More information: More information: ArmyTec.netvia: Defense News and Gizmodo Space cannon to shoot payloads into orbit (w/ Video) Originally, the Thunder Generator was used by farmers in Israel to scare away birds that might eat their crops. Recently, Israel’s Ministry of Defense has approved a license for the Israeli technology company ArmyTec to market military and paramilitary versions of the Thunder Generator. The company hopes that the cannon, which was originally developed by Israeli company PDT Agro, could have applications in crowd control and border security.”Anyone within 30 to 50 meters from the cannon will feel like he’s standing in front of a firing squad,” said Igor Fridman, president of PDT Agro, who developed the system. “He’ll feel and hear the blast, but he won’t be hurled to the ground. He’ll be able to run away unharmed … and that’s the point of this application.”Maintaining a safe firing distance is important, though, since if a person is standing within 10 meters of the cannon, the shock wave could inflict permanent damage or even kill them. Rather, the device is intended for longer distances. Fridman estimates that by increasing the current five-inch diameter of the barrel, the cannon could have a range of up to 100 meters.To generate the shock waves, the cannon uses a mixture of liquefied petroleum, cooking gas, and air. As the fuel travels through the cannon barrel, it detonates and intensifies until it exits, producing a series of rapid-fire, high-velocity shock bursts. The shock bursts can be calibrated and programmed for different purposes. According to the company, the system can generate 60-100 bursts per minute, with each burst traveling at about 2,000 meters per second and lasting up to 300 milliseconds. The resulting extreme air pressure and sonic boom effect create a double deterrent to rioters and intruders.”It’s all done in a controlled and safe manner, using the cheapest, cleanest fuel available,” said Fridman, noting that a standard 12-kilogram canister of liquefied petroleum can produce about 5,000 shock bursts at a cost of about $25. “The trick is to cause it not to burn, but to explode.”In agriculture, the shock waves have provided a cleaner alternative to hazardous chemicals that farmers might use to keep pests away. For police and military uses, the system could offer a safer, cheaper and more politically acceptable weapon than other explosive materials or lethal force. Over the past two years, about a dozen systems have been operating at Israeli farms and fisheries, with no accidents.ArmyTec plans to modify the single-barrel cannon for different applications. The company has proposed a multi-barrel design and synchronized networks of multiple cannons to simulate a battlefield experience. The cannons could also be mounted on vehicles and operated via remote control. Plus, by using a curved barrel design, the cannon could produce shock waves at 90-degree angles to bend around walls or other obstacles. Explore further The Thunder Generator produces shock waves that result in a loud sonic boom and extreme air pressure, which can be heard and felt by people up to 100 meters away. Image credit: Army Tec. 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. © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Police and military forces around the world may soon have a new non-lethal weapon at their hands. Called the Thunder Generator, the device is a cannon that fires shock waves that pass through people and objects. Although the shock waves are harmless, they give people the impression of standing in front of a firing squad, according to the cannon’s developers. Citation: Cannon-fired shock wave could stun, kill people (2010, January 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-01-cannon-fired-stun-people.html
Month: August 2019
For years, Mac users have felt nearly immune to malware attacks—such computers rarely if ever got viruses, much less Trojans. But those days are over Dr. Web says, noting that they’ve seen a steady climb in malware on the Internet targeting Mac users since the beginning of the year. Impacted by this new Trojan are users of computers running OS X, with Safari, Chrome or Firefox browsers.The Trojan is actually fairly straightforward, users wandering onto certain websites, attracted by the idea of watching movie trailers are told their viewing experience will be better if they install a program called “Free Twit Tube.” If the user agrees, they are presented with a familiar looking pop-up asking if they’d like to continue. If they do so, the Trojan will be installed into all of the browsers on the computer. Dr. Web notes that there are variants of the initial ploy used to entice users—some advertise a new media player, another promises to speed up downloads, etc. The end result for all of them is the same, the user is redirected to another page where they are prompted to download the program, which actually does nothing except install its Trojan app into all available browsers.Fortunately for Mac users, the Trojan.Yontoo.1 is both easy to spot and remove. It shows up as an app in all three browser types as “Yontoo,” and thus can be disabled just like any other app, or deleted from the computer altogether.The purpose of the Trojan appears to be a means for providing those that made it a way to create revenue for themselves by creating false page views by the people using the infected computers. Ads pop up on web sites that weren’t meant to be there, and the perpetuators of the Trojan receive credit for them. Dr. Web advises users to only ever download programs or apps from reliable and/or well-known providers. Citation: “Dr. Web” anti-virus firm warns of new Mac Trojan (2013, March 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-03-dr-web-anti-virus-firm-mac.html Apple kicks SMS scam fraudsters to the curb Explore further © 2013 Phys.org (Phys.org) —Dr. Web, the Russian anti-virus firm has issued an announcement regarding malware infecting Mac computers—called Trojan.Yontoo.1, it makes its way to users’ computers by tricking them into downloading it. Once installed, it tracks the user’s Internet history and injects ads into websites, generating revenue for the people who created and unleashed the malware. Credit: Doctor Web 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.
Convergence positions for a minority of non-conformists. Initial positions were zero for conformists and 1 for non-conformists. The colour map is on a log scale and indicates the limiting equilibrium position. That is, the colour indicates the point towards which the conformists and non-conformists converge. The black area indicates values for which the system diverges. Credit: Royal Society Open Science, Published 4 March 2015. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.140437 More information: Social conformity despite individual preferences for distinctiveness, Royal Society Open Science, Published 4 March 2015. DOI: 10.1098/rsos.140437AbstractWe demonstrate that individual behaviours directed at the attainment of distinctiveness can in fact produce complete social conformity. We thus offer an unexpected generative mechanism for this central social phenomenon. Specifically, we establish that agents who have fixed needs to be distinct and adapt their positions to achieve distinctiveness goals, can nevertheless self-organize to a limiting state of absolute conformity. This seemingly paradoxical result is deduced formally from a small number of natural assumptions and is then explored at length computationally. Interesting departures from this conformity equilibrium are also possible, including divergence in positions. The effect of extremist minorities on these dynamics is discussed. A simple extension is then introduced, which allows the model to generate and maintain social diversity, including multimodal distinctiveness distributions. The paper contributes formal definitions, analytical deductions and counterintuitive findings to the literature on individual distinctiveness and social conformity. To begin, the research pair started with the assumption that virtually everyone engages in some degree of comparing themselves against others or what they believe is the norm. Most also wish to be different from the norm, though how much changes from person to person. That allowed for the beginnings of a model, people could be assigned points along a spectrum, other factors they added included the actual degree of divergence from the norm for each person, the ideal point for distance from the norm and an adjustment factor that would allow a person to move closer to their ideal point.Using such information, the researchers drew up mathematical formulas that sought to describe the ways in which conformity, or non-conformity can work. If, for example, all of their factors indicated that everyone in a group was almost exactly alike, it wouldn’t take much for one of those individuals to increase their non-conformity. On the other hand, if everyone were completely different, it would be difficult for any one individual to increase either their conformity or non-conformity. For more average cases, the researchers found that if everyone wants to be some degree of different, the group as a whole winds up moving closer to one another anyway, demonstrating more conformity and the hipster paradox—the slow movement of tattoo acceptance from outliers to the mainstream over the past couple of decades, is one good example.Interestingly, the model also allowed for running various what-if scenarios, such as what if the world were filled with just two kinds of people, those that were very seriously conformist, and those that were the opposite—or what if one group was much more dominant than the other. The results tended to align with what might be expected, clashes or dominating groups pushing non-conformists to conform.The researchers suggest their model might be useful for countries or groups looking to undermine certain conformist groups such as ISIS, who must constantly look for new members to survive. Political correctness in diverse workplace fosters creativity Explore further Journal information: Royal Society Open Science Citation: Math model helps explain how conformity works (2015, March 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-math-conformity.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. (Phys.org)—A pair of anthropologists has come up with a math model to help better understand individual conformity and how it relates to groups and societies as a whole. In their paper published in Royal Society Open Science, Paul Smaldino and Joshua Epstein with Johns Hopkins University describe the mathematical model they created to help show why it is that so often those who attempt to look or behave differently, wind up looking or behaving the same as others—the so-called hipster paradox. © 2015 Phys.org
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. Two years ago, a team of researchers in Sweden published a report that indicated that the genome for the common spruce had not been duplicated, a process known as polyploidy. In this new effort, the researchers wondered if the team in Sweden had missed something, so they decided to conduct a study of their own. They obtained frozen leaf samples of Ophioglossum petiolatum, Gnetum gnemon and Ephedra frustillata and conducted Roche 454 transcriptome sequencing on just their genes. They also looked at prior sequencing of 22 gymnosperm or vascular plant species. Next, they made use of a bioinformatics-based approach to figure out the ages of gene paralogs that came about due to duplications. After that, they created and then used an algorithm called Multi-Axon Paleopolyploidy Search to help them verify duplication events in the ancestry of the plants. The team reports that the results of their efforts have led to the discovery of two duplications that occurred in the conifers they studied, one in the ancestry of all Pinaceae, which includes spruces, pines and firs, and the other in cupressophytes, which includes junipers, redwoods and yew.Such genome duplications are believed to drive evolution, which the team reports, helps explain the wide genetic diversity of conifers, which together make up the world’s oldest, thickets and tallest trees. Their finding of the genome duplication could be helpful to other researchers looking at ways to genetically alter trees to help fortify them against a warming planet, which might be critical—such trees together account for producing approximately half of all lumber used by humans, and perhaps more importantly they are also the largest atmospheric carbon sink the planet has to offer. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from several academic institutions in the U.S. has found that contrary to popular belief, conifers have experienced at least two complete genome duplication events over the course of their evolutionary history. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes their sequencing study of three types of plants and the comparisons they made with other plants that had been previously sequenced, and why they believe that what they found might help such trees survive as the planet warms. Explore further Pineapple genome offers insight into photosynthesis in drought-tolerant plants Citation: Researchers find evidence of early genome duplications in conifers and other plants (2015, November 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-11-evidence-early-genome-duplications-conifers.html Journal information: Science Advances © 2015 Phys.org More information: Z. Li et al. Early genome duplications in conifers and other seed plants, Science Advances (2015). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501084AbstractPolyploidy is a common mode of speciation and evolution in angiosperms (flowering plants). In contrast, there is little evidence to date that whole genome duplication (WGD) has played a significant role in the evolution of their putative extant sister lineage, the gymnosperms. Recent analyses of the spruce genome, the first published conifer genome, failed to detect evidence of WGDs in gene age distributions and attributed many aspects of conifer biology to a lack of WGDs. We present evidence for three ancient genome duplications during the evolution of gymnosperms, based on phylogenomic analyses of transcriptomes from 24 gymnosperms and 3 outgroups. We use a new algorithm to place these WGD events in phylogenetic context: two in the ancestry of major conifer clades (Pinaceae and cupressophyte conifers) and one in Welwitschia (Gnetales). We also confirm that a WGD hypothesized to be restricted to seed plants is indeed not shared with ferns and relatives (monilophytes), a result that was unclear in earlier studies. Contrary to previous genomic research that reported an absence of polyploidy in the ancestry of contemporary gymnosperms, our analyses indicate that polyploidy has contributed to the evolution of conifers and other gymnosperms. As in the flowering plants, the evolution of the large genome sizes of gymnosperms involved both polyploidy and repetitive element activity. Larix (golden), Abies (central foreground) and Pinus (right foreground) Credit: Marshmallow from Seattle, WA, USA – Flickr/Wikipedia
Citation: Exoplanet HD 131399 Ab turns out to be a background star, new study finds (2017, June 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-06-exoplanet-hd-ab-background-star.html (Phys.org)—A new study conducted by an international team of astronomers suggests that a recently discovered alien world, designated HD 131399 Ab, may not be a planet at all, but rather a background star. The researchers presented evidence supporting their hypothesis in a paper published online May 19 on the arXiv pre-print repository. More information: Evidence that the Directly-Imaged Planet HD 131399 Ab is a Background Star, arXiv:1705.06851 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1705.06851AbstractWe present evidence that the recently discovered, directly-imaged planet HD 131399 Ab is a background star with non-zero proper motion. From new JHK1L’ photometry and spectroscopy obtained with the Gemini Planet Imager, VLT/SPHERE, and Keck/NIRC2, and a reanalysis of the discovery data obtained with VLT/SPHERE, we derive colors, spectra, and astrometry for HD 131399 Ab. The broader wavelength coverage and higher data quality allow us to re-investigate its status. Its near-infrared spectral energy distribution excludes spectral types later than L0 and is consistent with a K or M dwarf, which are the most likely candidates for a background object in this direction at the apparent magnitude observed. If it were a physically associated object, the projected velocity of HD 131399 Ab would exceed escape velocity given the mass and distance to HD 131399 A. We show that HD 131399 Ab is also not following the expected track for a stationary background star at infinite distance. Solving for the proper motion and parallax required to explain the relative motion of HD 131399 Ab, we find a proper motion of 12.3 mas/yr. When compared to predicted background objects drawn from a galactic model, we find this proper motion to be high, but consistent with the top 4% fastest-moving background stars. From our analysis we conclude that HD 131399 Ab is a background K or M dwarf. HD 131399 Ab was discovered in July 2016 using the SPHERE imager of the Very Large Telescope at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) in Chile. Located some 316 light years away from the Earth, the object was initially classified as an exoplanet orbiting its parent star HD 131399 A every 550 years at a distance of about 80 AU from the host. The star is part of the triple system HD 131399 in the constellation Centaurus.A reanalysis of the available data from SPHERE, as well as new photometric and spectroscopic observations carried out with the use of two other instruments, has led the researchers to call into question our current knowledge about HD 131399 Ab. The team led by Eric Nielsen of the SETI Institute, reinvestigated this object using the Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) installed on the Gemini South Telescope in Chile, the NIRC2 near-infrared imager mounted on the Keck II telescope in Hawaii and also the SPHERE instrument to derive colors, spectra, and astrometry for HD 131399 Ab.”The analysis of the data reveals unexpected spectroscopic and astrometric results that motivated the reanalysis of some of the already published data obtained with VLT/SPHERE,” the astronomers wrote in the paper.After its detection, HD 131399 Ab was classified as a young and massive planet. The astronomers discovered that HD 131399 Ab is about 16 million years old and has the mass of approximately four Jupiter masses. The new study, based on the data collected in 2017, presents the hypothesis that the object is a K or M dwarf star.By analyzing the escape velocity of HD 131399 Ab, the researchers ruled out the possibility that the object is a bound planet. According to the authors of the paper, the probability that HD 131399 Ab is a background object is about 43,000 times greater than the probability that it is a bound planet.The team also excluded other hypotheses such as the possibility that HD 131399 Ab is a planet or a planetary-mass object in the process of ejection from the system.”We note this is very unlikely a priori, since the chance of observing a 16 Myr star just as it is ejecting its planet is very low,” the researchers wrote.According to the team, the most plausible hypothesis is that HD 131399 Ab is a background star. They found that spectra and magnitudes of the object obtained by GPI and the revised data from SPHERE are mostly consistent with a K or a M dwarf, the most probable candidates for a background object.”When compared to predicted background objects drawn from a galactic model, we find this proper motion to be high, but consistent with the top 4 percent fastest-moving background stars. From our analysis, we conclude that HD 131399 Ab is a background K or M dwarf,” the authors concluded. Astronomers discover new substellar companion using microlensing cADI PSF-subtracted images of HD 131399 Ab obtained with GPI in 2017 in J (top left), H (top right and bottom left), and K1 (bottom right) bands. A two-pixel lowpass filter was applied on the images to suppress shot noise. Intensity scales are linear, different in each image, and chosen to saturate the PSF of HD 131399 Ab. The central star is masked numerically, and its position is marked by the white cross. Credit: Nielsen et al., 2017. Explore further © 2017 Phys.org 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.
Kolkata: Amidst reports of violence during filing of nominations for the panchayat polls in West Bengal, the State Election Commissioner today met Governor K N Tripathi and briefed him about the poll preparations.Alleging that the SEC is “incapable” of holding peaceful elections, the BJP said it has decided to move the Supreme Court with a plea to make arrangements for free and fair polls.”I had come to meet the governor and I briefed him about the preparations for the polls,” State Election Commissioner A K Singh told reporters after meeting Tripathi at the Raj Bhavan here. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsChief Secretary Moloy De, who was summoned, also met the governor separately.The BJP, Left Front and Congress alleged that the ruling TMC unleashed a reign of terror in various parts of the state and prevented opposition candidates from filing nominations.The Trinamool Congress had termed the allegations “baseless”.State BJP president Dilip Ghosh said, “We will move the Supreme court so that the panchayat polls can be held in a free, fair and peaceful manner. We want deployment of central forces as the SEC is totally incapable of holding free and fair polls.”BJP workers today held a demonstration outside the state election commission office here demanding free and fair elections.The rural polls in West Bengal will be held in 20 districts on May 1, 3 and 5. The filing of the nominations began on April 2 and will continue till April 9.
“We believe this is the first time a research paper has looked into the prediction of the IQ of adults over the age of 26, who were born very premature or with very low birth weight,” said lead researcher Dieter Wolke, professor at the University of Warwick in England, Britain. “The results indicate that assessing
If you are too lazy to wake up for your morning walk, results of a new study may cheer you up.Researchers have found that taking Vitamin C supplements daily can have similar cardiovascular benefits as regular exercise in overweight and obese adults.The blood vessels of overweight and obese adults have elevated activity of the small vessel-constricting protein called endothelin (ET)-1.Because of the high ET-1 activity, these vessels are more prone to constricting, becoming less responsive to blood flow demand and increasing risk of developing vascular disease. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Exercise has been shown to reduce ET-1 activity but incorporating an exercise regimen into a daily routine can be challenging. This study, conducted at University of Colorado, Boulder in the US, examined whether vitamin C supplements, which have been reported to improve vessel function, can also lower ET-1 activity.The researchers found that daily supplementation of Vitamin C (500 mg/day) reduced ET-1-related vessel constriction as much as walking for exercise did. Vitamin C supplementation represents an effective lifestyle strategy for reducing ET-1-mediated vessel constriction in overweight and obese adults, the researchers wrote.The findings were presented at the 14th International Conference on Endothelin: Physiology, Pathophysiology and Therapeutics in Savannah, Georgia, US.
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today said her government was providing food security to 90 per cent people in the state in a scheme under which food grains at Rs 2 per kg or half the market price are given to the beneficiaries. Banerjee also said that special assistance was also being given to the people of once Maoist-hit Jangalmahal, hill areas, cyclone ‘Aila’ affected region and Singur. “Remembering the martyrs of 1959 Khadya Andolan (food movement). In Bangla, we provide food security to 90% (8.59 crore) of the state’s people through the Khadya Sathi scheme under which food grains at Rs 2 per kilogramme or half the market rate are provided to the beneficiaries,” Banerjee wrote on her Twitter handle. “We also provide rice and wheat through PDS to the families of tea garden workers and to the Toto tribe in north Bengal,” she said. West Bengal had witnessed a mass movement in the late 1958 by the then undivided CPI and other left groups protesting against the food crisis. The movement for food (Khadya Andolon) reached its peak in August 1959.
Kolkata: Preliminary investigation by the Commission of Railway Safety (CRS) in the incident of fire in a Metro rake on December 27 has pointed out damage in the Third Rail Current Connector (TRCC) on the opposite side of the third rail due to sparking and air spring on the rear bogie of the rake, resulting in fire and smoke in the coach.Sources in Kolkata Metro said that the CRS eastern zone has also offered some suggestions regarding safety and security of the passengers to the authorities at a meeting held in Metro Rail Bhavan in Kolkata on Friday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”The CRS has recommended audio and video surveillance inside compartments with monitoring facilities at control rooms and also with the motorman and the guard of the trains. It has also suggested improvement in the fire alarm and smoke detection system for efficient handling of crowd in case of any untoward incident,” an official of Kolkata Metro said. The preliminary probe report undersigned by Mohammad Latief Khan, CRS eastern zone, has been sent to the Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedChief CRS who is based in Lucknow. An air-conditioned rake of a train caught fire on December 27 and had caused breathing problems and injuries to as many as 14 passengers. The commissioner of CRS Eastern Zone, along with his team, visited Maidan Metro station and the carshed in Noapara where the damaged rake was kept during the probe. The members of CRS also talked with the passengers who were in the damaged rake on the fateful day. “Inquiry is still in progress and the CRS will also point out negligence of person/persons, if any, in the whole incident,” a senior official of Kolkata Metro said.