Month: August 2019

August 31, 2019

Physicists Store Images in Vapor

first_img“During the storage time, there are no light fields in the experimental system,” Shuker explained. “All the information carried by the light (in our case the 3D intensity and phase pattern) is converted to the quantum state of the atoms in the vapor (specifically, the coherence between the sub-levels of the ground state). If it was easy to detect the coherence level of the quantum state of the atoms, we would notice that an effective ‘image’ exists – but this is not easily performed (maybe the easiest way is to convert it back to light – as we do in the restoring stage of the experiment).”Due to the diffusion of the gas atoms, the recovered images looked somewhat blurry and had a decreased signal-to-noise ratio. To improve the image resolution, the researchers developed a technique to minimize image degradation caused by the movement of the atoms. The technique is similar to the phase-shift lithography technique used to reduce optical spreading, where the phases of neighboring image features are flipped so that light between them will interfere destructively. The researchers shifted the phases of image features by 180 degrees, so that atoms of opposite phases that diffused to the areas between lines in the image had amplitudes that cancelled, and no light was emitted that blurred the image lines.Storing images in vapor – or, as the researchers describe, “converting optical information to atomic coherence” – could be useful for various image processing and correlation applications, as well as quantum information processing and even quantum communication. The scientists also predict that it should be possible to store more elaborate images, including temporal images, or movies.“The storage-of-light technique (generally, not only images) might have important applications in future quantum information devices,” Shuker said. “The most ‘straight-forward’ application is a ‘memory device’ for the basic information unit of quantum information – the qubit. “Furthermore, the ability to convert quantum information from one representation (a light pulse) to another (atomic coherence) might prove very useful, since each of them has its unique benefits. Photons are excellent carriers of information, and atomic coherence is a good place to store the information – and maybe even process it, since atoms interact with the environment much better than photons.”More information: Shuker, M.; Firstenberg, O.; Pugatch, R.; Ron, A.; and Davidson, N. “Storing Images in Warm Atomic Vapor.” Physical Review Letters 100, 223601 (2008).Copyright 2008 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Explore further The original image (left), the image slowed for 6 microseconds (middle), and the image stored for 2 microseconds (right). The technique to improve image resolution was not used for these images. Credit: M. Shuker, et al. ©2008 APS. NIST’s compact atomic gyroscope displays new twists Books are written on solid pieces of paper for an obvious reason: the atoms in a solid don’t move around much, keeping the words and pictures in place for centuries. Trying to store letters and images in a gas medium, on the other hand, seems a little far-fetched. Atoms in a gas are constantly moving around, which would move the images around with them. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img Citation: Physicists Store Images in Vapor (2008, June 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from But physicists from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa, Israel, and the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, have recently demonstrated how to store images in a warm atomic vapor. With their method, which is based on electromagnetically induced transparency, the researchers could store complex images for up to 30 microseconds in rubidium vapor. To improve the resolution of the retrieved images, the physicists also developed a method to minimize the effect of the diffusion of the gas atoms on the images’ visibility. Images stored for 30 microseconds. The left table shows actual and predicted images without the technique to improve image resolution. The right table shows actual and predicted images with the technique to improve image resolution, where a phase shift was applied to cancel light emission between the lines. Credit: M. Shuker, et al. ©2008 APS. “The basic concepts of the storage of light have been known for several years now, as well as possible applications,” Moshe Shuker of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology told “What triggered our work was a paper by Howell’s group in Rochester in which they showed they can slow images and delay them for several nanoseconds. We wondered would it be possible to store images – and for how long? Since we used slowing delays and storage durations in the range of microseconds, we immediately noticed the effect of the diffusion of the atoms.”In their technique, the researchers first stored an image (for example, the number “2”) in a light pulse. When that light pulse hits a gas of atoms, it is strongly absorbed, and excites the atoms. But when a second light beam is aimed at the gas, it drives the atoms to a unique quantum state, and causes the first pulse to pass through the vapor. This phenomenon is called electromagnetically induced transparency.As previous experiments have shown, when the second light beam is shut off while the first pulse is inside the vapor, the first pulse can be completely stopped (and be temporarily stored inside the vapor). Then, by starting up the second beam again, the first pulse can be recovered. Here, the physicists used this method to capture, store, and restore complex 3D light fields. The scientists slowed images on a light pulse to a group velocity of 8,000 meters per second, a velocity that allowed the images to be stored in atomic vapor for several microseconds. They directed two light beams to a 5-cm-long vapor cell containing 52°C rubidium gas and a neon gas for buffering. Once half of the first light pulse (containing the image) had exited the vapor cell, the researchers turned off the second beam, so that the remaining half of the image was stored in the vapor. As the researchers explained, during storage, the image was encoded in the quantum state of the ensemble of atoms. After 30 microseconds, the researchers turned the second pulse back on, and the image was then recovered as it left the vapor cell.last_img read more

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Remove software for smartphone can zap photo items w video

first_img Explore further Citation: Remove software for smartphone can zap photo items (w/ video) (2012, February 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Scalado, an imaging technology company, is taking advantage of a booming user trend of depending on a single smart device for communication and picture taking functions; “mobile imaging” is an industry slice of the mobile device pie. Scalado last year laid claim to control of a third of the total market for mobile imaging. The company’s various imaging technologies are embedded in millions of mobile devices, according to the company.Last year, Scalado released Rewind, where a “perfect” group shot can be achieved, perfect in the sense that it satisfies the user. Out of a photo burst, the picture-taker can choose which faces or items they like best and merge them into one optimal image. The application, which is processor intensive, was showcased and at the time GigaOM explained how it works: After the picture is taken, the software uses facial recognition to zero in on each member; tapping a face in the picture creates a circular control around the person’s image. A turn of the circle scrolls through images of the face; the best one can be selected and chosen and “stitched” into the final image. Company co-founder Fadi Abbas has said that the company is set to redefine the way memories are edited, searched, and shared at any time on any screen. According to the press release, Remove is the first of other innovations planned for this year. Removal is in prototype but according to reports a fuller version will be showcased at the 2012 Mobile World Conference in Barcelona later this month. The strategy won’t be to make Remove something you can download off an Internet-based app store. Rather, the company plans to go the route of licensing the technology to OEMs. Smartphone makers such as Samsung or HTC, for example, could make Remove a feature for their devices. ( — A Swedish company focused on mobile-device imaging technology, Scalado, plans to show object-removal software for the smartphone at this month’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The software lets you remove anything in a photo that you’re taking, with just a screen tap. The only requirements are that the object has to be moving — unwanted pedestrians as you try to capture something on the city streets, for example — for the application to capture and delete. Also, the camera needs to stay still and focused on the subject while you touch each moving item chosen for removal. Remove goes to work by capturing several images in a row, analyzing them to identify which objects are moving and their position in each frame. The user gets to delete what is not wanted and to keep what is wanted for a “clean” final shot. More information: Augmented reality in an iPhone app 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. © 2011 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

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Nanosuits help small creatures survive a vacuum

first_img © 2013 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. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (A–D) A living Drosophila larva was exposed to high vacuum with electron-beam irradiation for 60 min. (F and G) Before SEM observation, a different larva (light micrograph in F) was placed in the observation chamber without electron-beam irradiation for 60 min. (H and I) The specimen collapsed completely when subsequently observed by SEM. Each small white square in C and H is shown magnified in D and I, respectively. (E and J) TEM images are shown of vertical sections through the surface of each animal. The layer between the arrowheads in E indicates the limits of the newly formed outer membrane, not present in J. An outer layer covering the animal represents ECSs in B and G. Credit: (c) 2013 PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1221341110 More information: A thin polymer membrane, nano-suit, enhancing survival across the continuum between air and high vacuum, PNAS, Published online before print April 15, 2013. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1221341110 AbstractMost multicellular organisms can only survive under atmospheric pressure. The reduced pressure of a high vacuum usually leads to rapid dehydration and death. Here we show that a simple surface modification can render multicellular organisms strongly tolerant to high vacuum. Animals that collapsed under high vacuum continued to move following exposure of their natural extracellular surface layer (or that of an artificial coat-like polysorbitan monolaurate) to an electron beam or plasma ionization (i.e., conditions known to enhance polymer formation). Transmission electron microscopic observations revealed the existence of a thin polymerized extra layer on the surface of the animal. The layer acts as a flexible “nano-suit” barrier to the passage of gases and liquids and thus protects the organism. Furthermore, the biocompatible molecule, the component of the nano-suit, was fabricated into a “biomimetic” free-standing membrane. This concept will allow biology-related fields especially to use these membranes for several applications. Exposure to a high vacuum causes living things to become dehydrated, collapse and die. This poses a problem for scientists who want to study fine structures on small organisms, because they must use SEMs to view these structures. They can only observe dead creatures, so do not get a true picture of how these structures appear on living ones.Hariyama and his team tested how long different kinds of organisms would live in an SEM. As expected, almost all of the living things they studied died quickly. However, to their surprise, fruit fly larvae moved around for a full hour while in the SEM.When the researchers placed fruit fly larvae in a high vacuum SEM observation chamber, but waited an hour before exposing the larvae to electron beams, the larvae all died, indicating that electrons somehow aided the other group’s survival.The researchers found that treatment with electron radiation causes a gooey extracellular substance (ECS), which normally covers fruit fly larvae, to polymerize, forming a 50-100 nanometer thick surface layer. They called this layer, between 1,000 and 2,000 times thinner than a human hair, a “nanosuit.” This nanosuit, while flexible enough to allow the larvae to move, acts as a protective barrier against the vacuum, preventing severe dehydration and enabling the larvae to survive.Hariyama and his team found that they could cause nanosuits to form on fruit fly larvae, as well as on other insects with ECS coatings, by exposing them to ionized plasma particles as well as electrons.They were able to create protective nanosuits for mosquitoes, which do not have natural coatings, by immersing them in Tween 20, a non-toxic chemical found in detergents, and then exposing them to plasma radiation. The researchers point out that plasma and energetic electrons, which exist throughout the universe, could help coated organisms form their own protective nanosuits and survive the vacuum of space.center_img Explore further Citation: Nanosuits help small creatures survive a vacuum (2013, April 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —Scientists use scanning electron microscopes (SEMs) to study tiny structures in small organisms. SEMs can only work in a high vacuum, and exposure to such a vacuum normally causes living things to die very quickly. Therefore, until now, scientists have been unable to study living specimens using SEMs. Takahiko Hariyama of the Hamamatsu University School of Medicine in Japan and his colleagues report that they were able to create “nanosuits” for small organisms by bombarding these organisms with electron beams or plasma radiation. In their paper, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hariyama’s team reports that these nanosuits provide protection against a high vacuum, allowing the organisms to stay alive in SEMs while scientists analyze them. Ticks found able to survive being subjected to electron microscopylast_img read more

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Study shows rising ocean acidification likely to cause shrimp to taste bad

first_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Researchers determine optimum cooking times for shrimp and salmon © 2014 Explore further Shrimp, as most everyone knows, is wildly popular the world over—but that popularity may be in jeopardy in the future if findings by the team with this new research prove true. Prior research has suggested that the oceans are growing more acidic as they absorb more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. That increase, the team suggests, along with an increase in temperatures is likely to cause stress to shrimp, which it now appears, will likely cause them to be less pleasurable to the human palate.It is no secret that animals living under stressful conditions wind up suffering degradations in taste—slaughterhouses, for example, attempt to surprise cows, pigs, chickens, etc., with a sudden isolated swift death so that they (and the other livestock) will not stress about their fate beforehand. Now it appears that creatures living in the sea may surprise us in the future with how they taste if they are forced to live under increasingly stressful conditions.The researchers raised shrimp for three weeks in water with a pH level of 7.5 (the level predicted for the oceans by 2100) rather than the normal 8—the water temperature was slightly higher than normal as well to reflect a gradual warming of the oceans by the end of this century. Other shrimp were raised under current normal conditions. All of the shrimp were cooked by professional chefs and fed to volunteer shrimp lovers who rated the shrimp on how well they tasted.The researchers found that the shrimp raised under normal current conditions were 3.4 times as likely to be deemed the tastiest among all the shrimp, while those raised in acidic/warm water were found to be 2.6 times as likely to be described as the worst tasting. The researchers also found that the fish raised in the more acidic/warmer water were 1.6 times as likely to die during the three week test. Thus, unless shrimp learn to adapt to the new conditions so they will not feel stressed, they might just find their numbers increasing as people find them less tasty. Citation: Study shows rising ocean acidification likely to cause shrimp to taste bad (2014, December 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (—A study conducted by a small team of researchers with members from the U.K., Sweden and Canada has revealed that in the future as the oceans become more acidic, it appears likely that the taste of shrimp will become less appealing. In their paper published in the Journal of Shellfish Research, the team describes how they raised test shrimp in higher than normal acidic water and then held taste tests with volunteers. More information: First Evidence of Altered Sensory Quality in a Shellfish Exposed to Decreased pH Relevant to Ocean Acidification, Journal of Shellfish Research 33(3):857-861. 2014 ABSTRACTUnderstanding how seafood will be influenced by coming environmental changes such as ocean acidification is a research priority. One major gap in knowledge relates to the fact that many experiments are not considering relevant end points related directly to production (e.g., size, survival) and product quality (e.g., sensory quality) that can have important repercussions for consumers and the seafood market. The aim of this experiment was to compare the survival and sensory quality of the adult northern shrimp (Pandalus borealis) exposed for 3 wk to a temperature at the extreme of its thermal tolerance (11°C) and 2 pH treatments: pH 8.0 (the current average pH at the sampling site) and pH 7.5 (which is out of the current natural variability and relevant to near-future ocean acidification). Results show that decreased pH increased mortality significantly, by 63%. Sensory quality was assessed through semiqualitative scoring by a panel of 30 local connoisseurs. They were asked to rate 4 shrimp (2 from each pH treatment) for 3 parameters: appearance, texture and taste. Decreased pH reduced the score significantly for appearance and taste, but not texture. As a consequence, shrimp maintained in pH8.0 had a 3.4 times increased probability to be scored as the best shrimp on the plate, whereas shrimp from the pH 7.5 treatment had a 2.6 times more chance to be scored as the least desirable shrimp on the plate. These results help to prove the concept that ocean acidification can modulate sensory quality of the northern shrimp P. borealis. More research is now needed to evaluate impacts on other seafood species, socioeconomic consequences, and potential options. A deep sea shrimp out in open water. Credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administrationlast_img read more

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Unusual polyketide metabolites found to give potato rotting bacteria ability to live

first_img(—A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in Germany has discovered the means by which the common bacteria Clostridium puniceum, which causes pink slime rot in potatoes, is able to survive in an oxygen-rich environment. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes the experiments they conducted that led to their discovery and what it might mean for fighting potato rotting in the future. Citation: Unusual polyketide metabolites found to give potato rotting bacteria ability to live in an oxygen-rich environment (2015, November 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore further Potatoes are one of the four main food types grown in the world today, which means they make up a substantial portion of the human diet. But growing them has proven to be challenging because they are prone to bacterial infections, which currently result in approximately 65 billion kilograms of lost potatoes every year. Unlike the famous potato blight that caused such misery in Ireland back in the 19th century, most modern infections are bacterial, rather than fungal. In this new effort, the researchers looked at one of the more problematic bacteria, C.puniceum, to see if they could learn how it is able to survive where potatoes are stored, because it is normally anaerobic.Their experiments started with injecting the bacteria into potatoes in their lab and then watching as things developed. Once the bacteria was fully engaged, they studied it under a microscope and discovered that it excreted two unusual polyketide metabolites— clostrubins, type A and type B. To determine if the molecules had something to do with giving the bacteria an ability to live in an oxygen rich environment, the team studied its genes and identified which were responsible for causing the clostrubins to be excreted and then genetically altered some of them so that they were no longer able to do so. Those bacteria, the researchers found, were no longer able to live where oxygen was present, suggesting that the expression of the clostrubins played an essential role in allowing them to live where potatoes are stored.But that wasn’t all—the researchers also found that the clostrubins also served as an anti-bacterial agent against competing bacteria, such as those that cause ring and soft rot and other potato diseases. Thus more study might lead to new types of antibacterial agents for use in warding off potato infections. © 2015 More information: G. Shabuer et al. Plant pathogenic anaerobic bacteria use aromatic polyketides to access aerobic territory, Science (2015). DOI: 10.1126/science.aac9990AbstractAround 25% of vegetable food is lost worldwide because of infectious plant diseases, including microbe-induced decay of harvested crops. In wet seasons and under humid storage conditions, potato tubers are readily infected and decomposed by anaerobic bacteria (Clostridium puniceum). We found that these anaerobic plant pathogens harbor a gene locus (type II polyketide synthase) to produce unusual polyketide metabolites (clostrubins) with dual functions. The clostrubins, which act as antibiotics against other microbial plant pathogens, enable the anaerobic bacteria to survive an oxygen-rich plant environment.center_img Journal information: Science Researchers find the genome of the cultivated sweet potato has bacterial DNA Source: Wikipedia 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

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Study shows foraging gene works nearly the same in humans and fruit

first_img Prior research has shown that forms of a gene called PRKG1, known to have an impact on foraging, are present in a wide variety of animals, including both humans and fruit flies (both of whom have a known history of foraging for food). In humans, the form of the gene is a nucleotide polymorphism genotype called rs13499. Prior research has also shown that one variant of the gene in fruit flies nudges them to be “sitters” and another “rovers.” When entering an area with fruit, sitters are likely to first tour the perimeter of the area, then move inward. Rovers, on the other hand, jump right in, going after the first fruit they see. The researchers in this new effort wondered if the same gene in humans might have a similar effect, so they developed experiments to find out.College volunteers used a touchscreen tablet to find as many berries as possible hidden among fruit plants in a virtual scene. They could navigate around the virtual environment and click on fruit to pick it. Each of the volunteers also gave a tissue sample for DNA testing.The researchers found that some volunteers took a perimeter-first approach, while others dove right in. In comparing their genes, the researchers found the same variant responsible for instigating sitter behavior in fruit flies also did so in human sitters and likewise for the rovers. The researchers also noted that the search paths taken by the human volunteers and the sitter and rover fruit flies were nearly identical.The researchers claim their experiments show that distinct search patterns connected to goal pursuit in humans can be associated with PRKG1 variants. Drosophila sp fly. Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim / Wikipedia. GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 © 2019 Science X Network Citation: Study shows foraging gene works nearly the same in humans and fruit flies (2019, February 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from An epigenetic key to unlock behavior change Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencescenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further More information: Andriy A. Struk et al. Self-regulation and the foraging gene (PRKG1) in humans, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1809924116 A team of researchers from Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. has found that a gene known to influence foraging in fruit flies has a similar effect on humans. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes experiments they carried out with college student volunteers and what they found.last_img read more

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Nanoscale Lamb wavedriven motors in nonliquid environments

first_img LEFT: A stepping rotary motor. (A) Schematic showing that a specific number (n) of light pulses are emitted at a 1-kHz repetition rate when the light source senses a positive edge on every trigger input. The 1-Hz electric trigger signal is generated by a waveform generator. (B) Step angle of the motor increasing linearly with the light pulse number (n) for one of the trigger inputs. The motor rotates about 0.1° for every single light pulse. (C) Stepping rotation of the motor when the light pulse numbers (n) are 500 and 200. RIGHT: One example application, demonstrating a micromirror for laser scanning. (A) Schematic representation of a rotary plate used as a micromirror to deflect the light beam. The reflected beam rotates 2θ when the plate rotates θ. The distance between the plate and the far field white screen is L (6.4 cm). The relationship between the position of the laser spot on the white screen (y) and the rotation angle of the reflected light (2θ) is y = L × tan(2θ). (B) Sequencing optical images of the laser spot (the center of which is marked with red circles) on the screen in the far field. (C) Experimentally measured and theoretically expected position of the laser spot on the white screen. The rotational speed of the plate, actuated by light pulses at a repetition rate of 5 kHz in the experiment, is 0.95 rpm (0.1 rad/s). The preconceived relationship between y and t is y = L × tan(2ωt + θ0) = 6.4tan(0.2t + θ0). θ0 is the initial angle. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8271 Light can induce mechanical rotation remotely, instantly and precisely. Light induced micro/nanoscale rotation can generate extensive applications in mechanical actuation, to manipulate biomolecules and deliver cargo. In liquid environments, scientists have demonstrated light-driven rotation by transferring linear and angular momentum to micro-sized objects. In nonliquid environments, dominant forces of adhesion prevent the motion of micro-sized objects. Since adhesion can seriously impede the operation of rotary motors actuated by momentum transfer, liquid is typically used to minimize unwanted impacts. In the present work, Lu et al. deviated from this long-held view to report on a light-actuated motor, where the forces of adhesion in air counterintuitively allowed rotation. The process was assisted by the Lamb wave (a thermo-elastic expansion generated by plasmonic heating of the absorbed pulse light) and the geometrical configuration of the plate-fiber. In the work, Lu et al. demonstrated a light-actuated micromirror with a scanning resolution of 0.001 degrees. They controlled the rotation velocity and stop resolution of the motor (gold plate on a microfiber) by varying the repetition rate and pulse wave in the setup. The scientists showed the motor crawl step-wise, with sub nanometer locomotion resolution in the experiment. The work offers unprecedented application potential to integrate in micro-opto-electromechanical systems, outer-space all-optical precision mechanics and controls, and as laser scanning for miniature lidar systems (light-based navigation/mapping systems). © 2019 Science X Network To construct the microfibers, Lu et al. used a flame-heated drawing technique and synthesized the gold plate containing a single crystal with an atomic smooth surface, in the shape of hexagons or triangles as previously reported. They then experimentally suspended the uniformly fine-drawn optical microfiber in air, or vacuum and placed the gold plate on it using a probe. They used scanning electron microscopy (SEM) imaging to view the plate-microfiber system. During instantaneous on/off movements of a continuous wave (CW) laser, the scientists observed subtly weak azimuthal movement of the gold plate. The movement was due to the expansion/contraction of the gold plate, the accidental effect triggered the pulsed delivery of a supercontinuum light into the microfiber. Using this process, the scientists showed how the gold plate revolved around the microfiber as the light pulses were guided into the setup where Van der Waals forces were responsible for the tight adherence of the plate to the microfiber. Incidentally, since the separation between the gold plate and microfiber was so small, the Van der Waals forces became dominant. When the scientists conducted the same experiment in liquid, the forces of adhesion became smaller, in this instance the gold plate moved away from the microfiber and stopped rotating, showing the necessity of adhesion forces for motion in this setup. For additional insight into the mechanism, the scientists conducted finite element coupled thermal and elastic simulations. The results confirmed the experimental outcomes and indicated that the propagation direction of the Lamb wave generated in the plate-microfiber system was independent of the direction of light propagation within the microfiber. Lu et al. propose using the nanoscale motor thus developed in a variety of fields including micro-opto-electromechanical systems in outer space, during energy conversion and in vacuum high-precision mechanics. The rotating plate can also be used as a scanning micromirror to deflect a laser beam as shown in the study, for laser scanning in miniature lidar systems to map the world in 3D or as laser display systems and optical modulating/switching for integrated microsystems. The new discovery of light-actuated locomotion can open a new era of optical driving and manipulation at the sub-nanometer resolution of locomotion for controlled motion. The work will allow physicists and materials scientists to explore the new landscape of optical nanomanipulation in environments that require a new paradigm, beyond the existing liquid-based function. Citation: Nanoscale Lamb wave-driven motors in nonliquid environments (2019, March 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from The motor also worked in vacuum, where the gas pressure was about nine orders of magnitude lower than in air. The rotation speed was linearly proportional to the repetition rate of light pulses and increased linearly, to show that a single light pulse could actuate the motor to rotate at an extremely fine angle. Lu et al. used a waveform generator to produce a signal that could trigger the light source to emit a specific number of pulses and calculated the angle between the microfiber and plate using the projection method. Each light pulse actuated the motor to rotate at a constant angle. The scientists confirmed this result with further experiments.The scientists ruled out optical forces as the driving force during rotation, since the use of CW laser sources of different wavelengths did not cause any rotation to occur; only a pulsed light source with a single wavelength (1064 nm) could drive the motor to rotate. Indicating that pulses played an essential role to generate motion. Previous studies had similarly shown that pulsed light could excite coherent phonons to induce lattice expansion and contraction, to propagate light-induced acoustic waves for many practical applications in optofluidics and bioimaging. Light driven movement is challenging in nonliquid environments as micro-sized objects can experience strong dry adhesion to contact surfaces and resist movement. In a recent study, Jinsheng Lu and co-workers at the College of Optical Science and Engineering, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, School of Engineering and the Institute of Advanced Technology in China and Singapore, developed a vacuum system and achieved rotary locomotion where a micrometer-sized, metal hexagonal plate approximately 30 nm in thickness revolved around a microfiber. They powered the motor (plate-fiber) using a pulsed light, which was guided on the fiber by an optically excited Lamb wave. The procedure enabled a plate-fiber geometry motor favorable for optomechanical applications in practice; results of the study are now published on Science Advances. The present results were specifically observed since Lu et al. generated a pulsed light-induced Lamb wave on the thin gold plate placed on the surface of the microfiber, to move the plate across the microfiber surface. They illuminated the phenomenon by explaining that first, when a pulsed laser is focused on a line on the surface of a light-absorbing film, surface acoustic waves known as Rayleigh waves can be generated. The pulsed light is then absorbed by the film to locally heat the surface, causing thermo-elastic expansion to generate surface acoustic waves that can clean adhesive particles on the surface. The Rayleigh wave and Lamb wave have similar patterns of motion, therefore, for instance, when the thickness of a film/plate is smaller than the wavelength of a Rayleigh wave, the Rayleigh wave will gradually transition to a Lamb wave. Explore further Researchers report new light-activated micro pump Journal information: Science Advances Light-actuated rotation of a motor in air. A motor that is driven by a pulsed supercontinuum light with different repetition rates in air (movie sped up 10x). Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8271 Schematic illustration of an experimental setup with a hexagonal gold plate on a microfiber and a pulsed supercontinuum light delivered into the microfiber, with light power measured at the output (pulse duration 2.6 ns, repetition rate 5 kHz, wavelength 450 to 2400 nm). Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8271 , Proceedings of the Royal Society A More information: 1. Nanoscale Lamb wave–driven motors in nonliquid environments Jinsheng Lu et al. 08 March 2019, Science Advances.2. On Waves Propagated along the Plane Surface of an Elastic Solid londmathsoc.onlinelibrary.wile … .1112/plms/s1-17.1.4 Lord Rayleigh, November 1885, Proceedings of the London Mathematical Society.3. On waves in an elastic plate … .1098/rspa.1917.0008 Horace Lamb, March 1917, Proceedings of the Royal Society A.4. Light-driven nanoscale plasmonic motors Liu M. et al., 2010 Nature Nanotechnology. , Nature Nanotechnology Practical applications of the plate-fiber geometry motor demonstrates a light-actuated rotary micromirror in the lab. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8271 LEFT: Light-actuated rotation of a motor in air and vacuum. (A) Schematic of experimental configuration showing that a pulsed supercontinuum light (pulse duration, 2.6 ns; repetition rate, 5 kHz; wavelength, 450 to 2400 nm) is delivered into a microfiber and light power is measured by a power meter at the output end. The microfiber is suspended in air or vacuum, and the gold plate is placed on it and then rotates around it due to the actuation of the pulsed light. (B) False-color scanning electron micrograph of a gold plate (side length, 11 μm; thickness, 30 nm) below a microfiber with a radius of 880 nm. Note that the plate-microfiber system is placed on a silicon substrate after rotation experiments. (C) Sequencing optical microscopy images of the anticlockwise revolving gold plate around the microfiber in air (sample A, 5 kHz). The measured average light power is 0.6 mW. (D) Sequencing SEM images of a clockwise revolving gold plate (long side length, 10.5 μm; short side length, 3.7 μm; thickness, 30 nm) around a microfiber (radius, 2 μm) in vacuum. The measured average light power is 1.5 mW. Arrows in (C) and (D) represent the direction of light propagation. Gray circles and yellow lines below (C) and (D) denote the microfiber and plate, respectively. Red curve arrows indicate the rotation direction of the plate. RIGHT: Relationship between rotation speed and repetition rate. (A) Effective width (Weff) of the plate obtained from every frame of experimental videos (sample A, 1 kHz). (B) Fourier transformation of the effective width to obtain its variation frequency (i.e., rotation speed of the plate). (C) Light-actuated rotation speed of the motor increases linearly with repetition rate of light pulses, and different samples give similar results. The power for every light pulse remains the same when the repetition rate is changed. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aau8271 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

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Written on the dancing body

first_imgNatya Tarangini is all set with their next edition of Parampara series titled Bhavayami– an aesthetic representation of dance, music and literature that kick starts on 3 September in the Capital. The three-day event will showcase two dance and music concerts every evening. Yamini Reddy will be opening the stage on 3 September with her Kuchipudi dance along with her group from Hyderabad followed by Ambi and Bindu Subramanium in a fusion band titled SubraMania. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Born to the legendary Kuchipudi exponents, Raja and Radha Reddy in 1982, Yamini has got dance in inheritance from her parents. She has been awarded the YuvaRatna Award, Youth Vocational Excellence award by the District Rotaract Organisation, the Young Achievers award by FLO Delhi and Hyderabad, the Devadasi National Award and the Bismillah Khan Yuva Puraskar by Sangeet Natak Akademi. She has also participated in national and international festivals. SubraMania is the band featuring Bindu and Ambi Subramaniam. Their performances include fusion, jazz, pop-rock and Indian music. They perform their own original material in addition well-known standards and classics. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe second day (4 September) will feature Kathak duet by Vidha and Abhimanyu Lal (son of Kathak maestro Pt. Durga Lal) followed by Sarod recital by Ayaan Ali Khan (younger son of Ustad Amjad Ali Khan).Vidha has received Sri Krishana Gana Sabha endowment award 2010, Chennai and made a Guinness world record for taking most numbers of Kathak spins (103) in one minute in 2011. Abhimanyu Lal has been awarded Shri Krishana Gana Sabha endowment award and Nritya Jayantika award. He has performed at the highest level in India and abroad in many prestigious dance festivals like Sydney dance festival at Seymour centre-Australia 2014, 64th Indian republic day celebration in Dubai 2013, LondonOlympics 2012 and many more. Ayaan Ali Khan represents the seventh generation of a musical lineage known as the SeniaBangash School. The younger son and disciple of the Sarod titan Amjad Ali Khan, Ayaan stepped into the world of music and the Sarod, at a very early age. Ayaan has been performing concerts in India and world-wide, since he gave his solo debut at the age of eight. The last day (5 September) will feature Bhavana Reddy (daughter and disciple of Padmabhuashans Dr.s Raja Radha Reddy and Kaushalya Reddy) performing traditional Kuchipudi dance followed by Indo-Western rock music concert along with her group from Los Angeles. She is an acclaimed Kuchipudi dancer and singer-songwriter. She released her self-produced debut EP Tangled In Emotions. Her music is a blend of Indian concept of melodies with western harmonies held together by a string of poetry.last_img read more

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A day of students and the scribe

first_imgThe occasion was graced by the presence of Hindi fiction author, Prem Pal Sharma and Manas Ranjan Mahapatra, editor at the National Book Trust of India, who was instrumental in the publication of the translations of Cheng’s book. Cheng was accompanied R Sangitha and Kusha Grover, students, in an enrapturing rendition of Water in all three languages. Following was an exciting and energetic interaction ever witnessed by the young learners of Ahlcon. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The author spoke to the students about his passion and motivation for writing. Cheng shared, ‘I started reading as soon as I could hold a book and began my writing career by writing on the walls at the age of three’. He is influenced by the utopian world of Narnia created by C.S. Lewis, his favourite author.When asked his opinion about the moral lessons he wishes to teach the children, Cheng said ‘I doesn’t start writing with a didactic in mind. Instead, I simply write what occurs to me at the time.’ In conversation with the Principal Ashok Pandey, Cheng lamented one possible reason for the children, shunning books and reading is that their parents don’t read themselves. The bookWater conveys the message to value this resource and endeavour to save it.last_img read more

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French sporting fraternity honours victims of the Paris terror attacks

first_imgA minute’s silence will be observed ahead of all French football, rugby and basketball matches this weekend as the world of sport moved to honour the 12 victims of the Charlie Hebdo attack on Thursday. The tribute was observed during the Ligue 1 match between Lille and Evian yesterday night followed by an emotional rendition of La Marseillaise, the French national anthem, as players of both teams wore black armbands. France’s professional football league said that a minute’s silence will also be observed at all Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 matches this weekend. “Following the terrible attack yesterday at Charlie Hebdo, the French Football Federation has decided to observe a minute’s silence on all pitches of the Hexagon (France) this weekend, during national, regional and district competitions. The entire family of French football joins the general spirit of solidarity and affirms its support for the families of the victims,” the FFF said in a statement.last_img read more

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Anderson first Eng bowler with 400 Test scalps

first_imgJames Anderson became the first England bowler to take 400 Test wickets as he induced a New Zealand top-order slump on the first day of the second Test at Headingley on Friday. But New Zealand recovered to 123 for three at tea on a rain-marred day after being sent into bat by England captain Alastair Cook. Tom Latham was 51 not out and Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, 41 not out. Anderson removed both Martin Guptill, Latham’s opening partner, and Kane Williamson for ducks to reduce New Zealand to two for two after the morning session was washed out without a ball being bowled.The 32-year-old Lancashire paceman started this match, his 104th Test, with 399 Test wickets. Anderson needed just eight balls Friday to join the ‘400 club’, reaching the landmark with a classic delivery that took Guptill’s outside edge and was well caught, above his head, by second slip Ian Bell, who dropped a couple of chances during England’s 124-run victory in the first Test at Lord’s.last_img read more

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Why girls are outshining boys at school

first_imgThe researchers noted that according to a recent OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) report, 15-year-old boys are more likely than girls of the same age to be low achievers.”We saw a strong tendency for failing boys to be alienated from school; feeling distant and thinking it is not useful,” said lead researcher Andreas Hadjar, professor at the University of Luxembourg.”There was also a clear link with under-performance and boys having traditional opinions about their gender role, that is, that men should lead women.” Boys with these traits tended to be more disruptive in class and hence underperformed, scoring about eight per cent less in their year mark than the average male pupil, the study showed. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’As many girls as boys expressed their alienation from school, but these attitudes were shown to have a more negative effect on boys. The study showed having traditional views of male/female roles are more prevalent among boys than girls.Other factors such as peer group attitudes and socio-economic background also hinder school performance as they influence school alienation and gender role orientations and, thus, educational performance, the researchers said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixFor the study, published in the journal Masculinities and Social Change, questionnaires, group discussions and video observation of lessons were used to analyse the behaviour of 872 children, mostly aged 13-14 years, going to school in Berne, Switzerland. The researchers also identified a potential solution as by observing behaviour in class, the researchers saw that underachieving boys responded best to authoritative teaching styles that feature a structured and caring but controlling approach. This is not to be confused with overly strict, authoritarian methods as they found that inappropriate teaching styles can cause and reinforce feelings of estrangement from school.last_img read more

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Father 2 sons jump in front of moving train

first_imgKolkata: In a tragic incident, a 28-year-old man jumped in front of a running train along with his two of his sons. All of them died onthe spot. The incident took place near Mashagram railway station in Howrah-Burdwan chord line on Tuesday morning. The incident triggered tension among locals. The victims have been identified as Rakesh Singh (25) and his two sons Ajay Singh (5) and Bijoy Singh (3). Police said they were the residents of Mohanpur Village of Nabagram in Burdwan. The locals on early Tuesday morning found the mutilated bodies of the victims near the railway track and reported the matter to Kamarkundu GRP office. The railway police later recovered the bodies of the victims and sent them for autopsy. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAccording to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the incident might have happened on late Monday night. They suspect that Rakesh along with his two of his children might have jumped in front of a long distance train. The investigating officers are also trying to know if the railway guard had submitted any report stating the knock down incident. Police are investigating into why Rakesh came all the way to Mashagram from Burdwan along with his sons. They are investigating into the incident and figure whether they had visited any nearby place on Monday. The victims could have committed suicide near their house. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to the primary investigation, the investigating officers suspect that Rakesh might have taken the drastic step over some family related dispute. Their family members are being interrogated in this connection. Police are also probing to know if there was any foul play behind the incident. According to the railway police, they are investigating into all possible angles that might have led to the death of three members from the same family. The investigating officers are waiting for the autopsy reports which could throw some light on their death.last_img read more

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Pros of organic soaps shampoos

first_imgSave your skin and body from the harmful chemical based daily care products. Opt for organic soaps and shampoos which do not take away the natural elements from your skin but enhance it in a safe way, say experts. Amit Sarda, Managing Director, Soulflower and Anupama Malhotra, Founder of Vert (both brands produce natural handmade skincare products) have pointed out the pros of using organic soaps and shampoos: * Organic shampoos and soaps are manufactured in a smoke free environment and are 100 percent vegetarian that contain no animal fat. Organic products are made from the derivatives of plants, its fruits or even flowers and they’re completely free from SLS or other chemical preservatives. So there is zero chance that someone would suffer because of using a natural product. Conventional soaps and shampoos may feel effective but an understanding of the ingredients list on the packaging may inform you that they are in fact more harmful than good. The most common of these chemicals that do a lot of harm to the body is sodium laurel sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). You may also find on the list other chemicals like Triclosan which is essentially a harmful pesticide and Dioxane which is a carcinogen and which really are causing a slow and permanent damage to your skin. * They are not tested on animals. * Ingredient quality is the primary difference between organic and conventional products. Organic products gently infuse your hair follicles and skin cells with natural minerals, herbal extracts, and oils. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf Natural ingredients such as organic tea tree can help address skin conditions such as dandruff and scalp irritation. * When you use organic shampoos and conditioners, you’re also helping the environment by letting biodegradable substances go down the drain instead of harsh chemicals. * Chemical based products have a strong tendency to scrape out the natural oil from the scalp and cause damage by making hair strands dry, dull and fall-prone. A natural shampoo bar will never rid the scalp of its oils that are inherently necessary for providing nutrition to the hair. It will only enhance the texture of the hair and where deficient, it will provide the required nourishment for a strong hair and a healthy scalp.last_img read more

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SSKM turns saviour for elderly patient

first_imgKolkata: For the first time in the history of any government hospital, SSKM Hospital installed the most advanced and one of the most expensive pacemakers on a patient, made possible thanks to the robust health service schemes introduced in the state by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.Md Asik Alam (66) had his pacemaker infected for two consecutive times and the doctors had no option other than implanting a leadless pacemaker on the right ventricle of his heart. Alam and his family members became reluctant after they came to know that a leadless pacemaker would cost them around Rs 10 lakh in top private hospitals in the city. There was no other option except the installation of a leadless pacemaker on the wall of the right ventricle to save the life of the elderly patient, who is a resident of Berhampore in Murshidabad. SSKM Hospital turned saviour for the patient and the operation was conducted free of cost. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedA leadless pacemaker is a small self-contained device looking almost like a capsule that is inserted in the right ventricle of the heart. According to the doctors at SSKM, a pacemaker had been installed on the right side of Alam’s chest by a private hospital in the city around eight years ago. After six years, the pacemaker got infected and the patient was brought to the hospital, where the doctors mounted another pacemaker on the left side of his chest. But the patient developed similar complications as the second one also got infected. A team comprising doctors from both the Cardiology and Cardiothoracic and Vascular surgery (CTVS) departments conducted the operation. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose”This is the first time a government-run hospital has implanted a leadless pacemaker on a patient completely free of cost. It has become possible due to the comprehensive healthcare system launched by the state government. Poor people are being benefitted by the schemes,” said a senior cardiologist at SSKM. The doctors also said that this is a late infection. Generally infection develops within 1-2 years from the date of operation. But in this case, the pacemaker got infected years later. In a conventional pacemaker, the pulse generator is connected to the right atrium and right ventricle through leads in case of a dual chamber pacemaker. While in case of single chamber pacemaker, the leads are connected either to the right atrium or the right ventricle. The patient has already been released from the hospital and is doing fine, doctors said.last_img read more

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Fashion wear created by Liluah home inmates hits the ramp

first_imgOn Wednesday, Kolkata witnessed the unveiling of a unique brand, Bongali. It is a handmade clothes and accessories line made by the inmates of the Liluah home for deserted and destitute children under the guidance of the internationally acclaimed fashion designer, Bibi Russel.The logo of Bongali has been conceptualized and created by the Chief Minister of Bengal, Mamata Banerjee. It is a joint initiative of the Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare and the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfInterestingly, several looms in the Liluah home were lying idle till Bibi Russel started the project in April 2017. The MOS(IC) of the Department of Women and Child Development and Social Welfare, Shashi Panja and WCPCR invited Russel to revive and use the looms. She has been training the inmates for a year and this is expected to help them in their future lives too. A variety of textile products and accessories has been fashioned by the inmates and the girls walked on the ramp in front of an august gathering on Wednesday evening. Says MLA of Liluah Vaishali Dalmia, “It gave them a sense of purpose and variety. Life can be monotonous in any home. All of them said that they were happy to have made something of aesthetic and commercial value”. A unique programme, the evening saw eminent guests like Tollywood hero Prosenjit Chatterjee and Indrani Halder. Dalmia and Panja were also present on the occasion.last_img read more

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Women gain weight in high demand jobs

first_imgWomen who face heavy psychological pressures at work are more likely to gain weight, a study claims. The study, published in the journal International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health, included data from over 3,872 participants in Sweden. “We were able to see that high job demands played a part in women’s weight gain, while for men there was no association between high demands and weight gain,” said Sofia Klingberg, researcher at University of Gothenburg.The participants in the study were investigated on three occasions over a 20-year period with respect to such variables as body weight and demands and control at work. They were followed either from age 30 to 50 or from 40 to 60. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfTo estimate the level of job demands, the respondents were asked about their work pace, psychological pressures, whether there was enough time for their duties and how often the demands made were contradictory. The questions about control at work covered such matters as how often they learned something new; whether the job called for imagination or advanced skills; and whether the respondent was personally able to choose what to do and how to do it. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe results show that the respondents with a low degree of control in their work more frequently gained considerable weight, defined as a weight gain of 10 per cent or more, in the course of the study. This applied to women and men alike. On the other hand, long-term exposure to high job demands played a part only for women. In just over half of the women who had been subjected to high demands, a major increase in weight took place over the 20 years. This gain in weight was some 20 per cent higher than in women subject to low job demands.”When it came to the level of demands at work, only the women were affected,” Klingberg said. “We haven’t investigated the underlying causes, but it may conceivably be about a combination of job demands and the greater responsibility for the home that women assume. This may make it difficult to find time to live a healthy life,” Klingberg said. Having had or not had an academic education does not explain the associations in the study. Neither do quality of diet or other lifestyle factors. However, information about dietary intake comes from respondents themselves, with a certain risk of incorrect reporting. At the same time, given the problems associated with work-related stress, the study is relevant in terms of public health. The researchers think identification of groups who are susceptible to stress and efforts to reduce work-related stress would likely achieve a decrease not only in weight gain but also in the incidence of ill health PTIlast_img read more

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Living alone ups risk of mental disorders

first_imgMental disorders are more common in people who live alone, regardless of their age and sex, according to a study. Researchers noted that the number of people living alone has increased in recent years due to population ageing, decreasing marriage rates and lowering fertility. Previous studies have investigated the link between living alone and mental disorders but have generally been conducted in elderly populations and are not generalisable to younger adults. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe latest study used data on 20,500 individuals aged 16-64 living in England who participated in the 1993, 2000, or 2007 National Psychiatric Morbidity Surveys. “Living alone is positively associated with common mental disorders in the general population in England,” Louis Jacob from University of Versailles Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines said in a statement. Whether a person had a common mental disorder (CMD) was assessed using the Clinical Interview Schedule-Revised (CIS-R), a questionnaire focusing on neurotic symptoms during the previous week. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveIn addition to the number of people living in a household, data was available on factors including weight and height, alcohol dependence, drug use, social support, and loneliness. The prevalence of people living alone in 1993, 2000, and 2007 was 8.8 per cent, 9.8 per cent, and 10.7 per cent. In all years, all ages, and both men and women, there was a positive association between living alone and CMD, researchers said. In different subgroups of people, living alone increased a person’s risk for CMD by 1.39 to 2.43 times. Overall, loneliness explained 84 per cent of the living alone-CMD association, they said. The researchers suggest that interventions which tackle loneliness might also aid the mental wellbeing of individuals living alone. Globally, the lifetime prevalence of CMDs is around 30 per cent. CMDs have a major impact on quality of life, physical illness and mortality. In the past decades, there has been a growing interest in the association between living alone and CMDs, researchers said. This is partly driven by the fact that in many settings, the proportion of individuals living alone is increasing due to factors such as population ageing, lowering fertility, decreasing marriage rates, and increasing divorce rates.last_img read more

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August 30, 2019

The Woman who Used Music to Survive a Concentration Camp

first_imgFor many people music is an integral part of their lives, and it has also been found to be therapeutic. Alzheimer’s patients have been known to respond to songs from their youth, knowing every lyric, even if they can’t recall once familiar details about their lives. For Alice Herz-Sommer, music may have literally saved her life.Born in Prague in 1903 to Friedrich and Sofie Herz, Alice was part of a small German-speaking Jewish community. She had a twin sister, Mariana, as well as a second sister, and 2 brothers. Her parents were acquainted with many well-known writers at the time, including Franz Kafka (who used to come for Sunday lunch regularly) and Franz Werfel, not to mention composers like Gustav Mahler.Kafka in 1910.But it was her older sister Irma who taught her how to play the piano, which she took to immediately and played diligently, later taking lessons with Conrad Ansorge who had been a student of composer Franz Liszt.Another friend of the family encouraged her to become a professional classical musician, and she went on to study at the Prague German Conservatory of Music where she was the youngest student in attendance.In 1931 she married fellow musician and businessman Leopold Sommer, and they had a son, Raffi (Raphael), a few years later. Alice began giving concerts and soon made a name for herself in central Europe, until Germany invaded Czechoslovakia in 1938 and took over Prague. For the time being, Alice’s musical endeavors were at an end.Cityscape view on the clock tower and Tyn cathedral on the old square in Prague.While most of the Herz-Sommer family left Czechoslovakia and emigrated to Palestine, Alice stayed behind to look after her mother whose health was failing.When the deportation summons arrived from the Nazis, Sofie and Friedrich Herz were both sent to Auschwitz, where they were killed. Alice’s husband, Leopold, died of typhus in the same camp only a few weeks before it was liberated.Alice and her son were sent to the infamous Theresienstadt camp in 1943. Alice was billeted with her son, and he was one of only a small number of children who survived the camp. And it was here that music saved Alice and her son’s life.Three Jewish children rescued from Theresienstadt rest in the Hadwigschulhaus in St. GallenAlice found a way to survive the horrors of the concentration camp through music. During her time in the camp, Alice played over 100 concerts, together with other incarcerated musicians, for the guards and her fellow prisoners.She said of her performances at the camp: “We had to play because the Red Cross came three times a year. The Germans wanted to show its representatives that the situation of the Jews in Theresienstadt was good. Whenever I knew that I had a concert, I was happy. Music is magic. We performed in the council hall before an audience of 150 old, hopeless, sick and hungry people. They lived for the music. It was like food to them. If they hadn’t come [to hear us], they would have died long before. As we would have.”One of the trains that left Bergen-Belsen for Theresienstadt in early April, liberated by American forcesRaphael has also credited his mother with getting both of them through their time in the concentration camp, stating that Alice somehow managed to shelter him from the worst of it, and that she created a Garden of Eden for him in the midst of that hellish time.When the Soviet Army liberated the camp in 1945, Alice and Raphael returned to Prague. However, finding nothing of her past remained there, they moved to Israel where they were reunited with some of her family, including her twin sister.Here, she taught at the Jerusalem Academy of Music in order to support herself and her son, although she never resurrected her professional concert career. Raphael showed promise as a cellist, having inherited his mother’s musical ear, and was awarded a scholarship to the Paris Conservatory. From there he went on to settle in England, where he married and had 2 children.The two pianists Alice Herz-Sommer und Luiza Borac in 2010 in the private home of Alice in 6, Straffan Lodge, 1-3 Belsize Grove, London NW3 4XE, England Photo by Luiza Borac CC BY-SA 4.0Alice followed in 1986. Unfortunately, Raphael died in 2001 of an aneurysm.In her small flat in London, Alice continued to play her piano, up to three hours a day, right up until the end of her life. She was a firm believer in the power of music: “Music saved my life and music saves me still … I am Jewish, but Beethoven is my religion.”Close to the end of her life, she reflected on how music played a part throughout it: “I think I am in my last days but it doesn’t really matter because I have had such a beautiful life. And life is beautiful, love is beautiful, nature and music are beautiful. Everything we experience is a gift, a present we should cherish and pass on to those we love.”Indeed, to survive the horrors of the Holocaust is a triumph; but to survive with an optimistic and gratifying outlook on life, in general, is remarkable.Alice’s own brand of optimism was extraordinary, and she often stated, “I have lived through many wars and have lost everything many times – including my husband, my mother and my beloved son. Yet, life is beautiful, and I have so much to learn and enjoy. I have no space nor time for pessimism and hate.”Read another story from us: Greatest Video Ever – Old Man Reunited with WWII Children whose Lives he SavedWhen Alice died in 2014 at the age of 110, she was believed to be the oldest known Holocaust survivor (a recognition that then passed to Yisrael Kristal who was born 2 months before Alice).Alice was the subject of an Academy Award-winning documentary, The Lady in Number 6, which was filmed when she was 109. She is buried in London at the St. Pancras and Islington Cemetery.last_img read more

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The Founder and Historical Beginnings of the Order of Illuminati

first_imgThe 18th century was an age of revolution as new ideas pushed educated men and women across Europe and America to question old assumptions about science, religion, and, of course, politics. One man wanted carry this light of reason — this illumination — into the darkest places. He formed the Order of Illuminati, an organisation that has grown to mythical size in the imaginations of wild-eyed keyboard warriors everywhere.Adam Weishaupt (1748–1830), founder of the Bavarian Illuminati.In what is now Germany, change couldn’t come fast enough. Not yet one country, it was divided into smaller city states, duchies and principalities, many of whom were still ruled by dukes, bishops and princes.They were part of the Holy Roman Empire, which was neither holy nor particularly Roman, but had limped on as a loose assembling of German and Central European states under a powerless emperor since the Middle Ages.The Owl of Minerva perched on a book was an emblem used by the Bavarian Illuminati in their “Minerval” degree.In the Electorate of Bavaria, one of the wealthiest southern states, a young law professor called Adam Weishaupt was eagerly absorbing the latest works from the greatest thinkers.In particular, he was won over by the philosophy of empiricism advocated by fellow Bavarian Johann Georg Heinrich Feder. Put simply, empiricism asserted that only the things you can confirm with your own senses are real — it’s firmly in favor of science and rational thinking, and firmly opposed to feelings and faith.Adolph Freiherr Knigge, the most effective recruiter for the Illuminati.Unsurprisingly given his new viewpoint, Weishaupt came to the conclusion that Bavaria’s problems could be traced back to two things: hereditary monarchy and the Roman Catholic church, both of which he believed held back new ways of governing society.Weishaupt initially joined the Freemasons looking for answers, but found that beyond the spooky rituals and general air of mystery, they were really just a gentlemen’s social club, more interested in helping each other out than helping Bavaria be more than a feudal backwater.Freemasons Hall, London, home of the United Grand Lodge of England. Photo by Eluveitie CC BY-SA 3.0He was frustrated by the self-serving nature of Germany’s secret societies, and declared “when there was no end of making game of and abusing secret societies, I planned to make use of this human foible for a real and worthy goal, for the benefit of people.”Weishaupt built his own secret society, but rather than being mystical, the Order of Illuminati were radical.According to Weishaupt, his club was to be free “from all religious prejudices; cultivates the social virtues; and animates them by a great, a feasible, and speedy prospect of universal happiness.” This could only be done be working towards “a state of liberty and moral equality, freed from the obstacles which subordination, rank, and riches, continually throw in our way.”Adam WeishauptThe first meeting of the Illuminati — Weishaupt and four of his students from the university — was held in the evening of May 1, 1776 in a forest near the city of Ingolstadt.In a torch-lit discussion they established the rules of membership: that all future members needed the approval of the whole group and — despite claims to equality and freedom from “rank and riches” — they had to be wealthy, well-connected, and should come from influential families.The Illuminati also took pseudonyms from ancient Greece and Rome, with Weishaupt calling himself Spartacus after the leader of the Roman slave revolt.Freemasons Hall, London, c. 1809.Still a Freemason, Weishaupt used his membership as a way of drawing recruits to his own group and like the Freemasons, the Illuminati had a supernatural-sounding hierarchy of Novices, Minervals, and Illuminated Minervals.The two more senior ranks were named after Minerva, the Roman goddess of wisdom, and true to Weishaupt’s academic origins each grade had recommended reading by which that wisdom was attained. Much of it was in the form of political and philosophical literature that was banned in Bavaria, but freely available in the Protestant German states.Raised-relief image of Minerva on a Roman gilt silver bowl, first century BC.By 1782 membership had reached as many as 600, including some of the most prominent men in Bavaria like the writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Growing quickly, by 1784 the Illuminati numbered in their low thousands across Germany, not just Bavaria.Members were constantly under surveillance from other members, who passed their gossip up the ranks, and only the leadership knew the true structure of what was becoming a complex network. The Order of Illuminati received another boost when the energetic Freemason Adolph Knigge signed up.Adolf Freiherr KniggeAlready frustrated about the lack of meaningful political change, Knigge was thrilled to find a ready made organisation with which to make a difference. Recruiting from within his own Masonic circles, Knigge’s clique was growing so quickly that he was given permission to create his own ranks — expanding the three original ones into a staggering 13, divided into three classes.Like many organisations that attract powerful and influential men, the Order of Illuminati began to fight amongst themselves as lines were drawn between those who thought the the anti-religious sentiment would alienate older Freemasons and other valuable potential recruits, and the original radicals.They also faced rivals from another secret society, the Rosicrucians who were also active in recruiting and infiltrating Masonic lodges. The Illuminati’s polar opposites, they were Christian mystics and staunchly pro-monarchy.“Ruined” castle built by Prince Charles of Hesse-Kassel in the park at Wilhelmsbad, venue for the last convent of the Strict Observance. Photo by Sven Teschke CC BY SA 3.0Rapid expansion had also led to a breakdown in authority. Dirty laundry began to be aired in public and arrogant new members boasted about their group’s power and influence, feeding rumors of conspiracy and corruption.There was some legitimacy to these fears. Unlike the many secret societies in Bavaria which were tolerated so long as they stayed out of politics, the Order of Illuminati were actively trying to renew the political culture, and fight against corruption and oppression. Rumors spread that they were interested only in personal wealth and power, and that a number of government officials were secretly members.Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria (1724-1799).Charles Theodore, Elector of Bavaria banned the formation of any new secret societies not approved by the state in 1784, but that backfired. Discovering that his heavy handed rule was seeing many sympathize with the Illuminati’s mission instead, his government targeted the group explicitly.The Bavarian police raided their meeting places and seized documents. In 1787 they published a selectively edited anthology of Illuminati papers that defended suicide and atheism, detailed plans to form an Order of the Illuminati for women, and offered instructions for creating invisible ink and performing abortions. In the eyes of Bavaria’s staunch Roman Catholic public, this was all their red flags flying at once.French RevolutionThe book was widely read across Germany, more so following the cataclysm of the French Revolution in 1789 which did Europe’s kings and bishops a massive favor by “exposing” the chaotic face of republicanism. Hysterical conservative critics blamed the Order of Illuminati for the anarchy in France, and from 1800 the word “Illuminati” became a shorthand for a secret revolutionary conspiracy behind every act of political unrest or scandal. Not long after, churchmen in the United States of America found themselves cursing the shadow of the Illuminati from their pulpits.Armed with this damning cache of cherry-picked evidence of agitating against the church and state, the Order of the Illuminati were outlawed in Bavaria first, then Prussia and Austria, and further membership of the organisation carried the death penalty. Adam Weishaupt was sacked from his position at the University of Ingolstadt, and was exiled to the nearby Duchy of Saxony.Weishaupt passed away in 1830, having seen his creation go from a potential vehicle of much-needed reform in his home country, to a bogeyman conjured up by paranoid priests, repressive monarchs and politicians across Europe and America. Over 200 years of conspiracy theories and paranoia is not the legacy this daring progressive thinker would have wanted.Read another story from us: Elizabeth I Files: The Conspiracy Theory Surrounding her True GenderHowever one man, at least, saw Weishaupt for what he was. In 1800 the Founding Father, author of the Declaration of Independence, and third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson wrote of the Order of the Illuminati that “in the heart of its founder was a deep yearning for humanity to experience enlightenment and true freedom, evolve with ethics, and no longer be governed by tyrant, state or throne.”last_img read more

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