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Month: August 2019


first_img Citation: New uses for exhausted electric vehicle batteries proposed (2011, April 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-exhausted-electric-vehicle-batteries.html (PhysOrg.com) — In a move with far and wide consequences for the automobile industry, many groups are banding together to study the two-pronged problem of high initial costs for lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries for electric vehicles, and then what to do with those batteries once they lose their ability to hold a strong enough charge to keep motorists moving. Most proposed solutions center around reusing the batteries in applications that don’t require a battery to be fully chargeable, such as battery backups for an electrical grid; thus allowing the initial cost of the batteries to be spread out over a much longer lifespan. Currently, customers who are looking to buy an electric car are told that they can expect the battery pack in their new car to last eight to ten years; at which time, they’ll have to replace it at a significant cost to them; no plan has yet been put in place however, regarding what to do with the removed battery packs from the millions of cars that will likely someday be traversing the roads of the world.Governments, public companies and private environmental groups have all jumped into the fray, each with a different agenda it seems. Governments seek to find alternatives to burning gasoline to relieve their constituents from the vagaries of relying on foreign oil, public companies (particularly those who make cars) want to sell cars (or batteries) at prices customers can afford, and environmental groups want gasoline cars off the road, but at the same time shudder at the thought of mountains of dead batteries littering the landscape.To deal with this issue, General Motors has forged an agreement with ABB, an energy technology company while Nissan has joined forces with 4R Energy; both hope to find solutions to both problems.Also the U.S. Department of Energy’s, National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), is teaming up with various academic groups (one of which is the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE)) to find so-called “second life” opportunities for not yet dead batteries. Current possibilities include using them to provide backup support for an electrical grid, or to use them as accessories in capturing power from alternative energy sources such as wind or solar arrays. In such a scenario, it’s suggested that consumers could perhaps lease the batteries in their cars from the manufacture’s, which would mean they’d only have to pay for the useful time they had then; the manufacturer’s could then sell the batteries to utility companies once they’ve been removed from such automobiles, all of which should, in theory, reduce costs for both parties.Of course in all this, there does exist the possibility that a new battery could be developed; one that might last much longer and would be much cheaper; or another technology, such as hydrogen fuel cells could emerge which would make the whole exercise moot. Regardless of how the current type of batteries are used, however, there will still come a time when they will eventually become useless to anyone, which will mean tearing them apart to recycle the viable pieces for recycling purposes; yet another piece of the puzzle that will need to be worked out as the numbers of dead batteries begins to climb. © 2010 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: www.nrel.gov/vehiclesandfuels/ … ge/publications.html Image credit: Jeremy Neubauer Explore further Lithium-air batteries’ high energy density could extend range of electric vehicleslast_img read more


first_imgCorvus brachyrhynchos or Corvus caurinus. Image: Wikipedia. Explore further (Phys.org)—The more scientists study animals and their intellectual abilities, the more it appears that many of them have heretofore unknown abilities that can match some of our own. One such animal is the New Caledonian crow which has been found to not only make and use tools, but to fashion them depending on which bird “culture” it happens to live in. The unusually big brained bird has also been found to live in nuclear families and some observers have suggested they even have some degree of affection for one another. For these reasons, a team of researchers from several countries got together to study their inferential skills, and as they describe in their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they found the birds had an ability that until now was thought limited exclusively to us humans. More information: New Caledonian crows reason about hidden causal agents, PNAS, Published online before print September 17, 2012, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1208724109AbstractThe ability to make inferences about hidden causal mechanisms underpins scientific and religious thought. It also facilitates the understanding of social interactions and the production of sophisticated tool-using behaviors. However, although animals can reason about the outcomes of accidental interventions, only humans have been shown to make inferences about hidden causal mechanisms. Here, we show that tool-making New Caledonian crows react differently to an observable event when it is caused by a hidden causal agent. Eight crows watched two series of events in which a stick moved. In the first set of events, the crows observed a human enter a hide, a stick move, and the human then leave the hide. In the second, the stick moved without a human entering or exiting the hide. The crows inspected the hide and abandoned probing with a tool for food more often after the second, unexplained series of events. This difference shows that the crows can reason about a hidden causal agent. Comparative studies with the methodology outlined here could aid in elucidating the selective pressures that led to the evolution of this cognitive ability. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2012 Phys.orgcenter_img Researchers find Grey parrots able to use inferential reasoning To find out if the birds are able to infer that actions taken behind a screen are the result of some known agent; an inferential skill, the team set up an experiment where the birds first used a stick to get at some food in a box; an exercise that has been demonstrated many times before with New Caledonians. Next however, they threw in something new, a blue sheet of plastic that the birds could not see through. The researches put it near the side of the cage that held one bird at a time, near to where the food box sat. They then stationed a person behind the sheet who pushed a stick through a small slit in the plastic, disrupting and upsetting the bird, preventing it from eating. That set the stage.To find out if the birds could understand that it was a person manipulating the stick, without actually showing them, they let them see a person first walk behind the screen, observe the stick suddenly poking through at them then stop and then the person reemerging from behind the screen. Turns out, they could. They found this out by adding new twists to the test, such as letting them watch a person simply walk behind the screen to see how they’d react, or by not letting them see the person go behind the screen before wiggling the stick. The crows demonstrated they understood what was going on by avoiding the food box if the stick wiggled in any scenario, until they saw the person get out from behind the screen and walk away, indicating that it was safe to proceed. This the researchers say, proves that the birds truly understood that it was a person behind that screen wiggling that stick even though they never actually saw them do it. They had to infer that information, and that is something, the team reports, that has never before been observed in any other animal, besides people. Citation: Study shows crows able to infer actions of hidden agent (2012, September 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-crows-infer-actions-hidden-agent.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.last_img read more


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. Scientists overcome key CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing hurdle CRISPR/Cas9 has been in the news a lot of late, as it has been used to edit genes in ways that were never possible before, allowing for a whole host of new research opportunities. The development of the technique has taken a long and winding road as is the case with most modern inventions, with many people from around the world making small contributions to the science of gene editing which eventually led to some researchers having what was needed to develop the new technique. At least two teams of them filed for a patent on the product in the U.S. The first was a team with the University of California, led by Jennifer Doudna, they filed for a patent in late 2013. The second was a team affiliated with MIT and the Broad Institute, headed by Feng Zhang—they filed in early 2014, but, realizing they had something pretty special, they asked for and were granted an expedited process which meant that their patent was granted before the one submitted by the UofC team was completed, leaving the UoC team out in the cold.This past April, attorneys for UoC requested an interference on the case, claiming they should have been granted the patent because they filed first—the request by the MIT team should have been recognized as an interfering party, they claim, because their application interfered with the original.The judge on the case, Deborah Katz, designated the UoC team as the “senior party” which essentially means that the USPTO is starting the hearings with the assumption that the UoC team should hold the patent, leaving the MIT team to prove that it invented the procedure first, regardless of who filed first.There is one minor detail in the case that could turn things in MIT’s favor—when filing for the patent, the UoC team did not include words describing the technique as something to be used on mammalian cells—including humans. They were more general, whereas the MIT team was much more specific regarding how the technique could be used.It is not likely there will be quick resolution to the dispute, both sides will likely be given time to find and compile pertinent evidence and then to present it, and others might be allowed to chime in as well. All in all it could take months, but the effort should be more than worth it as there are millions to be made in licensing fees. Crystal structure of S pyogenes Cas9 in complex with sgRNA and its target DNA at 2.5 A ˚ resolution. Credit: Nishimasu, et al. 2014. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2014.02.001 Genome Editing with CRISPR-Cas9 (Phys.org)—The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) officially agreed this past Monday to move forward with interference hearings regarding the case of the true inventor of the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technique. This sets the stage for a major battle between two groups of scientists, their affiliated institutions and supporters backing one or the other who hope to reap large financial rewards from its use. © 2016 Phys.org Citation: Patent office agrees to move forward with interference hearings on CRISPR/Cas9 inventor case (2016, January 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-patent-office-crisprcas9-inventor-case.html Explore furtherlast_img read more


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. A large panel of scientists has published a Public Forum piece in the journal Science calling for the scientific community to provide better access to public genomic datasets. They suggest the current system allows restrictions by researchers to slow or prevent access to such data, hindering research by others. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Citation: Panel calls for more timely access to public genomic datasets (2019, January 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-panel-access-genomic-datasets.html Explore further Wide-Open accelerates release of scientific data by identifying overdue datasetscenter_img When a research team receives funds from a given entity to conduct genomic research, there often are stipulations regarding use of the data that results. When the entity is a public source such as a university or governmental agency, there is usually a requirement that the data that is generated be made public. This is because public funds paid for the research. But the timing of release or the method in which it is done can be problematic for other researchers who wish to use that data if the original research team withholds data. The reason a team might do so is to prevent being scooped by other researchers—they keep the data private until they have published their own results. In their paper, the authors call for an end to such practices, noting that timeliness of such data is often a factor in determining its value.The authors call for rules that force research teams to make genomic datasets available as stipulated by the funding entity—even if it is immediately after they are generated. They argue that such data should be freely available to anyone who wishes to access it, even if the researchers who generated the data have not published the results of their efforts. They contend that the rights of public access outweigh the wishes of research teams.The authors also call for a system that governs the creation and access of public genomic datasets. One part of such a system, they suggest, would be journals refusing to publish results of research or clinical trials unless the researchers release the data in a timely fashion. They further call for a reward system. As one example, published papers regarding research by teams who used data generated by others would be required to list the source of the data. They also note that universities could institute policies to reward researchers who promptly release data as an incentive. © 2019 Science X Network More information: Rudolf I. Amann et al. Toward unrestricted use of public genomic data:, Science (2019). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaw1280 Journal information: Sciencelast_img read more


first_imgKOLKATA: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday visited the state-run SSKM Hospital to see a patient who has been undergoing treatment in the hospital after suffering a cerebral attack.During her visit, Banerjee asked the hospital authorities to strengthen the security measures inside the hospital campus. While entering the Outpatient department, she found that it was crowd. She enquired as to why so many people had assembled there and asked the on-duty police officers for answers. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsShe also visited the casualty block of the hospital. She entered the hospital at around 12 pm and stayed there for around 20 minutes. Banerjee enquired about the health condition of Sambhunath Jana who has been undergoing treatment in the hospital after suffering cerebral attack.It was learnt from the sources that during the administrative meeting at Nabanna later in the day, the Chief Minister wanted to know why people in large numbers had assembled outside the OPD of SSKM Hospital. She directed the senior health officials at Nabanna to ensure better quality treatment in SSKM and other referral hospitals. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedBanerjee instructed the hospital authorities to ensure that there is no water crisis at the hiospital especially during scorching summers. Chief Minister also instructed the officials of the hospital to increase the number of the water tankers so that there is no scarcity of water.During her visit, she also wanted to know from the patients if they were facing any problems in the hospital. It may be mentioned here that it is Banerjee, who started paying surprise visits to various state-run hospitals to take a stock of available infrastructure, after becoming the Chief Minister. Following the Chief Minister’s instruction, major infrastructural revamps were carried out at the hospitals.last_img read more


first_imgKolkata: The city has witnessed two green corridors within a gap of six days through which organs were transported from one hospital to the other in less than 15 minutes for urgent transplantations.On the wee hours of Thursday, one of the kidneys and the liver obtained from a patient, who was declared brain dead by the doctors at Apollo Gleneagles Hospital on EM Bypass, were taken to SSKM Hospital for transplants on two patients.A similar incident had taken place on August 18 when the liver of a brain dead patient was transported to Apollo Gleneagles Hospital from SSKM for transplant, while her two kidneys were taken also out for transplants on two patients, who were undergoing renal treatment at SSKM Hospital. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAditi Sinha (59), a resident of Chitpur, was declared brain dead on Wednesday night at Apollo Gleneagles Hospital.The hospital authorities urged the family members of the deceased to donate her organs, thereby keeping her memories alive in the lives of others. After counselling, the family members agreed to donate her organs.All the necessary procedures were completed in minimum possible time, including clearance from the state Health department. The doctors later obtained her kidneys, liver and corneas. A green corridor facilitated by Kolkata police ensured that the donated liver reached SSKM Hospital on time from Apollo Gleneagles Hospital. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedOne of two kidneys and the liver were packed in a temperature-controlled box and sent in an ambulance to SSKM early on Thursday morning. The other kidney was transplanted on another patient at the private hospital itself.According to the sources at SSKM, the liver was transplanted on a 53-year-old patient, Chandicharan Ghosh, a resident of Nadia who was suffering for two years, while the kidney was given to another patient who was undergoing renal treatment at the hospital. The other kidney of the donor has been transplanted on Uma Parekh, a resident of Tangra, who was suffering for a while.These two separate incidents of organ transplants, within a gap of 6 days in the city, have opened up a new avenue, encouraging others to donate their organs.It may also be mentioned that the government’s continuous efforts to promote organ donation has once again proved fruitful. The incidents of organ donation have increased due to proactive efforts by the state Health department.It may be mentioned that family members of one Mira Dey, a middle-aged woman, who was declared dead at Apollo Gleneagles donated her organs but the hospital authority could not use them as they were in bad shape.last_img read more


first_imgKolkata: E-commerce giant Flipkart will set up a logistics hub at Haringhata Industrial Park in Nadia that will generate 18,310 direct job opportunities.The in-principal approval to allot land to Instakart Private Limited, which is a subsidiary of Flipkart, has been given in Wednesday’s board meeting of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC).Amit Mitra, the state Industry minister, said: “This is good news for the people of Bengal ahead of Durga Puja, as setting up of the logistics hub will generate 18,370 direct jobs.” Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe project will be set up on 100 acres of land in the 358-acre Haringhata Industrial Park, which will be the biggest in the country.There will be an investment of Rs 991 crore to set up the logistics hub.Mitra said: “Flipkart will be an anchor investor in Haringhata Industrial Park. With setting up its logistics hub, more industries will be coming up in the remaining part of the industrial park.”He further said that he had discussed the matter with Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday. “After the in-principal approval given in this connection in the board meeting of WBIDC, it will be sent to the Standing Committee of the Cabinet on Industry, Infrastructure and Employment, where it will be formalised.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe further said that the discussion over setting up of the logistic hub had been going on for the past seven to eight months. Finally, Flipkart has decided to use the land at Haringhata Industrial Park that is close to National Highway 34, with a frontage area of around 912 metres. It will ensure a smooth operation of vehicles in the logistics hub. Mitra said the logistics hub would be set to serve the North East, Bhutan and even Bangladesh. The land will cost Rs 63.49 lakh per acre. The process of giving the land will be completed as early as possible and the work to set up the logistics hub is expected to start in the next six months.In connection with setting up of the second unit of the Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) manufacturing plant of The Chatterjee Group at Haldia, Mitra said the expansion would ensure the creation of jobs downstream, as there will be the possibility of setting up units for continuous polymerisation and fibre will be produced. It will help in setting up spinning mills.last_img read more


first_imgScholars from India and abroad held a wide ranging discussion on the ‘codification and Oral Practices” of the monumental work ‘Sangitaratnakara’ of renowned scholar Sarangadeva at a seminar under the aegis of Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan in the Capital.Speaking on the contribution of Sarangadeva – a scholar from Kashmir who settled in the Deccan region in Southern India – Prof Krishna Bisht, noted Khayal vocalist of Delhi Gharana , focussed on the application of anibaddha gana of Sarangadeva in Hindustani Khayal genre while Prof Ritwik Sanyal , veteran Dhrupad exponent from Varanasi, through an exhilarating performance established the links with the oral tradition of Dhrupad . Also Read – Add new books to your shelfDr Indrani Chakravarti, from Prashanti Nilayam, Andhra Pradesh, through her association with the tribe – the ‘Kinnara Jogis’ in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, gave an interesting account of its current existing practise while explaining the swara scales from vedic period to Sarangadeva. Prof Najma Perveen Ahmad,whose research has been on Persian texts on Indian music, focussed mainly on the two important texts ‘Lahjat-e-Sikandar Shahi’ and ‘Ghunyat-ul-Munya’ which have elaborately dealt with Sarangadeva. Dr Richard Widdess , Prof of Musicology from SOAS, UK gave an interesting analytical view point on the alapa and alapti as expounded by Sarangadeva. Dr Arati Rao from Bangalore, explained the seven salaga suda prabandhas of SR through a well-conceived demonstration of verses set to the different talas.Bhawan’s Director, Ashok Pradhan focussed on the importance of knowledge of Sanskrit in understanding the worth of monumental works like the Sangita Ratnakara that bridged the theory and practise of performing arts of the ancient medieval times and their importance in the practising scenario of the present times. Eminent scholar and art historian Kapila Vatsyayan appreciated the work being done by Bhawan.last_img read more


first_imgEating a high-carb breakfast, which includes bread, cheese and milk, may help you make good decisions throughout the day, say scientists who found that people who consume a lean meal in the morning tend to accept unfair financial offers. Researchers said that people’s decision-making was often influenced by the amount of carbohydrates and protein contained in their breakfast.The study participants were more likely to reject an unfair financial offer if they had filled up on carbs that morning. However, if they had eaten a lower-carb, higher-protein breakfast, they were more apt to accept such offers. According to Soyoung Park from the University of Luebeck, in Germany, after a high-carb breakfast people tended to have lower levels of an amino acid called tyrosine. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfTyrosine is important in producing brain chemicals like dopamine – which is part of the brain’s “reward system.” Changes in tyrosine correlated with changes in people’s decision-making, Park said. In the first, Park’s team had 87 college students play an online version of the Ultimatum Game. The game gives players the opportunity to either accept or reject a clearly unfair financial offer from an opponent. The catch is, if the offer is rejected, no one gets any money. So when a player makes that choice, it’s seen as a form of “social punishment” for the opponent. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveAfter playing the game, the students told the researchers what they had eaten that morning. It turned out that 53 per cent of people who had eaten a high-carb breakfast rejected unfair offers, compared with only a quarter of students who had eaten a lower-carb breakfast. The second phase included 24 men who came to the lab for a controlled breakfast before playing the Ultimatum Game. They also had blood samples drawn over several hours.On one day, the breakfast was 80 per cent carbs, 10 per cent protein: Bread with jam and cream cheese; milk and apple juice; and an apple and banana. On another day, the breakfast was 50 per cent carbs and 25 per cent protein: There was bread and jam again, but also ham, yogurt, milk and a bigger slab of cream cheese.The results were similar. The men were more likely to reject unfair offers after the high-carb breakfast. The test included only men, Park said, because there are gender differences in metabolism that might have interfered with the results. Even in the all-male group, people varied in their responses. Some still accepted unfair offers after having a high-carb breakfast, for instance.last_img read more


first_imgBalurghat: A group of women ransacked a country liquor shop at Ichamoti Bazar in Mohona Panchayat in Kumarganj police limits around 6 pm on Monday. They took the law into their hands as they were fed up of the rising menace of illegal liquor vendors. A ruckus broke out in the locality following the incident.A source said the raw material used in producing liquor was also destroyed by these women. Residents of the town Suniti Sarkar, Shyamali Barman and Pratima Roy said the shop was built in their locality despite their objection. There are banks, schools, colleges and health-centres in the area. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseA local resident said they could not allow the shop to function because children and young people go to schools and colleges in the same locality. “With no other solution, we had to take the law in our own hands and teach the country liquor vendors a good lesson. We would continue doing so in future if such shops come up in our area,” said the local resident. Officers of Kumarganj police station rushed to the spot to avoid any tension. “Frequent raid would be conducted in the village against illegal liquor vendors and gambling,” said a police officer.last_img read more