Researchers find evidence of earliest instance of parental care in scavenger beetle

first_img Sexual conflict affects females more than males, says new research on beetles 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. Many species of scavenger or carrion beetles alive today exhibit instances of parental care—what they have in common are stridulatory files—finely ridged surfaces that are used for making sounds when some sort of scraper or plectrum is dragged across it—the most well known example of an insect with such structures in modern times are crickets. With modern scavenger beetles, the stridulatory files are located on the abdomen and are known to be used as a communications mechanism between adults and offspring—to warn of danger, for example, or to alert them to an action that should be taken, i.e. forms of parental care.In their studies, the researchers analyzed 37 silphid fossil specimens from two different biota environments across China and Myanmar including several that were preserved in amber. Using an electron microscope, the researchers analyzed the abdomens of the fossils and determined that specimens from 165 million years ago, did not have stridulatory files—suggesting they did not communicate with their offspring, and thus likely did little to care for them. Those that were 125 million years old, on the other hand, silphids of the Cretaceous, did have stridulatory files, which suggested they did communicate with their young, and thus likely offered some degree of care. More recent specimens, those from approximately 99 million years ago that were embedded in amber also had lamellate antennae, similar to modern burying beetles which suggest they likely were burying beetles as well—burying rodents or birds to provide food for their larvae.The researchers note that current theory suggests caring for young is likely a precursor towards social behavior—because of that, learning more about when caring for young evolved helps plot social evolution as well. More information: Early origin of parental care in Mesozoic carrion beetles, PNAS, Chen-Yang Cai, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1412280111AbstractThe reconstruction and timing of the early stages of social evolution, such as parental care, in the fossil record is a challenge, as these behaviors often do not leave concrete traces. One of the intensely investigated examples of modern parental care are the modern burying beetles (Silphidae: Nicrophorus), a lineage that includes notable endangered species. Here we report diverse transitional silphids from the Mesozoic of China and Myanmar that provide insights into the origins of parental care. Jurassic silphids from Daohugou, sharing many defining characters of Nicrophorinae, primitively lack stridulatory files significant for parental care communications; although morphologically similar, Early Cretaceous nicrophorines from the Jehol biota possess such files, indicating that a system of parental care had evolved by this early date. More importantly, burying beetles of the genus Nicrophorus have their earliest first record in mid-Cretaceous Burmese amber, and document early evolution of elaborate biparental care and defense of small vertebrate carcasses for their larvae. Parental care in the Early Cretaceous may have originated from competition between silphids and their predators. The rise of the Cretaceous Nicrophorinae implies a biology similar to modern counterparts that typically feed on carcasses of small birds and mammals. Silphids from the Middle Jurassic of Daohugou. Credit: PNAS, Chen-Yang Cai, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1412280111 (Phys.org) —A team of researchers with members from the U.S., Germany and China has found evidence of parental care in a scavenger beetle fossil dated back to 125 million years ago, making it the earliest example of its kind. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers describe their work in studying various beetle fossil specimens found in several parts of China and what they uncovered in doing so.center_img Explore further © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Researchers find evidence of earliest instance of parental care in scavenger beetle (2014, September 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-09-evidence-earliest-instance-parental-scavenger.html Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienceslast_img read more

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Earnings show less for lefthanded says study

first_img More information: Journal of Economic Perspectives, Volume 28, Number 4, Pages 193–212. pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdfplus/10.1257/jep.28.4.193 A recent attempt in that direction is a paper published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, “The Wages of Sinistrality: Handedness, Brain Structure, and Human Capital Accumulation,” by Joshua Goodman, who holds a PhD in economics from Columbia University and is assistant professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School. Those looking for confirmation that left-handed people are more fortunate than right-handed people will not be heartened by Goodman’s research.About 12 percent of humans are left-handed, with higher rates for males than females. Goodman said that compared to righties, lefties score a tenth of a standard deviation lower on measures of cognitive skill and are not over-represented at the high end of the distribution. The key discussion point from his paper is that “Lefties exhibit economically and statistically significant human capital deficits relative to righties, even conditional on infant health and family background.” Really? One can relate handedness to what happens to the person in the labor market? Goodman said that the physical preference for one hand over the other may create a comparative advantage or disadvantage in the labor market. Handedness may indicate differential brain structure. “If the structure of lefties’ brains affects the accumulation of skills, this may be reflected in labor market outcomes and measures of productivity. Left-handed individuals might fare poorly in the labor market not due to the manual nature of left-handedness, but as a consequence of the underlying neurological wiring that leads to it.” He said his paper was the first to demonstrate that lefties have consistently lower labor market earnings than right-handed individuals. “The evidence on occupational choice suggests that the primary disadvantage of left-handedness is not manual but cognitive.” Goodman used five longitudinal datasets in his research and they included United States and British datasets.Lefties born to right-handed mothers have cognitive skills roughly two-tenths of a standard deviation lower than righties. Interestingly, lefties born to left-handed mothers exhibited no statistically significant cognitive skill deficits. He said, “Intriguingly, the right-handed children of left-handed mothers exhibit cognitive gaps similar to those of left-handed children. In short, mismatch between parental and child handedness appears to be a key factor in the association between handedness and cognitive deficits. This may suggest that nurture is an important component of the handedness penalty, though other explanations cannot be ruled out.”In the US sample, male lefties’ median annual earnings were $2,500 lower than those of male righties, a gap of roughly 9 percent. In the UK sample, male lefties earned £1,300 less a year than righties, a gap of roughly 5 percent. Both of these differences were statistically significant. In the US sample, female lefties earned $3,400 less than female righties, a 19 percent gap. The female UK sample was the only one not to exhibit a statistically significant earnings gap between lefties and righties, “although the regression-adjusted logarithmic specification shows a marginally significant left-handedness penalty of about 7 percent.”In his conclusion, Goodman said, “the paper leaves for future work the question of whether such gaps are caused by left-handedness or instead arise from other factors for which left-handedness is simply a proxy.” He also said that “handedness is generated by neurological wiring that may affect a number of important channels relevant to labor market outcomes.” The author thanked his left-handed wife for encouraging his work “even when the coefficients troubled her.” Much has been thrown at left-handed people—they are quick to anger, quickly scared and, with the exception of heads of state, are more or less life’s losers. Much too has been bestowed upon left-handed people—they are creative and score highly on certain tests. Obviously, scientists need to rely on more than popular notions to make connections, if any, between left-handed people and success. © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Earnings show less for left-handed, says study (2014, December 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-left-handed.htmlcenter_img What makes us left or right handed? New study rules out strong genetic factors 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 furtherlast_img read more

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Physicists set new record with 10qubit entanglement

first_img More information: Chao Song et al. “10-Qubit Entanglement and Parallel Logic Operations with a Superconducting Circuit.” Physical Review Letters. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.119.180511Also at arXiv:1703.10302 [quant-ph] False-color circuit image showing 10 superconducting qubits (star shapes) interconnected by a central bus resonator B (gray). Credit: Song et al. ©2017 American Physical Society This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2017 Phys.org (Phys.org)—Physicists have experimentally demonstrated quantum entanglement with 10 qubits on a superconducting circuit, surpassing the previous record of nine entangled superconducting qubits. The 10-qubit state is the largest multiqubit entangled state created in any solid-state system and represents a step toward realizing large-scale quantum computing. Citation: Physicists set new record with 10-qubit entanglement (2017, November 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-11-physicists-qubit-entanglement.htmlcenter_img Journal information: Physical Review Letters Quantum computing on the move Lead researcher Jian-Wei Pan and co-workers at the University of Science and Technology of China, Zhejiang University, Fuzhou University, and the Institute of Physics, China, have published a paper on their results in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.In general, one of the biggest challenges to scaling up multiqubit entanglement is addressing the catastrophic effects of decoherence. One strategy is to use superconducting circuits, which operate at very cold temperatures and consequently have longer qubit coherence times. In the new set-up, the researchers used qubits made of tiny pieces of aluminum, which they connected to each other and arranged in a circle around a central bus resonator. The bus is a key component of the system, as it controls the interactions between qubits, and these interactions generate the entanglement. As the researchers demonstrated, the bus can create entanglement between any two qubits, can produce multiple entangled pairs, or can entangle up to all 10 qubits. Unlike some previous demonstrations, the entanglement does not require a series of quantum logic gates, nor does it involve modifying the physical wiring of the circuit, but instead all 10 qubits can be entangled with a single collective qubit-bus interaction.To measure how well the qubits are entangled, the researchers used quantum tomography to determine the probability of measuring every possible state of the system. Although there are thousands of such states, the resulting probability distribution yielded the correct state about 67% of the time. This fidelity is well above the threshold for genuine multipartite entanglement (generally considered to be about 50%).In the future, the physicists’ goal is to develop a quantum simulator that could simulate the behavior of small molecules and other quantum systems, which would allow for a more efficient analysis of these systems compared to what is possible with classical computers. Explore furtherlast_img read more

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A blast from the past

first_imgThe plays in the second week of Bharat Rang Mahotsav seem to have been painted in vivid colours. The first few days showed metaphysical themes and legends, where as plays staged mid week gave a history lesson to the audience. On Wednesday, five plays were staged. The play Balkan Women takes us to the time in history when Yugoslavia was undergoing partition. A bloody civil war was taking place between Christians and Muslims in Bosnia. Amina and her daughter Samira are interrogated by Lt. Blako, a Muslim-hater and subordinate of col. Herak who had once been involved with Amina and was Samira’s biological father. Worried about her daughter’s safety, Amina asks Herak for help and he employs Samira as a housekeeper at his residence. Over time the two develop a warm relationship, until one day Samira receives news about the brutal killing of her father and brother, and other atrocities against the Muslim community. To avenge this, she gives poisoned coffee to col Herak. Amina tells a shocked Samira that col Herak is her biological father. A repentant and grieving Samira is looked upon as a daughter by a dying col. Herak. Both mother and daughter are later killed by the new chief of the camp. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Assamese play Nokiyampo was set in the Tirap District of Arunachal Pradesh, where there is a tribe called Nocte. In the recent past the Noctes had a unique marriage tradition in which before marriage young girls had to prove their fertility by giving birth to a child by co-habiting with a male member of their society. After the child was born, as per their rituals, it was killed and the girl was given in marriage to someone chosen by the members of society and the family. This tradition continued among the Noctes until 1962, when for the first time such a child was allowed to be brought up in the society in lieu of fine imposed by the society. Despite this, the unmarried mother and child had to face various socio-religious difficulties because of the customs and rituals of the tribe. This is the situation that Nokiyampo aims to recreate and explore. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSet in the backdrop of Ramayana, play titled Indrajit  is a chapter from the battle between Ram and Ravan. On hearing about the death of both Kumbakarnan and Ahthigayan, Ravana vows revenge. Mandodhari, Ravana’s wife enters receives the news of her son’s death. She mourns and asks Ravana not to wage war against Rama, but he doesn’t listen to her. She then tells her son Indrajit to stop his father, and Indrajit tells him that he will go to war field instead of him.  When Rama comes to know that Indrajit is coming to wage war against them he sends Lakshmana to face him. The performance looks at events as they enfold, from Indrajit’s putting of Brahmasthiram on Lakshmana, the episode with the Sanjeevi leaves, Indrajit’s Nikumbala Yagam, and finally his death at the hands of Lakshmana. The play, Thana Theke Aschhi which sees sub-inspector Teenkori Halder come knocking of industrialist Chandra Madhab Sen’s door to enquire about the suicide of a girl, unfolds a day ahead of Modi’s trip to the city to address a business meet. Based on JB Priestley’s famous play, An Inspector Calls, Thana Theke Aschhi has been adapted for both stage and celluloid before. The backdrop of the play is 2013. Set in a family of industrialists, it also shows how Modi’s visit gets the business circles buzzing. With an eye on next year’s parliamentary elections, the businessmen are seen excited about the prospect of meeting Modi –the poster boy of development. What is unveiled through the play is the insecurity of working in the private sector. The girl, who takes her life, was also faced with a similar crisis.Play, Untitled Phrase-02 is about parallel structures and their chaos are being questioned, broken and rebuilt repeatedly at every moment in our understanding and in our way of dealing with them. That is why they have the possibility of unpredictability and remain a source of potential hope of us.On Thursday three plays were staged, Hayavadana, A Kind Of True Story and Dharti Aaba. The  play Hayavadana, concentrates on the theme of ‘incompleteness’ and the superiority of mind over body.The human desire for completeness represented by Padmini ends in a fiasco as the transposition of heads gradually proves that it is the mind that rules.  After the transposition at the Kali temple, complications arise.  Initially, Devadatta, or rather the head of Devadatta, on Kapila’s body combines with it and reverts to his nature, while the other combination is  Kapila’s head and Devadatta’s body. But there is a difference.  Devadatta stops writing poetry while Kapila is haunted by the memories in his body.  Padmini, after the exchange of heads, feels that she has the capacity for complete experience.The play, A Kind of Love Story traces a year in the lives of eight people living in Mumbai. Their story is told from the perspective of the struggling writer, Sameer Sheikh, who is writing a script about these eight characters, including himself. It explores the characters’ interpersonal relationships, as well as their personal and professional struggles on a daily basis. The story is set in a middle class suburban building society that is going through the process of redevelopment.The structure of the play is non-linear with a mix of real and unreal situations. The play deals with the groups’ perception of ‘reality’, as ideas are broken and bared intermittently, until the audience is left questioning and revisiting truths usually considered absolute.The music is a mix of Western and Indian; there is live singing on stage and actors speak in both Hindi and English.‘I will return…soon I will return from my forests, on my mountains…I will return again amidst my Munda people…we have primeval blood. This is the blood of black people. It has been made by the coming together of hunger, accusation, insult, pain, ands sorrow. It from this blood that the fire of ulgulaan burns. This fire will never stop burning…never. I will return soon.’ This dialogue by BirsaMunda is the crux of DhartiAaba, which is based on the life and works of BirsaMunda, the leader and hero of the Munda tribal community.Birsa’s life was full of struggle. He first left school in protest against the derogatory treatment meted out to Munda students by the missionaries. Constantly troubled by the problems of those living in the forests, he eventually succeeded in taking his fellow community members towards a better socio-religious situation. Gradually he was able to instill the hunger and confidence to resist the feelings of slavery that the Mundas had internalized within themselves. Under his leadership the already existent rebellion of the Sardar Mundas was transformed into a struggle against foreign rule.last_img read more

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Tihar is not just a jail

first_imgThe Bollywood number Abhi Mujhe Kahin Baaki Thodi Si Hai Zindagi was among the many songs performed by the artistes of the band Flying Souls on Wednesday. This band is one that you don’t hear every day. The band is formed by the inmates of Tihar. It was interesting to see on the book launch at the Air Force Auditorium, how the inmates, with the help of the Police Department have made something of their lives in Tihar. The Coffee Table Book of Delhi prisons was launched by Meenakshi Lekhi, Member of Parliament and S K Shrivastava, Cheif Secretary, GNCT of Delhi.  The launch was held under the guidance of Director General (Prisons), Vimla Mehra. A spirited lady, she spoke of what one can expect in the book. She also spoke of how she has made constant efforts of reformation and rehabilitation of the prisoners. Also interestingly, the cover of the book is made of Khadi. That cloth has been made by the inmates. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Meenakshi Lekhi commented jokingly at this saying, ‘I told Vimla that the cloth quality is so fine. If you guys weave this cloth, I will wear sarees made only of this cloth then. I wioll be your brand ambassador (laughs). And if I wear it in the sansad, you can imagine the impact it will have.’T M Bhasin, CMD, Indian Bank was also present. Indian Bank has extended their hand towards Tihar Ashram, as they call it, for recruiting the people at insensitive positions once they are out of the prison. It was a very welcomed gesture by the various bureaucrats sitting in the event. Eminent people like Kiran Bedi and Vartika Nanda were also present at the launch. A book was also presented to Kiran Bedi who is seen as the foundation of the reform movement in Tihar. The launch ended with a scintillating performance by the Flying Souls band. The song, Tinka Tinka Tihar written by Vimla Mehra and Nanda ended the occasion.last_img read more

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The best stories are about people not events

first_imgBefore the moment, King hadn’t even known that his book was in the race. He didn’t know then that his account of four African American men, who were falsely accused of a crime against a white woman in Florida in 1949, would be featured in the top books of 2013. He wouldn’t have imagined that his book would be in line soon to be adapted into a Hollywood film.King received the Pulitzer in the non-fiction category for his book Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America. The book is a well researched history of civil rights case of a former associate justice in the American Supreme court, Thurgood Marshall or as King calls him ‘Mr Civil Rights’, who fought in favour of four African American men, who were accused of raping a white woman. The case led to the Ku Klux Klan waging havoc on the town of Lake County in Florida. Burning African American houses and lynching black men followed. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Marshall was even threatened and one of his associates were killed. King’s book brought to light numerous details  of the case with his research on the FBI files and other valuable materials.Gilbert King is a part of a panel discussion in 2015’s Jaipur Literature festival and he was in the national capital one bright Sunday to interact with school students. He talked about his love for writing and photography and why he chooses to write about injustice and his views about other pressing issues in the world. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix On Civil RightsHistory of slavery goes a long way in America and so after Abraham Lincoln the general perception was that the African community was better off now. But there was still segregation and a lot of racism. Around the time of the second world war, suddenly the African American community was deemed ‘equal’ and good enough to be sent to war. They travelled to different parts of the world where they were respected as American soldiers. They fought as equals with passion for their country. So once the war was over, and when they came back to America, they were again pushed back into living in ghettos and as second class citizens. This time they revolted and this resulted into the Klu Klux Klan lynching soldiers and other acts of violence. The county they fought for wasn’t protecting them. There was no society, no police to protect them. And this is when they turned to law. Thurgood Marshall rose as a leader and protector of civil rights then.My book is one of the many cases that remained untold. People didn’t know of all the horrific incidents that took place and writing this book was a matter of conscience for me. It was a crucial case at that time and Marshall rose as a hero. My book is a tribute to a hero.On Racial progress todayThe Internet and camera phones has made it easier to tell stories. For instance something like the Ferguson unrest would not have become this popular had it not been for the Internet, which has brought it to a higher level of consciousness for people. It has  drawn attention.While I was researching for Devil in the Grove, I used to wonder how the world would have reacted if an injustice like this would have been covered on camera. But look at Ferguson case, look at Eric Garner, an African American, who was choked to death by a police officer. A video was recorded and it went viral. But police brutality is somehow justified in our society.Today, we may feel good that we have Barack Obama as the President of the United States but the issue of racial injustice is as crucial as it was then. But having said that, I think the situation has improved a lot. People may point out at the Ferguson incident or the Trevor Martin incident  (17 year old African American who was shot by a neighbourhood watch volunteer). To say that the situation is the same is unfair to the leaders who fought for their rights. Back then no one would know about it. Today everyone recognises the issue and that is a victory in itself. You get to the court room today and at least there is a trial.On WritingI was always drawn to underdog stories. I used to read books like the Count of Monte Cristo and I was always interested in crime stories. As a photographer I love the idea of learning new things like a child would see. The enthusiasm came to me as a writer as well to learn and tell stories. Suddenly I was seeing new things, things I had never heard before. My writing is a way to tell people what I am thinking in my head, like a photograph should. As a student I was always distracted. My grades weren’t good and my teachers used to complain that I read other things than the class assigned books. I went about my way and ended up becoming who I am. To aspiring writers I would say, read. And read history. Make yourself comfortable with the structure of a story. Be it writing  a book or just journalism, people want to know the human narrative, the experience. One needs to understand  that the best stories are about people and not about events. They are not about banks, they are about people in the banks.On IndiaMy impression about Indians is that there is a certain joy in people, a certain sensitivity. This is my first trip to India but I have found that people appreciate life in a different way than America. Conversations revolve around families, about reflection on life, simple things unlike the fast paced conversation that I see in America. I think Indians in general and Indian writers observe things in details.I attended the Jaipur literature festival to listen to writers like V S Naipaul. My idea of Indian literature is that it is vast. There are so many Indian books I want to read and there are so many writers who inspired me during the festival. There is so much I take back from here, that a book on India cannot be ruled out.As far as the festival itself is concerned, I believe as writers we are always at our desks. We don’t interact, I don’t teach, so I am always researching and writing and it’s kind of lonely.Such festivals make me meet people I love. People I love reading and for me it’s also about appreciating the fact that ‘Oh my God, I am on the same panel with such renouned writers’.last_img read more

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Lodestars of Indian classical music

first_imgShriram Shankarlal Music Festival, the oldest music festival in the country has very successfully carried forward the tradition of incorporating a noteworthy synergy of the skills – of the country’s eminent maestros, with the vibrancy of exceptional young talent, without alienating the intrinsic heritage. Founded in 1947, the Shriram Bhartiya Kala Kendra propagates Indian classical performing arts, mythological, contemporary and folk productions of epics. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The festival is back to enthrall the Delhiites. Commencing on February 19, the festival presents Shehnai by Sanjeev Shankar and Ashwani Shankar  and vocal by Pandit Jasraj on the opening day. Sanjeev Shankar and Ashwani Shankar were born in a family of musicians of Banaras gharana in which shehnai and flute have been played for the last 450 years and over, after formal training in pursuit of proficiency of the highest order in raga, taaland laya.Pandit Jasraj, the Mewati maestro, endowed with a rich, soulful and sonorous voice which traverses effortlessly over all three and a half octaves. He has won several prestigious awards and honours, including the Padma Vibhushan, Sangeet Kala Ratna, Master Dinanath Mangeshkar Award, Maharashtra Gaurav Puraskar, Marwar Sangeet Ratna Award and the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe second day of the festival will witness vocal by Raghunandan Panshikar and santoor rendition by Shiv Kumar Sharma. Raghunandan Panshikar commands in semi-classical genres (thumri, ghazal, bhajan, abhang, etc.) accounts for his versatility and singularity among Hindustani vocalists. Awards. Shiv Kumar Sharma has started a new genre of instrumental music. Through his performance career of over half a century, he has created millions of new listeners and ardent fans of Indian classical music. His performances are a brilliant combination of rich knowledge, perfect skill and abundant, spontaneous creativity an adherent of the Banaras gharana, Shiv Kumar Sharma has a long list of national and international awards.Third day of the festival will bring to you vocal by Manjiri Asanare  and flute by Hari Prasad Chaurasia. Born in a family of musicians, Manjiri’s interest in music developed under the guidance of Pt. C T Mhaiskar of Sangli. She has now been performing at prestigious music festivals, and has gained recognition as a fine upcoming musician of the Jaipur gharana.Natural talent, deep dedication, fine training and years of rigorous riyaz have made Chaurasia one of the top flutists in India today. Hariprasad Chaurasia has been honoured with several prestigious awards including the Padma Vibhushan.Day four will see vocal by Ritesh and Rajnish Mishra  and sarod rendition by Tejendra Majumdar, dhrupad rendition by Uday Bhawalkar followed by vocal by Ajoy Chakrabarty . Ritesh and Rajnish Mishra have been learning music since their birth with sounds of tanpura, sarangi, tabla and voices of forefathers vibrating in their home and surroundings. Tejendra Majumdar was awarded the President’s gold medal and the Pandit D V Paluskar award. Uday has also collaborated with artists from other disciplines and cultures, including the contemporary dancer Astad Deboo, Ensemble Modern in Germany and musicians from Spain, Georgia and USA. Pandit Ajoy Chakrabarty became a disciple of Ustad Munawar Ali Khan, the son of the great Patiala Maestro Ustad Bade Gulam Ali Khan. He is the first recipient of the Kumar Gandharva award.When: February 19 – 22  Where: Kamani Auditorium, 1, Copernicus Marglast_img read more

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SSKM canteen staff demand money for extra food

first_imgKolkata: One man’s meat is another man’s poison. The carcass meat row, which has created a ruckus across the state, has now cast its spell on the canteen services of SSKM Hospital. Taking advantage of the incident, a group of canteen staff in the Hospital were demanding money from patients or their family members for providing extra pieces of fish. The patients undergoing treatment in the hospital get their food for free. They are entitled to get one piece of fish in their meal. However, they were informed that if any one wants to have an extra piece of fish, he or she has to pay Rs 5 for each. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsSome of the canteen staff, who are mostly contractual workers, have been making money in this way. It was learnt that this practice has been going on in the hospital for quite sometime.At around 1.55 pm on Tuesday, some canteen staff were distributing lunch among the patients undergoing treatment at the CTVS department of the hospital. A patient had asked for an extra piece of fish. One of the staff said she needs to pay Rs 5 for one extra piece. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe patient paid the amount to have an extra piece from the canteen employee. The state government has been spending crores of money over free treatment and other services to the patients. Despite the efforts by the government to extend quality services, a section of people within the system are maligning the government for their own benefits, alleged some relatives of the patients. It is learnt that canteen staff get an estimation from each department on the number of patients, based on which they prepare food. Patients can have food of their own choice. There are many patients who do not take fish. The pieces that remain undistributed are being served among other indoor patients in exchange of money. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s dream project to provide free health services in state-run hospitals across Bengal was initially criticised, following resistance by a section of doctors and paramedical staff, having some alleged links with drug manufacturers and suppliers. It would remain a half-pursued dream, if this ‘corrupt’ practice exists. A senior official at the state health department, on condition of anonymity, said a section of doctors and paramedical staff at government establishments were trying to oppose various health service schemes introduced by the government for their personal gains. It may be mentioned, that a few days ago, the store keeper of Bangur Institute of Neuroscience had been arrested on the charges of demanding money for an orthopedic implant, which the patient was supposed to get it for free.last_img read more

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Trading tales

first_imgThe Indian Institute of Foreign Trade commemorated its 52nd Foundation day at its New Delhi Campus. Professor Bibek Debroy, member, NITI Aayog, was the chief guest for the occasion. Surajit Mitra, director, IIFT, presided over the function. Mitra in his welcome address paid tribute to all its former and present faculty, employees and alumni of IIFT. Bibek Debroy in his keynote address, “IIFT — from now to where” dwelt at length on the challenges faced by the Indian and World economies and IIFT’s role in the changing global business environment”. Debroy also advised IIFT to play a substantially larger role in shaping trade policies and act as a think tank to all stakeholders.last_img

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Low sunlight exposure increases cancer risk

first_imgPersons residing at higher latitudes, with lower sunlight exposure and greater prevalence of vitamin D deficiency, are at greater risk of developing cancer, including leukemia, a type of blood cancer, new research reveals.Analysing data on leukemia incidence rates in 172 countries, the researchers found that people living in higher latitudes are at least two times at greater risk of developing leukemia than equatorial populations.“These results suggest that much of the burden of leukemia worldwide is due to the epidemic of vitamin D deficiency we are experiencing in winter in populations distant from the equator,” said Cedric Garland, adjunct professor at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in the US. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Leukemia rates were highest in countries relatively closer to the poles, such as Australia, New Zealand, Chile, Ireland, Canada and the United States. They were lowest in countries closer to the equator, such as Bolivia, Samoa, Madagascar and Nigeria, the findings showed. “People who live in areas with low solar ultraviolet B (UVB) exposure tend to have low levels of vitamin D metabolites in their blood,” Garland said. “These low levels place them at high risk of certain cancers, including leukemia,” Garland noted.The findings were published online in the journal PLOS One.last_img read more

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