Taking that lesson to heart, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are using the decellularized husks of plants such as parsley, vanilla and orchids to form three-dimensional scaffolds that can then be primed and seeded with human stem cells to optimize their growth in the lab dish and, ultimately, create novel biomedical implants.DNA computers are coming along, says Live Science. Tia Ghose writes, “Computers of the Future May Be Minuscule Molecular Machines.” Inspired by DNA’s longevity and extreme storage density, scientists have already encoded the entire works of Shakespeare in the genetic molecules (see article at Evolution News and hear it on ID the Future). Now that biology has shown the way to efficient data storage, engineers at DARPA are looking at other molecules that could encode in new ways beyond silicon’s 1’s and 0’s and DNA’s A-C-T-G system, using orientation, size and color to represent additional bits of information.Power plants. Bio-engineers have been trying to replicate photosynthesis for years, but still seem to have a long way to go. Science Daily says that a Japanese team has uncovered another part of the mechanism the plant uses to break down water, “marking another step towards the potential development of artificial photosynthesis.”Algae petrol. Imagine how much better it would be to create fuel from an abundant, renewable resource: algae. The Japanese are looking at this green gold: “Microalgae can grow with light, water, carbon dioxide and a small amount of minerals, and their cells divide quickly, meaning that they can be harvested faster than land-based biomasses,” Science Daily says. “Algae can also be harvested all year round, potentially offering a more stable energy supply.”Sperm therapy. To get ingredients to a female with cancerous tumors, why not imitate one of nature’s best delivery systems? Phys.org reports that German scientists are developing steerable sperm to do just that. They coax the expert swimming cells into little iron helmets, then steer them where they want them to swim. There are problems with the concept, though; how to shed the helmets after delivery, “And then there is the problem of obtaining the sperm.” There will undoubtedly be volunteers.Borrowing from nature is an age-old theme in science.Improving on nature? An article on Phys.org claims that a new technology is “better than nature” – “artificial biofilm increases energy production in microbial fuel cells.” Well, ‘better’ is relative to the function at hand. If biofilms were meant to generate electricity, the researchers at University of Bayreuth could boast. By combining a gel substance with the bacteria, the scientists got more electrical output than previous attempts with the bacteria alone.The following six papers are more technical for those interested.Bio-inspired Murray materials for mass transfer and activity (Nature Communications). Scientists build on nature’s hierarchical designs for applications needing to move mass. Why? “Natural systems and their hierarchical organization are not only optimized and designed for durability but also have the capability to adapt to their external environment, to undergo self-repair, and to perform many highly complex functions.”Reproducing the hierarchy of disorder for Morpho-inspired, broad-angle color reflection (Nature Scientific Reports). The brilliant blue Morpho butterfly returns to the biomimetics stage in the paper. Praise for the design gets mixed with long-age credulity in the opening sentences: “Intricate structures create structural colors that can remain brilliant after millions of years of fossilization. One of the most well-known examples is the butterflies of genus Morpho whose bright, blue wings grace many famous collections, and are reported to be visible even from low-flying aircrafts [sic].”Structural features and lipid binding domain of tubulin on biomimetic mitochondrial membranes (PNAS). Tubulin is not just a protein component of the cytoskeleton; it is also “a highly unexpected component of mitochondrial membranes involved in regulation of membrane permeability,” this paper says. The authors are studying its interaction with membrane proteins, knowing this will be “important for the structure-inspired design of tubulin-targeting agents.”A living mesoscopic cellular automaton made of skin scales (Nature). Theoretical cellular automata, famously conceived by John von Neumann, are realized in—of all things—lizard skin. Nature (that is, biology, not the journal) had it first. But does Nature‘s evolutionary reference compute?Here we show that in ocellated lizards a quasi-hexagonal lattice of skin scales, rather than individual chromatophore cells, establishes a green and black labyrinthine pattern of skin colour. We analysed time series of lizard scale colour dynamics over four years of their development and demonstrate that this pattern is produced by a cellular automaton (a grid of elements whose states are iterated according to a set of rules based on the states of neighbouring elements) that dynamically computes the colour states of individual mesoscopic skin scales to produce the corresponding macroscopic colour pattern. Using numerical simulations and mathematical derivation, we identify how a discrete von Neumann cellular automaton emerges from a continuous Turing reaction–diffusion system. Skin thickness variation generated by three-dimensional morphogenesis of skin scales causes the underlying reaction–diffusion dynamics to separate into microscopic and mesoscopic spatial scales, the latter generating a cellular automaton. Our study indicates that cellular automata are not merely abstract computational systems, but can directly correspond to processes generated by biological evolution.Biomimetic supercontainers for size-selective electrochemical sensing of molecular ions (Nature Scientific Reports). This paper describes how “the unique structure of spherical viruses” is inspiring the construction of nano-containers for storage and sensing applications.Biomimetic catalytic transformation of toxic α-oxoaldehydes to high-value chiral α-hydroxythioesters using artificial glyoxalase I (Nature Communications). This paper describes attempts to mimic enzymes for maintaining handedness in pharmaceuticals. Once again, the authors tip the hat to Darwin: “Nature has evolved a wealth of proteins called enzymes that catalyse the chemical reactions necessary to sustain all life on Earth.” How nature “evolved” these capabilities is never explained.Show these articles to those who think Darwin owns science and intelligent design is religion. Nothing could be farther from the truth. If anything, the religion in these instances is Darwinism, taking it on faith that “nature” works miracles, achieving what our best scientists and engineers are struggling to imitate.Parents: get your kid a Science Fair award! Find a natural design he or she can imitate and learn about, coming up with a useful application. It will be sure to turn the judge’s heads. (Just don’t use the forbidden phrase “intelligent design” in a public school. We don’t want your kid to get Expelled.) Borrowing from nature is an age-old theme in science. Form and function go hand-in-hand in the natural world and the structures created by plants and animals are only rarely improved on by humans. If these designs are so good that intelligent minds want to mimic them, who can believe they emerged by chance?Falcon aircraft: With eyes like lasers, wings for speed, and talons for capture, a peregrine falcon swoops down unerringly for its prey at speeds approaching 200mph—even in high winds. No wonder Phys.org reports that “research work on how falcons fly is inspiring new technologies for aircraft that could contribute to their safety in the air, aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.” But even after over a century of flight design, human engineers probably won’t get close to the falcon’s abilities for another two decades. The article includes this infographic from BAE systems:The article ends with this remark by a specialist in air flow control in military aircraft: “Bio-inspiration is not a new concept; many technologies that we use every day are increasingly inspired by animals and nature.”Cheetah robot. “University of Twente researcher Geert Folkertsma has developed a prototype cheetah robot,” Science Daily reports. “Folkertsma has dedicated four years of research and development to constructing a scaled-down robotic version of the fastest land animal in the world, with a view to replicating its movements.” To try to replicate the cat’s movements, the PhD student “studied extensive video footage of cheetahs,” the article says.Honeybee cleaners. The life of a honeybee seems like it would be a messy job: getting covered with pollen dust all the day long, even in the eyes. And yet they keep their hairs neat and clean. How? The spacing of the hairs seems to be a key, says Phys.org. The Bioneers at Georgia Tech are onto the case. They found that bees also come equipped with cleaning tools and the training to use them.“Bees have a preprogrammed cleaning routine that doesn’t vary,” said Marguerite Matherne, a Ph.D. student in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. “Even if they’re not very dirty in the first place, bees always swipe their eyes a dozen times, six times per leg. The first swipe is the most efficient, and they never have to brush the same area of the eye twice.”A mechanical engineer at the school says, “Our findings may also be used to create mechanical designs that help keep micro and nanostructured surfaces clean.”Honeybee robot eyes: Speaking of honeybees, Science Daily says, “Honey bees have sharper eyesight than we thought.” They didn’t specify who “we” is, but they quickly inspire the reader with details about how scientists at the University of Adelaide are applying the new knowledge to the design of sharper eyes for robots. “Bees have much better vision than was previously known, offering new insights into the lives of honey bees, and new opportunities for translating this knowledge into fields such as robot vision, outlines a new study.”Fern batteries. Storing energy from solar cells is a major challenge. You can’t charge the cells at night, so how do you maintain the day’s energy collection? Scientists at RMIT University (Australia) are looking to Americans for answers – to American fern plants, that is – for “bio-inspired” answers to fast charging. The secret is in fractals: subdivisions of subdivisions of subdivisions in the leaves of the western swordfern. “Our electrode is based on these fractal shapes – which are self-replicating, like the mini structures within snowflakes – and we’ve used this naturally-efficient design to improve solar energy storage at a nano level,” they say. The fern-mimic electrode could “boost the capacity of existing integrable storage technologies by 3000 per cent. Watch for it in smartphones, laptops, cars, and buildings.Seaweed superconductors. Speaking of energy storage, ditch the graphite. Cease the lithium-ion pollution. There’s a greener way: use seaweed, say American scientists. Phys.org explains that when chelated, seaweed takes on an egg-box structure that magnifies the energy storage potential of batteries. “Testing showed that the seaweed-derived material had a large reversible capacity of 625 milliampere hours per gram (mAhg-1), which is considerably more than the 372 mAhg-1 capacity of traditional graphite anodes for lithium-ion batteries,” the article says. This could double the range of electric cars, while exploiting a cheap, renewable resource.Bat sonar. Echolocation in a certain species of bat seems to get enhanced when they wiggle their noses and ears. The evidence seems clear; bats have “extraordinary accuracy” at finding what they need in the dark. Virginia Tech engineers have taken notice, wondering if that could improve man-made sonar systems. The techs built a model with the new wiggle technique and found that it improved signal to noise by a factor of 100 to 1000. “Bat echolocation is one of nature’s remarkable achievements in navigation,” the article on Phys.org says, making this interesting admission: “That suggests that bolstering sensor capability by using a dynamic, mobile emitter and receiver should be translatable to engineered systems less complex than real bats, improving the navigation of autonomous drones and the accuracy of devices for speech recognition.”For Bat Appreciation Day (April 17), National Geographic posted “16 Incredible Pictures Show the Beauty of Bats.”Parsley scaffolds. Getting stem cells to grow where you want them is a challenge. Phys.org explains how some scientists are succeeding with plant materials. In the process, the scientists make a good statement about the value of living models: (Visited 242 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Shiromani Akali Dal president Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday said by tying up with former Leader of the Opposition Sukhpal Singh Khaira, Taksali leaders have proved themselves to be the Congress ‘B-team’.Taksali (old guard) leaders MP Ranjit Singh Brahmpura, Sewa Singh Sekhwan and Rattan Singh Ajnala had formed SAD (Taksali) party after raising a banner of revolt against the SAD leadership. SAD (Taksali) is now part of the Punjab Democratic Alliance which comprises Khaira’s Punjabi Ekta Party, Bains brothers and suspended AAP MP Dharmvira Gandhi. “The so called Taksali leaders have proved that they are the B-team of the Congress by tying up with another closeted Congressman Sukhpal Singh Khaira,” Mr. Badal alleged. Interacting with party workers at Attari and Baba Bakala, the SAD president said however much Mr. Brahmpura may deny his Congress links, the tie-up with former AAP leader Khaira has proved that he as well as Mr. Sekhwan and Mr. Ajnala were working as per the “Congress party’s agenda”.‘Conspiracy hatched’ “Mr. Brahmpura hatched a conspiracy during a meeting with the Chief Mnister. However he denies this… but the people will never forgive him for betraying his ‘panthic’ past to become a Congress agent,” he alleged.
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday reaffirmed his personal connection with Amethi on his maiden visit to the Uttar Pradesh constituency after suffering a humiliating defeat in the Lok Sabha election.“I am happy to be in Amethi. It feels like coming home,” he tweeted.Earlier, addressing Congress workers at the Gauriganj Guesthouse in Amethi, Mr. Gandhi assured them that though he was elected MP for Wayanad in Kerala, he would not abandon the U.P. constituency and would continue to visit it.“Don’t think that Rahul Gandhi is not yours,” he told them in an indoor meeting.He said he would continue to raise the shortcomings of the Union and the State governments regarding Amethi in the Lok Sabha.Mr. Gandhi explained to the workers that it was his responsibility to develop Wayanad, but he would also give time to Amethi.“Don’t you think I won’t come here. I will keep coming here,” he said to loud claps from party workers.The Congress leader advised his party workers to start doing the job of the Opposition in the constituency. Referring to corruption and the state of the economy and trade, he said there was no shortage of issues. “It is more fun doing the work of the Opposition. It’s easier,” Mr. Gandhi said in a lighter vein.Sarvesh Singh, who was the chairman of the Congress election committee in Amethi, said the meeting lasted two hours and was attended by over 1,200 people.Mr. Singh said that while there was no discussion on the factors behind his defeat, Mr. Gandhi told the workers that there may have been “shortcomings” from both ends, his and the workers, leading to the defeat. Victory and defeat are a part of life, he told the workers.Mr. Gandhi ignored the workers’ requests to continue as party president, Mr. Singh said.
Arsenal boss Emery lauds ‘humble’ Gabriel Martinelliby Freddie Taylora month agoSend to a friendShare the loveArsenal manager Unai Emery was full of praise for Gabriel Martinelli after his performance against Nottingham Forest.The youngster was one of several fringe players who got a chance in the Carabao Cup game, which Arsenal won 5-0.And Martinelli was singled out for praise by Emery in his post-match comments to the club’s official website.Emery said: “Martinelli is a very young player. But he came here and we were waiting and watching him, how he could improve with us and really, really in the pre-season he played very well. “He was working in each training with a big spirit and with a big performance and I spoke with him to have some passion for when he gets his opportunity to play, to do like he was doing in the training and the matches in the pre-season. Tonight he did that. “Really, he deserved it because he is very humble, a humble player and he fights, he is hungry to have that opportunity to help us and really it was perfect, his work tonight.” About the authorFreddie TaylorShare the loveHave your say
After the Cornhuskers made the Big 12 a smaller 11, the Pac-10 snagged Colorado, leaving the Big 12 at 10 teams. Many anticipated more action from the Pac-10, expecting the conference to attempt to rival the Big Ten by expanding to as many as 16 schools. But after swiping Utah from the Mountain West, the Pac-10, now with 12 teams, appears satisfied. Utah will join the Pac-10 in 2011, Colorado in 2012. “I expected that to happen — new commissioner in the Pac-10, new television agreement coming up,” Smith said. “It made sense for them, so I knew the Pac-10 was going to go that way, and I knew that it would affect the Big 12, but I just didn’t know how. When television contracts are getting ready to come up and people see the changing landscape in television, people start adding inventory.” The shakeups left the Big 12 on life support, with just 10 teams and its moneymaker, Texas, contemplating a switch itself. Texas A&M even received an invitation to join the SEC. But a new TV deal, set up to make Texas the main attraction, got all teams on board, saving the Big 12 as a league with 10 schools. But plates continued to shift and movement persisted. Boise State, a perennial BCS bowl-game contender in the last decade, parted ways with loads of inferior competition in the WAC to join the Mountain West Conference. Fresno State and Nevada also will join the MWC in 2012, while Boise will enroll in 2011. One of the signature programs of the MWC, however, isn’t sticking around to face the newcomers. Brigham Young will become an independent in football in 2011, a title only Notre Dame, Army and Navy claim in Division I. For all other sports, BYU will join the West Coast Conference. “We’ve long sought broad, nationwide access to our games for our fans and increased visibility among those who may be less familiar with our university and athletic programs,” BYU President Cecil O. Samuelson said in a press release. “We’ve also been looking for ways to take better advantage of our own unique broadcasting resources.” After the dust settled, there were more rumblings than actual quakes. There was never that one tremor that affected the entire nation, which many expected and some feared. Instead, we’re left with minor face lifts to several conferences, and we’re left with more questions about potential future shakeups. “I’m watching everybody else,” Smith said. “We’re (the Big Ten) basically done for now. I don’t know if we’ll expand anymore, I really don’t. It’s a possibility, but what’s interesting is watching the rest of the landscape.” The rumbling started last winter, when the Big Ten announced its intentions to explore conference expansion. It culminated months later in significant, nationwide shifts. The first tremor shook the Midwest, when Nebraska bolted for the Big Ten. The reshuffling set off a series of quakes felt all around the country, from the Pac-10 to the Big 12 to the Mountain West. In the end, if we have reached the end, the landscape of college football changed, though not as dramatically as the initial quivers suggested. But have these relocations been the result of a routine shakeup, or is this the start of a major restructuring? Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said the transformation results from changing revenue streams. “If you look back over the history of college sports, the one thing that’s constant is change,” Smith said. “One of the largest areas of revenue for all of us is television money. People don’t want to talk about it, but it’s true. The reality is, as television changes, and all the mediums change for communication, the conferences have to shift in order to maximize revenue opportunities off of them.” Initial rumors suggested college football could be transitioning to feature four “super-conferences,” each equipped with 12 to 16 teams — enough power and revenue to bury non-BCS leagues in the sand. “I think it’s possible because the thought is there,” Smith said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever get to a playoff like the public wants. I see a lot of challenges with that on a lot of different levels. But do I see playoffs within a conference that could lead to something like that on a smaller scale? Yeah. So, when you get to those 16, you get to two or four conferences with 16 teams, divisions, that type of stuff. I can see that down the road.” The notion of super-conferences stemmed from indications that the Big Ten was prepared to expand to 14 or 16 teams, adding from the likes of Notre Dame, Syracuse, Rutgers, Texas and Missouri to stretch its reach across more of the country. Plucking programs from other conferences would force those battered leagues to fuse together to match the Big Ten’s muscle. “People use the term ‘arms race,’ which I really don’t think is it,” Smith said. “We’re like any restaurateur, we’re like the college of business, we’re like the college of engineering. We’re like everybody else that aspires to be No. 1. Yes, you can use the term ‘arms race,’ but frankly, we’re just strengthening the business.” The super-conference idea hasn’t panned out just yet. Instead, a series of aftershocks sent a handful of teams in and out of new conferences.
Bayern Munich manager Niko Kovac fears for the club’s winger Kingsley Coman after he picked up an injury in their opening game of the season against Hoffenheim.The manager who was taking charge of his first game in the Bundesliga fears Coman could have reinjured the same ankle that underwent surgery back in February.The Frenchman was helped off the pitch after being on the receiving end of a strong challenge from Hoffenheim’s Nico Schulz.The 22-year-old was making his first Bundesliga appearance since a blow to the same ankle scuppered his hopes of a spot in France’s World Cup squad.While the extent of the damage is not yet known, Kovac is concerned it could force Coman into another lengthy spell on the sideline.“It doesn’t look good for now. He is in severe pain,” the Croatian told reporters.” As quoted by SportsKeeda.Match Preview: RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich Boro Tanchev – September 14, 2019 RB Leipzig will have the chance to prove their title-winning capabilities when they host Bayern Munich today at 18:30 (CET).“He will have tests tonight. I hope it’s not serious but we are fearing the worst.”Adam Szalai’s equalizer for Hoffenheim and Coman’s injury looked to put a dampener on Kovac’s first Bundesliga match in charge.The champions eventually prevailed after Robert Lewandowski converted a contentious penalty at the second time of asking before Arjen Robben sealed three points with a late third.However, an honest Kovac admitted that, had he been in charge, he would not have awarded the game-changing spot-kick that allowed Bayern to retake the lead in the 82nd minute.Franck Ribery made the most of a Havard Nordtveit tackle and Hoffenheim protests were waved away by referee Bastian Dankert.“[The foul] wasn’t crystal clear,” Kovac said. “I wouldn’t have given it.”
WILMINGTON, MA — Students at the Wilmington Middle School — in cooperation with Project 351 — are conducting a clothing drive to benefit Cradles to Crayons. Gently used clothing from ages 0 to adult medium is greatly appreciated. Pajamas and socks must be NEW. Donations are being collected through this Friday, April 5, 2019.Collection sites include the Wilmington Middle School, North Intermediate, West Intermediate, Shawsheen Elementary, Woburn Street Elementary and the Wilmington Memorial Library. Look for the designated donation bins in the schools’ lobbies.Cradles To Crayons is a non-profit organization that helps families who cannot afford clothing for their children. In return, the children gain confidence and warmth from all the donated clothing.Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email [email protected] this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedCradles To Crayons Clothing Drive To Take Place Around Town (March 26-April 3)In “Community”The Wilmington Insider For March 26, 2018In “5 Things To Do Today”Wilmington Memorial Library Receives $7,500 Federal Grant To Provide Programs On Healthy AgingIn “Community”
Reuters fileInvestment in mutual funds could help achieve financial goals in a systematic and easy manner.However most of us often fall for these most common myths associated with investing in mutual funds:Myth 1: A large sum is needed to invest in mutual fundsThat’s a wrong assumption. One doesn’t need a lot of money to start investing in funds. Minimum sum required to invest in equity linked saving schemes (ELSS) is Rs 500 or Rs 1,000 every month when investing in a mutual fund through systematic investment plans (SIPs).Myth 2: Buying a top-rated mutual fund scheme guarantees better returnsMutual fund ratings are not static and are based on performance of the fund over time. So, a fund that is rated highly today, may not necessarily maintain its rating a year later. So in order to see the performance of a fund, one needs to keep a track of it with respect to its benchmark to evaluate whether to stay invested or exit.Myth 3: Investing in mutual funds is the same as investing in stock marketMost of the mutual funds are diversified, meaning they have a mix of equity and debt. Also, the sheer variety of mutual funds means that there is a fund for every type of investor, spanning a risk spectrum of low to high.Myth 4: A fund with lower NAV is betterThis is a popular misconception. A mutual fund’s NAV represents the market value of all its investments. Any capital appreciation will depend on the price movement of its underlying securities. Always remember that existing NAV of a fund does not determine its future returns.Myth 5: You need a demat account to invest in mutual fundsYou do not need a demat account when investing in mutual funds. You may just fill up an application form, attach a cheque of the desired amount and submit the form at the mutual fund office or to your financial adviser.
Mubashar Hasan CaesarrThe kidnappers of North South University (NSU) teacher Mubashar Hasan Caesar debated whether they should kill him or keep him alive.“I heard the kidnappers, for a few days, arguing whether they should kill me or not,” Mubashar told journalists in front of his South Banasree residence in Dhaka on Friday morning.Mubashar returned home in the small hours of Friday after remaining ‘missing’ since 7 November.Coming out of his residence with his father, uncle and sister in the morning, he exclaimed, “Such a bright day after so long!”“The kidnappers kept me locked in a dark room. There was a window but they had sealed it. There was a dirty mattress in the room they locked me in. I slept on that,” said Mubashar, an assistant professor of political science and sociology at NSU.“There was another room. I could overhear them talking. They used to serve me food brought from cheap hotels.”Mubashar said he heard the kidnappers talking about money often. They also snatched Tk 27,000 he had with himself.“It seemed to me that one of the kidnappers had gone missing. They used to ask me whether any big gun is my friend,” the NSU teacher added.“The kidnappers had blindfolded me before forcing me to board a vehicle. Then they dropped me somewhere on the Airport Road saying, ‘Go. If you look back we shall kill you’. I called a CNG-run auto-rickshaw and returned home,” said Mubashar, while narrating his return.Responding to queries about what had happened on the day of his abduction, he said, “I called a UBER car to return home after attending a meeting at the UNDP building in Agargaon area of Dhaka. I was working on my mobile phone after getting into the car. Soon, several men intercepted the car and said ‘this is a stolen car, you have to get down’.”“I got down and was about to look for another vehicle. Then someone rubbed ointment on my eyes from behind and I was thrust into a microbus. They gagged something on my mouth and I lost consciousness.”Mubashar thanked the media for its role during the time he was ‘missing’.“It seems that we have got a new life. We are very happy,” said Mubashar’s father Motahar Hossain.
Photo via Offutt Air Force BaseAAA experts say drivers can expect gasoline prices to continue declining into the end of the year.Retail gasoline prices across Texas rose a nickel this week.AAA Texas on Thursday reported the average price at the pump statewide was $2.33 per gallon. Nationwide gas prices are up 2 cents, to average $2.56 per gallon.Association officials say San Antonio has the cheapest gasoline in Texas this week at an average $2.23 per gallon. Drivers in Midland are paying the highest prices for gasoline at an average $2.50 per gallon.AAA officials say the current average retail gasoline price in Texas is 22 cents higher than a year ago. Share