Showing posts from June, 2016

Quantum Computer Could Simulate Beginnings of the Universe

Quantum mechanics suggest that seemingly empty space is actually filled with ghostly particles that are fluctuating in and out of existence. And now, scientists have for the first time made an advanced machine known as a quantum computer simulate these so-called virtual particles. This research could help shed light on currently hidden aspects of the universe, from the hearts of neutron stars to the very first moments of the universe after the Big Bang, researchers said. Quantum mechanics suggests that the universe is a fuzzy, surreal place at its smallest levels. For instance, atoms and other particles can exist in states of flux known as superpositions, where they can seemingly each spin in opposite directions simultaneously, and they can also get entangled — meaning they can influence each other instantaneously no matter how far apart they are separated. Quantum mechanics also suggests that pairs of virtual particles, each consisting of a particle and its antiparticle, can wink in…

Ancient Shrine That May Hold Buddha's Skull Bone Found in Crypt

A skull bone of the Buddha was found inside this gold casket, which was stored in a silver casket within the stupa model, found in a crypt beneath a Buddhist temple. Credit: Photo courtesy of Chinese Cultural Relics

Archaeologists have discovered what may be a skull bone from the revered Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama. The bone was hidden inside a model of a stupa, or a Buddhist shrine used for meditation. The research team found the 1,000-year-old model within a stone chest in a crypt beneath a Buddhist temple in Nanjing, China. Inside the stupa model archaeologists found the remains of Buddhist saints, including a parietal (skull) bone that inscriptions say belonged to the Buddha himself. The model is made of sandalwood, silver and gold, and is covered with gemstones made of crystal, glass, agate and lapis lazuli, a team of archaeologists reported in an article published in the journal Chinese Cultural Relics. nscriptions engraved on the stone chest that the model was found in say that it wa…

The Chemistry Behind a Sparkler's 4th of July Magic

This weekend, people in the U.S. will be celebrating Independence Day, and across the country preparations are underway to mark the occasion with fireworks and other pyrotechnics. Sparklers offer a smaller but prolonged pyrotechnic experience, and they have become mainstays of Fourth of July celebrations, but how do they work? A new video from the American Chemical Society's (ACS) YouTube series "Reactions" examines thechemistry of sparklers in extreme slow-motion. "Pyrotechnics, fireworks, sparklers, all these types of things, it's like a culinary art," Chris Mocella, co-author of the book "Chemistry of Pyrotechnics: Basic Principles and Theory" (CRC Press, 2010) and technical adviser for the new ACS video, told Live Science. "It's all chemistry at the basic level, but there are fun little tricks and things you can do with the different material you have." [50 Fabulous 4th of July Facts: Fiery Fireworks.
In pyrotechnics, the specia…

Lab-Grown 'Living' Bones Could Yield Customized Implants

For the first time, pieces of living bone have been grown from the cells of patients — in this case, miniature pigs — and sculpted to replace missing anatomical structures. The custom-engineered bone was used to successfully repair a pig's lower jaw, one of the strongest and most complex jaws in the face, paving the way for bone repairs that could be carried out elsewhere in the body, the researchers said. Bones often come in complex shapes, making it difficult to find matching natural replacements for them in patients suffering from injuries, diseases or birth defects. Although surgeons can replace missing bone with titanium, such artificial implants lack bone marrow, which plays many important roles in the body, such as generating red blood cells and immune cells. [The 9 Most Interesting Transplants. Patients could receive donated bones, but doing so raises other issues, such as increasing the risk of tissue rejection. Alternatively, doctors can harvest bone from another part o…

GoPro's Latest VR Video Lets You Swim with Sharks

GoPro's latest virtual reality video experience is just in time for Shark Week. But if you ask professional adventurer Jeb Corliss, he'll tell you it's just in time for sharks. Each year, 100 million sharks are killed, many of them illegally. Misunderstandings perpetuated by hyped-up "mockumentaries" and movies such as Jaws or The Shallows, instill the kind of fear and apathy that justifies the deaths. Those attitudes are sending sharks into extinction, says Corliss.

But GoPro's VR video, Diving with Sharks, the Truth Below the Surface, which features Corliss and shark expert and conservationist Jim Abernethy diving with hammerheads, lemon sharks, and Caribbean reef sharks in the Bahamas could help change attitudes. "Diving with sharks is perceived as stunt," Matthew Reyes, strategic content manager at GoPro told DNews. "But by no means. These sharks have personalities; they are not man-eaters. How do we offset that?" The video, which is …

North Korea leader Kim Jong-Un gets new 'top post'

SEOUL: North Korea has created a new, supreme governing commission with leader Kim Jong-Un as its chairman, underlining the 33-year-old's absolute control over every aspect of state policy in the isolated, nuclear-armed nation.

The country's legislative body, the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA), unanimously voted Kim as head of the State Affairs Commission on Wednesday, the North's official KCNA news agency said.

The new agency replaces the National Defence Commission as the country's highest branch of government and supreme policymaking organisation.

Nominating Kim for the post, SPA president Kim Yong-Nam said it was the "unshakable faith and unswerving will of all service personnel and people of the country to uphold Kim Jong-Un ... at the top post of the DPRK".

DPRK is the official acronym for North Korea.

Cheong Seong-Chang, a North Korea expert at the Sejong Institute think-tank in Seoul, said the move effectively raised Kim Jong-Un to the post of supreme…

Alvin Toffler, author of ‘Future Shock’, dies at 87

NEW YORK: Alvin Toffler, a guru of the post-industrial age whose million-selling "Future Shock" and other books anticipated the disruptions and transformations brought about by the rise of digital technology, has died. He was 87.

He died on late Monday in his sleep at his home in the Bel Air neighborhood of Los Angeles, said Yvonne Merkel, a spokeswoman for his Reston, Virginia-based consulting firm, Toffler Associates.

One of the world's most famous "futurists", Toffler was far from alone in seeing the economy shift from manufacturing and mass production to a computerized and information-based model. But few were more effective at popularizing the concept, predicting the effects and assuring the public that the traumatic upheavals of modern times were part of a larger and more hopeful story.

"Future Shock", a term he first used in a 1965 magazine article, was how Toffler defined the growing feeling of anxiety brought on by the sense that life was changi…

Palestinian kills teenage girl in Israeli settlement

JERUSALEM: A Palestinian fatally stabbed a 13-year-old girl inside her home in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, before guards shot him dead, the military and hospital officials said.

A member of the response team that killed the assailant was also wounded in the incident, said an official from the Kiryat Arba settlement, near the city of Hebron.

Over the past eight months, Palestinians have killed 33 Israelis and two visiting US citizens in a wave of street attacks, mostly stabbings. Israeli forces have shot dead at least 198 Palestinians, 134 of whom Israel has said were assailants. Others were killed in clashes and protests.

An Israeli military spokesman said the girl was attacked in her bedroom. Hospital officials in Jerusalem said she died of her wounds, giving her age as 13. Israeli media reports identified the suspected attacker as a 17-year-old Palestinian from a village near Kiryat Arba.

Malachi Levinger, chairman of Kiryat Arba's government council, …

HAL Tejas supersonic fighter jets inducted into Indian Air Force

BENGALURU: HAL Tejas, also known as the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) project, has been inducted into the Indian Air Force. Two of the single-engine multi-role fighter jets, pegged to be the world's smallest and lightest supersonic fighter, were handed over to the Air Force. They will be stationed in Bengaluru, as part of the first Tejas squadron called 'Flying Daggers'.

Friday marked the end of a 33-year-old wait for an indigenous fighter, but Tejas still has a lot of imported material in it, including its heart, a GE engine.

As TOI has reported earlier, the Flying Daggers squadron will have the SP-1 and SP-2 versions of Tejas. The squadron is expected to reach full strength by 2018-2020. Six more Tejas fighters are expected to be inducted into the squadron by the end of the current financial year.

Group Captain M Rangachari will be the first Commanding Officer of the Flying Daggers squadron. He will have seven officers under him initially, 42 air warriors and about 20 non-com…