Study finds modern relatives of Otzi alive and well in Austria

first_img Crucial mummy found 20 years ago Monday © 2013 Phys.org This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. (Phys.org) —A team of researchers from Innsbruck Medical University has found 19 modern humans living in Austria with the same genetic defect as the ice-man Ötzi, the APA News Agency is reporting. The ice-man was found by German tourists and is believed to have lived approximately 5,300 years ago. Citation: Study finds modern relatives of Otzi alive and well in Austria (2013, October 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-modern-relatives-otzi-alive-austria.htmlcenter_img Explore further Ötzi, named for the region in the Alps where his remains were discovered, has enjoyed worldwide fame since his discovery, owing to his well preserved remains. Over the past twenty years, the ice-man has been studied by various scientists looking for clues that might reveal the nature of the world he inhabited. In addition to his body, researchers also found artifacts that are believed to have belonged to him—the cause of his death, ranging from an arrow wound, to a blow on the head has also been the subject of much research and conjecture. In this latest effort, the researchers were looking to determine if anyone alive today can be tied genetically to the ancient ice-man.To find out, the researchers asked males of all ages living in the Austrian state of Tyrol, to donate blood samples for DNA testing. Subsequent analysis revealed that 19 of 3,700 volunteers had the same genetic mutation as the ice-man, indicating that they were related to the same ancestors as Ötzi—no mention was made regarding whether anyone alive today could actually be one of his descendants, however. The research team has already reached out to partners in Switzerland and Italy to organize a similar study to determine if there are matches in other nearby locales. Those men identified as a match in the original study have not been told of their connection to the ice-man.Study of the ice-man has revealed that he had Lyme disease, that he was approximately 46 years old at the time of his death, was approximately five foot two, was likely from Sardinia originally, and had a predisposition to heart disease. It’s still not known what he was doing in the Alps, or why he was killed, likely from falling after being shot in the collarbone by an arrow. His stomach contents indicated he ate a diet heavy in meat and because he was carrying a bow and arrows, researchers have speculated that he was likely either a hunter or a soldier. His remains have been kept in cold storage to prevent decay since his removal from his final resting place. Ötzi the Iceman, a well-preserved natural mummy of a Chalcolithic (Copper Age) man from about 3300 BC, who was found in 1991 in the Schnalstal glacier in the Ötztal Alps, near Hauslabjoch on the border between Austria and Italy. Credit: Wikipedia.last_img read more

Electricity from seawater New method efficiently produces hydrogen peroxide for fuel cells

first_imgCredit: Mr. William Folsom, NOAA, NMFS The researchers, led by Shunichi Fukuzumi at Osaka University, have published a paper on the new method of the photocatalytic production of hydrogen peroxide in a recent issue of Nature Communications.”The most earth-abundant resource, seawater, is utilized to produce a solar fuel that is H2O2,” Fukuzumi told Phys.org.The biggest advantage of using liquid H2O2 instead of gaseous hydrogen (H2), as most fuel cells today use, is that the liquid form is much easier to store at high densities. Typically, H2 gas must be either highly compressed, or in certain cases, cooled to its liquid state at cryogenic temperatures. In contrast, liquid H2O2 can be stored and transported at high densities much more easily and safely.The problem is that that, until now, there has been no efficient photocatalytic method of producing liquid H2O2. (There are ways to produce H2O2 that don’t use sunlight, but they require so much energy that they are not practical for use in a method whose goal is to produce energy.)In the new study, the researchers developed a new photoelectrochemical cell, which is basically a solar cell that produces H2O2. When sunlight illuminates the photocatalyst, the photocatalyst absorbs photons and uses the energy to initiate chemical reactions (seawater oxidation and the reduction of O2) in a way that ultimately produces H2O2. After illuminating the cell for 24 hours, the concentration of H2O2 in the seawater reached about 48 mM, which greatly exceeds previous reported values of about 2 mM in pure water. Investigating the reason for this big difference, the researchers found that the negatively charged chlorine in seawater is mainly responsible for enhancing the photocatalytic activity and yielding the higher concentration. Overall, the system has a total solar-to-electricity efficiency of 0.28%. (The photocatalytic production of H2O2 from seawater has an efficiency of 0.55%, and the fuel cell has an efficiency of 50%.)Although the total efficiency compares favorably to that of some other solar-to-electricity sources, such as switchgrass (0.2%), it is still much lower than the efficiency of conventional solar cells. The researchers expect that the efficiency can be improved in the future by using better materials in the photoelectrochemical cell, and they also plan to find methods to reduce the cost of production.”In the future, we plan to work on developing a method for the low-cost, large-scale production of H2O2 from seawater,” Fukuzumi said. “This may replace the current high-cost production of H2O2 from H2 (from mainly natural gas) and O2.” Research reveals mechanism for direct synthesis of hydrogen peroxide Explore further (Phys.org)—Scientists have used sunlight to turn seawater (H2O) into hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), which can then be used in fuel cells to generate electricity. It is the first photocatalytic method of H2O2 production that achieves a high enough efficiency so that the H2O2 can be used in a fuel cell. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.center_img © 2016 Phys.org Journal information: Nature Communications More information: Kentaro Mase et al. “Seawater usable for production and consumption of hydrogen peroxide as a solar fuel.” Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms11470 Citation: Electricity from seawater: New method efficiently produces hydrogen peroxide for fuel cells (2016, May 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-electricity-seawater-method-efficiently-hydrogen.htmllast_img read more

Lizards found unable to distinguish between groups with different numbers of individual

first_img Multiple studies have been conducted over the years to determine if animals have numerical cognition—the ability to see and understand that one group contains more or fewer objects than another—until now, every vertebrate tested has been able to determine whether a plate of food contains a larger number of items than another. In this new effort, the researchers found that ruin lizards are the lone exception.To learn more about ruin lizard abilities (also known as the Italian wall lizard, native to many parts of Europe and the United States), the researchers obtained several specimens and conducted experiments designed to test for numerical awareness. They constructed an apparatus consisting of a Y-shaped structure that held a single lizard in a position in which it could see two different plates of food set to the left or right. The lizard was then allowed to advance to the plate it saw as most desirable. The researchers ran multiple trials of the experiment varying both the number of food items on a given plate and the size of the food items, recording the result of each trial run as they went.The researchers found that the lizards were able to differentiate between plates of food based on size, but not on numerical numbers. They would go for bigger sized fly larvae, for example, but showed no preference when looking at plates containing different numbers of same size fly larvae. The researchers conclude that while the lizards appear to have similar size discrimination abilities compared to other animals that have been tested, they are unique in that they have no numerical discrimination abilities. (Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members from the University of Padova and the University of Ferrara, both in Italy, has found that unlike most other animals studied to date, ruin lizards (Podarcis sicula) are unable to understand numerical differences in groups of objects. In their paper published in the journal Biology Letters, the team describes how they conducted experiments with the lizards and what they found. Goldteju Tupinambis teguixin. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 3.0 More information: Maria Elena Miletto Petrazzini et al. Quantitative abilities in a reptile (), Biology Letters (2017). DOI: 10.1098/rsbl.2016.0899AbstractThe ability to identify the largest amount of prey available is fundamental for optimizing foraging behaviour in several species. To date, this cognitive skill has been observed in all vertebrate groups except reptiles. In this study we investigated the spontaneous ability of ruin lizards to select the larger amount of food items. In Experiment 1, lizards proved able to select the larger food item when presented with two alternatives differing in size (0.25, 0.50, 0.67 and 0.75 ratio). In Experiment 2 lizards presented with two groups of food items (1 versus 4, 2 versus 4, 2 versus 3 and 3 versus 4 items) were unable to select the larger group in any contrast. The lack of discrimination in the presence of multiple items represents an exception in numerical cognition studies, raising the question as to whether reptiles’ quantitative abilities are different from those of other vertebrate groups. Computer games help explain lizard stripes Explore furthercenter_img Journal information: Biology Letters © 2017 Phys.org Citation: Lizards found unable to distinguish between groups with different numbers of individual components (2017, April 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-04-lizards-unable-distinguish-groups-individual.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Building it up

first_imgOld buildings have a charm of their own and adding to the list of some great old houses in the Capital is the Switzerland Embassy building. And they are all set to celebrate this 50-year-old building with an event called Constructing the Future.The celebrations were kicked off by the Swiss ambassador to India, Dr Linus Von Castelmur,  who inaugurated the exhibition with a guided tour of the embassy and his residence.As part of the celebrations the embassy opened its doors to the general public on 16 November. Talking about this plan, the ambassador said, ‘Most Indians who see the Embassy building think it is 10-20 years old, even 30 years old. Nobody thinks it is 50 years old!’ Adding that people would find the architecture of the place very interesting. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Celebrations for the half century also included exhibitions on architecture and design in the embassy including a week long exhibition of Bijoy Jain’s Studio Mumbai.The exhibition also includes a collection of photographs of 33 key projects made around the theme of Sustainable Development. The media persons present were given a personalised tour by architects Christian Muller and India-born Snehal Shah.Discussions were held on the topic of sustainable construction headed by experts from Switzerland and India, including Ariel Huber, Andrea Deplazes, Emanuel Christ, Ashok B Lall, Aromar Revi, Matias Echanove and Rahul Srivastava, Zeenat Niazi, Meret Ernst and Itu Chaudhuri.last_img read more

15 militants killed in Afghanistan

first_imgAt least 15 Taliban militants were killed by the bodyguards of a district governor in Afghanistan’s Takhar province on Thursday morning, a government spokesperson said. “A group of armed Taliban fighters attacked the residence of Mullah Omar, the governor of Khwaja Ghar district, at around 5 a.m. on Thursday. The bodyguards of the district governor returned fire, leaving 15 attackers dead,” Xinhua quoted provincial government spokesperson Sunatullah Timor as saying.last_img

Indulging in art

first_imgDrawing may be called the crystallization of an idea. To many artists, drawing is that integral part of the artistic process wherein many a nebulous thought is actualized with lines, textures, shape and form. Drawing sensibilities pervade all visual media yet drawing can be independent of all other media. To discuss the idea, India International centre is going to host ‘Drawing about Drawing’, an exhibition by Rohini Sen.‘Drawing about Drawing’ as the title suggests, is a tribute to the process of drawing and its partnership with the artist.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’She says that drawings are an attempt to represent what drawing might mean to the artist as well as introspect about how drawing is taught and learned today. “When the need to draw something is juxtaposed with the fear of not being able to perfectly recreate on paper the idea that lingers in the mind, one can trace back this deep seated feeling of fear to the way art classes are conducted in schools and colleges today,” she says. Some drawings in this collection wonder about how colonial pedagogical practices continue to rule over art teaching in India today – whether it is the way art is assessed in art schools or kindergarteners in schools who for decades together have been learning that the sun shines with a smiley face behind V-shaped mountains overlooking a bright cobalt blue river.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThis show is an experiment to bring to the forefront several nuggets of the role that drawing potentially could play or is already playing in our lives. A series of four drawings in this collection deal with the response to a natural calamity. Drawing for Resilience: Nepal 2015, were made shortly after the Nepal earthquake when a close family member happened to be visiting Nepal at the time and experienced the earthquake from very close quarters.  The four drawings try to lay out a narrative of hope and prayer after a phase of despair and destruction. These drawings emblematize the idea that the act of drawing is indeed a cognitive action and like grammar in language, drawing too is an equal way of responding. Her relationship with drawing, as a student and then as a professional artist-teacher began as a troublesome relationship of fear, hesitation and resistance and magically transformed in to one of curiosity, love and longing. Her aesthetic affinities and drawing tendencies are somewhat rooted in the Madhubani tradition – this folk art style became an inseparable part of my artistic identity during art classes at The Rishi Valley School where she studied.When: December 5 to 11Where: Art Gallery, IIC Annexe, Lodhi EstateTimings: 11 am to 7 pmlast_img read more

Boy dies while taking selfie with train

first_imgKolkata: A 15-year-old boy died after he was hit by a train while clicking a selfie with another moving train in West Bengal’s Purba Burdwan district, police said on Sunday. Biswajit Turi was clicking the selfie near Noadar Dhal station when he was hit by the train on Friday, an official said. He was taken to a hospital where he died.last_img

Bridging gaps with celluloid

first_imgFilms being a major form of communication, Chinese Consulate in Kolkata in cooperation with Nandan West Bengal Film Center, has brought The Chinese Film Festival to be held from 17 to 20 July  at Nandan Center in order to bridge the communication gap between the two nations. Seven of the best Chinese films of all time will be shown at the film festival. After each screening, a quiz will be held, and those giving right answers will each get a souvenir. Some films will also be screened at the schools and universities in Kolkata, as well as in other cities or states covered by the Consulate. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The event was inaugurated on Sunday evening at the Nandan Center in the presence of a number of invited celebrities and film stars like MP Dinesh Trivedi, actor Rituparna SenGupta, film-maker Mahesh Bhatt as well as Principal Secretary of the WB Ministry of Information and Cultural affairs, Atri Bhattacharya.    The Festival is being held against the backdrop of enhanced cultural exchanges between China and India and it is hoped that the film festival can contribute in a small way to increased a better understanding of the neighboring country by people in Kolkata. It is also hoped that Indians will get to know that they have a lot in common with the Chinese.last_img read more

Body of student found stuck on iron rods of building in Beliaghata

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of a first year college student whose body was found on the iron gate of a multi-storey building on Khoda Gange road in Beliaghata where the victim used to stay with his mother.Police said the victim identified as Asutosh Mondal (18) used to live at a rented flat situated on the fourth floor of ‘Ashirbad Apartment’ with his mother and grandmother nearly six months. The locals heard a loud thud and rushed to the spot to see his body on the iron rods of the gate. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe locals removed him from the gate and rushed him to NRS Medical College and Hospital in a taxi. The patient succumbed to his injuries in the hospital. The victim was a student of a well known college in the city. He came to the city to study from Mallarpur in Birbhum. Police said the incident took place at around 3.50 pm. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that Mondal might have fallen from the balcony situated on the fourth floor Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedof the building. They are yet to confirm if the victim had committed suicide or there was any foul play behind his death. Police did not find a suicide note from the room of the victim. Cops are interrogating his mother and other family members in this connection to know what might have led to the incident. They are not ruling out the possibility of the victim being involved in a love affair. A detailed probe has been initiated. The body has been sent for an autopsy. It was also learnt that forensic experts will visit the place on Monday to carry out the investigation. Police are waiting for the report which might throw some light on the death of the student.last_img read more

Global Blockchain Congress to be held at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre from

first_imgKolkata: The state Information Technology and Electronics (IT&E) department will organise a two-day Global Blockchain Congress at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre on December 18 and 19.The aim of the event is to build a holistic ecosystem on Blockchain technology in Bengal, through knowledge sharing and providing a single platform for all stakeholders – industry, academia, startups, corporates, governments and investors, to understand, collaborate and explore the potential of Blockchain technology. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeState IT&E minister Amit Mitra is scheduled to deliver the valedictory speech on Wednesday, the second day of the programme. The minister will also release the PWC and Webel co-branded thought leadership paper on Blockchain. “We have taken a focused approach towards leveraging Blockchain technology to establish Bengal as a frontrunner in becoming an emerging technology hub. Among the financial institutions, almost 50 percent of the banks are expected to use this technology by 2020 and there is a huge transformation expected to take place in the non-financial sector as well, within the next few years. Blockchain is expected to create a significant impact in the job market as knowledge of this disruptive technology is in high demand in numerous sectors of the industry,” said a senior official of the IT&E department. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe Global Blockchain Congress will see Blockchain experts, corporates, startups and individuals around the globe sharing their insights on the technology, applications, use cases and best practices on capacity building and awareness generation. “We are developing several Blockchain based applications and will come up with a Centre of Excellence on Block- chain in the state,” the official added. It may be mentioned that the IT&E department has identified that Blockchain technology can be harnessed in maintaining transparency in crowdfunding management of any project. The first live application in the country on project based crowdfunding management on Blockchain was created by Webel under the aegis of the IT&E department. The solution leveraged the technology to ensure that every transaction made by the donor is not only secured through the art of complex cryptography, but also is completely transparent and immutable. Blockchain is a vast distributed ledger or database running on millions of devices, where not just information but anything of value – money, titles, deeds, music, art, intellectual property etc. can be stored securely and privately. The world is looking at Blockchain as the next biggest disruptive technology after the internet.last_img read more