Superriver formed the English Channel

first_img Approximately 500,000 years ago, south-east Britain was connected by a land bridge, near present day Dover, to the Artois region of northern France. Then, roughly 450,000 years ago during a glaciation (ice age), water became trapped between the British and Fennoscandian ice sheets, and an enormous glacial lake was formed bounded by glaciers in the north and the land bridge in the south. Many rivers fed into the lake (located under what is now the North Sea), and it eventually burst its banks and flooded into the wide river valley, gouging through the soft chalk and taking sediment with it into the Bay of Biscay. The “super-river” is known to geographers as the Fleuve Manche (Channel River).In the study, published in Quaternary Science Reviews, the researchers tested the sediments found at the sea bottom and identified three periods at which sediment was deposited by the Fleuve Manche. Their results show the super-river existed during three glaciations, approximately 450,000, 160,000, and from 90 to 30,000 years ago. In the interglacial warm periods the English Channel was filled with water and separated Britain from Continental Europe.One of the project leaders, Professor Phil Gibbard of the Department of Geography, University of Cambridge, said they were the first to examine the sedimentary material left by the Fleuve Manche in the Bay of Biscay. Until the present study, the only data available to scientists was from sediments in coastal Europe, but many deposits have been eroded and are incomplete. The Bay of Biscay deposits have been undisturbed at the bottom of the sea for thousands of years, and give a much more complete picture than previously available.Professor Gibbard said the study adds profoundly to the knowledge of how Britain was populated. During glaciations the sea level dropped sufficiently to allow people, plants and animals to cross from the Continent, until the glacial lake overflowed and the Fleuve Manche was formed. At this time the large amount of cold water entering the Bay of Biscay would also have affected sea currents and the environment of the time.© 2009 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — A team of Anglo-French scientists studying sedimentary deposits in the Bay of Biscay have concluded that Britain and France were separated by a “super-river” during three periods of glaciations, and they have produced a more complete picture of the process of separation than previously available. 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. Credit: Google Maps Explore further Catastrophic flood separated Britain from Europe: study Citation: ‘Super-river’ formed the English Channel (2009, December 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-12-super-river-english-channel.htmllast_img read more

Female dung beetles use horns to fight over manure

first_img Citation: Female dung beetles use horns to fight over manure (2010, March 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-03-female-dung-beetles-horns-manure.html Fossilized dung balls reveal secret ecology of lost world More information: Reproductive competition promotes the evolution of female weaponry, Nicola L. Watson, Leigh W. Simmons; Proceedings of the Royal Society B. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.2335 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. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Dung beetle (Onthophagus sagittarius) Image credit: U.Schmidt. Explore further University of Western Australia researchers, Prof. Leigh Simmons and Dr. Nicola Watson, studied the female dung beetle (Onthophagus sagittarius), which, as its name suggests, feeds on dung. When they arranged for the females to have to race each other to reach deposits of cow dung and access to egg-laying sites in tunnels beneath the dung, those with larger horns were able to gather more manure, and thus provide more of this valuable resource for supporting their young. In a study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the researchers said competition between females for the use of breeding resources reduced the reproductive fitness of all the beetles, but smaller beetles were worse off than larger individuals. When matched for body size, the longest horns gave the greatest advantage in reproductive fitness, producing significantly more broods than beetles with shorter horns.Dung beetles lay their eggs in balls of dung, which must be fresh for the beetles to use it and this is what leads to competition. Watson said there is a distinct advantage for females that can get to dung first and seize the best and freshest pieces. They have also been observed stealing dung from other females and replacing eggs with their own.Dung beetles are also unusual in that the female dung beetles’ horns are of a different type to those of male beetles, and the scientists suggest this means they have evolved independently. Unlike male horns, they are not used for fighting off predators, defending territory, or competing for mates, but for fighting off other females competing with them for resources. (PhysOrg.com) — Dung beetles are among the few species in which the females are more impressively equipped with armor than males, and a new study explains why: the females fight each other for the best manure and breeding sites.last_img read more

Research model unlocks secrets of wolf pack behavior

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. Explore further (Phys.org) —A team of researchers with members from AEPA Euskadi in Spain and Hampshire College in Massachusetts has developed a computer model that shows that wolf pack behavior depends on the social structure of the pack as well as its size. In their paper published in Journal of the Royal Society: Interface, the team describes how their model works and what it shows regarding wolf pack behavior, particularly while hunting. Citation: Research model unlocks secrets of wolf pack behavior (2014, April 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-secrets-wolf-behavior.html For perhaps thousands of years, people have known of the terrifying skill of wolf packs when hunting for prey. Victims are encircled, giving them no place to run while wolves in the pack take turns rushing in for the kill. What’s not as well-known is pack dynamics, particularly when hunting is taking place. Studies of wolves in the past have led to theories of pack behavior based primarily on social structure—dominant wolves lead the less dominant. More difficult to study is what happens when wolves are on the hunt. To learn more, the researchers in this latest effort turned to computer modeling, based on prior field research by others.The computer model diagrams the methods used and actions taken by packs with varying social structures—some with all adult members, others with mixed family members including offspring.In analyzing the activity demonstrated by the model, the team found that as expected there was an optimum pack size—four or five adults—enough to easily surround and kill prey, but not so many that all receive a small share. These results coincide with prior research suggesting the same is true for other species that hunt in packs, such as wild dogs, jackals and coyotes. The team also found that other packs based on families of wolves tend to organize in social structures similar to the way humans function as groups when performing work. There is generally an inner circle of pack leaders, surrounded by an outer ring of less experienced wolves. Young wolves hang on the periphery watching and learning. Larger packs must obviously hunt more often as the share of each kill is smaller and thus less efficient.The model shows, the team reports, that the larger the pack size, the more sophisticated the social structure, which may lead to more complex behavior—adding significance to the overall social order of the pack. More information: Group size, individual role differentiation and effectiveness of cooperation in a homogeneous group of hunters, R. Escobedo, C. Muro, L. Spector, and R. P. Coppinger, J R Soc Interface 2014 11:20140204; DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2014.0204center_img Wolf hunting strategy follows simple rules © 2014 Phys.org Journal information: Journal of the Royal Society Interface A wolf in Yellowstone National Park. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Parklast_img read more

Last Weeks Best—Quantum mechanics breakthrough 3D printed human heart and paraplegia therapy

first_img One of the week’s biggest stories was the Large Hadron Collider team announcing a restart after shutting down this past February for repairs and updates to many of its systems.It’s also been a very big week for the biological sciences. A breakthrough therapy has allowed four paraplegic men to voluntarily move their legs. Funded by the Christopher Reeve Foundation and NIH, the therapy is based on an implanted epidural stimulator that delivers electric current to the lower spine. Thus far, it has allowed for movement of hips, ankles and toes. And speaking of rejuvenation, researchers at Edinburgh University in Scotland have rejuvenated a living organ for the first time—they increased levels of a protein that controls gene switching in a mouse, resulting in the rejuvenation of a thymus that had deteriorated due to age—afterward, the organ was once again able to produce T-cells.Also making big news this week, scientists confirmed that a scroll that mentions Jesus’s wife is ancient. After studying the ancient papyrus sheet, a team of researchers working in the U.S. concluded that it was not a forgery, a finding that is likely to cause a stir in the Christian community as it suggests that a woman played a far more important role in the life of Jesus than has been mentioned in the New Testament.A team at the University of Tokyo has found a way to control individual neurons in the brain of a mouse by sending reward signals to its hypothalamus, one of the brain’s pleasure centers. In so doing, the researchers discovered that they were able to get the mouse to turn on individual neurons in its own hippocampus.Elsewhere, another team of researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center has found that memory accuracy and strength can be manipulated during sleep by exposing rats to certain odors while they snooze. The hope is that such therapy may forestall certain neurodegenerative disorders.Also, there is news out of the University of Louisville as scientists try 3-D printing to build a human heart—they’ve already printed out small veins and heart valves. The research team believes they may be able to print all of the major heart parts, ready for assembly, in as little as five years.And at the Georgia Institute of Technology, a new study explains evolution of duplicate genes—researchers there have shown explicitly how the processes of DNA methylation and duplicate gene evolution are related and how some duplicate genes could have escaped elimination long ago from the genome, leading to the genetic innovation we see now in modern life.In other news, physicists created lightning in a race to develop a quantum technology microchip. Physicists working in England have developed a new microchip that can hold the voltage equivalent of a micron-scale lightning strike—it could very well prove to be the key for developing the next generation of super-fast quantum computers. And finally, scientists discovered a novel way to make ethanol without corn or other plants—they’ve used a metal catalyst that can produce ethanol from carbon monoxide at room temperature and pressure. If it can be scaled up and shown to be cost effective, the technique could prove to be a true game changer. Realizing that people are busy, our weekly recap will highlight some of the most important work we’ve covered, in case you missed it the first time. As always, please feel free to let us know your thoughts. Citation: Last Week’s Best—Quantum mechanics breakthrough, 3-D printed human heart, and paraplegia therapy (2014, April 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-week-bestquantum-mechanics-breakthrough-d.html Explore further 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. © 2014 Phys.orgcenter_img (Phys.org) —Hello readers—we’d like to try something new here at Phys.org and Medical Xpress: offer a weekly summary every Monday highlighting what we feel are the most important stories of the past week. Here, then, is the first of what we hope will be a successful series: New study explains evolution of duplicate genes Credit: CERNlast_img read more

New insights into switchable water have implications for water purification and desalination

first_img Explore further (Phys.org) —Water is rarely pure; instead, it often contains dissolved ions or is mixed with other liquids. Scientists can change the composition of water by separating its mixtures, which is most commonly performed by distillation. However, distillation is an energy-intensive process. Ionic liquid boosts efficiency of CO2 reduction catalyst The microfluidics approach allowed the researchers to take a more in-depth look at the water switching process. The particular process they analyzed begins with the introduction of CO2 bubbles into a solution of water containing a nitrogenous base (for example, amines) that is mixed with a second solvent (for example, tetrahydrofuran [THF]). While moving along the flow direction, the CO2 bubbles react with the amines, causing the system to phase-separate into two distinct phases, THF and an aqueous amine solution. By removing the CO2 by heating and/or purging another gas (e.g., nitrogen), the original liquid can be recovered. The amine additive can also be removed from the solution as a gas, leaving behind purified water.That much can be observed in macroscale experiments, but here the scientists were able to investigate this reaction on the microscale, allowing them to obtain a lot of information from only a single experiment. They evaluated the rate of phase separation process, calculated the minimum amount of CO2 required to complete the phase separation, identified the most efficient type of amine, and determined the efficiency of the phase separation. These results would be very difficult, if not impossible, to obtain using macroscale characterization techniques.Applying the liquid-liquid phase separation process to different solutions could have a variety of applications, including water desalination and purification. The results of this study could be used to characterize and improve the efficiency of these processes by facilitating the rapid exploration, development and optimization of new additives. Microfluidics strategies could be further extended to investigate the effects of temperatures, pressures, and compositions on water switching.”We plan to extend our microfluidic strategy to explore other switchable solvents with a broad range of switchable properties, as well as discover new applications of switchable solvents in a microfluidic format,” Kumacheva said. “In general, the applications of microfluidics in studies of carbon dioxide, a very important greenhouse gas, are just beginning to evolve.” Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society Over the past few years, researchers at Queen University in Canada have discovered an alternative, much simpler method of changing the properties of water by mixing it with a nitrogen-based compound and adding or removing gaseous carbon dioxide to the system.Because of the reversible reaction of carbon dioxide and a nitrogen-containing compound, the ionic strength of water can be reversibly switched: the ionic strength increases upon insertion of carbon dioxide in the liquid, and decreases with its removal. If water were originally mixed with an organic solvent, an increasing ionic strength of water would cause the mixture to separate into two different liquid phases, which are typically separated by a membrane. In principle, other “switchable solvents” would exhibit carbon-dioxide-mediated changes in hydrophilicity, polarity, fluorescence properties, or viscosity.Switchable solvents are still a very new area, however, and there is much that remains unknown. For example, it would be very helpful to know the rate of the phase-separation process in switchable water systems, the optimal CO2 concentration, and the efficiency of nitrogenous bases for liquid-liquid phase separation. In a new paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, a team of researchers including Gabriella Lestari and Milad Abolhasani, led by Prof. Eugenia Kumacheva at the University of Toronto, have turned to a new tool called microfluidics to explore liquid-liquid phase separation in an efficient way. Although microfluidics strategies have previously been used to study CO2-related processes in liquid solvents, this is the first time that microfluidics has been applied to studies of liquid-liquid phase separation mediated by water switching. “This work could definitely help to develop and optimize switchable solvents for many important applications, such as desalination of water by forward osmosis or as an alternative for the salting out process in pharmaceutical applications,” Kumacheva told Phys.org. “In addition, our microfluidic strategy could be adapted to study other phenomena induced by water switching, such as the synthesis and functionalization of nanoparticles.” More information: Gabriella Lestari, et al. “Switchable Water: Microfluidic Investigation of Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation Mediated by Carbon Dioxide.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/ja504184qM. Abolhasani, et al. “Microfluidic Studies of Carbon Dioxide.” Angew. Chem. DOI: 10.1002/ange.201403719 Phase separation of a switchable water solution occurring (a) at the macroscale and (b) in a microfluidics reactor. Credit: Lestari, et al. ©2014 American Chemical Society Citation: New insights into ‘switchable water’ have implications for water purification and desalination (2014, August 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-insights-switchable-implications-purification-desalination.html © 2014 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.last_img read more

Get a taste of some Assamese Cinema

first_imgBestowed with the honour of the Best Assamese Feature Film in the 60th National Film Awards, Baandhon (Waves of Silence) is about to enthrall a wider audience. With its release in five metro cities on 5 July. It  would become the first Assamese movie to be showcased outside Assam.It has been directed by the eleven times National Award winning filmmaker Jahnu Barua, who is also credited for being one of the pioneers of Assamese art cinema. The film will be shown with English sub-titles in the metros. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Baandhon’s is a story of an elderly couple- Damdeswar and Hkawni- whose lives are deeply impacted when their grandson goes missing in the attacks of 26/11 in Mumbai. Baandhon captures the turmoil and the upheavals the couple goes through, in trying to come to terms with the void that has been created in their lives forever.On the occasion of the release, multiple award-winning director, Jahnu Barua expressed, ‘The national release of Bandhon marks a new era for the Assamese film industry. I hope the film touches the heart of the audience.’last_img read more

You are the one

first_imgNirbhaya, the unforgettable name. Her story shook the nation and her bravery and courage  against all the odds made her immortal. Dedicated to this martyr, Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts (IGNCA) is presenting an art exhibition Nirbhaya– Multiple expressions in association with Creative Mind Publications and NIV Art center.The show will display the works of around 100 artistes from all over the country. All the artworks displays the feelings of the artistes put down on the canvas expressing the solidarity against the atrocities shown towards women.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The show has been curated by K R Subbanna. The chief guest of the exhibition, Padma Vibhusan Dr Sonal Mansingh inaugurated the show on 4 April. The exhibition also marked the presence of renowned curator Sushma Bahl and famous artist Arpana Caur on its first day.A one day art camp was also organised on 6 April at IGNCA where 100 of young artists participated. The camp was further followed by talks sessions addressed by Johny ML and Purushottama Billimale. The camp was an opportunity for young painters to express themselves through the medium of visualarts. Niren Sen Gupta inaugurated the camp while the closing ceremony  marked the presence of Padma Shree Anjolie Ela Menon. When: till 18 AprilTime: 11.00 am – 7.00 pmWhere: Mati Ghar, IGNCA, Janpath Roadlast_img read more

Playing with colours

first_imgArt lovers head over to Lalit Kala Akademi as it hosts the 13th edition of the annual art exhibition of Delhi Collage of Arts titled Art Carnival. Conceptualised by Ashwani K Prithviwasi, the show will commence from June 6. On display will be paintings by over 125 artists, who are students of first, second, third and final year of Delhi Collage of Art. The paintings are a mix of themes that are representative of the myriads backgrounds that the artists hail from. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Prithviwasi, also the founder and director of Delhi Collage of Art said: “It gives me unbridled pleasure to see how far we have come over a decade and a half. From relatively modest beginnings to being recognised as one of India’s major art events; this Annual Arts Exhibition has become a much anticipated arts event. An interesting facet of this exhibition is the fact that it caters in equal measure to the art connoisseur, to the casual visitor, and the serious investor. This a great place to buy excellent art at affordable prices.” Aiming to liberalise fine art education, Delhi Collage of Art has taken commendable steps to make art education affordable and available for all. Where: Lalit Kala AcademiWhen: June 2-8Timing: 11am to 7pmlast_img read more

WB govt to reduce undernutrition in women and children by 2020 Mamata

first_imgKolkata: The West Bengal government has taken up a multi-sectoral strategy to reduce under-nutrition and anaemia among women and children in the state by 2020, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Saturday. On a day of the commencement of the National Nutrition Week, Banerjee said that her government had taken up the ‘State Nutrition Mission’ from July 2017. “#NationalNutritionWeek begins today. In Bangla, State Nutrition Mission as a multi-sectoral strategy to reduce under-nutrition and anaemia amongst women and children in a targeted manner by 2020, has started functioning from July 2017,” Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle. The National Nutrition Week is observed every year from September 01 to 07 with an objective to intensify awareness on the importance of nutrition on health which has an impact on the development, productivity, economic growth and national development.last_img read more

HC takes initiative to find new school for sexual abuse victim

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to secure the future of a girl, who was allegedly sexually abused by two teachers last year when she was 4, the Calcutta High Court on Monday took the initiative to get her admitted to a different school.Justice Nadira Patherya directed the school here, where the incident allegedly took place, to formulate guidelines for its teachers on dealing with its students to ensure their safety and a proper personality development.The court ordered the school to submit the guidelines before the court on September 20. The court observed that it may consider a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for all schools in West Bengal, setting guidelines for teachers and the educational institutions on dealing with children. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeJustice Patherya asked the father of the girl to suggest the name of a school that he would want her daughter to get admitted to, before the court on Friday.The direction came after Priyanka Tibrewal, lawyer for the girl’s father, submitted before the court that several schools have refused admission to the girl on the ground that she has attained the age of 5 years and crossed the cut-off age for admission.The father of the child had moved a petition before the court claiming police inaction in ensuring trial of the accused persons. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe state counsel told the court that investigation in the case has been completed, charge sheet have been filed against the accused persons and trial has also commenced.The parents of the girl had withdrawn the girl from the school following her alleged sexual abuse by two games teachers in November, 2017, Tibrewal told the court, adding that the child has been going to a play school since then.The incident had allegedly taken place on November 30, 2017 in the school and the father had filed a police complaint stating that his daughter had been sexually abused by two physical education teachers inside the school premises.last_img read more