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Monthly Archive: August 2019

Review Biometrics Technologies Measure Up Part 13

first_imgBiometric door lock – uses your fingerprint to open – runs off batteries and has key for emergencies Inexpensive print reader for PC security – comes with software – connects to computer via USB port The second most popular device, which has actually been on the market and in use longer, is the hand reader. This device works by measuring the dimensions of your hand – normally the fingers.Everybody has different length fingers. Even if you do run into someone with similar finger length, the combination of various finger lengths essentially eliminates the possibility of false identification. For example: your index finger might be the exact same length as somebody else’s, but the chances that 2 of more of your fingers are the same length are vanishingly small.Backlighting and lasers were used in early models but now electrical conduction is the method of choice to measure fingers – fewer technical problems, lower power requirements.It works by measuring the electrical conduction of your hand. The user places his or her hand on a metal or plastic plate with two or more studs protruding for finger alignment. A second later the device detects a small current at the point where the hand touches the plate. It then measures these areas and compares the findings to an internal database. Unlike fingerprint scanners, hand readers do not require a computer – needed processing is done internally – although some can be connected to a computer for time clock applications via a standard network connection or serial cable.Most units also have a keypad for entering in user data and ID numbers. Available models can store from 50 to over 500 individual hand measurements.This technology also presents some false positives from time to time when users fail to correctly locate their hand on the scanner plate. Many require the keying of an ID code to make identification 100% positive.These units tend to be very robust and ideal for users with dirty or worn hands like factories and assembly plants. Their self-contained nature means they can be installed virtually anywhere.To Be Continued … (in part 2: Eye Scanners, Face Recognition, and Pattern Recognition) Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.com Like any relatively new technology there are problems: Finger prints can be covered by callus or worn smooth from heavy use -dirt can get into the print lines and skin can peel – all making print reading more difficult. Some users have problems with less expensive models due to the lack of a well defined center whorl in the middle – something the device needs to find the center and build a code for the print. Since prints are converted to number codes it’s possible for two prints to have the same code. This means each device is limited as to the number of prints it can read without giving a false positive. More money usually gets you models that manage more prints.A new technology that scans the subsurface of your fingerprint – down five skin layers deep – works even when the print is scuffed or dirty. This technology is still new, however, so most fingerprint scanner systems also require a code or PIN of some type to for 100% positive identification.Some fingerprint readers and their applications: Print reader with magnetic card reader for extra security.Hand Scanners The basic reason is simple: biometrics uses body measurements to make positive personal identification without resorting to ID cards, passwords, PINs and other problematic security technologies. Your ID is your body – or a part of it, anyway. This makes ID counterfeiting much more difficult and also insures that ID doesn’t get left behind – short or a very serious mishap, that is.Various technologies have been used over the years and favorites are slowly emerging – along with a host of ethical and privacy issues.Finger Print ScannersThe most common technology in use today by far is fingerprint scanning. This technology is used everywhere from top secret military installations to supermarkets, cell phones and time clocks.Police departments have long used finger prints to track criminals because of their uniqueness – each finger print is different – making positive identification possible for any given individual. Finger print readers use this uniqueness to generate a code – rarely do they actually use the full print for identification – based on areas where line print lines merge, fork or loop – like the round “whorl” you can find in the middle of all finger prints.These devices work by scanning the print with a light source – either a laser or, more commonly, a LED (Light Emitting Diode) – on to a chip. The chip is either a CCD (Charged Couple Device – the same found in digital cameras) or the less expensive CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor). Integrated circuits then generate the code to identify the print.This code is stored in a database – either in a remote computer for cheaper USB models or in the device itself. When a person scans a print, this device compares the code generated by the print with one in the database to make a positive identification. These “print coding” algorithms are closely guarded secrets.Price is probably the most attractive reason to use this technology. Securing your computer with a fingerprint reading mouse cost less than $100. Time clock systems start at around $500. This makes finger print scanning one of the most affordable of all the biometrics technologies. Explore furthercenter_img Pairing targeted drugs for breast and lung cancer could overcome treatment resistance (Part 1/3) Biometrics technologies have come a long way from a slow start in the early 80s. Now they can be found almost anywhere and soon, almost everywhere. Biometric time and attendance system – works without a connection to a computer Citation: Review: Biometrics Technologies Measure Up (Part 1/3) (2005, November 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2005-11-biometrics-technologies.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

Researchers unravel the elusive source of sulfur in an antibiotic

first_imgBall-and-stick model of lincomycin. Credit: Jynto/Wikipedia Journal information: Nature Scientists study how marine bacteria release cloud-making compound Citation: Researchers unravel the elusive source of sulfur in an antibiotic (2015, January 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-01-unravel-elusive-source-sulfur-antibiotic.html Explore further More information: Metabolic coupling of two small-molecule thiols programs the biosynthesis of lincomycin A, Nature (2015) DOI: 10.1038/nature14137AbstractLow-molecular-mass thiols in organisms are well known for their redox-relevant role in protection against various endogenous and exogenous stresses1, 2, 3. In eukaryotes and Gram-negative bacteria, the primary thiol is glutathione (GSH), a cysteinyl-containing tripeptide. In contrast, mycothiol (MSH), a cysteinyl pseudo-disaccharide, is dominant in Gram-positive actinobacteria, including antibiotic-producing actinomycetes and pathogenic mycobacteria. MSH is equivalent to GSH, either as a cofactor or as a substrate, in numerous biochemical processes4, most of which have not been characterized, largely due to the dearth of information concerning MSH-dependent proteins. Actinomycetes are able to produce another thiol, ergothioneine (EGT), a histidine betaine derivative that is widely assimilated by plants and animals for variable physiological activities5. The involvement of EGT in enzymatic reactions, however, lacks any precedent. Here we report that the unprecedented coupling of two bacterial thiols, MSH and EGT, has a constructive role in the biosynthesis of lincomycin A, a sulfur-containing lincosamide (C8 sugar) antibiotic that has been widely used for half a century to treat Gram-positive bacterial infections6, 7, 8, 9. EGT acts as a carrier to template the molecular assembly, and MSH is the sulfur donor for lincomycin maturation after thiol exchange. These thiols function through two unusual S-glycosylations that program lincosamide transfer, activation and modification, providing the first paradigm for EGT-associated biochemical processes and for the poorly understood MSH-dependent biotransformations, a newly described model that is potentially common in the incorporation of sulfur, an element essential for life and ubiquitous in living systems.center_img As Melancon notes, there are a host of molecules vital for biological processes that have sulfur as a component—their metabolic origins can be predicted as a matter of course. Sulfur atoms on the other hand have been much more difficult to predict. Overcoming such obstacles for some molecules could have benefits such as helping to develop new medicines. In this new effort the researchers set their sights on lincomycin A, an antibacterial agent that has been used to treat Gram-positive bacterial infections for many years.To find the sulfur source, the researchers used modern whole genome sequencing techniques to work backwards through likely pathways looking to isolate intermediaries that tended to build up as genes were disrupted. Doing so led to the discovery that disruption of lmbE led to intermediates that looked a lot like lincomycin—that led them to study lambV, a gene that also shows up in lincomycin, which led to the discovery of another intermediary. The team also tested other enzymes and found a way to prove that there were at least three of them that incorporated sulfur into parts of the antibiotic, which was the original goal, of course. More specifically, they found that two bacterial thiols played a constructive role in the biosynthesis of lincomycin A. The team then went further, isolating the materials that were produced due to the genes involved, along with the functions of enzymes that were part of the process.Work done by the team should help provide a pathway for other researchers attempting to find the source of sulfur atoms in other molecules, perhaps leading to new types of materials for use in a variety of medical purposes, from antibiotics to cancer fighting agents. © 2015 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers working at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai has for the first time found the source of sulfur atoms in lincomycin A, a lincosamide widely used as an antibiotic agent. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team describes their research efforts and results. Charles Melancon with the University of New Mexico outlines and comments on the work done by the team in the same journal issue. 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

Moths found to produce their own antioxidants from carbohydrates

first_img(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with members from the University of Arizona and New Mexico State University has discovered how a species of moth is able to repair oxidative muscle damage without consuming antioxidants. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their study of the hawkmoth and how they discovered an adaption that allowed it to remain free of muscle damage. Carlos Martinez del Rio and Michael Dillon with the University of Wyoming offer a Perspective piece on the work done by the team in the same journal issue and give some historical background to explain why some pollinators needed to develop an alternative means for protecting their muscles. Journal information: Science 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. Citation: Moths found to produce their own antioxidants from carbohydrates (2017, February 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-02-moths-antioxidants-carbohydrates.html Explore further Manduca sexta hawkmoth approaching Datura wrightii flower with proboscis extended to imbibe nectar. Credit: Bruce D. Taubertcenter_img Tricking moths into revealing the computational underpinnings of sensory integration As Martinez del Rio and Dillon note, when muscles expend energy they create byproducts called reactive oxygen species, which are damaging to cells. Most animals prevent damage to muscle cells by consuming foods with antioxidants in them. But some creatures with muscles do not consume antioxidants and still manage to avoid muscle damage—hawkmoths, for example, live on a diet of nectar and nothing else, which means they never consume any antioxidants. Furthermore, they also use their muscles a lot—they furiously beat their wings to allow them to hover near a nectar producing plant while they take a quick sip. Until now, it was not known how the moths pulled off this trick.To find out the researchers obtained a collection of hawkmoths and began feeding them nectar while also measuring them for muscle damage after they took short flights. They then compared those results with measurements taken from moths that were not given nectar—the control group. The researchers report that the moths that were fed nectar flew farther than the control group, yet had less oxidative damage—remarkably, they also had higher levels of antioxidants in their systems. The researchers continued their experiments by adding different carbon isotopes to the nectar they fed to the moths to allow for tracking how the nectar was metabolized. They found that the moths used what is known as the pentose phosphate pathway (a metabolic pathway that generates NADPH, pentose and ribose) to convert some of the carbohydrates (glucose) in their diet into antioxidants—they did not need to ingest antioxidants because they were generating their own. Martinez del Rio and Dillon suggest that other insects and mammals likely use the same process and some may rely on a combination of ingestion and conversion to meet their antioxidant needs. More information: E. Levin et al. Hawkmoths use nectar sugar to reduce oxidative damage from flight, Science (2017). DOI: 10.1126/science.aah4634AbstractNectar-feeding animals have among the highest recorded metabolic rates. High aerobic performance is linked to oxidative damage in muscles. Antioxidants in nectar are scarce to nonexistent. We propose that nectarivores use nectar sugar to mitigate the oxidative damage caused by the muscular demands of flight. We found that sugar-fed moths had lower oxidative damage to their flight muscle membranes than unfed moths. Using respirometry coupled with δ13C analyses, we showed that moths generate antioxidant potential by shunting nectar glucose to the pentose phosphate pathway (PPP), resulting in a reduction in oxidative damage to the flight muscles. We suggest that nectar feeding, the use of PPP, and intense exercise are causally linked and have allowed the evolution of powerful fliers that feed on nectar. © 2017 Phys.orglast_img read more

Capturing the colours

first_imgSo it was, with artist Sun I-Yu when she first visited India more than 10 years ago. In her on going exhibition Colours of India, she has put together a series of oil paintings and crystal sculptures reflecting her impressions of the country.For her colour and beauty in India is not mere theory, it is a practical expression of national identity, shaped by religious devotion and a long and proud cultural heritage. In artist Sun L-Yu’s words ‘Indians are magicians when it comes to matching colours – putting orange with purple evokes celebrations and festivals, deep blue with dark green portrays serenity, yellow and fuchsia is vivid and full of vitality. Men’s turbans, too, display a distinct sense of character, reflecting the personality of the wearer and speaking of firmness of purpose’. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Besides the wealth, she saw the poverty in the country, but was particularly struck by the breathtaking colours that she witnessed all around. On that very first trip, she was captivated by the dazzling spectrum of hues of even the simplest garments. Then, after seeing them again and again over several years, she gained a firm sense of the vibrant spirit that runs through daily life in this country. Over the course of her visits to India, she has endeavoured to capture in her painting the pure, vibrant visual sensation of the country.When: 12th December, 11 am onwardsWhere: Lokayata Artists Gallery Hauz Khas Villagelast_img read more

Lata Mangeshkars emotional twitter tribute to R D Burman

first_img“Aaj Pancham yaane R D Burman ki 21vi punyatithi hai (Today is the 21st death anniversary of Pancham alias R D Burman). Aisa guni kalakar sadiyo’n me ek paida hota hai, wo gaane compose bhi karta tha aur khud bhi accha gaata tha (Such talented artist is born once in ages, he used to compose songs and was also a very good singer),” she tweeted. “Gaano’n mein naye naye prayog karna usko bohot pasand tha (He loved to try new experiments and techniques while composing songs). Aise kalakar ko meri bhavpurna shraddhanjali (I pay a sincere tribute to him),” she added.The 85-year-old collaborated with Burman on several hit songs like Aaja piya tohe pyar doon, Raina beeti jaye and Tune o rangeele.Mangeshkar also shared links of her favourite Burman-composed songs Tere bina jiya jaye na and Bahon mein chale aao. R.D. Burman died at the age of 54 on January 4, 1994.last_img read more

Missing fishermen Two bodies one trawler found

first_imgDiamond Harbour: Bodies of two of the 19 missing fishermen were found in the Bay of Bengal on Wednesday by rescuers, while one of the three capsized trawlers was also spotted, officials said.The Coast Guard, along with the police and a fishermen’s association, is conducting search and rescue operations to find out the fishermen who had gone missing on Monday afternoon.A Coast Guard official, who did not wish to be quoted, said efforts were on to retrieve the two bodies from the sea. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThree trawlers capsized in the rough seas around 4 pm on July 16 and 47 fishermen fell into the water, officials said adding that 28 of them were rescued by other trawlers.The trawlers had overturned in the Bay of Bengal, off Frazerganj in the Sundarban area of south Bengal.”Indian Coast Guard Dornier aircraft from Kolkata, a hovercraft from Frazergunj and Coast Guard Ship Sujoy inspite of inclement weather and rough seas carried out extensive search for missing fishermen off Sagar island,” a Coast Guard statement said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”Today morning, one of the missing boats was sighted about 30 miles south off Dalhousie island. No survivor was found,” it said adding that search is being continued.Secretary West Bengal United Fishermen Association Bijan Maity had earlier saidsix to seven trawlers carrying men from Namkhana and Kakdwip areas of South 24 Parganas district, set sail around 10 am on Monday as there was “no MeT department warnings on radio”.The MeT office website, however, showed that West Bengal fishermen were advised against venturing into the sea on Monday.Although many trawlers returned to safety, three boats — FB Malleshwar, FB Joykishan and FB Maa Shibani — capsized in the sea.Ten fishermen of FB Joykishan and six of FB Malleshwar, and three more of some other trawlers have gone missing, Maity said.All the 17 fishermen of Maa Shibani, six of Joykishan and five of Malleshwar have been rescued, he said.last_img read more

Katrina is very passionate about her work Saif

first_imgAfter working with her in 2008 film Race, actor Saif Ali Khan has teamed up with Katrina Kaif for upcoming political thriller Phantom. He says not much has changed about her, especially her commitment to work. Asked about Katrina’s performance in the film, Saif said, “It was very good. We are working together after Race (2008). She is still the same… very passionate about her work and committed.” “In the film she is performing some daring stunts and she really worked hard for them. I am happy that she chose Phantom,” he added. Directed by Kabir Khan, the film is about the post 26/11 attacks in Mumbai and global terrorism. It will release on August 28.last_img read more

Bid goodbye to dry skin

first_imgBid adieu to dry skin during the pre-winter season by opting for creamy products and oiling your body right, says an expert. Beauty expert Bharti Taneja, of the capital-based Alps Beauty Clinic, has shared some pre-winter beauty tips for making your skin look and feel soft. Opt for creamy products: Pack away those gel-based face washes, creams as well as make-up products and opt for creamy ones. Cream-based products are generally oil-based and hence form a protective layer on the skin that retains more moisture during chilly days. These creams deeply moisturise the skin while nourishing it from within.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Use sunscreen: Most of us restrict the usage of sunscreens only for summer to protect the skin from tanning and stop using it as soon as the autumn arrives. But not many know that pre-winter sun too can be harmful for the skin. Therefore, it is advisable to apply broad spectrum sunscreen with UV and PA+++ protection in winter on your face and other exposed parts of the body. For better protection, make sure you apply the sun protection cream 30 minutes before stepping out of the house.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixOil the body: The importance of oiling your body becomes inevitable as the autumn breeze may rob it of its natural moisture as soon as the fall season starts. A 10-minute oiling session before your bath would suffice for the nourishment needs of the skin. Performing this on regular basis is sure to keep your skin soft, supple and smooth throughout the winter season. Conditioner: To keep the lustre of the hair intact, it is good to use a conditioner which has silicon to lock down the outer circle layer and seal in the moisture. You may also try a homemade avocado mask for dry and rough hair. For this, mash the flesh of avocado with fork and add extra virgin olive oil to make a mixture. Apply this smooth mixture and wash it off after 30 minutes. This nourishing mask is enriched with essential vitamins, minerals and softening agents for your hair to fight pre-winter harshness with ease.Hydrate: Boost your beauty regimen by drinking lots of water irrespective of the season. It helps your skin stay young and hydrated by flushing out all the toxins of your body. If you are not very happy with the idea of gulping down the cold water, make sure to drink lots of warm or lukewarm water during the day.last_img read more

Santa Claus is already in town

first_imgWinter  festivities and celebrations are gaining pace in the national Capital, where the stage is set for families to dive into the festive celebrations and to enjoy to their heart’s content.In a bid to boost tourism in the city, Delhi Tourism is organising ‘Winter Carnival’ from December 18-27 at Dilli Haat, INA and ‘X-Mas Carnival’ from December 25-27 at Dilli Haat, Janak Puri. To mark the beginning of the festive season, guests and visitors can look forward to a unique Christmas bazaar at both Dilli Haats, which is the main attraction and in order to build up the excitement,  Santa Claus would be moving around the venue distributing candies to charm the little ones. To create a unique atmosphere, Church of Delhi would conduct singing of Christmas carols and cultural programmes every evening in order to light up the mood of the visitors. Dilli Haat Janakpuri will organise various other events like camel rides, joy rides, food delicacies of other states, cakes and chocolate stalls, adventure parks and handloom and handicraft stalls.last_img read more

The world of cultural mafia captured on stage

first_imgPage4, it’s also a game’ was a play penned down by Bratya Basu in 2005, and staged in 2006 by the theatre group ‘Ganakrishti’.  The play has been re-staged after 10 years by another theatre group, Institute of Factual Theatre Arts (IFTA) headed by Debasish Dutta, a student and a scholar of Sangeet Natak Akademi in 2016. The storyline involves a battle between two cultural mafias, Girdharilal and Mohandas who are in control of different literary and cultural zones. The word ‘mafia’ is a commonly used parlance but the phrase ‘cultural mafia’ creates an interesting overtone.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The two cultural mafias were friends who had shared their cultural dreams and creativity with each other before they were trapped in the web of ambition, fame and power. They separated from each other to establish their cultural hegemony in terms of controlling central grants, winning state favours, possessing power to make decisions related to hall bookings and arranging book fair, control over cultural institutions, etc. They were self-proclaimed ‘dons’ embracing the cultural façade to execute the art of literary nepotism, plagiarism, royalty sharing in the style of a corporate mafia. It is an absorbing tale of the two dons fighting for establishing their pre-eminence in the cultural world at any cost. This dominance is obviously associated with economic well-being and high status of writers, poets, other fame-seekers who are the natural cohorts of these cultural empires.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe playwright reveals the emotions of jealousy, revenge, mean mindedness and ego clash with cultural figures of eminence, literally clawing into each other to win their share of fame and money. The narrative continues at the den of the don, Girdharilal, whose cultural power is not without strong links with state administration, local police, political leaders and even the ministers in power. The play unmasks the intellectual veil of the ‘bhadrolok’ society to reflect the ethical void of celebrities, making the play amazingly germane not only to the present context, but also cutting across space and time. The message seems to be clear – success cannot come with sheer talent and creative potential alone.  It is a battle between those who can play the game of shrewdness, ferocity and sheer violence.  The strategies have to be drawn with finesse, the judgment has to be sharp. The way to the crest has to be reached with intelligence, grit and determination and of course by removing all those who act as obstacles in the path to success. But not all is drawn in the colour scheme of black and white. The complex human side of the ‘don’ Girdharilal is visible when he helps the needy to get grants, commissions, and earn their daily economic needs. He reveals revulsion towards his professional world when he refuses to allow his children to enter his business, even when his son seems to be emotionally moved by reading Bibhutibhusan’s Chander Pahar. His emotional traits and vulnerabilities are laid bare to the maximum when the play reaches the climax and the two dons, Girdharilal and Mohandas, meet. They reminisce over their golden past of togetherness by speaking their heart out on their dreams; they recite plays under the moonlit night, and unhesitatingly admit their love and obsession for each other’s creation.The director, Debasish Dutta added, ‘The thought process of the persons involved with theatre has changed with time. They are now actively participating in the rat race for their survival. They do not mind even removing the obstacle which comes in the way. It is frightening to see the person closest to you have fallen in this vicious cycle. It has not even spared the creative world. The conflict of the interchanging face and the fascia in the changing society disturbs me a lot. The play exactly depicts the same’.  The playwright also expressed his confidence on this young director. The veracity of the play written way back is still so pertinent that it rekindles the scheme of corruption at the cultural level, which people face every moment but there are a very few who raise their voice against it. Certainly Bratya Basu’s play is a satirical anecdote which helps in taking off the hypocritical façade of the cultural empire and it is a bold attempt by a young director to bring the topic back in contention.last_img read more