Image: Wikimedia Commons. 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. In research reported in the journal Evolution, a team of scientists, led by Campbell Rolian from the University of Calgary, took extensive measurements of the feet and hands of chimpanzees (genetically, our closest relatives) and humans to try to find out how the extremities of our chimp-like ancestors might have evolved. They found there was a definite correlation between measurements of similar areas of the foot and hand, so for example if the big toe was long, the finger was also long. Dr Rolian speculated the correlation between toes and fingers may be because they share a similar genetic “blueprint”, so minor changes to the blueprint would affect both hands and feet.Once they had the anatomical measurements, the team used the data to create a mathematical simulation of the evolution of the hands and feet from those of our chimp-like ancestors to humans. The model simulated the evolutionary pressures and changed the shape of the feet or hands in small increments to see what effects the changes would have. They discovered that changes made to the feet also caused corresponding changes to the hands, particularly in the relative lengths of fingers and toes, and Dr Rolian said these changes may have allowed the hands of early hominins, including Neanderthals, the dexterity required to use stone tools.The scientists say the capacity to walk upright on two feet is linked intrinsically to the emergence of the use of stone tools. Dr Rolian said the findings go “back to Darwin’s The Descent of Man,” since Darwin was one of the first scientists to consider there might be a link between walking upright and using stone tools. But Darwin’s idea was that bipedalism evolved first, and this freed the hands, which could then be used for purposes other than locomotion, while Rolian’s work suggests they evolved together.Professor Robin Crompton at Liverpool University in the UK, said the feet and hands of chimpanzees may not necessarily be good models for those of human ancestors, and suggested the extremities of lowland gorillas may be more “interesting” in this respect. He also said the shape and biomechanics of hands and feet were more complex than simple anatomical measurements might suggest.Professor Crompton is head of the university’s Primate Evolution and Morphology Research Group. His research has found that orang-utans, which are tree dwellers, are more like modern humans in bipedal walking than the chimpanzees, and his work suggests bipedalism may even have arisen as early as 24 million years ago. © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Scientists in Canada have used a mathematical model to simulate the evolution from an ape-like hand to the modern-day human hand, and discovered that changes in our fingers and hands developed in parallel changes in our toes and feet. Explore further Citation: Feet may be the key to hand evolution (2010, January 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-01-feet-key-evolution.html More information: THE CO-EVOLUTION OF HUMAN HANDS AND FEET, Evolution, DOI:10.1111/j.1558-5646.2009.00944.x Early human ancestors had a wobble in their walk
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. The new technology has been developed over the last six months by four technology companies: Sony Pictures Entertainment, Samsung, LG, and Valens Semiconductor, which together form the HDBaseT Alliance. The group hopes the new technology and products conforming to it will begin to be shipped later this year and predict its use will become widespread during next year and beyond. The HDMI (High Definition Multimedia Interface) cable was introduced in 2003 and has been gaining popularity, especially with the rise of Blu-ray and the adoption of high definition television, so much so that almost all televisions now ship with HDMI technology. HDMI has advantages over other types of audio/video cables but also has disadvantages such as switching delays and cable length limitations, both of which are addressed by HDBaseT. HDMI only carries uncompressed audio and video signals. Wireless technologies such as WiGig, WHDI and Wireless HD offer alternative options, but they cannot transfer power to devices as HDBaseT can.HDBaseT is a network-based standard called “5PlayTM” that enables a single cable to carry high definition video, audio, up to 100 watts of power, 100BaseT Ethernet, and control signals simultaneously. The cables, which are inexpensive Cat5e/6 type rather than expensive HDMI, can be up to 100 meters in length. The HDMI ports are replaced by standard RJ-45 connectors. The HDBaseT specification supports the latest HD video, 3D, and high resolution 2K x 4K (4096 by 2160). (PhysOrg.com) — A new audio/video cable techology is being developed that might spell the end of HDMI cables, which are currently used to connect a wide range of audio and video devices. The new technology is known as HDBaseT and carries audio and video signals and power on standard Cat 5e/6 Ethernet cables. Explore further Chairman of the Alliance, Ariel Sobelman, said the new technology is “poised to become the unrivaled next-generation home networking transport to meet the ever-changing trends in the digital media market.”• PhysOrg.com iPhone / iPad Apps• PhysOrg.com Audio Podcasts / iTunes• Join PhysOrg.com on Facebook!• Follow PhysOrg.com on Twitter! Citation: HDMI could soon be replaced by new cable technology (2010, July 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-hdmi-cable-technology.html Technology Comparison Table © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: www.hdbaset.org/ HDMI 1.4: New video cables will connect TVs to the Internet
(PhysOrg.com) — Sharks are capable of continually growing new teeth. As the teeth age, they fall out and new ones move forward similar to that of a tooth conveyor belt. Humans, and most mammals, on the other hand are only given two sets of teeth and must make them last. However, researchers have found there are exceptions to this rule and a new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that the silvery mole rat is one of the exceptions. It was first noted by Stuart Landry back in 1957 that these moles had more molars than the average rodent, but it was never investigated further. That is until Helder Gomes Rodrigues from the University of Lyon began this current study.For this study, Rodrigues looked at the skeletal remains of some 55 mole rats and discovered that the molars at the back of these rodent’s jaws seem to move forward. As they move forward, they erupt upward and are worn down through normal wear and tear. By the time a molar reaches the front molar row, they have been completely eroded and seem to be absorbed back into the jawbone.The only other mammals with this similar ability to make more teeth are three different manatee species and a pygmy-rock wallaby. However, the mole rat seems to be the only one that has the set-up where the teeth move forward and upward. The other mammals have molars that sprout up, move to the front and fall out, similar to human baby teeth.While it is believed that the manatee and wallaby have evolved to replace teeth due to the hard elements in their diet, the mole rat feeds on soft tubers and plants. Rodrigues believes that an explanation for this evolution to replacing molars in the mole rat may have something to do with digging rather than eating. While they primarily dig with their front incisors, they grind things with their molars and swallow abrasive dust. However this is still just a theory and the real reason behind this evolution of multiple molars still remains a mystery. Citation: Mole rat dental structure similar to a shark (2011, October 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-mole-rat-dental-similar-shark.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further More information: Continuous dental replacement in a hyper-chisel tooth digging rodent, PNAS, Published online before print October 10, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1109615108AbstractContrary to their reptilian ancestors, which had numerous dental generations, mammals are known to usually develop only two generations of teeth. However, a few mammal species have acquired the ability to continuously replace their dentition by the constant addition of supernumerary teeth moving secondarily toward the front of the jaw. The resulting treadmill-like replacement is thus horizontal, and differs completely from the vertical dental succession of other mammals and their extinct relatives. Despite the developmental implications and prospects regarding the origin of supernumerary teeth, this striking innovation remains poorly documented. Here we report another case of continuous dental replacement in an African rodent, Heliophobius argenteocinereus, which combines this dental system with the progressive eruption of high-crowned teeth. The escalator-like mechanism of Heliophobius constitutes an original adaptation to hyper-chisel tooth digging involving high dental wear. Comparisons between Heliophobius and the few mammals that convergently acquired continuous dental replacement reveal that shared inherited traits, including dental mesial drift, delayed eruption, and supernumerary molars, comprise essential prerequisites to setting up this dental mechanism. Interestingly, these dental traits are present to a lesser extent in humans but are absent in mouse, the usual biological model. Consequently, Heliophobius represents a suitable model to investigate the molecular processes leading to the development of supernumerary teeth in mammals, and the accurate description of these processes could be a significant advance for further applications in humans, such as the regeneration of dental tissues. X-ray synchrotron microtomographic 3D rendering of the upper dentition of a young specimen of Heliophobius. Image: PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1109615108 Mice teeth explain the troubles with human wisdom teeth 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.
(PhysOrg.com) — Despite all the advances in digital photography, most people are still plagued by the problem of blurry photos, a problem compounded by the use of cameras embedded in cell phones due to their small size. Problems of blurring generally can be divided into two types. The first is problems with focusing, which can usually be avoided if the camera operator will simply wait for the automatic focusing feature of their camera to do its job. The second type is much more difficult to solve as it involves camera movement while the image is being shot. It’s this second problem that Adobe has been working on as part of its Photoshop imaging software package. And based on a video shot by someone identified only as peterelst who posted it on Youtube, a recent demo of a new feature, or “sneak” as Adobe calls it, seems to indicate that they have made significant progress. Adobe MAX 2011 Citation: Adobe shows off new ‘undo photo blur’ feature (2011, October 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-adobe-undo-photo-blur-feature.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com Adobe Ships Photoshop Lightroom 1.0 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. The technology behind the new feature (that may or may not actually wind up in Photoshop according to company reps) involves an algorithm based on the idea of blind deconvolution, which is where an iterative process is used to facilitate a point spread function. The idea is to calculate the speed at which the camera was moving when the picture was snapped so as to undo its effects. Or in other words, it attempts to reconstruct what the camera lens would have seen but for the movement. This is in stark contrast to current de-blurring functions in Photoshop and other image editing software which analyze an image looking for lines that form edges and bolsters them to make them appear sharper. The results with the new technique, at least in the demo, appear to be quite dramatic.With the new feature, the photo is first loaded onto the computer and into the Photoshop type app, then some predefined parameters are loaded that more clearly define what sort of image is to be looked at. The image is then analyzed and a grayscale thumbnail (blur kernel) is displayed which shows how the image was blurred. Next a restore feature is activated and the blurred image is replaced with the newly sharpened image.Despite this bit of theatrics by Adobe and lots of gushing by mainstream media seemingly intent on describing the new technology as the end of blurry photos, things are not quite as rosy as all that. This is because if the new feature is indeed added to Photoshop, it will still be out of most people’s grasp due to the high price of the product. Very few are likely to shell out hundreds of dollars to just to clear up a few images taken haphazardly on their cell phones or even their cameras. What really needs to happen is for this technology to be implemented in cameras so operators will never know they blurred their image by jiggling their camera in the first place. Explore further
Citation: Researchers find proof of global cooling after Chicxulub asteroid impact (2014, May 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-05-proof-global-cooling-chicxulub-asteroid.html The Cretaceous-Paleogene (K-Pg) extinction event was one of the largest mass extinctions on Earth. A 180-kilometer-wide impact crater near the town of Chicxulub, in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, is evidence of the asteroid impact believed to have caused it. While proof of the collision exists, until now, scientists have found no evidence of an impact winter occurring afterward. This could be because the period of global cooling was very brief, lasting from months to decades. In addition, many of the algae that produce the chalky fossils used to study ocean surface temperatures became extinct themselves.Vellekoop and his team looked for signs of global cooling in sediment at the Brazos River in Texas. There, layers of sediment formed at the K-Pg boundary contain high levels of iridium, which would have come from the asteroid. These layers contain many broken shells, which could have been remnants of a tsunami caused by the impact.The researchers studied lipids produced by the microbe Thaumarchaeota. The composition of these lipids changes as ocean temperatures change. An examination of lipids preserved in sediment at the K-Pg boundary revealed that after the impact, ocean temperatures fell an average of two degrees Celsius, with drops of up to seven degrees Celsius in some places. This decrease in temperature lasted up to several decades, a timescale supported by models and by evidence of species migration.The sudden cooling would have caused a great amount of stress on living things and therefore been a key contributor to the mass extinction. When dust injected into the atmosphere rained out, the ocean surfaces would have become acidic, resulting in yet more stress for surface-dwelling organisms.Vellekoop’s team found that a stable warm period followed this short period of global cooling. Large-scale mortality, forest fires and the vaporization of rock would have released greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, causing this global warming. The team thinks the research should help increase understanding of the effects of rapid climate change. © 2014 Phys.org More information: Johan Vellekoop, Appy Sluijs, Jan Smit, Stefan Schouten, Johan W. H. Weijers, Jaap S. Sinninghe Damsté, and Henk Brinkhuis. “Rapid short-term cooling following the Chicxulub impact at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary.” PNAS 2014 ; published ahead of print May 12, 2014, doi:10.1073/pnas.1319253111AbstractThe mass extinction at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary, ∼66 Ma, is thought to be caused by the impact of an asteroid at Chicxulub, present-day Mexico. Although the precise mechanisms that led to this mass extinction remain enigmatic, most postulated scenarios involve a short-lived global cooling, a so-called “impact winter” phase. Here we document a major decline in sea surface temperature during the first months to decades following the impact event, using TEX86 paleothermometry of sediments from the Brazos River section, Texas. We interpret this cold spell to reflect, to our knowledge, the first direct evidence for the effects of the formation of dust and aerosols by the impact and their injection in the stratosphere, blocking incoming solar radiation. This impact winter was likely a major driver of mass extinction because of the resulting global decimation of marine and continental photosynthesis.Press release Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further (Phys.org) —Scientists have long believed an asteroid that collided with the Earth around 66 million years ago, leaving an enormous crater near Chicxulub Mexico, caused the demise of the dinosaurs and many other living things. Ash and dust thrown into the air during the impact would have caused darkness and a drop in global temperature, leading to a mass extinction. Johan Vellekoop of Utrecht University in the Netherlands and his colleagues have found evidence of this global cooling by studying lipids in sediment formed at the same time as the collision. The research appears in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Yucatan chix crater. Credit: NASA Researchers suggest comet most likely cause of Chicxulub crater 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.
A pen is mighter than the sword, and the legacy has carried on for centuries now. Many literary works by eminent writers have been instrumental in bringing a revolution at many instances.Taking the same idea ahead, Kusumanjali Foundation has instituted an annual award titled ‘Kusumanjali Sahitya Samman’. Established by Kusum Ansal, it runs with the objective of promoting literary works of budding writers of Hindi and other regional languages. The first Samman was conferred last year to Dr Karan Singh, President, ICCR and also felicitated the literary contributions of writers in Hindi and Tamil. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’This year, the annual award has invited nominations to honour the literary works in Hindi and Urdu. The selection board and the advisory committee of the Kusumanjali Foundation comprises eminent authors and scholars. The award will recognise and encourage the outstanding literary works in Hindi and Urdu during the years 2008 to 2012. The Samman comprises a cash prize of Rs 2,50,000 along with a citation and the award statuette.In addition to this, the Kusumanjali Foundation has introduced from this year a fellowship scheme for creative writers in Hindi for a maximum period of four months. The amount of this fellowship is Rs 20,000 per month. Details related to application are available on www.kusumanjaliorg. The last date for all entries is 31 March.
The colours and sounds of Africa came alive here last week through the mesmerising music of Peki Emelia Nothembia Mkhwebane, known as the African queen of Ndebele music.The Ndebele musical tradition derives from the culture of the ethnic Zulu people of South Africa.Makhwebane enthralled a near-full house at the FICCI auditorium Saturday evening on the final day of the Days of South Africa in India festival, organised jointly by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) and South Africa’s Department of Art and Culture. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’To repeated cries of encore, Mkhwenabe and her band gave a spectacular performance combining music and song with an energetic, spellbinding dance. She led the performance with her high pitched, soulful voice and electric guitar while the dancers entranced with their traditional costumes, coloured in vivid hues with intricate bead and metalwork.With songs like Angekhe Angijhiye (Jesus is great, will always be with me) and Igama (I have worked for my name), all sung in Ndebele with backup vocals, the performance was a vivid demonstration of how South African music is a dialogue with various forms and their hybridisation. ‘My music takes from both rural and urban traditions,’ Mkhwebane, who composes her songs, said. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix‘Music is a vital part of everyday life in Africa. It is always there in religious ceremonies, festivals, and social rituals. Everyone plays an active part in the musical life of the community,’ she said.For someone who has taken Ndebele culture to the world, Mkhwebane’s life mirrors the history of multicultural South Africa. Orphaned at the age of five, and unable to have a formal education, she learnt to play the reed flute from her grandmother and the guitar from her uncle.Mkhwebane has travelled extensively abroad, performing in the United States, Europe and Australia. She has many awards to her credit. These include the Tourism Ambassador for South Africa, the South African Music Award and more.
Sitting against a large work-in-progress canvas in his East Delhi studio, he jovially says, ‘ I started out as a young and angry man almost 50 years ago but now I am a happy artist.’ That contentment is writ large on the 78-year-old world renowned painter-sculptor’s work. A. Ramachandran started out with portraying urban angst through his paintings before he shifted his glance towards the intricate Kerala mural arts and simple and joyous Rajasthani tribe- Bhils. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Millennium Post speaks to the Padam Bhushan-winning artist ahead of his first ever mini-retrospective in his native state, Kerala. The grand spectacle that starts from 11 August in Kochi will showcase 100 of his celebrated works.You have been bestowed with great honours such as the Padma Bhushan for your artistic excellence. As an artist what was the most fulfilling moment for you over the last 50 years?I am happy when I paint. No other honour can be equated to this feeling; the happiness I get is a spiritual experience in itself. When I put a blank canvas in front of me, I am struck with a terrifying state of mind; my first stroke creates ripples on the surface that make me rhythmically carry forward the painting. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixYou studied Malayalam literature before being initiated into art. How did this interest develop. As a serious medium of expression I understood art only when I went to study at Kala Bhavan, Santiniketan. There I saw the great masters at work and realized it’s a life search. Rabindranath Tagore once told my teacher, Ramkinkar Baij that whatever you see in life, catch it by the throat and don’t leave it till you get it. Once you get it, never look back. I carry forward these teachings as I capture the throbbing elements of life in my work and block them out of my vision once the work is complete.Your work seems to carry a continuity with an element, a creature peeking out from a corner. Who is it?That creature represents me. It is what I call Ramdev- a form that Bhils in Rajasthan worship. When I am gone and people look at my work, if they say something bad, you will see tears running down my face. When they say something good, you may trace a smile.
Rooney’s strike added to a comedy own-goal by Kieran Gibbs that saw the left-back deflect Antonio Valencia’s cross into his own net after a mix-up with goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, who was injured in the process. Olivier Giroud, on as a second-half substitute, replied deep into stoppage time for Arsenal, but United held on to record a first competitive away win since April 5. The victory took Louis van Gaal’s side back into the Champions League places, 13 points behind leaders Chelsea. Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaArsenal manager Arsene Wenger was left to rue an afternoon of wasted opportunities and inspired goalkeeping by United’s David de Gea, as well as injuries to Szczesny and Jack Wilshere.Arsenal produced a lightning start at the Emirates and should have been out of sight in th e first quarter of the match. Ex-United striker Danny Welbeck was presented with a sight of goal after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain had been allowed to run in-field, but he was denied by Paddy McNair.United took the lead in the 56th minute in comical fashion. Szczesny clattered Gibbs as he came for Young’s deep cross and when Valencia smashed the rebound back into the area, Arsenal’s left-back diverted the ball into his own net. Arsenal pushed for a leveller, but they were undone on the counter-attack as Di Maria supplied Rooney, who raced clear and chipped the ball over Martinez in the second half.