Month: August 2019

Archeologists unearth King David era temple near Jerusalem

first_imgFigurines of a person. Photograph: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority Explore further Citation: Archeologists unearth King David era temple near Jerusalem (2012, December 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-archeologists-unearth-king-david-era.html The temple was discovered as part of a dig at a site known as Tel Motza, after the city of Mozah mentioned in the Old Testament. The site was first uncovered as construction began on what was to be a new freeway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv back in the 90’s. Since that time most researchers had concluded that the ancient community was little more than a storage facility for grain used by people in Jerusalem. This new find suggests however, that the settlement was more than that.At the time that the temple was in use, a period during the King David era, the First Temple, in Jerusalem had already been built, and worshippers had been instructed to use it instead of other facilities to discourage the worship of various idols. Artifacts found inside the temple show that the people who visited the temple had chosen to ignore the decree and instead continued to idolize their icons as they chose. What’s surprising, the researchers note, is how close the temple, and hence the ongoing idol worshiping practices, were to Jerusalem – close enough to walk. (Phys.org)—Israel’s Antiquities Authority (IAA) has announced that archeologists have unearthed a temple within walking distance of Jerusalem that appears to be approximately 2,750 years old. Artifacts found inside the temple suggest that despite the ban on idol worship at the time, those who visited the temple continued to engage in such practices. Figurine of a horse. Photograph: Clara Amit, courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authoritycenter_img Ancient seal found in Jerusalem linked to ritual © 2012 Phys.org The newly discovered temple has exceptionally thick walls and is situated facing towards the east, to take advantage of the rising sun – its rays would have illuminated the objects that sat inside the temple, a clear attempt to glorify them. The temple also had what the researchers believe was once an alter in the courtyard along with a host of sacred vessels – pottery fragments and pieces of chalices – likely used for ceremonial purposes.The discovery of the temple has historians excited because very few of them from that era have survived to modern times. Also, notably, researchers have found figurines inside the temple, representing animals – and some human – that hint, they say, of a coastal Philistine influence. They note that much more research will have to be undertaken before an accurate picture of the temple and surrounding area can be made. 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

Quantum dots combined with antibodies as a method for studying cells in

first_imgIn vivo microscopy imaging of blood vascular endothelial cells using QD-Ab conjugates. Credit: PNAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1421632111 (Phys.org)—To understand cell function, we need to be able to study them in their native environment, in vivo. While there are many techniques for studying cells in vitro, or in the laboratory setting, in vivo studies are much more difficult. A new study by a team of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Medical School used a unique quantum dot-antibody conjugate to facilitate in vivo studies of bone marrow stem cells in mice. This study was reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. Typically, to study a cell in vivo involves making invasive modifications to the cell or the organism that disrupt the cell’s native environment. Additionally, many in vivo studies involve studying groups of cells, rather than tracking a single cell. Prior techniques involved manipulating the cells by immunohistochemistry, genetic engineering, or irradiation of the organism. All of these techniques either create substantial changes to the native environment, or they are only able to look at a “snapshot” of the cell interacting with its environment. It cannot study the movement of the cell throughout the body.Quantum dots are semi-conductor-like nanoparticles with optical properties that can be finely tuned for a wide range of optical-based studies, including infrared and fluorescence. Han, et al. targeted a particular cell type by combining quantum dots with antibodies matched to the cell’s surface receptors, so that they would combine like a lock and key . Their quantum dot-antibody system was built from quantum dots combined with polyimidazole ligands (PILs) and norbornene. PILs are highly stable and will coat the surface of quantum dots. Norbornene is a versatile functional group that maintains a neutral charge, making it a good choice for diffusing throughout the body. Norbornene was attached to an antibody that was specific for Sca1+c-Kit+ cells, which are a type of stem cell found in the calvarial bone marrow. The quantum dot-antibody conjugates were small enough to diffuse through the cell and were specific enough that they did not attach to unwanted cells. Additionally, they provided an adequate signal for optical studies and flow cytometry, allowing the study of Sca1+c-Kit+ cell diffusion in the bone marrow of unmanipulated mice. This method for studying single cells in their native environment is versatile enough to be used for other cell types by attaching different antibodies to a quantum dot. Additionally, the study showed that the quantum dot-antibody conjugates were highly stable with a long circulation half-life, allowing for a more extensive study of cellular interactions in vivo. Finally, the purification process produced highly pure conjugates with few unbound molecules, and the quantum dot-antibody conjugate size was appropriate for diffusion through the mouse. This research has broader applications, as many of the factors the researchers addressed are constraints for any in vivo cell studies. © 2015 Phys.org Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 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.center_img Explore further More information: Quantum dot/antibody conjugates for in vivo cytometric imaging in mice, Hee-Sun Han, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1421632111AbstractMultiplexed, phenotypic, intravital cytometric imaging requires novel fluorophore conjugates that have an appropriate size for long circulation and diffusion and show virtually no nonspecific binding to cells/serum while binding to cells of interest with high specificity. In addition, these conjugates must be stable and maintain a high quantum yield in the in vivo environments. Here, we show that this can be achieved using compact (∼15 nm in hydrodynamic diameter) and biocompatible quantum dot (QD) -Ab conjugates. We developed these conjugates by coupling whole mAbs to QDs coated with norbornene-displaying polyimidazole ligands using tetrazine–norbornene cycloaddition. Our QD immunoconstructs were used for in vivo single-cell labeling in bone marrow. The intravital imaging studies using a chronic calvarial bone window showed that our QD-Ab conjugates diffuse into the entire bone marrow and efficiently label single cells belonging to rare populations of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (Sca1+c-Kit+ cells). This in vivo cytometric technique may be useful in a wide range of structural and functional imaging to study the interactions between cells and between a cell and its environment in intact and diseased tissues. Citation: Quantum dots combined with antibodies as a method for studying cells in their native environment (2015, January 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-01-quantum-dots-combined-antibodies-method.html Shining a light on quantum dots measurementlast_img read more

Extinction is forever—and ecosystem recovery takes a really really long time

first_img Life goes on for marine ecosystems after cataclysmic mass extinction Journal information: Science Advances Haijun Song and colleagues, in an article entitled “Decoupled taxonomic and ecological recoveries from the Permo-Triassic extinction,” offer new insights into the circumstances surrounding what was generally held to be a tandem and stepwise recovery, in terms of taxonomic genera and their constituent marine ecosystem, in the Triassic period. The recovery of the ecosystem and its representative taxa was thought to have occurred over several million years, moving from the bottom trophic levels to the top. However, data showing diverse top-trophic-level predators in the early Triassic period seem to contradict this view, along with unexplained gaps in other lower trophic level functional groups. Working from a custom dataset drawn from the Paleobiology Database and published literature, the authors of this study sought to examine the pattern and timing of ecosystem succession in relation to the diversity levels of three groups of fauna: non-motile, motile, and nektonic animals, during the Triassic recovery.To better understand the nature of the Triassic taxonomic recovery, the researchers examined representative fossil data spanning the Late Permian (254.1 Ma) to the Late Triassic (201.3 Ma) for diversity. In collecting data from a total of 51,055 fossil occurrences (defined as the presence of a genus at a stratigraphic unit or site) they found that marine genera attained pre-extinction levels of diversity about 5 Ma after the extinction event, noting “a logistic increase in taxonomic diversity during the Triassic… and suggesting that generic diversity appears to have reached the environmental carrying capacity.”In studying the ecological recovery as a whole in relation to the separate taxonomic recovery, they examined the separate fates of each of the three functional fossil groups. The non-motile group was composed of stationary animals like corals and sponges; the motile group included crustaceans, gastropods, and infaunal bivalves, among others; and the nektonic group of top-level predators included cephalopods such as octopi, conodonts (now-extinct proto-vertebrates resembling eels), bony fishes, and marine reptiles. Citation: Extinction is forever—and ecosystem recovery takes a really, really long time (2018, October 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-extinction-foreverand-ecosystem-recovery.html Explore further A Daonella Lommeli (oyster) fossil dating from 242.0 to 235.0 Ma at the Museo Geominero de Madrid. Credit: PePeEfe/Wikimedia Commons CC BY-SA 3.0 © 2018 Phys.org More information: Haijun Song et al. Decoupled taxonomic and ecological recoveries from the Permo-Triassic extinction, Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat5091 Researchers from the University of Leeds studying fossil data surrounding the Permo-Triassic (P-Tr) extinction of 252 million years (Ma) ago found that a marine ecosystem, in comparison with the taxonomic genera that comprise it, took a whole order of magnitude longer to recover after the mass extinction event that defines and separates the two geologic periods. The extinction event was responsible for killing upwards of 90% of all marine animals. These findings, presented in a recent Science Advances article, are especially sobering in light of the ongoing Anthropocene Extinction and the conclusions from the most recent IPCC report. As it turned out, nektonic animals—the group at the highest trophic level—were the first to recover from the P-Tr extinction event in terms of generic diversity, though they declined from their peak in the Middle Triassic well into the last phase of the Late Triassic. Non-motile animals, on the other hand, suffered the worst declines at the beginning of the Triassic, with their diversity decreasing from 500 to 100 genera, though they rebounded and returned to pre-extinction levels by the beginning of the Middle Triassic. The motile group also suffered heavy losses during the extinction event resulting in low diversity before rebounding at the outset of the Middle Triassic.In terms of occurrence proportion, nekton genera went from ~14% in the late Permian period to peak at 67% 2 Ma later, before declining to 11%. Non-motile genera showed an opposite trend, going from 71% to 21% to finally return to 70% at the end of the Triassic. Motile animals however, remained somewhat constant in proportion after the extinction event and throughout the Triassic. The investigators note a similar, though less pronounced trend, in relation to generic richness for the three groups; they also add that trends for composition and structure hold regardless of paleo-latitudinal region.Because the proportion of generic diversity of non-motile animals had been stable at 68% throughout much of the preceding Permian period and again approached this level in the Middle and Late Triassic period, the study authors assert that this represents the normal trophic composition of fauna—that is, as the wide base of a pyramid supporting the two higher trophic groups. This pyramid however, is inverted during the Early Triassic period, with nekton dominating the functional pyramid at 52%, and characterizes a disrupted and vulnerable ecosystem with a diminished food web.Most significantly however, is the finding that taxonomic and ecological recoveries are decoupled. Where taxonomic recovery occurred relatively quickly, as judged by a return to relatively stable global taxonomic diversity, ecosystem recovery is characterized by a much slower “gradual increase in complexity and stability.” The study authors contrast the relatively quick, logistic rate of increase in generic richness that signals taxonomic recovery with a logarithmic rate of increase in the proportion of non-nektonic animals that is consistent with an ecological recovery. This ecological recovery was still ongoing after ~50 Ma, whereas taxonomic diversity recovered in about 5 Ma.These finding show that while this marine ecosystem collapsed in a bottom-to-top manner, its restoration occurred in the reverse order, from top to bottom, where a recovering ecosystem is characterized by an increase in diversity in lower-level consumers, that is, non-nektons. This upends the received stepwise hypothesis that suggests a recovery occurred from the bottom up.And finally, the researchers conclude “This study reaffirms the importance of protecting global ecosystem diversity because, once it is destroyed, restoration requires dozens of million years, much longer than human history.” 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

The Himalayan expedition

first_imgCascading waterfalls, mighty mountains, wild forests and the lush green valleys  make for everyone’s idea of utopia. For some it is a reality that they breathe day in and day out. The Himalayas, nurtures and sustains the faiths and socio-religious beliefs of its civilization. It cradles myths, legends and tales – some told some untold. Author Alka Raghuvanshi and photographer Sanjay Sharma capture these magical moments in places few have ventured due to reasons of inaccessibility in the book Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’ Garhwal Himalayas- Chorus of Solitude. ‘Perhaps it was ordained that many of the trips were made well before the book was even envisaged. And as the reader goes through the maze of legends and reality juxtaposed in weird and wonderful patterns, it would be important to remember that this journey into the unforgiving terrain – one wrong move is all that separates life from life eternal,’ says the author Alka Raghuvanshi. The photographer made endless trips to most places featured in this book in different seasons in his quest for getting just the right picture, including earlier this year in adverse weather conditions. Being the last documentation of the Uttrakhand region before havoc, this book written over six years assumes even more importance in this context.last_img read more

Several killed in suspected Boko Haram attack in Nigeria

first_imgHeavily armed fighters in all-terrain vehicles stormed the town of Kukawa, some 180 kilometres (112 miles) from the Borno state capital, Maiduguri, and opened fire on police and a local market.Kukawa, near Lake Chad, has been repeatedly targeted by Boko Haram, forcing Nigeria’s state-run oil company to abandon prospecting and drilling.The latest attack happened on Monday and was slow to emerge because telecommunications in Borno have been largely destroyed by five years of violence. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenThey (the gunmen) killed several people, especially around the market, where traders had gone for commercial activities,’ the Kukawa local government chairman Modu Musa ‘They burnt the whole market, the police station, government lodge, dozens of vehicles and most houses in the town in indiscriminate rocket and bomb attacks.’Police officers in Kukawa initially intercepted the insurgents on the outskirts of the town and engaged them in a fight but were forced to retreat because of the gunmen’s superior firepower. Also Read – Pak Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanHundreds of residents fled to Maiduguri, joining tens of thousands of others who have abandoned their homes and livelihoods as a result of sustained attacks in Borno and two neighbouring states. Nigeria’s government earlier this month announced that they had secured a ceasefire deal with Boko Haram and an agreement to release 219 schoolgirls abducted from their Borno school in mid-April.But violence and further kidnappings have continued unabated.last_img read more

Play time

first_img17th Bharat Rang Mahotsav is about plays from across the world. But apart from these plays, 240 ambience performances by around 50 groups have been scheduled to thrill the audience non-stop at the NSD’s open courtyard. The ambience theatre in National school of Drama is an invitation to folk artistes, students from various institutions like DU, JNU, Jamia Milia Islamia and many more. It is related to gender issues, elections, women safety, harmony and other issues of social importance. These issues will be portrayed in various performances like Nukadnatak (Street Play), Katputli Dance (Puppet Dance) along with varied folk performances. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The ambience theatre is accessible to all at free of cost. Nearly 30 colleges, 15 different folk troupes and 8 new shows of Theatre In Education Company (TIE) will be a part of this new venture, with 4 to 5 shows per group. This endeavor was an initiative by the National School of Drama under the guidance of Amitesh Grover, Assistant Professor, National School of Drama and Naresh, President of NSD Student Union.“The basic idea to behind this concept was to generate interest and to connect the youth to the world of theatre that will help in creating an atmosphere for better theatre productions. Various colleges and educational institution are taking part in it,” said Amitesh Grover.When: On till February 18 Where: NSD’s open courtyardlast_img read more

Lightning strikes kill 13 leave 20 others injured

first_imgKolkata: As many as 13 people were killed and 20 others injured in lightning strikes in various parts of the state on Monday morning.A nor’wester lashed different districts, accompanied by lightning, resulting in death of the victims, who were mostly farmers. They were working in the fields when the accident occurred.Among the deceased, three persons were from Murshidabad, Nadia and North 24-Parganas each, while four others were from Dakshin Dinajpur and Malda, two each from each district. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to a senior official of the disaster management department, most of the victims were out on streets or fields, when they were struck by lightning. It has been learnt that among the injured, four persons from Purulia are stated to be in critical condition.In view of the warnings issued by the weather office, the district administrations have alerted all the blocks, asking them to take precautionary measures so that such incidents can be averted. The villagers in various blocks have been asked not to work out on the field during a thundershower. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedSeveral parts of South Bengal districts remained overcast from the early Monday morning. There was heavy downpour in the districts of Birbhum, Bankura, East and West Burdwan, Jhargram and Midnapore. The city and its adjoining areas in North and South Bengal also received rainfall on Monday morning. No damage or casualty has however been reported from the city.According to the weather office, a wind measuring around 60 km/h hit various districts, along with the rain bringing down the temperature by a few notches. People from the city have also breathed a sigh of relief, after respite from the sultry and uncomfortable weather. The commuters in the city and suburban areas also faced difficulties in reaching their destinations due to rain accompanied by storm. The regional meteorological centre at Alipore has predicted thundershower in the South Bengal districts in the next 48 hours.Heavy rain and storm have affected train services in various sections of Howrah and Sealdah divisions of Eastern Railway on Monday morning. Many of the local trains were delayed due to safety precautions.Train services on the Krishnanagar-Lalgola section were affected since 9.33 am, as some debris fell on the overhead wire at Bethuadahari. As a result of the incident, 13113 UP Kolkata-lalgola Hazarduari Express was detained near Bethuadahari. A tower van was pressed into action for the restoration of train services in the section.last_img read more

Rs 23 Lakh missing from ATM after robbery bid

first_imgIn second such incident in the last three days, three unidentified men uprooted an unguarded ATM machine and looted cash around Rs 17.5 lakh in north Delhi’s Wazirabad, police said on Thursday.Yogendra Kumar, the person in charge of guarding the Corporation Bank ATM, first raised alarm at around 6 am by contacting a field officer of the bank who further informed the police.According to the police, the accused, who came riding a mini truck, struck the installation at around 2 am on Thursday. “The thieves executed the operation within a matter of a few minutes by covering the CCTV cameras inside the cabin with tapes. But some other CCTV cameras around the ATM machine enclosure captured the faces of the suspects,” a police officer said.Police added that the ATM, that remains unguarded from 11 pm to 6 am, was full of cash as it was replenished on Thursday.last_img read more

Art fair coming of age

first_imgLaunched in 2008, the fair has established itself as South Asia’s leading platform for modern and contemporary art. The upcoming addition of the fair will take place from 28 to 31 January 2016. Building on these foundations, the fair is revising its mission and refining its programming to reflect the best of South Asia’s diversity in the visual arts. It is making a number of enhancements in the organisation which includes significant changes to its partnerships, internal team and gallery programming. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’BMW is the new Presenting Partner of India Art Fair 2016 . For over 40 years the BMW group has made a significant contribution to culture, initiating over 100 cultural collaborations worldwide, from commissioned works by Gerhard Richter for the BMW group’s Munich headquarters, to projects with artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Olafur Eliasson and Jeff Koons.In 2013, the BMW Guggenheim Lab, a global initiative of the BMW Group, Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation and the Guggenheim Museum, premiered in India at the Bhau Daji Lad Museum, Mumbai. The fair announced the appointment of Zain Masud as International Director . Masud brings her experience within the art scenes of the Middle East, South Asia, Russia, China and Africa, alongside her extensive networks within the Western art world. Prior to this appointment, Zain served as Assistant Fair Director to Art Dubai for five years.   Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThis year the fair will be structured into five main sections: Galleries , the main section, which will feature leading Indian and international galleries. Focus will be to show solo presentations which have been curated by participating galleries or institutions. The fair will also showcase leading international and Indian museums and art foundations presenting elements of their programmes or collaborations commissioned specially for the fair. Platform, which will represent young emerging artists or collectives from all around South Asia, open to galleries and foundations within the region. Projects will show artworks including large scale sculptures or site specific installations at the fair. Full programme details including the gallery list, art projects, speakers list and collateral events will be announced on October 2016.last_img read more

Bosss bad jokes can improve your job satisfaction

first_imgIf relationships are good, use of both positive and negative humour by leaders can help improve their subordinates’ job satisfaction, suggests new research.“Generally, people think that positive humour, which is inclusive, affiliative and tasteful, is good in leadership, and negative humour, which is aggressive and offensive, is bad,” said one of the researchers Christopher Robert, associate professor at University of Missouri in the US.“In our study, we found the effects of humour depend on the relationship between leaders and subordinates,” Robert noted. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Specifically, both positive and negative humour use by leaders is positively related to their subordinates’ job satisfaction when the relationship between the leader and subordinates is good. However, when the leader-subordinate relationship is bad, both negative and positive types of humour are associated with lower job satisfaction. In other words, for leaders, sometimes good humour has bad effects and bad humour has good effects on subordinates. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTo test their theory, the researchers developed two sets of matched questionnaires, one for leaders and one for their subordinates. They analysed responses from about 70 leaders and their 241 subordinates in 54 organisations. “The findings suggest that if leaders wish to integrate humour into their interactions with subordinates, they should first assess whether or not their subordinates are likely to interpret their humourous overtures positively,” Robert said.  These results also have implications for leaders’ strategic use of humor.“Instead of using humour to build relationships, leaders should work to build strong relationships through other means such as through clear communication, fair treatment, and providing clear and useful feedback. Humour then can be used to maintain those strong relationships,” Robert suggested. The study was published in the journal Group & Organisation Management.last_img read more