Airtight box and plant experiment ends in blinding headaches

first_img Citation: Airtight box and plant experiment ends in blinding headaches (2011, September 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2011 Explore further New Miscanthus hybrid discovery in Japan could open doors for biofuel industry ( — Iain Stewart, a professor of geoscience at Plymouth University, spent the weekend carrying out an experiment in Cornwall at the Eden Project. Stewart was locked in an airtight chamber for 48 hours with nothing but plants to provide his oxygen. The experiment was filmed for a BBC series, How Plants Made the World. The idea of this experiment, according to Stewart, was to see if plants could really keep a person alive and stress the importance of photosynthesis, or the process of plants taking in carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen by using light.The chamber that Stewart spent the weekend in was eight meters long, two meters wide and 2.5 meters tall and filled with 30 large plants and 120 small ones. Some of the plants included banana trees, miscanthus, maize and a variety of tropical herbs.The chamber was fitted both inside and out with a special lighting system to ensure that the plants received adequate energy for photosynthesis and the temperature and humidity levels were kept at the optimal range for the plants and not for Stewart.Inside the chamber, Stewart had a hammock to sleep in, an exercise bike and a laptop. The exercise bike was placed inside in case the carbon dioxide levels dropped too low for photosynthesis. If this were to happen, Stewart would be required to exercise.The experiment concluded on Saturday night and the oxygen levels remained high enough for Stewart to remain in the chamber for the full 48 hours, however, the oxygen levels dropped from 21 percent to between 10 and 12 percent. This level is similar to the atmosphere found at high elevations and is what causes altitude sickness.Specialists from the University College London’s Centre for Altitude Space and Extreme Environment Medicine and the Royal Free Hospital were there to monitor Stewart for the duration of the experiment and also put him through various tests to look at the effects of the low oxygen levels. While Stewart did manage to stay in the chamber for the entire 48 hours, the reduced oxygen levels contributed to blinding headaches which he is recovering from. 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

Facebook sets engineers to work on grownup search

first_img Citation: Facebook sets engineers to work on grown-up search (2012, March 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — Facebook is planning to get serious about its search engine. Sources tipped off reporters this week about Facebook plans to upgrade its search engine and run toward the money that can be gained from optimized search. Tongues are wagging about how, not when, and story headlines are pairing the Facebook plan with thoughts about Google, namely what the search surge can mean as a challenge to Google. Numerous sites that watch both Google and Facebook marvel at the two companies’ opposite moves; of Google moving toward social while Facebook moving toward search. © 2012 Google hoping other sites like recommendation tool Explore further Comparing the two giants as competing Goliaths is also tempting considering the fact that Facebook called in former Google engineer Lars Rasmussen, the co-founder of Google Maps, to work on its freshened-search project. (Rasmussen left Google in 2010 to work for Facebook.) The news was bared this week in a report from Bloomberg Businessweek, in which people familiar with the project said Facebook gave the green light to a team of 24 to 25 engineers to enrich and refine the search function.Citing more confirmation of Facebook’s foray into search, news sites pointed to a photograph posted by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg on his Facebook wall, showing his desk and laptop display with an image of a Facebook page with a large white box. They said the box may be an image of the company’s prototype search display.But why should a social site go to so much trouble fixing the search engine? After all, Facebook’s search box can do a number of tasks including finding other members. General Web search results are powered by the Bing search engine from Microsoft. Some Facebook users say there is lots of room for improvement, however, in sifting through content. Bloomberg Businessweek said that a Facebook search for “Sonoma winery” resulted in a disorganized yield of wineries, people who work at wineries, unrelated banner ads, and a page for a wine-tasting iPhone app.Being able to carry a well-structured search engine is not only a way to please users but also a way to ensure monetization. As The Register less delicately put it, “Facebook – ahead of its IPO – is trying to get its advertising house in order because, like Google, that’s where it makes its bucks.” What’s more, one observer described Facebook’s unique search-engine potential as being able to cropdust the Web with ‘Like’ buttons. “Facebook has a huge set of data and information curated by all of us,’ wrote Drew Olanoff in The Next Web.Nonetheless, Google is not about to relax in maintaining search-engine supremacy. Google is working on a next-generation search where people can get answers to queries rather than just seeing Web links. Earlier this month, a report in The Wall Street Journal said that over the next few months, Google will present more facts and direct answers to queries at the top of the search-results page. People searching for Lake Tahoe would see key attributes about the lake, such as location, altitude, average temperature or salt content. This would be in contrast to getting just links to a visitor bureau, a Wikipedia page, and link to a map. The article noted that for a more complex question asking for the ten largest lakes in California, Google might provide the answer instead of just links to other sites. 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

Of mice and molecules In vivo photoacoustic imaging using semiconducting polymer nanoparticles

first_imgThe application of semiconducting polymer nanoparticles (SPNs) to an activatable nanoprobe for imaging reactive oxygen species (ROS) in an edema mouse model. Credit: Jianghong Rao Rao describes some of the paper’s interesting and important findings, starting with their fundamental demonstration that near-infrared light-absorbing semiconducting polymer nanoparticles can serve as an efficient and stable nanoplatform to allow photons to be used to generate ultrasound waves, permitting in vivo photoacoustic molecular imaging. “Semiconducting polymer nanoparticles can absorb a large amount of near-infrared light,” he explains. “The absorbed energy is then dissipated as heat to generate sound waves and these waves can be detected by the ultrasound transducer and in turn exploited for photoacoustic imaging. Addressing another result – that activatable molecular imaging probes can undergo an intrinsic signal evolution upon detecting molecular targets or events, providing a real-time correlation between probe activated versus non-activated states and pathological processes on a molecular level – Rao points out that in this study, the probe produces photoacoustic signals at two different wavelengths (700 nm and 820 nm) before activation by the ROS (reactive oxygen species) molecular target. “After activation,” he adds, “the signal at 820 nm is lost, and the signal at 700 nm remains. Thus this signal change reflects the presence and activity of the target. The imaging acquisition is fast, so the detection can be in real time. The imaging captures molecular change of the probe that reflects the activity of the ROS molecular target in the disease.”The paper emphasizes that full utilization of the potential of photoacoustic imaging at a depth and spatial resolution that is unattainable by fluorescence imaging requires new materials amenable to the construction of activatable photoacoustic probes. “Activatable probes can allow one to detect physiological and pathological molecular events,” Rao explains. “However, most current activatable probes rely on fluorescence, which doesn’t provide the deep imaging depth and high spatial resolution that photoacoustic imaging does.”Moving forward, Rao says, the scientists are continuing to explore their application for imaging – for example, photoacoustic imaging of cancer by attaching a tumor-targeting molecule to the nanoparticle. “Another area will be to explore more polymers that absorb at different near-infrared wavelength,” he adds, “allowing multiple target imaging to be done simultaneously. Moreover, while this work demonstrates the imaging of reactive oxygen species, other molecular targets, such as pH and enzyme species, may be similarly imaged.” Rao also points out that it may be possible for the new approach to be combined with drug delivery, effectively creating so-called theranostic nanoparticles for personalized healthcare applications by testing patients for possible reactions to a new medication, and then tailoring a treatment for them based on the test results.Rao lists a number of applications that will emerge as a result of their research. “Our research will most likely lead to the use of semiconducting nanoparticles for photoacoustic imaging on pre-clinical animal models, such as imaging ROS in deep tissue locations in diseases,” he says. “It could also lead to the development of other semiconducting polymer-based photoacoustic imaging probes, both targeting probes by conjugating a targeting ligand” (a small molecule that forms a complex with a biomolecule to serve a biological purpose) “and activatable probes signal activation by molecular targets other than ROS.”Regarding other areas of research that might benefit from their study, Rao tells that the new nanomaterial should enhance the ability to study cancer, neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and many other diseases in animal models, and help uncover the role of aberrant RONS (reactive oxygen and nitrogen species) in these diseases and contribute to the development of novel therapeutics. “With the translation of photoacoustic imaging to clinics,” Rao concludes, “it may be applied to clinical research as well.” More information: Semiconducting polymer nanoparticles as photoacoustic molecular imaging probes in living mice, Nature Nanotechnology 9(3), 233–239 (2014), DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2013.302 Explore further Unwanted side effect becomes advantage in photoacoustic imaging Prof. Jianghong Rao discussed the paper that he, Dr. Kanyi Pu and their co-authors published in Nature Nanotechnology. “Firstly, there are several ideal properties a photoacoustic imaging probe should have,” Rao tells “These are no or low toxicity, high photoacoustic efficiency, excellent photostability and chemical stability, absorption in infrared or near-infrared wavelength to avoid the tissue background light absorption and achieve better light penetration, and –for a molecular imaging probe – the ability to generate target-specific photoacoustic imaging contrast.” However, Rao continues, current photoacoustic contrast agents generally do not meet all of these requirements, having either have poor photostability, poor oxidation stability, or toxicity concerns. While photoacoustic imaging promises to significantly advance molecular-level physiological and pathological visualization with deep tissue penetration and fine spatial resolution, photoacoustic molecular imaging probes must first be developed.On the other hand, Rao notes that semiconducting polymer nanoparticles offer a number of attractive features, including being a photoacoustic imaging contrast agent, no use of toxic metals, being biologically inert, having high photostability, are resistant against oxidation, and the ability to be made with high near-infrared light absorption. “The main question,” he explains, “was whether it was efficient for semiconducting polymer nanoparticles to produce acoustic signals after light excitation – and we had to examine the type of polymer to determine this. All this said, the big challenge for molecular photoacoustic imaging probes is whether they can produce a specific signal in response to their molecular targets. This requires a signal activation mechanism controlled by the molecular target.”In addressing these challenges, Rao says that their key insight was that a semiconducting polymer can be formulated into a water-soluble nanoparticle and, depending on its structure, the resultant nanoparticles can be highly efficient for photoacoustic imaging. “Our key innovation in designing semiconducting polymer nanoparticles into a phootoacoustic molecular imaging probe was to introduce ratiometric imaging widely used in fluorescence imaging,” he says. Ratiometric imaging techniques observe emission wavelength shifts of fluorophores (fluorescent chemical compounds that can re-emit photons upon light excitation) or by comparing the emission intensity of a fluorophore combination instead of measuring mere intensity changes. “By exciting the probe at two different wavelengths, the target activation leads to the change in the photoacoustic signal at one wavelength, so the ratio of the signals at two wavelengths will change accordingly. This allowed us to create a target-specific photoacoustic signal.” This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Nature Nanotechnology © 2014 All rights reserved. Citation: Of mice and molecules: In vivo photoacoustic imaging using semiconducting polymer nanoparticles (2014, March 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —Photoacoustic imaging is a hybrid biomedical imaging modality, based on the photoacoustic effect, in which non-ionizing laser pulses are delivered into biological tissues. (More specifically, in the photoacoustic effect sound waves form due to pressure changes when a material absorbs varying-intensity modulated or pulsed light. These waves are then detected by, for example, microphones or piezoelectric sensors. The resulting photoacoustic signal is the current or voltage that provides the value indicating how the sound waves vary in time.) Recently, scientists at Stanford University developed a new class of contrast agents for photoacoustic molecular imaging – namely, near-infrared (NIR) light absorbing semiconducting polymer nanoparticles (SPNs) that produce a stronger signal than single-walled carbon nanotubes and gold nanorods – properties that allowed the researchers to perform whole-body lymph-node photoacoustic mapping on living laboratory mice. In addition, these semiconducting polymer nanoparticles possess high structural flexibility, narrow photoacoustic spectral profiles and strong resistance to photodegradation and oxidation – qualities essential to the designing the first near-infrared ratiometric photoacoustic probe for in vivo real-time imaging of the reactive oxygen species (ROS) that mediate many diseases. In short, the researchers say, their results show semiconducting polymer nanoparticles to be the perfect nanoplatform for the development of photoacoustic molecular probes.last_img read more

New mitochondriallyderived peptides show what they can do

first_img © 2015 More information: The Mitochondrial-Derived Peptide MOTS-c Promotes Metabolic Homeostasis and Reduces Obesity and Insulin Resistance, Cell Metabolism, … (15)00061-3/abstractAbstractMitochondria are known to be functional organelles, but their role as a signaling unit is increasingly being appreciated. The identification of a short open reading frame (sORF) in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) that encodes a signaling peptide, humanin, suggests the possible existence of additional sORFs in the mtDNA. Here we report a sORF within the mitochondrial 12S rRNA encoding a 16-amino-acid peptide named MOTS-c (mitochondrial open reading frame of the 12S rRNA-c) that regulates insulin sensitivity and metabolic homeostasis. Its primary target organ appears to be the skeletal muscle, and its cellular actions inhibit the folate cycle and its tethered de novo purine biosynthesis, leading to AMPK activation. MOTS-c treatment in mice prevented age-dependent and high-fat-diet-induced insulin resistance, as well as diet-induced obesity. These results suggest that mitochondria may actively regulate metabolic homeostasis at the cellular and organismal level via peptides encoded within their genome. (—There is a whole lot more to the textbook mitochondrial genome then once was thought. A case in point is a multifunctional peptide named humanin that is dual-encoded deep within 16S ribosomal RNA gene in the mtDNA. Pinchas Cohen’s lab was one of three labs that simultaneously co-discovered humanin when screening for proteins that may be involved in Alzheimer’s, IGF-1 signaling, and apoptosis. Cohen’s group just published a report in Cell Metabolism where they described another mitochondrially derived peptide, this time encoded within the 12S RNA-c gene, which has also has some useful properties. A mere 16 amino acids in length, they have demonstrated that this MOTS-c peptide as they call it (mitochondrial open reading frame of RNA-c) has dramatic effects on obesity and insulin resistance. 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. Journal information: Cell Metabolismcenter_img Before barreling ahead about the wonders of MOTS-c, we should probably say a bit more about humanin and mitochondrial translation in general. The final working length of humanin depends on where it was produced. If it was made inside the matrix using mitochondrial translation hardware its ends up being 21 amino acids long. If made outside mitochondria in the cytosol it will be 24 amino acids long. Both the tRNAs and rRNAs from mitochondria can end up getting transported into the cytosol, however, the mechanism and logic behind these processes is not yet understood. In a previous post we noted that there are similarities between some nuclear encoded tRNAs (like met-tRNA) and the analogous met-mt-tRNAs, and therefore asked what it would take for mitochondrial to utilize nuclear tRNAs, and similarly vice-versa. The authors recognized the possibility that short peptides, like MOTS-c in particular, might be of nuclear origin due to the well-known phenomenon of nuclear mtDNA transfer (NUMT). After doing so-called BLAST searches they were not able to find any putative NUMT-derived peptides with complete homology to MOTS-c, but a search using human expression sequence tags (EST) found several hits for homologous mRNA sequences to the mitochondrial 12S rRNA locus. This is a somewhat confusing state of affairs to say the least. Rats, for example, don’t have any NUMT sequences for MOTS-c, making mtDNA its exclusive source. For the case of humanin (which in rats the homologous peptide is called, as you may have anticipated, ‘rattin’ ), other research has turned up at least 10 nuclear-encoded ‘humanin-like’ peptides expressed in human tissues. For short length peptides it may be difficult to conclusively say that these are cases of mitochondrial transfer, ie NUMTs, or just sequence convergence effects.As for the question of where MOTS-c is made, its translation obligatorily occurs in the cytoplasm via the standard genetic code. This is because translation using the mitochondria-specific genetic code would yield tandem start and stop codons—hardly a useful message. The authors therefore reasonably suggest that the MOTS-c polyadenylated transcript is exported from the mitochondria. As for how MOTS-c is involved in obesity and diabetes, they point to altered gene expression of enzymes involved in the folate-methionine cycle and de novo purine synthesis. These results came from their microarray analysis and metabolomics profiling studies.The full complexity of the mtDNA code, now unravelling before us, reflects the unique genetic systems of the mitrochondrion’s bacterial ancestors. As we begin to comprehend the entire mitochondrial transcriptome, including its many small RNAs, we will be better equipped to evaluate potential fertilization outcome for issues like mitochondrial transfer in the creation of three parent embryos. Inclusive in any such discussion of effectively editing an entire mitochondrial genome in this blunt way would be consideration of the effects of new and contentious genome-editing techniques as they would be applied to mitohcondria themselves.When we raised the question above about the potential for internexed mito- and nuclear- translation, we also noted recent research on the historically deep multi-read sequences of ribosomal subunits themselves which keynotes aspects of overlapping RNA codes. Although not fully vetted, nor rejected, it may be worthwhile to take a deeper look into that particular ribosome model, where the ribosome itself is a microcosm encoding a complete set of tRNS and accessory proteins, to better understand the origins of the larger genetic system we possess. Citation: New mitochondrially-derived peptides show what they can do (2015, March 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Credit: Conspicuous tRNA lookalikes riddle the human genomelast_img read more

Researchers find a way to identify key nodes in illegal wildlife trade

first_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences More information: Quantitative methods of identifying the key nodes in the illegal wildlife trade network, Nikkita Gunvant Patel, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1500862112AbstractInnovative approaches are needed to combat the illegal trade in wildlife. Here, we used network analysis and a new database, HealthMap Wildlife Trade, to identify the key nodes (countries) that support the illegal wildlife trade. We identified key exporters and importers from the number of shipments a country sent and received and from the number of connections a country had to other countries over a given time period. We used flow betweenness centrality measurements to identify key intermediary countries. We found the set of nodes whose removal from the network would cause the maximum disruption to the network. Selecting six nodes would fragment 89.5% of the network for elephants, 92.3% for rhinoceros, and 98.1% for tigers. We then found sets of nodes that would best disseminate an educational message via direct connections through the network. We would need to select 18 nodes to reach 100% of the elephant trade network, 16 nodes for rhinoceros, and 10 for tigers. Although the choice of locations for interventions should be customized for the animal and the goal of the intervention, China was the most frequently selected country for network fragmentation and information dissemination. Identification of key countries will help strategize illegal wildlife trade interventions. 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: Researchers find a way to identify key nodes in illegal wildlife trade network (2015, June 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2015 South Africa weighs legal rhino horn tradecenter_img Most people are aware of the underground wildlife trade network, animals around the world are caught or killed and are sent whole or in parts to other places where they are highly valued. Such trafficking has resulted in reducing the numbers of many species, many to the point of extinction. Unfortunately, efforts by many people and organizations to stop the illegal trade have not been very successful. In this new effort, the researchers describe a new tool to help win the war.To gain a better perspective on the geographic location of all the players involved, the researchers used the HealthMap Wildlife Trade database to gather data about illegal trade location details. The database was originally built to help track diseases spread by animals, but offered data on details such as animals found dead due to poaching or resale market raids by police. The team used the data to create a network that revealed the country locals of various players involved in the illegal trade. And that allowed them to identify those countries that play a crucial role in maintaining the network—the thinking is, if the activities in just those countries could be curtailed, the network might fall apart.The team divided activities into two main sections—six countries that had the most illegal activity going on for three main animals—tigers, rhinos and elephants, and six countries that had the most connections. As an example, they found that disrupting such activity in the United Kingdom, Mozambique, China, Vietnam, South Africa and Thailand would cause a significant disruption of trade in rhino horns.The team notes that adding data to the networks as it becomes available should make the reports more accurate and thus more useful, both as a tool in slowing illegal wildlife trading and for studying the spread of diseases, particularly, those that jump to humans from animals. Satellite imagery of Africa. Credit: Public Domain (—A team of researchers with affiliations to several institutions in the U.S. has found a new way to track import, export and connecting countries in the illegal wildlife trade network. As they describe in their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, their work may help identify ways to reduce such trade in order to help protect the animals involved. Explore furtherlast_img read more

More musicians more music and more options

first_imgIn bollywood obsessed India, it is very tough for independent artists or bands to carve their niche. But Agnee managed not only to break through the norm, but also establish themselves in the mainstream. Millennium Post caught up with the band ahead of their performance today. Here are excerpts: What kind of music do you like to explore and create?We don’t really have any specific ideas when we create music, we find it better to go with the flow. We do believe that the song is king, so whatever melody comes to us at that point, we try and just make it the best sounding that we can. In case we’re composing for films, of course, we compose to a brief. We’re inspired by a lot of great musicians like Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Saa’b, Sting, David Gilmour, and so many classical musicians, but we try our best to not get influenced in our creation by what we’ve heard. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’How do you go about ideating a new song? Enlighten us.We try to keep it honest and go with the flow. We’re always going to try and achieve the sublime and always not really get there, so the journey’s the most rewarding when you think you’ve gotten close. Song creation for us usually happens together, both Koco and I don’t like to see a song to the end individually. If I get a song idea, I wait for Koco to sit with me so we can take it forward, and he does the same when an idea comes to him. We’ve realised that the song typically becomes better when Koco and I sit together to compose. The composition is typically reactionary, where we just react to the other’s idea and take it forward in a natural way, and if that doesn’t work well, we try again till we think we’ve gotten the song to sound the way we want it to. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixLive performance versus album recording?Live performance, any day. The feeling you get when thousands of people are singing your songs back to you and giving you their energy is without parallel.How have reality shows and the internet changed the industry?More musicians, more music, more choices. That’s what the internet and Youtube and Facebook have given the listener. The musician now has more options on how to release music. However, it is more difficult now to be able to leverage these channels as there are so many musicians out there. Now, more than ever before, a musician needs to be very good and have very good songs to be able to create an impact. It’s a double edged sword, really. We’ve had a good run thanks to reality TV. We hope there will be other artists who will use these platforms wisely. What was your best tour?This one’s very difficult to answer. Baroda, MSU in 2009 was fabulous, as this was the first place we saw 8,000 people listening to us at our show and we spent three hours in a conference room after the show just giving out autographs and posing for pictures. This was the first time we really thought we might have reached people with our music. Tips for youngsters?Always be to remain honest in what you do. Believe in your music, be honest again and again (specially when you feel you don’t know where your music is going) and do not give up halfway. And do not ever be ashamed of promoting your own music.What is in stock for Delhi?This is our first time at Gurgaon. We’ll be playing some of our popular favourites and some stuff from our upcoming Punjabi film, Sarsa.DETAILAt: Lemp Brewpub and Kitchen, DLF Star Mall, 2nd floor, NH-8, Exit 8, Sector 30, Opp. 32nd Milestone, Gurgaon  When: 2 February Timings: 9 pm onwards  Entry: Rs 1,000 per personlast_img read more

Essence of Punjab

first_imgDelhi Tourism thrives to celebrate cultures and has specially designed festivals to give an expression to the multi-cultural identity of Delhi. This time again, the Baisakhi Mela will mark a grand celebration at Delhi Tourism’s Garden of Five Senses.Food stalls and cultural performances will lure the visitors and the serene venue will present an opportunity to explore nature at its best. The 20 acre venue for Garden of Five Senses corresponds to the essence of this four-day festival and presents itself as an apt venue for the gala. Having more than 325 species of plants, the venue had various attractions such as court of palm, court of cacti, herbal gardens, tree museum, topiary gardens, Zen gardens, aromatic gardens and butterfly zone. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The garden is designed to stimulate one’s sensory responses to the environment by evoking the awareness of touch, taste, smell, sight and sound.During the evening hours, the Baisakhi Mela will witness colourful cultural programs and artistes from academies like Sahitya Kala Parishad and Punjabi Academy will showcase their talent. These entertaining performances can be enjoyed at the amphitheatre in the Garden premises will enthrall the visitors with their mesmerising presentations.When: On till April 13Where: Garden of Five Senseslast_img read more

S Korea reports 3 new MERS cases

first_imgSouth Korea on Sunday reported three more cases of MERS as health authorities remained vigilant about the spread of the virus whose pace had slowed down in recent days.The three new cases in the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, including two medical workers, put the total number of those infected at 169, the health ministry said. The number of deaths remained unchanged at 25.The two medical staff include a doctor who treated a MERS patient at Samsung Medical Centre in Seoul, seen as the epicentre of the outbreak where more than 80 were infected. Another was a medical worker who took X-rays of a MERS patient in another hospital in Seoul. A total of 43 people have so far recovered and were released from hospital, including seven from Friday to Saturday (yesterday), the ministry said.The latest numbers came a day after South Korea reported no new cases, raising guarded hope that Seoul was winning the battle to contain the virus.The number of new patients had been falling for three straight days from eight on Tuesday to none on Saturday.last_img read more

Northeast Untapped Region

first_imgGen (Dr) VK Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs and MOS (IC) Statistics and Programme Implementation, released the book authored by Dr D Bhalla, IAS, Secretary Lok Sabha Secretariat recently in the national Capital.The author has brought out the long history of political unrest, neglect, under-development and insurgency in the Northeastern region — all issues impacting the security of the country and the economic well-being of the Northeast.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’One aspect that makes the region strategic from the security point of view, is that most of the states have international borders with other countries. Besides the geography, people and commercial potential of the region, Dr Bhalla has dwelt at length about insurgency, various facets of strategic importance and suggested future policies to bring out the full potential of the region.Gen Dr VK Singh said, “There was no doubt that India’s foreign policy and relations with neighbouring countries will have a profound effect on the future of the Northeast, primarily because the neighbouring countries have common borders and affinities with one or more states.” The book is a fresh attempt, with a practical approach towards Northeast.last_img read more

Tens of thousands attend Bengals mega antiBJP rally

first_imgKolkata: Tens of thousands of enthusiastic workers and supporters, including a man on a wheelchair, attended the mega anti-BJP rally at the historic Brigade Parade ground here on Saturday raising their voices against Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Trinamool Congress (TMC) supremo and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reached the venue almost an hour before the scheduled time while party leaders, MPs MLAs took their seats on the side stage. Amidst elaborate security arrangements, the enthusiastic participants gathered waving giants flags. People were seen donning party symbols on hats and clothes. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash Bengal Most of their sloganeering were centred around Modi, BJP National President Amit Shah and about the party’s rule “finishing” in 2019. Kamaludddin Khan came on a wheelchair came with a placard greeting the TMC chief and wished that she keeps moving ahead indirectly sharing his desire to see Banerjee as the next Prime Minister. Finally, their wait was over as the rally, which is expected to kick-start the Opposition’s campaign ahead of the upcoming general election, got going. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed “We want to hear didi,” Atish Chandra Bagdi, an avid supporter of the Trinamool supremo from Murshidabad district said. He painted himself in his party’s colours. Some people like Amzad Hossain from Coochbehar district donning dresses printed with the party’s symbol, had arrived in the city on Friday. “Let us take the pledge of building a progressive, strong and United India” read the backdrop of the main stage, where a number of Trinamool flags fluttered.last_img read more