Ontario researchers testing origins of life theory in new planet simulator

first_imgA small group of Ontario researchers believe they may have solved the origins of life mystery.The results come from early experiments run in a planet simulator at McMaster University’s new Origins of Life Laboratory, which started running this summer.The simulator — the centrepiece of the facility — is testing a theory that suggests life on Earth began in warm little ponds after meteorites splashed into them about four billion years ago. The machine recreates those conditions to see whether cellular life can be created and then evolve.“This is a very big moment,” said Maikel Rheinstadter, a biophysics professor and the lead investigator in the new laboratory. “There’s nothing else like this machine in the world.”The warm little ponds theory was first put forth by Charles Darwin, expanded on in the 1990s by Carl Sagan, and further developed by David Deamer, a professor in bioengineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz.Evidence over the last few years points away from another theory that suggests the building blocks of life came about through vents in the Earth’s crust at the bottom of the ocean.Rheinstadter and two colleagues — Ralph Pudritz, a theoretical astrophysicist and Yingfu Li, a biochemist — are now putting that theory into action.“We are very interested in understanding how the first very basic cell formed on the early Earth four billion years ago,” Rheinstadter said. “Nobody knows, but I think that’s what we have: a very solid proposal that this is potentially the mechanism.”The lab’s work is in its early stages and the planet simulator’s recent results must be replicated, Rheinstadter said, but what researchers have seen so far is promising.The new planet simulator at the heart of their efforts is about the size of a microwave and can control temperature, humidity, pressure, atmosphere and radiation levels to mimic conditions on Earth at any point in its history. It can also create the conditions of any other planet.It took years to get the machine built — most companies said they simply couldn’t make it — but a company in Kitchener, Ont., was able to take on the project, Rheinstadter said.When the machine was operational, the researchers used it to mimic a summer season on early Earth — a volcanic environment that was very hot during the day and cool at night, with the odd day of rain and periodic flooding.Inside the simulator’s chamber were elements of the “primordial soup” that existed at the time, which includes inorganic salts, clays, lipid molecules and nucleotides at varying concentrations, Rheinstadter said.The researchers ran the machine for a few weeks through important wet-dry cycles, which drive biochemical reactions, with entire seasons being replicated in days. After a time, they began to see results.“The molecules started to form cell-like structures and they started to incorporate genetic material just by themselves,” Rheinstadter said. “It’s amazing.”The researchers say they have shown that they can create what are known as proto-cells, which aren’t considered alive because the scientists still have to demonstrate that the genetic material in the cells can replicate itself and create proteins. But the results are still significant, they said.The developments in the lab come after research from Pudritz and graduate student Ben K.D. Pearce last year calculated that meteorites bombarded the Earth and delivered the building blocks of life that then bonded together to become ribonucleic acid — the basis for the genetic code. It’s that very research that the McMaster team is now testing.“It’s very exciting times,” Pudritz said.It’s taken years to get the lab and its simulator up and running.In 2012, Rheinstadter along with Pudritz and Li applied to the Canada Foundation for Innovation, an independent non-profit, for funding for their research.The team’s proposal to search for the origins of life happened to come at the right time as shortly thereafter NASA began reporting a flurry of discoveries of exoplanets where conditions could exist to support life. Public interest on the subject surged and the team’s bid for funds to build their simulator was approved.The $1-million lab also received funding from the provincial government and McMaster, Rheinstadter said.“We’re really fortunate and we’re now about five years ahead of everyone else in the business,” he said.Other leaders in the field are now clambering to get involved with the lab, including luminaries from the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany, Harvard University and the University of California, Santa Cruz, Rheinstadter said.The lab and its simulator have also been lauded by Deamer, the California professor who has worked on the warm ponds theory.“It’s marvellous,” Deamer said. “They’ll be able to do experiments no one else can. They just need the governments to open up their coffers to help pay for more collaborations because laboratories around the world want in on this.”Deamer called the planet simulator “game changing” and said the cells it has created so far are significant.“These cells are not alive, but are evolutionary steps toward a living system of molecules,” he said. “It opens up a lot of experimental activities that were literally impossible before.”Note to readers: This is a corrected story. A previous version had an incorrect name for the Canada Foundation for Innovation.last_img read more

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Angelina Jolie Shares Her Preventive Surgery Decision

first_imgLast week the New York Times published a shocking op-ed penned by actor and activist Angelina Jolie, titled “My Medical Choice”.In it, Jolie announced that in April she had a double mastectomy even though she did not have breast cancer. The operation was preventative.Jolie lost her mother at age 56 from the disease, and Jolie herself carries the BRCA1 gene, a mutation of the BRCA gene, which she says increases a woman’s chances of getting breast cancer by 65 percent. Jolie’s doctors estimated her risk at 87 percent, and at 50 percent for ovarian cancer, which is also affected by the mutated gene.In the piece, Jolie described the procedures she underwent, including the “nipple delay” pre-treatment to increase the survival chances of the nipples, followed by the mastectomy and later the reconstructive surgery.“I wanted to write this to tell other women that the decision to have a mastectomy was not easy,” wrote Jolie. “But it is one I am very happy that I made. My chances of developing breast cancer have dropped from 87 percent to under 5 percent. I can tell my children that they don’t need to fear they will lose me to breast cancer.”Feeling empowered for taking action and feeling no less feminine because of the surgery, Jolie wrote, “For any woman reading this, I hope it helps you to know you have options. I want to encourage every woman, especially if you have a family history of breast or ovarian cancer, to seek out the information and medical experts who can help you through this aspect of your life, and to make your own informed choices.”Copyright ©2013Look to the Starslast_img read more

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Are prison healing lodges like a resort or health spa Experts say

first_imgTodd LamirandeAPTN NewsIndigenous healing lodges came under scrutiny this past week.Many Canadians were outraged by the news that the woman who murdered a young girl in Ontario had been transferred to one months ago.The Okimaw Ohci Healing Lodge on the Nekaneet Territory in Saskatchewan has been described as everything from a health spa to a vacation resort.tlamirande@aptn.ca@toddlamirandelast_img

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US imposes sanction on Pak; may deny visas to Pakistanis

first_imgWashington DC: The US has imposed sanctions on Pakistan after Islamabad refused to take back its citizen deportees and visa over-stayers from America, warning that it may withhold visas of Pakistanis beginning from its senior officials. The State Department on Friday said that consular operations in Pakistan remain unchanged as of now but as a result of such a sanction mentioned in a Federal Register notification dated April 22, the US may withhold visas of Pakistanis beginning with its senior officials. Pakistan is the latest to join the list of 10 nations that have been imposed with sanctions under a US law according to which countries refusing to take back deportees and visa over-stayers will be denied American visas. Notably eight of these countries have been slapped with such visa sanctions under the Trump administration. Two of them Ghana and Pakistan have been included in the list this year. The other countries include Guyana in 2001, the Gambia in 2016, Cambodia, Eritrea, Guinea, and Sierra Leone in 2017, Burma and Laos in 2018. Under Section 243 (d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the Secretary of State is required to discontinue granting immigration or non-immigrant visas to a nation upon receiving notice from the Homeland Security Secretary that the country has denied or is unreasonably delaying accepting a citizen, subject, national or resident of that country. The State Department tried to downplay the impact of the sanctions on Pakistan. “Consular operations in Pakistan remain unchanged, a State Department Spokesperson said when asked about the federal register notification. This is a bilateral issue of ongoing discussion between the US and Pakistani governments and we are not going to get into the specifics at this time, the spokesperson added. Former Pakistan’s Ambassador to the US, Hussain Haqqani, feels that this will make things difficult for Pakistanis. This measure will create hardship for Pakistanis who want or need to travel to the US and could have been avoided if Pakistani authorities had not ignored American requests to respect their legal requirements for deportation, Haqqani said, days after the federal register notification. He said that Pakistan’s refusal to accept it’s citizen deported from the US is not new. Pakistan’s refusal to accept every Pakistani citizen deported from the US is not new. It seems that the US is no longer willing to overlook a wide range of official Pakistani behaviour. Bonhomie has been replaced by sanctions and restrictions based on Islamabad’s policy decisions, Haqqani said. While the law in this regard has been under existence since 1996, it is only in last several years that there had been increasing demand from lawmakers towards its enforcement against countries that had refused to accept deportees and visa over-stayers. In the last few years, India has been taking such deportees on special planes at regular intervals. The Trump administration after coming to power had said that it will strictly enforce such provisions by denying visas to people from those countries that refuse it accepting deportees and visa over-stayers. While section 243 (d) of the Immigration and Nationality Act was used only twice before 2017, the Trump Administration has been effective in using this provision on many countries, including Pakistan. However, the State Department federal register notification indicates that the number of visa denial under this sanction is far less. Since the law was modified to cover non-immigrant visas in 1996, 318 visa applicants have been affected, the notification said.last_img read more

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Ban Kimoon arrives in Riyadh on eve of Arab League Summit

27 March 2007Continuing a diplomatic tour of the Middle East to try to address the region’s hotspots, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, where tomorrow he will address the Summit of the League of Arab States. Mr. Ban will discuss his key concerns about the humanitarian crisis in Darfur and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, among other topics, with the participating Arab leaders, a UN spokesman told the press in New York today. The Secretary-General also has meetings scheduled this evening with President Bashar al-Assad of Syria and with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Earlier today, he met with the UN country team in Jerusalem before stopping over in Jordan, where he met the King of Jordan, who is also travelling to the Summit in Riyadh. The two discussed the Secretary-General’s recent meetings during his Middle East tour, particularly concerning the new momentum for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Speaking to the press before departing Israel yesterday, Mr. Ban said that, despite the obstacles ahead, the peace process can be advanced.“I believe we can and must make progress in the coming weeks and months,” he said. read more

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Ban warns on replacing ozonedepleting gases with greenhouse substitutes

16 September 2011Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on the international community today not to replace ozone-depleting gases that are now being phased out with highly potent global warming substitutes. “Only by limiting global climate change can we hope to achieve sustainable development for all,” he said in a message marking the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, which protects the Earth’s population from harmful ultra-violet radiation that can cause tens of millions of additional cases of skin cancer and eye cataracts.Nearly 100 ozone-depleting substances have been phased out in more than 24 years of successful implementation of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and adjustments were adopted in 2007 to accelerate the phase-out of hydrochlorofluorocarbons, or HCFCs, he noted.But he warned that consumption of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, which do not deplete the ozone layer but are highly potent greenhouse gases, has been increasing rapidly as they are being used to replace HCFCs.Parties to the Montreal Protocol are now considering further amendments, including proposals to bring HFCs under the pact to complement existing efforts under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol to limit greenhouse gases.“I urge parties and industries to seize the opportunity provided by the HCFC phase-out to leapfrog HFCs wherever possible,” Mr. Ban said.In a related development, the OzonAction Programme of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released a new documentary, “The Antarctic Ozone Hole: From Discovery to Recovery,” which examines the current state of the ozone layer, the effects of ozone depletion on climate change and the potential impact on communities worldwide. “This scientific journey, which had a worldwide screening today to mark the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, is not a portrait of a planet in crisis but rather has experts from NASA, the British Antarctic Survey, Colombia University and other leading ozone researchers who offer hope and solutions to reducing ozone depletion,” UNEP stated in a news release.“Indeed, they show that the Montreal Protocol, which covers ozone depleting substances (ODS), can deliver immediate climate benefits,” the agency added. read more

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The Latest Boris Johnson to hold Brexit talks with Juncker

LONDON — The Latest on Brexit (all times local):11:20 a.m.Officials say British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will hold Brexit talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in Luxembourg.The British government and the European Commission have confirmed the meeting, which will take place on Monday at lunchtime.Johnson’s envoy David Frost has been holding talks in Brussels this week. The Brexit negotiations have produced few signs of progress as the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain’s departure from the European Union nears.Johnson wants the Irish border provision removed from a legally-binding Brexit agreement sealed by his predecessor. The EU insists the so-called backstop must stay in so that goods can flow smoothly between member country Ireland and Northern Ireland when it leaves along with the rest of the U.K.Parliament has passed a law saying the prime minister must seek an extension if no deal is reached by mid-October. Johnson has indicated he will not do so.___9:10 a.m.The speaker of Britain’s lower house of parliament has made it abundantly clear he is not going quietly into retirement.House of Commons Speaker John Bercow used a speech Thursday night to warn Prime Minister Boris Johnson to expect Parliament to take aggressive action to make sure its legislation designed to block a “no-deal” Brexit is respected.He says he will allow “procedural creativity” in making sure Johnson does not violate the new law, which took effect this week.It requires Johnson to ask the European Union for an extension of the Oct. 31 Brexit deadline if no deal is reached by mid-October.Johnson has said he will not seek an extension. Bercow says the prime minister must obey the law.Bercow plans to step down from his influential post by the end of October.The Associated Press read more

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UN nuclear watchdog in touch with Japan over power plant accident

The Vienna-based International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it had received information from Japanese nuclear regulatory authorities who reported that the accident occurred in a non-radioactive part of the plant.The IAEA said it expected to receive updates on a continuous basis, adding that no request for assistance had been received.According to latest reports from Japan, four workers were scalded to death when a pipe burst and seven others were injured, three seriously.

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European truck parts required

Kenya company based in Nairobi requires parts for the leading European  truck brands and parts for BMW, Mercedes, Audi and VW. A list of parts required can be supplied upon request.Contact: Nadir Ahmed, Director, bManfreco Ltd Email:manfreco@wananchi.comTel: 2738382 Mobile: 0722 811276 or 0738 811276Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)

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Awards ceremony to honour Brocks distinguished grads

Tickets are still available for the 2018 Alumni Recognition Reception, where graduates and longtime Brock employees Joe Kenny (MEd ’85) and Karen McAllister-Kenny (MEd ’97) will be recognized for their outstanding commitment to the University.The married couple have spent decades helping to shape the athletic and recreational landscape at Brock University.McAllister-Kenny, Brock’s Director of Youth Programs and Recreation, and Kenny, who recently retired as Head Athletic Therapist and Manager of the Athletic Therapy Clinic, will be recognized as the first joint recipients, master’s graduates and couple to receive the prestigious Distinguished Alumni Award.The reception will take place at noon on Saturday, Sept. 22 in Lowenberger Dining Hall as part of Brock’s Homecoming weekend. A complimentary light luncheon hosted by the Brock University Alumni Association will be served. Advance registration is required.The event will also honour the 2018 Distinguished Faculty Graduate Award recipients — alumni recognized for earning prominence as a result of their exceptional professional achievements and/or service to society:Faculty of Social Sciences — Tayler Book (BA ’14)Faculty of Humanities — James Crichton (BA ’79)Goodman School of Business — Brian Parsons (BBA ’90)Faculty of Applied Health Sciences — Gerry Townend (BPhEd ’90)Faculty of Mathematics and Science — Peter Putnam (BSc ’77)Faculty of Education — Michele Zoccoli (BA ’89, BEd ’91)Graduates from the classes of ’68 and ’93 are also invited to attend the reception to receive a 50-year gold cameo or 25-year silver cameo anniversary pin.For more information and to register for the Alumni Recognition Reception, visit brocku.ca/homecoming read more

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Ohio State synchronized swimming team wins 2014 US National Championship

Members of the OSU Synchronized Swimming team compete during the Jessica Beck Memorial Competition Feb. 1 at McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion. The team finished 1st.Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editorRoutines based on the elements of fire and ice solidified the Ohio State synchronized swimming team as national champions.An overall score of 57 points secured a first-place finish for the Buckeyes at the 2014 U.S. National Championship Saturday in Oro Valley, Ariz., making for the team’s first U.S. Senior National title since the 2010-11 season, according to an OSU press release.The team, led by coach Holly Vargo-Brown, was awarded three medals at the competition.OSU’s Scarlet Team, consisting of seniors Chelsea Aton and Yuliya Maryanko , juniors Katie Spada and Khadija Zanotto and freshmen Emma Baranski, Elizabeth Davidson, Morgan Boneberg and Lorraine Hack, tallied an overall 85 points to receive the gold medal in the team competition, while the Gray Team, consisting of seniors Lauren Nicholson, Julia and Natalie Gaylard, juniors Samantha Golomb, Heidi Liou and Emily Muma and freshmen Alexa Aton, Jasmine Pulido and Sarah House, was awarded silver with a score of 81.0667 points.The two squads within the varsity team are divided based upon skill, with the athletes more refined in technicality and execution placed on Scarlet.Hack and Maryanko picked up a bronze medal in the duet competition with a score of 164.1038, and the two tied for fourth for the Individual High Point Award with 29 points.Baranski placed fifth in the solo competition, the highest placing for the Buckeyes in that contest, with 81.7333 points.Vargo-Brown said not only was competing in the U.S. Senior National Championships less than three weeks after the U.S. Collegiate Championship challenging, the team also lost senior All-American Lauren Nicholson and freshman Natalie Huibregtse to injury, forcing the teams to make “huge adjustments to each of the free team routines,” she said in an email to The Lantern.However, she said she is proud of the team’s performance.“I’m so happy for our seniors,” Vargo-Brown said in the email. “Our strong finishes in the two biggest competitions of the seasons are really a testament to the leadership they have provided the team all year. Every one of them has a ‘fight until the end’ attitude.”The team’s win follows a second-place finish at both the North Regional Championships March 1 in St. Louis and U.S. Collegiate National Championships in Oxford, Ohio, March 19.Correction: A previous version of this article listed the members of the Scarlet and Gray squads incorrectly. The current version reflects the correct roster. read more

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Football Taking a look at Ryan Days and other Ohio State assistant

Offensive coordinator Ryan Day prior to the Ohio State- Oklahoma game on Sep. 9. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorIn order to entice recently promoted offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Ryan Day to remain at Ohio State for the long term, the Buckeyes made him one of their first two assistant coaches to earn at least $1 million in a season. If he stays at the university for more than one season, he will earn progressively increasing raises the next three years, according to a signed terms of employment obtained by The Lantern.Day will earn $200,000 if employed by Ohio State on Jan, 31, 2019, then will make $300,000 if he is on the coaching staff on Jan. 31, 2020. If he is still at Ohio State on Jan. 31, 2021, he will be paid $350,000. His base salary for 2018 is exactly $1 million.Ohio State revealed two assistant coaches — Day and defensive coordinator Greg Schiano — will make at least $1 million next year in base salary Wednesday evening. The university released signed terms of employment agreements of all 10 assistant coaches — Schiano, Day, offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson, defensive assistant Alex Grinch, offensive line coach Greg Studrawa, wide receiver coach Zach Smith, defensive line coach Larry Johnson, running backs coach Tony Alford, linebackers coach Bill Davis and cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson — in response to a public records request Thursday morning.Grinch, Johnson, Alford and Johnson agreed to two-year contracts. Schiano, Wilson, Studrawa, Smith and Davis signed one-year contracts. Day is the only assistant coach to have a three-year contract.Grinch does not have to pay anything to Ohio State if he leaves during his contract for another job. Wilson would have to pay $50,000 to the university if he leaves for a non-head coach job. If any other assistant coach leaves Ohio State for a non-head coach position, he must pay $100,000.If the Buckeyes are successful on the field, each coach will earn substantial supplemental income.Each assistant coach will be eligible to earn 8.5 percent raises to his base salary if the Buckeyes win the Big Ten East championship and he will make an additional 4.25 percent bonuses to his base salaries if the team wins the conference championship game.All assistant coaches will earn 17 percent raises to their base salaries if Ohio State participates in a College Football Playoff game. If Ohio State plays in a College Football Playoff semifinal, each coach will receive a boost of 21.25 percent of his respective base salaries. If the Buckeyes win that game, each coach will instead receive a bonus of 25.5 percent of his base salaries.If Ohio State makes a non-College Football Playoff bowl game and has at least nine wins, all assistant coaches will earn 4.25 percent bonuses to their respective base salaries.All bonuses would have to be paid back by the coaches to the university if the respective achievements are vacated by Ohio State or the NCAA.Schiano will receive nine Ohio State football season tickets and two men’s basketball season tickets. Every other assistant will receive six football season tickets and two men’s basketball tickets.Ohio State pays each coach stipends of $600 per month, which is used to cover the costs of one car each.The university released the signed term agreements for each of the 10 assistant football coaches Thursday morning in response to a public records request. read more

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Bruton At critical moments Angela Merkel has been a very important ally

first_imgJOBS MINISTER RICHARD Bruton has congratulated Angela Merkel on her re-election as German chancellor and described her as a “very important ally” for Ireland at critical moments in recent years.He said that the positive thing for Ireland about Merkel leading the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) close to its first absolute majority in half a century was that Enda Kenny has built a good relationship with the chancellor.Speaking to RTÉ’s Morning Ireland he said: “I think the solid performance of Ireland in delivering all of the targets that have been set, I think that gives us the credibility.”He said that at “critical moments she has been a very important ally” and pointed to the June 2012 decision of the European Council to include Ireland in possible retrospective recapitalisation of its banks.This could be done through the eurozone’s permanent bailout fund, the European Stability Mechanism, but there has been little progress on this since the Council statement over a year ago.“The details have to be worked out in detail,” Bruton said, adding: “I think we have a significant decision to which Angela Merkel, as chancellor, was party [to].”On the same programme, Bruton also defended Fine Gael’s claim that abolishing the Seanad will save €20 million despite the Houses of the Oireachtas saying that it is not possible to say what would be the net saving from abolition.Bruton insisted that it is “up to government to ensure that we deliver the savings, some of those are going to the immediate”.He said that decisions on how the money is “redeployed” will be a matter for government and insisted: “Of course we can say that this money can be saved after the Seanad is abolished.”The chairman of the Referendum Commission, Justice Elizabeth Dunne, said on the same programme that her body was not in a position to calculate the savings that would be made but pointed to correspondence from the Houses of the Oireachtas which it published last week.Read: “I’ll debate anyone, anywhere” – Richard BrutonRead: After ‘super-result’ Merkel begins search for German coalition partner‘Ireland is a special case’: Kenny and Merkel commit to improving bailoutlast_img read more

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Poll Should Ireland switch time zones

first_imgAN OIREACHTAS COMMITTEE is looking for submissions from the public about a proposed change in law to allow Ireland to move to the Central European Time Zone.It has been argued that moving the clocks forward by one hour could result in trade benefits, a boost to tourism and a drop in crime.A new piece of legislation on the table now would allow the move on a three year trial period and then permanently if it worked out.We want to know: Do you think Ireland should switch to the Central European Time Zone? Poll Results: Yes, move those clocksNo, I don’t like changeI’m not sureVote Yes, move those clocks (6801)center_img I’m not sure (1881) No, I don’t like change (4826)last_img read more

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Robots Get Goosebumps Too

first_imgLet us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Evan Rachel Wood Just As Disturbed by Humanoid Sophia As Everyone ElseMIT’s Thread-Like Robot Slides Through Blood Vessels In the Brain Stay on targetcenter_img Goosebumps, goose pimples, gooseflesh: Whatever you call them, the lumps that involuntarily appear on the skin can signal a person’s emotions—fear, euphoria, arousal.They can also have the same effect on robots.A team of scientists at Cornell University developed a soft robotic skin that changes texture to express an internal state.If the cyborg is happy and it knows it, instead of clapping non-existent hands, round masses pulsate on its fleshy exterior. Those so-called “goosebumps” also rise and fall slowly to signify a sleepy bot. Likewise, make it angry or sad, and you’ll feel the wrath of soft spikes.“The prototype skin can animate a combination of goosebumps and spikes,” lead researcher Guy Hoffman wrote on his website. “This is in contrast to most socially expressive robots, which use either gestures or facial expressions to communicate.”Considered a vestigial reflex, goosebumps occur in mammals besides humans—porcupines raise their quills when threatened, and sea otters react similarly upon encountering predators.“In contrast, most social robots only use gestures or facial expressions to do the same,” Hoffman said.Texture-changing robotic skin, meanwhile, makes for a more effectively connected companion: The fluctuations are perceived visually and haptically (assuming someone is touching the device).“This can give social robots a new channel for communicating with humans,” according to the researchers.Wearing one texture module on each side of its “face” (a small digital touchscreen), the table-top bot can express itself using pneumatically powered elastomer skin.Each grid of elastomer units can be filled with pressurized air, inflating (or deflating) the shapes to either poke out or suck in, creating a tactile sensation for the user.“We are less likely to get close to a spiky blowfish and may read distress in a ruffled bird,” Hoffman and co-author Yuhan Hu told IEEE Spectrum. “Thinking about robots as more than just human-replacement, we could use this new communication channel to give humans a signal whether the robot is in a positive state or not.”I think it’ll be quite clear once they revolt.last_img read more

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REVISED BUDGET IN FOCUS

first_imgThe revised budget sought to reduce the deficit of the government from 4.7 billion dalasis to 955 million dalasis. This is done to try to manage the 48 billion dalasis debt of the country.How far debts could be managed by expenditure reduction is still a matter of debate. Apparently the real solution is to expand the productive base of the economy in order to expand revenue so that expenditure on pensions, salaries and services such as education and health, waste management and roads would expand to meet the expectations of the population.Foroyaa will be following the state of the nation address to the population to know how the government intends to build the productive base to meet the needs and aspirations of the people.Migration is a major issue which is being tackled by the EU. The plan now is to tackle the problem with points of origin. Hence immigration departments of many countries where migrants originate from are likely to be given materials such as vehicles and other support services in order to enhance their monitoring capacities to prevent the migration of their nationalsThe real solution however is to provide those nationals, especially the young people with jobs and income fit for human living. This is the challenge to be addressed by all governments and the transitional government is no exception.last_img read more

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Miamibased USCG members receive medal for Hurricane Irma disaster relief efforts

first_imgMIAMI (WSVN) – Members of the U.S. Coast Guard in Miami were recognized for their disaster relief efforts with a medal.A Dutch delegation visited the USCG Air Station Miami, Friday.Members of the Tactical Law Enforcement Team of South Florida were given the Humanitarian Service Medal on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.The team was recognized for their disaster relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in 2017.Copyright 2019 Sunbeam Television Corp. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

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Drive Sober Or Get Pulled Over Campaign Ended With 1186 Citations

first_imgFunding for the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over high-visibility enforcement campaign was funded by grants distributed by the Alaska Highway Safety Office. Alaska State Troopers and Wildlife Troopers reported the following contacts:• 61 misdemeanor DUI arrests, 1 felony DUI arrest• 32 motorists charged with driving with a suspended or revoked license• 40 REDDIs reported with 15 drivers contacted and ultimately determined not to be DUI• 79 damage-only crashes, 18 injury crashes, and 2 fatal collisions were investigated bytroopers• Of the 1,186 citation issued, 606 were issued for speeding and 65 issued for seatbelt orother occupant restraint violations The high visibility effort is part of the annual national anti-DUI campaign Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. This year’s campaign ran from August 14 through September 2.center_img Facebook0TwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享This year’s annual anti-DUI campaign Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, a high-visibility enforcement effort, ended with 62 DUI arrests made and 1,186 citations issued.last_img read more

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Bigg Boss Tamil contestant Aishwarya Dutta to share screen space with Simbu

first_imgBigg Boss Tamil contestant Aishwarya Dutta in Bigg Boss Tamil.Screen Shot From Bigg Boss Tamil Promo VideoAishwarya Dutta, actress and runner-up of Bigg Boss Tamil 2, seems to have bagged a biggie. The actress, reportedly, will share screen space with none other than Simbu in his forthcoming film.As per the rumours doing rounds on internet, Aishwarya Dutta will be working in Venkat Prabhu’s next movie Maanadu, but not in the female lead role, rather she will be doing a guest appearance. Considering that she is a big fan of Simbu, the actress seems like having no qualms to do a cameo in the Tamil flick.The makers had reportedly approached her recently and she has given her consent, say reports. Aishwarya Dutta will be seen as herself in the movie. Maanadu is a political thriller, produced by Suresh Kamatchi.A similar kind of rumour had surfaced earlier stating that Aishwarya Dutta would romance Simbu and some reports had claimed that she would be pairing up with him in Sundar C’s Vantha Rajavathaan Varuven. Later, those reports turned out to be false. Aishwarya Dutta started her acting career with Nakul’s Tamizhuku En Ondrai Azhuthavum, Since then, she was part of movies like Vishal’s Paayum Puli, Vikram Prabhu’s Sathiryan among many others.However, she became a household name after taking part in the second season of Kamal Haasan-hosted Bigg Boss Tamil. Although some of her acts garnered negative image among fans, she managed to impress the viewers with her antics and performance in tasks.Currently, she is working on Mahat Raghavendra’s Kettavanu Per Edutha Nallavanda and Aari’s Aleka. The name of Simbu’s next movie revealed.PR Handoutlast_img read more

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Urjit Patels tenure was haunted by Raghuram Rajans record on institutional integrity

first_imgThe government’s choice of Urjit Patel to succeed Raghuram Rajan as head of the Reserve Bank of India based majorly on his views against some of his predecessor’s policies was always going to weigh on his term.Patel, who took charge as RBI governor on September 4, 2016, resigned on Monday, citing personal reasons at the end of a long-running feud with the Narendra Modi government over several policy issues.Rajan’s term had ended amid Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s repeated attacks on RBI policies that had focused on inflation.Patel was also facing mounting pressure with Jaitely who made clear his disagreements on several key policy issues. The bank leadership suffered worse attacks from the likes of S Gurumurthy, the independent member on the RBI board.Though Patel cited personal reasons for his stunning exit days after he weathered extreme pressure at the monetary policy committee meeting, the country’s economists were wondering why he had not stepped down earlier.The real gravity of the situation is evident from Rajan’s response to his successor’s resignation. Rajan told Times Now that “it is a matter of great concern” that Patel resigned. “I think the government must take extreme care in how it proceeds further in its relations with the RBI.”He called for wiser heads to prevail in the current environment and said the circumstances that led to Patel’s resignation have to be reversed.Referring to the government pressure to convert RBI into a board-governed institution, Rajan said it would be an “extreme change in the nature of the governance of the RBI for the board to become an operational board to make operational decisions”.The board has been conceived as an advisory apparatus and Rajan felt that was appropriate because “the professionals on the RBI took the decisions while the broader public, which was represented on the board, advised” it. “I think the move towards giving the board more operational authority would impinge on the professional management if asked to regulate and supervise.”For this, the board itself would require to be composed of professionals as opposed to the general public, he added.Patel, as the 24th governor, perhaps, had to weather the worst shock among all governors with the blitzkrieg of demonetisation striking the nation on September 8-9 night of 2016.Patel’s resignation comes at a difficult phase for the Modi government on the heels of the exit of chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian, who has made a series of damning revelations about the government’s actions.Some economists thought the government’s push to redraw the policies on RBI’s reserves, monetary policy on banks’ capital adequacy, and lenient regulatory approach on non-performing assets was threatening RBI’s institutional integrity.At the last monetary policy committee meeting, Patel indicated that the RBI wanted to maintain nearly 99 per cent of its reserves to maintain a robust balance sheet, some reports suggest. This negated the government demand for releasing a part of the reserves to boost market liquidity.last_img read more

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