Study shows even professional musicians cant tell old master violins from new

first_img Citation: Study shows even professional musicians can’t tell old master violins from new (2012, January 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-professional-musicians-master-violins.html (PhysOrg.com) — It’s been a known fact in the musical world for at least a couple of centuries; violins made by two old Italian masters, Giuseppe Guarneri del Gesu, and especially Antonio Stradivari are superior in every way to anything that has come since. Because of this, various scientists over the years have studied these special instruments to discern their secrets and while they’ve come up with several theories, none has been able to conclusively prove anything. This might be, suggest Claudia Fritz and Joseph Curtin, because the musical magic wrought by the classical instruments is nothing more than a myth. The two have conducted a study at a violin competition in Indiana this past year using professional violinists to gauge the quality of a variety of violins, some from the old masters, some that were made very recently. And as they describe in their paper to be published in the Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, master violinists, it appears, aren’t able to tell which instrument is which, any better than anyone else. Conducting the study was no small feat, to pull it off the duo (Fritz is an acoustical physicist and Curtin a well known violin maker) had to talk owners of multi-million dollar instruments into allowing their prized possessions to be included in the study, which meant allowing others to play them. They did succeed, but only in a limited way. They managed to secure just three highly prized old master-crafted violins; one from Guarneri and two from Stradivari. They then added three newer high quality (but much lower cost) violins to complete their test set.The tests were conducted in a low-light hotel room, with twenty one volunteer professional violinists wearing welding goggles to prevent them from being able to pick up on identifying traits or markings on the violins. They testers also applied perfume to the violins to mask any telltale odors that might give away their history. Then, to ensure that the testers themselves weren’t influencing the outcome, they had third party assistants, who also wore goggles present the instruments to the musicians.Each musician was asked to play two violins, one after the other. Unbeknownst to them, one of the instruments was new and one was one of the old prized violins. Afterwards, each musician was asked to judge both instruments on four criteria: tonal color range, projection, playability and response. In tallying up the responses, there were no clear winners, though there was one clear loser, one of the older instruments.Next, each volunteer musician was asked to try out all six of the violins (by sound alone as they were still wearing the goggles) for a few minutes and then to pick one as their favorite; one they’d like to take home. In this part of the study, one of the newer violins was the clear favorite, while the loser from the first test was found to be the least favorite of all the violins tested by all of the musicians.The loser in both tests just happened to be a violin labeled “O1” and has quite an illustrious history. It’s been used by many famous violin virtuosos over the years, both in concert and in recordings.These findings suggest, the researchers write, that it appears the old masters were no better at violin making than are those of today, and those that don’t believe it, are simply fooling themselves. Secrets Of Stradivarius’ unique violin sound revealed, prof says More information: “Player preferences among new and old violins,” by Claudia Fritz, Joseph Curtin, Jacques Poitevineau, Palmer Morrel-Samuels, and Fan-Chia Tao, PNAS (2011). dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1114999109 Violincenter_img © 2011 PhysOrg.com Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further 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

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Study suggests humans apes and monkeys all expect something in return for

first_imgImage: Wikipedia. (Phys.org) —A pair of researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara has concluded that when it comes to sharing, there is little difference between human and non-human primates—all expect something in return. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, anthropologists Adrian Jaeggi and Michael Gurven describe their analysis of 32 separate studies on sharing, and found that all primates appear to have an ulterior motive when they share food with others. The studies analyzed by the duo included field studies of monkeys, apes, and human societies that still relied on hunting or foraging for their survival. They were searching for an answer to the age-old question: do people (and/or other primates) always have an ulterior motive when sharing a resource with someone else? Put another way, is there really such a thing as pure altruism? Jaeggi and Gurven say no; their research indicates that when primates share, they always expect something back in return.One area where the researchers found a difference between humans and other primates was in the type of reciprocity expected. According to the reviewed studies, apes and monkeys generally expect to get food in return at a later time for food shared, while humans are more likely to accept in-kind donations. This, the researchers say, is apparently due to the nature of the way food is obtained. For humans, food acquisition is generally balanced across a community which means there is equal risk among the population of coming up short at any given time. Sharing by others in the group helps fill the gaps. Thus, those that share can be confident that others will do the same for them should the need arise. But unlike other primates, humans are often willing to accept in-kind donations instead of food to make things even, which led to another observation. All of the groups studied appear to maintain forms of unofficial score-keeping. Monkeys, apes, and humans all keep a tally of who gave what to whom, and who still owes someone for what they received.This new research may or may not apply to communities of primates, most particularly humans, where the food supply is essentially limitless. Thus for now, there is still no clear answer regarding true altruism as it applies to resources. New Research Investigates How Diseases Spread in Primates Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B More information: Reciprocity explains food sharing in humans and other primates independent of kin selection and tolerated scrounging: a phylogenetic meta-analysis, Published 14 August 2013 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1615AbstractHelping, i.e. behaviour increasing the fitness of others, can evolve when directed towards kin or reciprocating partners. These predictions have been tested in the context of food sharing both in human foragers and non-human primates. Here, we performed quantitative meta-analyses on 32 independent study populations to (i) test for overall effects of reciprocity on food sharing while controlling for alternative explanations, methodological biases, publication bias and phylogeny and (ii) compare the relative effects of reciprocity, kinship and tolerated scrounging, i.e. sharing owing to costs imposed by others. We found a significant overall weighted effect size for reciprocity of r = 0.20–0.48 for the most and least conservative measure, respectively. Effect sizes did not differ between humans and other primates, although there were species differences in in-kind reciprocity and trade. The relative effect of reciprocity in sharing was similar to those of kinship and tolerated scrounging. These results indicate a significant independent contribution of reciprocity to human and primate helping behaviour. Furthermore, similar effect sizes in humans and primates speak against cognitive constraints on reciprocity. This study is the first to use meta-analyses to quantify these effects on human helping and to directly compare humans and other primates.center_img 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 Citation: Study suggests humans, apes and monkeys all expect something in return for generosity (2013, August 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-humans-apes-monkeys-generosity.html © 2013 Phys.orglast_img read more

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Mudskipper fish may offer clues about development of tongue in land animals

first_img More information: A fish that uses its hydrodynamic tongue to feed on land, Proceedings of the Royal Society B , DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0057AbstractTo capture and swallow food on land, a sticky tongue supported by the hyoid and gill arch skeleton has evolved in land vertebrates from aquatic ancestors that used mouth-cavity-expanding actions of the hyoid to suck food into the mouth. However, the evolutionary pathway bridging this drastic shift in feeding mechanism and associated hyoid motions remains unknown. Modern fish that feed on land may help to unravel the physical constraints and biomechanical solutions that led to terrestrialization of fish-feeding systems. Here, we show that the mudskipper emerges onto land with its mouth cavity filled with water, which it uses as a protruding and retracting ‘hydrodynamic tongue’ during the initial capture and subsequent intra-oral transport of food. Our analyses link this hydrodynamic action of the intra-oral water to a sequence of compressive and expansive cranial motions that diverge from the general pattern known for suction feeding in fishes. However, the hyoid motion pattern showed a remarkable resemblance to newts during tongue prehension. Consequently, although alternative scenarios cannot be excluded, hydrodynamic tongue usage may be a transitional step onto which the evolution of adhesive mucosa and intrinsic lingual muscles can be added to gain further independence from water for terrestrial foraging. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Universiteit Antwerpen in Belgium has uncovered the mechanism by which mudskippers, a type of fish that feed on land, obtains its food. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B the team describes how they filmed the fish using a variety of techniques to determine how it caught and swallowed prey. Scientists are reasonably certain that land animals came to exist only after they crawled out of the sea and adapted to a radically different environment. One of those ways they had to change was in how they caught and swallowed their food. For fish, it is a pretty straightforward process, they suck in water that holds tiny prey and swallow the whole works, and then squirt out the filtered water afterwards. Land animals, on the other hand, have developed tongues that not only help many animals capture prey, but guide the food to the back of the throat to aid in swallowing. In this new study, the researchers looked to learn more about this evolutionary process by studying the mudskipper—its method of eating seems to offer a glimpse of what may have occurred in the development of tongues.Mudskippers are not very good at capturing prey in the water—more often, they waddle their way onto dry land and pounce on food with their mouths, and then swallow it. Other fish that venture onto land have to return to the sea to swallow, but not the mudskipper, this is because, the team found out, it uses water held in its mouth as a sort of tongue. Citation: Mudskipper fish may offer clues about development of tongue in land animals (2015, March 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-mudskipper-fish-clues-tongue-animals.html Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Explore further Mudskipper, Periophthalmus sp., Family: Gobiidae, Location: Germany, Stuttgart, Zoological Garden. Credit: H. Krisp/Wikipedia/CC BY 3.0 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. Simultaneous lateral and dorsal view of Periophthalmus barbarus feeding on land. Video playback is slowed down by 20 times from the original high-speed videos recorded at 500 Hz. The team set up several specimens in a lab and then filmed them capturing prey using high speed and x-ray cameras. In reviewing the video, the team discovered that the fish actually grabs a mouthful of water before making its way onto land; then when it spots something edible, such as a shrimp, it lunges with its head, mouth landing on the target. Some of the water in the mouth is expelled, engulfing the food, but then it is sucked right back in, carrying the food morsel with it. But that was not the end of the story, the fish then manipulated the water in its mouth to position the food bit in a way as to allow for swallowing—in effect it was using the water as other animals use their flesh tongues. This, the team reports, might be how it was that those first critters to crawl from the sea, captured and ate prey, swallowed it and then developed real tongues as they were likely more efficient, and did not require a return trip to the sea for refreshing mouthfuls of water. © 2015 Phys.org X-ray video of Periophthalmus barbarus capturing and swallowing prey on land. Markers on the fish and prey allowed position tracking during feeding. Video playback is slowed down 50 times. Researchers find blind fish use novel type of navigational aid X-ray video of terrestrial feeding by Periophthalmus barbarus on a substrate covered with a high-performance absorbent material. The mudskipper successfully captures the prey with its jaws, but then fails to perform intra-oral transport of prey on land. Video playback is slowed down 50 times. last_img read more

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Astronomers discover two new inflated hot Jupiters

first_img 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. © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—An international team of astronomers led by Joel Hartman of Princeton University has detected two new “hot Jupiter” exoplanets, less massive than our solar system’s biggest planet, but with a radius larger than they should have. The findings are reported in a paper published Sept. 9 on arXiv.org. Explore further The newly found exoworlds, designated HAT-P-65b and HAT-P-66b, were classified as “hot Jupiters” as they are gas giant planets similar in characteristics to Jupiter, with orbital periods of less than 10 days. They have high surface temperatures as they orbit their host stars very closely. However, the new alien worlds are much larger in diameter than expected, which led astronomers to conclude that these planets must have undergone an inflation process.HAT-P-65b and HAT-P-66b were detected by the Hungarian-made Automated Telescope Network (HATNet). The team also conducted follow-up spectrographic and photometric observations to determine physical characteristics of these planets.According to the research, the exoplanets orbit two distant, moderately evolved stars named HAT-P-65 and HAT-P-66 that are approaching the end of their main sequence lifetimes. HAT-P-65 is 5.46 billion years old, while HAT-P-66’s estimated age is 4.66 billion years. They are located some 2,750 and 3,000 light years away respectively. Both stars are similar in size, having radii of about 1.87 solar radii and mass of approximately 1.25 solar masses.The newly discovered planets are less massive than Jupiter—HAT-P-65b has only half the mass of Jupiter, while HAT-P-66b about 78 percent the mass of our gas giant. The orbital period of this two worlds equals 2.60 and 2.97 days correspondingly.What is the most intriguing about these two extrasolar planets is that they are larger than they should be when compared to typical gas giants. HAT-P-65b has a radius of nearly 1.9 Jupiter radii and HAT-P-66b is about 1.6 the size of Jupiter in diameter. This suggests that the two exoplanets are inflated gas giants.However, further investigations and new detections are still needed to determine precisely what causes the inflation process in gas giant planets. Currently, possible explanations could be assigned to two different theories—scientists believe that the inflation is caused by deposition of energy from the host star or inhibited cooling of the planet.”One way to make further progress on this problem is to build up a larger sample of inflated planets to identify patterns in their properties that may be used to discriminate between different theories,” the researcher wrote in the paper.The discovery of HAT-P-65b and HAT-P-66b, complemented by previous studies reporting the detection of inflated planets, allowed the team to find an important correlation between planetary radii and the fractional ages of parent stars, which makes the theory regarding the deposition of energy more plausible.”The planets are both around moderately evolved stars, which we find to be a general trend—highly inflated planets with a radius larger than about 1.5 Jupiter radii have been preferentially found around moderately evolved stars compared to smaller-radius planets. (…) We conclude that, after contracting during the pre-main-sequence, close-in giant planets are re-inflated over time as their host stars evolve. This provides evidence that the mechanism responsible for this inflation deposits energy deep within the planetary interiors,” the paper reads. More information: HAT-P-65b and HAT-P-66b: Two Transiting Inflated Hot Jupiters and Observational Evidence for the Re-Inflation of Close-In Giant Planets, arXiv:1609.02767 [astro-ph.EP] arxiv.org/abs/1609.02767AbstractWe present the discovery of the transiting exoplanets HAT-P-65b and HAT-P-66b, with orbital periods of 2.6055 d and 2.9721 d, masses of 0.527±0.083 MJ and 0.783±0.057 MJ and inflated radii of 1.89±0.13 RJ and 1.59+0.16−0.10 RJ, respectively. They orbit moderately bright (V=13.145±0.029, and V=12.993±0.052) stars of mass 1.212±0.050 M⊙ and 1.255+0.107−0.054 M⊙. The stars are at the main sequence turnoff. While it is well known that the radii of close-in giant planets are correlated with their equilibrium temperatures, whether or not the radii of planets increase in time as their hosts evolve and become more luminous is an open question. Looking at the broader sample of well-characterized close-in transiting giant planets, we find that there is a statistically significant correlation between planetary radii and the fractional ages of their host stars, with a false alarm probability of only 0.0041%. We find that the correlation between the radii of planets and the fractional ages of their hosts is fully explained by the known correlation between planetary radii and their present day equilibrium temperatures, however if the zero-age main sequence equilibrium temperature is used in place of the present day equilibrium temperature then a correlation with age must also be included to explain the planetary radii. This suggests that, after contracting during the pre-main-sequence, close-in giant planets are re-inflated over time due to the increasing level of irradiation received from their host stars. Prior theoretical work indicates that such a dynamic response to irradiation requires a significant fraction of the incident energy to be deposited deep within the planetary interiors. Left: Unbinned transit light curves for HAT-P-65. The light curves have been filtered of systematic trends, which were fit simultaneously with the transit model. The dates of the events, filters and instruments used are indicated. Light curves following the first are displaced vertically for clarity. Right: The residuals from the best-fit model are shown in the same order as the original light curves. The error bars represent the photon and background shot noise, plus the readout noise. Credit: Hartman et al., 2016. Two inflated ‘hot-Jupiter’ planets discovered around distant stars Citation: Astronomers discover two new inflated ‘hot Jupiters’ (2016, September 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-09-astronomers-inflated-hot-jupiters.htmllast_img read more

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Quantum simulator offers faster route for prime factorization

first_imgThis plot of values in the factorization ensemble of 10,000 shows that the values correlate with the band spectrum of a quantum system. The red dot marks one example: the point N = 10,969,262,131 = 47,297 x 231,923, E = 1.00441815 (where Ek is a function described in the paper). Credit: Rosales and Martin. ©2018 American Physical Society Quantum physics offers new way to factor numbers The physicists then showed that they could transform the factorization ensemble function into a function from quantum physics (the inverted harmonic-oscillator function). After many more steps, they eventually showed that the predicted energy spectrum of a quantum system corresponds to the distribution of primes in the factorization ensemble of a number. From this information, the researchers can determine the probability that a prime is a factor of that number. To test the validity of their method, the physicists tested certain numbers and compared their results to the actual distributions obtained using prime number tables, and found very similar distributions. The physicists theoretically demonstrated that the proposed quantum simulator can factor numbers that are many orders of magnitude larger than those that have been factored with quantum computers. In their paper, they report the results of using their method to determine the probability distribution of the prime factors of a number with 24 digits. Further, the method does this with far fewer resources than required by classical factoring algorithms.”In quantum theory, the algorithmic complexity is only polynomial with the number of bits of the number to factorize,” Rosales said. “As a matter of fact, our first results seem to confirm that the simulator requires only (log√N)3 quantum states to reproduce its spectrum of energies, a very encouraging result.”One final point of interest is that the new method has strong connections to the Riemann hypothesis, which, if true, would suggest that the prime numbers are distributed in a predictable way—in the same way as the distribution of the zeros of the Riemann-zeta function. Proving (or disproving) the Riemann hypothesis is one of the greatest unsolved problems in mathematics, and one of the Clay Mathematics Institute’s Millennium Prize Problems.”The primes should behave as quantum numbers if Hilbert-Polya’s conjecture applies,” Rosales said, referring to the long-standing approach to proving the Riemann hypothesis.Going forward, the researchers are currently working on the experimental implementation of the quantum simulator by using two entangled particles in a Penning trap. “The fully quantum treatment of the simulator would require quantum optical analysis of the interactions of photons with two (or more) entangled ions in a Penning trap,” Rosales said. “This part of the program is yet in development. The aim is to build a quantum factoring simulator experimentally. If successfully implemented, numbers many orders of magnitude bigger than those available for its quantum processing using Shor’s algorithm will be factorized and, as a by-product, the Hilbert-Polya conjecture will be tested experimentally.” Journal information: Physical Review A © 2018 Phys.org More information: Jose Luis Rosales and Vicente Martin. “Quantum simulation of the integer factorization problem: Bell states in a Penning trap.” Physical Review A. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.97.032325. Also at: arXiv:1704.03174 [quant-ph] In a new paper published in Physical Review A, physicists Jose Luis Rosales and Vicente Martin have developed a method that may make it much easier to factor very large numbers that are known to have exactly two prime factors. The new method determines the probability that any prime number is one of the two prime factors of a given number. After determining these odds, the most likely prime factor candidates can be tested first, allowing for the prime factors to be identified much more quickly than before.”The theory shows not only where the primes are located, but also the probability for a prime to be a factor of a given number,” Rosales told Phys.org. “Of course, this has implications in cryptography because [the cryptosystem] RSA ignores this regularity.”One of the interesting things about the new method is that it doesn’t use any kind of computer, either classical or quantum. Instead it involves a physical quantum system—a “quantum simulator”—that, when encoded with the number to factor, exhibits a probability distribution of energy values that is equivalent to the probability distribution of the prime factor candidates of the encoded number. “Our aim is to develop a new quantum theory of the factorization problem using a quantum simulator,” Rosales said. “Our approach has discovered a property with no classical analogy in number theory. Every pair of primes that solve the problem re-arrange themselves to form a regular pattern: the band spectrum of the quantum simulator.”The general idea behind the quantum simulator is something called the “factorization ensemble,” which the researchers introduced previously. It is based on the idea that the primes are ordered from least to greatest (for example, 2 is the first prime, 3 is the second prime, and 101 is the 26th prime). It’s also possible to take the square root of any number, and then compare the result to the closest prime. For example, the square root of 27 is a little more than 5, which is the third prime. By the definition of a factorization ensemble, this means that 27 belongs to the factorization ensemble of 3. Explore further Citation: Quantum simulator offers faster route for prime factorization (2018, April 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-quantum-simulator-faster-route-prime.html Factoring very large numbers into their prime “building blocks” is extremely difficult for classical computers, and this difficulty underlies the security of many cryptographic algorithms. While it’s easy to factor the number 20 as the product of the primes 2 x 2 x 5, for example, factoring larger numbers becomes exponentially more difficult when using classical factoring algorithms. 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

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Research group suggests it might be time to build a universal genetic

first_img Journal information: Science More information: J. W. Hazel et al. Is it time for a universal genetic forensic database?, Science (2018). DOI: 10.1126/science.aav5475 Should the police be allowed to use genetic information in public databases to track down criminals? Credit: CC0 Public Domain A team of researchers from Vanderbilt University is suggesting in a Policy Forum piece published in the journal Science that it might be time to start building a universal genetic database. They suggest doing so would help law enforcement personnel track down criminals. Citation: Research group suggests it might be time to build a universal genetic database (2018, November 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-group-universal-genetic-database.htmlcenter_img Explore further 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. A universal genetic database is one that contains a genetic profile for every person living in (or visiting) a given country, and perhaps at some point, the entire world. The purpose of such a database would be to allow law enforcement personnel to track down people that have committed crimes such as rape and murder. The idea for such a database has arisen as police have started to use genetic information available in publicly available databases, such as GEDmatch, as a source—an approach used to find the Golden State Killer.The researchers suggest there are three good reasons for establishing such a database: The first would be the benefit of solving serious crimes. The second would be to stop law enforcement from obtaining genetic profiles from publicly available databases. The third is because it would remove biases that currently exist in the current system, in which police officers routinely collect DNA samples from people arrested or convicted of a crime. The researchers point out that most such people are young men of color.The researchers note that a full genetic profile would not be needed—just enough data to positively identify someone. They suggest restricting data in this way would protect privacy—there would be no medical information, for example. They also suggest that laws regarding how the data is stored and protected could further ensure that it is not misused.The researchers acknowledge that actually creating such a database would likely be met with many hurdles. It is almost certain the public would object to the plan, for example. It would also cost billions of dollars. And then there is the means of collection—would every person be required to give a sample? Or would sample be taken from newborns as part of routine postnatal care? The researchers suggest that despite societal concerns, it might be time to start working on a universal genetic database, because the alternatives are worse. © 2018 Science X Networklast_img read more

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Young Indians embracing gene testing for healthy ageing

first_imgAs scientists, the world over, are busy trying to find the elusive elixir of life that can defy ageing and make you disease-free in golden years, gene-testing — a technology that scans DNA instructions you inherited from your parents to spot genetic disorders, is now gaining ground among Indians, especially the young.According to diagnostics firms and health providers, gene-testing methods can not only find out what diseases you are prone to but also provide customised solutions to nip them in the bud and herald a new health era for you. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Knowledge of the genetic make-up (favourable vs unfavourable) may give the opportunity to take a pro-active step to avoid unfavourable factors and prompt the person to visit the doctor at initial symptoms,” says Dr Amit Verma, consultant (molecular oncology and cancer genetics) at Max Hospitals in New Delhi.He is witnessing a surge in healthy young individuals coming to his clinic for gene-testing. The reason to go for such testing is simple: It can identify increased risks of health problems, allowing you to choose personalised treatments or assess responses to treatments. “The concept of gene testing is quite new to the entire medical field. However, scientifically, it is an established concept. The broader strategy would be to create awareness among the doctors first, followed by awareness amongst the people,” adds Dr Amol Raut, CEO of the Pune-based gene diagnostics firm GeneSupport.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixUnfortunately, genetically associated factors cannot be reversed but the action will certainly minimise the possibility of acquiring bad health.“The genes related to all conditions such as cancer, metabolic diseases, congenital diseases, lifestyle or other diseases are scanned, which helps in identifying missing pieces of information or even inappropriate information in genes,” explains Dr Raut, also the chief consultant (R&D) of GeneOmbio Technologies that provides various gene diagnostic services. According to Dr Kshitiz Murdia, an IVF expert at the Indira Infertility Clinic in New Delhi, “genetic testing will be the future as we would be able to eliminate certain inherited or genetic disorders from families who have those.”“In the last four-five years, genetics has progressed a long way through. With the new generation sequencing possible in the human genome, the whole genome can be sequenced and can even identity single gene disorders and some 600-700 other disorders,” he said. He too is seeing an increase in the number of people who want to go in for genetic testing. Pricing is also a key factor for such advanced test methods. The cost of gene tests depends upon the number of biomarkers being analysed.“This increases the price bandwidth for tests which may range from an average of Rs 1,000 to Rs 10,000. The price range from lowest to highest may cover one to three conditions to several conditions, respectively,” Dr Raut said.last_img read more

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Districtlevel meeting held in Barasat over human trafficking

first_imgKolkata: A district level meeting was organised at Titumir Conference Hall of the Zilla Parishad in Barasat on Wednesday, to address the issue of human trafficking.Jabala, the NGO that has organised the programme, is taking various initiatives aiming to boost the confidence of those who are most vulnerable to trafficking. Steps have been taken to ensure that people, particularly the children in the remote areas of the district, become aware of the preventive techniques. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeEach year, many people from various districts fall victim to human trafficking and end up being trapped. They are often tricked and misled into believing that they are being taken for job opportunities, education and a better life, or through force and abduction.The highlight of the meeting was the ‘Girls’ Voice’ – an interaction between the girls of the community, district government officials and law enforcement agencies.Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedBruce Bucknell, British Deputy High Commissioner, Kolkata, said: “It is a challenging issue to address and requires coordinated efforts between communities and the authorities. I am pleased to see the engagement of the district administration and officials.””I hope events such as today’s will generate more awareness on how to stay safe, promote community engagement and empower people to work with authorities to address the dangers. All parts of the community need to come together to share the best practices. The presence of so many people will certainly help in stopping human trafficking and exploitation,” Bucknell added.It may be mentioned here that the North 24-Parganas assistant superintendent of police Avijit Banerjee, chairperson, West Bengal State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Ananya Chakraborti, deputy commander, Border Security Force, Nizammudin and executive director Jabala Baitali Ganguly were present in the programme, with many other district officials.last_img read more

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Once upon a time on stage

first_imgStarting out as a production house, Miran has done work from theatre to concerts. Miran Production’s theatrical production Once Upon A Time was recently staged for a full house at Epicentre, Gurgaon and was extremely well received by the audience. Once Upon a Time is a repertoire of five short stories based on human emotions and relationships. These entertaining pieces from everyday life are magnificent in their simplicity. An amalgamation of human psyche and sentiments, there is a tale for every occasion set in reality whether depicting love, longing, anxiety or fear. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe unique collection made the audience laugh, cry, feel and think, all in a roller-coaster journey of one hour. Carefully curated from different genres and varied in their narration and style, the stories are related in their richness and intensity. Once Upon a Time was conceptualized and directed by Sujata Soni Bali, founder of Miran Productions. Sujata has produced several features and documentaries, as well as the theatrical production like Revisiting the Epics, Komedy & Kavis that have been successfully running in theatres across India for more than three years. Passionate about social causes, she aims to add a spark and meaning to otherwise sad or sensitive issues. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsivePerformances were staged by well-known artists- Tom Alter, Charu Shankar and Sunit Tandon. Occasionally referred to as the “Blue-eyed saheb with the impeccable Hindi”, Tom Alter, as a thespian and television actor, is most prominently known for his work in Bollywood. All five stories, got the audience- old and young alike- hooked on to the play with their interesting story line. The five stories were Sharifan – A poignant story set at the time of partition; The Classroom – A depiction of a teacher’s first class; Last Letter – A story about a father’s last letter to his daughter; Twenty Questions – An amusing story about an arranged marriage set-up, Ek Lamha – An ethereal depiction of a poet finding his muse as he passes by the tenth floor of a building.last_img read more

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School Education dept to hand out feedback diaries to students

first_imgKolkata: The state School Education department has decided to hand out diaries to students, where they will narrate their learning experience in the classrooms. The idea is to have an evaluation of how effectively teachers carry out classroom teaching.The diaries will be reaching the students by the month of January next year. They will have 100 pages each, in which there will be syllabuses for all the subjects. The students, after the end of every class, will write about what was taught in the class and whether he/she had understood the matter that was taught. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThis will give the department an idea about what exactly had been taught in a particular class. The teacher will have to sign the diaries after class. “The idea is to make the guardians aware of what is being taught in the class and whether his/her ward has understood the same or not,” said a senior official of the state School Education department. Welcoming the move of the department, headmaster of Taki Boys School Paresh Mondal said: “It will help the Education department keep a record of the attendance of the teachers, as well as the students in class. The department will also be able to know whether a teacher of a particular subject has completed the syllabus.” Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThere have been allegations on the part of a section of teachers that they give more importance to private tuitions than classroom teaching. “The move will curb such tendencies among the teachers,” the official added. The diaries will also have mention of the contact number of the state Education department, on which a student or a parent can call if there is some problem associated with classroom teaching. The diaries will also contain the learning outcome that the department wants from the teachers in class.last_img read more

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