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Rajib Mir passes away

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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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Charges framed in MPS Group scam

first_imgKolkata: Charges have been framed in connection with the chit fund scam of the MPS Group. According to sources, charges were framed against Chief Managing Director Pramathanath Manna and the company MPS Greenary Developers Limited.Charges have been framed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on charges of criminal conspiracy (120B IPC), cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property (420B IPC) and criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent (409 IPC). According to the sources, the charges were framed in Bidhannagar Court on Thursday. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt has been learnt that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had filed a chargesheet in connection with the case in June and the investigating officers had come to know that the group had collected Rs 2,900 crore from the market through various chit fund schemes. The investigating officers also came to know that CBI is continuing its probe in connection with this case.This comes at the time when CBI has taken up cases to probe 25 other financial institutions in the state, which allegedly collected money illegally.So far, the central investigating agency had been carrying out probe against 56 such companies. Now, the number has gone up to 81.last_img read more

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Delhis tribute to the Bard

first_imgShakespeare has withstood the passage of time. He stood out owing to his relevance through the generations. Not only does his plays on political conspiracy deliver foresight in terms of modern day ambition and lust for power but even his social comedies are of significance , as in its core, the truth is stated about propriety and its rootedness. On the occasion of William Shakespeare’s 400th death anniversary, Mahesh Bhatt presented ‘Do Deewane Sheher Mein’ inspired by Shakespeare’s less explored and very first play ‘Two Gentlemen of Verona’, which was held last weekend in the Capital. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’An apt adaptation? Well, the play told the story of two friends and their intertwined love stories, set against the backdrop of modern-day Delhi. The trip from Verona to Milan in the Bard’s play became a business meeting in Goa; the Duke became a business tycoon; the two protagonists Shiv Chauhan (Sunil) and Imran Zahid (Sahil) were transformed from merchants to app developers. It was quite clever how they managed to make Shakespearean characters relatable to the audience. It was funny and a good experience overall. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe play was directed by Kalyani Hiwale-an NSD graduate where she explores love and loyalty as its central theme. It is an entertaining and endearing story dealing with matters of the heart. Zoa Morani as Mayavi and Priyanka Lulla as Kashish, did a fine job as the modern-day love interests.Dreams dreamt by Shakespeare transcend the most luxuriant human imagination and paves the way for other incessant dreams including ‘Do Deewane Sheher Mein’. They celebrated the forgotten treasures of the original ‘Dream Merchant’ with the firm belief that his spirit will be blessing them.last_img read more

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A FirstTimers Guide to Turning AR Into ROI

first_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. November 28, 2018 Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global It’s the most wonderful time of the year for retailers — more so now than ever. Cyber Monday has officially taken the reins as the most popular shopping day in the United States. First, this uber-shopping day, in 2017, eclipsed Black Friday by roughly $1.6 billion , Then, this year, 2018, Cyber Monday sales grew another 20 percent, approaching a historic mark of nearly $8 billion.But as awesome as those stats may sound, an even more noticeable shift for retailers isn’t the compounding growth of Cyber Monday sales, it’s the spillage of what used to be Black Friday into a five-day event. Sales on Thanksgiving Day increased by 30 percent, and online sales on Black Friday also jumped by over 20 percent, year over year, ompared to last year. All of which is to say that at this point, if you’re in the ecommerce game, there’s more to go around now — especially in this holiday period  — than ever before. Yet, with all that noise and all those players on the field, how can you, as an online retailer, make your marketing stand out from the horde of your competitors’? This season, it’s easy: augmented reality (AR)Related: How Augmented Reality Is Going to Transform EcommerceWhile AR technology isn’t new (Morton Heilig’s Sensorama was tested as long ago as 1956), its incubation period has been so prolonged, and its entrance into our daily lives so gradual, that many people today consider AR the same way they consider self-driving cars — on the verge of being ubiquitous but not quite ready for mass adoption.Even Tim Cook stated as recently as 2017 that the technology “didn’t exist” to make quality AR glasses yet. That’s not to say that Cook was wrong, of course, but sentiments like his go a long way toward altering public perception.The AR gold rushDespite what experts may say about the technological and financial limitations brands face when diving into the deep end of augmented reality, the numbers say that now is the time. Consumers are primed and ready to be reached through AR technology, as Apple and Google already have placed over half a billion AR-capable devices in the wild. That number is expected to grow to over 4 billion by 2020 and generate over $200 billion in AR/VR spending by the same time, according to IDC.What does that mean for business owners and marketers? There’s gold in them thar’ hills! A lot of it. In fact, global revenue from AR marketing is expected to vault from $430 million in 2018 to over $2.5 billion in 2022, according to eMarketer. Big brands like Ikea, Sephora, and Lowe’s are just a few examples of large brands that are leveraging AR to connect users more closely to their products and increase conversions.Diving into the deep endRecently, my company, Drive Social Media, found itself thrown into AR with little-to-no experience developing anything quite in the same ballpark. We’re a social media marketing agency that works with small business owners and franchises to create, place, optimize and track paid social ads. Notice how I didn’t mention anything about AR.We’d had success working with professional sports organizations in the past and had been laser-focused on establishing a partnership with the NHL hockey team, the St. Louis Blues. The Blues were attractive to us on a number of levels, but what we really liked about the team personnel during our preliminary talks was their desire to be at the forefront of technological innovation in the NHL — specifically with AR.While our graphic design department is supremely talented, nobody had any real experience designing AR effects. Our operating partner, Josh Sample, had attended the 2018 Facebook Developer Conference in May when Facebook announced its rollout of an AR creator studio — later renamed Spark — to bring AR creation ability to any businesses on the platform.We took a crash-course on AR development, pitched the Blues a Pokėmon GO-style citywide augmented reality scavenger hunt and were able to develop the entire project in about three weeks. That’s not to toot our own horn, it’s a testament to how quickly Spark allows even first-time users to build game-changing technology. The results were incredibly strong and have already been parlayed into continued AR projects (and thus a new stream of revenue) for our company. What may be good news for your company is that AR is widely available to anyone who wants to use it to drive ROI. Conveniently, this can be done solely through something that almost everyone is already familiar with: Facebook.”Spark” an engaging effect.As mentioned, Spark is the name of Facebook’s AR creator studio. While Google and Apple released their own AR developer studio in 2017, we found that Spark enabled us to create, upload, launch and track the entire project in the same place. Our execution consisted of hanging large banners with GPS-enabled AR-effect triggers on them in various locations throughout the city. So, for us, it made sense to be able to house everything in a single spot.But it’s not just such practical aspects that make Spark a fantastic resource for your business. This technology’s approachable interface and intuitive intelligence make it simple for even novice designers to create compelling 3D AR graphics. Spark’s software also uses a built-in face mesh that you can put right into your canvas, then just plug and play with colors and objects to create face filters.In the event that you have zero design experience, it’s pretty simple to nail down effect-anchoring, dimensions and functionality through basic trial and error.Incentivize usageWhile many businesses have hardly grown accustomed to using AR, consumers certainly have. Industries like finance, transportation, health care, and retail are already experiencing a major disruption as a result of the proliferation of AR. In fact, 74 percent of consumers in a DigitalBridge study expected retailers to use AR tools to strengthen their offerings.Not only do consumers expect AR, but they are also willing to reward brands who use it. A recent study by Retail Perceptions reported that 40 percent of consumers polled said they would be willing to pay more for a product if they could experience it through augmented reality.Related: 3 Trends That Will Shape Your Marketing Efforts in 2018Consumers are past the point of being wowed by AR, but they still want to use it if it provides them with a valuable or unique experience. Create some incentivization to use it, and users will view the experience as the cherry on top of the value they receive. The majority of those who completed our own scavenger hunt did so because they knew the grand prize at the end was a pair of season tickets. However, the feedback we repeatedly got went beyond that: Participants said the experience was a fun; and it provided a enjoyable way to connect the team, city and community, as well.Make it feel natural.People love using new technology, but they don’t love learning to use it. Think about the early days of MP3 players. One of the first consumer products to hit the market was Diamond Multimedia’s Rio in 1998. While the Rio was a new and more “efficient” way of consuming audio content, its upload times were excruciatingly slow, and the device itself could store only 32MB, or around thirty minutes of music.Even the iPod took years to catch on, netting about half a million sales in its first year of existence. It took until 2006  — eight years after the Rio hit the market — before the iPod, and thus portable MP3 players in general, became ubiquitous. These players had to feel and operate with the same speed and effectiveness as a Walkman before the masses were ready to adopt.Think about this concept with your AR initiatives. Opening the application needs to feel seamless, and using it has to feel familiar. We created a microsite for our application and linked buttons that launched effects to the Facebook camera. Once the effect was launched, the camera would wait a few seconds, then redirect the user back to the microsite before it continued playing. Allowing users to complete the activation with the Facebook camera primed them for this newer technology by utilizing the familiarity and function of an older one.Overall, the value of AR is obvious, and the ability to integrate it into your marketing mix is at your fingertips — regardless of your level of experience. Don’t let a lack of education cause your business to delay its ability to connect and build a relationship with your current and potential customers. Follow these steps to turn your first AR project into ROI.Related: How Augmented Reality Has Changed Selfies Forever (Infographic)Stephen Nations is the director of public relations for Drive Social Media, a St. Louis and Nashville-area-based digital marketing agency. He is obsessed with creating compelling content and finding new ways to connect brands with their target audience.  8 min read Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Register Now »last_img read more

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