Friday, September 28, 2018

Google revamps ‘Feed’ feature, names it ‘Discover’

In few minutes a diagnosis of heart attack and cancer can be done

BACHELOR OF DESIGN: Is anokhe course se karen mustaqbil ko design



Now, sign in to Gmail without fuss

Chrome’s next release to address privacy issues

Genetic testing for cancer

Thursday, September 27, 2018

New robot picks a peck of peppers and more

 The world's most advanced sweet pepper harvesting robot, developed in a consortium including Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers, was introduced last week at the Research Station for Vegetable Production at St. Katelijne Waver in Belgium.
SWEEPER is designed to operate in a single stem row cropping system, with non-clustered fruits and little leaf occlusion. The team spearheaded efforts to improve the robot's ability to detect ripe produce using computer vision, and has played a role in defining the specifications of the robot's hardware and software interfaces, focusing on supervisory control activities.

The BGU team spearheaded efforts to improve the robot's ability to detect ripe produce using computer vision, and has played a role in defining the specifications of the robot's hardware and software interfaces, focusing on supervisory control activities.
Polina Kurtser, a Ph.D. candidate in the BGU Department of Industrial Engineering and Management and member of the team, says robotic harvesting will revolutionize the economics of the agriculture industry and dramatically reduce food waste.
"The Sweeper picks methodically and accurately," she says. "When it is fully developed, it will enable harvesting 24/7, drastically reduce spoilage, cut labor costs and shield farmers from market fluctuations."
Additional research is needed to increase the robot's work speed to reach a higher harvest success rate. Based upon these latest results, the Sweeper consortium expects that a commercial sweet pepper harvesting robot will be available within four to five years, and that the technology could be adapted for harvesting other crops.
North America is the second largest producer of sweet (bell) and chili peppers in the world with a 31 percent market share. In 2017 Europe accounted for more than half the world's pepper supply (53.2 percent) with exports valued at $2.7 billion.

SWEEPER is a partnership between BGU, Wageningen University & Research, and pepper grower De Tuindershoek BV, in the Netherlands, Umea University in Sweden, and the Research Station for Vegetable Cultivation and Bogaerts Greenhouse Logistics in Belgium.

New micro-platform reveals cancer cells' natural behavior

 A new cell culture platform allows researchers to observe never-before-seen behaviors of live cancer cells under the microscope, leading to explanations of long-known cancer characteristics.

The easy-to-produce platform developed by Hokkaido University researchers offers cancer cells micro-scale attachment sites that elicit never-before-seen behaviors highly relevant to cancer's clinical properties. The observation of these behaviors shed light on the mechanisms behind well-known properties of pancreatic cancer, one of the most lethal malignant tumors, and may lead to the identification of new treatment targets.
"Cancer studies so far either use cell cultures in which cancer cells don't necessarily behave naturally, or tissue samples that don't allow live observation. So there is a big gap in our knowledge of how cancer cells actually behave," says Assistant Professor Yukiko Miyatake, who led the study and focuses on cancer development mechanisms. To close this gap, she teamed up with Associate Professor Kaori Kuribayashi-Shigetomi who specializes on micro-nano-scale bio-engineering.

Together they created a new cell culture substrate from a coated glass slide with etched islands of 30?m diameter. For healthy cells, this is just enough space for one or two to attach. But when the researchers seeded them with pancreatic cancer cells (although they also tried other cancer cells with similar results) and incubated them overnight, the cells self-organized into micro-tumors that could move in a concerted way, as if it were one organism. Precursors to this turned out to be papillary structures that accommodate 4 or more cells by cell-in-cell invasion. This process, called entosis, is so far known only as a step in cell degradation. Here, the incorporated cells remained alive and, to their surprise, the incorporation was reversible.

When they treated the micro-tumors with the widely used anti-cancer agent Nocodazole, the micro-tumor disintegrated, but the now-detached cells survived. Moreover, the researchers observed the micro-tumors "fishing" for surrounding dead cells and ingesting them, in the process releasing chemical markers typical for dead cells. These markers ended up on the cancer cells' surfaces, presumably masking them and enabling them to evade the immune system's killer cells.

Striving to reduce the suffering cancer causes, Miyatake says: "I hope this easy and low-cost technique will find widespread adoption. If the discoveries made during these first observations are physiologically or pathologically relevant phenomena, many more new hints may be gleaned for the development of more effective cancer treatment approaches."


Anjuma-I-Islam present warm greetings and best wishes on the auspicious occasion of 88th National Day of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Source: DNA-23rd September,2018

Fraud pharma firms fined Rs.1.50 cr

Story behind the largest library in the world

Google: Speech recognition is tech’s next leap

CCI probe finds unfair practices by three drug companies

NEW DELHI: A preliminary investigation by the Competition Commission of India has found that three pharmaceutical companies and a few regional chemist bodies used unfair trade practices to distribute drugs, a senior government official said. 

Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Intas Pharmaceuticals and Macleod Pharmaceuticals are accused of violating the Competition Act of 2002 by being part of a ploy by some regional trade bodies to appoint their favoured ones as stockists, he said.

The competition regulator has started hearing the matter and a verdict is likely to be out soon, the official said. After the hearing, the watchdog may also order further probe. If found guilty, the companies could face hefty penalties. 

During the preliminary probe, the commission found that these trade associations issued noobjection certificates for the appointment of stockists in their regions to a few entities they favoured. “Pharma companies are also a part of this unfair practice as they appoint stockists," the official said. "This amounts to stifling the competition in the market by controlling supply of drugs,” he added. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

What's Today

GATE 2019

GATE Online Application Processing System (GOAPS) is open for receiving applications. is the only official GATE 2019 online application portal. !!!

Important Notices:
1. Do you have any Corrections to be Incorporated in the completed application? GOAPS Portal opens for corrections from 25/9/2018
2. Increase in application fee will be effective during the extended period, from September 24, 2018 (Monday) to October 1, 2018 (Monday)


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Fixed-dose combination ban to hit retail pharmaceutical biz

MUMBAI: The proposed government ban on over 340 combination medicines (fixed-dose combinations, or FDCs) will impact over 2 per cent — nearly Rs 2,900 crore — of the organised retail market, with popular cough syrups, painkillers and flu medicines — like Phensedyl, Saridon, Sumocold, and Vicks Action 500 — facing action. 

A final decision on the ban is expected soon by health ministry, even as an expert panel — the Drug Technical Advisory Board, or DTAB — earlier recommended these “irrational and “harmful” medicines should be taken off the shelves. 

An FDC contains two or more drugs combined in a fixed ratio, and made available in a single dosage form. They comprise around 50 per cent of the Rs 1.25-lakh-crore market (moving annual total, or MAT, June 2018), with only certain combinations being marketed “irrational” and “harmful”. 

Last year, the Supreme Court (SC) had asked the DTAB to review the matter and recommend which FDCs should be regulated or banned, following a protracted legal battle between the government and drug companies over the issue.

The banned combinations on the proposed list belong to several therapeutic areas like cough and cold syrups, gastrointestinal and anti-infective formulations, and dermatological medicines. The respiratory portfolio will bear the highest impact of 10 per cent, followed by anti-diabetic and anti-infective drugs, data culled from IQVIA, a leading technology-driven healthcare service provider said. 

Gastro-intestinal medicine Panderm+ (Macleods Pharma) is the most impacted brand at 8 per cent or Rs 233 crore in value terms in the banned category, followed by cough preparation Phensedyl Cough (Abbott). 

IQVIA general manager South Asia Amit Mookim said, “The popularity of combination drugs has been due to the convenience of reduced pill burden at an affordable cost. After the ban implementation, the doctors may now have to change their Rx (prescription) habit and prescribe multiple plain drugs, instead of writing one FDC, which may have a huge cost impact on the patients.
Further, retail pharmacists dispense medicines based on doctors’ prescriptions that mention the brand names. 
The banned FDCs are sold under multiple brand names, and looking into the combination of each such brand is an extremely complex process. Each pharmacy may have hundreds of brands with the same combination, and it will be difficult to identify the banned FDCs — which are given in pharmacological names — and eventually may pose a risk to the patients. 
Therefore, the industry will have to educate and create awareness among pharmacists for effective and safe implementation of the ban.”

Further, industry experts say the market may see new launches, with newer formulations or a tweak in molecules, going forward — particularly where they are hit most. 
 Among the banned formulations, impact from top five molecules, brands, and companies is fairly high, while over 60 per cent of the banned molecules are triple combinations and more. The highest impacted market segment is Pioglitazone + Metformin + Glimepiride, followed by cough preparation market and Clobetasol + Ofloxacin + Ornidazole + Terbinafine.

In a surprise move in 2016, the government had banned over 340 FDCs, after which the ban was legally contested. The Delhi high court, which had heard a majority of petitions against the move, ruled in favour of industry, arguing the government had not gone through the statutory bodies which decide these matters. The government appealed the matter in the SC, which in turn asked the sub-committee of the DTAB to submit its recommendations.

Today's Personality

Maharashtra colleges to start robotics course designed by IIT

MUMBAI: The state government will for the first time help colleges start placement-oriented courses in cyber security, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, product design, among others. Autonomous colleges can offer these interdisciplinary subjects as electives in their curriculum, while others can launch them as value-added courses.
Also, an impact study will be done for the first time to understand benefits of the courses on campus placements.

The state will conduct a baseline study on campus placements in some colleges this year to understand average salaries drawn, kind of skill sets required by industries and other details. The data will be compared with placement reports at those colleges a year after the courses’ introduction, to understand the impact, said Meeta Rajiv Lochan, the state’s project director for Rashtriya Uchchatar Shikshan Abhiyan (RUSA).
The tailor-made courses of 70-300 hours will be offered to students from second and third year of undergraduate programmes. The state has organised workshops in specialised job-oriented courses for engineering and pharmacy colleges, along with arts, science and commerce colleges. “Companies spend a lot in retraining fresh graduates. These courses will increase the efficiency of placements. AI and deep learning will be pervasive in future. All job profiles will require deep learning and machine learning at some level. It is being used in humanities too,” said Priyanka Sharma from Nirma University. She added that industries have started conversational AI too.  
For students from computer science background, the AI course will span over 75-80 hours, but for those from arts and commerce backgrounds, colleges may have to include 75-80 hours more to train students in basic applied mathematics. The robotics programme, open for science and engineering colleges, will require a little investment in a lab, said Kavi Arya, professor, IIT-B. The institute is helping setting up labs across colleges in the country under a central government initiative. Another resource person who attended the workshop said colleges can choose modules. “They can add or delete topics. Nasscom has designed qualification packs for 11 topics. Cyber security and network security will generate hundreds of jobs on campuses,” she said.

St Xavier’s College plans to offer robotics and geographical information system (GIS). Principal-designate Rajendra Shinde said they may modify course content and offer them as electives. The college will also look at courses such as capital market for commerce (night shift) students. HR College has shortlisted cyber security and GIS. “Since our college is not autonomous, we will have to offer them as value-added courses. Students will have to attend courses and lectures. We will work out modalities soon,” said principal Parag Thakker.
Source:THE TIMES OF INDIA - August,2018

Thursday, September 20, 2018

State to set up cyber varsity

It will train 3,000 professionals to fight online space attacks, internet crimes

The Maharashtra Government has taken the first step towards setting up a varsity dedicated to mitigating cyber threats. It has set aside Rs. 80 crore for the first round of its funding and the proposal for the project will be tabled in the State cabinet’s consideration in the first week of October, sources said.
The new Cyber University will train 3,000 professionals to fight online space cyber attacks, internet crimes, and conduct cyber forensics. It will also impart training in 15 other Internet of Things (IoT) areas such as Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

A team of senior government officials recently visited the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), which monitors cyber attacks in real time, to acquire technical knowhow. CSAIL’s latest system correctly predicts about 85% of the world’s cyber attacks using machine learning and AI. “At the lab we saw in real time that the majority of the world’s cyber attacks are directed towards Russia, Japan and India,” an official said.

Cost of courses
The varsity, officials said, will provide for and prepare internet professionals on the lines of the Microsoft Certified Professional Program.The courses will cost less than Rs. 5 lakh for courses in data analytics, cloud computing, blockchain, AI, cyber forensics and cyber investigations.
Skill gap
“The current supply of cyber professionals in the country is about a lakh while the demand hovers around 30 lakh. A cyber attack is taking place every 10 minutes as opposed to 12 minutes previously. The varsity will remedy this,” an official said.
The government will provide different levels of training and enable affiliated colleges to impart certification for the 15 courses. The State will also supply infrastructure for training and education. A 2015 skill gap analysis for Maharashtra by the consultancy firm KPMG had pointed to a gap of 1.5 crore professionals in 10 sectors. “Of these, there was a greater shortfall in the IoT and Cyber Forensics sectors. The new varsity will bridge this skill gap,” the official said.

Maharashtra is already in the process of setting up its version of the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team to ward off external cyber threats. In 2016, the State had even appointed a consortium of M/s C-DAC (Centre for Development of Advanced Computing) and Railtel Corporation of India for the Rs. 838-crore project. The consortium in its analysis used the same technology as GARUDA, India’s national grid computing initiative, and the Graphics and Intelligence Based Script Technology, officials said.

Scientists make an AI system to spot fake news

Can we repair damaged retina like zebrafish do?

IISER Mohali researchers have decoded the different signals and genes behind this feat
 In stark contrast to mammals, the zebrafish has the ability to completely regenerate its retina and restore vision after an injury. Researchers from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER) Mohali, have decoded the signals and genes behind this tremendous feat and hope to uncover valuable clues as to why we humans fail at such regeneration.
A particular signalling system — sonic hedgehog (Shh) — in zebrafish has been previously reported to aid in developmental and tissue regeneration activities. To decipher the influence of Shh signalling on retina regeneration, the researchers first inhibited its function. They found that impairing this signal made 90% of the zebrafish embryo exhibit a birth defect called cyclopia. Cyclopia is also seen in humans, where there is a single median eye or a partially divided eye. Detailed understanding of this signalling may provide insights into the rare defect. Since this signalling is also responsible for retina regeneration in zebrafish, the researchers are trying to understand why the signalling does not bring about retina regeneration in humans.

They performed whole retina RNA sequencing at various time points post-retinal injury to the zebrafish eye. Several genes (zic2b, foxn4, mmp9) were found to be upregulated through Shh signalling. Zic2b and foxn4 are essential components for development and tissue regeneration, whereas mmp9 is an enzyme which makes the environment congenial for freshly formed cells. Individual knockdowns of these genes also revealed that these are indeed essential for normal retina regeneration.

The researchers also showed the role of a microRNA (let-7) which is regulated through a particular gene (Lin28a) which allows normal Shh signalling during the retina regeneration process. “During an injury, you need the proliferation of cells that let-7 is capable of blocking. So Lin28a steps in action, clears or scavenges let-7 and allows differentiated cells to be transformed into multipotent stem cells, which aid in regeneration,” explains Rajesh Ramachandran from the Department of Biological Sciences at the Institute and corresponding author of the work published in the journal Cell Reports.

Mice models
They further carried out studies on mice models by injecting the protein. “Shh protein can easily bind to its respective receptor and turn on the signalling pathway after an acute retinal injury,” says Simran Kaur, PhD scholar and first author of the work. “Though there was increased proliferation and upregulation of the genes, no regeneration of the retina was seen in mice.”
“Although we have understood the signals and genes behind the regeneration, the whole pathway and network need to be unravelled before trying it out in the mammalian system,” adds Prof. Rajesh.

IIT-B: Sniffing out lung cancer, explosives

Clinical applications for early-stage detection will become possible once validated on humans

Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay have set the stage to possibly sniff out in about a minute early-stage lung cancer from exhaled breath. A two-member team led by Chandramouli Subramaniam from the institute’s Department of Chemistry has developed a platform that detects volatile organic compounds such as benzene, acetone, benzaldehyde and ethanol in a gas phase at single molecular levels. These organic compounds in exhaled breath are clinically established biomarkers for early stage lung cancer. The same platform can also be used to monitor air-pollution levels or detect explosives like TNT (trinitrotoluene).
The volatile compounds have been detected using lab samples and clinical applications for detecting early-stage lung cancer will become possible once validated on human subjects. The results were published in the journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering.

Raman scattering
Since Raman scattering is an inherently weak phenomenon, the researchers turned to surface-enhanced Raman scattering to dramatically increase the sensitivity of the platform such that it detects molecules at extremely low concentrations using a small amount of sample. “In our studies, we were able to reliably achieve sensitivities to the level of tens of molecules,” he says.
“We put the molecule of interest on a gold or silver nanoparticle and then record the Raman spectrum. When we shine light [laser] on the sample [molecule plus the nanoparticle], the Raman spectrum of the molecule gets enhanced,” says Prof. Subramaniam. “The intensity enhancement of Raman spectrum happens predominantly through the interaction of localised electromagnetic field on the nanoparticles surface with the vibrational modes of the molecule.”
The Raman spectrum intensity increases tremendously — 10,000 million times — and this allows the detection of molecules at very low concentration.
Scientists across the world have so far been unsuccessful in applying surface-enhanced Raman scattering to reliably detect molecules in gas or vapour phase.
In the case of molecules present in liquid phase, the addition of the liquid to nanoparticles allows the molecules to get adsorbed on the nanoparticle. Once adsorbed, the Raman spectrum gets enhanced. But capturing the molecule and adsorbing it on the nanoparticle has proven to be difficult when the molecule is in a gas phase.
“This is what we have solved using out technique,” he says. The challenge was overcome by designing nanoparticles that behave as a cage to capture the molecule from the gas phase.
When liquid containing the nanoparticles is subjected to a thermal gradient (one end is kept hot while the other is cold) the nanoparticles tend to migrate from the hot end to the cold one. As a result, the concentration of nanoparticles at the cold end increases. When the concentration of nanoparticles at the cold end increases they self-assemble to form the cage. The cage then traps the molecule, whether it is in a liquid or gas state. “Once the molecule gets trapped, the Raman spectrum gets enhanced as the cage is made of nanoparticles,” explains Prof. Subramaniam.
“Since we don’t use any chemical or lithography to bring the nanoparticles together, there is minimal interference to the signal. So we were able to detect the analyte [chemical substance of interest] even when only few molecules of it were present,” says Maku Moronshing from IIT Bombay and first author of the paper.

Validation of platform
Since testing the technique on human subjects for early-stage lung cancer detection is riddled with ethical and clinical challenges, the researchers looked at low-hanging fruit. This platform is particularly suited for the detection of plastic explosives such as TNT and RDX.
To detect the presence of explosives, air sample containing the molecules is forced into water that contains nanoparticle cages; the molecules get trapped in the cages. The presence of molecules is detected by shining laser and measuring the Raman spectrum. The entire process of sample collection and signal acquisitions takes about 2-3 minutes.

“As each molecule has a characteristic signature, the presence of the molecule in the sample tested can be ascertained by looking for specific signatures,” Prof. Subramaniam. “Unlike in the case of early-stage lung cancer, validation for explosives and air-quality monitoring will be easy as no ethical clearances are required.”
The researchers are now looking at incorporating data analytics into the platform to make the system to read the signatures automatically. And they are also trying to reduce the size of the platform to make it portable. “We are talking to companies to build miniaturised Raman spectrometers so that this detection technique can be truly portable and field-deployable,” he says

Source: THE HINDU- 17th September,2018

ISRO's PSLV-C-42 launches two U.K. satellites

Among the launches scheduled over the next few months, the much-awaited and delayed Chandrayaan-2, finally has a launch window, says ISRO chief Sivan

The night dark skies above Sriharikota in Nellore district of Andhra Pradesh lit up in bright orange hues as space launch vehicle PSLV-C42 lifted off and vanished into the thick black clouds, carrying two satellites from the United Kingdom – NovaSAR and S1-4 from the first launch pad at the Satish Dhawan Space Centre (SHAR).
PSLV-C-42, the lightest version of the PSLV (Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle) flying in its core-alone version without six strap-on motors, rose into the skies at 10.08 p.m. Almost 18 minutes later, the two satellites were placed in the desired orbit by ISRO (Indian Space Research Organisation). This was the 12th launch of a core-alone version of the PSLV.
“This was a spectacular mission. We have placed the satellite in a very, very precise orbit,” R. Hutton, Mission Director, said.
The two satellites, owned by Surrey Satellite Technology Ltd (SSTL) were placed in a circular orbit around the poles, 583 km from the Earth. The commercial arm of ISRO, Antrix Corporation, earned more than ₹220 crore on this launch.
The NovaSAR is a technology demonstration mission designed to test the capabilities of a new low cost S-band SAR platform. It will be used for ship detection and maritime monitoring and also flood monitoring, besides agricultural and forestry applications.
The S1-4 will be used for environment monitoring, urban management, and tackling disasters.
“This unique mission is mainly for ‘ascending daytime node’ launch. This is the first time we have executed a different type of mission altogether,” ISRO Chairman K. Sivan said.

18 missions in next six months                                            
Mr. Sivan said the next six months would see 18 missions – 10 satellite missions and 8 launch vehicle missions.
“We are almost going to have one launch every two weeks. Definitely the load on us is going to be huge,” he noted.
Among the launches scheduled over the next few months, the much-awaited and delayed, India’s second lunar mission, Chandrayaan-2, finally has a launch window.
“Chandrayaan-2 is planned for a window from January 3 to February 16, 2019 that we are targeting. It can happen anytime during that window. But we are aiming for the beginning of the window, January 3,” Mr. Sivan said.
“Right now with the status of the rocket, the GSLV Mk-3 M1, and the present status of the satellite, we are not expecting any more delay. At the same time tests are going on. If unexpected things happen, that may have some impact. But right now, we are not anticipating any delay.”
The other launches include the GSAT series that would provide bandwidth speeds of up to 100 Gbps per second, as part of the government’s Digital India efforts, he said.
The Cartosat and Risat satellites would also be launched within the next six months, Mr. Sivan said.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Library Card Notice - 2018-19

Ref.: AIKTC/KRRC/Notice/2018-19/                                 Date: 11/09/2018


Students of First Year of School of Engineering & Technology are hereby informed that they can collect their Library Cards as per the schedule given below:

Date                               :  11th – 20th Sept. 2018

Documents Require      :       
1.     Original/Xerox Copy of Fee Receipt
2.     Two stamp (small) size color photo

Librarian, AIKTC

e-Yantra Ideas Competition (eYIC 2019)

Sponsored by MHRD under the National Mission on Education through ICT program.

An initiative by IIT Bombay that aims to create the next generation of embedded systems engineers with a practical outlook to help provide practical solutions to some of the real world problems.

For more info: