Genes ex silico Computerdesigned virus yields phenotype expression benefits

first_img Dr. Wadie F. Bahou, MD, in Stony Brook’s Department of Medicine, works with a research group consisting of Varsha Sitaraman and Dmitri V. Gnatenko in the Department of Medicine; Patrick Hearing, Eckard Wimmer and Steffen Mueller in the Molecular Genetics and Microbiology Department; and Steve Skiena and Charles B. Ward in the Computer Sciences Department.“Our group is composed of individuals with long-standing interests in computational biology, virology, and gene therapy using viruses,” says Bahou. Thus, my group has been most interested in modifying genomes as strategies for gene therapy, Eckard and Steffen are pioneers in recoding viruses for vaccine development, while Steve and Charles provide the critical common thread for all our computational studies.”The key step in their achievement was to computationally redesign Rep 78/68 so that it was better tolerated by adenoviral vectors. “Prior research by our team had previously developed a computational algorithm for redesigning genes based on synonymous codon pair recoding,” Bahou notes. “The real leap of faith was to ask whether the algorithm could be applied to the case of viral/viral interactions. The redesign was relatively straightforward using the previously developed computational algorithm.”The methods that the team used to demonstrate that their leap of faith was justified were equally innovative. As Bahou explains, “The real innovation here is progressive evidence that synonymous pair bias actually can be manipulated to change fundamental characteristics of biological functions. Members of our team have previously demonstrated this for poliovirus and influenza virus, and in this case, we have shown its relevance for generating a novel gene therapy adenovirus.”Bahou also sees a number of potential avenues for further developing the group’s line of research. “Certainly the possibility of using these reengineered viral systems for vaccine development is an obvious application. For applications directly related to this most recent manuscript,” he continues, “it provides a unique opportunity for safe methods for long-term gene delivery. On a broader application, one could envision entire cell systems with recoded genes as a means of altering cellular function in general. This is a forward-thinking statement, but certainly predicated on the status of genome synthesis coupled with progressive information on genetic pathways that regulate cell functions.”Those applications, he adds, will most likely feature the ability to rapidly characterize and synthesize attenuated genomes as new vaccines. In addition, “we are currently testing our ability to safely use this technology for gene replacement strategies which have been limited by concerns for insertional mutagenesis” – mutations caused by inserting genes into a genome. “Such an issue is especially relevant for benign diseases such as hemophilia where cellular transformation using integrating lentiviruses should be considered an unacceptable risk for long-term gene replacement strategies. Therefore,” Bahou points out, “our collective group is currently trying to apply this research as a safe means of long-term gene replacement. At the same time, Bahou stresses that “It’s important to note that genome reengineering using synonymous codon pair restructuring is a relatively new concept, and we fully anticipate that the applications will broaden over time. In theory,” he concludes, “we should be able to modify genomes for both attenuated expression and enhanced expression, depending on the situational requirements. In that respect, the technology is relevant for many other biological systems, especially when developing computational approaches to modifying cellular systems at many levels.” Viruses evolve to play by host rules Citation: Genes ex silico: Computer-designed virus yields phenotype expression benefits (2011, August 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-genes-silico-computer-designed-virus-yields.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. More information: Computationally designed adeno-associated virus (AAV) Rep 78 is efficiently maintained within an adenovirus vector, Published online before print August 15, 2011, doi:10.1073/pnas.1102883108 , PNAS August 23, 2011 vol. 108 no. 34, 14294-14299 Functional characterization of single-backbone Ad/AAV/dRep hybrid virus. (A) Schema of Ad/AAV/dRep with predicted monomeric (M) and dimeric (D) forms resulting from productive Rep 78 cleavage of endogenous AAV integrating elements p5IEE and AAV TR (Fig. 2 shows excision model). Sizes are as follows: ψ, Ad packaging sequence (0.4 kb); pCMV/EGFP cassette (1.6 kb); pTK/NeoR, (1.1 kb); Ad, Ad base pairs 3,330 to 3,940 (0.6 kb); p5IEE, 135 bp; AAV TR (145 bp each plus G-C tail); and dRep, approximately 1.9 kb. (B) Ad/AAV/dRep was serially passaged in 293 cells, and at indicated passages (P), Hirt DNA was isolated for genomic analysis using the approximately 0.2-kb Ad left end inverted TR (ITR base pairs 1-194) as probe (horizontal bar). *Parent Ad/AAV/dRep virus. © PHAS, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1102883108 (PhysOrg.com) — Gene therapy is medicine’s rising star with adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors – nonpathogenic parvoviruses – among the most promising supporting actors, due largely to their capability to integrate into transcriptionally silent genomic regions (areas that do not, via RNA polymerases, make a messenger RNA copy of DNA-stored genetic information). That being said, there’s been a downside in assembling AAV vectors into adenoviral (Ad) viral backbones, which are used extensively in genetic research and therapy: They rely on replication (Rep) proteins – in this study, the Rep 78/68 polypeptide – which limit viral amplification methodologies. Recently, however, researchers at Stony Brook University have used computational microbiology to reengineer the Rep gene through synonymous codon pair recoding, a technique in which the meaning of a codon (a set of three base nucleotides) is changed in a dynamic site- or mRNA-specific way – that is, it competes and shares expression with the standard. The experimental results demonstrate the value synonymous codon pair reengineering can have in modifying endpoint expression. Copyright 2011 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. Explore furtherlast_img read more

Minteye offers notype CAPTCHA as a security twist

first_img Explore further The user has to move the slider until the user sees the image as normal. Minteye kicks in to see if the user moved the slider to the correct position and alerts the website that the user is human so that further navigation can occur. The company said it built its product on a cross-technology platform. Its SLIDING CAPTCHA supports common Web languages such as PHP, Java and ASP.NET and plugins for content management systems such as WordPress and Drupal.The slide-to-fit CAPTCHA has a success-rate of 94 percent, impressive if compared to the industry standard of 76 percent for text-based tests. Enabling user happiness in not having to struggle with repeat efforts to translate CAPTCHA strings, however, is only a part of the company’s mission. With offices in North Bergen, New Jersey, and Tel Aviv, Minteye is presenting this solution as a way to monetize the CAPTCHA process for site owners and advertisers.A product name in the image would be the money-maker that wins users and influences better brand recognition. The company’s mission is “to combine CAPTCHA security technology with advertising.” Minteye’s team says it is “dedicated to delivering nonintrusive advertising products that overcome online advertising blindness.”The SLIDING CAPTCHA is designed to work with a mouse or with a finger slide, which means it would be just as able to operate on a tablet and smartphone as on a mouse-connected PC. In turn, the company believes it has the potential of becoming an appealing opportunity for CAPTCHA-seeking industry players in mobile devices such as tablets and smartphones. Site owners get a share of advertising revenues. Advertisers use the tool customized to their targeted audience and budget.CAPTCHA stands for Completely Automated Public Turing Test to Tell Computers and Humans Apart. The test is attributed to a Carnegie Mellon University computer science graduate student and his advisor in 2000 who wanted to provide a security tool that could safeguard web sites from automated bot attacks and spammers. As such, it has become an effective way for site owners to make sure that a submission for registration is coming from a real person. Nonetheless, a staunch belief in security circles is that 100 percent CAPTCHA security would only be fiction. As for the slide technique that is being presented by Minteye, similar doubt is expressed outside Minteye that computers, not humans, will always remain stumped by this process. Speaking in Technology Review, however, Gadi Hadar, the CEO of Minteye, is also not harboring any illusions. He said there is no CAPTCHA in the world that cannot be cracked. CAPTCHA evokes sympathetic (aka correct) response Citation: Minteye offers no-type CAPTCHA as a security twist (2012, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-minteye-no-type-captcha.html © 2012 Phys.orgcenter_img (Phys.org)—Minteye is offering a no-type option to annoying CAPTCHA tests where users’ first tries turn into third and fourth tries to get the blurry, blotched letters and digits correct for entry. The company Minteye, made up of “engineers, designers and entrepreneurs,” has come up with a solution that is targeted both at advertisers and web site owners, called SLIDING CAPTCHA, with the idea being “slide to fit.” Minteye’s flavor of a CAPTCHA appears as a twisted, wavy, deformed, image with a small slider below the image. More information: www.minteye.com/products.aspx 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

Using nanowires to build alloptical logic gates

first_img The graphs, color-coded, correspond with the input above. Credit: Aalto University Structural and optical properties of InP and AlGaAs crossbar NW networks. (A) False-color scanning electron microscopy image of the crossbar InP and AlGaAs NW networks (illustrated with different colors); InP NWs are combed along the vertical direction and an AlGaAs NW along the horizontal direction to form six pairs of crossbar junctions. (B) PL spectra of the NWs measured at a single exemplary measurement spot. The polarization direction of the excitation lasers (at 532 and 730 nm) is labeled. arb. units, arbitrary units. (C) HRSTEM image of InP NWs. The inset shows the diffraction pattern demonstrating the ZB crystal structure and the formation of frequent twin planes along the NW growth axis. (D) EDX measurement results of AlGaAas NWs show the Al and Ga composition along the NW growth direction (that is, [111] crystal direction). The line scan location is shown in the inset. Credit: Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar7954 Explore further As the potential for speed increases diminishes for conventional computer technology, scientists look for new possibilities, such as using light to represent information rather than electrons. Unfortunately, despite a lot of time and effort, optical computers still are not a viable option. One of the major sticking points has been the development of workable all-optical logic gates—the parts of computer circuitry that are used for decision processing. The researchers note that all-optical logic gates have been developed, but they have proven to be too difficult to make in quantities needed for commercial computers. That might be changing, however, as they claim to have developed a new way to build them, which they believe could be commercialized.The idea behind the new gates is to use nanowires to transmit photons. To allow them to serve as junctions, which form the basis of logic operations, the group used two different kinds: some made of indium phosphate and some of aluminum gallium arsenide. Junctions are formed by allowing the two types to cross one another—like four-way stops on roads. The group reports that in using such nanowires, they were able to create and run all-optical logic gates that were capable of carrying out traditional computer logic operations such as OR, AND and NAND—doing so allowed them to carry out simple math problems. © 2018 Phys.org A team of researchers at Aalto University in Finland has found a way to use nanowires to build all-optical logic gates—a major step toward building a light-based computer. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the group describes their new approach, how well it worked in testing, and what they believe needs to happen next to allow for the use of such gates in an actual computer. 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.center_img More information: He Yang et al. Nanowire network–based multifunctional all-optical logic gates, Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar7954AbstractAll-optical nanoscale logic components are highly desired for various applications because light may enable logic functions to be performed extremely quickly without the generation of heat and cross-talk. All-optical computing at nanoscale is therefore a promising alternative but requires the development of a complete toolbox capable of various logic functionalities. We demonstrate nanoscale all-optical switches by exploiting the polarization-dependent light emission property of crossbar InP and AlGaAs nanowire networks. These networks can perform various logic operations, such as AND, OR, NAND, and NOR binary logic functions. Furthermore, on the basis of these logic operations, our networks successfully enable all-optical arithmetic binary calculations, such as n-bit addition, to be conducted. Our results underscore the promise of assembled semiconductor nanowire networks as a building block of on-chip all-optical logic components for future nanophotonics. Journal information: Science Advances A little light interaction leaves quantum physicists beaming The researchers suggest their logic gates could be used in much the same way that electron-based logic gates are currently used in computers, or in entirely new ways. They note that the process of creating the nanowires was very straightforward—they were simply grown. But they also acknowledge that the quality of the nanowires would have to be improved to provide the type of accuracy needed in a computer. Citation: Using nanowires to build all-optical logic gates (2018, July 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-nanowires-all-optical-logic-gates.htmllast_img read more

Study shows proximity to industrial facilities does not translate to better jobs

first_img Explore further Credit: CC0 Public Domain Citation: Study shows proximity to industrial facilities does not translate to better jobs for minorities (2018, October 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-proximity-industrial-facilities-jobs-minorities.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. In the United States, as in other parts of the world, government officials are often faced with deciding whether the harm caused by industrial polluters is worth the jobs they provide. In such cases, it is often argued that such facilities will offer more or better jobs to people who live in the area. In this new effort, Ash and Boyce argue that such claims may not be true for minorities. To learn more about how minorities fare in such situations, they pulled information from the U.S. Environmental Agency and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission databases and sorted the data by the amount of pollution emitted, job opportunities and race.They found that living near facilities such as oil and gas refineries or coal processing plants did not significantly bolster minority employment. Instead, they found that while minorities are more likely to be exposed to pollutants from such facilities, they could not count on them for jobs.More specifically, after looking at data from 712 heavily polluting industrial facilities, they found that just 10.8 percent of the jobs at such facilities were held by black people. Also, only 9.8 percent of such jobs were held by Hispanic people. They also found that people of color held less than 7 percent of jobs that were considered to be higher paying across all of the industrial sites listed. Sadly, they also found that black people experienced 17.4 percent of exposure to air pollutants from the facilities, and Hispanics experienced 15 percent.The researchers noted that the oil and gas industry, which includes some of the worst polluters, offered very few opportunities for minorities—just 9 percent of the workforce was black. Even worse, black people were paid 23 percent less on average than white people. Meanwhile, twice as many black people as white people were found to be exposed to pollutants from such plants.The researchers conclude by claiming their data shows that black and Hispanic people are exposed to a larger share of pollutants than non-minorities, compared to the number of jobs they hold in the facilities they studied. More information: Michael Ash et al. Racial disparities in pollution exposure and employment at US industrial facilities, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1721640115center_img Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences © 2018 Phys.org A pair of researchers at the University of Massachusetts has found that minorities living close to industrial facilities do not necessarily gain an employment advantage. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Michael Ash and James Boyce describe their study and comparison of environmental and job data from government agencies and what they found. Searching for diversity in Silicon Valley tech firms – and finding somelast_img read more

Designing lightharvesting organic semiconductor microcrystals with wavelengthtunable lasers

first_img More information: Kang Wang et al. Exciton funneling in light-harvesting organic semiconductor microcrystals for wavelength-tunable lasers, Science Advances (2019). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953 I. D. W. Samuel et al. Organic Semiconductor Lasers, Chemical Reviews (2007). DOI: 10.1021/cr050152i Luis Cerdán et al. FRET-assisted laser emission in colloidal suspensions of dye-doped latex nanoparticles, Nature Photonics (2012). DOI: 10.1038/nphoton.2012.201Mingjian Yuan et al. Perovskite energy funnels for efficient light-emitting diodes, Nature Nanotechnology (2016). DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2016.110 Illustration for exciton funneling in the light-harvesting systems. (A) Schematics of light harvesting, where the wide-bandgap hosts (gray spheres) act as antenna and locally formed CT complexes with narrow bandgap (pink spheres) act as acceptor. (B) Diagram for exciton funneling in light-harvesting systems. The black arrows represent the exciton transfer process. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953 They introduced C60 into OPV to achieve light-harvesting ability and balanced the carrier mobility. The OPV and C60 interactions formed localized CT complexes with narrowed bandgap to function as acceptors in the light-harvesting system. Wang et al. synthesized the OPV microcrystals doped with controllable amounts of C60 using liquid-phase self-assembly to form strong intermolecular interactions and engineer a one-dimensional structure, which they confirmed using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) images. Lasing performances in the light-harvesting microwires. (A) PL spectra recorded from a typical C60@OPV microwire (doping concentration, 5.6 mol %) pumped with different laser energies. Inset: PL images of the C60@OPV below and above the lasing threshold. Scale bar, 10 μm. (B) Emission intensity (red) and full width at half maximum (FWHM) (black) as a function of pump fluence. (C) Normalized lasing spectra of the OPV microcrystals with different C60 doping concentrations. Inset: Corresponding PL images of the doped OPV microcrystals pumped above lasing thresholds. Scale bars, 10 μm. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953 , Chemical Reviews , Nature Photonics 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 Preparation and structural characterization of C60@OPV light-harvesting microcrystals. (A) Chemical structures of OPV and C60, and molecular structure of the resulting CT complex. (B and C) SEM images of typical OPV and C60@OPV microwires. Scale bars, 5 μm (B) and 2 μm (C). (D and E) TEM images of individual OPV and C60@OPV microwires. Scale bars, 2 μm. (F and G) SAED patterns of the corresponding microwires in (D) and (E). Scale bars, 2 1/nm. (H) Raman spectra of individual OPV, C60, and C60@OPV microwires. a.u., arbitrary units. The C60 doping concentration of the C60@OPV microcrystals used for these characterizations is 5.6 mol %. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953 Theoretical investigation of the CT processes in light-harvesting systems. (A) Molecular orbital diagrams of OPV, C60, and CT complex calculated by density function theory. (B) Schematic of efficient exciton funneling for the formation, accumulation, and radiative deactivation of CT excitons in the C60@OPV light-harvesting systems. (C) Maximum emission wavelength of microcrystals versus C60 doping concentration. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953 In this way, Kang Wang and co-workers reported on exciton funneling and stimulated emission in light-harvesting organic semiconductor microcrystals. Using theoretical and experimental demonstrations they controlled the CT complexes for effective lasing and regulated the emission of light-harvesting microcrystals to build wide wavelength-tunable micro-lasers. While at present the results only provide detailed insight into the exciton funneling process in light-harvesting systems to enable electrically driven organic lasers. The outcomes of the work offer a promising route to develop efficient organic materials and achieve electrically driven lasers for full-color laser displays in the future. To provide in depth insight to the light harvesting systems at the level of energy-orbitals, Wang et al. performed theoretical studies and calculated the highest occupied molecular orbital (HOMO) and lowest unoccupied molecular orbital (LUMO) of the separate molecules and the C60-OPV CT complex. While the HOMO electron density of OPV was distributed across the entire molecule, LUMO was mostly localized on different sites of the molecule. Using the experimental and theoretical results, Wang et al. drew an energy diagram of exciton evolution in a light-harvesting system and observed the comprehensive process that formed exciton funnels. The researchers subsequently conducted optically pumped lasing measurements to test the lasing performance in the light-harvesting microwires using a micro-photoluminescence (micro-PL) system. They verified the occurrence of lasing in the C60@OPV microwires at different pump intensities and controlled the emission from CT complexes by doping varying concentrations of C60 in to the OPV hosts. The scientists could tune the light-harvesting molecules in the present work to provide a key step to ultimately synthesize organic laser diodes in further studies. center_img Scientists develop polariton nano-laser operating at room temperature Exciton funneling into the CT states in the organic light-harvesting microcrystals. (A) Absorption spectra of OPV (green), C60@OPV (red) microwires, and C60 dispersed in polymer hosts (black). a.u., arbitrary units. (B) Fluorescence microscopy images of OPV (top) and C60@OPV (bottom) microwires. Scale bars, 20 μm. (C and D) Streak camera images and PL spectra of OPV (C) and C60@OPV (D) microcrystals excited with a 400-nm pulsed laser (~100 fs, 1 kHz). tD and tDA are the average lifetimes of donor (~551 nm) in the absence (pure OPV) and presence (C60@OPV) of the acceptor, respectively. The C60 doping concentration of the C60@OPV microcrystals used for these characterizations is 5.6 mol %. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2953 In its pure form, the OPV microcrystal displayed a well-defined wire-like appearance with smooth and flat surfaces. Upon introduction of C60, the resulting microcrystal maintained similar morphology to indicate that C60 did not significantly alter the morphology of OPV crystals. The scientists verified the structure of the crystal microwires using Raman spectra, transmission electron microscopy(TEM), select-area electron diffraction (SAED) and X-ray diffraction. The results suggested a strong presence of OPV with C60 doped in its matrices. The interaction between C60 and the OPV molecules generated a new CT state, which Wang et al confirmed using absorption spectra. When observed under ultraviolet excitation (UV), the C60@OPV molecules showed red emission, in sharp contrast to the yellow emission in pure OPV microwires and non-luminescence in the C60 microwires. The scientists identified the new CT excitation state of C60@OPV crystals using photoluminescence and calculated the efficiency of the energy transfer to show effective funneling potential between the molecules and efficient energy accumulation in the CT states of the light-harvesting microcrystals. Journal information: Science Advances To synthesize the light-harvesting microcrystals, Wang et al. used a cyano-substituted molecule referred to as OPV (for oligo-(α-phenylenevinylene)-1,4-bis(R-cyano-4-diphenylaminostyryl)-2,5-diphenylbenzene) and fullerene (C60). The two molecules met conditions where; OPV is a typical p-type semiconductor with high optical gain, and C60 is a typical n-type semiconductor with high electron mobilities and large absorption cross-sections. They surrounded locally formed CT complexes containing narrow bandgaps with hosts of high levels of energy to behave as artificial light-harvesting systems. They captured the resulting excitation light energy using hosts to deliver to the CT complexes for their function as exciton funnels in order to benefit lasing actions. Wang et al. expect the preliminary results to offer in depth understanding of exciton funneling in light-harvesting systems to develop high-performance organic lasing devices. The new results are now available on Science Advances. Organic semiconductor lasers that function across the full visible spectrum are of increasing interest due to their practical applications from multiband communication to full-color laser displays. Although they are challenging to attain, electrically pumped organic lasers can advance the existing laser technology to rival organic light-emitting diodes. Wang et al. formed localized CT complexes by adding a small amount of electron acceptor/donor into the electron donor/acceptor host matrix. The setup contained CT complexes with a narrow bandgap, surrounded by the host matrix with high energy levels to serve as artificial light harvesting antennas. The harvested excitation light energy produced excitons, which were transferred downstream to the acceptors to function as an ‘excitation funnel.” In the present work, Wang et al. investigated the process of exciton funneling in light-harvesting systems to offer guidance to design high performance organic optoelectronic materials for electrically pumped lasers. , Nature Nanotechnology © 2019 Science X Network Organic solid-state lasers are essential for photonic applications, but current-driven lasers are a great challenge to develop in applied physics and materials science. While it is possible to create charge transfer complexes (i.e. electron-donor-acceptor complexes among two/more molecules or across a large molecule) with p-/n- type organic semiconductors in electrically pumped lasers, the existing difficulties arise from nonradiative loss due to the delocalized states of charge transfer (CT). In a recent report, Kang Wang and a team of researchers in the departments of chemistry, molecular nanostructure and nanotechnology in China demonstrated the enduring action of CT complexes by exciton funneling in p-type organic microcrystals with n-type doping. Citation: Designing light-harvesting organic semiconductor microcrystals with wavelength-tunable lasers (2019, June 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-light-harvesting-semiconductor-microcrystals-wavelength-tunable-lasers.htmllast_img read more

More care should be taken while planting trees Experts

first_imgKolkata: City based ecologists feel that the state Forest department, as well as the Parks and Squares department of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, should strictly adhere to some basic theories of urban plantation when they go for planting trees in the city. The observation comes in the wake of nearly 150 trees toppling in the city on Tuesday evening.”Rapid urbanisation in the city is emerging as a bane for the trees. Work for underground sewerage, underground telephone cables and underground electric wires are taking place on a regular basis, which is often destroying the roots of the trees, making them vulnerable to storms and squalls,” feels noted ecologist Nandadulal Parui. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to Parui, trees that usually follow a lateral growth pattern can withstand greater wind velocity than those that have a vertical growth pattern. “Trees like Bakul, Jarul, Gulmohar and Shirish have a lateral growth pattern. They grow to a medium height and have the capacity to withstand high wind velocity, which trees with vertical growth pattern cannot. In urban areas, taking care of the nature of trees before plantation is of utmost importance. There are trees whose wood is tough enough to withstand the velocity of wind,” he maintained. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedSoumitra Paul, Assistant Professor of the Botany department of Calcutta University, however, feels that the state Forest department and KMC plants trees in a much more scientific manner than what was done ten-twelve years ago. “Trees are not getting proper space to expand because of rapid urbanisation. The soil is losing its strength to hold the trees, resulting in their felling,” Paul said. He feels that putting concrete, cement or any sort of barrier at the bottom of the tree allows it to absorb rain water or precipitation of similar nature in a better way and is favourable factor for its growth. “If a tree is situated at an upward or sloping level, the water flows downwards and the trees fail to absorb water properly. We should remember that a tree uproots because of problems in its roots that lie below the ground. It has nothing to do with cement or concrete surrounding the tree above the ground,” Paul said.It may be mentioned that in well-planned cities, especially in Europe, a minimum of 50 cubic feet of soil is provided for a tree’s root system to expand. However, in the city, hardly 10 cubic feet of soil is available on an average for a tree’s root system to grow and therefore, toppling of trees during squalls and thunderstorms is becoming a common phenomenon every year, according to the environmental experts.last_img read more

CM begins public meetings at Kaushambi party office

first_imgThe office was flooded with people who had gathered with their complaints and waited eagerly to personally meet the Chief Minister.“I will meet the public on three days in the week for an hour,” said the Chief Minister. “I used to conduct ‘public meetings’ but it was discontinued during the election campaign,” he added. The public meeting was, however, kept low profile and informal without any publicity. Millennium Post was the first to report on February 13 in its report ‘Power, water, primary agenda; no Janata Darbar at Delhi Secretariat’ about changed format of his previous tenure’s ‘Janata Darbar’ as party agreed to learn lessons from its failure. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreThe Kaushambi headquarters of the party in Ghaziabad had a different scene as hundreds thronged the first Janata Darbar. The authorities, who had witnessed chaos and mismanagement during a similar programme during his 49-day tenure in Delhi last year, made elaborate security arrangements. People from various walks of life gathered since early morning as the public meeting was scheduled between 9 am to 11 am. As the district police is providing Z-plus security despite rejection from the newly elected Chief Minister, the entire area was cordoned off by putting barricades on various roads. Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedThe people who had gathered had various kinds of problems. Few had job-related issues while others had grievances regarding finance. Still others complained of delay in business due to corruption. Water and power related queries also came up in their complaints. “I, along with 50 female home guards were suspended from duty about 18 months back without giving a proper reason. They said that we would be reinstated for the next five years but the promise has not been kept. Shockingly, services of male guards were redressed while the women were barred from rejoining,” said a 29-year-old woman not wishing to be named.More than two dozen contractual workers of the Jag Pravesh Chandra Hospital met Kejriwal and told him that they had been expelled from their jobs around three months back and demanded to be reinstated.last_img read more

Hues of love

first_imgArtist Kumar Umesh recently held a solo painting exhibition at  Hotel  Taj Palace that commenced on February 23 and was on till March 1. Love and wait are the two universal emotions , each one of us has experienced them in some or the other way. Umesh has worked upon these ethnic themes as he has shown images where a lady is waiting for her beloved. This thing about the works make them more universally appealing as a person from any city or country can understand, enjoy, connect as well as appreciate the art.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Knowingly or unknowingly art always reflects the places from were artist belong or has seen in his earlier stages and which left an impact on him. In the show one can see the beautiful ghats of Banaras, old Delhi streets and monuments. He created a magical effect by simply potraying some beautiful emotions which come out directly from heart.Umesh said “Born in the family of artists, it was quite obvious to indulge into this beautiful world of art. I have always been trying to carry forward the legacy of my father as well as the legacy of great painter who revolutionlised the Indian art Raja Ravi Verma.”last_img read more

Showcasing stunning crafts

first_imgOne can welcome the new year by visiting an exciting  crafts mela as the Dastkari Haat Samiti is going to hold the 30th edition of its annual Dastkari Haat Craft Bazaar, where more than 170 craftsmen from villages, towns and cities across India will be bringing together different crafts to the national Capital. The mela which will begin from Jan 1, 2016 at Dilli Haat, will highlight crafts like shell craft, basketry, mat weaving, handloom textile weaving, hyacinth grass weaving and jewellery, which are crafted by the craftsmen of Myanmar.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The group of women will exhibit the world famous Pathein umbrellas, puppets, velvet slippers, lacquer work and jade items. The mela will be held in collaboration with Dastkari Haat Samiti and supported by Ministry of External Affairs, Embassy of India in Myanmar, Corriandar Leaf, Yangon and Air India.  Myanmar craftsmen will also be  at Dilli Haat for a crafts and skill development workshop. The crafts mela promises to be one of its kind, where new design developments will take place in collaboration with craftsmen from Myanmar and India.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThere will also be live demonstration of the weaving looms, from more than 12 states along with National and state-awardees from Bihar, Gujarat, Jammu Kashmir, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh and others. A unique feature of the crafts mela will be that the visitors will be able to interact, learn, appreciate and explore Indian and Burmese handicrafts and textiles. The entire fortnight’s collaboration will result in new product designs, long term friendships and shall provide unique inputs to the crafts sector while enhancing economic wellbeing and diplomatic ties at the ground level. Jaya Jaitly said, “The Samiti has constantly worked towards expanding opportunities for craftsmen as conservationists of Indian heritage. The Samiti’s artisan-members have travelled all over and collaborated with local artisans in other developing nations to create utility-based and market-friendly products. We aim similar participation for the Myanmar crafts as well.”  The opportunity provided by the Samiti has enabled many members to travel across the globe and collaborate with artisans in other developing nations, creating products that are utility-based and market-friendly.The folk and cultural performances, which will take place between 11 am and 8 pm, will showcase a myriad of folk music from Rajasthan, the exotic Kalbelia gypsy dance, Langa group, Bhavai performers with a number of earthen pots balanced on their head and the tribal martial Chhau dancers from West Bengal. With elements like these, the crafts bazaar by Dastkari Haat Samili promises to be a cultural treat. Jaya Jaitly, Founder Dastkari Haat Samiti, has been working relentlessly with diverse craftsmen across the country to produce beautiful, economical and purposeful crafts, for more than four decades. A strong propagator of bringing Indian goods to the forefront, she has been innovating newer ways to sustain crafts and its practitioners. To give credence to her philosophy, Jaitly also Founded the immensely popular Dilli Haat, where she organises the eagerly awaited yearly cafts mela.When: January 1 to 15Where: Dilli Haat, opp INA Market, New Delhi Timings: 11am – 9pmlast_img read more

Natya Shastra to come alive

first_imgThe rich cultural heritage of India is visually soothing and enriching to the dance and music connoisseurs, who come from all across the world to catch a glimpse. Different dance forms that have originated from various parts of the country and have been practiced accordingly, can only be witnessed at once, under one roof when a festival organises for a perfect blend of classical dance forms for enthusiasts.To make the enthusiasts come together for two days of excitement, Pracheen Kala Kendra is organising its 5th quarterly Baithak programme under the series ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ in the national Capital.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The festival which will be held on April 15 and 16 at Triveni Kala Sangam will feature well known talented artists of the country such as Dr Samira Koser (Kathak); Ankita Kaushik and Himanshu Srivastava (Bharatnatyam Jugalbandi); Vasu Krishna Maharaj and Vaibhav Krishna Maharaj (Kathak Duo) and Meenu Thakur & troupe (Kuchipudi Dance).With a view to create more awakening about salient features of the Indian classical dances of various forms, the Kendra has ventured to organise a two-day feast of classical dances at Triveni Kala Sangam studded with young artists. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixPracheen Kala Kendra is one of the organisations engaged in the promotion of classical musical and dance in the region. With the kind patronage of the public, the Kendra has emerged as an institute of multidimensional excellence. With an aim to promote and nourish the young talented artists, the Kendra is working hard towards its goal. Pracheen Kala Kendra having its headquarters in Chandigarh, enormous sister set-ups in Mohali and Kolkata, besides liaison offices at Ludhiana and Bhubaneswar, and newly setup regional office at New Delhi, is one of the premier organisations dedicated to the promotion, preservation and dissemination of Indian classical art and culture. Established in 1956, it is the only organisation of its kind which was founded by the artists, run by the artists and which is working for the promotion of artists. It is a pioneer and professionally equipped examining and affiliating institution of national importance with a network of more than 3500 training and examination centres functioning as its affiliates all over the country and abroad including USA, Canada, United Kingdom, Mauritius, Singapore, Dubai, South Africa, Bangladesh, Nepal, Kuwait, etc.  The student strength of 2.6 lakh makes it the largest organisation of its kind in the field of arts education. The certificates and diplomas awarded by the Kendra in the subjects of Indian Classical music (vocal and instrumental), classical dances and fine arts (painting) are not only recognised by various Education Boards, Universities and state governments for employment purposes as teachers/lecturers in schools/colleges but the same are treated as equivalent to degrees under their respective jurisdictions. WHEN: April 15-16WHERE: Triveni Kala SangamTIME: 6:30 pmlast_img read more