Play Hummingbird tongue trapping nectar (close-up). A 50× magnification, slow motion (330 times slower than real time) dorsal view video of a section of the post mortem tongue of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (A. colubris) being retracted from a drop of artificial nectar. A spread drop of fluid (thin layer) is drawn along the stationary tongue. Note how each lamella curves closed and traps fluid as soon as it passes through the air-liquid interface. The footage was taken at 2,400 fps, and the timer is displaying in milliseconds. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen A hummingbird’s tongue fully immersed in nectar, the fringes (lamellae) and open grooves lay flat inside the liquid. On the right the bill tip is visible.This is a close up of an Anna’s Hummingbird (Calypte anna), from California. Photo by Alejandro Rico-Guevara PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Associate professor of ecology Margaret A. Rubega and graduate student Alejandro Rico-Guevara from the University of Connecticut used a high-speed camera and see-through flowers they created to capture exactly what happens when hummingbirds drink nectar. They recorded 30 hummingbirds from 10 different species, as well as performed postmortem microscopic examinations of 20 other birds. More information: The hummingbird tongue is a fluid trap, not a capillary tube, PNAS, print May 2, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1016944108 www.pnas.org/content/early/201 … /1016944108.abstractAbstractHummingbird tongues pick up a liquid, calorie-dense food that cannot be grasped, a physical challenge that has long inspired the study of nectar-transport mechanics. Existing biophysical models predict optimal hummingbird foraging on the basis of equations that assume that fluid rises through the tongue in the same way as through capillary tubes. We demonstrate that the hummingbird tongue does not function like a pair of tiny, static tubes drawing up floral nectar via capillary action. Instead, we show that the tongue tip is a dynamic liquid-trapping device that changes configuration and shape dramatically as it moves in and out of fluids. We also show that the tongue–fluid interactions are identical in both living and dead birds, demonstrating that this mechanism is a function of the tongue structure itself, and therefore highly efficient because no energy expenditure by the bird is required to drive the opening and closing of the trap. Our results rule out previous conclusions from capillarity-based models of nectar feeding and highlight the necessity of developing a new biophysical model for nectar intake in hummingbirds. Our findings have ramifications for the study of feeding mechanics in other nectarivorous birds, and for the understanding of the evolution of nectarivory in general. We propose a conceptual mechanical explanation for this unique fluid-trapping capacity, with far-reaching practical applications (e.g., biomimetics). Play Hummingbird tongue trapping nectar. A 30× magnification, slow motion (280 times slower than real time) dorsal view video of the post mortem tongue of a Ruby-throated Hummingbird (Archilochus colubris) being retracted from a drop of artificial nectar. A spread drop of fluid (thin layer) is drawn along the stationary tongue. Note the rotation of the lamellae before they reach the interface, and that lamellae close and both sides of the tongue tip stick together when the tongue leaves the fluid. The footage was taken at 1000 fps, and the timer is displaying in milliseconds. Now that they have determined how the tongue works to collect the nectar, they plan to continue their research to determine how the birds are able to swallow. Their tongues can flick into nectar as much as 20 times per second so swallowing would need to be a rather quick action as well. Rico-Guevara plans to use X-ray microtomography to see exactly how swallowing takes place. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Purple-throated Carib hummingbird feeding photographed in its natural habitat in the Morne Diablotins National Park in Dominica. Image credit: Wikipedia. Play Hummingbird licking nectar. A slow motion (165 times slower than real time) video of the lateral view of a Glowing Puffleg (Eriocnemis vestita) hovering and feeding on artificial nectar. Note the bifurcation of the tongue as soon as it contacts the liquid. The footage was taken at 500 frames per second (fps), and the timer is displaying in milliseconds. The hummingbird has a forked tongue which is lined with hair-like extensions called lamellae. When inside the flower, the tongue separates and the lamellae extend outward. As the bird pulls its tongue in, the tips come together and the lamellae roll inward. This action traps the nectar within the tongue. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Play Hummingbird licking nectar (close-up). A slow motion (165 times slower than real time) video of the dorsal view of a Buff-tailed Coronet (Boissonneaua flavescens) clinging and feeding on artificial nectar. Note the lamellae opening and rotating as the tongue goes in and out of the fluid. The footage was taken at 500 fps, and the timer is displaying in milliseconds. They discovered during the postmortem examinations that this is a process that is automatic and requires no energy on the part of the bird. By manipulating the dead birds, they discovered that pulling the tongue past a liquids surface was enough to trigger the closing process. Sucking Up To Survive (PhysOrg.com) — Ornithologists first put forth the theory that hummingbirds took in nectar using capillary action (where liquid rises against gravity in a narrow tube) in 1833 and since then no one has questioned it. In a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, research has shown that it is not capillary action at all, but actually a curling of the tongue to trap liquid. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Explore further Citation: How the hummingbird’s tongue really works (w/ video) (2011, May 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-hummingbird-tongue-video.html 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.
Explore further Research group finds ancient deep sea mud volcano as possible site for origin of life Citation: Scientist suggests life began in freshwater pond, not the ocean (2012, February 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-02-scientist-life-began-freshwater-pond.html Mulkidjanian and his colleagues argue that in looking at the way cells are made today, it’s hard to imagine they got their start in water that was far saltier than it is now. They point out that cells in all living organisms have a much higher proportion of potassium to sodium, whereas the ocean is the reverse. Such high levels of salt would have made it difficult for cells to synthesize proteins, they say, making it extremely difficult for them the form into the molecular machines with strong walls seen today. Such thick walls would not have existed when cells were just starting to form, making it almost impossible for them to get started, grow and mature.In contrast, they say, the conditions found on land during the time period when life is believed to have started, was likely far more conducive. In addition to the existing pools of fresh water created by the condensation and cooling of geothermal vapor, there were the higher temperatures that are believed to have existed worldwide. In addition, they say that those pools of water, or mud, likely had many of the same ingredients found in modern cells: phosphate ions, zinc, manganese and especially potassium. Thus the newly forming original cells would not have had to work hard to keep out harmful sodium ions. Also, to counter arguments that newly developing cells on land would be stopped in their tracks by harmful UV radiation from the sun, the team notes that both RNA and DNA have been shown to be stable under such exposure.Despite the team’s compelling arguments, there are likely to be many doubters, and rather than converting most in the scientific community, this new idea is likely to spark debate that will almost certainly continue for many years to come. More information: Origin of first cells at terrestrial, anoxic geothermal fields, PNAS, Published online before print February 13, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1117774109AbstractAll cells contain much more potassium, phosphate, and transition metals than modern (or reconstructed primeval) oceans, lakes, or rivers. Cells maintain ion gradients by using sophisticated, energy-dependent membrane enzymes (membrane pumps) that are embedded in elaborate ion-tight membranes. The first cells could possess neither ion-tight membranes nor membrane pumps, so the concentrations of small inorganic molecules and ions within protocells and in their environment would equilibrate. Hence, the ion composition of modern cells might reflect the inorganic ion composition of the habitats of protocells. We attempted to reconstruct the “hatcheries” of the first cells by combining geochemical analysis with phylogenomic scrutiny of the inorganic ion requirements of universal components of modern cells. These ubiquitous, and by inference primordial, proteins and functional systems show affinity to and functional requirement for K+, Zn2+, Mn2+, and phosphate. Thus, protocells must have evolved in habitats with a high K+/Na+ ratio and relatively high concentrations of Zn, Mn, and phosphorous compounds. Geochemical reconstruction shows that the ionic composition conducive to the origin of cells could not have existed in marine settings but is compatible with emissions of vapor-dominated zones of inland geothermal systems. Under the anoxic, CO2-dominated primordial atmosphere, the chemistry of basins at geothermal fields would resemble the internal milieu of modern cells. The precellular stages of evolution might have transpired in shallow ponds of condensed and cooled geothermal vapor that were lined with porous silicate minerals mixed with metal sulfides and enriched in K+, Zn2+, and phosphorous compounds. (PhysOrg.com) — For most everyone alive today, it’s almost a fundamental fact. Life began in the ocean and evolved into all of the different organisms that exist today. The idea that this could be wrong causes great discomfort, like discovering as an adult that you were adopted as a child. Nonetheless, a team of diverse scientists led by Armen Mulkidjanian is suggesting that very thing; instead of life beginning in deep thermal vents in the ocean, the prevailing view, they say it perhaps instead started in landlocked freshwater pools created by thermal vapor. Their theory is based, as they explain in their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, mostly on the idea that the sea is just too salty to provide the ideal conditions necessary to spur life into existence. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 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.
Materials ‘mating’ to find the optimal materials for post-combustion CO2 capture. Credit: Sean P. Collins and Tom K. Woo (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with the University of Ottawa has found that an algorithm used in genetic research has proven to be useful in helping to narrow down the number of possible carbon dioxide sponges, aka, metallic-organic frameworks(MOFs) for possible use in industrial applications. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes how they used the algorithm, what it helped them find and what still needs to be done to figure out if the MOFs they isolated might actually be used some day to capture carbon dioxide from coal burning plants before it is emitted into the atmosphere. Journal information: Science Advances More information: S. P. Collins et al. Materials design by evolutionary optimization of functional groups in metal-organic frameworks, Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600954AbstractA genetic algorithm that efficiently optimizes a desired physical or functional property in metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) by evolving the functional groups within the pores has been developed. The approach has been used to optimize the CO2 uptake capacity of 141 experimentally characterized MOFs under conditions relevant for postcombustion CO2 capture. A total search space of 1.65 trillion structures was screened, and 1035 derivatives of 23 different parent MOFs were identified as having exceptional CO2 uptakes of >3.0 mmol/g (at 0.15 atm and 298 K). Many well-known MOF platforms were optimized, with some, such as MIL-47, having their CO2 adsorption increase by more than 400%. The structures of the high-performing MOFs are provided as potential targets for synthesis. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Use of genetic algorithm helping to find the best carbon dioxide sponge (2016, November 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-11-genetic-algorithm-carbon-dioxide-sponge.html New heights reached for solids that capture carbon dioxide at low concentrations in gas mixtures © 2016 Phys.org Most scientists now agree that global warming is actually happening and that we humans have caused it. Because of that a host of scientists around the world are working on projects dedicated to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, particularly carbon dioxide. The biggest offenders, automobiles and coal fired electricity producing plants are the main focus. In this new effort, the researchers sought a way to narrow down the number of possible MOFs that could be used to grab the carbon dioxide that is released from coal when it is burned before it is released into the air and which also allows for release so that it can be sequestered.MOFs are compounds that consist of metal ions or clusters that are coordinated with organic ligands resulting in structures that have porous features. Because of that porosity, such materials can be used like a sponge—carbon dioxide molecules, for example, can become lodged inside of them during exposure. Because of that property, scientists would like to know which of the millions of possible types of MOFs would work the best as a carbon sponge in an industrial plant. To help narrow them down, the researchers turned to an algorithm that geneticists have developed to imitate the process of natural selection over time. The researchers used it by starting with 23 “parent” MOFs that had been tested by prior researchers—each was “mated” with another MOF and the offspring judged for its suitability—the process was repeated over and over moving through a list of 1.65 million possibilities. The ideal MOF would grab a large number of carbon dioxide molecules (because of a large surface area) and release them easily when heated.The team reports that the algorithm helped identify approximately 1,000 MOFs that were deemed exceptional, 141 of which could actually be created and tested in the lab. Materials ‘mating’ to find the optimal materials for post-combustion CO2 capture. Credit: Sean P. Collins and Tom K. Woo Explore further
India is a land of many languages, cultures and traditions. To know the country in all its diversities one has to delve deep into them, live and learn all it has to offer. Keeping this in mind, the Lalit Kala Akademi announces a series of events celebrating the linguistic diversity of India and they will be focusing on mapping Indian culture, arts and languages from 5 to 7 September. The whole event is being called Bhasha Prabha and will include book launches, exhibitions, talks and musical performances. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’‘If you wish to know something about India, you must empty your mind of all preconceived notions of what you have heard or read…India is different, and exasperating as it must seem, would like to remain so! You will not find any of your formal labels useful. India is many and it is one. It has incredible diversity yet it is bound in a unity that stretches way back into unwritten history,’ former Indian prime minister Indira Gandhi had said.Chandresh Kumar Katoch will be addressing the Bhasha Prabha jointly organised by Lalit Kala Akademi (National Academy of Art) Ministry of Culture, Government of India and Bhasha Research and Publication Centre in collaboration with Sahitya Akademi, Sangeet Natak Akademi, Indira Gandhi National Center for Arts, Indira Gandhi National Open University, Orient Blackswan, Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya, Dhrupad Kendra, Ustad Alauddin Khan Academy and Nav Siddharth Art Group. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe events commence with the release of 5 books from the lager series containing 50 volumes. Namely The Being of Bhasha, The General Introduction to the People’s Linguistic Survey of India, The Languages of Uttara Khand; The Languages of Maharashtra, The Languages of Assam, the Asamiya Version, The Indian Sing Language(s) along with Dhrupad compositions in Maithili, Bhojpuri and Brajbhasha and Carnatic Compositions in the Dhrupad style of Muthuswami Dikshitar by Shri Raghunath Phadke, Shri Ramjee Mishra, Dr. E. N. Sajith and Shri Ras Khan and an exhibition of books in different languages by the Sahitya Akademi. The books are with the vision that preservation of a language entails the preservation of the community that puts that language in circulation. Between the collective consciousness of a given community, and the language it uses to articulate the consciousness, is situated what is described as the ‘world view’of that community.The Akademi will be having an exhibition – Multi- Art Expression and Eco Cultural Mapping of India which will include the display of Traditional Masks form the collection of Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Manav Sangrahalaya and Sangeet Natak Akademi and 125 contemporary Masks from Nav Siddharth Art Group. The exhibition will also have prints of Illustrated manuscripts like Jhangir Nama, Akabar Nama, Razam Nama, Shah Nama, Shiv lela Amrit, Krishna Lela etc. from the collection of IGNCA and six audio video compilations in different languages by the Sangeet Natak Akademi.
A bill seeking to amend Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act to include leader of the largest opposition party in Lok Sabha in a panel which will select chairperson and members of the anti-corruption body was on Monday referred to the Standing Committee of Parliament.Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu expressed government’s willingness to send the bill to the Standing Committee after Rabindra Kumar Jena (BJD) said there were several loopholes in the Lokpal and Lokayuktas and Other Related Law (Amendment) Bill, 2014 in its present form, including on the issue of selection of CBI director. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIThe bill was taken up for discussion amid din created by opposition on the conversion issue.The bill, introduced on December 18, has been brought to address the lacunae in the existing law which provides for inclusion of the Leader of the Opposition in the panel.However, since there is no LoP in the current House, the amendment was necessitated.Moving the bill for consideration, Minister of State for Personnel Jitendra Singh said the amendments proposed to make provision for inclusion of the leader of the largest opposition party in the Lok Sabha as a member of the selection committee when there is no LoP recognised. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindIn the present House, the amendment will pave the way for Leader of Congress Mallikarjun Kharge to be the member of the committee which is headed by the Prime Minister and consists of the Lok Sabha Speaker, the Chief Justice of India or a judge of the apex court nominated by him and an eminent jurist, who could be nominated by the President or any other member. .The bill proposes that “no appointment of a Lokpal Chairperson, member or the eminent jurist will be invalid merely by reason of any vacancy of absence of a member in the selection committee.” The bill also provides for qualifications for appointment of Director of Prosecution in CBI and for its functional independence.The Director of Prosecution is appointed under provisions of the Delhi Special Police Establishment (DSPE) Act, which governs working of the CBI.There shall be a Directorate of Prosecution headed by a Director who shall be an officer not below the rank of Joint Secretary to the Government of India, for conducting prosecution of cases, according to the DSPE Act.Responding to members’ demand, Naidu said the government supports the demand that the CBI should be an independent body and if the House agrees it can be referred to the Standing Committee.Deputy Speaker M Thambidurai, who was on the Chair, then referred the bill to the Standing Committee.
Talent knows no age. Shambhavi is an example of this. Shambhavi Chadha a 17 year old art prodigy displayed her prowess in oil colours at Lost in Nature, the solo exhibition by the young talent at Experimental Art Gallery, Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, in the Capital. The exhibition began on December 30 and will go on until January 3.Her love for nature depicts in the landscapes and compositions. The lilacs and pinks in one of her works, along with a lily pond are somewhat reflective of Monet’s expressionism. She takes a vantage perspective and sees nature at its best behavior. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The sky, the waters are mostly calm, though their varying moods are quite evident. She has grasped the aesthetics well and doesn’t let monotony set in any of her paintings; she sneaks in a warm color. Her creations are well saturated and retain the freshness and deftness of the natural settings that she takes her inspiration from.The young student of Sanskriti School, New Delhi started painting since the age of 11 and in oil colours over the last 4 years, a medium in which she has acquired deep interest and knowledge. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe response was enormously positive and during the two days long exhibition she received tremendous attention from viewers and critics and they all applauded her with astute comments. In the Lost in Nature series Shambhavi seems heading in the right direction with firm grip on brush and clarity in choosing the colours.Where: Experimental Art Gallery, Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, When: 30 December to 3 January
“Larger the loss in well-being, the smaller the probability of a second baby,” said lead researcher Mikko Myrskyla from the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock, Germany.“Parents’ experience with and after the first birth, helps predict how large the family will be eventually,” he added.The findings also showed that for mothers and fathers, the drop in life satisfaction during the year following the first birth is even larger than that caused by unemployment, divorce or the death of a partner. In order to explore this, the researchers looked at the mother’s and father’s self-reported life satisfaction in the German Socio-Economic Panel Study (SOEP). Every year, 20,000 participants assessed their contentedness with life on a scale from zero to 10 (maximum well-being). Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’After the first child, mothers and fathers reported a loss of well-being that averaged to 1.4 units on the happiness scale.They felt this decline during the first year of parenthood compared to the two years before the birth.Only 58 out of 100 couples who reported a drop in well-being of three units or more had a second child within 10 years. “Among parents who did not feel a reduction in happiness, 66 out of 100 couples had another baby,” noted Rachel Margolis from the sociology department at the University of Western Ontario in a paper appeared in the Journal Demography. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“This is notable compared to what international studies find for unemployment or the death of the partner or for divorce on the same scale,” the authors contended. Thus, the share of families with at least four members was almost 14
Using your device just before sleep may lead to a condition called transient smartphone blindness, say doctors who reported a case of two women in the UK suffering from temporary vision impairment in one eye after looking at a bright cellphone screen in a dark room.In the first case, a 22-year-old woman had trouble seeing with her right eye at night while in bed. This happened multiple times in a week for a year. However, her vision was fine in her left eye, and in both eyes the following day. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’In another case, a 40-year-old woman reported not being able to see with one eye when she woke up before sunrise. The vision problem lasted for about 15 minutes, and happened on and off for six months, doctors said.In both cases, doctors later found that the vision problems occurred only after the women had viewed their smartphone for several minutes, while lying on their side in bed, the ‘Live Science’ reported.These problems happened because the patients were looking at their phone with just one eye, with the other eye blocked by a pillow when they were lying down, the doctors said. In this situation, the eye blocked by the pillow becomes adapted to the dark, while the other eye looking at the smartphone is adapted to the light, the doctors said. When the smartphone is turned off, the light-adapted eye is perceived to be “blind,” until it also adjusts to the dark. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“As they can see well with the dark-adapted eye, it seems to them that they have lost vision in the eye which – a moment ago – was viewing the smartphone normally,” researchers wrote in a report published in the New England Journal of Medicine. In an experiment, the patients were asked to look at their phone with both eyes, and also with each eye individually. The patients said they did not experience symptoms when looking at their phone with both eyes, and if they looked at their phone with one eye, the symptoms were always in the eye that had been viewing the smartphone, the researchers said.