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Monthly Archive: August 2019

Ancient Greek ships traded more than just wine

first_img More information: Aspects of Ancient Greek trade re-evaluated with amphora DNA evidence, Journal of Archaeological Science, doi:10.1016/j.jas.2011.09.025AbstractAncient DNA trapped in the matrices of ceramic transport jars from Mediterranean shipwrecks can reveal the goods traded in the earliest markets. Scholars generally assume that the amphora cargoes of 5th-3rd century B.C. Greek shipwrecks contained wine, or to a much lesser extent olive oil. Remnant DNA inside empty amphoras allows us to test that assumption. We show that short ∼100 nucleotides of ancient DNA can be isolated and analyzed from inside the empty jars from either small amounts of physical scrapings or material captured with non-destructive swabs. Our study material is previously inaccessible Classical/Hellenistic Greek shipwreck amphoras archived at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities in Athens, Greece. Collected DNA samples reveal various combinations of olive, grape, Lamiaceae herbs (mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, sage), juniper, and terebinth/mastic (genus Pistacia). General DNA targeting analyses also reveal the presence of pine (Pinus), and DNA from Fabaceae (Legume family); Zingiberaceae (Ginger family); and Juglandaceae (Walnut family). Our results demonstrate that amphoras were much more than wine containers. DNA shows that these transport jars contained a wide range of goods, bringing into question long-standing assumptions about amphora use in ancient Greece. Ancient DNA investigations open new research avenues, and will allow accurate reconstruction of ancient diet, medicinal compounds, value-added products, goods brought to market, and food preservation methods.via Nature News (PhysOrg.com) — While many historians have assumed that Greek sailors were using amphorae, or ancient storage containers, to transport and trade wine, new DNA testing is providing evidence that these containers were used for many different products. © 2011 PhysOrg.com Roman ship carried live fish in tank Greek amphora, National Archaeological Museum of Athens, showing the goddess Athena. Image: Wikipedia. Explore further The research, published in the Journal of Archaeological Science, reveals the DNA results of vegetables, herbs and nuts in a sampling of jars tested. Led by archaeologist Brendan Foley from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and geneticist Maria Hansson from Lund University in Sweden, the researchers retrieved DNA samples from nine amphorae that were obtained from sunken ships and dated back to the fifth and third centuries BC.As assumed by historians and the trade of wine, the DNA of grapes was found in five of the nine containers. Six of the jars also showed the DNA of olives, presumably from olive oil. The containers also revealed DNA hits from ginger, walnut, juniper, legumes, mint, oregano and thyme. Each container showed multiple DNA samples suggesting that the containers were reused and carried different products each time.Archaeological and written evidence from the time period shows that trade included such items as wine, oil, honey, resin, fruit, fish and other meats. The results of this study provide more evidence that wine was not the only product traded from these containers.The researchers plan to expand their study and have their eyes on a fully excavated third-century-BC ship wreck which was located near Kyrenia, Cyprus. They hope to test all the amphorae found on the ship to help create a picture of ancient trade. By going on step further and testing containers from different periods, they hope to be able to paint a clear picture of how the containers were used for trade throughout different time periods and when exactly different crops were first introduced. 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. Citation: Ancient Greek ships traded more than just wine (2011, October 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-ancient-greek-ships-wine.htmllast_img read more

Cadillac testing Super Cruise feature for future cars

first_imgGM readily admits it still hasn’t perfected the technology. A spokesman for the company told reporters that the car will alert the driver if conditions become such that the car can no longer drive itself. That would mean snow, heavy rain, or perhaps even high wind. What’s not clear is how well such a vehicle would respond to such situations as a sudden turn that requires reducing speed beforehand, especially if it occurs just after climbing a hill, making it impossible for sensors to see it coming. In such an instance, the technology would almost certainly have to be able to read a road sign offering a warning, and GM has thus far at least, kept mum on the subject.This announcement from GM comes after news regarding the achievements of other car makers has dominated the headlines, most notably Google, which has been running several self driving cars for a few years. BMW has also made a splash with its own “highly automated” systems to help the driver avoid accidents by taking more control away from the error prone human component.Other car makers are working on their own versions of automated driving features as well, which leads to inevitable questions about if and when humans will relinquish control over their vehicles entirely, a notion that many in the auto industry see as the inevitable result of investments in such technology. Cars that drive people around, rather than vice-versa, would, according to most researchers, be far safer than those driven by people, with far fewer accidents, lower insurance rates and less time wasted by drivers who are forced to focus on the road rather than other more productive pursuits. Citation: Cadillac testing ‘Super Cruise’ feature for future cars (2012, April 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-cadillac-super-cruise-feature-future.html Buyers this year can already get most of what Cadillac is proposing for the future; brake assist, a blind spot alert, automatic rear braking, collision alerts, etc. What’s new will be adding technology that is able to keep the vehicle centered in the lane all by itself. When adding that to what is already offered, GM will be giving motorists the opportunity to buy a car that essentially drives itself, at least under certain conditions. 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. Volkswagen demonstrates “Temporary Auto Pilot” (w/ Video)center_img Explore further (Phys.org) — Cadillac is reportedly joining the crowd working on features that it says should reduce car accidents by allowing the car to drive itself under optimal conditions, relieving the driver from fatigue, making road trips safer for the driver and passengers. Currently, Cadillac is already offering features that intercede on the driver’s behalf should the vehicle “sense” a dangerous situation. The new technology, which GM says likely will make it into showrooms by the middle of the decade, should make cars even safer by removing the hazard caused by human fatigue. © 2012 Phys.Orglast_img read more

Battery dissolves in water holds promise for biomedical implants

first_imgCredit: DOI: 10.1002/adma.201306304 , Nature (Phys.org) —Biomedical engineers are working on drug delivery devices that can be implanted. Now scientists have come up with a way to power such devices inside the body. Their design is capable of breaking up and dissolving in the body. Research team uses melanin to make biodegradable battery anode More information: Yin, L., Huang, X., Xu, H., Zhang, Y., Lam, J., Cheng, J. and Rogers, J. A. (2014), Materials, Designs, and Operational Characteristics for Fully Biodegradable Primary Batteries. Adv. Mater.. DOI: 10.1002/adma.201306304AbstractBiodegradable electronics represent an emerging class of technology with potential to provide advanced semiconductor functionality in temporary biomedical implants. This work reported a biodegradable primary battery as a potential power source for these systems, which uses biodegradable metal foils and polyanhydride packages. Monolithically integrating cells yields battery packs with sufficient power to operate conventional light emitting diodes and radio transmitters. © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Battery dissolves in water, holds promise for biomedical implants (2014, March 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-03-battery-dissolves-biomedical-implants.html Journal information: Advanced Materials A new battery developed by a team at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, was recently reported in Nature which also carried an illustration of a four-cell battery made of biodegradable materials that completely dissolves in water. The article focused on the work of scientists who have now created a fully biodegradable battery designed to dissolve in the body after doing its work as power source for devices embedded in tissue A paper that describes their work was published earlier this month in the journal Advanced Materials. The article, “Materials, Designs, and Operational Characteristics for Fully Biodegradable Primary Batteries,” is authored by Lan Yin, Xian Huang Hangxun Xu, Yanfeng Zhang, Jasper Lam, Jianjun Cheng and John A. Rogers. The latter is known for his research on nano and molecular scale fabrication and materials and patterning techniques for unusual electronic and photonic devices.The article in Nature:discussed what they use, nodes of magnesium foil and cathodes of iron, molybdenum or tungsten ,all of which are metals that slowly dissolve in the body. Their ions are biocompatible in low concentrations. “The electrolyte between the two electrodes is a phosphate-buffered saline solution, and the whole system is packed up in a biodegradable polymer known as a polyanhydride.”Interestingly, Jeffrey Borenstein, a biomedical engineer at Cambridge, Mass.-based Charles Stark Draper Laboratory, in 2009 wrote about the implantable drug-delivery device he and colleagues were developing and he was looking ahead to drug-delivery systems in years to come. While the “bedrock of modern medicine” has been an age-old technology, the pill, researchers have searched for better ways to deliver drugs, he wrote. “The ideal method,” he said, “would administer the right dose to the exact area being treated, whether it’s an arthritic knee or a tumor in the lungs.”This month, commenting on the new battery research, Borenstein told Nature that “This is a really major advance.” Until recently, he said, there has not been a lot of progress in this area. Quoted in Nature, Rogers said, “Almost all of the key building blocks are now available” to produce self-powered, biodegradable implants. All versions can maintain a steady output for more than a day, but the team aims to improve the batteries’ power per unit weight, or power density. 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 furtherlast_img read more

You cant make one love another

first_imgI’m suffering from depression after I lost my mother last year. I’m unable to cope up.Anjali Mathur, Greater KailashI completely feel what you are going through. Losing a parent/ near one is a very difficult situation. But, life goes on. I suggest, divert your mind on things. Enrol in some hobby, explore an interest, meet friends, plan a vacation. Always remember, your mother is watching you and she gets very upset seeing you unhappy! Your smile is not for you but for her. You will have to control your depression and move on. All the best! Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ I’m from a very conservative family. I haven’t ever had a boyfriend. My marriage has been arranged and I’m very nervous about the physical relation with my husband.Gouri, PatnaGouri, for generations and ages we have followed a cycle. Not just humans, but animals in general. Physical need is a very strong need and it has a huge contribution in the bond between two people. I suggest, don’t worry so much. Be relaxed and let your man take charge of it. Men are usually more advanced in this subject. Follow your instincts, reciprocate his actions and if you feel uncomfortable, just ask him to take it slow. Sex is beautiful when you feel ‘love’. Wish you the best always. Let love grow….rest will follow! Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixMy elder brother is a very good student. I’m always asked to ‘be like him’. This irritates me too much. How can I handle this constant stress?Arjun, New DelhiHow to handle? Simple. Just BE YOURSELF. I am not advising you to neglect studies or walk on a dark path which has no light. All I’m saying is – be your best. Put in your best. Study hard because studies have no substitute and will help your career. Use earphones to ward off the words that hurt you and don’t worry about ‘comparisons’. We all go through this! Emerge as a good human being and success will kiss your forehead. My husband is an alcoholic. I’m a mother of two kids, aged 5 and 7. He doesn’t believe in protected sex. I’m scared of pregnancy and unable to communicate this to him. How can I handle my life?unknown, HaryanaPlease don’t sound like a helpless woman of yesteryears! Too many products/ medicines available that will make your sex life peaceful. Please consult your doctor now! Your life is in your hands. Your husband’s desire and demand can never command you to this extent that you feel helpless. Enjoy your physical chemistry but control your own life, you should!I’m in love with someone who has no feelings for me. How can I make him love me?Sangita, New Delhi.You actually can’t ‘make’ one love the other! Yes, a genuine effort to express effectively should be there. So that, you don’t regret later. As they say – love defeated is always greater than what defeats it! If the ‘other’ has to love or reciprocate it will happen naturally. If not, always remember – better and best awaits..just a matter of time and your Mr. Right will take you out of the wrong situation.Have a love or life query you cannot find an answer to? Send your questions to – roopshashotm@gmail.comlast_img read more

Celebrate the season

first_imgDilli Haat is all set to welcome the Monsoon with its annual Teej Festival. The Festival will be celebrated with much delight as there are plenty of events lined up to mark the occasion. There will be a Teej Bazaar during the Festival which will offer mehendi, choori and lehria from Jaipur. To entice your taste buds, famous Rajasthani delicacies like ghevar, dal bati choorma and other food items will also be available at the venue.To offer fun and entertainment for the visitors, performances by Folk Artists, Rajasthani performers of Algoza, Nagara from Banchari Village etc. have also been lined up.Various competitions such as rangoli making, mehendi, traditional fancy dress competition and folk songs and dance competition will be held during the festival. Teej enthusiasts will have a gala time at Dilli Haat, INA as the festival is designed in such a way that it will attract one and all.WHERE: Dilli Haat, INA WHEN: 8 – 11 Augustlast_img read more

State moves to help tea workers get dues

first_imgJalpaiguri: The labour department on Friday initiated the process of clearing the dues of workers employed in some tea estates of Jalpaiguri and Alipurduar, a month after the Supreme Court passed a directive instructing state governments to clear a portion of such arrears. On Friday, Pashupati Ghosh, the additional labour commissioner of the state and some other officials of his department, held a meeting with tea trade unions here and elaborated on the plan that has been made by the state to pay the dues, mostly wages. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSources said there are 28 tea estates – closed, sick and open – where the workers are yet to get the dues.On April 4 this year, a bench of Justices S.A. Bobde and L. Nageswara Rao of the Supreme Court had asked the governments of Bengal, Assam, Kerala and Tamil Nadu to pay the amount within 60 days.The dues have remained unpaid for as many as 15 years, said sources. Under the order, the total due in Bengal is around Rs 30 crore, of which the state will have to pay Rs 15 crore, said Ghosh.”We have handed over a format to the trade union leaders. They will visit the concerned workers and their families and help them in filling up the form. The forms would be submitted at the offices of our departments,” the official said.last_img read more

Bodies of 8 out of 19 missing fishermen recovered from Bay of

first_imgKolkata: The Indian Coast Guard (ICG) has recovered the bodies of eight of the 19 fishermen, who went missing on Monday after their trawlers capsized in the Bay of Bengal, a top ICG official said on Thursday. “The bodies have been handed over to the fishermen’s associations for identification,” ICG Inspector General (North East region) K S Sheoran said. Six bodies were recovered today, while two were found yesterday, he added. The bodies were found from an area in the sea, about 35 nautical miles from the Dalhousie island, and a Dornier aircraft and Coast Guard ship “Sujay” were continuing with the search for the remaining missing fishermen, Sheoran said. A hovercraft was also maintaining vigil close to the coast, he added. The fishermen had ventured into the sea from Frazerganj in South 24 Parganas district. Fishing trawler FB Joykishan had capsized amid an extremely rough sea condition and inclement weather on Monday, following which the search-and-rescue operation was launched by the Coast Guard. The members of fishermen’s associations also assisted in the search-and-rescue operation. “The Coast Guard station at Frazerganj is co-ordinating with the fishermen’s associations in the area and is also in touch with the families of the missing persons,” Sheoran said. The search operation would continue till all the missing fishermen were accounted for, he added. Meanwhile, fishermen have been advised not to venture into the sea.last_img read more

Daycare wont make your toddler aggressive

first_img“From a public perspective, our findings are important because they should help ease parents’ fears about the potential harms of early non-parental child care,” said study lead author Eric Dearing, psychological scientist at Lynch School of Education, Boston College in the US.As women entered the workforce in increasing numbers in the 1980s, some child development researchers began reporting that day-care had harmful consequences for children’s social and emotional adjustment. These findings stoked uncertainty and fear among parents, and led to debate amongst researchers in the field. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In this study, researchers interviewed parents of almost 1,000 Norwegian children about time spent in day-care at ages six months and one, two, three, and four years old. Each year, the child’s daycare teacher reported on aggressive behaviours like hitting, pushing, and biting.“One surprising finding was that the longer children were in non-parental care, the smaller the effects on aggression became,” Dearing explained.When the children were two years old, those who had entered day care at earlier ages displayed modestly higher levels of aggression than peers who entered later.  Importantly, these differences in physical aggression diminished over time, regardless of how much time children spent in day-care.The study was published in the journal Psychological Science.last_img read more

Coffee House adda no more

first_imgCoffee House er shei adda ta aaj ar nei, aaj ar neiKothae hariye gelo shonali bikel gulo shei, aaj ar nei(The lively chats at Coffee House have faded away,Where did we lose the golden, vibrant evenings; they too have disappeared)The famous ‘Coffee House’ classic sung long ago by prominent Bengali singer Manna Dey that is dedicated to the ‘adda’ culture at the coffee house truly justifies the present atmosphere of Kolkata’s heritage house – the Indian Coffee House.Today, Coffee House, which is almost at the twilight of its vibrancy, weeps for the bygone era and the great minds. While some of them are now resting in peace, others are experiencing the travails of growing older with the passage of time. The vintage house – where every wall, brick and every corner echoed the charismatic words of Amartya Sen, Mrinal Sen and Satyajit Ray eons ago and saw the magical guitar strummed by D’Souza, today comprises only their imprints.A visit to the present day Coffee House would probably offer you a glimpse of a mere heterogeneous population of common men and CCTV cameras keeping every customer ‘under surveillance’. This gesture has irked Kolkata’s civil society who has thereafter staged protests in front of the heritage Coffee House.According to many customers, such a move, instead of making any sense, made them feel different and uncomfortable. The plan has been initiated for security reasons. However, many questioned the threat to the Coffee House. The iconic Coffee House – which witnessed the who’s who like Nikhilesh, journalists like Moidul, poets like Amol, and various other politicians, converging and detaching themselves entirely from the world – has now been installed with CCTV cameras to keep an eye on you.Heated discourses, unorganised yet spirited prolonged musical evenings, the origin of ideas by the aspiring figures and the ‘very bong connection’ with coffee house, all attributed to giving a new soul to the heritage building.Moreover, the intellectual hub rose as the house of an almost national repute with regular visits of scholars, editors and writers like Ritwik Ghatak, Sunil Gangopadhyay, Narayan Gangopadhyay, Shakti Chattopadhyay, Samaresh Majumdar, Subhash Mukhopadhyay, who were some of the then noted patrons of Bengal.Reminiscing his days of the Coffee House, Arya Bandyopadhyay, a photographer by profession says, “I would visit Coffee House every Saturday with my friends during my college days. With moments full of fun and humour, we would engage ourselves in long-hours of informal discussions on fascism, existentialism, communism, Dadaism, surrealism without a single worry in the world. Works of Kafka, Satre, Friedrich Nietzsche, Kamu, Picasso, Dali, Bunuel, etc. were also part of our discussions. Now, Saturdays pass by, but we do not get to see the brighter part of the weekend at the heritage building. All my friends are settled now and are busy with their personal and professional lives. Also, Coffee House has witnessed so many changes. Wooden chairs have been replaced by plastic chairs, our favourite waiters are no longer a part of the organisation, chowmein and fish finger have been added to the menu. Even the walls have been decorated with paintings and portraits of Rabindranath Tagore. Also and for obvious reasons, the prices of each food item has increased. Today, when I visit the house, I can smell the nostalgia – I could feel the laughter thriving all around. However, it feels good to learn that the younger generation, who has replaced our generation today, is involved in the hourly chats. Although, not so ‘hourly’ as ours… (Smiles)”Standing firm and still even today, taking forward Bengal’s pride, Coffee House, formerly Albert Hall was found during the period of the British Raj in 1876. Kolkata’s very own Coffee House at Central Kolkata’s College Street was the heart of intellectual conversations among the intelligentsia including poets, authors, writers, artists, literati and many others belonging to the arts and culture fraternity. Eminent personalities like Satyajit Ray, Amartya Sen, Mrinal Sen, Aparna Sen and the like have all had some brainstorming discussions at least once at this very place.Recounting the golden ‘coffee house tales’, Subhra Chakraborty, a resident of Jadavpur in Kolkata says, “Times spent at the house with my college friends clubbed with hourly chats were superlative. My favourites were pakoda and mutton kobiraji. Today, the definition of Coffee House adda has slightly changed. Now, the mobile culture has dug in its roots in a big way. Technology seems more important than the lively conversations as people visiting coffee house look more interested in selfies, whatsapp, facebook, twitter, instagram, etc. The ambience now exudes an artificial look”.A secretary of Indian Coffee House Co-Operative Society also shared the same views, “The place used to have a different glamour – an all new different flavour of its own solely because of the big names. Today, the crowd has entirely changed. Coffee House does not get a glimpse of such noble personalities anymore. Long-hour informal ‘adda’ was the routine task during their time. They have now been replaced by different types of people including foreigners. Now, it is almost in the downturn of its existence, which might have given shape to an artificial scenario to the house to some extent. However, allowing that would create more congestion at the restaurant,” With the passage of time, Coffee House will make its transition. However, the heritage building symbolises the eternal pride of the city of joy. Echoing names of the notable figures is something that Coffee House will certainly take forward. Kolkata’s love for its Coffee House can never fizzle out – just like its true love for Durga Puja.last_img read more

Fresh bombing puts Bhatpara on boil again ASI injured

first_imgKolkata: Despite repeated measures to reinstate peace in and around the Bhatpara-Jagaddal-Kankinara area, miscreants are still trying to create unrest.On Tuesday night, some miscreants again hurled bombs at Baruipara and Railway Siding number 5 in Bhatpara, which triggered tension in the area. While trying to control the situation, an Assistant Sub-Inspector (ASI) of police got injured. After a few minutes, a large contingent of police arrived at the spot and tried to intervene in order to control the situation. However, upon seeing the police, the miscreants hurled bombs targeting their team. An ASI subsequently received serious injuries after splinters from the bombs penetrated his legs. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataHe was rushed to a local hospital, where he has since been admitted. Following this, police tried to chase and apprehend the miscreants but failed to do so. To control the situation, police reportedly fired a few rounds. However, they have denied the allegation of firing. Despite section 144 CrPC being imposed in the area, problems in and around Bhatpara, Jagaddal and Kankinara are continuing. Police have already launched an extensive search operation to nab the offenders. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateOn Tuesday, three miscreants were arrested in a case of bombing which took place a few days ago in Bhatpara. Several crude bombs have also been recovered and disarmed. Police pickets have been set up in many places in order to prevent any deterioration of law and order situation. Earlier, police had arrested several more miscreants, whereas one miscreant was reportedly shot dead by police in self-defense a few days ago.last_img read more