Nagpur bomb blast suspect gives talaq over phone

Nagpur bomb blast suspect gives talaq over phone

first_imgA man, allegedly involved in the 2012 Nagpur bomb blast case, divorced his wife by uttering the word ‘talaq’ thrice over the phone after she “resisted his criminal activities.”The woman told the police that she married Shamsuddin Shah in 2011, embraced Islam and changed her name from Snehlata to Shamshun Nisha.She claimed that Mr.Shah was involved in the Nagpur blast and was sent to jail by the Maharashtra Police.Ms. Nisha alleged that after she opposed his criminal activites, Mr.Shah started committing atrocities on her and on May 25, he divorced her by uttering ‘talaq’ thrice over the phone.The police have started a probe into the matter based on a complaint filed by the woman.“We have asked the Maharashtra Police to verify the charge against the man levelled by his wife that he was involved in the Nagpur blast,” Additional SP Ajay Pratap said on Thursday.The ASP said her complaint was being looked into seriously. Meanwhile, in a memorandum to SP (City), Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Durga Vahini leaders alleged that Mr.Shah was trapping innocent Hindu women and pushing them into flesh trade. They dubbed it as a case of ‘love jihad’.last_img read more

Policeman killed in Srinagar

Policeman killed in Srinagar

first_imgFour policemen were injured and one of them succumbed to his injuries after a militant ambush near Srinagar on Friday evening. A police spokesman told The Hindu that a police vehicle was fired upon by militants on a highway near Zeewan in the outskirts of Srinagar in the evening during a routine patrol. “Four injured policemen were shifted to Srinagar hospital,” said the spokesman. Later, Head Constable Kishan Lal succumbed to his injuries in the hospital.Police sources said the area had been cordoned off. The militiant group Lashkar-e-Taiba said it had carried out the attack.last_img read more

No riot after BJP came to power in U.P., says Adityanath

No riot after BJP came to power in U.P., says Adityanath

first_img“There has not been a single riot” in Uttar Pradesh since the BJP came to power, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said on Tuesday, as he counted the “achievements” of the first six months of his government.“It is a record for the State which used to have an ugly picture of it presented before the world,” Mr. Adityanath said.Releasing a 56-page booklet titled “Badh Chala Uttar Pradesh Ek Nai Disha ki Aur” or U.P. moves in a new direction, Mr. Adityanath claimed his government had taken strong steps to fulfil people’s expectations. The booklet starts with the government’s claims of having improved the law and order situation.It also refers to the controversial Anti-Romeo Squad as one of the achievements.Since the BJP came to power, the police had shot dead 17 accused criminals in alleged encounters, seized the property of 69 persons under the Gangsgter Act and Rs 35 crore worth of property from the land mafia.Referring to these figures, Mr. Adityanath, who was flanked by BJP cabinet ministers as well as UP DGP Sulkhan Singh, said: “Common people feel safe today and the police, whose morale was low under previous governments, is coming to the front. To a large extent, we have achieved in getting rid of the atmosphere of fear…”The government claimed that it had booked 54 persons under NSA, 1,145 under the Gangsters Act and 9,963 under the Goonda Act since March 20.It also refers to the controversial Anti-Romeo Squad as one of the achievements, saying action was taken against 2011 miscreants under it.The booklet also highlights the BJP’s programmes and schemes for farmers, in particular the loan waiver scheme for 86 lakh farmers. The government said it completed 2,367 ponds in the drought-prone Bundelkhand.A roadmap for doubling the income of farmers by 2022 had also been prepared.In the field of infrastructure, the government said it made 80,000 km of roads pothole free, while making the process of tender transparent.The BJP government also took credit for the Lucknow Metro which was inaugurated on September 5, saying it completed the remaining construction for the project, even though the trial run was done under the Akhilesh Yadav government last December.Mr. Adityanath’s list of achievements was released a day after he unveiled a “White Paper” of his six months in power. However, to the surprise of everyone, it focused on the limitations and criticisms of the previous SP and BSP governments, from 2003 to 2017, and had little about his own government.Mr. Adityanath said his government had inherited corruption, crime, goondagardi and lawlessness from the previous governments.Criticizing the BJP, SP spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said that by focusing on the limitations of the previous governments, the Yogi government was merely trying to “withwash” its failures and cover up its inaction.last_img read more

Another stab at Taj Mahal’s heritage

Another stab at Taj Mahal’s heritage

first_imgJust weeks after the Uttar Pradesh government dropped the Taj Mahal from its tourism brochure, Sangeet Som, BJP MLA and an accused in Muzaffarnagar riots of 2013, said the monument was a “blot on Indian culture”.Justifying the State government’s move to exclude the Taj Mahal from its list of tourism sites, Mr. Som on Sunday said it was built by “tyrants” who worked to destroy the Hindus of Uttar Pradesh and the country. He said blots like Mughal emperors would be removed from the pages of Indian history.“Many people were sad the Taj Mahal was removed from the tourism booklet of the State government. What history are we talking about? The history that the builder of the Taj Mahal had imprisoned his father? [In fact, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, was the one imprisoned till the end of his days by his son Aurangzeb] The history that the builder of the monument eliminated Hindus from U.P. and from India? It is quite sad and unfortunate that such tyrants are still part of our history,” Mr. Som, MLA from Sardhana said, addressing a gathering in Meerut after inaugurating the statue of an eighth century king, Anangpal Singh Tomar.Centre to rewrite historyMr. Som also said the BJP governments at the Centre and in Uttar Pradesh were working to change history.“I can tell you with complete guarantee that history will be changed. History which was misrepresented and distorted is being corrected now. The State government and the Central government are working to fix the history and include Lord Ram, Maharana Pratap and Shivaji in the history books. The governments at the State and Centre are working to remove stories of the blot that Babur, Akbar and Aurangzeb stand for,” he saidWest Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee criticised Mr. Som for questioning the Taj Mahal’s place in India’s heritage, and said the day was not far when the BJP would try to change the country’s name. She alleged that the party was making “divisive statements” with a “political agenda”.PTI adds:Will govt. tell tourists to keep off Taj: OwaisiResponding to comments by Sangeet Som, BJP MLA, questioning the Taj Mahal’s place in history, Asaduddin Owaisi, All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) chief, on Monday asked if the government would tell tourists not to visit the monument.Mr. Owaisi, Hyderabad MP, tweeted, “Traitors also build Red Fort, will Modi stop hoisting Tiranga? Can Modi and Yogi tell domestic and foreign tourist not to visit Taj Mahal?” He said Hyderabad House in Delhi, the venue where the Centre hosts foreign dignitaries, was built by a “traitor”.It was built by Osman Ali Khan, the last Nizam, on land offered by the British.last_img read more

Land dispute returns to haunt BJP in Saurashtra

Land dispute returns to haunt BJP in Saurashtra

first_imgWhile the Congress is trying to capitalise on the supposed disenchantment of the Patidars with the BJP in Gujarat ahead of the Assembly elections, protests by another influential community, the Karadia Rajputs, against BJP State president Jitu Vaghani over an old land dispute have escalated.The past two weeks have seen a series of protests in pockets of Saurashtra dominated by the community, demanding the resignation of Mr. Vaghani, a legislator from Bhavnagar West. Karadia Rajputs leaders have alleged that Mr. Vaghani had grabbed a parcel of pastoral land at Budhel village in Bhavnagar district and foisted false cases against Dansang Mori, sarpanch of the village, who resisted the alleged act. Mr. Mori was suspended as sarpanch in 2014 and later arrested for allegedly stealing a mobile phone and inciting riots. Massive gathering With the State polls round the corner, the community has rallied behind Mr. Mori, and discontent was evident at a massive public meeting organised near Ahmedabad on November 5. Over 200 community leaders, including local political leaders, at the gathering decided to fight the “injustice” done to Mr. Mori.“Vaghani is a land grabber, who has encroached upon gauchar (pastoral) land in the village. When Dansang opposed him, he [Vaghani] used his political clout to get him suspended as sarpanch and implicated him in cases based on trumped-up charges,” said Kanbha Gohil, a senior community leader, who has been asked to hold talks with the BJP leadership on the issue.“When I refused to pass the resolution of handing over pastoral land to Mr. Vaghani, I and my family members became his target,” Mr. Mori told presspersons in Ahmedabad before the convention.The BJP has so far dismissed all allegations and defended the party president. “All allegations are motivated and baseless,” Gujarat BJP spokesperson I.K. Jadeja said.Influential community“Our main demand is resignation of Vaghani. Another demand is that all cases against Dansang Mori and his family members should immediately be withdrawn. We have remained loyal to BJP so far but this time we may have to rethink our support in case the BJP does not yield,” Mr. Gohil said.He said Karadia Rajputs were influential in 35 Assembly constituencies in Saurashtra and Ahmedabad district.Protests have spread to villages with community banners saying “No Entry for Vaghani”. Saurashtra’s main city Rajkot, a BJP stronghold, has witnessed two protests in as many weeks against Mr. Vaghani. On Tuesday, Mr. Vaghani’s face in a hoarding at Astron Chowk in Rajkot was defaced.last_img read more

Bus conductor in Ryan school case released

Bus conductor in Ryan school case released

first_imgBus conductor Ashok Kumar, who was arrested by the Gurugram police in connection with the murder of seven-year-old Pradhyuman Thakur in the Ryan International School case, was released on bail on Wednesday.Mr. Kumar, who was whisked away by his relatives in a vehicle soon after his release from the Bhondsi district jail here, reached his house in Ghamroj village around 7:30 p.m.. His father, Ami Chand, and around a dozen fellow villagers and relatives, including women, were present outside the jail at the time of his release.Later speaking to mediapersons at his house, Mr. Kumar, with folded hands, said: “I thank the Almighty. I thank my lawyers.” Running high fever, he said he had complete faith in the judicial system.Mr. Kumar nodded in affirmative when asked whether he was tortured by the police to extort confession. He also replied in positive when mediapersons asked him whether he wanted that justice be done to Pradhyuman.Custody extended The Central Bureau of Investigation on Wednesday moved an application before the Juvenile Justice Board seeking fingerprints of the juvenile delinquent in the Ryan International school murder case.The Board, meanwhile, extended the judicial custody of the juvenile delinquent till December 6. He was produced before after his judicial custody had ended on Wednesday.last_img read more

Major parties swing into poll mode in Chhattisgarh

Major parties swing into poll mode in Chhattisgarh

first_imgThe three major political parties in Chhattisgarh have swung into election mode with Assembly elections just 10 months away. The State is likely to go for polls in October-November this year along with Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. In the 2013 elections, the difference in vote share between the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party and opposition Congress was a mere 0.75%. The stakes are higher this year as the State is likely to witness a three-cornered contest with the entry of former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi’s Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J). Mr. Jogi has already declared candidates for 20 of the 90 Assembly seats. Yogesh Tiwari, Janata Congress Chhattisgarh (J) leader, said, “We have almost finalised our candidates for 15 more seats. Our leaders have already covered 75 Assembly segments during various yatras in the last few months. We are also appointing a Panna Prabhari [in-charge of voter list] in every Assembly segment.”The Congress recently appointed its election committee and reshuffled its State party committee. A tribal leader and a Dalit leader have been made the executive presidents of the State unit of the Congress and a tribal MLA has been named as the party’s deputy leader in the Assembly.In the 2013 elections, the Dalit-dominated Assembly segments tilted the outcome in BJP’s favour. This time, the Congress is eyeing Dalit votes and is pinning its hopes on its newly appointed AICC State in-charge P.L. Punia, a Dalit leader from Uttar Pradesh.Congress spokesperson Shailesh Trivedi said, “Mr. Punia has covered almost every district in the State. Bupesh Baghel [the State Congress chief] is also carrying out padyatras in the State.”The BJP sounded the poll bugle six months ago, with party national president Amit Shah asking party workers to focus on cornering 65 Assembly seats during his three-day tour of the State in June last year.Chief Minister Raman Singh also travelled to all the district of the State during his Jan Suraj campaign. A BJP leader said, “Our frontal machinery has already started work. Ministers have been asked to organise religious programmess and health care camps and to get in touch with local party workers.”A BJP Minister said, “With the entry of Ajit Jogi, political equations have changed. Mr. Punia has also activated the Congress machinery. We will also be up against 15 years of anti-incumbency. So this time, we have started election preparations early.”last_img read more

Ex-IPS officer under Bengal CID scanner

Ex-IPS officer under Bengal CID scanner

first_imgFormer IPS officer Bharati Ghosh has come under the scanner of the Criminal Investigation Department of the West Bengal Police in connection with a complaint of extortion and misappropriation of funds.A day after Ms. Ghosh alleged that her house was searched and her husband detained for several hours, CID officials held a press conference on Saturday refuting the allegations.Refute allegations“There are allegations in the media that raids were conducted at the residence of a retired police officer. There was no raid at the residence of any retired police officer,” Nishat Pervez, DIG Operations, CID, said. Mr. Pervez, however, admitted that the CID conducted search operations at a house in Naktala area of the city among other places, but refused to admit that the house had anything to do with Ms. Ghosh. “Till now, there is no confirmation that it [the house at Naktola] was the residence of a retired police officer,” he said.In the ongoing investigation, the CID is looking into the role of six police officers, some of whom served with Ms. Ghosh.last_img read more

Odisha plans 20 hospitals under PPP mode

Odisha plans 20 hospitals under PPP mode

first_imgThe Odisha government on Friday announced its decision to set up 20 hospitals through public-private partnership mode, which would create an additional 2,700 beds in the State.In what is being touted as the one of the country’s biggest private investments in the health sector, the State government is looking to mobilise ₹1,000 crore. Under the State’s affordable health project, these hospitals will be opened under the ‘hub and spoke’ model. CM Naveen Patnaik has approved the construction in Puri, Jeypore, Angul, Barbil, Baripada, Bhadrak, Balangir, Jharsuguda, Bhawanipatna, Phulbani, Dhenkanal, Boudh, Kendrapara, Rairangpur, Rayagada, Paralakhemundi, Nabarangpur and Subarnapur.last_img read more

Five commandos injured in encounters with Naxals in Chhattisgarh

Five commandos injured in encounters with Naxals in Chhattisgarh

first_imgFive CoBRA personnel were injured in two encounters with the Naxals in Chhattisgarh’s Bijapur district on Monday, the first phase of the state elections, police said. The skirmish took place at separate spots at a forest in Pamed, around 500 km from Raipur. The Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) — an elite unit of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) — was patrolling the area in view of the voting going on in the region, a senior police officer said. A group of Naxalites opened fire on a patrolling team of the CoBRA’s 204th battalion when it was near Empur village. When the security personnel retaliated, the rebels fled from the spot, the officer told PTI. The injured, sub-inspector Lal Chand and a constable, were taken out of the forest and admitted to a hospital, he said. After the first incident, when the same patrolling team was cordoning off a forest patch near Majiguda village, the rebels again opened fire at them, injuring assistant commandant Amit Deswal, head constable Sunil and constable Chaitanya, the officer said. Reinforcement was rushed to the spot and efforts were on to evacuate the three personnel, he added. Voting in 18 constituencies of eight Naxal-affected districts, including Bijapur, was being held on Monday. Around 1.25 lakh security personnel were deployed in the region to ensure peaceful polling.last_img read more

Shiv Sena may get deputy speaker’s post in Assembly

Shiv Sena may get deputy speaker’s post in Assembly

first_imgDespite the announcement of contesting the forthcoming general elections independently, the Shiv Sena is likely to accept the post of deputy speaker in the State Assembly, indicating both parties are patching up their differences. The move is seen as an attempt by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to soften its ally who has taken an aggressive stand over the issue of Ram temple in Ayodhya. Four years after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government took the reins of power, the State Assembly may have a deputy speaker in the form of Sena member of the Legislative Assembly Vijay Auti. Assembly speaker Haribhau Bagde made the announcement of the election programme for the post on Wednesday. As per the schedule, the election, if required, will be held on the last day of the winter session of the State legislature that falls on November 30. On Tuesday night, Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil held a meeting with Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray to discuss the Maratha reservation issue. However the issue of the deputy speaker’s post in the Assembly and deputy chairman’s post in the State Council was also discussed. Sources said the BJP may also extend the post of deputy chairman in the Council to the Sena. According to sources in the Sena, Mr. Auti is likely to file nomination and will be elected unopposed. A senior leader of the Nationalist Congress Party said fighting for this post makes no sense for the Opposition as it does not have the numbers. “Why should we spend our energy fighting this battle? Barely seven months are left for the State Assembly polls to be announced. Let the BJP give this post to the Sena. It will also expose how both the parties are together, even though they are claiming otherwise,” he said. A Sena leader said although no name has been finalised, the decision would be taken by the party chief. He accepted that at a time when his party is aggressively criticising the BJP over the issue of Ram temple in Ayodhya, the move may send the wrong signals. “There is no reason to reject the offer if the post is offered to us. What will happen in the election is a different story altogether,” said the leader.last_img read more

‘ILP will be applicable to entire Nagaland, including Dimapur’

‘ILP will be applicable to entire Nagaland, including Dimapur’

first_imgNagaland Governor P.B. Acharya on Thursday said the government has decided to make the Inner Line Permit applicable throughout the State, including the commercial hub of Dimapur.“ILP will be made applicable to the entire State, including Dimapur, and we are committed to streamline the system of issuing ILPs to ensure that no illegal immigrant is able to come to Nagaland,” Mr. Acharya said in his address on the first day of the State Assembly budget session.Under the Bengal Eastern Frontier Regulation Act of 1853, non-Nagas should have ILP to visit the State, but Dimapur district was not included under the provisions.The Governor said: “While the government will be taking all legal and administrative steps to ensure this, we would also need active support of the civil society, village councils and people in achieving this objective.” He said that while the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill was of serious concern to all sections, “we are also aware of the threat that is posed to our society by illegal migrants in the State”. Accordingly, he said, the government had set up a panel to suggest measures to strengthen the existing system of issuing ILPs and recommend modalities to check influx of illegal migrants.last_img read more

Influential Ecology Think Tank Survives With New Focus

Influential Ecology Think Tank Survives With New Focus

first_imgFew institutions have had as big an impact on ecology in recent years as the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) of the University of California (UC), Santa Barbara. Its innovative model of collaboration and pulling together existing data sets has helped shape perceptions of a wide range of issues, including overfishing and climate change. So it was a shock to many researchers when they learned in 2011 that core funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) was ending. Now, with a new lease on life thanks to philanthropic grants, NCEAS has refocused on applied ecology and conservation. But how much it can continue to serve basic research is not clear.It is a question “that keeps me up at night,” says Frank Davis, an ecologist at UC Santa Barbara, who became director of NCEAS in July 2011.When NCEAS began in 1995, it was the first national center of its kind. Researchers could propose questions in a range of areas, such as infectious disease and marine ecology. Then a dozen or more colleagues from around the world would gather in Santa Barbara for working group meetings to assemble often disparate data sets and search for answers. The collegial approach paid off. NCEAS created a critical mass of researchers with resident postdocs and visiting academics, and technical staff members who developed new informatic approaches to support data synthesis. More than 500 working groups produced a long list of highly cited papers, often putting NCEAS in the top 1% of institutions cited for their work in ecology. And the model was duplicated elsewhere, with centers that focus on evolution and mathematical biology, for example. The latest is the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Annapolis.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)For 17 years, NCEAS was funded as an NSF center, providing about 70% of its operating budget. After an exceptional third renewal, the last of the NSF money ran out on 30 September. “We’re really are in the post-NSF era,” Davis says.Thanks to a $2.4 million grant from the Moore Foundation, announced in June, the center has secure funding through 2015. The grant will cover about 70% of operations for a slimmed-down NCEAS. But the budget is about one-half of what it was during NCEAS’ heyday, when it reached $3.7 million.Another change is that NCEAS is focusing more of its efforts on applied conservation work. The flagship effort is called Science for Nature and People (SNAP), a partnership with the Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), which began in July. The overall model is the same—request proposals for working groups that synthesize data—but the focus is on the role of nature in supplying food, energy, and water, especially in developing countries. “We’re still asking people for their best ideas, but in a narrower span of ecological research,” Davis says. And rather than communicating to policymakers after the fact, SNAP aims to have them involved from the start.The first two working groups, announced on 24 September, focus on using natural defenses to reduce the risk of coastal disasters and balancing infrastructure development and conservation in the western Amazon. The emphasis on influencing conservation managers and policymakers will make measuring success harder. “We’re doing this with eyes wide open,” Davis says. “It’s not that easy to make important and durable changes to policy just by doing science.”Despite the new direction, NCEAS will try to serve the broader ecological community as before, Davis says. NSF still funds some NCEAS informatics research, mainly the Data Observation Network for Earth. And the center continues to train young scientists in data synthesis. This summer, a 3-week session funded by the Packard Foundation hosted 22 students out of 400 applicants. “There really is a training gap,” Davis says.But Davis still hasn’t cracked the toughest nut: how to finance the broad, basic science projects that made NCEAS famous as a center essentially owned and operated by ecologists. Davis is also puzzling over how to ensure that NCEAS remains neutral and nonpartisan while moving into the world of serving clients outside the scientific community who may have strong opinions on issues of the day.“It’s great that [SNAP] is allowing NCEAS to continue,” says Sandy Andelman, a chief scientist for Conservation International, who was deputy director of NCEAS from 1999 to 2005. But she points out a key difference: SNAP has its own board, whereas NCEAS used to operate with a science advisory panel. So it will largely be TNC and WCS that will decide which projects to fund. “That’s not the same sort of community-driven model as NCEAS,” she says. “NCEAS has finished its first life,” says Taylor Ricketts of the University of Vermont in Burlington, who served on its board for 3 years. In its place, he sees three similar efforts at using working groups to synthesize data for applied ecology. In addition to SNAP and SESYNC, the World Wide Fund for Nature is creating the $20 million Luc Hoffmann Institute in Gland, Switzerland. “I don’t understand how they consider their niches to be different, but there’s a lot of work to be done” with integrating science into conservation, Ricketts says. “It’s heartening.”last_img read more

How to Survive a Nuclear Explosion

How to Survive a Nuclear Explosion

first_imgIt begins with a flash brighter than the sun. Trees, fences, and people immediately catch fire. The only reason you survive is because you run inside and dive into the cast-iron tub just as the shock wave arrives. You stumble to your lopsided front door and look out on the burning ruin of your neighborhood. The deadly radioactive fallout is on its way. Should you stay in your wobbling house or run across town to the public library to shelter in its basement? A new mathematical model may have the answer.The model is the brainchild of Michael Dillon, an atmospheric scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California. He started exploring the topic about 5 years ago after the U.S. government called for more research on nuclear shelters. Curious about his work, his family asked him what they should do if they saw a mushroom cloud. “I realized that I really didn’t have a great answer,” he says. The official U.S. government advice is to “take shelter in the nearest and most protective building.” For most people, that would be the basement of their home. But, Dillon says, “out in California there just are not that many basements,” offering little protection from fallout. For those people, the official recommendations suggest “early transit” to find better shelter, ideally one with thick layers of concrete over your head and plenty of food and water. But if you spend too much time outside in the fallout, you’re toast.During the Cold War, scientists modeled almost every imaginable consequence of a nuclear explosion. But Dillon found a gap in the sheltering strategies for people far enough from ground zero to survive the initial blast but close enough to face deadly fallout. He focused on a single low-yield nuclear detonation like those that destroyed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The world’s nuclear arsenal has grown far more powerful—today’s warheads can inflict thousands of times more damage—but security experts believe that low-yield bombs are the kind most likely to be used by terrorists.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The hard part was figuring out what variables matter for fallout survival. The rest was calculus. The longer you stay outside, the higher your radiation dose, but the environmental radiation intensity also decreases over time. So your total dose is a function of when you step outside, your distance from the detonation, how long you run before you reach better shelter, and how much shielding you get from the local environment while you’re out there. Dillon simplified the calculation by assuming that you are totally exposed while running to safer shelter; he also ignored complexities such as limited shelter capacities. In the end, the math boiled down to a single critical number: the ratio of the time you spend hunkering down in your first shelter to the time you spend moving to the high-quality shelter. Then Dillon worked out what would happen with a variety of shelter options and transit times.The results surprised him. For low-yield nuclear detonations, you can do far better than just sheltering in place, but you’ll need a watch and good knowledge of your surroundings. If your current shelter is poor and higher quality shelter is less than 5 minutes away, the model suggests that you should run there as soon as you can. If you have poor shelter but higher quality shelter is available farther away, you should get to that high-quality shelter no later than 30 minutes after detonation. Depending on the size of the city, if everyone follows this advice, it could save between 10,000 and 100,000 lives, Dillon reports online today in the Proceedings of the Royal Society A.Not everyone is convinced, however. “I disagree with the conclusions,” says Lawrence Wein, an operations research scientist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California. “He fails to account for several important issues that are vitally important for policy recommendations.” Anyone heading out into the apocalyptic wasteland will have no idea how long the transit time will really be. Because of this uncertainty, he says, the official U.S. government recommendation is “to shelter for at least 12 hours” after the blast. Wein also worries about “the collective behavior problem.” In the wake of the Three Mile Island nuclear disaster, a few thousand people were told to evacuate and nearly 200,000 people took to the streets. “The model is assuming that you have each person on puppet strings and can dictate their actions. This is simply not going to be the case in the aftermath.”But that criticism misses the point, says C. Norman Coleman, a public health researcher at the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. “As someone working with government and state and local planners, we find models extraordinarily useful to help us develop concepts of operations,” he says, noting that this is his personal view and not an official U.S. government response. For example, knowing how long the window of opportunity is for people to reach better shelter can help rank evacuation plans. At the very least, Coleman says, Dillon’s model reveals what is “possible to do and what is not likely to be useful.”last_img read more

ScienceShot: Meteorite Impacts Could Have Fostered Life on Early Earth

ScienceShot: Meteorite Impacts Could Have Fostered Life on Early Earth

first_imgCould meteorite impacts on Earth have provided a habitat for early life? That’s the question being raised by a new study, which reports the first possible identification of fossil microbial traces from within an impact crater. The researchers were looking at rocks from the Ries crater (inset) of southern Germany, a 24-kilometer-wide depression formed about 14.6 million years ago by a meteorite crashing into Earth with the force of 1.8 million Hiroshima bombs. The energy of impacts that create such craters can be high enough to melt rock; these melts cool rapidly, forming impact glass—a smooth, dark rock, similar to its volcanic cousin, obsidian—which contains various microscopic structures and crystals. Among the structures in the Ries glasses are peculiar curved and tubular features, about one-millionth to three-millionths of a meter in diameter. While previously thought to be simply unusual types of crystals, the team’s study revealed that the tubules (pictured) may be biological in origin, they reported online last week in Geology. Unlike microcrystals, for example, the tubules have complex forms—often observed abruptly changing direction to avoid intersecting each other, in a manner consistent with tunneling microbial behavior—and contain organic molecules associated with biological activity; the Ries tubules are also similar to fossil traces of microbes found in volcanic glass. Given that the tubules seem to be associated with fractures and water-cooled margins within the rocks, the researchers propose that hydrothermal activity—the local circulation of heated water, common after impacts—could have allowed microbial colonization of the glass from the surrounding environment. With the origin of life on Earth believed to have coincided with a period of increased impact flux, the idea that meteorite-formed glass might provide a prevalent, viable habitat for microbes could have a significant “impact” on our understanding of how early life developed.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Top stories: Smallpox, pandas, and ‘Oh-My-God’ particles

Top stories: Smallpox, pandas, and ‘Oh-My-God’ particles

first_imgSix vials of smallpox discovered in U.S. labFederal scientists last week discovered a half-dozen forgotten vials of smallpox virus while cleaning out a storage area on the campus of the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. Variola, or smallpox, which killed hundreds of millions before it was declared eradicated in 1980 through a worldwide vaccination campaign, is legally stored at only two locations in the United States and Russia.Physicists spot potential source of ‘Oh-My-God’ particlesSign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)For decades, physicists have sought the sources of the most energetic subatomic particles in the universe—cosmic rays that strike the atmosphere with as much energy as well-thrown baseballs. Now, a team working with the Telescope Array, a collection of 507 particle detectors covering 700 square kilometers of desert in Utah, has observed a broad “hotspot” in the sky in which such cosmic rays seem to originate. Although not definitive, the observation suggests the cosmic rays emanate from a distinct source near our galaxy and not from sources spread all over the universe.Mom’s environment during pregnancy can affect her grandchildrenStarving a pregnant mouse can cause changes in the sperm of her sons that apparently warp the health of her grandchildren, according to a new study. The finding offers some of the strongest evidence yet that a mother’s environment during pregnancy can alter the expression of DNA in ways that are passed on to future generations.Hair-raising technique detects drugs, explosives on human bodyThat metal ball that makes your hair stand on end at science museums may have a powerful new use. Scientists have found a way to combine these Van de Graaff generators with a common laboratory instrument to detect drugs, explosives, and other illicit materials on the human body.How pandas survive on their bamboo-only dietPandas are one of the world’s most fascinating vegetarians. Their digestive systems evolved to process meat, yet they eat nothing but bamboo—all day, every day. A new study reveals how these animals survive on a diet that should kill them.last_img read more

Darwin’s ship library goes online

Darwin’s ship library goes online

first_imgAs Charles Darwin cruised the world on the HMS Beagle, he had access to an unusually well-stocked 400-volume library. That collection, which contained the observations of numerous other naturalists and explorers, has now been recreated online. As of today, all of more than 195,000 pages and 5000 illustrations from the works are available for the perusal of scholars and armchair naturalists alike, thanks to the Darwin Online project. The Beagle’s library included such influential reference texts as Charles Lyell’s Principles of Geology, as well as the writings of James Cook, Alexander von Humboldt, and Thomas Pennant (from whose 1793 book, History of Quadrupeds, this picture of a camel is taken). Atlases and books on travel, natural history, and geology made up most of the collection. But it had a few works of literature as well, including John Milton’s Paradise Lost. The Beagle library was dispersed when the voyage ended in October 1836. Scholars had previously identified 132 works as probably in the library based on Darwin’s writings. Science historian John van Wyhe, of the National University of Singapore, identified additional likely volumes by scouring Darwin’s field notebooks and the writings of other crew members for hints. The entire library—181 works in 404 volumes—includes works with illustrations digitized for the first time.last_img read more

Nigeria’s Ebola outbreak spreads

Nigeria’s Ebola outbreak spreads

first_imgThe doctor who treated him became ill on 11 August. He continued treating patients at his private clinic for 2 days, operating on at least two of them. Between 13 and 16 August, he was ill enough that he stayed home, but, according to the WHO report, he received multiple visitors who came to celebrate the birth of a baby. On 16 August, he was hospitalized. He did not tell doctors there that he had been exposed to Ebola.The WHO report is grim: “During his 6 day period of hospitalization, he was attended by the majority of the hospital’s health care staff,” it says, and members of his church community visited and performed a healing ritual that apparently involved laying on of hands. “On 21 August, he was taken to an ultrasound clinic, where 2 physicians performed an abdominal scan. He died the next day.”It was not until 27 August that tests confirmed he was infected with Ebola.His wife (who is also a doctor) and another patient at the hospital where he sought treatment are also infected. Twenty-one trained teams are monitoring more than 200 contacts, and a 26-bed isolation facility is set up. WHO says two decontamination teams and a burial team “are equipped and operational.” The diplomat, associated with the Economic Community of West African States, may face manslaughter charges, according to Nigerian press reports. *The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.*Update, 3 September, 5:09 p.m.: This article has been updated to clarify the number of monitoring teams at work. The hopes that Nigeria’s Ebola outbreak could be quickly stamped out have evaporated. The World Health Organization (WHO) this afternoon issued its first detailed report of the spread of the virus in Port Harcourt, Nigeria’s oil hub. Last week, authorities announced that a doctor there had died of the disease, after secretly treating a diplomat who had been infected in Lagos by a traveler from Liberia.The doctor had close contact with family, friends, and health care workers during his illness, but he did not disclose his previous exposure to the virus. His infection wasn’t confirmed until 5 days after his death. Experts are now following hundreds of the doctor’s contacts, 60 of which had “high-risk or very high-risk exposure,” WHO says.The diplomat had been instructed to stay in Lagos in quarantine. Instead he flew to Port Harcourt, where he was treated—in a hotel room—by the doctor from 1 to 3 August. The diplomat survived and returned to Lagos, presenting himself again to health authorities, who confirmed he was no longer was infected. He did not tell them that he had sought treatment in Port Harcourt.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

Space station detector reports more hints of dark matter—or not

Space station detector reports more hints of dark matter—or not

first_imgNew reports of further evidence for dark matter have been greatly exaggerated. Yesterday, researchers working with the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS), a $2 billion cosmic ray detector attached to the International Space Station, reported their latest data on a supposed excess of high-energy positrons from space. They contended—at least in a press release—that the new results could offer new hints that they’ve detected particles of dark matter, the mysterious stuff whose gravity binds the galaxies. But several cosmic ray physicists say that the AMS data are still perfectly consistent with much more mundane explanations of the excess. And they doubt AMS alone will resolve the issue.The leader of the AMS team, Nobel laureate Samuel Ting of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, takes care to say that the new results do not prove that AMS has detected dark matter. But he also says the data lend more support to that interpretation than to some others. “The key statement is that we have not found a contradiction with the dark matter explanation,” he says.The controversy centers on AMS’s measurement of a key ratio, the number of antimatter positrons to the sum of positrons and electrons. In April 2013, AMS confirmed early reports that as the energy of the particles increased above about 8 gigaelectron Volts (GeV), that ratio, or “positron fraction,” increased, even as the individual fluxes of electrons and positrons were falling. That increase in the relative abundance of positrons could signal the presence of dark matter particles. According to many theories, if those particles collide, they would annihilate each other to produce electron-positron pairs. That would alter the balance of electrons and positrons among cosmic rays, as the usual source such as the cloudlike remnants of supernova explosions produce far more electrons than positrons.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)However, that interpretation was hardly certain. Even before AMS released its measurement of the ratio, astrophysicists had argued that the excess positrons could potentially emanate from an undetected nearby pulsar. In November 2013, Eli Waxman, a theoretical astrophysicist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and colleagues went even further. They argued that the excess positrons could come simply from the interactions of “primary” cosmic rays from supernova remnants with the interstellar medium. If so, then the positrons were just “secondary” rays and nothing to write home about.However, AMS team researchers see two new features that are consistent with the dark matter interpretation, they reported online yesterday in Physical Review Letters. First, the AMS team now sees that after rising with energy, the positron fraction seems to level off and may begin to fall at an energy of 275 GeV, as would be expected if the excess were produced by colliding dark matter particles, as the original particles’ mass would put an upper limit on the energy of the positron they spawned. AMS researchers say the leveling off would be consistent with a dark matter particle with a mass of 1 teraelectron volt (TeV). (Thanks to Albert Einstein’s famous equivalence of mass and energy, the two can be measured in the same units.)Second, the AMS team measured the spectra of electrons and positrons individually. They found that the spectra have different shapes as energy increases. “It’s really surprising that the electrons and positrons are so different,” Ting says. And, he argues, the difference suggests that the positrons cannot be secondary cosmic rays produced by primary cosmic ray electrons, as such production should lead to similar spectra.But some cosmic ray physicists aren’t convinced. For example, in AMS’s graph of the electron fraction, the error bars at the highest energies are large because the high-energy particles are so rare. And those uncertainties make it unclear whether the positron fraction really starts to drop, says Stéphane Coutu, a cosmic ray physicist at Pennsylvania State University, University Park. And even if the positron fraction does fall at energies higher than AMS reported, that wouldn’t prove the positrons come from dark matter annihilations, Coutu says. Such a “cutoff” could easily arise in positrons from a pulsar, he says, if the spatial region in which the pulsar accelerates particles is of limited size. All told, the new results are “probably consistent with anything,” Coutu says.Similarly, Waxman questions Ting’s claim that the new data suggest the positrons aren’t simply secondary cosmic rays. If that were the case, then the electrons and positrons would be coming from different places and there would be no reason to expect their spectra to be similar, Waxman says. Moreover, he notes, AMS’s measurement of the positron fraction seems to level out just at the limit that he and colleagues predicted would be the maximum achievable through secondary cosmic rays. So, in fact, the new data support the interpretation that the positrons are simply secondary cosmic rays, he says. “To me this is a very strong indication that we are seeing cosmic ray interactions.”Will the argument ever end? AMS is scheduled to take data for 10 more years, which should enable scientists to whittle down the uncertainties and extend their reach toward higher energies, Ting says. “I think we should be able to reach 1 TeV with good statistics,” he says, and that should be enough to eventually settle the dispute. But Gregory Tarlé, an astrophysicist at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, says, “I don’t think that’s a legitimate claim.” Higher energy cosmic rays arrive at such a low rate that even quadrupling the data set would leave large statistical uncertainties, he says. So, Tarlé suspects, years from now the AMS results will likely look about as ambiguous they do now.last_img read more

Australia,US among major markets for Indian freelancers

Australia,US among major markets for Indian freelancers

first_imgCountries like Australia, the US and the UK account for significant amount of work for Indian freelancers working in various areas like technology, accounting and consulting, a report by digital payments major PayPal today said.The report found that most Indian freelancers are under the age of 40 and are predominantly male. Also, web and mobile development, web designing, Internet research and data entry emerged as the key focus areas.Many are also engaged in accounting, graphic design and consultancy, the report added.“India is one of the largest freelancer markets in the world and growing. We found 41 per cent respondents saying they have witnessed very fast growth in the past 12 months,” PayPal India Director Growth Narsi Subramanian said.Read it at India Today Related Itemslast_img read more