IAA says Yes We Can to power plants in orbit

first_img European space company wants solar power plant in space (PhysOrg.com) — Scientists from around the world have completed a study that says harvesting the sun’s energy in space can turn out to be a cost effective way of delivering the world’s needs for power in as little as 30 years. As important, the report says that orbiting power plants capable of collecting energy from the sun and beaming it to earth are technically feasible within a decade or so based on technologies now in the laboratory. More information: iaaweb.org/via The Globe and Mail These are findings in a report from the International Academy of Astronautics, headquartered in Paris. What their time references refer to are that the very technology needed to satisfy global energy requirements may be available in only 10 to 20 years, and the project can show cost-effectiveness in about 30 years. The IAA’s three-year, ten-nation study, as the first broadly based international assessment of collecting solar energy in space, is considered significant. The study was conducted from 2008 to 2010 and was under peer review. John Mankins, the former head of concepts at NASA, led the study. The concept centers on placing one, then several, then many, solar-powered satellites in orbit over the equator. Each would be several miles wide. The satellites would collect sunlight up to 24 hours a day The power would be converted to electricity in space, then sent to where it was needed on earth by a microwave-transmitting antenna or by lasers, and then fed into a power grid.Who would bear the cost of such an effort? The report recommends that both governments and the private sector should fund the research needed to further determine viability.A pilot project to demonstrate the technology could proceed using low-cost expendable launch vehicles being developed for other space markets, said Mankins, according to Reuters. A moderate-scale demonstration would cost tens of billions of dollars less than previously projected as a result of not needing costly, reusable launch vehicles early on. According to reports, reactions to the study strike a hopeful note that such a project will proceed. Jeff Peacock, who heads Boeing’s ground-based solar cell product line, said in theory it could double the amount of solar power collected, compared with the earth-bound technology equivalent. Col. Michael Smith, director of the Center for Strategy and Technology at Maxwell Air Force Base in Alabama, was quoted as saying that the idea has the potential to send safe, clean electrical energy worldwide “if we can make it work.”Advantages to space solar power compared to ground solar power are that it can occur without worry about adverse weather conditions and the costs of energy storage. Another thumbs-up reason given is that solar collection does not bring carbon pollution, addressing key concerns about a continuing reliance on fossil fuels that contribute to global pollution. Nevertheless, the Reuters report says skeptics point out hurdles such as space debris, a lack of focused market studies and development costs. © 2011 PhysOrg.com 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. Image credit: SpaceWorks Engineering, Inc. Citation: IAA says ‘Yes We Can’ to power plants in orbit (2011, November 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-11-iaa-power-orbit.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

Lead in tapwater in ancient Rome up to 100 times more than

first_img Scientists and historians have for years debated the possibility that lead poisoning was a contributing factor in the decline and fall of the Roman Empire—water carried from afar in aqueducts was directed into lead pipes for distribution in the empire’s capital city of Rome—leading to speculation that leaders had gone mad due to exposure in their drinking water. In this new effort, the researchers have concluded that while lead levels in the ancient drinking water were high, they weren’t high enough to have been a major health hazard, and thus, lead cannot be blamed for the demise of the empire.To ascertain lead levels during the time of the empire, the researchers retrieved sediment samples from two locations, the Tiber River, and the Trajanic Harbor—a man-made harbor located near the mouth of the Tiber. In analyzing the samples, the researchers were able to identify lead isotope concentrations at various depths, corresponding to different time periods. The analysis also provided clues as to the origin of the lead (other parts of Europe). They found that they were able to trace the history of the empire by noting lead levels. In the early years, lead levels were near to those of local spring water, but as time passed, levels increased dramatically as more and more lead pipes were used to transport water. Continuing forward, they found that lead levels fell along with the empire.The authors conclude that the amount of lead in the drinking water, while a concern, was not likely to have caused brain damage. Thus it’s unlikely that the poor decisions made by leaders of the time that led to fall of the empire can be blamed on lead poisoning, nor, as some have suggested, would it have led to an increase in crime throughout the city. Mercatus Traiani (Trajan’s market), a semi circular ancient market in Rome’s historical city center. Credit: Elias Z. Ziadeh/Wikipedia More information: Lead in ancient Rome’s city waters, Hugo Delile, PNAS, 2014. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1400097111AbstractIt is now universally accepted that utilization of lead for domestic purposes and water distribution presents a major health hazard. The ancient Roman world was unaware of these risks. How far the gigantic network of lead pipes used in ancient Rome compromised public health in the city is unknown. Lead isotopes in sediments from the harbor of Imperial Rome register the presence of a strong anthropogenic component during the beginning of the Common Era and the Early Middle Ages. They demonstrate that the lead pipes of the water distribution system increased Pb contents in drinking water of the capital city by up to two orders of magnitude over the natural background. The Pb isotope record shows that the discontinuities in the pollution of the Tiber by lead are intimately entwined with the major issues affecting Late Antique Rome and its water distribution system. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Lead in ‘tap-water’ in ancient Rome up to 100 times more than local spring waters (2014, April 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-tap-water-ancient-rome-local.html A team of researchers with members from France, Great Britain and the U.S. has found that lead concentrations in drinking water in Rome, during the height of the Roman Empire were 100 times that of local spring waters. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes how they took sediment samples from two sources in the city that revealed lead levels over a thousand year period.center_img © 2014 Phys.org German researchers near certain remains are those of Charlemagne Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Meteorite study indicates volcanic activity on early small asteroids

first_imgThe Almahata Sitta meteorite number 15 in-situ on the desert floor during its find on 2008 December 8, much as it fell on October 7 earlier that year. Credit: P. Jenniskens, SETI Institute 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. Violent solar system history uncovered by WA meteorite Explore further The meteorite is but one of a collection that came from 2008 TC3, the first asteroid to ever have its collision with Earth tracked by scientists. When it exploded over the Nubian Desert, debris was scattered over many kilometers—over 600 meteorites from it have been found thus far. In this latest effort, the researchers focused on ALM-A, studying it using optical and electron microscopy—they found the rock contained minerals that were rich in a kind of silica that to date has been found to only be producible by certain types of explosions or volcanic action.The rapid crystallization, the researchers claim, could only have come about due to an explosion (not the kind that happens when an asteroid enters an atmosphere) or because of the sort of rapid cooling that occurs when extremely hot lava seeps out of the ground. Because it is unlikely that conditions would have ever existed on the asteroid that could have led to the type of explosion capable of producing such crystallized silica, the only option is that the asteroid from which the meteorite came, had at least one volcano on it, at some point. If so, that would mean that volcanic activity existed in our solar system much earlier than scientists have thought.But that’s not the whole story, the researchers believe the asteroid that broke apart when it collided with Earth’s atmosphere was part of a different asteroid that was nearly destroyed close to six and a half million years ago when it collided with another asteroid. After that there were likely other collisions, some of which resulted in melding with other asteroids, which would explain the uniqueness of the Almahata Sitta meteorites—they host a variety of minerals not ordinarily found on just one specimen. More information: Trachyandesitic volcanism in the early Solar System, Addi Bischoff, PNAS, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1404799111 AbstractVolcanism is a substantial process during crustal growth on planetary bodies and well documented to have occurred in the early Solar System from the recognition of numerous basaltic meteorites. Considering the ureilite parent body (UPB), the compositions of magmas that formed a potential UPB crust and were complementary to the ultramafic ureilite mantle rocks are poorly constrained. Among the Almahata Sitta meteorites, a unique trachyandesite lava (with an oxygen isotope composition identical to that of common ureilites) documents the presence of volatile- and SiO2-rich magmas on the UPB. The magma was extracted at low degrees of disequilibrium partial melting of the UPB mantle. This trachyandesite extends the range of known ancient volcanic, crust-forming rocks and documents that volcanic rocks, similar in composition to trachyandesites on Earth, also formed on small planetary bodies ∼4.56 billion years ago. It also extends the volcanic activity on the UPB by ∼1 million years (Ma) and thus constrains the time of disruption of the body to later than 6.5 Ma after the formation of Ca–Al-rich inclusions.center_img Citation: Meteorite study indicates volcanic activity on early small asteroids (2014, August 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-meteorite-volcanic-early-small-asteroids.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2014 Phys.org (Phys.org) —Examination of one of the Almahata Sitta meteorites (aka, ALM-A, found in Sudan in 2008) by a team of space scientists working in Germany has revealed a volcanic past. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes how they dated the meteorite to just a few million years after our solar system was born and uncovered evidence that it suggests it was produced by volcanic activity.last_img read more

Study of sea creatures suggests nervous system evolved independently multiple times

first_img Cellular self-digestion process triggers autoimmune disease Because the central nervous system similar looks so similar across species, it has been assumed for some time that it likely evolved just once in a very early common ancestor. But recent studies have shown that may not be the case. In this new effort, the researchers sought to gather more evidence of multiple instances of nervous system development by studying invertebrates scattered across the evolutionary tree with different types of central nervous system architectures. To that end, they collected tiny specimens from multiple locations and studied their lineage. They report that some of them belong to an ancient lineage called Xenacoelomorpha, which had a wide variety of nervous system types. Some had no central cord, they note, while others, such as modern jellyfish, have multiple cords—and one species has a cord running along its back reminiscent of vertebrates.The team also looked at a gene called bmp, believed to be the gene that is responsible for kicking off the development of the nervous system. But another team had shown that in the acorn worm, it became active before the formation of the nervous system, suggesting other genes were also at play. After looking at the invertebrates they had collected, the team found other instances of the bmp gene becoming activated before the formation of nerve cords. They also found that blocking the protein that is produced when bmp becomes active did not prevent formation of the cord in some species. The group also found that other genes that have been associated with development of the nervous cord became active in some species that had no nervous cord at all.The researchers claim their findings show that the nervous system evolved in different creatures at different times, which means that it evolved more than once. Journal information: Nature Explore further Proporus sp., a xenacoelomorph. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY 2.5 Citation: Study of sea creatures suggests nervous system evolved independently multiple times (2017, December 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-12-sea-creatures-nervous-evolved-independently.htmlcenter_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. © 2017 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from Norway, Sweden and Denmark has found evidence that suggests the nervous system evolved independently in multiple creatures over time—not just once, as has been previously thought. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the group describes their study of tiny sea creatures they collected from fjords in Norway and Sweden, from various sea floor locations, and from a site off the coast of Washington state, and what they found. Caroline Albertin and Clifton Ragsdale, with the University of Chicago, offer a News & Views piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. More information: José M. Martín-Durán et al. Convergent evolution of bilaterian nerve cords, Nature (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nature25030AbstractIt has been hypothesized that a condensed nervous system with a medial ventral nerve cord is an ancestral character of Bilateria. The presence of similar dorsoventral molecular patterns along the nerve cords of vertebrates, flies, and an annelid has been interpreted as support for this scenario. Whether these similarities are generally found across the diversity of bilaterian neuroanatomies is unclear, and thus the evolutionary history of the nervous system is still contentious. Here we study representatives of Xenacoelomorpha, Rotifera, Nemertea, Brachiopoda, and Annelida to assess the conservation of the dorsoventral nerve cord patterning. None of the studied species show a conserved dorsoventral molecular regionalization of their nerve cords, not even the annelid Owenia fusiformis, whose trunk neuroanatomy parallels that of vertebrates and flies. Our findings restrict the use of molecular patterns to explain nervous system evolution, and suggest that the similarities in dorsoventral patterning and trunk neuroanatomies evolved independently in Bilateria.last_img read more

KMC to install LED advertisement boards in city

first_imgKolkata: In a significant step towards curbing pollution and reduction in electricity bills, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will install LED advertisement boards that will be lit up by solar power at 26 places in Kolkata.The decision has been taken in the recent Mayor in Council’s (MMiC) meeting. The tender in this regard will be floated soon, an official in the Advertisement department of the civic body said.According to sources at the advertisement department, the places that have been earmarked for this purpose include Park Circus, Dum Dum Road, Jadavpur 8B bus stand, junction of Sukanta Setu in Jadavpur, Ramlal Bazaar crossing, Santoshpur crossing, DL Khan Road, AJC Bose Road, Sarat Bose Road, Elgin Road, SP Mukherjee Road to name a few. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killed”The company that will put their advertisements in these LED monopoles will have to keep 60 percent of these boards for social welfare schemes undertaken by the state government like Kanyashree, Khadya Sathi, Sabuj Sathi, Rupashree etc or that of KMC regarding dangerous buildings, unit area assessment, drive against vector-borne diseases and others.The rest 40 percent will be reserved for their own advertisements,” a senior official of the KMC’s advertisement department said. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPIt may be mentioned that in a bid to check illegal banners and hoardings of advertisements in the city, the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) will introduce GPS mapping.”We have a GPS mapping system to keep a check on filling up of waterbodies. A similar system will be introduced in case of advertisements as well,” a senior official said.He added that the civic body will prepare a map of the geographical area and anyone, who puts up advertisement hoardings beyond that area, can be identified through this GPS mapping. “This will stop illegal hoardings in the city,” he added.last_img read more

STF nabs Bodh Gaya blast accused from Jharkhand NIA tracks down Kausars

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Police’s Special Task Force (STF) arrested another activist of the Jamat-Ul-Mujahideen (Bangladesh) from Pakuria in Jharkhand on Wednesday.The arrested JMB activist, Dilwar Hasan (26) alias Ali Hasan alias Umar, was involved in the case of explosion of IEDs at Bodh Gaya in January.Acting on a tip-off, a team comprising officers of the city police’s STF raided some hideouts at Pakuria and arrested Dilwar.The police has initiated a case against him under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), on charges of criminal conspiracy (120B), waging or attempting to wage war or abetting waging of war against the Government of India (121), concealing with intent to facilitate design to wage war (123) and 4 and 5 Explosive Substances Act. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeSources said that Dilwar was a close associate of Kausar, the mastermind of the Khagragarh blast case, who was arrested on Tuesday by the National Investigation Agency (NIA).The NIA has also arrested another JMB activist, Adil alias Assadullah, from Bengaluru. It may be recalled that Kausar was arrested from Bengaluru as well, on Tuesday. The police came to know about him after questioning Kausar.The 29-year-old Adil is a resident of Elisabad village in Murshidabad. After receiving information, NIA officers conducted a raid and found him at an auto stand near Cantonment Railway Station in Bengaluru. He will be taken to Patna in transit remand and will be produced before the NIA Special Court at Patna. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIt may be mentioned that Kausar isone of the prime accused in the Khagra-garh blast case that took place in October 2014. He had taken shelter in the southern part of the country and got arrested on Tuesday, after almost four years of the incident.The investigating officers have searched the house where he used to stay at Ramnagar in Bengaluru and recovered electronic devices and traces of explosives.Kausar was also involved in the Bodh Gaya incident as well and serial blast cases in Bangladesh. He had entered India through the porous border in 2014 and carried out the terror activities. He was an expert in making IEDs and circuit designs for preparing explosives.last_img read more

Abhishek Banerjee sends legal notice to Amit Shah for defamatory remarks

first_imgKolkata: Abhishek Banerjee, president, All India Trinamool Youth Congress and party’s MP has sent a legal notice to BJP national president Amit Shah for his alleged “malicious and defamatory” statements at the Kolkata rally, asking him to “express unconditional apology” within 72 hours.Shah, who addressed a rally in Kolkata on Saturday, had accused Abhishek of corruption.”The Centre has given Rs 3.59 lakh crore to the state but the amount did not reach the grassroots and ended up with “bhatija” (Abhishek Banerjee) and syndicates,” Shah had said at the gathering. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAbhishek has demanded that Shah should issue an unconditional apology within 72 hours from receiving the notice failing which both civil and criminal cases would be filed against him without any further notice.In the public gathering, Shah had said: “After coming to power, Mamata didi has started endorsing scams like Narada, Sarada, syndicate and her nephew’s corrupt practices and syndicate’s corruption.”Again, Shah accused the Chief Minister and her nephew Abhishek Banerjee of being involved in various scams and illegal syndicates. Shah also accused the Chief Minister and Abhishek of siphoning a sum of Rs 3,59,000 crore which was disbursed by the Prime Minister for the residents of the state. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedIn the legal notice, Abhishek’s lawyer Sanjay Basu maintains: “…that from the aforesaid it is abundantly clear that your malicious, false and defamatory statements have also been unequivocally understood by the media to be directed against my client. It is also abundantly clear that by your acts and conduct you have authorized and actively encouraged the publication of such malicious, false and defamatory statements against my client. Your speech and the subsequent publications reporting to your speech have severely hampered my client’s reputation and goodwill.” The letter further read that Abhishek Banerjee vehemently denies all allegations and imputations made by Shah should be proved. Abhishek also denied the allegation of his involvement with any syndicate and with any scam. He also denied the allegation of his involvement with Rs 3,59,000 crore or any other sum purportedly allotted by the Centre to Bengal.It appeared, according to the letter that such statements were made in the public rally to sensationalise and instigate the general public into believing that Abhishek is involved in such wrongdoings by the consistent use of the word “bhatija” and to deliberately and tactically bring him to disrepute.last_img read more

Expansive chronicle of Tagores poems to be unveiled on Aug 28

first_imgKolkata: At a time when India is making remarkable digital progress, a digitally compiled platform has come up with recitations and all necessary information regarding all the poems composed by Rabindranath Tagore.Tagore had also composed several songs, most of which are known to us. But his wonderful poems have not been fully explored till now.Dr. Purnendu Bikash Sarkar, an eye surgeon by profession, has collected and digitally compiled all the poems of Tagore using an interactive software named Rabindra Kabita Archive, after 5 long years of research and labour. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe archive is going to be published at a time when Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has set up Kabita Academy with poet Subodh Sarkar as its chairman.It may be mentioned that in 2006, Dr. Sarkar had brought out another expansive work on Tagore’s songs. His compilation Gitabitan Archive contains 4,870 songs in the voice of 310 artistes, with printable notations and all information about every song. Gitabitan Archive has been highly appreciated by all as a treasure trove of Tagore’s songs and a true collector’s item. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe Rabindra Kabita Archive contains 3,500 poems of Tagore from his 57 anthologies, 5,000 recitations and 110 songs by 245 eminent artistes, 103 English recitations from Song Offerings and 15 recitations by Tagore himself.The archive will be published on August 28, in a function at Rabindra Sadan. There will be a short live demonstration by Dr Sarkar.The inauguration will be followed by a cultural programme, where eminent elocutionists and Rabindra Sangeet exponents of Kolkata and Bangladesh, like Bijoylaxmi Barman, Bratati Bandyopadhyay, Subodh Sarkar, Partha Mukhopadhyay, Soumitra Mitra and Pranati Tagore will be present, among others.last_img read more

Art Karat celebrates its 30th anniversary

first_imgArt Karat, one of India’s oldest and most renowned designer jewellery houses, celebrated its 30th anniversary on February 6, 2018, at the Kamani Auditorium, New Delhi. To commemorate this glorious day, the jewellery house presented ‘Art Karat Awards For Excellence 2018’. It was followed by a tribute to the nightingale of India, Bharat Ratna M S Subbulakshmi, with a vocal recital by her great-granddaughters S Aishwarya and S Saundarya.Art Karat also honoured those who have contributed to the society in the field of art and culture. The selected awardees were Vineet Jain, Chairman Times of India Group, Manushi Chillar, Miss World 2017, Ashok Pratap Singh, Chairman Modern School, Vivek Burman, Chairman Dabur India, Paresh Maity, Painter, Jaya Prada, film actor, Sunil Sethi, President FDCI, Muzaffar Ali, filmmaker and Krishen Khanna, painter. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOn this special occasion, Art Karat launched their spectacular new jewellery collection ‘Padmaavat’, which has been created by Asha Kamal Modi, the designer behind Art Karat. She has tirelessly researched and created rare masterpieces to capture the grandeur of the period. This collection is extremely special as for the first time a designer has recreated the amazing jewels in silver instead of gold, thereby making it more affordable for a lot of women who wanted to own a part of this timeless heritage. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBiggest names from the fashion fraternity, art circuit, and prominent socialites graced the evening with their presence. Guests like politician Amar Singh, Anju Modi, Fashion Designer, Meera Muzaffar Ali, Fashion Designer, Sushma Seth, actor, Yuvi Suri, actor, Uma Sharma, Kathak dancer, Sonal Mansingh, dishi dancer, Ranjana Gauhar, Padmashree and Pavleen Gujral, actor are some of the names that made the glitterati event a rather memorable one.last_img read more

Protein rich diet may reduce Alzheimers risk

first_imgA diet high in protein rich foods such as meat and legumes may reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease, a study claims. Researchers from Edith Cowan University in Western Australia examined the diets of 541 Australians and measured the levels of amyloid beta (A ) in their brain, which is a precursor to Alzheimer’s disease.They found that participants with higher levels of protein in their diet were less likely to have high levels of A in their brain, reducing their risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe participants were divided into three groups based on their protein intake.The team found that those with the highest consumption, around 118 grammes per day, were 12 times less likely to have high levels of A than those in the lowest consumption group, who ate only 54 grammes per day.According to Binosha Fernando, who led the study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, this was the first ever study to examine the relationship between protein consumption and A . Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”The research clearly demonstrates that the more protein eaten the lower the chances someone has of having a high A burden on the brain, which corresponds to a lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s in the future, she said.Fernando said it was still unknown what was driving the relationship between high protein intake and low A.One possibility is that previous studies have shown that a high protein diet is associated with lower blood pressure, she said. High blood pressure is a risk factor for both Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease. We also know that developing cardiovascular disease increases your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease,” said Fernando.She said the next step was to further examine what role gender, genetics, age and metabolic factors play in the relationship between protein consumption and Alzheimer’s disease.Protein is found in animal products like beef, pork, lamb, eggs, fish and poultry, as well as in plant-based foods like legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds.To get the protective effect that we have demonstrated, you need to be eating about 120 grammes of protein each day, which is not too hard, Fernando said.For example, if you had a mixed bean and tuna salad for lunch, 100 grammes of chicken and salad for dinner and snacked on a handful of peanuts during the day, you would be getting very close to enough protein to lower your chances of having a high A burden in your brain,” she said.last_img read more