Peppered Moths Without Evolution

first_imgA new study shows that scientific research on moth camouflage does not require evolutionary theory.Evolutionary biologists from Seoul, South Korea filmed moths resting on tree trunks.  According to PhysOrg, they were trying to understand how moths in the wild orient themselves on the bark for greatest camouflage.  That’s a very different question than the ones asked by Kettlewell, Majerus and other past researchers who were looking for natural selection of peppered moths.  In those old studies, camouflage was a happenstance, not a behavior within the moth.  The opening paragraph referred to the old ideas as if preparing to dismiss them:Moths are iconic examples of camouflage. Their wing coloration and patterns are shaped by natural selection to match the patterns of natural substrates, such as a tree bark or leaves, on which the moths rest. But, according to recent findings, the match in the appearance was not all in their invisibility… Despite a long history of research on these iconic insects, whether moths behave in a way to increase their invisibility has not been determined.In other words, Kettlewell and Majerus didn’t take into account the moths’ behavior.  They treated moths as passive creatures that would alight on tree trunks at random.  They placed the selective power in the environment, with lower contrast producing greater camouflage, leaving the high-contrast moths vulnerable to birds.The South Korean researchers found, instead, that moth behavior plays a vital role in the camouflage.  They “found out that moths are walking on the tree bark until they settle down for resting; the insects seem to actively search for a place and a body position that makes them practically invisible.”  A video clip embedded in the article shows the moths doing this.To determine whether this final spot indeed made the moth really invisible, the researchers photographed each moth at its landing spot (initial spot) and at the final spot at which the moth decided to rest. Next, the researchers asked people to try to locate the moth from the photograph as quickly as possible. People had more difficulty finding the moths at their final spots than the same moths at their initial landing spots. Amazingly, this was even true for the species (Hypomecis roboraria) that only changed its resting spot on the tree bark without changing its body orientation. Therefore, the researchers concluded, that moths seems to actively choose the spot that makes them invisible to predators. How do they know how to become invisible? The research team is now trying to answer this question as the next step.The only mentions of evolution in the article concerned (1) the researchers calling themselves” evolutionary biologists,” (2) the fact that they work at the Laboratory of Behavioral Ecology and Evolution at the Seoul National University, and (3) their research being published in the Journal of Evolutionary Biology.  The abstract of that paper seemed very cautious about inferring evolution, stating: “Our study demonstrates that the evolution of morphological adaptations, such as colour pattern of moths, cannot be fully understood without taking into account a behavioural phenotype that coevolved with the morphology for increasing the adaptive value of the morphological trait.”  While this suggests the authors are proposing coevolution of behavior with camouflage, the statement is a backhanded swipe at earlier evolutionary research that neglected behavior.Speaking of moths, Live Science posted an interesting list of “7 Things You Don’t Know About Moths, But Should.”  These include their importance as pollinators, their role in the food chain for many other animals, and the males’ ability to smell females from seven miles away.  If we could get over the yuck factor, we might even find their caterpillars a nutritious superfood, meeting the minimum daily requirements of several important nutrients.  Moths are a sister family to butterflies in the Order Lepidoptera, and share many of the same characteristics.This story underscores the uselessness of evolutionary theory.  For decades, evolutionary biologists have strained at moths and swallowed camels.  They watched the simple things, like how closely a moth’s wings match tree bark, but ignored the weightier matters of moth complexity.  Those little flying things circling the lights in your backyard are astoundingly complex machines: they have compound eyes with hundreds of facets, jointed appendages, digestive systems, reproductive systems, navigation systems, communication systems, flight systems – all packed within their tiny, lightweight bodies.Even tougher on evolutionary theory, they undergo metamorphosis – a complete transformation of body plan three times in their lifecycle: egg to caterpillar, then caterpillar to pupa or chrysalis, then chrysalis to adult flying insect.  This is shown exquisitely in Illustra’s beautiful film Metamorphosis, which ends with sound reasons why Darwinism cannot explain these abilities.Yet for decades, evolutionists were obsessed with finding an example of natural selection in one species of moth, whether it landed on light or dark tree trunks.  And now we are told by the South Korean researchers that “evolution of morphological adaptations, such as colour pattern of moths, cannot be fully understood without taking into account a behavioural phenotype” – in other words, you cannot just play “Pin the Peppered Moth on the Tree Trunk.”  You have to watch what a living peppered moth does after it lands.  If Kettlewell had simply kept his grubby evolutionary hands off the moths, he might have found dark moths walking on a light-barked tree trunk looking for a better place to blend in, and vice versa.  More likely, the moths would be too smart to land on a high-contrast surface in the first place.Trying to invoke “coevolution” as a magic word is folly.  It means that evolutionists have to invoke a second miracle: first, the match between wing coloration and tree trunks, and second, the ability of the moth to actively search out and select a suitable spot for camouflage.  What causes that behavior?  The researchers have no idea.  As usual, they use the futureware escape trick: “more research is needed.”  The article said they are clueless: “How do they know how to become invisible?  The research team is now trying to answer this question as the next step.” Save a step: ask a creationist. 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Liliesleaf remembered 50 years on

first_img11 July 2013 Denis Goldberg was sitting in the lounge of the farmhouse reading a book when the South African police swooped on the high command of the African National Congress’s (ANC’s) military wing at Liliesleaf Farm back in 1963. The police must have been very pleased with themselves – they had hit bull’s eye: members of Umkhonto we Sizwe or MK were poring over Operation Mayibuye, the plan for guerrilla warfare in South Africa. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the raid on Liliesleaf, now in the upmarket suburb of Rivonia in northern Johannesburg, on 11 July 1963. In one of the outbuildings, six men were discussing Mayibuye – Raymond Mhlaba, Govan Mbeki, Lionel “Rusty” Bernstein, Walter Sisulu, Bob Hepple, and Ahmed Kathrada. Nelson Mandela himself was absent – he was serving a five-year sentence on Robben Island for inciting workers to strike, and for leaving the country without a passport. The men were all taken into custody and charged with sabotage, a sentence that carried the death penalty. But they didn’t go to the gallows – the resultant Rivonia Trial saw eight men convicted to life imprisonment, serving up to 27 years in jail.Banned The ANC had been banned in April 1960, forcing it to reconsider its commitment to non-violence, and to go underground. In mid-1961 it was decided to form Umkhonto we Sizwe, the Spear of the Nation. The farm at Liliesleaf was purchased, to be used for meetings of the ANC and MK. Mandela had at various times lived at Liliesleaf, in disguise as a gardener under the alias of David Motsamayi. The book Goldberg was reading was Brighter than a Thousand Suns: A Personal History of the Atomic Scientists, by Austrian Robert Jungk, first published in 1958. It is the first published account of the Manhattan Project and the German atomic bomb project, which studied the making and dropping of the deadly bomb, as told by the atomic scientists. It is based on interviews with those who played a major role in the construction and deployment of the bombs in WW2. “They hit the jackpot,” says Goldberg now. He recalls that he ran to the bathroom the moment he heard the police. He wanted to hide the notes he had made, showing his designs for the development of weapons. Goldberg trained as a civil engineer.Several ironies There is an irony in the fact that while MK were planning for armed resistance, not a single weapon was found at Liliesleaf. “The police searched the entire farm and confiscated hundreds of documents and papers, though they found no weapons,” writes Mandela in his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. “One of the most important documents remained right on the table: Operation Mayibuye, a plan for guerrilla warfare in South Africa.” Another irony is that this was to be the last meeting at Liliesleaf. Hepple writes in a paper published in Social Dynamics in 1964 on the raid, “Rivonia: The story of accused no 11”, that they were aware that the police were getting closer to discovering Liliesleaf. “We all knew that the police were closing in on the leaders who were living underground. Many arrests had been made, including on June 25 that of five or six activists who knew about the Place.” That “Place” was Liliesleaf, of course, also referred to as “Lil’s place”. Hepple explains that there had been several breaches of security, with outsiders invited to Liliesleaf without approval, witnessing “eleven or twelve members of the central leadership”. Hepple, an advocate at the Johannesburg Bar at the time, wrote of his trip out to Liliesleaf: “I was full of anxieties as I drove from my chambers in central Johannesburg to the meeting at ‘Lil’s place’ (which is how we described Lilliesleaf Farm).”New headquarters Goldberg confirms that they had already bought a new headquarters, Travallyn in Krugersdorp, a small town on the western outskirts of Johannesburg. Several people had already moved into the small holding. But Bernstein had to get home within a specific time, as specified by his banning order. So it was agreed to meet at Liliesleaf for the last time. Hepple recounts the dramatic events on that afternoon at the farm: “It was about 3.15pm when a van was heard coming down the drive. Govan went to the window. He said, ‘It’s a dry-cleaning van. I’ve never seen it before’. Rusty then went to the window and exclaimed ‘My God, I saw that van outside the police station on the way here!’” Dogs were heard barking, and Bernstein shouted that it was the cops. “Govan had collected up the Operation Mayibuye document and some other papers and I saw him putting them in the chimney of the small stove in the room. The back window was open, and I helped Govan, Walter and Kathy [Kathrada’s nickname] jump out of it. There was a second or two as I moved back near the door, with Rusty next to me and Ray sitting next to the window. The door burst open. Detective Sergeant Kennedy, whom I had cross-examined in a political trial earlier that year, rushed in: ‘Stay where you are. You’re all under arrest.’ He walked up to me with an excited sneer: ‘You’re Advocate Hepple, aren’t you?’” It was all over. They were marched outside and searched, bundled into the back of the van, and after several hours, driven to The Fort in the city centre, then on to Pretoria Central Prison. Hepple spent three months in solitary confinement.Charged with sabotage Other arrests had been made. In October everyone appeared in the Supreme Court, charged with sabotage. Accused No 1 was Mandela, Hepple was Accused No 11. Hepple had been Mandela’s legal counsel when he was sentenced to five years on Robben Island in 1962. In an unexpected move, all charges against Hepple were withdrawn, and he was to be called as a witness for the state. He was released from prison. “I had no intention of testifying against the accused, whom I admired and respected,” he writes. He made plans to escape across the border into Botswana with his wife, on his way to Dar es Salaam, and on to London. “On Saturday, November 25th, as the news of Kennedy’s assassination broke, Shirley and I left our children and our parents, our home and friends, and the country we loved.” His children later joined him in London, where he still lives. He wrote his account a year later, just as the Rivonia trialists were sentenced to life imprisonment, on 12 June 1964. He went on to have a long and distinguished legal career. He is an international expert and activist in labour law, equality and human rights; Emeritus Master of Clare College and emeritus professor of law at the University of Cambridge in England; and has received several awards and honours, including a knighthood in 2004. Hepple launched a new book in Johannesburg this week, titled Young man with a Red Tie: a memoir of Mandela and the Failed Revolution 1960-1963. It recounts his escape to avoid testifying against the Rivonia trialists.Liliesleaf today The Liliesleaf farmhouse and outbuildings have been sensitively restored, and a new building housing a museum has been built on the site. “It is a site of immense significance,” says Nicholas Wolpe, CEO of the Liliesleaf Trust. Through the establishment of the Liliesleaf Trust and Legacy Project, the site has been developed into one of South Africa’s most prominent liberation landmarks. About 60% of the building infrastructure consists of original brickwork. During the excavation process, more than seven different types of brickface were uncovered and any post-1963 brick was discarded. This brickwork was used in the restoration of the historical buildings and structures, which today constitute the museum component of Liliesleaf, a project which began in mid-2004.Interactive museum experience A visit to Liliesleaf is much more than a dry history lesson. The interactive displays and beautifully restored buildings tell the story of commitment, dedication and selfless sacrifice of many people who fought for freedom from an oppressive apartheid government. A key component of the Liliesleaf Legacy Project has been the interviewing of numerous individuals linked to Liliesleaf, to build-up a comprehensive audiovisual archive of the farm’s history. The interactive tour takes visitors on a journey, retracing the footsteps of prominent anti-apartheid activists who spent time on the farm. At each point in the tour, visitors have an opportunity to experience a first-hand account of the events and circumstances leading up to the raid of the Rivonia farm, through interviews with struggle veterans. In the farmhouse, a large 3D interactive table allows visitors to pull up videos, images, audio and text about the farm’s history, using two aluminium navigator orbs. Tour guide Zein Khumalo says the table is the only one of its kind in the world. The electronically-controlled cabinet of curiosity holds an account of each event that culminated in the Rivonia trial. As each cabinet is pulled out, the accounts are automatically read out. A telephone rings in the corner of one of the manor house’s rooms – it’s one of those old bulky black phones with a dial, and on picking up the receiver, the telephone plays recorded stories of spy agents, terrorists and infiltrators. The award-winning touch screen technology, telephone stories, sparse furnishings and dark rooms convey the sense of secrecy, fear and tension that the struggle leaders must have lived with every day.In search of a historical artefact According to Wolpe, the vision for Liliesleaf Farm took root after a Rivonia trialists’ reunion on the site in 2001. This led to the farm being re-purchased and its original structures were uncovered by archaeological diggings. But after all the excavations, one important item is still missing – the search for Mandela’s highly prized Russian Makarov pistol is still on. Although it was reportedly only buried about 20 paces from the farmhouse kitchen, an extensive search still hasn’t delivered the artefact, now valued at about R22-million (US$3-million). The semi-automatic pistol is believed to be the first weapon of the war against apartheid. It was given to the young Nelson Mandela in 1962 by Colonel Biru Tadesse of the Ethiopian Riot Battalion in Addis Ababa, when Mandela was on a trip to seek military assistance. Mandela hid the pistol, and 200 rounds of ammunition, in a pit deep enough so that a plough could not uncover it, near an oak tree on the farm. At the time he hoped to retrieve it soon, but he never got the chance. A few weeks after he buried the firearm he was arrested and imprisoned.Celebrating South Africa’s journey to freedom As the search for the valuable firearm continues – and Wolpe thinks that renewed efforts will be successful – the Liliesleaf museum remains an important part of South Africa’s history. “Liliesleaf is our connection to South Africa’s past, a link to the present and a bridge to the future,” he says. What makes a visit to Liliesleaf worthwhile is that the individual memories of the struggle are conveyed by people who were actually there. It represents the beliefs, inspiration and aspirations of a fearless group of leaders who were committed to bringing about socio-political transformation based on democratic principles. “It is important that the memory and legacy of South Africa’s struggle for freedom is preserved in the hearts and minds of all South Africans,” he says. First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Google To Announce Major Identity Initiative for 1 Million+ Companies and Schools

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Google plans to announce in coming weeks that it is turning each of the one million plus Google Apps customer domains into an OpenID provider, enabling millions of people to log in to OpenID-supporting websites with their work, school or organization ID.“For these organizations,” Google Security Product Manager, Eric Sachs, wrote on the public OpenID Board mailing list this morning, “Google Apps can now become an identity and data hub for multiple SaaS providers.” Sachs appeared to believe his email was not being posted to a public board; he asked that it not be circulated so that some unusual technical work could be completed and political support shored up in the face of likely community and press cynicism. There’s good reason for that – it may not be the good news it seems to be.But First, A Word from OpenID’s New SponsorOpenID is important not just because it makes logging in to sites around the web easy, with one username and a secure password, but because it’s a way for people or organizations to maintain control over their own identities and data. There are no policy changes you don’t approve of when you’re in control.Google’s Sachs explained in his email that in order to pull this all off, OpenID relying parties will need to be redirected from the domain provided at user login over to Google’s OpenID service. In order for this redirect to happen, all relying parties will need to start looking for a new OpenID extension that Google has developed and implemented in conjunction with one relying party technology, JanRain’s RPX. “There is the potential for some community members (or press) to assume (or at least imply in articles) some evil intent by Google to co-opt OpenID with these extensions,” Sachs wrote today. “It would be nice to have a blog post on the formal OpenID blog that was supportive of our approach, so I wanted to see if the board members are comfortable with that.”Watching to see if the nonprofit OpenID Foundation will speak out in support of Google’s forcing the rest of the industry’s hand with new code extensions that are required to recognize the users of one million Google Apps customer accounts will now be a spectator sport.Getting the Job DoneOn the other hand, if one were to put a group of well-intentioned people in a room and ask them to solve the sticky problem of asking millions of organizations to adopt OpenID provider infrastructure – that might not ever happen. Enter Google’s largess and the “proposal” that federated identity for all these companies and schools can be outsourced to a centralized player, Google, and OpenID might get a big boost in adoption. Companies and schools using Google Apps will now only need to flip a switch in their Google Apps admin controls to turn on OpenID support, and Google will do all the heavy lifting.Caveat EmptorPresuming that all the sites that let you log in with OpenID decide to play nice and look for Google’s redirect (to Google) then the idea of logging in to sites around the web with your favorite, secure account credentials (My Job, Powered By Google) could become far more common. It might defeat the purpose of putting people in control over their own identities through distributed identity providers, because so many “OpenID” users would be coming back to Google, but the OpenID brand would no doubt benefit in the short term at least. And Google can do no evil, right?In other words, this move by Google could kill the spirit of OpenID by drowning the letter of OpenID with support. We think we’re logging in to websites with our work or school ID, and OpenID lovers think we’re logging in with OpenID, but we’re actually logging in with a Google-controlled ID. All the heavy lifting would be done, Google would take care of the data storage and probably offer some neat value-added features. All the companies involved would have to do is hand online identity provisioning over to the company that they have already purchased email, calendaring and document sharing from. (“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety,” Ben Franklin once wrote, “deserve neither liberty nor safety.”)At least it’s not Facebook! So goes the wrestling of titans, on the very playing field created by champions of the free and independent little guy. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img Tags:#Analysis#news#NYT#web Related Posts marshall kirkpatricklast_img read more

Payal Tadvi suicide: Bombay HC to film bail plea hearing of 3 accused

first_imgThe Bombay High Court on Thursday directed its registry department to make arrangements to film the hearing of the bail pleas of three resident doctors, arrested for allegedly abetting the suicide of their junior at a civic-run hospital in the city, on July 30.Justice D.S. Naidu was hearing bail pleas filed by Dr. Hema Ahuja, Dr. Bhakti Mehare and Dr. Ankita Khandelwal, who were arrested on May 29 for making casteist slurs against their junior Dr. Payal Tadvi, leading to her suicide.Tadvi (26), a second-year postgraduate medical student attached to BYL Nair Hospital, committed suicide in her hostel room on May 22.Justice Naidu on Thursday noted that Section 15 (a) (10) of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) mandates that all proceedings under the act have to be video recorded by the court concerned. The provision was pointed out to the court by advocate Gunaratan Sadavarte, who appeared for the victim’s mother.While special public prosecutor Raja Thakare said it was a policy matter, advocate Aabad Ponda, appearing for the accused, said the provision is only for trial proceedings and not bail hearings. Justice Naidu, however, said that it would be implied for all judicial proceedings.“I cannot ignore the statutory provisions. While I am sympathetic towards the fact that this would mean a delay in hearing of the bail pleas, but it is also imperative that the provisions of the act are followed,” the judge said.The court then directed the high court’s registry department to make necessary arrangements for video-recording and posted the bail pleas for further hearing on July 30.Justice Naidu said as a judge, he was known for recording court proceedings that he uses his mobile phone to record audios of arguments of lawyers in important cases. Mr. Ponda, while seeking bail, argued that the accused are educated persons and not criminals.“We are not criminals. We know that something unfortunate has happened and a woman has lost her life. But life has to go on. We will face the trial,” Ponda said.The accused have been suspended from the Nair hospital, he said, adding they just want to complete their education and propose to stay out of Mumbai.Mr. Ponda further pointed out that the chargesheet filed by the prosecution places reliance on the purported suicide note, the photos of which were recovered from Tadvi’s mobile.“The suicide note speaks about harassment meted out with regard to work. There is no whisper about caste or that the accused persons made remarks about the victim’s caste,” Mr. Ponda argued.The three doctors have been booked under IPC sections for abetment of suicide and destruction of evidence, and provisions of the Maharashtra Prohibition of Ragging Act and the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities).They are presently in judicial custody.Tadvi’s family alleged that three of her seniors – Ahuja, Meher and Khandelwal – ragged her and hurled casteist abuses at her, forcing Tadvi to take her life. Mumbai police’s Crime Branch on Tuesday filed a chargesheet against the three accused. The over 1,800-page charge sheet, filed before a special court here, contains a copy of the three-page suicide note allegedly written by Tadvi before hanging herself in her hostel room.last_img read more

Torosidis Re-signs With Roma

first_imgROME — Roma defender Vasilis Torosidis has signed a new three-year deal with the Serie A club, keeping him at the Stadio Olimpico until 2017.The 29-year-old Torosidis said that “I’m staying at Roma because it’s a big club with big targets and I want to win something with this team.”Torosidis, who had one year left on his previous contract, signed from Olympiakos in January 2013.After a great start to last season, Roma eventually finished second, 17 points behind defending champion Juventus.Torosidis says “we have a strong squad, with so many top-level players. We all want to win the title, but it will be a difficult season.”Torosidis played in all four of Greece’s matches at the World Cup.TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img

Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo EV confirmed for late 2020 launch

first_img Electric Cars Sports Cars Future Cars Porsche Mission E Cross Turismo in the real world Porsche Review • 2019 Porsche Cayenne review: The enthusiast’s SUV More about 2019 Porsche Cayenne 2018 Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid Sport Turismo: A mighty, frugal wagon 2019 Porsche Cayenne S review: The sporting life Tags Post a comment 2019 Porsche Cayenne Turbo review: The performance SUV par excellence More From Roadshow Share your voice Porsche’s annual press conference in Stuttgart was, in part, a celebration of the past year’s developments. But it also confirmed yet another piece in Porsche’s puzzle of future products, too.Porsche confirmed on Friday, as part of its annual press conference, that the Taycan Cross Turismo has been cleared for production at the end of 2020, which would put its debut about a year after the standard Taycan’s debut this coming September. Porsche first confirmed Cross Turismo production last October, but it hadn’t clarified a date at that point.In all likelihood, the Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo will share the Taycan’s powertrain, with its electric motors putting out approximately 600 horsepower. It should reach 62 miles per hour in about 3.5 seconds, although the taller, bulkier body of the Cross Turismo may tack an extra tenth or two onto that figure. As for range, it’s estimated to be around the 300-mile mark, but that will likely change once the EPA tests it, as its estimates are usually slightly lower than its European counterpart.Enlarge ImageWhile the Cross Turismo is a little SUV-ish, it shouldn’t get in the way of Porsche’s future electric SUVs. There’s a place for everything in its next-gen lineup. Porsche Along with the Taycan that precedes it, the Taycan Cross Turismo is part of Porsche’s plan to electrify its lineup in the coming years. At Porsche’s press conference, chairman Oliver Blume said that, by 2025, more than half of all Porsche vehicles will be available with an electric motor. In addition to both Taycan variants, Porsche has also confirmed that the next-generation Macan will go electric, as well.Given that the Taycan Cross Turismo could be seen as a quasi-SUV of sorts, Porsche doesn’t feel there will be any overlap between it and the upcoming electric Macan. “The Cross Turismo concept is basically a more lifestyle-ish interpretation of the Taycan,” said Detlev von Platen, Porsche’s board member in charge of sales and marketing, in an interview with Roadshow on the sidelines of the conference. “It’s not directly targeting the SUV market.”Despite nobody seeing its production form yet, Porsche is already facing some serious demand for its first purely battery-electric vehicle. Earlier in March, Porsche announced that it identified more than 20,000 people with serious interest in the car, enough to force the company to double its first-year production from 20,000 vehicles to 40,000. It will be built in Zuffenhausen, where Porsche manufactures its 911 and 718 lineups, with its own dedicated assembly and paint facilities. Preview • 2019 Porsche Cayenne: A stronger foundation 53 Photos 0 Porschelast_img read more

Indian Shares Open Flat Insurance Stocks Surge on Hopes of Hike in

first_imgIndian shares opened flat on Thursday, due to weak Asian rivals. Investors are also looking forward to some security before the new government presents its budget early or mid July. The BSE sensex took off at 24,794.61 points at 9.00 am and recorded a peak of 24,862.78 points.The market opened at 9.15 am for trading day at 24,788.33 points and recorded a slight fall few minutes later. However, it gained it stability and recorded a gain of 31.17 points reaching 24,810.17.At present, it is trading at 24,654.23 points, which is a fall of 151.60 points or 0.61 percent.The early gainers and losers for the day are:Gainers:Symb           Last          Change       Chg %ASGI.BO       58.35           +9.70      +19.94REAL.BO       30.30          +4.45       +17.21RPCC.BO      40.70           +2.70        +7.11SANG.BO     45.20           +2.90          +6.86CPA.BO         65.00          +1.95        +3.09Losers:Symb             Last            Change      Chg %OMEG.BO       52.00           -5.75        -9.96SHGT.BO        32.20          -2.55         -7.34OSCM.BO        235.00        -15.30       -6.11MMWW.BO      3.08            -0.15       -4.64CTEL.BO        7.40              -0.35         -4.52Meanwhile on Wednesday, the shares recorded a fall after registering closing highs in earlier sessions. The BSE index fell 0.21 percent as figures of IT companies such as Tata Consultancy Services dipped due to concerns of the effect of a stronger rupee.Infosys ended 1.1 percent lower than its previous figures, and HCL Technologies recorded a loss of 3 percent.Pharmaceutical majors such as Dr.Reddy’s Laboratories and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries also recorded a drop of 1.2 percent and 0.8 percent respectively.On the other hand, shares of fertilizer brands like Chambal Fertilisers and Chemicals rose 6.5 percent and Rashtriya Chemicals and Fertilizers clocked a surge of 6 percent. Additionally shares in insurance companies also recorded gains, amidst hopes that the new government might increase the Foreign Direct Investment limit in the sector from 26 percent to 49 percent.Max India surged 13 percent, while Reliance Capital and Bajaj Finserv gained 4.6 percent and 5 percent.(With inputs from Reuters)last_img read more

Thai princess Sirindhorn arrives in Dhaka

first_imgThai princess Sirindhorn. Photo: CollectedThailand’s princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn arrived Dhaka on Monday on a four-day visit at the invitation of foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali.The princess is leading an 11-member high-profile Thai government delegation to visit philanthropic projects she set up in Bangladesh in 2011 under her father, late King Bhumibols’s Royal Chai Pattana Foundation, reports UNB.State minister for foreign affairs M Shahriar Alam received the Thai princess at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport on her arrival in the afternoon. Bangladesh Ambassador in Bangkok Saida Muna Tasneem was present.Shahriar who attended funeral of Sirindhorn’s father had a brief discussion with the Thai princess at the airport, an official told UNB.On the first day, she visited Liberation War Museum in the city and took a tour of different galleries of the Museum.Officials at the museum described the brutalities carried out by Pakistan army during 1971 Liberation War.The Thai princes also attended dinner hosted by Thai Ambassador in Dhaka.During her four-day visit to Bangladesh, the princess is scheduled to meet prime minister Sheikh Hasina, foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali and exchange views with agriculture minister Matia Chowdhury and culture minister Asaduzzaman Noor and other dignitaries, officials said.The princess is also scheduled to visit various on-going royal projects in Bangladesh, under the Royal Chaipattana Foundation including public health and sanitation projects for school children, sustainable agriculture projects for farmers in Bangladesh and the Sufficiency Economy Learning Centre at the Bangladesh Agriculture Development Corporation — all under the ‘Sufficiency Economic Philosophy’ pioneered by her late father King Bhumibol.She will also inaugurate a new environmental conservation project taken in collaboration with the environment and forest ministry of Bangladesh, titled “Bangladesh-Thailand Vetiver Grass Development Project to prevent hill erosion in Chattogram” on 30 May at Tiger Pass in Chattogram City.The Thai princess is also scheduled to visit the Ethnological Origins Museum in Chattogram and meet autistic and special children at the Proyash Institute of Special Education in Dhaka Cantonment, meet children and farmers at the Azampur Government Primary School, Uttara, Mariali Government Primary School, Gazipur and Bangladesh Agricultural Development Corporation in Dhaka.She will also attend dinner to be hosted by foreign minister Ali in her honour.last_img read more

Chameleons ballistic tongue inspires robotic manipulators

first_img Why chameleon tongues work in the cold (w/ Video) Explore further When fully extended, a chameleon’s tongue can reach twice the chameleon’s body length. Image credit: G. A. Boulenger. Wikimedia Commons. Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. More information: Alexis Debray. “Manipulators inspired by the tongue of the chameleon.” Bioinsp. Biomim. 6 (2011) 026002 (15pp). DOI:10.1088/1748-3182/6/2/026002 With the aim to mimic the mechanisms and performance of the chameleon’s tongue, researcher Alexis Debray of Canon, Inc., in Tokyo, Japan, has developed four ballistic robotic manipulators. Each of the four manipulators excels at copying a certain part of the chameleon’s tongue, and insights from each design could eventually be combined to create a more advanced chameleon tongue that could have manufacturing applications. Debray’s study is published in a recent issue of Bioinspiration & Biomimetics.“As far as I know, this is the first published demonstration of manipulators based on the chameleon tongue,” Debray told PhysOrg.com. “The particular mechanism of the tongue of the chameleon allows for fast accelerations and velocities and also applies no force during most of the motion.”As Debray explains, what we normally think of as the tongue of the chameleon is actually a larger system called the hyolingual apparatus. The tongue is just a small component on the front tip of the hyolingual apparatus. The majority of the hyolingual apparatus consists of the long, thin hyoglossus complex, which is the part that folds up like an accordion inside the chameleon’s mouth. The rapid movement of the chameleon’s hyolingual apparatus involves three phases: projection, catching, and retraction. Each of these three phases is controlled by a different system. The tongue (tip of the hyolingual apparatus) contains the accelerator muscle and collagens that control the projection. When the chameleon is ready to project, it slowly protrudes its tongue out of its mouth. Then, the tongue’s accelerator muscle projects the tongue off a bone inside the chameleon’s mouth. No applied force is needed to keep the tongue – and the rest of the hyolingual apparatus – moving forward. When the tongue reaches its prey, a tongue pad containing a small suction on the tip of the tongue can stick to the prey. Finally, the hyoglossus muscle in the accordion-like hyoglossus complex retracts the tongue at a constant velocity. Although the three phases are controlled by different systems, they occur in a single smooth, continuous motion.center_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. Like the chameleon tongue, Debray’s robotic manipulators use different specialized systems for projection, catching, and retraction. To project, all four manipulators use a coilgun in place of the chameleon tongue’s accelerator muscle. Elastomers and/or cotton string is used in place of the chameleon’s hyolingual apparatus. Instead of folding up like an accordion, the elastomers and string are wound around a reel. As for catching, the robotic manipulators use magnets on the tip of the elastomers, which attract magnetic “prey.” For retraction, the manipulators use either an elastomer, a DC motor connected to a reel and string, or a combination of both. One of the manipulators also had wings on the mobile part, which could allow researchers to take advantage of aerodynamic effects.“In the future, movable wings will allow controlling the trajectory after the ejection of the tongue, which is not possible now,” Debray said. “In our experiments, the wings are not movable. However, their aerodynamic effect on the trajectory of the tongue has been demonstrated experimentally. So far, aerodynamic effects have been poorly studied in the field of manipulators.”Using a high-speed camera, Debray could track the manipulators in motion. The results showed that the robotic manipulators could reach a projection velocity of 3.8 meters/second without the need for a continuously applied force, which is similar to the velocity of the chameleon tongue. In addition, the robotic manipulators could reach an acceleration of 919 meters/second2, which exceeds that of the chameleon (374 meters/second2). The manipulators that used a DC motor and string for retraction had the same extension ability as the chameleon tongue, and could also adapt to variations in the targets’ distances, as chameleons can. By incorporating various end effectors onto the robotic manipulators, the devices could have a variety of applications, especially for products passing on a factory line. For example, manipulators with sensors could be used to sense data on products. Stamps and catching devices could be used to deposit patterns and manipulate objects, respectively. Using a mechanism based on the chameleon’s ballistic tongue could provide certain advantages compared with other manipulators due to the small size and flexibility. Further, because ballistic manipulators do not apply a continuous force during their forward motion, an accidental collision would be less severe and likely cause less damage compared to a device being pushed forward. As Debray explained, the current manipulators lack reliability, and so they cannot yet be put to practical use.“The work presented in the paper is a first step towards manipulators inspired by the chameleon tongue,” Debray said. “Further development is needed in order to use them in factory lines. However, the ultimate goal of this work is the manufacture of Canon products such as cameras and printers, among others.” (PhysOrg.com) — Although the lungless salamander and some frog species have developed ballistic tongues, the chameleon’s ballistic tongue is the fastest, the longest, and the one that can catch the heaviest prey. A chameleon’s tongue can elongate more than six times its rest length, zipping forward at speeds of 3.5-10.5 meters/second – faster than a human eye can follow. The tongue is called ballistic because, like all ballistic objects, it moves freely without any applied force during its forward motion. Once the chameleon’s accordion-like tongue is ejected, it continues moving forward under its own inertia. Citation: Chameleon’s ballistic tongue inspires robotic manipulators (2011, April 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-chameleon-ballistic-tongue-robotic.htmllast_img read more