Monday, January 23, 2017

Teachers should do only academic work, PM’s education panel tells HRD Ministry

 KRITIKA SHARMA | Fri, 20 Jan 2017-07:45am , New Delhi , DNA
An education panel appointed by the Prime Minister has submitted a report to the Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) in which they have said that teachers should not do any non-academic work.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), too, in October last year had directed all the schools affiliated to it, and asked teachers not to engage in any non-academic work. Teachers should only be involved in tasks related to teaching, examination, skill enhancement of students and evaluation, the board had said.
“The primary function of teachers lies in facilitating the educational process of children, which is becoming a challenge in modern times. While the students acquire knowledge from multiple sources including internet, the role and importance of teachers cannot be underestimated,” the CBSE had said.
Teachers in government schools, specially in rural areas are engaged in non-academic works like election duty, surveys, doubling up as accountants and human resource manager, which takes away a lot of time from their academic work. Some also take advantage of the fact and not report to schools, marking their absence because of works like these.
The Prime Minister appointed-panel now has suggested that all this takes a toll on the academic output of teachers and hence they should not be used in anything other than academic duties. “If teachers are not able to give their best academic output, quality of education suffers,” the panel, according to sources in the ministry, has suggested.
The panel consisting of secretaries has given a slew of other suggestions minister as well to the ministry, including — teaching of English in government schools, favouring detention policy in various classes and making yoga or sports a part of education curriculum for better physical development of children, sources said.
The Ministry officials are now working on the suggestions given by the panel to bring out changes in the policy.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Young Innovator Awards 2016

Zee 24 Taas Young Innovator Awards 2016 invites entries from students for any innovation done in the field of Science, Engineering, Information Technology, Agriculture and Medicine/Pharmacy. The additional category introduced this year is “Rancho” wherein an out of college student can also participate.
These entries could be an individual one or a group entry, where students need to send the entry form along with abstract of their project with supporting documents like photographs or videos through e-mail or post to Zee Media office.
The innovation needs to be a breakthrough in that field rather than being just a college project and pilots of these innovations have been done on a primary level.
Short listing of entries would be done by an eminent jury from the respective fields, where top twenty entries would be finalized for further screening. In the final process, top 11 entries would be selected by the veteran scientists & technical experts.
Criterion for sending Entries;
  1. Open for: From 11th Standard to Post-Graduate 
  1. Categories:
    1. Information Technology
    2. Science
    3. Engineering
    4. Agriculture
    5. Medical/Pharmacy
    6. Rancho * (for out of college student) 
*For Rancho category the innovator should not be related to any  research / educational/ academic institute in last three years (before submission of   this application) and the project should be his/her own creation. 
  1. Submit the entry form along with project abstract & project photographs/videos if available as supporting documents. 
  1. Entry can be sent through email or post on following address:

Office Address
Zee Media Corporation Limited
4th floor, "B" Wing,
Madhu industrial Estate,
Pandurang Budhakar Marg,
Mumbai-400013, Maharashtra 
  1. The registration for entries will open on 20th Dec 2016 
  1. Last date for sending entries is 20th Jan 2017 
  1. For more details, please call 022-24827777 / 022-24827862  (9 am – 7 pm) 
Selection Criterion:
The entries would to be shortlisted on following criterion:
  1. Uniqueness of the idea 
  1. Authenticity of the idea
  2. Clarity of the concept 
  1. Originality of the idea 
  1. Practicality of the idea 
  1. Thought Process for Production 
  1. Benefits to the society


Molecules tied into the tightest knot

Scientists have tied molecules into the tightest knot ever achieved - a breakthrough that may pave the way for a new generation of light, super-strong, and flexible materials.
Researchers from the University of Manchester in the UK developed a way to braid multiple molecular strands, enabling tighter and more complex knots to be made than has previously been possible.
The breakthrough knot has eight crossings in a 192-atom closed loop which is about 20 nanometres long.
Being able to make different types of molecular knots means that scientists should be able to probe how knotting affects strength and elasticity of materials, which in turn will enable them to weave polymer strands to generate new types of materials.
“Tying knots is a process similar to weaving, so the techniques being developed to tie knots in molecules should also be applicable to the weaving of molecular strands,” said David Leigh, a Professor at the University of Manchester.
“For example, bullet-proof vests and body armours are made of kevlar, a plastic that consists of rigid molecular rods aligned in a parallel structure. However, interweaving polymer strands have the potential to create much tougher, lighter, and more flexible materials in the same way that weaving threads does in our everyday world,” said Leigh.
“Some polymers, such as spider silk, can be twice as strong as steel, so braiding polymer strands may lead to new generations of light, super-strong and flexible materials for fabrication and construction,” he said.

“We ‘tied' the molecular knot using a technique called ‘self-assembly', in which molecular strands are woven around metal ions, forming crossing points in the right places just like in knitting - and the ends of the strands were then fused together by a chemical catalyst to close the loop and form the complete knot,” said Leigh.
“The eight-crossings molecular knot is the most complex regular woven molecule yet made by scientists,” he said. 

 Source: DNA-16th January,2017

How to know when someone suffers from hypoglycaemia

According to International Diabetes Federation (IDF), 415 million adults were living with diabetes in 2015 and this number is expected to increase to around 642 million or one in ten adults by 2040. However, the awareness about the disease is still low in India.
Low blood sugar can happen to diabetic patients, if they take high dosage of insulin, do not eat sufficiently well, exercise vigorously without decreasing their dose of insulin or drink excessive alcohol. It is important to be aware and understand the symptoms of hypoglycaemia and its preventive measures especially if you are a diabetic.
The main symptoms to look out for when you are at an early stage of hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) are sweating, trembling of hands or the body, feeling hungry or feeling anxious. If this is untreated the patient the symptoms start getting severe which includes difficulty in walking, weakness, difficulty in seeing things clearly, state of confusion and unconsciousness or seizures.
The best way to treat low blood sugar is to constantly monitor your blood sugar levels using a gluco-meter. Also, if you are a diabetic always carry glucose tablets like glucagon, hard candies or glucose powder. If the patient is still aware, giving sweets orally can help bring the blood sugar levels up. However, if the patient is unconscious, you should not use oral methods as they can be dangerous. Instead it's important that a friend or family members are trained to recognize severe low blood sugar levels and can help you with a glucagon injection in severe cases.
A family member or friend should immediately call the ambulance when: n The patient suffering from hypoglycaemia and remains confused 15 minutes even after being treated with glucagon.
n Are unconscious and glucagon is not available.
n Continue to have low blood sugar despite eating adequate amounts of a fast-acting carbohydrate or receiving glucagon.
Dr. Firozahmad H Torgal, Consultant Emergency Medicine, Columbia Asia Referral Hospital, Yeshwanthpur

 Source: DNA-14th January,2017

Drug price regulator bats for 50% reduction in price of stents

Also Proposes Classification Of Life-Saving Tubes

Moving a step closer to capping stent prices, the drug price regulator has proposed classifying the life-saving tubes which keep blood vessels open under two categories and could offer up to 50% reduction in the cost of drug eluting cardiac stents. If accepted, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority's (NPPA) proposals will become effective from February . The stents have been primarily placed under two categories -drug eluting stents (DES) and bare metal stents (BMS) with NPPA setting out an option to fix prices.
The options include fixed percentage margins over average price to distributor, hospital, on production cost and on landed cost for imported products. For instance, while most proposed DES ceiling prices are in the range of Rs 20,000-Rs 40,000, the highest at Rs 67,272 has been calculated using the average price of the stent to the hospital topped with a 16% margin. Similarly , another suggestion to fix price of DES at Rs 39,978 is based on average price to the distributor plus a 16% margin.
The pricing decision is now in its final stages with NPPA asking all stakeholders to submit suggestions on the proposed options by January 26.The regulator has also asked companies to submit documents and relevant data to support their representations.
Besides these options, the regulator has also suggested using the current CGHS pricing.Companies provide high quality stents at best prices under the central government health scheme. The maximum retail prices of DES in the market can go up to around Rs 2 lakh, whereas the reimbursement rate for DES under CGHS is Rs 22,500.
NPPA, in its notification dated January 13, has also suggested fixing prices with an annual hike on CGHS price for both DES and BMS categories.
The regulator has proposed that ceiling prices of drug elut ing stents, which also include biodegradable stents, be fixed at rates ranging between Rs 10,699 to Rs 67,272. For bare metal stents, the price ranges between Rs 8,422 to Rs 15,211. In case of bare metal stents, NPPA has differentiated between stainless steel and cobalt stents and accordingly suggested price caps.
The regulator, however, has not accepted suggestions from medical device makers, mainly multinational companies, to further differentiate ceiling prices of drug eluting stents based on a matrix that includes criteria like complexity of the stent design or how innovative it is.
Manufacturers have also strongly opposed CGHS as well as distributor price-based mechanisms ­ which set prices at a lower range. “NPPA is open to considering additional options, if any , which may be suggested by any of the stakeholders,“ an official said.
 Source: TIMES OF INDIA-16th January,2017

Pharma firm gets `freebie' tax relief

Pharma firm gets tax relief on Rs 23cr freebies to docs
May Cast Shadow On Ties Between Medicos, Company

Deviating from an earlier decision which barred doling out of freebies to doctors as a legitimate business expense, the I-T appellate tribunal has allowed a pharma company to claim tax benefits of up to Rs 23 crore.
Deviating from an earlier decision which barred the doling out of freebies and expensive gifts to doctors as a legitimate business expense, theIncome-tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) has now allowed a pharma company to claim tax benefits against funds spent on sponsoring trips for doctors, providing them with costly medical journals, and buying them stationery and pens.
The decision dated January 12 was in the case of PHL Pharma. The ITAT has allowed the firm to deduct Rs 23 crore for expenses incurred towards `freebies' for doctors.These range from travel and accommodation expenses for seminars, subscriptions for journals, gifts like stationery bearing the logo of the pharma company and lastly free samples.
ITAT makes a distinction about the facts in this case as opposed to the facts in the earlier order, which had enthused patients and consumer activists because it was viewed as nipping in the bud the practice of distributing gifts in return for favours from the medical fraternity .
Two key takeaways emerge from the order. First, the ITAT held that the code of conduct laid down by the Medical Council of India (MCI) which debar or limit freebies are meant to be followed by the medical fraternity alone.It does not cover pharma companies. Reference was also drawn by ITAT to a Delhi High Court decision, which made a similar observation.
Second, the ITAT also examined a circular dated August 1, 2012, issued by the Cen tral Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT), which said that any expense in providing freebies in violation of the MCI's code shall not be allowed as a business deduction. ITAT in its decision pointed out that as the code of conduct did not cover the pharma company , the expenditure of Rs 23 crore did not violate this code.
The decision is being hailed as a shot in the arm for pharma companies by tax experts. But activists would view it as a handle for unscrupulous firms, allowing them to offer inducements to doctors and hospitals for promoting their products.
PHL Pharma's benefits in this case pertain to expenses incurred in 2009-10.
Section 37 of the I-T Act permits a business entity to claim as a deduction revenue expenditure incurred `for the purpose of the business'. However, expenses incurred for any purpose which is an offence or is prohibited by law is not accepted. Thus, if funds spent on freebies was to be denied exemption, it would have inflated the taxable profits of the entity and resulted in higher income-tax outgo. This, in turn, would have deterred the practice of doling freebies.
 Source: TIMES OF INDIA-16th January,2017

Monday, January 16, 2017



Playback is an online radio service that lets you listen to songs that were popular from the last 116 years. You can browse its song database by decade (10s, 20s, 30s...) followed by the specific year of choice. For instance, to play the 1972 playlist, click on “70s“ and then the year “1972“. Playback loads the top 100 (or 50) songs, from YouTube, within its own player and you get basic controls to playpause and skip tracks. On the downside, there is no option to shuffle the playlist ­ all songs are played in sequence. You also get to learn fun trivia and take music-related quizzes here. Don't forget to visit the “#1 On your B-day“ page to find out what song was on the number one spot on your
Photopea is a handy photo editor that you can use to crop, resize and rotate photographs without installing any software on your PC. It also comes with additional controls that let you adjust individual colour levels, apply filters to add blur, noise or sharpen, lets you work on an image in “layers“, use a cloning feature and includes a “History“ tool so you can undo multiple changes with a single click. What's more, Photopea lets you work with files created in Adobe Photoshop (PSD) and Gimp (XCF), save work to other popular image formats ­ including PNG, JPEG, GIF and ICO ­ and also responds to keyboard
Jigsaw Planet
Jigsaw Planet is home to well over a hundred puzzles. They can be browsed by popularity and searched with the help of tags like animals, children, landscape, flowers, etc. To solve a puzzle, just click and drag a piece toward its match and they will snap into place. You can change the difficulty level by choosing the number of pieces you want to assemble. You can participate in contests ­ if you register with the website ­ and create your own jigsaw as well. For the latter, you have to click the Create button, upload a picture, choose a difficulty level (EasyHard) and enter tags for easier search. The jigsaws can be shared with friends via email, Facebook, Twitter and embedded on your website as
Sharing photographs that have been posted online, via email or WhatsApp, involves multiple steps. Enter, Kwilt: an app that lets you connect to your online accounts ­ like Facebook, Instagram, Dropbox, Flickr, Google Photos, OneDrive, etc ­ and share pictures with minimum hassle. Once you register for this service, you have to sign in to your online profiles and allow the app to access your albums.Kwilt does not store your snapshots or save them locally on your handset; it loads images whenever you choose to view the albums. When you want to share an Instagram photo over WhatsApp, just choose to launch Kwilt and tap on the cloud icon (Photo Source) to locate the image. Alternatively, you can filter through all the photographs online and offline ­ by time and location. The process is the same while attaching files with any other app. Plus, Kwilt lets you send pictures to your friends in Facebook Messenger without leaving the app. The iOS version also includes a photo-editing feature that lets you apply filter effects, remove red eye, blemishes and more.Android, iOS | Free
Encryptr is a safety vault for sensitive information like passwords, credit card data and access codes. When you register via the app, it encrypts your account's passphrase with a 256-bit cipher to deter hacking attempts. Additionally, data is not stored on your smartphone; it is saved in an encrypted format on its servers over a secure SSL network connection. All encryptiondecryption is done by the app on the handset itself. Encryptr sports an intuitive user interface: Tap the plus sign to add credit card details, web login details (such as username, password, website) and personal notes.When you want to log in to a website, longpress or double tap the password field to copy it to the clipboard. Next, you need to paste the passcode into the respective field in the web page. Your password is not displayed in plain text throughout this process, so you can safely log in to your account even in public spaces. Encryptr requires a data connection to load your credentials, but it is light on system resources and lets you install and sign in to multiple devices simultaneously.Android, iOS | Free
Color Glide
In this puzzle game, you have to move blocks into holes of the same colour.However, these objects are placed in a maze, so the path isn't always straightforward. It gets tricky when there is more than one block because whenever you move one block, the others “glide“ in the same direction. You must follow a particular sequence before slotting each to their respective holes. When two dissimilar blocks collide, they combine to form a new colour.
For instance, a blue and yellow square will create a green one. But if there aren't any green holes in the maze then you will have to replay the level. Also, you have to complete the level within a certain number of moves.Doing so earns you gems, which you can use to unlock additional levels later. It gets even more challenging when more colours are introduced. And as you progress, you will get walls in the maze that behave differently with certain blocks and “death“ holes that destroy squares. Color Glide sports a simple design with over 30 brainteasing levels that will keep you occupied for quite a while.Android, iOS | Free
For more tech stories, visit

 Source: THE TIMES OF INDIA-12th January,2017

Scientists find ‘BioClay' for pest-free high-yield crops

Scientists, including an Indian-origin researcher, have found nano-sized degradable clay that could serve as an alternative to chemicals and pesticides, effectively protecting plants from specific disease-causing pathogens.
Researcher Neena Mitter from University of Queensland in Australia said BioClay - an environmentally sustainable alternative to chemicals and pesticides -could be a game-changer for crop protection. The study was recently published in Nature Plants. “In agriculture, the need for new control agents grows each year, driven by demand for greater production, the effects of climate change, community and regulatory demands and toxicity and pesticide resistance,” she said.
“Our disruptive research involves a spray of nano-sized degradable clay used to release double-stranded RNA that protects plants from specific disease-causing pathogens,” the researcher said. Mitter further stated that the technology reduced the use of pesticides without altering the genome of the plants.
Once BioClay is applied, the plant ‘thinks' it is being attacked by a disease or pest insect and responds by protecting itself from the targeted pest or disease, Mitter noted. A single spray of BioClay protects the plant and then degrades, reducing the risk to the environment or human health. -ANI

 Source:DNA-12th January,2017

Old blood transfusion is dangerous

Matter of fact
New York: The oldest blood available for transfusions releases large and potentially harmful amounts of iron into patients' bloodstreams, warns a new study which recommends reducing the maximum storage limit of red blood cells from six to five weeks.
Researchers at Columbia University Medical Centre (CUMC) in the US randomly assigned a group of 60 healthy volunteers to receive a unit of red blood cells that had been stored for one, two, three, four, five or six weeks.
The volunteers were then monitored for 20 hours after transfusion. Within hours after transfusion, seven of the nine volunteers who received the six-week-old blood could not appropriately metabolise the damaged cells, thereby releasing large amounts of iron into their bloodstream. Only one volunteer who received younger blood had a similar response, with blood had been stored for five weeks.
“Our recommendation will be controversial, but we think we have real data to support it,” said Steven Spitalnik from CUMC.
“Recent studies have concluded that transfusing old blood has no impact on patient outcomes, but those studies did not exclusively examine the oldest blood available for transfusions. Our new study found a real problem when transfusing blood that is older than five weeks,” said Spitalnik.
“However the longer you store blood, the more the cells become damaged,” said Eldad Hod, associate professor at CUMC.
Currently, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) allows units of red blood cells to be stored for up to six weeks before they must be discarded.
None of the volunteers were harmed by the transfusion, but previous studies have shown that excess iron can enhance blood clots and promote infections.
“Based on the amount of iron circulating in the blood of the volunteers who received six-week-old blood, we had predict that certain existing infections could be exacerbated,” said Hod.
“Thus, for ill, hospitalised patients, this excess iron could lead to serious complications,” said Spitalnik.
The true impact of six-week-old blood on the rate of complications in patients is likely to be small, said the researchers.
“It is estimated that up to 10 to 20 per cent of blood units used for transfusions have been stored for more than five weeks, so the number of patients who are likely to receive a unit of very old blood is substantial,” said Hod.
The study appears in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. 

  Source: DNA-12th January,2017

Drug that ‘melts' cancer cells approved for use

Melbourne: A drug that may melt away cancer cells has been approved in Australia for use in patients with a type of leukaemia who have not responded to existing therapies.
The drug, Venetoclax, has been approved by Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) for some stage-four patients of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia. It works by blocking the action of a protein, known as BCL-2, that enables cancer cells to survive. It will be available to patients who have not responded to standard treatments.
Professor David Huang, one of the developers of the drug, said the BCL-2 molecule was found to be overactive in many types of cancers. About 70 patients had received the drug since 2011. “What we found in our studies was that 80 per cent of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia will actually respond to this drug,” said Maryann Anderson from Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre.
“Approximately 20 per cent of those patients will achieve a complete remission. Most excitingly, we are seeing that we are getting very good responses among patients with the most high risk disease,” she said. 

Source:DNA-12th January,2017

Apple may be working on AR glasses

According to rumours, the mobile computing giant is joining forces with optic stalwart Carl Zeiss to craft a new wearable

Apple is rumoured to be venturing into augmented ormixed reality along with Carl Zeiss AG. The information comes from a tech blogger named Robert Scoble who noticed the surprisingly empty booth of Carl Zeiss in the middle of the AR/VR section at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. “A Zeiss employee confirmed the rumours that Apple and Carl Zeiss AG are working on a light pair of augmented reality or mixed reality glasses that may be announced this year. (I thought it was next year but now that I saw this I believe it will happen this year). I hear Meta is getting ready to announce same with Lumus, the optic folks. And that explains why there was no augmented reality in Zeiss's booth even though it was right in the middle of the AR area,” said Robert Scoble in a Facebook post.
Zeiss is best-known as a for developing high-end optical systems used in a range of applications from photolithography used in the manufacture of silicon chips, to lenses used in consumer and mobile phone cameras.lenses. They previously developed their own smartphone-paired VR headset called the VR One Plus.
Over the past year, reports have surfaced about Apple quietly making a push into the virtual reality and augmented reality space. CEO of Apple Tim Cook on numerous occasions has stated his preference of augmented reality over virtual reality as the next key mobile technology.
“Augmented reality will take some time to get right, but I do think that it's profound. We might … have a more productive conversation, if both of us have an AR experience standing here, right?” Tim Cook said in an interview.
Adding further fodder to the claim, Apple has applied for a number of patents with the US Patent and Trademark Office in the recent past. In 2014, the company patented the “Transparent electronic device” and the “Head-Mounted Display Apparatus For Retaining A Portable Electronic Device With Display” in 2016. Both patents point to a device that relays images which are to be placed on the head.
 Source:DNA-11th January,2017

Friday, January 13, 2017

Wearable robots to help overcome limited mobility

At CES, Hyundai showcased a wearable ‘exoskeleton' that could give paraplegics and spinal injury patients new legs to stand on

Apart from cars, South Korean automobile manufacturer Hyundai appears to be serious about other forms of mobility as well. At the CES expo currently underway, the company showcased a range of three wearable ‘robots' that are aimed at assisting human movement, especially for those with limited mobility caused by injury or age.
The first, called the H-MEX (Hyundai Medical Exoskeleton), is targeted at patients who suffer from lower spinal cord injuries. This exoskeleton attaches to the lower half of the body, where it utilizes a wireless clutch and an on-board motion control system that work together to enable the wearer to stand, walk, turn and even use a staircase - activities that a patient with a debilitating spinal injury would otherwise be incapable of performing.
The second wearable system is called the HUMA (Hyundai Universal Medical Assist), which is aimed at supplementing the ability of wearers having limited muscular power and control. It delivers what is known as ‘assistive torque', effectively amplifying the muscular power of the wearer for several types of movement such as walking, running, and walking up and down slopes and stairs. When worn, it bears up to 40 kg of the wearer's body weight and can enable running at a speed of up to 12 km/h.
Both of these units are powered by removable and rechargeable battery packs, and have harness points on the lower back and knees. The orientation of the complex joints used in the frame change shape and flex in real time, where the system can ‘learn' and even replicate an individual's unique gait and body posture by monitoring parameters such as walking pace, length of stride, and torso tilt angle.
The third in the trio of devices, the H-WEX (Hyundai Waist Exoskeleton), targets a different application: delivering added mechanical assistance for manual labour such as heavy lifting, which may involve repetitive actions such as by workers in cargo depots or steel and timber processing plants. This device has a ‘waist assist' function that lets the exoskeleton flex its joints at a speed of 180 degrees per second (the torso swivelling action involved in moving loads between two nearby locations, for example.) This exoskeleton aims to increase protection against injuries associated with such forms of physical labour, while increasing the worker's productivity.

 Source: DNA-7th January,2017

This graphene is super-strong thanks to its structure

MIT scientists have designed a new sponge-like material that is lighter and about ten times stronger than steel, by compressing and fusing flakes of graphene. In its 2D form, graphene is thought to be the strongest of all known materials. However, researchers, until now, have had a hard time translating that 2D strength into useful 3D materials. The findings show that the crucial aspect of the new 3D forms has more to do with their unusual geometrical configuration than with the material itself, which suggests that similar strong, lightweight materials could be made from a variety of materials by creating similar geometric features. Researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US analysed the material's behaviour down to the level of individual atoms within the structure. They were able to produce a mathematical framework that very closely matches experimental observations. Two-dimensional materials - basically flat sheets that are just one atom in thickness but can be indefinitely large in the other two dimensions - have exceptional strength as well as unique electrical properties. However, due to their extraordinary thinness, they are not very useful for making 3D materials that could be used in vehicles, buildings or devices. The team was able to compress small flakes of graphene using a combination of heat and pressure, producing a strong, stable structure whose form resembled that of some corals and microscopic creatures called diatoms. These shapes, which have an enormous surface area in proportion to their volume, proved to be remarkably strong. To do that, they created a variety of 3D models and then subjected them to various tests. In computational simulations, which mimic the loading conditions in the tensile and compression tests performed in a tensile loading machine, “one of our samples has five per cent the density of steel, but 10 times the strength,” said Zhao Qin, a CEE research scientist. Buehler said that what happens to their 3D graphene material, which is composed of curved surfaces under deformation, resembles what would happen with sheets of paper. The research appears in the journal Science Advances. -PTI
Source:DNA-10th January,2017

This tiny card may reinvent the computer

The design can have users ‘slotting in' an entire computer worth of capability into their smart TV or fridge
This year at CES, Intel demonstrated a device that aims to offer an enhanced experience in the connected home space. Called the Intel Compute Card, this is a new modular computing platform that makes it possible to literally carry an entire PC in your wallet. Even though the product unveiled was an early prototype, the company states that it is slated to go on sale by mid-2017.
What does it look like? The Intel Compute Card is a small (95 mm x 55 mm x 5 mm) credit-card shaped slab that includes the primary elements of a complete computer - CPU, GPU, RAM, storage, and wireless connectivity.
What does it do? The inherent feature of computers and laptops is that they can be upgraded with new technology that keeps them from getting outdated too quickly. But what about your refrigerator or television set? These appliances could get obsolete super quick, especially now that they are going to have some sort of Internet connectivity and computing power in them. With this device, Intel wants to start making it easy to upgrade those bulky white goods, in an effort to transform the way computing and connectivity can be integrated into such appliances. Such a platform is also likely to boost the uptake of an IoT deployment.
The company stated that device manufacturers will soon build a slot for the Compute Card into their devices, and then select the relevant features that fit their needs. There are a range of processors available for the card, including the 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core processors. The Compute Card will connect to devices through a standard USB Type-C connection. However, the card uses different variant of USB-C port called ‘USB-C plus extension' to interface with the systems it is plugged into. Other connectivity standards integrated into the card include USB Type-A, PCIe, HDMI and a DisplayPort, making it possible to exchange data with other devices and implement products with embedded screens - smart fridges and washing machines for example. At the moment, the company hasn't released the list of full specifications, but they have revealed that they have commenced working with partners including Dell, HP, Lenovo and Sharp to make this product a reality.
 Source:DNA-10th January,2017

Antibiotic spider silk could now heal wounds

Scientists from the University of Nottingham in the UK have fabricated synthetic spider silk fusing the healing properties of antibiotics which can be used to deliver drugs and close wounds. After five years in the making, the team lead by Neil Thomas developed an artificial version of the spider silk from E. coli bacteria. The curative amalgam was further enhanced when the scientists laced it with antibiotic molecules and other materials to create a better form of the bandage. The team's research is published in the journal of Advanced Materials. The team isn't the first to use spider silk for first aid. Spider silk was first used by ancient Greeks and Romans to clog the wounds of soldiers that were hurt during battle. Working with the same idea, the team added some changes to the ancient practice to make it suitable for the modern day usage. Using an artificial version of spider silk means that there is no dependence on the spider species, while combining the material with an antibiotic called levofloxacin makes it capable of warding off bacterial infections. Spider silk is known to be strong, biocompatible and biodegradable making it the perfect natural substance for the research. Furthermore, it isn't known to cause an allergic or inflammatory reaction in humans. “There is the possibility of using the silk in advanced dressings for the treatment of slow-healing wounds such as diabetic ulcers. Using our technique, infection could be prevented over weeks or months by the controlled release of antibiotics. At the same time tissue regeneration is accelerated by silk fibres functioning as a temporary scaffold,” said Thomas.

Source: DNA-10th January,2017

Can't give new TB drug to patient without more tests: HC

New Delhi: A TB hospital in the capital told the Delhi High Court on Monday that if the new TB medicine by Johnson and Johnson is given to a patient suffering from a drug resistant variant of the disease without carrying out proper tests, it could lead to development of a strain which is resistant to this medication also.
The Lala Ram Swarup (LRS) TB hospital made the submission in its affidavit before Justice Sanjeev Sachdeva who listed the matter for hearing on January 11 as the central government has not yet filed its affidavit indicating whether the drug can be made available to the patient.
The hospital has said that the drug cannot be made available to the patient to be administered by some other doctor as the medicine is to be used as per the “strict guidelines and policy” of the government which supplies Bedaquiline to the hospital.
It has said the drug was only available under a “conditional access programme” and cannot be simply given to the patient.
The hospital has also said that further tests of the patient's sputum were necessary to ascertain the other medication which has to be given in combination with Bedaquiline, the new drug by Johnson and Johnson.
It also denied the allegation that carrying out tests and waiting for their result were a bureaucratic requirement. The submissions were made in response to the plea by Kaushal Tripathi, father of the 18-year-old patient, who has claimed that the new drug was the only option for his daughter.
 The hospital's reply came after the court on January 4 had asked it to say on affidavit whether the patient can be treated with Bedaquiline without any further tests. According to his plea, the drug is only available at six TB hospitals across the country and is supplied in limited quantity by the manufacturer to the central government under a health programme.
Tripathi has claimed that his daughter meets the requirements under the WHO guidelines and Revised National TB Control programme for being treated by Bedaquiline, made by the US drug company.-PTI

 Source:DNA-10th January,2017