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Researchers reach new level of clarity in recording proteins moving through lipids

first_img © 2012 Phys.org (Phys.org) — One of the great challenges in biology is recording biological processes at the cellular or even subcellular level. To get a close view, microscopes have to focus on one specific part of whatever it is they are looking at, but because biological processes generally involve movement; that which they are looking at suddenly moves out of the frame. Now it appears a team of international researchers led by Simon Scheuring of Parc Scientifique et Technologique de Luminy, has found a way to record the “dance” that goes on as membrane proteins diffuse within biological membranes. The team describes their technique in their paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. In order for biology to work at the subcellular level, proteins, lipids and sugars along with other molecules have to follow certain rules, which some have likened to dance steps, because some of the most basic rules involve the paring up of molecules. This paring up allows the molecules to carry out activities that cannot be done alone. Also, one of the things that need to happen to sustain life is for proteins to somehow make their way through a layer of lipids, as is the case with Escherichia coli which have an outer membrane coated with proteins that need to make their way inside.To actually watch the dance that goes on as the proteins try to make their way through the membrane, the researchers built a new kind of microscope apparatus. It involves a stylus, a cantilever and a laser. The tip or stylus of the apparatus moves slowly over the surface of the specimen being studied while the laser serves as a guide. The cantilever allows the stylus to bob up and down in concert with the hills and valleys found below. What this does is allow a camera to record the cellular terrain in similar fashion to a helicopter moving up and down as it surveys a mountain range, trying to maintain the same altitude throughout. By doing so, recordings can be made of very small biological processes as they occur.Using this setup, the team was able to record in minute detail the pairing up of molecules and note the way those that weren’t able to pair up made their way through the outer membrane of the E. coli bacteria. The team believes this new technology will open the door to much more research by many teams investigating how biological processes at the subcellular level actually work. Citation: Researchers reach new level of clarity in recording proteins moving through lipids (2012, July 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-07-clarity-proteins-lipids.html More information: Characterization of the motion of membrane proteins using high-speed atomic force microscopy, Nature Nanotechnology (2012) doi:10.1038/nnano.2012.109AbstractFor cells to function properly, membrane proteins must be able to diffuse within biological membranes. The functions of these membrane proteins depend on their position and also on protein–protein and protein–lipid interactions. However, so far, it has not been possible to study simultaneously the structure and dynamics of biological membranes. Here, we show that the motion of unlabelled membrane proteins can be characterized using high-speed atomic force microscopy. We find that the molecules of outer membrane protein F (OmpF) are widely distributed in the membrane as a result of diffusion-limited aggregation, and while the overall protein motion scales roughly with the local density of proteins in the membrane, individual protein molecules can also diffuse freely or become trapped by protein–protein interactions. Using these measurements, and the results of molecular dynamics simulations, we determine an interaction potential map and an interaction pathway for a membrane protein, which should provide new insights into the connection between the structures of individual proteins and the structures and dynamics of supramolecular membranes. 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 HS-AFM movie frames showing the motion of OmpF trimers in the membrane. Image (c) Nature Nanotechnology (2012) doi:10.1038/nnano.2012.109 Journal information: Nature Nanotechnology Explore further New membrane lipid measuring technique may help fight diseaselast_img read more

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Researchers show RNA ribozymes able to cooperate to reassemble themselves

first_img More information: Spontaneous network formation among cooperative RNA replicators, Nature (2012) doi:10.1038/nature11549AbstractThe origins of life on Earth required the establishment of self-replicating chemical systems capable of maintaining and evolving biological information. In an RNA world, single self-replicating RNAs would have faced the extreme challenge of possessing a mutation rate low enough both to sustain their own information and to compete successfully against molecular parasites with limited evolvability. Thus theoretical analyses suggest that networks of interacting molecules were more likely to develop and sustain life-like behaviour. Here we show that mixtures of RNA fragments that self-assemble into self-replicating ribozymes spontaneously form cooperative catalytic cycles and networks. We find that a specific three-membered network has highly cooperative growth dynamics. When such cooperative networks are competed directly against selfish autocatalytic cycles, the former grow faster, indicating an intrinsic ability of RNA populations to evolve greater complexity through cooperation. We can observe the evolvability of networks through in vitro selection. Our experiments highlight the advantages of cooperative behaviour even at the molecular stages of nascent life. Study builds on plausible scenario for origin of life on Earth (Phys.org)—A team of chemistry and applied sciences researchers from several universities in the United States has shown that RNA fragments torn apart in the lab work together to reassemble themselves. This finding, the team claims in their paper published in the journal Nature suggests that early life may have started with cooperative efforts between RNA molecules eventually leading to cooperative replication. 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. Journal information: Nature The team based its work on mathematical theories proposed by Manfred Eigen, a chemist who suggested that because early RNA wouldn’t be able to successfully evolve from short stranded molecules, they must have had help. That help, he said, may have come in the form of cooperative efforts between molecules.In earlier work team lead Niles Lehman had found that if long RNA molecules known as ribozymes were cut into fragments and then placed together in a Petri dish, they would over time reassemble themselves into their original configuration. In this new research, Lehman et al altered three ribozyme samples so that they were identical save for one letter that allowed for distinguishing among them. Each was cut into two pieces and placed in a Petri dish. The team found that if the ribozymes were placed together in a Petri dish, they reassembled themselves faster than if they were put in the dish alone. This occurred, they report, because one of the ribozymes helped another reassemble, who then helped a third reassemble who in turn helped the first reassemble, which formed a closed loop network.To see if the same result might be possible in a more chaotic environment, the researchers placed 48 cut ribozymenes in a test tube with millions of other RNA molecules and found that the original 48 found a way to locate their other parts and each other and helped one another reassemble; again much faster than any of them would have alone.The team suggests that a similar type of cooperation among short RNA molecules in Earth’s primordial soup may have allowed them to replicate in a way that avoided the problem of building up mistakes when making copies that mathematical models have suggested would have led to evolutionary death. That would have allowed them to evolve into longer more complex RNA molecules and eventually into all the other molecules that exist today. © 2012 Phys.org Explore further Citation: Researchers show RNA ribozymes able to cooperate to reassemble themselves (2012, October 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-rna-ribozymes-cooperate-reassemble.htmllast_img read more

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Physics at the threshold of hearing

first_imgHair Cells. Credit: fmhs.uaeu.ac.ae Arnold Tongue. Credit: Wikipedia Commons The main results of the study were based on observations of the time evolution of the phase difference between that of the hair bundle, and that of the stimulus. They show that the system exhibits what is known in the business as a “staircase” function. The staircase structure in the phase difference is a classic signature of mode locking in a dynamical system. The authors suggest that better understanding of the effect of weak signals on spontaneous oscillations in hair cells will shed light on other phenomena, like otoacoustic emissions. These emissions are measured spontaneously in newborns—in other words, in the absence of any sound stimulus. When measured in response to a stimulus, they reliably indicate that the hearing system in a child too young to talk is intact. In tinnitus, a faulty feedback system and magnified otoacoustic emissions are often to blame. While complex at times, the application of techniques from physics to biology continues to give rewarding insight into how sensory systems operate at the threshold of noise. It’s not over when it’s over: Storing sounds in the inner ear More information: Phase Slips in Oscillatory Hair Bundles, Phys. Rev. Lett. 110, 148103 (2013) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.110.148103AbstractHair cells of the inner ear contain an active amplifier that allows them to detect extremely weak signals. As one of the manifestations of an active process, spontaneous oscillations arise in fluid immersed hair bundles of in vitro preparations of selected auditory and vestibular organs. We measure the phase-locking dynamics of oscillatory bundles exposed to low-amplitude sinusoidal signals, a transition that can be described by a saddle-node bifurcation on an invariant circle. The transition is characterized by the occurrence of phase slips, at a rate that is dependent on the amplitude and detuning of the applied drive. The resultant staircase structure in the phase of the oscillation can be described by the stochastic Adler equation, which reproduces the statistics of phase slip production. Citation: Physics at the threshold of hearing (2013, April 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-04-physics-threshold.html Before the mammalian state of the art evolved, animal sound systems relied on a single kind of hair cell to do it all. For that reason, scientists often use the large hair cells from the sacculus of a bullfrog for their research. By studying this low frequency auditory and vestibular organ, scientists get a first-hand look at the precursors of the mammalian inner-outer hair cell system. They have found that when these hair bundles are dissociated into a single-cell preparation, they spontaneously exhibit mechanical vibrations. These vibrations can be up to 100nm in amplitude, and require sustained energy in the form of ATP. Compared to the total length of a cell, 100nm is not huge, but it appears to be sufficient to modulate the inner-ear detection machinery. These hair cell oscillations can be driven by a sinusoidally varying stimulus, at least within a certain amplitude and frequency range. Other researchers have shown that the spontaneous oscillations of the hair cells could be described by equations that show a Hopf bifurcation. We don’t talk about Hopf bifurcations every day at Phys.org, however they do pop up in the description of dynamical systems from time to time. For example, in describing the periodicity of the heart, equations that possess a Hopf bifurcation can reveal how a system changes from a stable state to an oscillatory state. (Please see Periodic heart rate deceleration’s in premature infants for further description of this.) Near a critical Hopf point in the dynamical description of the hair cells, a low-amplitude driving stimulus can produce a high-amplitude mechanical response. At the risk of losing the attention of a few readers, we want to impose here one more mathematical animal from the bestiary of dynamical systems—the Arnold tongue. The accompanying picture shows what an Arnold Tongue looks like in a phase space portrait. Bozovic’s group was previously able to show that the phase-locked responses of hair bundles to a broad range of driving stimuli exhibited an Arnold Tongue. In their new Physical Review Letters paper, they were additionally able to show that hair bundle motion can be described by the Adler equation. This equation is commonly is used to analyze phase locking in oscillatory systems. © 2013 Phys.org (Phys.org) —The mammalian auditory system is one of the most sensitive detectors found in nature. Two kinds of cells, the inner and outer hair cells, work together to transduce mechanical vibrations into action potentials. Sound energy is detected and transmitted by the inner hair cells, while properties like gain and frequency selectivity, are controlled by the mechanical adjustments of vibrating outer hair cells. The business end of these cells, known as the hair bundle, is composed of 30 or more stereocilia, that serve as the transducers. To date, physiologists are at odds to explain how the hair bundle can respond to mechanical stimuli whose energy is an order of magnitude below the energy level of the background thermal motion. A new study from Dolores Bozovic’s lab at UCLA takes theoretical look at the mechanical vibrations of hair cells. Their analysis, recently published in Physical Review Letters, does not close the book on the noise-busting capabilities of the hair cell system, but it does provide a framework to qualitatively describe their motion, and extend current models of their behavior. Journal information: Physical Review Letters The group collected their data by imaging single hair bundles with a high-speed CMOS camera, and they delivered stimuli through a glass fiber. Typically, at least in mammalian outer cells, vibrations are studied by electrically stimulating the cells. Outer hair cells can remain phase locked to stimuli up to several thousand hertz. At these frequencies, electrical excitation can be delivered more practically and uniformly. The bullfrog succulus, as noted above, typically operates in the more familiar, low-frequency regime. The authors report they used a stimulus amplitude of 1.7 nm, suggesting they may be using direct mechanical stimulation here. They further report the stimulus corresponds to a force of around 0.4pN, suggesting models of the mechanical properties of cell may have been used to interpret the stimulus more flexibly. 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.last_img read more

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Physicists find that entanglement concentration is irreversible in contrast with previous research

first_img Citation: Physicists find that entanglement concentration is irreversible, in contrast with previous research (2013, October 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-physicists-entanglement-irreversible-contrast-previous.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. (Phys.org) —Several different types of entangled states can be used in quantum information processes, and these states can be converted into one another using a variety of conversion processes. While previous research has suggested that one of the most common types of conversions, called entanglement concentration, is reversible, a new paper shows for the first time that it is irreversible due to a trade-off relation between performance and reversibility. The finding could have implications for future developments in quantum information applications. Journal information: Physical Review Letters © 2013 Phys.org. All rights reserved. A diagram of entanglement concentration and its recovery operation, entanglement dilution. Scientists have found that an initial entangled state cannot be completely recovered after the concentration process. Credit: Kumagai, et al. ©2013 American Physical Society “The irreversibility of entanglement concentration seems similar to the fact that from-concentrate fruit juice is slightly different from the original juice,” Hayashi said, since one process is used to remove water from the juice and another process used to do the opposite. “Commonly, both concentration processes lose a subtle essence from the original.”For practical purposes, this irreversibility means that some of the initial copies of the entangled pure state cannot be recovered from the entangled EPR state. The physicists calculated the minimal concentration-recovery error (MCRE)—which is a combination of both errors—that gives the maximum number of recoverable copies under different circumstances. This formulation could be applied to a variety of quantum information processes.”Our result shows not only the impossibility of the perfect recovery of the entanglement concentration, but also provides the optimal designs of the entanglement concentration and the recovery operation,” Hayashi said. “This design may be used for a better realization of quantum storage of entangled states.”As Hayashi explained, this finding builds on his previous research on irreversibility with respect to data compression.”Many researchers in the information theory community believed that compressed data up to the Shannon limit is the perfect random number, which is called ‘the folklore of source coding,” he said. “However, this is not true. In this problem, we considered the decoding error probability of the data compression and the difference of the compressed data from the perfect random number. In 2004, I found the trade-off between the decoding error probability and the difference. Then, I showed that the sum goes to 1 when the size of data goes to infinity.”Although this idea is not well-known in the information community, it inspired the researchers to investigated entanglement concentration irreversibility.In the future, the researchers plan to use these results to clone entangled states. This cloning is closely related to the irreversibility of entanglement concentration, since the key point of the cloning is the evaluation of error of the recovery operation.”Now, we consider applying our idea to the cloning of entangled states when a number of copies of a given entangled state are prepared,” Hayashi said. “In fact, if we are not allowed to use global quantum operations between distinct parties, i.e., we are allowed to use only local operation and classical communication (LOCC), we cannot increase the amount of entanglement.”Hence, in this case, even if we know the wave function of the entangled state, we cannot clone the entangled state (i.e., increase the number of copies) without any error. However, if we accept a small size of error, there is a possibility to increase the number of copies. We named this operation the LOCC cloning, which is our current research topic.” The physicists, Wataru Kumagai at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, and Nagoya University in Nagoya, Japan; and Masahito Hayashi at Nagoya University and the National University of Singapore, have published their paper on the irreversibility of entanglement concentration in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.In quantum information processes, entanglement concentration is used to convert multiple copies of an entangled pure state into multiple copies of an entangled EPR state. Another conversion process, called entanglement dilution, does the opposite; that is, it converts copies of the EPR state into copies of a pure state. Due in part to the fact that the optimal rates of entanglement concentration and entanglement dilution are the same, physicists have previously thought that entanglement concentration may be reversible. If this were true, reversible entanglement concentration could be used to compress multiple copies of an entangled pure state in a lower dimensional storage system, and later the initial state could be recovered using entanglement dilution.However, in the current paper the researchers have examined the recovery process more deeply, and have found that it doesn’t quite work this way. The physicists explain that the recovery process has two kinds of errors: a concentration error, which represents performance; and a minimum recovery error, which represents the degree of irreversibility.Complete success occurs when an error is zero, while complete failure occurs when an error is 1. The physicists show that each error can individually attain the value zero, but not at the same time. This happens because of a trade-off between the concentration error and the minimum recovery error. The sum of both errors must always be 1, so that the smaller one error is, the larger the other becomes.This trade-off implies that, when the concentration error is 0, the minimum recovery error is 1. That is, perfect entanglement concentration is completely irreversible. The researchers describe this irreversibility using an analogy to another type of concentration: concentrated fruit juice. An infallible quantum measurement More information: Wataru Kumagai and Masahito Hayashi. “Entanglement Concentration is Irreversible.” PRL 111, 130407 (2013). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.111.130407 Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Street play to counter drunk driving

first_imgIt has been proved that road accidents claim the maximum lives throughout the world. And most of those who die are young. Prominent among these is drunk driving. Effort has been on in the Capital to raise awareness about it for long. And now, a street play is being organised about the same. The street play, Ahavan, is being staged at Quo Vadis 2012 — the annual festival of the International Institute of Foreign Trade. It is being organised by a beer company in management colleges across India. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’With the theme of spreading responsible drinking culture and also awareness about HIV/AIDS among the youth, it has invited theatre participants from colleges in Delhi University like Guru Gobind Singh College of Commerce, Indira Gandhi Institute of Technology (IGIT), Shivaji College, Aditya College, Popular theatre group (comprising all ex-Delhi University students), IIFT Indian Institute of Foreign Trade,  Management Development Institute (MDI), Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Birla Institute of Management Technology (BIMTECH). Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixParticipants will compete for a prize money of Rs 80,000. Each participating group would be given 20 minutes to perform. ‘We at SABMiller India take an active role in promoting a responsible approach to alcohol consumption. It is a great opportunity for us to reinforce the message of responsible drinking  and spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS through the medium of street play,’ said a representative from SABMiller India. DETAILAt: The Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, B-21 Qutab Institutional Area  When: 25 Novemberlast_img read more

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Hello Bengal

first_imgHeralding the onset of spring, a bouquet of crafts, culture and cuisine of Bengal will be on offer for visitors to ‘Banga Utsav’ at Dilli Haat, INA. The 10-day exposition, organized by the Office of the Resident Commissioner, West Bengal, with support from the Departments of Tourism, Micro and Small Scale Enterprises and Textiles, Backward Classes Welfare and Disaster Management of West Bengal, is to be inaugurated this evening by Monika S. Garg, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry of Textiles, in the gracious presence of Bhaskar Khulbe, Additional Chief Secretary and Principal Resident Commissioner, Government of West Bengal. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Some of the highlights of the event include the display and sale of fine handloom products, beautiful sarees and exquisite handicrafts items, geographical Indication-registered products such as Nakshi kantha  (traditional embroidered apparel) and Shantiniketan leather goods, hill crafts from Darjeeling and kantha stitch umbrellas from Jalpaiguri, terracotta and bamboo costume jewellery,  jute and jute diversified products, world famous clay models of Ghurni, Nadia, stalls of West Bengal Tourism, Agri-Marketing Department and Disaster Management Department and more. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThere are also stalls serving mouth-watering Bengal street food at the venue, so make sure you try out the best of what the state has to offer. Oxford Book Store is a participant in this event and they will be dishing out their concept refreshments in the Cha Bar lounge.Craftspersons from Darjeeling are participating as first entrants to the festival showcasing their creativity and art. As always, conscious effort has been made to promote use of golden fibre jute. A collaboration with Jute Manufactures Development Corporation has been made to achieve this objective. Also worth mentioning is a novel experiment of Disaster Management Department in their IEC campaign through the ‘Bauls’ (the wandering mendicants) in providing disaster risk reduction education. A troupe from Burdwan will depict these efforts during the currency of the festival. Backward Classes Welfare Department’s lead role in supporting the tribal folk artistes from Murshidabad and Purulia through specially designed safety net will be evident during ‘Chhau’ and ‘Raibenshe’ performances.While a classical dance performance by Delhi-based danseuse Smita Chakraborty will mark the inaugural day, special cultural soirées will also be organized during the fair at Dilli Haat on 16, 21, 22 and 23 Feb, with Sarod recital, Kathak dance, Chhau and Raibenshe folk dances, modern Bengali songs and folk music of Bengal to create an ambience of celebration, colour and rhythm. A special attraction will be Chhau dance by Jodharam Kumar and troupe from Shiv Shakti Chhow Dance Academy, Purulia, on 22 and 23 Feb. The group, which performed at the First Prize-winning West Bengal tableau during the Republic Day Parade-2014, was recently honoured with ‘Sangeet Samman’ by the Government of West Bengal.WHEN: On till 23 FebruaryWHERE: Dilli Haat, INAlast_img read more

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Age and ageing

first_imgBeing a widow, and with all her four daughters married, she has learnt to live life on her own. Whether going out to enjoy a sunny day or to a hospital for treatment, there is nobody to take care of her except God, she says. “I have learn to live alone. I use to sit and wait in queues for medicine or for appointment with doctor. Though it is tiring but I had no option. Despite separate queues for elderly, it gets difficult at times,” said Maya Devi.Diagnosed with Tuberculosis a while back, even her immune system has betrayed her. For quite sometime, her life has succumbed to the hospital bed. She is getting treated at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), in a well developed geriatric ward, supposedly the only one in the city.Though our Prime Minister Narendra Modi banks on the young population to take the country on high road, the fact is by 2050 India would have 324 million populace above 60 years of age. The current aged populace, which is estimated to be around 83 million, one third live below poverty line and 75 per cent reside in rural areas, further limiting their access to healthcare facilities.“Despite a countrywide alarm, geriatrics is still an alien field in our country. The concept of geriatric usefulness has not yet set in our country. Also, there is negligence towards this field from medical professionals too,” said Anupama Datta, Director of Policy Research and Development, HelpAge India.Although there are government and social policies for elderly in India, but geriatrics is relatively a new field of medicine. “Post graduation in Geriatrics was introduced in 2011. They are not many seats reserved for this course. In main centres, there are nine seats, out of which four are in AIIMS, three in Madras medical college, one in medical institute in Kochi and Vellore respectively,” said A B Dey, professor and head of department of geriatrics at AIIMS. Geriatrics or geriatric medicine is a specialty that focuses on healthcare of elderly people. It differs from standard medicine as it focuses on unique needs of elderly and especially, managing multiple morbidities.“Body of the elderly is different physiologically than young.  Generally, they have multiple morbidities. They may simultaneously have osteoarthritis, depression, visual impairment, nutritional deficiency and such. In absence of geriatric care, an elderly person has to go to different specialist for treating their various ailments. Also, at the age of 60 and above, the patient doesn’t have the energy to run to different specialist. In geriatrics,  the aim is to give comprehensive health care to elderly and help in healthy ageing,” said A B Dey.If trends are to be noted, not many young aspiring doctors wants to opt for geriatrics. “Not many young doctors are interested in pursuing this course because many have misconceptions that it is not a proper medical field. Every doctor wants to become a surgeon,” said Dey.Some who opt for it, say they are into this field by ‘chance.’ “Geriatrics was not my first choice. Since, I did not have many options, so I opted for it. I had doubts about the course but now I think I accidentally got the right thing. In this field, workload is less, elderly want to be heard more than cured,” said a geriatric resident at AIIMS.The most recent policy effort is the National Policy for Health Care of the Elderly (NPHCE), released in 2011. As per the policy, eight super speciality institutions catering to development of geriatrics would be developed in different regions. The programme also included provision of establishing 10 bedded geriatric wards and dedicated Out Patient Department (OPDs) in 100 districts covering 21 states/UTs.“City hospitals have geriatric clinics which are operational on particular days and also, preference to elderly is given. In our hospital, there is no specific geriatric ward. We have 100 bedded hospital in which around 20 beds are allocated for specialities. So, it is difficult to set up a geriatric ward. But we do witness many elderly seeking treatment,” said S K Sharma, medical superintendent at Aruna Asaf Ali Government Hospital.Even if geriatric wards are established in district hospitals, another challenge that lies ahead is accessibility and awareness. “I visited a geriatric ward in one of the hospitals in Rajasthan. Most elderly complained that it was not useful for them. People are unaware of what is geriatric or why it’s needed for them. Most elders live with the attitude that at old age, they are bound to suffer with diseases that do not have any cure. With old age comes a negative connotation in our society,” said Anupama Datta.‘Besides awareness, public facilities are cumbersome. Elderly often are unable to access it. Especially, elderly women from lower income group are more prone to it. Elder abuse is on rise but actions are far and few’, she added.While government healthcare sector is lacking behind in geriatric care services, even the private sector has not shown much interest in the field. “There is no expressed demand. There is no trained manpower in the field or scientific assessment of its need. There is biasness towards young people. Even if private sector opens geriatric wards, how many will be able to access them?,” said Datta.According to recent data, visual impairment and vision loss increases dramatically with age. Overall 10 per cent of India’s elderly suffers from depression; 50 per cent require psychological interventions at some point. “Because of weak immune system there chances of reoccurrence of diseases like tuberculosis and such. Many people also develop TB at this age. Dementia, chronic obstructive airways diseases, hypertension, heart diseases, diabetes are some of the common diseases that elders suffer from,” said a doctor at AIIMS.AIIMS, which has a separate geriatric ward, caters to 150 patients on daily basis. “The hospital alone cannot be expected to take the load. Pressure has to be built at state and community level.Government needs to prioritise elderly issues. They should also be given employment so they can contribute to the overall GDP of the country,” said Anupama Datta.last_img read more

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Corporate espionage Court seeks MoPNGs report on leaked docs

first_imgThe direction came during arguments on the bail pleas of five corporate executives, who along with others, were arrested in connection with the case, with the court asking the police as to how it has arrested the accused without ascertaining whether the documents were classified or not.During the hearing, an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) of Crime Branch told the court that they were yet to receive a report from the Ministry on its query if the documents allegedly leaked were classified or confidential. “It is directed that the report (of MoPNG) be submitted in three days. Put up for further hearing on April 10,” Additional Sessions Judge Raj Kapoor said. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreThe court also asked the investigating officer (IO) to show the letter they had written to the MoPNG for evaluation and analysis to specify whether the documents allegedly leaked were confidential and classified or were routine papers.During the hearing, the court asked the IO about the nature of documents recovered from the accused and whether these were classified. Responding to this, the IO said “the documents recovered from the accused are being verified as of now and the ministry is analysing and evaluating the documents, but Crime Branch have not yet received any reply from them.” Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedNot satisfied with the IO’s reply, the judge said, “You have not charged the accused under the Official Secrets Act (OSA) till now. Then how have you arrested them without even ascertaining that the documents were classified?” At this juncture, the court directed the IO to call the ACP and posted the matter for hearing in the afternoon.ACP K P S Malhotra appeared before the court and informed the judge that the Crime branch has written to the Ministry on March 11 and a committee has been formed to evaluate the documents. During the hearing, the court perused the documents placed before it by the police and said, “Do you (ACP) know the repercussion if these documents go into public domain. This is a very serious matter.” The court posted the bail pleas for further hearing on April 10 and directed the ACP to expedite the matter with the Petroleum Ministry. Five corporate executives — Shailesh Saxena of Reliance Industries Ltd, Vinay Kumar of Essar, Subhash Chandra from Jubilant Energy, Reliance ADAG DGM Rishi Anand and Cairns India’s GM K K Naik, have moved fresh bail pleas after their earlier pleas were dismissed by Chief Metropolitan Magistrate (CMM) Sanjay Khanagwal on March 24. On February 20, police had arrested the five accused corporate executives alleging that they used to procure the classified documents from other arrested accused Lalta Prasad and Rakesh, and used to pay them.The documents were then supplied to the firms by these officials for their benefit, the police had alleged.On February 25, Virender Kumar, a Defence Ministry staff member, was arrested in the case. Besides them, the police had also arrested Rakesh Kumar, Prayas Jain, Shantanu Saikia, Ishwar Singh, Asharam and Rajkumar Chaubey, who are also in judicial custody.last_img read more

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Kolkatans breathe easy as monsoon shows face again

first_imgKolkata: A smart shower in the afternoon on Wednesday brought a welcome respite from the sultry weather, under which Kolkata has been reeling for the past one week.Sanjib Bandyopadhyay, deputy director, Regional Meteorological Centre, Alipore, said that in the next 48 hours, South Bengal districts, including East Midnapore, South and North 24-Parganas will receive moderate to heavy rainfall. North Bengal is likely to receive heavy rainfall on Saturday and Sunday. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe rain hit the city at around 11.30 am, bringing much needed relief for the citizens.There was rainfall in all parts of Kolkata, unlike the trend where the city received sectional rain, with some parts receiving heavy rainfall and minimum or even no rainfall in others.The Manicktala pumping station of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) recorded 24 mm rainfall at 12 noon.The rainfall recorded at Belgachia, Dhapa, Topsia and Palmerbazar during that period are 30 mm, 34.6 mm, 45 mm and 35 mm respectively. There was rain at Chetla, Ballygunge, Kalighat and its neighbourhood as well. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedTraffic movement near Tank number 3 in Salt Lake was affected, after a tree got uprooted and blocked the road. The conservancy workers of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation (BMC) removed the tree to restore traffic.The movement of traffic was also affected near City Centre 1, after branches of a tree fell and blocked a stretch on the main thoroughfare. There was knee deep water on the road near Milan Mela ground.South Bengal districts like Murshidabad and Nadia received moderate rainfall. Bandopadhyay said because of the rain, the discomfort factor has gone down and the temperature has also dropped considerably. The officials of KMC reiterated that all the pumps are functioning and the underground sewer lines have been cleaned. The duration of waterlogging will be less this year, they said.Meanwhile, animal lovers in the city have urged people to let stray animals into their premises during heavy rain. “Please let them in during the rains. It will take a few minutes to clean up the mess they create, if any, but a life will be saved,” they said.last_img read more

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Two killed 5 injured in truck accident at Malda

first_imgKolkata: Two persons were killed and five others injured, some of them critically, in a road accident which occurred near Buchia area of Malda on late Wednesday night.The incident caused traffic congestion on Malda-Nalagola State Highway for nearly two hours. The situation was later brought under control by the senior police officers of the district. Police said a loaded truck on its way to Malda rammed into a road side wooden shop at around 11 pm. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThere were seven persons inside the shop when the incident took place. The shop owner, Suman Debnath was declared brought dead by the doctors after being taken to Malda Medical College and Hospital. Another victim, identified as Gokul Biswas succumbed to his injuries at the same hospital on Thursday morning. Five persons also received injuries in the incident. Three of them are stated to be in a serious condition. Eyewitnesses told police that the truck was running at a high speed along Malda-Nalagola state highway. The driver lost control over the vehicle and it eventually hit a road side shop at Buchia area. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedThe driver fled the spot leaving the vehicle there. The locals heard a loud thud and rushed to the spot. They had started the rescue operation before the police reached the area. The locals took the injured persons to the hospital. Police later cordoned off the area removed the vehicle. The traffic movement gradually came to normal. The shop was completely damaged in the incident. Police are investigating if the truck driver was in an inebriated state at the time of the accident. They are yet to ascertain the exact cause of the accident. A detailed probe has been initiated. Raids are being conducted to nab the truck driver who has been at large since the incident took place.last_img read more

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