial also brings you to some  unbelievable choices of world cuisine, all under one roof.last_img read more

Harvard sued for racial profiling and targeting AsianAmericans

first_imgStudents for Fair Admissions says Harvard limits the number of Asian Americans it admits while giving preference to other races, according to the Project on Fair Representation (PFR), a legal defense fund supporting the lawsuit. ‘The university is engaging in a campaign of invidious discrimination,’ PFR said in a statement.‘White, African American and Hispanic applicants are given racial preferences over better qualified Asian Americans,’ it added, accusing Harvard of breaching civil rights laws and undermining the Fourteenth Amendment to the US constitution. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenPlaintiff the SFFA alleges that Harvard and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill violated the Supreme Court’s 2013 ruling on ‘strict scrutiny’ standards which says admissions should be conducted on ‘race-neutral’ grounds to end ‘race-based affirmative action policies,’ according to the PFR statement.The director of PFR vowed further action on race-based admissions policies at other universities in the United States.‘These two lawsuits are the first of what are expected to be several similar challenges to other competitive colleges that continue to unconstitutionally use racial preferences in admission decisions,’ said Edward Blum. SFFA said its members include ‘highly qualified’ students that have been rejected from Harvard and Chapel Hill, and their parents.last_img read more