Month: August 2019

Could the Taste of Vodka be Related to Molecular Makeup

first_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. ( — When we think of taste, we don’t normally think about how something’s molecular makeup influences our tongues. A group of scientists at the University of Cincinnati and Moscow State University tested the molecular structure of different vodka brands, and began working out some parameters that might indicate which type of vodka is more “smooth”, depending on its chemical properties. Image source: Bourbon versus vodka: Bourbon hurts more the next day, performance is the same More information: Manisha Lalloo, “Vodka’s molecular cocktail,” RSC (May 27, 2010). Available online: … 010/May/27051001.asp © 2010 Citation: Could the Taste of Vodka be Related to Molecular Makeup? (2010, May 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from It seems a little strange to consider this, since vodka is, for the most part, just a mixture of water and ethanol. But, upon analyzing five different brands of vodka, the researchers discovered that there slight differences in molecular structure. RSC offers this on the vodka study:”We observed measurable differences among the brands,” says [Dan] Schaefer. Analysis of the Raman and IR spectra indicated all the solutions contained four components – pure water, pure ethanol, and two hydrates. However the concentration of one of these hydrates, E·5.3H2O, varied between vodkas. “It looks like this can be used as a measure of the physical properties of vodka,” says Schaefer. The taste, suggests the researchers, could be influenced by the way the water molecules create a cage around the hydrate in question. If there are higher amounts of the hydrate, then there are fewer free water molecules, and that could influence the taste of vodka. Of course, reports RSC, not everyone is impressed with the vodka result:Dirk Lachenmeier, head of the alcohol laboratory at the Chemical and Veterinary Investigation Laboratory in Karlsruhe, Germany, thinks the team’s conclusions are conjectural. “There is no basis to push that this might be the holy grail of vodka taste differentiation,” he says. …And, although thought of as a “pure” spirit, Lachenmeier says vodka manufacturers are allowed to slightly influence the taste with different additives such as citric acids.The effort to quantify items that seem purely subjective, like taste, are likely to continue. Schaefer wants to do additional studies to use a parameter to correlate the molecular structure seen in vodka brand preference amongst consumers.last_img read more

Redeyed tree frogs use vibrations as a means of communication

first_img © 2010 More information: Vibrational Signaling in the Agonistic Interactions of Red-Eyed Treefrogs, Current Biology, Volume 20, Issue 11, 1012-1017, 20 May 2010 doi:10.1016/j.cub.2010.03.069 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 I am treefrog, feel me shake (w/ Video) ( — A study of the Central American red-eyed tree frog has found that the males shake the branches they’re perched on to produce strong vibrations to mark out their territory for mating. Citation: Red-eyed tree frogs use vibrations as a means of communication (2010, June 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Red-eyed tree frog of Central and South America. Image: Graham P. Oxtoby, via Wikipedia. Researchers from the Adelaide Zoo and Flinders University, Adelaide, led by Dr. Greg Johnston, were studying the role of bright colors in the behavior of frogs in their breeding rituals, when they discovered that the Panamanian rainforest frogs shake the branches they are posing on as part of the ritual, especially if another male is in the vicinity. Johnston said they struck a pose that displayed all their colors and then did what looked to him like “little tantrums,” which produced strong vibrations that traveled through the plants.The researchers chose red-eyed tree frogs (Agalychnis callidryas) to study because they are brilliantly colored with gold and blue stripes on their sides, purple flashes on their thighs, bright orange feet, and green backs, and their eyes are bright red. They used infrared cameras to study the frogs mating at night, and also used a miniature seismograph to confirm the vibrations were really made by the frogs and not by the wind or other natural effects.The team introduced competing males and observed them. They found the two males shook their branches until one of them gave up, or until they fought to decide the victor. Shaking branches was the most frequent display of aggression, and the behavior and vibrational characteristics varied with the size of the male and the degree of conflict.It was clear to the researchers the frogs were using their vibrations to mark out their territory for mating, with the vibrations traveling around 1.5 meters through the tree branches and male frogs spacing themselves around the rainforest pond accordingly.In another experiment the researchers used a robot frog to produce vibrations when male frogs were in the vicinity. Johnston said the male frogs reacted to the robot in the same way as they would with a real male frog.The research adds to the knowledge of how vibrations can be used as another mode of communication among animals. Scientists have known for a long time that animals are sensitive to vibrations but little is known about using them as a communication method. Another study in April’s edition of Nature described how certain caterpillars used vibrations as a form of communication.The results of the research are reported in the June issue of the journal Current Biology.last_img read more

Researchers demonstrate way to shape electron beams in time through interaction with

first_imgPulses of electrons (green, coming from the left) impinge on a micro-structured antenna which is powered by laser-generated terahertz radiation (red). The interaction compresses the duration of the electron pulses to a few femtoseconds. Credit: Christian Hackenberger Attosecond physics: Film in 4-D with ultrashort electron pulses More information: C. Kealhofer et al. All-optical control and metrology of electron pulses, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aae0003AbstractShort electron pulses are central to time-resolved atomic-scale diffraction and electron microscopy, streak cameras, and free-electron lasers. We demonstrate phase-space control and characterization of 5-picometer electron pulses using few-cycle terahertz radiation, extending concepts of microwave electron pulse compression and streaking to terahertz frequencies. Optical-field control of electron pulses provides synchronism to laser pulses and offers a temporal resolution that is ultimately limited by the rise-time of the optical fields applied. We used few-cycle waveforms carried at 0.3 terahertz to compress electron pulses by a factor of 12 with a timing stability of <4 femtoseconds (root mean square) and measure them by means of field-induced beam deflection (streaking). Scaling the concept toward multiterahertz control fields holds promise for approaching the electronic time scale in time-resolved electron diffraction and microscopy.Press release Journal information: Science (—A small team of researchers with Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München and the Max-Planck-Institute of Quantum Optics, both in Germany has successfully demonstrated a means for shaping electron beams in time through interactions with terahertz electromagnetic fields. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their technique and why they believe it may lead the way to ultrafast microscopy and diffraction techniques. In a Perspectives piece in the same journal issue, Claus Ropers with the University of Göttingen, describes the benefits of developing faster electron microscopy, outlines the technique used by the researchers with this new effort and offers some insight into where the science is headed. Explore furthercenter_img This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Researchers demonstrate way to shape electron beams in time through interaction with terahertz electromagnetic fields (2016, April 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2016 There is no doubt that electron microscopy techniques have led to incredible advances in the understanding of matter at the molecular and atomic scale. But such devices could be made even better, Ropers explains, by making them run faster, or ultrafast, i.e. with pulses measured in femtoseconds. This is because there is motion at the atomic scale—using short bursts of electrons to capture the mechanics of such motion would open up a whole new world of discovery. To that end, researchers have developed devices with that goal in mind.To produce short bursts of electrons in traditional devices, a metal surface is illuminated by a laser, causing electrons to be emitted into a vacuum—unfortunately they do not all travel at the same speed, which means they spread apart as they move towards a target—coulomb forces cause even more stretching, which results in problems in time resolution in microscopy devices. To get around this, researchers have tried multiple approaches that rely are various types of devices that manipulate the electron stream. In this new effort, the researchers used optics and terahertz radiation instead.The idea is to cause faster moving electrons to slow down a little bit and slower moving electrons to speed up a little bit, resulting in all of the electrons in a group traveling at the same speed towards a destination. This is achieved with the new technique by having terahertz fields act on the electrons in a microstructure—its bow-tie shape enhances the field in the desired way via tilting. In testing their device, the researchers found that they could measure pulse durations of just 75 fs, a ten times reduction in value over those that were not modified.last_img read more

Guardians protest against sudden fee hike in school

first_imgKolkata: A missionary school situated on AJC Bose Road near Moulali witnessed protests from guardians, over a sudden fee hike on Thursday morning. The agitating guardians also resorted to a roadblock and were also involved in scuffle with the police, who tried to push back the agitators. According to the agitating parents, Lady of Providence Girls’ School has suddenly raised the tuition fees by Rs 200- 300 a month, keeping them completely in the dark. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe guardians had resorted to an agitation on Tuesday, following which the school authorities had consented to sit for a meeting on Wednesday. However, even after the meeting, the school stuck to their stand of increasing fees.The guardians alleged that the school has been raising fees in leaps and bounds since January and it has now gone up to a hike of nearly Rs 200 -300 a month. The police managed to pacify the agitators. However, they threatened to continue their agitation on Friday, unless the school authorities roll back the fee hike.last_img read more

Elderly couple assaulted at home by thieves in Tegharia

first_imgKolkata: An elderly couple was allegedly assaulted by two miscreants when the couple tried to prevent the duo from stealing things at thier residence at Tegharia under Baguiati police station area.According to police sources, two miscreants had somehow managed to enter the house situated in Nandankanan area on Saturday night when they had already gone for sleep.The sexagenarian Alok Ranjan Chakraborty woke up by the noise and he immediately lit the lights of the room. On seeing the two unknown men in their room, he raised alarm and tried to challenge them. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe two miscreants by the fear of getting caught assaulted the elderly man and as his wife Ratna rushed to his rescue, she was also pushed by one of the miscreants. The woman fell down on the ground and sustained injuries on her waist. The miscreants, however, managed to escape.Neighbours came in to their rescue and took the injured couple to a nearby hospital. “Though there was no external injury marks but both of them have sustained serious internal injuries,” a source in the hospital said.The police have taken up the probe on the basis of a written complaint lodged by the couple’s daughter Moumita Chakraborty at Baguiati police station on Sunday afternoon.”The motive behind the case seems to be a previous grudge. We are in the process of identifying the culprits and hope to arrest them soon,” said a senior official of Bidhannagar City Police.last_img read more

Over 65 per cent elderly face neglect in old age Study

first_imgOver two-thirds of elderly people in India say they are neglected by their family members while one third of the elderly claimed to have suffered physical or verbal abuse, with those in urban areas bearing the brunt more than in the rural areas, according to a new study.A study titled Human Rights of Elderly in India: A critical Reflection on Social Development released recently by Agewell Foundation conducted interviews of 5,000 elderly people across India. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The in-depth study aimed at culling out nuances of social changes as it impacts the life conditions and life standards of the elderly in families. Main respondents of the study were old persons above the age of 60 living with their families.“65.2 per cent of elderly respondents claimed that older persons face neglect in old age. Over half i.e. 54.1 per cent respondents said that older persons suffer elder abuse in their families or society. Every fourth elderly, i.e. 25.3 per cent elderly admit that older persons are being exploited by their family members,” the study said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIn all, 89.7 per cent respondents out of 2705 respondents facing elder abuse reportedly said elderly face mistreatment in old age mostly due to financial reasons. A total of 96.4 per cent of elderly abused respondents claimed that they face mistreatment due to emotional factors.“Qualitative research methods were used by a group of experienced social scientists of very senior level in the discipline of sociology, social work, psychology and anthropology to understand unique experiences of some of the respondents. The whole focus was interdisciplinary and very holistic,” says the study. Total respondents consist of 2490 older men and 2510 older women. Due to rapid modernisation, spared of materialistic values and breakdown of joint family system, migration of working population and young to urban areas has further adversely affected elderly care, says the study. Among the elderly surveyed 22.2 per cent said a lack of gainful engagement was the most common problem in old age. 21.24 per cent older persons think that declining health status is most common problem while 18 per cent respondents pointed to a lack of respect and dignity. Second in the list of problems cited by the elderly was a declining health status (20.1 per cent) followed by a lack of respect in society and family (19.84 per cent).According to 25 per cent elderly respondents, younger people consider elderly family members as burden on their family. An equal number of elderly (25 per cent) said that generation gap is the main reason behind violation of human rights of older persons.In all, 20 per cent elderly respondents admit that their younger family members are unable to take care of their elderly family members.“A comprehensive care package that includes promotional, preventive, curative and rehabilitative services is essential for this expanding group of population,” says the study.last_img read more

PNB rolls out enterprise payments hub

first_imgPunjab National Bank (PNB), India’s second largest Public Sector Bank and Infosys, a global leader in consulting, technology and next-generation services, have announced that PNB has rolled out Finacle Payments solution across all its 6800 branches and its five sponsored Regional Rural Banks (RRBs). With this implementation, PNB has become the first bank globally to deploy Finacle Payments version 11. The solution provides PNB comprehensive benefits of an enterprise payments hub – enhancing operational efficiencies and ability to deliver superior customer experience through value-added services and tailored payment offerings.  Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashMD & CEO PNB GauriShankar said: “Payments is possibly the fastest evolving area in the whole gamut of banking. With more and more payment schemes working in time bound manner, there is a need to have a highly scalable payment solution. The Finacle Payments solution brings in a robust, scalable and future-proof platform to support both online and file-based processing with a high degree of Straight Through Processing (STP).”With RTGS facility already implemented through the solution, PNB has planned to extend other payment schemes like NEFT, SWIFT, NACH and IMPS through this platform in a phased manner. The Finacle Payments solution has replaced multiple systems, resolving the challenges related to reconciliation, manual interventions and maintenance across the various legacy systems. The new solution will manage end-to-end payments lifecycle and processes, regardless of originating channels, and back-end applications.  Also Read – Lanka launches ambitious tourism programme to woo Indian touristsIt provides PNB with an enterprise wide engine with multi-product, multi-channel and multi-currency capabilities. This allows PNB to bring down the operational costs and time to compliance, while gaining better control, transparency and visibility across payments life cycle. Also successful implementation of the solution will enable the bank to offer tailored payment services to different customer segments, with relationship based pricing, and personalised rule-based process flows.last_img read more

Heavy traffic snarls continue to ail parts of South Kolkata police issue

first_imgKolkata: Despite relentless efforts by the Kolkata Traffic Police, congestion could not be avoided at any of the roads which were used for diversion following the collapse of a portion of Majerhat Bridge on Tuesday.From September 5, police have arranged several diversions for vehicular movement. But as the roads are much narrower than Diamond Harbour Road, the traffic system has got messed up.Following the situation prevailing in the last two days, Kolkata Traffic Police has issued a new set of vehicular movement notifications for commuters on Friday. Additional forces have also been deployed throughout the city. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeDuring last two days it has been seen that Alipore Road, Bardhaman Road and other linked roads are getting choked with excessive vehicular load. Condition of other diversion roads were almost the same. The stretches which usually take 15-20 minutes to cover are now taking almost one and half hours.Office-goers and students were found suffering greatly, due to the traffic snarls that spread up to Rashbehari Avenue, Tollygunj Circular Road and S P Mukherjee Road Crossing in South Kolkata. Also due to the restriction on the movement of goods vehicles, Vidyasagar Setu also got choked for Kolkata bound traffic. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedObserving the vehicular movement frequency in the last two days, Additional Commissioner of Police (I) Vineet Goyal, who is in charge of traffic management, has issued a new set of route diversions on Friday.According to the plan, all the vehicles coming from Behala have been requested to avail Diamond Harbour Road or Circular Garden Reach Road, following Taratala Road and Hyde Road for Esplanade bound movement.It has also been mentioned that some of the roads in the port area are damaged and concerned agencies have been asked to do the necessary repair work as soon as possible. Following the repair work, the travel time on the roads is expected to improve. During peak hours, all vehicles coming from Budge Budge have been requested to avail Taratala Road, Garden Reach Flyover and Remount Road ramp to reach Mominpur.Several roads has been made one-way for better traffic management. N R Avenue will be used for the East bound vehicular movement from the Mint to New Alipore, while Sahapore Road will cater to the Taratala bound vehicles. According to Goyal, as most vehicles are availing N R Avenue-Durgapur Bridge-Tollygunge to reach Rashbehari, Gariahat and Park Street- Esplanade area, the travel time is increasing.”We found that Taratala Road, West of Brace Bridge, Garden Reach Flyover and Remount Road are relatively less busy. Thus, the travel time is also shorter than the other roads. We strongly advise the people to use these roads to reach North and Central Kolkata,” said Goyal.last_img read more