This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. The Transition is not as fast as traditional small aircraft and does not have as great a range or cargo capacity (Transition can carry just 195 kg (430 lb), including passengers and fuel), but the less stringent requirements for flying light sport aircraft may make it attractive to people who would not normally consider training for a full pilot’s license. Training for a light sport aircraft license in the US requires only 20 logged hours in the air.The retail price of the Transition is expected to be $194,000 and Terrafugia expects the vehicle to be available by the end of 2011. The company has already received 70 orders. (PhysOrg.com) — The Federal Aviation Administration in the US has given approval to the Transition, a two-seater flying car developed over the last four years by Massachusetts Company, Terrafugia. Flying car takes wing: MIT alums’ invention makes its first test flights (w/Video) On the road, with its wings folded, the Transition is driven by a conventional front-wheel drive, and can fit in a regular sized garage. When it is ready to take to the air via an airport, airstrip, or suitable flat land, the wings are folded out and the rear-facing propeller engaged to enable the vehicle to take off. It needs a runway of just over 500 meters (one third of a mile).Federal approval of the vehicle was delayed because its weight of 600 kg (1,430 lb) was over the limit for a light sport aircraft (LSA), but the Transition has now been granted a special exemption to allow it to fly legally. The additional 50 kg in weight allows the vehicle to include safety equipment needed to meet federal motor vehicle standards in addition to aviation standards. The vehicle has better crash survivability than a normal light sport aircraft because of the safety features such as the safety cage and crush zones required for driving on the roads, but it is also safer because if the weather turns bad the plane can land and drive home instead of flying through unsafe conditions. Citation: Flying car should be available next year (w/ Video) (2010, June 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-06-car-year-video.html The flying car, or “roadable aircraft” as the company calls it, was designed by a team of engineers trained at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It can drive like a car at normal highway speeds but can also unfold its wings and fly.The vehicle runs on normal unleaded gasoline and has a cruising speed in the air of around 185 kph (115 mph). Its flying range is 740 kilometers (460 miles). When driven like a car with its wings folded the fuel consumption is around 7.85 liters per 100 km (30 mpg). The use of normal fuel instead of a reliance on aviation fuel will make the Transition the most environmentally friendly plane in the air. The vehicle will have features of regular road vehicles, such as crumple zones and airbags. © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: www.terrafugia.com/aircraft.html Explore further
Some birds may use their feathers to touch More information: Late Neandertals and the intentional removal of feathers as evidenced from bird bone taphonomy at Fumane Cave 44 ky B.P., Italy, by Marco Peresani, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Published online before print February 22, 2011, doi:10.1073/pnas.1016212108 Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — Researchers studying a large deposit of Neanderthal bones in Italy have discovered the remains of birds along with the bones, and evidence the feathers were probably used for ornamentation. The findings add evidence that the now extinct Neanderthals could have been as cultured as our own ancestors. Paleoanthropologist Marco Peresani from the University of Ferrara in Italy and colleagues were studying Neanderthal remains in the Fumane Cave near Verona in northern Italy when they discovered the bones of birds in layers that were on the surface around 44,000 years ago. The 660 bird bones included wing bones showing evidence of scraping, peeling and cutting by stone tools at the points at which the large flight feathers would have been attached. The feathers would have been of no culinary value and many of the bird species are poor food sources in any case. Feathered arrows had not yet been invented, and so the feathers would have had no practical value either, which suggests they were most likely removed for use as ornamentation or decoration. The researchers found the first bird bones in September 2009 and this spurred them to re-examine all the bones found in that layer. Among the 22 species of birds they found were bearded lammergeiers, red-footed falcons, Eurasian black vultures, golden eagles, common wood pigeons, and Alpine choughs. The feather colors included black, blue-gray, gray and orange-slate gray. Dr Peresani said bird feathers have been widely used by humans and have served a variety of purposes including making ornamental and ceremonial objects, and in games, but they have not previously been found associated with Neanderthals. Other researchers have found shells in association with Neanderthal bones and suggested they may have worn them as jewelry.The paper is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: Evidence Neanderthals used feathers for decoration (2011, February 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-02-evidence-neanderthals-feathers.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
The tectonic plates underlying the continents and oceans. Image: USGS For many millions of years, the two continents have been converging with the northern edge of the African tectonic plate slowly descending underneath the Eurasian plate. However, Wortel’s research has showed that this process seems to have stalled and may be in the process of changing roles.While the dense rock of the northern African plate has been drawn into the Earth’s mantle, the remaining portion of the African land mass is too light. With this being the case, Wortel points to the possible reversal of roles, seeing the heavier Eurasian plate now moving below the African plate and creating a new subduction zone. With this possible switch in roles, scientists are warning of an increased risk of seismic activity in the Mediterranean. Because of this, and in light of the recent earthquakes and tsunamis in Japan, scientists are voicing concern that European countries are not putting enough resources into a tsunami warning system. While earthquakes in the Mediterranean region are traditionally smaller than those found in the Pacific Rim, there have been recorded magnitude 8 earthquakes.Researchers are hopeful that this confirmation of a European subduction will lead the way to allow scientists to better model the region and assess the risks of earthquake and tsunami activity in the area. More information: meetingorganizer.copernicus.or … 011/EGU2011-3397.pdf 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. Australian continent to blame for Samoa, Sumatra quakes © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — At the European Geosciences Union (EGU) meeting last week, lead researcher Rinus Wortel from the University of Utrecht presented the findings that Europe is slowly moving under Africa, creating a new subduction zone. Citation: Europe may be slowly disappearing under Africa: research (2011, April 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-europe-slowly-africa.html Explore further
Sequencing hundreds of chloroplast genomes now possible More information: Jeong-Sun Seo et al. De novo assembly and phasing of a Korean human genome, Nature (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nature20098AbstractAdvances in genome assembly and phasing provide an opportunity to investigate the diploid architecture of the human genome and reveal the full range of structural variation across population groups. Here we report the de novo assembly and haplotype phasing of the Korean individual AK1 using single-molecule real-time sequencing, next-generation mapping, microfluidics-based linked reads4, and bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) sequencing approaches. Single-molecule sequencing coupled with next-generation mapping generated a highly contiguous assembly, with a contig N50 size of 17.9 Mb and a scaffold N50 size of 44.8 Mb, resolving 8 chromosomal arms into single scaffolds. The de novo assembly, along with local assemblies and spanning long reads, closes 105 and extends into 72 out of 190 euchromatic gaps in the reference genome, adding 1.03 Mb of previously intractable sequence. High concordance between the assembly and paired-end sequences from 62,758 BAC clones provides strong support for the robustness of the assembly. We identify 18,210 structural variants by direct comparison of the assembly with the human reference, identifying thousands of breakpoints that, to our knowledge, have not been reported before. Many of the insertions are reflected in the transcriptome and are shared across the Asian population. We performed haplotype phasing of the assembly with short reads, long reads and linked reads from whole-genome sequencing and with short reads from 31,719 BAC clones, thereby achieving phased blocks with an N50 size of 11.6 Mb. Haplotigs assembled from single-molecule real-time reads assigned to haplotypes on phased blocks covered 89% of genes. The haplotigs accurately characterized the hypervariable major histocompatability complex region as well as demonstrating allele configuration in clinically relevant genes such as CYP2D6. This work presents the most contiguous diploid human genome assembly so far, with extensive investigation of unreported and Asian-specific structural variants, and high-quality haplotyping of clinically relevant alleles for precision medicine. Journal information: Nature Explore further Citation: Genome sequencing of individual Korean offers opportunity to identify parts of sequence unique to Korean population (2016, October 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-10-genome-sequencing-individual-korean-opportunity.html As the researchers note, the genomes of many people have been sequenced—the first famously in back in 2000—but as they also note, people from Asia have been severely under-represented in such studies. Also, the researchers note, such sequences have gaps or incomplete sequence data in places that reflect the unique features of people from different parts of the world. After the first mapping was made, they explain, researchers began using it as sort of a template, plugging in information when it was found regarding people from different geographical regions. In this new effort, the researchers went back to the beginning and sequenced the genome of a single individual Korean person from scratch. In so doing, they were able to fill in some of the gaps that have been in place since the first genome was fully sequenced. They also found a large number of structural differences between the genome of the Korean person and the original template—and several that were missing altogether. They suggest their findings will help in designing and testing drugs that might have different impacts on people from separate regions. The note, too, that their research will have another impact beyond Korea—they believe the sequenced genome will be a closer match to people of other Asian areas as well, offering scientists in such places a better base from which to begin their own research efforts.The researchers also point out that the new method they used to sequence the genome will also make it easier to test for the best matches in organ donations and will help to speed up the process by which drugs are tested for adverse side effects. Fully sequencing the genomes of people from different parts of the world, the team claims, will create advancements in precision medicine, where health care overall is tailored to specific individuals based on their genetic makeup. DNA double helix. Credit: public domain © 2016 Phys.org 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. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with the Genomic Medicine Institute at Seoul National University in South Korea and Korean genetic sequencing firm Macrogen has conducted the most complete genome sequencing of a person from Korea to date. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes how they sequenced the genome and the medical benefits they believe will come from their work.
Journal information: Physical Review Letters Two-year-old children understand complex grammar © 2019 Science X Network Explore further Illustrative derivation trees for (a) simple English sentence, and (b) RNA secondary structure (after ). The latter is a derivation of the sequence ‘gacuaagcugaguc’ and shows its folded structure. Terminal symbols are encircled. Credit: arXiv:1809.01201 [cond-mat.dis-nn] More information: E. DeGiuli. Random Language Model, Physical Review Letters (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.122.128301 , On Arxiv: https://arxiv.org/abs/1809.01201 Citation: Physicist applies statistical mechanics theories to explain how children learn a language (2019, April 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-physicist-statistical-mechanics-theories-children.html Most parents notice that children learn a language in a standard sort of way—they pick up words as labels for things and then one day, start assembling words they have learned into sentences. Linguists have noticed that the changeover from speaking words to speaking sentences is usually quite abrupt, making many in the brain science field wonder what actually happens. In this new effort, DeGiuli proposes a theory to explain the process and uses physics theories to do it.DeGiuli starts out by suggesting that a context-free grammar (CFG), which covers most human languages, can be viewed as a physical object, conceiving it in a more physical way, such as must be the case inside the heads of people who are able to speak a language. He further proposes that a CFG can be modeled like a physical tree (not just a virtual one such as those typically used to describe CFGs)—with surfaces representing sentences that include all the words a person knows, whether they make sense or not. He then suggests that as a child hears new words and processes them, they begin to build grammar rules in their brain, some of which are deeper than others. The deepness of the rules is assigned as the brain assigns weights to different rules—those with more weight are deemed more likely to lead to sentences that make sense. It is at this point that DeGiuli introduces statistical mechanics theories into his proposal to explain how the weighting process works. He believes it is possible that the brain uses two major factors to decide how to prune branches in the grammar tree: how much a given weighting results in depth assignments within a tree, and how much they do so to arrive at surface-level assignments. In the end, he notes, it would be the sparseness of the tree that defines the level of usability of the tree to form sentences. When it reaches a certain point, the tree suddenly becomes usable and the child begins spouting complete sentences at his or her parents. Eric DeGiuli, a physicist at École Normale Supérieure, has proposed that a human language grammar can be viewed as if it were a physical object, allowing theories such as those in statistical mechanics to explain how a child learns a language. In his paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, he describes his ideas and his hopes that they might one day be associated with neurological evidence. 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.
Mall Rats, here is some good news for you ahead of Diwali. To usher in the spirit of Diwali, this south Delhi mall has lined up a string of events for visitors. Apart from creative installations to jazz up the place, there will be plays based on The Ramayana and Hindu mythology. There will be lights to tell the story behind Diwali. These will narrate shlokas from Hindu mythology. Shlokas will also be written on lamp shades to depict the tale of Lord Ram. For art aficionados, there will be Madhubani paintings which are based on Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’kands [episodes] of The Ramayana.Theatre groups from various colleges will be participating in a two-day competition of Nukkad Natak [street play] with the underlined theme ‘victory of good over evil’. The prelims will be held on the first day and the final competition will be held on the second day. The competition will be judged by eminent personalities. There will also be a campaign on Say No to Crackers in association with an NGO urging people to sign a resolution to not burst crackers on Diwali and reduce carbon footprint.DETAILAt: DLF Place, SaketOn till: 13 November
Kolkata: Determined to put a leash on the sale of inferior and adulterated food by a section of unscrupulous businessmen, the South Dum Dum Municipality has decided to award people who would come up with evidence of such unfair practices in the area of the municipality, thereby helping the civic body to take action against them.”We have been conducting regular drives against bad quality food to ensure that it is not compromised by any means. However, we have to admit that it is impossible for the municipality alone to keep an eye on every nook and corner of the 35 wards. Hence, we want to involve the citizens in this social cause. People, who will lodge complaints of such unfair practices with the municipality with evidence, will be awarded by us,” Debasish Banerjee, Chairman-in-Council (public health) said. Complaints can be lodged through calls, text messages or WhatsApp messages on 9831221665. It may be mentioned that a team from the municipality led by its chairman Panchu Gopal Roy raided a prawn processing unit at ward 21 on Friday and found that some sort of reddish colour was being added to prawns. The team from the municipality also conducted a drive at a multi-shopping complex which has a food court. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSamples were collected from as many as 12 restaurants and the officials have come across several irregularities in the way they deal with the food. French fries were found stored in refrigerators.The meat at some of the restaurants emitted a foul smell. Leftover food, stored in the refrigerator, was sent for tests. The hotel authorities, when asked about these irregularities, failed to provide any satisfactory answer. “We are sure that most of these businessmen associated with food business are using inferior quality food, posing serious health hazards to the consumers. We are waiting for the test reports of the samples that we have collected. They have been sent for examination at the state food laboratory in Entally. We will take strong action against the offenders as per law,” a senior municipality official said.
US model Kendall Jenner was reportedly snubbed by movie producers at the 68th Cannes International Film Festival. The 19-year-old model was reportedly overlooked for potential film roles in favour of fellow model Gigi Hadid because of her links to the Kardashian family.“Many producers feel they could cast Gigi in a film, and they would have no stigma to it,” femalefirst.co.uk quoted a source as saying. “But there would be a stigma if the billboards said, ‘Starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kendall Jenner.’ That just doesn’t work.” w
NASA is set to release a new book Benefits for Humanity that will showcase how research aboard the International Space Station (ISS) is helping improve lives on the Earth, while advancing NASA’s ambitious human exploration goals.It highlights benefits in a number of key areas including human health, disaster relief and education programmes to inspire future scientists, engineers and space explorers.“Some 250 miles overhead, astronauts are conducting critical
This year, a unique festival will mark the beginning of summer for Delhi. Coming to the city at the end of April is ‘Delhi Theatre Festival’, a unique 2-day event with back-to-back plays from the best in the country, at the Siri Fort Auditorium. This April 29 and 30, New Delhi will play host to some of the best plays India has seen in recent times.The two-day festival has plays featuring some of the biggest names in theatre, with Naseeruddin Shah, Rajit Kapur, Deepti Naval, Saurabh Shukla among others. The festival will bring 3 plays in Hindi and English, with diverse themes and a stunning cast. Naseeruddin Shah and Rajit Kapur’s “A Walk in the Woods”, “Ek Mulaqaat” featuring Shekhar Suman and Deepti Naval, and “Barff” with Saurabh Shukla in the lead and as director. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe festival will host panel discussions, theatre workshops and other exciting activities apart from the plays, making this a unique festivalThe initiative is in its debut year and is a brainchild of Alchemist marketing and talent solutions. The company is known for its annual production of Anoushka Shankar’s concerts, as well as for organising shows and live entertainment not just in India, but abroad. Says Manish Porwal, Managing Director of Alchemist, “Despite a highly discerning audience of theatre-goers, Delhi lacks enough options in the cultural and live entertainment sphere that cities like Mumbai and Bengaluru enjoy. We are very proud to have established a platform where theatre will thrive and envision the annual ‘Delhi Theatre Festival’ to be the breeding ground for theatre in India. This year’s chapter is the first of what is set to be the largest property in the theatre calendar in the coming years, attracting Indian and international audiences”