Is there a homosexuality gene

first_img Citation: Is there a homosexuality gene? (2006, December 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-12-homosexuality-gene.html Although biologists are still far from answering this question, scattered evidence for a possible gene influencing sexual orientation has recently encouraged scientists to map out a guide to future research. Because many possibilities for such a gene exist, scientists Sergey Gavrilets and William Rice have recently developed some theoretical guidelines and testable predictions for explaining the evolutionary causes of homosexuality. 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. “During the 1990s there was a short surge of interest by a small number of labs in finding major genes that might mediate homosexuality,” Rice told PhysOrg.com. “However, for a variety of reasons, this effort waned by the turn of the century. I think that—when studying humans—many people shy away from studying sexual phenotypes in general and homosexuality in particular. Much of Sergey’s and my motivation in writing our paper was to rekindle an interest in studying the genetic basis of homosexuality. I personally think that if a firm genetic foundation for homosexuality in humans were established, then many people would view this fascinating human phenotype more objectively.”During the past several decades, scientists have discovered some interesting patterns that may point toward genetic causes of homosexuality. Among the findings is that male homosexuality appears to be inherited more often from the mother than the father (Pillard). Also, natural selection might maintain a gene that may decrease the fecundity of one sex because the same gene also increases the fecundity of the other sex. In fact, recent data shows that female maternal relatives of gay men have higher than average reproduction capacity (Camperio-Ciani).Another interesting result from previous research is that a male’s chance of homosexuality increases with the number of biological older brothers he has—even when he grows up away from his older male siblings (Blanchard and Bogaert). Scientists explain that, with each male fetus, a mother develops an increased immunization to an antigen produced by the male fetuses, and this antigen likely plays a role in masculinizing the brain.These studies and others—while unable to point to a specific gene—do point to the idea that homosexuality may be inherited through a polymorphic gene, which is a gene that has more than one different form, and can exhibit either form. Studies have shown that this gene inheritance must be more complex than for common Mendelian traits. To take the next step, Gavrilets and Rice have developed several mathematical models that make contrasting predictions for the possible factors responsible for the polymorphism of genes influencing homosexuality. Hopefully, the predictions generated by these models will guide future tests and help zone in on the correct genetic characteristics involved in sexual orientation. As Rice explains, past research has shown the complexity inherent in determining the cause(s) of homosexuality. “We know that homosexuality (gay or lesbian) can be caused by simple genetic changes in fruit flies, and since so many reproductive and neurological genes are shared by flies and humans, it seems highly likely that there are major genes influencing homosexuality in humans,” said Rice. “However, we also have firm evidence for a birth-order effect on male homosexuality, and discordance in the expression of homosexuality of identical twins, so clearly there is also an environmental influence on the trait.”Gavrilets and Rice identify two main factors that may explain the polymorphism of a gene (and how the gene spreads): overdominance and sexual antagonism. Overdominance refers to phenotypes that come from heterozygous genes, and the advantages promoting genetic variation. Sexual antagonistic traits are those that are advantageous in one sex, but may cause homosexuality in the other sex. For a variety of different gene inheritance patterns, the scientists provide mathematical models that require, in essence, that the benefits for one sex must outweigh the costs for the other sex.In their study, Gavrilets and Rice make predictions for the likelihood of certain types of genes (e.g. autosomal or sex-linked, recessive or dominant, with small or large effects) favoring either overdominance or sexual antagonism under different conditions. However, many possibilities remain, and research into each one will determine how well they satisfy the requirements provided in this study.“The research so far that I think is most illuminating on this topic are the studies showing that homosexuality can have a simple genetic foundation in fruit flies,” said Rice. “I think that it is too early to decide which of our models (or one yet to be formulated) is most feasible. However, based on the abundance of sexually antagonistic variation found in fruit flies, the sexually antagonistic variation seems like a probable candidate process leading to polymorphism for homosexuality.”Citation: Gavrilets, Sergey and Rice, William R. “Genetic models of homosexuality: generating testable predictions.” Proceedings of the Royal Society B (2006) 273, 3031-3038.By Lisa Zyga, Copyrght 2006 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

GPS satellites get a serious upgrade

first_imgNavstar-2F satellite of the Global Positioning System (GPS). Image: USAF Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com Citation: GPS satellites get a serious upgrade (2011, April 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-gps-satellites.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.center_img (PhysOrg.com) — GPS has become such an integral part of the new technology in our lives that we really do not give it much of a thought. It gets us to our destination without getting lost. It helps the ambulance to find us when we dial 911 on our cell phones. It lets you become the mayor of your gym for all those check in’s. GPS System Could Start Failing by Next Year When you get down to it, all of that technology is powered by a set of 24 satellites, and most of them have been up there for quite some time. The time has come for an upgrade. The newest version of a GPS satellite is called the GPS IIF and it is enhanced with more than one new upgrade.The GPS IIF is expected to double the accuracy of GPS, which is just as good of news for fans of Foursquare as it is for the FAA. One has to wonder exactly what doubling that accuracy really means. Well, currently GPS can estimate your location to an area of about 20 feet. When the next generation satellites are in place, this location will be narrowed down to an area of two to three feet, making pinpointing locations less like a range, and more like the spot you are standing on.This enhancement means that the next generation of GPS technology may be able to work with augmented reality technology indoors. Imagine having a virtual docent at the Met, or a guide to help you around your new college campus. The possibilities with this level of accuracy are intriguing.Currently, only one of these satellites, the GPS IIF SV-1, is in orbit and fully operational since August 2010. The second GPS IIF satellite, SV-2 is planned to launch this year. Eventually 10 other units will join them, and that is when you can expect to see the upgrades.last_img read more

Late Pleistocene evidence that crocodiles preyed on giant tortoises on Aldabra Atoll

first_imgSize comparison of crocodylian and gianttortoiseremains. Credit: Royal Society Open Science (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171800 Citation: Late Pleistocene evidence that crocodiles preyed on giant tortoises on Aldabra Atoll (2018, January 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-giant-tortoises-aldabra-atoll-ward.html An international team of researchers has found evidence that suggests the giant tortoises living on the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles may have once had to watch out for crocodile attacks. In their paper published in the journal Royal Society Open Science, the group describes fossil evidence they found on the atoll that suggests crocodiles large enough to cause harm may have once feasted on the giant tortoises. 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. New study suggests some ancient bite marks from crocs not stone tools Explore furthercenter_img Journal information: Royal Society Open Science More information: Torsten M. Scheyer et al. Trophic interactions between larger crocodylians and giant tortoises on Aldabra Atoll, Western Indian Ocean, during the Late Pleistocene, Royal Society Open Science (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171800AbstractToday, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Aldabra Atoll is home to about 100 000 giant tortoises, Aldabrachelys gigantea, whose fossil record goes back to the Late Pleistocene. New Late Pleistocene fossils (age ca. 90–125 000 years) from the atoll revealed some appendicular bones and numerous shell fragments of giant tortoises and cranial and postcranial elements of crocodylians. Several tortoise bones show circular holes, pits and scratch marks that are interpreted as bite marks of crocodylians. The presence of a Late Pleistocene crocodylian species, Aldabrachampsus dilophus, has been known for some time, but the recently found crocodylian remains presented herein are distinctly larger than those previously described. This indicates the presence of at least some larger crocodylians, either of the same or of a different species, on the atoll. These larger crocodylians, likely the apex predators in the Aldabra ecosystem at the time, were well capable of inflicting damage on even very large giant tortoises. We thus propose an extinct predator–prey interaction between crocodylians and giant tortoises during the Late Pleistocene, when both groups were living sympatrically on Aldabra, and we discuss scenarios for the crocodylians directly attacking the tortoises or scavenging on recently deceased animals. © 2018 Phys.org Today, the giant tortoises that live on Aldabra Atoll pass their days relatively stress-free due to an absence of predators. Their thick, dome-shaped shells offer them a very secure defense against creatures that might seek to harm them. But their peaceful existence is also thanks to laws that ban humans from harming them, and perhaps events that led to the demise of crocodiles that were big enough to attack them.The researchers report that during a visit to the atoll, they found parts of giant fossilized tortoise shells with large tooth bite marks on them. More importantly, they also found a jawbone that had once belonged to a large ancient crocodilian—one that was bigger than those represented by previously found fossils. Testing showed that both fossils were from a time period approximately 90,000 to 125,000 years ago—putting them in the late Pleistocene. The size of the fossilized jawbone, the team concluded, suggested that the crocodile would have been larger than the others that had lived on the atoll, but smaller than modern Nile or saltwater crocodiles. They further estimated by examining the jawbone that the crocodile would have been approximately 11.5 feet long—big enough to tear limbs or a head from an exposed tortoise. The tortoise would have weighed approximately 550 pounds.The researchers suggest that the bite marks on the tortoise shell indicate one of two possible scenarios. In the first, the croc had hidden itself beneath the water and then pounced when it saw the tortoise stretch its neck out to get a drink of water. The other possibility was that the tortoise died from another cause and the crocodile left marks as it attempted to get at the remains inside the shell.last_img read more

Nanophotonic light sails may travel at relativistic speeds

first_img Designing light sails is a major engineering challenge, however, requiring conflicting features that sound nearly impossible: an ideal light sail should be several meters wide and mechanically robust enough to withstand intense radiation pressure, yet be merely 100 nanometers or so thick and weigh just a few grams. Further requirements arise from the mechanism by which light sails work. According to Maxwell’s equations, light has momentum and as a result can exert pressure on objects. However, light sails are not simply pushed by radiation pressure like a sailboat is pushed by the wind. Instead, the push results from the light sail reflecting the radiation. As a result, an optimal sail should reflect the majority of the radiation in the laser beam’s near-infrared spectrum, while simultaneously emitting radiation in the mid-infrared range for efficient radiative cooling.Nanophotonic sailsIn a new study published in Nano Letters, researchers Ognjen Ilic, Cora Went, and Harry Atwater at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, have shown that nanophotonic structures may have the potential to meet the stringent material requirements for light sails capable of traveling at relativistic speeds.Previous light sail designs have used materials such as ultrathin aluminum, various polymers, and carbon fiber. Unlike these materials, nanophotonic structures have the ability to manipulate light at subwavelength scales, giving them an advantage in addressing the simultaneous requirements of efficient propulsion (reflection) and thermal management (emission). As an example, the researchers showed that a two-layer stack of silicon and silica shows promise due to the combined properties of both materials. Whereas silicon has a large refractive index—which corresponds to efficient propulsion—but a poor cooling ability, silica has good radiative cooling properties but a smaller refractive index.In their paper, the researchers also proposed a new figure of merit that measures the trade-off between achieving a low sail mass and a high reflectivity. In the future, this concept will help to minimize constraints on the laser power and the size of the laser array. Background on light sailsAlthough conceptualized for nearly a century, only in the past few decades has technology caught up to scientists’ early visions of propelling a spacecraft with the pressure of light. Inspired by the way that the Sun’s radiation pushes a comet’s tail in the opposite direction, the earliest concepts were of solar sails that use the radiation pressure from sunlight rather than from lasers. The first solar sail was launched in 2010 by the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) and successfully reached the orbit of Venus in six months, powered only by the radiation pressure of sunlight. Now researchers are working on designing solar sails capable of greater accelerations that are competitive with rocket acceleration, offering the possibility of launching spacecraft without the billion-dollar cost of conventional propellants.Although solar sails may achieve rocket-like speeds, sunlight radiation is relatively weak compared to a high-power laser array. As a result, a laser array offers the potential for much faster propulsion, up to relativistic speeds—but more work is needed before such laser-powered sails are demonstrated. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further © 2018 Phys.org Researchers develop new solar sailing technology for NASA More information: Ognjen Ilic et al. “Nanophotonic Heterostructures for Efficient Propulsion and Radiative Cooling of Relativistic Light Sails.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b02035center_img Journal information: Nano Letters A light sail requires multiband functionality: high reflectivity in the near-infrared range for propulsion and high emissivity in the thermal (mid-) infrared range for cooling. Credit: Ilic et al. ©2018 American Chemical Society Citation: Nanophotonic light sails may travel at relativistic speeds (2018, September 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-nanophotonic-relativistic.html One day in the not-so-distant future, light sails may hurtle through space at speeds of around 20% of the speed of light (or 60,000 km/sec), propelled not by fuel but rather by the radiation pressure from high-power lasers on Earth. Traveling at these relativistic speeds, laser-powered light sails could reach our nearest neighboring star (other than the Sun), Alpha Centauri, or the nearest known potentially habitable planet, Proxima Centauri b, in about 20 years. Both objects are a little more than four light-years away.last_img read more

Very soul full this

first_imgThis could have turned out to be a column full of raves and rants, but that was thankfully averted by more than a mile. So one super cold evening, I undertook the journey from Delhi to Gurgaon, to check out this new place which is very intriguingly called Spoonful of Soul. The twists and turns of roads took me through sleeping neighbourhoods and I finally arrived at what looked like a traveller’s inn of yore. As I walked into the cobbled courtyard, I could see restaurants and designer boutiques around me. What made it even more interesting was was that the only way to reach the restaurant was a glass lift — nothing extraordinary but nice nevertheless. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Spoonful of Soul has been designed more like a cafe and as I walked in, warm hues of blue and purple and pink greeted me. The furniture is cane and wood, with rattan sofas filling up the cosy corners. A lot of soul has indeed gone into the décor. The walls have scooped shelves which house crockery — adding a nice touch.The menu is a mix of Continental and Mediterranean and a board lists the Thai dishes of the day (you can also order Chinese). Though it has not opened very long back, the liquor license is already in place.But the alcohol list is not exhaustive and they would do well to add more brands. The restaurant has mostly the regular cocktails and some of the mocktails are quite good (though why the Peanut butter shake is listed as a mocktail is beyond comprehension). But among the mocktails, you can try the Virgin Cosmopolitan. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe food is mostly good. I was quite impressed with the way the Awesome foursome — which comprises kebabs made from chicken, fish and prawns — was served on skewers. Though it was served overcooked and slightly burnt. I also liked the idea behind the Prawn and apple salad — chunks of apple served with bits of prawns. If you don’t have any problem eating bacon, the Saltimbocca (see recipe) is a must eat.   Those with a sweet tooth, do not leave without gorging on the Sweet Zebra — a vanilla ice cream and Oreo biscuit sandwich. It is served slightly hard so that the ice cream doesn’t melt, but it is worth it.DETAILAt: Spoonful of Soul, 27 Nathupur Road, DLF Phase 3, Gurgaon Timings: Noon to 3.30 pm (lunch); 7 pm to 11.30 pm (dinner) Phone: 0124 30146022Meal for two: Rs 1,000 (without alcohol)last_img read more

Perfumed fine dinning on Orient Express

first_imgVanilla bean-scented baby leeks soup, scallops in jasmine jus, artichokes with thyme and lavender honey glazed chicken. Brought to India by an unusual person, Nicolas De Barry, who studied sociology and politics and then entered the world of perfumery while in Brazil. That is not the only thing unusual about Nicolas, but the fact that he replenishes the senses with an assortment of scents while one is fine dinning at the Orient Express. The legendry Orient Express at Taj Palace, New Delhi is hosting an exclusive perfume festival where the sensorial feast stylishly blends with gastronomy as master perfumer, Nicolas De Barry travels through exotic destinations of the traditional Orient Express train. The guests are taken on a perfume trail through Paris, Austria, Romania, Bulgaria, Italy and Istanbul while exploring exotic, legendry and luxurious fragrances inspired by their unique cultures. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Complimenting the perfumes, the April menu created by Executive Chef of Taj Palace, Rajesh Wadhwa at the award-winning Orient Express restaurant is infused with the delicate fragrance of roses. Some of the must tries are sandal wood smoked balic salmon with bergermot dust and oil and agar wood scented pan seared fresh duck foie gras with marigold and fig relish. For the vegetarians, the angel hair pasta with saffron and micro greens is recommended. The rose petal sorbet is an absolute treat of a palate changer while the chamomile tea parfait, morello cherries and peach compote serve as the perfect dessert! Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixNicolas De Barry organizes work shops and master classes world wide and has created ‘very own fragrances’ for celebrities around the world. He has published 15 books and before starting in the perfume business in 1992, he was a diplomat. Nicolas sources his ingredients from all over the world including Agar and sandalwood from various parts of India. The perfumes used by the Mughals in India are one of his favourites.Great care is taken to find the best natural ingredients for his scents from the best sources around the globe. Nicolas is developing hundred percent natural perfumes, which are rare and use precious oils from blue lotus in Thailand and rose from Grasse or Crimea. In 2003, Nicolas had the distinction of recreating with the utmost fidelity the genuine perfumes of King Louis XV, Empress Sissi, etc.The Agar perfumes used by Nicolas can set you back by over Rs. 1 million for a kilogram! (Suvendu Banerjee is President and CEO of Business Images, one of India’s leading PR and Communications agencies and can be reached at suvendu@businessimages.info)last_img read more

Thanks for all the fish

first_imgA big news day and pending work can only mean one thing, a very heavy and spicy lunch. That is exactly what we set out to do heading for West Bengal Bhavan.Delhi’s probashi Bengalis (non-residential bengali’s if you may) have always retreated to the comfort of Banga Bhavan (as it is better known) or the Ma Tara Hotel in CR Park to get a taste of home. Then there is always Oh! Calcutta and City of Joy in Alaknanda to offer a slightly better dining experience. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’While Oh! Calcutta turns you off with the completely ludicrous prices, City of Joy offers a substantially better deal. But beating it all I comes Banga Bhavan, you can sit in the air-conditioned interiors and enjoy your fill of Bengali food along with very good service.The menu is a fish lover’s delight – right from the crabs and the prawns and the monsoon special Hilsa – you will instinctively reach out for a well made fish fry. We decided to take the path oft not taken and ordered Mutton Cutlets. We wanted to savour the fish later. The cutlets were quite good and while we debated whether we should order round two, the Prawn Kabiraji came in. Basically a prawn cutlet fried in a thick layer of eggs is quite heavy, but sadly we were left disappointed. The prawns were not marinated enough and the coating, which is supposed to be light and fluffy was very oily and heavy on the tongue. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe Chicken Kosha did not do justice to the expectations we had off it and compared rather poorly to the fish. Both the Fish Kalia and the Ilish Bhapa were perfect to say the least. The fish was fresh and the gravy perfect, not to spicy but full of taste.The Ilish was a part of the special monsoon Hilsa festival that is on in the bhavan and might not be easily available throughout the year – but all other items on the menu are. Including the much loved Luchi and Alurdom. But as luck would have it – office calls! While all the items in the menu will not blow you away, they have their spectacular hits and more than anything – eating at Banga Bhavan is definite value for money. We are going back again for sure!last_img read more

Saluting the experts

first_imgHandicrafts Export Awards to 68 companies for excellence in exports were distributed by  Santosh Kumar Gangwar,  Union Minister of State for Textiles along with launching of Handicrafts and Carpet Sector Skill Council by Rajiv Pratap Rudy, Union Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Parliamentary Affair. Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, Member of Parliament, S K Panda, Secretary (Textiles) and S K Biswas, Development Commissioner (Handicrafts) were also present during the ceremony beside luminaries from the trade and industry exporters of handicrafts.   Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’With the distribution of handicraft export awards, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship and Parliamentary Affairs also launched the new institution called Handicrafts and Carpet Sector Skill Council which has been set up to promote skill development amongst artisans, craft persons and workers of handicrafts and carpet products.  While launching the Handicrafts and Carpet Sector Skill Council, Minister of State for Skill Development, Entrepreneurship and Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Pratap Rudy said, ‘The role of skill development in Indian economy is very important keeping in view of the fact that percentage of skill manpower in India is very low as compared to China, Korea, Japan and Germany. There is a great need to develop skill of all sectors of the economy so that India become competitive in production of good quality products.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixUnion Minister of State for Textiles Santosh Kumar Gangwar said, ‘Although exporters are doing excellent job of achieving high rate of growth, yet there is big scope of further improvement, the exporters need to develop new lines, new products and give emphasis on good skill, good quality to make products more competitive in world market.’ M/s C L Gupta Exports Ltd, Moradabad received trophy of top export award for their performance in all product categories of handicrafts. Whereas, World leader in Shawls, Ahujasons won the ‘Highest Export Award’ in ‘Shawls as Art ware including scarves and stoles’ category. Karan Ahuja, Director, Exports, Ahujasons said ‘It is a matter of great delight and pride to receive this award for the third time in a row. This is very encouraging and acknowledges our world class products in the global market.’  Trophies were also given under each product category which included Woodwares, Zari Handicrafts, Lace, Laces and Embroidery, India Items, Textiles based handicrafts, fashion jewellery and crafted stone, iron crafts, jute handicrafts, glass, artware, ceramic artwares and aluminium artwares.‘Handicraft export has been growing at an average annual growth rate of 15% during the last decade. However, growth during the current year was 30.80% in rupee terms and 17.55% in dollars terms as compared to previous year. Exports of handicrafts during the year 2013-14 was Rs. 23,504.42 crore,’ said Rakesh Kumar, Executive Director – EPCH (Export Promotion Council for Handicrafts).last_img read more

Why diet foods dont satisfy us

first_imgEvolution has trained our brain to expect calories or energy from sweet-tasting foods and that is why low-calorie cookies or diet drinks do not satisfy us, suggests a research.The results could explain why dieting may backfire, leading us to eat more until the body meets its energy needs.We may even have hormones that help the brian distinguish real sugar from artificial sweetener, the study published the journal Neuron, said.“We knew that the human brain could tell the difference between real and fake sugar, we just did not know how,” said first author Monica Dus, assistant professor at the University of Michigan in the US. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’For the study, researchers deprived fruit flies of food for several hours and then gave them a choice between diet, non-nutritive sweeteners and real sugar.When the flies licked the real sugar, it activated a group of six neurons that released a hormone with receptors in the gut and brain.The hormone fuelled digestion and allowed the fly to lick more of the nutritious food.On the other hand, when the fly licked the diet sweetener, it never produced this hormone/digestive reaction because zero-calorie sweetener has no nutritional or energy value. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn every case, the flies abandoned the artificial sweetener and chose the regular sugar because the starved flies needed the energy provided by the calories in the real sugar.From an evolutionary perspective, sweet taste means sugar (traditionally from fruit or high concentrate carbohydrates) and a subsequent big energy boost.“Fruit flies cannot call out for pizza – their brains expect calories if they eat something sweet, and that is why they chose the regular sugar,” said Dus. “Fruit flies and humans share about 75 percent of the same disease-causing genes.”If our brains work the same way, this helps explain why diet foods do not satiate or satisfy us, and we gain weight while dieting, Dus said.It is analogous to a person eating that entire sleeve of low-calorie cookies and the body telling her she is still hungry.She keeps snacking until she eats something with nutritional value that meets her energy needs, the study said.last_img read more

Facebook CEO Zuckerberg wife expecting baby girl

first_imgFacebook’s billionaire CEO Mark Zuckerberg and his wife Priscilla Chan are expecting a baby girl, the social networking site’s founder announced, using the opportunity to throw light on the traumatic and emotional issue of miscarriages that the couple had suffered thrice.“Priscilla and I have some exciting news: we’re expecting a baby girl! This will be a new chapter in our lives,” Zuckerberg wrote on his Facebook page on Friday.“We’ve already been so fortunate for the opportunity to touch people’s lives around the world – Cilla as a doctor and educator, and me through this community and philanthropy. Now we’ll focus on making the world a better place for our child and the next generation,” he said. Also Read – Pak Army ‘fully prepared’ to face any challenge: Army spokesmanThe post had been liked by over a million people, with about 70,000 people commenting on it and over 28000 people sharing the post in the nine hours that it was first posted.The 31-year-old technocrat said that he and his wife had been trying to have a child for a couple of years and had had three miscarriages along the way.“You feel so hopeful when you learn you’re going to have a child. You start imagining who they’ll become and dreaming of hopes for their future. You start making plans, and then they’re gone. It’s a lonely experience,” he said. Also Read – Separatists vacate key offices in Yemen’s Aden, says MinisterDescribing the experience of going through miscarriages as a lonely one, Zuckerberg said most people don’t discuss miscarriages but the connected world of today provides an opportunity to people to share their concerns and apprehensions and get the much-required support.He said people don’t discuss miscarriages?because “you worry your problems will distance you or reflect upon you –as if you’re defective or did something to cause this. So you struggle on your own. “In today’s open and connected world, discussing these issues doesn’t distance us; it brings us together. It creates understanding and tolerance, and it gives us hope.” Zuckerberg shared with his over 33 million Facebook followers that he had his wife started talking to their friends about their experiences and “realised how frequently this happened –that many people we knew had similar issues and that nearly all had healthy children after all.”last_img read more

Trust can synchronise heart rate among two strangers

first_imgWhen people are in the process of building trust among each other, their hearts get synchronised and beat as one, an interesting study has found.Researchers from Aarhus University in Denmark showed that there was a larger physiological response in the form of an increase and synchrony of the participants’ heart rates in the “trust group” compared to the control group.“The heart rate synchrony is an indicator of rapport, affiliation and the improvement of group dynamics,” said lead researcher and assistant professor Panagiotis Mitkidis. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’To reach this conclusion, Mitkidis and colleagues studied the link between heart rate and trust.They had 37 pairs of participants do a cooperative task involving building Lego cars.The control group only did the lego task while a second group played an investment game in between the building sessions.The game, known as the “Public Goods Game” had the goal of including the element of trust in the experiment.“Trust is a necessary ingredient for successful cooperation and of most importance for our society,” Mitkidis noticed. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix“A further indication of that is that heart rate synchrony is a significant predictor of expectations in the Public Goods Game, an indication of preferences and beliefs about the behaviour of others,” the authors pointed out.The experiment revealed that heart rate synchronisation was significantly higher in the “trust” group.Heart rate arousal was also significantly higher in the trust condition.The paper appeared in the Journal of Physiology and Behavior.last_img read more

Swar Utsav at its amazing best

first_imgThe love of classical music can be guessed as the lovers flocked to the opening of Swar Utsav 2015, the Indian music festival organised by Shree Gulab Rai Charitable Trust at FICCI Auditorium. The event kicked off with the lighting of the inaugural lamp by C R Rai, Founder, Gulab Rai Charitable Trust and R K Sinha Member of the Parliament. Indian singer and musician Anup Jalota took the center stage, as he performsed some of his Hindu devotional Bhajans and Ghazal. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Anup Jalota mesmerised the audience by some of his famous Ghazal and  Bhajans such as Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Apne hathon se yoon, Shamma Bujhi rafta rafta  followed by a fusion concert, Confluence, which had maestros like Pandit Debu Chaudhury (Sitar), Pandit Vishvamohan Bhatt (Mohan Veena), Vidushi Sumitra Guha (Hindustani Classical), Pt Deepak Maharan (Kathak) and many other renowned artists.  Several ministers of Government of India were invited as chief guests such as Minister of State for Textiles, Panabaaka Lakshmi, and Minister for Tourism, Subodh Kant Sahai.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe mesmerizing music &and bliss came to an end with people asking for more. Speaking about the event, C R Rai, founder, Shree Gulab Rai, Charitable Trust  said, “To promote Indian classical music, Gulab Rai, Charitable Trust regularly organises an Indian classical music programme every year by the name ‘Swarutsav’ . Swar Utsav was started  in 2010. We at Gulab Rai, Charitable Trust are proud to be reviving this grand stage and bringing the best classic music in the country together for Delhi’s citizens.” The annual music festival which won many accolades, had maestros performing and thousands of fans listening to them. Gulab Rai Charitable Trust was established in the memory of late Lala Gulab Rai ji to promote academic as well as music and cultural education.last_img read more

Trinamool workers raise voice against skyrocketing fuel prices in city

first_imgKolkata: Trinamool Congress workers staged agitation at different places on Sunday, against the abnormal hike in the fuel prices.It may be mentioned that petrol and diesel prices have touched Rs 81.76 per litre and Rs 73.61 per litre respectively in Kolkata.With the all time high fuel prices, common people are apprehending that the cost of essential goods will also go up, as cost of transportation of goods will rise with increase in the fuel prices. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had repeatedly raised her voice against the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel. On Friday, she had attacked the Centre in this connection and tweeted: “Rupee suffering from low fever. Petrol and Diesel prices highest ever. Foreign Exchange Reserves have fallen by $21.84 Billion between March end and August 3. Current Account Deficit is moving up towards 2.8 per cent of GDP…”On Sunday morning, Trinamool Congress workers held rallies at different places against the hike in the prices of petrol and diesel. They have also protested against the increase in the price of LPG. The party workers and supporters held rallies at places including Baidyabati in Hooghly. Common people also joined the rallies organised by Trinamool Congress and raised their voice against the same. They shouted slogans against the Centre for its indifferent attitude in this connection. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedWith the increase in the prices of petrol and diesel, business of trucks and mini-trucks are getting badly affected. According to an owner of a mini-truck, they engage into an agreement for at least months with authorities of a company to transport their produce and they get payment at the same rate for the next three months despite changes in fuel prices.In such a situation, they are incurring a huge loss when fuel prices are going up almost every day.last_img read more

EC trying to bring in overseas voters who still elude polling booths

first_imgKolkata: Ambar Hazra (name changed) has been working in an oil company in Canada for the last nine years. He had registered himself as an overseas voter in 2014 but couldn’t turn up to cast his vote. He might not be able to make it to the booth this year as well.”We get a long leave in winter but in summer it is not possible for us to come and cast our vote. There is a financial complication involved and we cannot afford to spend so much only to cast our vote. I registered myself with the hope that the Election Commission will do something to facilitate our Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamatavoting process but nothing has happened. So the chances of me participating in the democratic process of our country are very low,” said Hazra, an overseas voter from the Diamond Harbour constituency. Prashanta Sen (name changed), who has just left his job in South Africa and come back to India a few months ago, will be able to cast his vote after 16 years. “I am thrilled that I will be able to cast my vote this time. I had registered myself as an overseas voter a long time ago but couldn’t come. The ECI should think of some-thing so that we can also become a part of this process. If the service electors can cast their votes, why can’t we?” said Sen, a resident of Lake Town. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateHazra was among the 8 voters who had registered themselves for the 2014 Loksabha election, but only one had turned up at the booth. In the 2016 Assembly election, the number of ‘overseas voters’ from Bengal had doubled to 16, but none had come to exercise their franchise. Nationally, the figure is even more pathetic. Of the 12,234 ‘overseas voters’ registered in 2014, only 8 persons had cast their votes. The latest Election Commission data shows that Kerala has the highest number of overseas voters with 12,585 people registered, followed by Punjab with 169 voters, Tamil Nadu with 125 voters, Puducherry with 65 voters and Goa with 27 registered ‘overseas voters’. Bengal, with 22 ‘overseas voters’, is the sixth in rank. In the entire state, Kolkata is the highest with 7 persons registered as ‘overseas voters’. Kolkata is followed by Birbhum with five voters, North 24-Parganas with 4 voters and South 24-Parganas and Hooghly with two voters each. There is one voter each in Howrah and West Midnapore. According to Election Commission officials, the enrolment of ‘overseas voters’ can be done online. The interested voter needs to visit the ECI website, choose the state or union territory and go to the State Election Commission of India division, opt for Form 6A and download it. They can then submit the form with relevant passport pages and visa documents by post or in person. “Naturally, people can register themselves easily but when it comes to voting they need to appear in person at the booth, show the passport and cast their vote. This is a problem,” a commission official said. He added that the commission has separate notifications in every country, asking Indian citizens to register themselves as voters. “We need more campaigning so that people living outside the country understand the importance of their votes,” he maintained.last_img read more

Empowering orphan girl child to learn and lead

first_imgShyam Sundar Co Jewellers, as an extension to ‘Kanyashree’ initiative, has taken the onus to help orphaned and bereft girl child for their education, health, and financial upliftment. ‘Durga and Friends’ – the orphan and single parent girls staying at Chitrangada orphanage celebrated their fifth year of success at Rabindra Sadan. Rupak Saha, Director, Shyam Sundar Co. Jeweller along with the friends of ‘Durga’ graced the occasion with their presence. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe cultural evening witnessed a performance ‘Durga’ celebrating the onset of Durga Puja and showcases the power of love and care. The noble initiative was undertaken just before the arrival of Durga, the Goddess of power and strength. A special recitation titled ‘Kashphuler Swapnopath’ was also performed by Mounita to celebrate all the poetry about the festive season.Speaking on the occasion, Rupak Saha, Director, Shyam Sundar Co Jewellers said, “Durga and Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveFriends’ is an effort conceived and designed by the company to support the orphan girl child. It is athe platform from where we are trying to give the children an opportunity to become a ‘Durga’.””We are really very happy to have been associated with Chitrangada and take the responsibility of these children and bring a smile on their faces. We are extremely happy to help these young girls who might be less privileged but are full of potential. Personally, I feel there is a Durga in every girl child. Hence, we believe this is the best possible way to serve the society by helping and empowering these embodiments of Maa Durga.”last_img read more

Acknowledging differences rejecting divisions

first_imgIt’s not every day that you get to hear how divisions in Indian society intrigued and impacted an artist so much so that he decided to bridge the gap through art.Andrea Anastasio, an award-winning designer from Milan, spent half his life in India, trying to interact with the locals and understanding social categorisation of people. “I have been coming back to India every year since 1979. Parts of my stay in this country were devoted to interacting with the locals and understanding the differences in the cultures. I always tried to understand what’s normally defined as tribal groups, tribal designs, folk art, and how these definitions always prevented us from seeing the underlying unity,” said Andrea. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfIt was only a few months back that the Italian artist was approached by Somnath Pyne, Founder and Secretary of The Force for Rural Empowerment and Economic Development (FREED) to create an art installation with lights, along with the artists of Chandannagar. “Andrea is a light installation artist and designer from Italy. We wanted him to think out of the box and create something for the exhibition at the Italian Embassy Cultural Centre,” informed Pyne. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”Considering the kind of work he does and the artists he would be needing, we could only think of craftsmen from Chandannagar,” he added. Chandannagar is a small city and former French colony located 30 kilometers north of Kolkata. This small town over a period of 300 years has a unique blend of culture and heritage. The place has long been known for its decorative lights used in Durga Puja celebration. Further, Pyne informed, “One fine day, Andrea visited the place and met the craftsmen. He later gave the creative inputs. Designs were exchanged on Whatsapp and at the end, we got a fine piece of art.” The light installation is based on the concept of ‘Civilisation without divisions and boundaries’, created by Babu Pal from Chandannagar guided by Andrea. The financial support was provided by Bose foundation. Speaking of his experience of working with 40 other artists from Chandannagar on this installation, Andrea said, “What I loved the most in the process of making it was the interaction with the artists. At a point, I realised that they were not actually fabricating but weaving the work. That was a beautiful moment in which I could see the blending of craftsmanship and conceptual approach.” Andrea, who found lights a very fascinating medium to talk about contemporary issues of our society, usually loves to combine architecture, design, and art. I believe that architecture and design can be used as languages and tools to address various issues. Even in this case, design and architecture came together to address and tackle the issues of contemporary reality,” he concluded.last_img read more

Senco launches Aham range of jewellery for men

first_imgSenco Gold & Diamonds, the fastest growing jewellery retail chain in India on April 17 unveiled ‘Aham’- the first signature men’s jewellery collection of its kind in the presence of the Kolkata Knight Riders star cricketers – Lockie Ferguson, Matt Kelly, Sandeep Warrier and Rinku Singh.Aham offers a signature collection of rings, bracelets, cuff-links, ear-studs, chains and pendants in diamond, gold and silver. The price of the collection starts from Rs 30,000 for the gold collection, Rs 2000 for silver, and Rs 40,000 for the items in diamond. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfSpeaking on the occasion, Suvankar Sen, Executive Director, Senco Gold & Diamonds, said, “We are delighted to launch our new range of Aham collection, which has been designed especially for the cosmopolitan man; urbane, dignified and grounded. The signature range can be used as part of daily wear, as well as on social occasions or for sheer power dressing by the men of honour.” “It’s a great opportunity for the brand as Bengal’s biggest and India’s fastest growing jewellery chain, to explore the trend of fashionably premium men’s accessories, which is still a signature for the men of honour going by its ancient roots, and reinforce our association with the men in action on the 22 yard – the Kolkata Knight Riders,” he added. He further thanked the star players of KKR, who graced the ocassion and wished them luck for the ongoing IPL.last_img read more

Colin LeBron publicly dismissing the importance of the regular season is a

first_img There is no bigger fan of LeBron than Colin, but today in The Herd he explained why James’ comments, and the lack of a compelling regular season are huge problems for the NBA.He pointed out that NBA ratings are down because of a regular season devoid of compelling story lines, and a lack of parity. James comments only feed into the stereotype of NBA players as aloof, and unconcerned with the regular season product.“This is not a blip. It is a massive problem.”Either way, Adam Silver has a big problem on his hands, and he needs to get this fixed before next season. The players are walking all over him and the result is the NBA product has declined.“This is a terrible optic. Ratings are down 20%, and this is why.” Advertisement The NBA is promoting the Cavs/Celtics game tonight as a battle for the top playoff seed in the Eastern Conference. LeBron James doesn’t think it’s an especially big deal.After last night’s game, when James was asked about playing the Celtics, he downplayed its importance, and said he doesn’t really care about regular season games.last_img read more

VIDEO Long drive champ driving the green on a 555Yard Par 5

first_imgLong driving is the carnival sideshow of the sport of golf, but sometimes the freak show can be amusing. For example, long drive champ Justin James wouldn’t sniff money in a PGA tournament, but his recent attempt to drive the green on a 555-yard Par 5 at Bay Hill across a massive lake is worth a watch.To be clear, the wraparound Par 5 is measured at 555-yards, but it’s a measly 387 yards to clear the water from tee to green. No one would obviously ever try this in a tour event because it’s competitive suicide, but this isn’t that. James put a bunch of balls in the water, but did eventually put balls on the green from three different tee boxes. He better enjoy it, because judging by his swing he’ll eventually snap his back in half at some point.Watch this dude swing from the heels in a display that will make golf purists vomit all over themselves.last_img read more

New Global Conference for Tech Startups Lands in Unexpected US City

first_img 2 min read When most people think of the world’s hottest startup scenes, Silicon Valley, New York and Boston are likely to come to mind. So it might seem strange that a new global startup conference, Startup Phenomenon, has chosen Boulder, Colo. as its host city.Only it shouldn’t. According to a recent report by the Kauffman Foundation, Boulder has the greatest density of high-tech startups of any metropolitan area in the United States. That’s right even more than Silicon Valley, which comes in at No. 3 on the list.In a three day conference starting November 13, Startup Phenomenon attendees will discuss alternative funding models, potential collaboration between governments and private businesses and the role of incubators and accelerators in driving entrepreneurship. One set of presentations will be a series of case studies of 10 cities with thriving tech scenes, such as Jerusalem and Nairobi. The audience will be a mix of entrepreneurs and investors.Related: The 25 Best U.S. Cities for Tech StartupsRather than focusing on how individuals can achieve success with their own companies, Startup Phenomenon will address how communities might foster entrepreneurship more broadly, says John Bradley, senior vice president of content and strategy for Van Heyst Group, the company producing the conference.”This is not a conference about Boulder,” Bradley says. “It’s a conference about all the startup communities all over the world, and how new ones can form. We just happen to be hosting it in Boulder.”Speakers will be coming from as far away as Iceland and New Zealand for the conference, which runs from November 13 to 15.Separately, on September 3, the people behind Startup Phenomenon are putting on an event about female entrepreneurs at the University of Colorado, Boulder. The women’s conference started as a session on the November conference agenda, Bradley says, “but there was so much energy around it that we decided to make it a breakout event.”Related: 5 Rules for Silicon Valley Success That Can Work Anywhere Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. August 16, 2013 Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Register Now »last_img read more