August 2019

Jellyfish Robot Swims Like its Biological Counterpart

first_img Dutch zoo breeds own jellyfish Citation: Jellyfish Robot Swims Like its Biological Counterpart (2009, June 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (Left) A living jellyfish and (right) a jellyfish robot made of electro-active polymer artificial muscle. Both jellyfish move by contracting the bell to generate a pulsating motion. Image: Yeom and Oh. As the researchers explain, advances in electro-active polymers (EAP) enabled them to achieve this biomimetic swimming behavior in a robot. One specific type of EAP, ionic polymer metal composites (IMPC), can be used to make actuators that behave like biological muscles, exhibiting large bending under a low applied voltage. The muscle material has several advantages for biomimetic robots, such as compactness, high power efficiency, controllable steering, and quiet locomotion. In this study, the researchers used this material, permanently bending it to mimic the living jellyfish’s bell (the hemispherical top part).“This is the first jellyfish robot based on the electro-active polymer artificial muscle,” Oh told “They could be used as entertainment robots, micro/nano-robots, and biomedical robots in the near future.” Living jellyfish, the authors note, can vary in size from a few inches up to seven feet in diameter. Yet all jellyfish use a similar, simple swimming mechanism. By contracting its bell, the animal reduces the space underneath it, forcing water out through a lower opening near its mouth and tentacles. This pulsating motion allows the jellyfish to partially control its vertical movement. This ability is important, since jellyfish are photosensitive and prefer deeper water at brighter times of day. Although living jellyfish can move vertically, they passively depend on ocean current, tides, and wind for horizontal movement. Previous research on the locomotion of living jellyfish has found that, if the animal’s muscles force the bell to contract at its resonant frequency, less energy is required for movement. In their study, the researchers mimicked the natural pulse and recovery processes of the living jellyfish. They found that the bio-inspired periodic input signal enables the jellyfish robot to obtain a large floating velocity upward; in comparison, harmonic sinusoidal signals do not push the robot upward. Overall, their study has shown that the curved shape of the IPMC actuator can be used to build a jellyfish robot that successfully mimics the locomotion of living jellyfish. Oh added that, in the future, he plans to develop artificial biomimetic jellyfish robots that have integrated self-powered actuators and sensors, as well as an automatic steering system.More information: Sung-Weon Yeom and Il-Kwon Oh. “A biomimetic jellyfish robot based on ionic polymer metal composite actuators.” Smart Mater. Struct. 18 (2009) 085002 (10pp).Copyright 2009 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Explore further ( — “Jellyfish are one of the most awesome marine animals, doing a spectacular and psychedelic dance in water,” explain engineers Sung-Weon Yeom and Il-Kwon Oh from Chonnam National University in the Republic of Korea. Recently, Yeom and Oh have built a jellyfish robot that imitates the curved shape and unique locomotive behavior of the living jellyfish. 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

Journal shines a light on the high cost of indirect spending as

first_img 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. © 2014 Credit: Nature, doi:10.1038/515326a. US Department of Health and Human Services; NIH RePORTER database Ledford (backed by a team of researchers at Nature) notes that scanning data obtained via the Freedom of Information Act, reveals that there are huge differences in reimbursement rates between different universities—an indication, perhaps, of a lack of standardization in the process. She also notes that the records show that in addition to doling out reimbursements for costs directly associated with research, the government also gives money back to institutions for such things as library subscriptions, Internet access, electricity, and a whole host of over overhead items. Indeed, she and her team found instances of the government paying for depreciation on buildings and even interest on debt.The problem lies perhaps with legislation in the 1960’s that allowed those that receive grants to negotiate with the government entities that provide the money. While this might seem to benefit certain entities (those with the best negotiators), the data shows that virtually all of those entities that receive grants don’t get reimbursed at the levels specified in the grants due to caps and other regulations—few they note get more than 70 percent. The result is that research institutions, which are mainly universities, are finding it more and more difficult to maintain their research initiatives, as they are often money drains.Another interesting bit of information gleaned from the data—just nine universities receive approximately a sixth (a billion dollars) of all funds given out for research—not coincidently, they also tend to negotiate higher than average amounts of reimbursement—Johns Hopkins University, tops the list, receiving almost half the billion all by itself.Ideally, Ledford notes, every penny given out by the government would go towards the direct costs involved in providing research—but realistically, that ideal won’t work. Researchers do their research in buildings that involve overhead and other indirect costs, and expecting institutions to cover those themselves isn’t sustainable. To counter arguments against paying for such costs, she suggests making the entire system more transparent so that anyone looking can very easily see where the money goes and why it’s needed. Citation: Journal shines a light on the high cost of indirect spending as part of research grants (2014, November 20) retrieved 18 August 2019 from More information: Indirect costs: Keeping the lights on, … he-lights-on-1.16376center_img ( —Heidi Ledford, a staff writer for the journal Nature, has posted a News Feature piece in the current issue of the journal highlighting how much of tax dollars are now going to support indirect spending when the government hands out research grants. In her piece, Ledford notes that a maze of regulations and indirect costs are making it more difficult for universities and other institutions to carry out their research and suggests that more transparency in the process might make things easier to “bear.” Journal information: Nature Research collaboration among multiple institutions is growing trend Explore furtherlast_img read more

Giant fungus covering many acres found to have stable mutation rate

first_img Explore further Back in 1983, Johann Bruhn of the University of Missouri became aware of something preying on weak trees in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula near the tiny town of Crystal Falls. He and a team of researchers undertook a study and discovered the culprit was a honey mushroom—a fungus that has been found to grow into very large networks. They concluded that that the mushroom was approximately 1,500 years old and that it covered approximately 15 hectares of forest—most of it out of sight, underground. The only above-ground evidence of the fungus was honey-colored mushrooms that dotted the landscape in the fall. The team also found that the fungus was able to spread using stringy rhizomorphs. In this new effort, Bruhn and his team returned to the site to take another look at the specimen, which has been added to a select group of the largest organisms in the world.In their new study, the researchers found that the fungus was even bigger and older than first thought. They discovered that it actually spread over 70 hectares and was approximately 2,500 years old. They noted also that adding up its weight showed it to be roughly equal to three blue whales They were also intrigued by its ability to maintain itself over such a long period. They took some samples and conducted genetic sequencing. They found that the fungus had a very low mutation rate, helping it avoid mutations that might at some point lead to its demise.The researchers suggest further study of the fungus might reveal how it keeps its mutation rate so low, information that could be helpful to those studying mutation rates on the opposite end of the spectrum—cancerous tumors. They also note that it is possible the fungus is even older than they calculated. 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. More information: James B. Anderson et al. Clonal evolution and genome stability in a 2500-year-old fungal individual, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.2233 ‘Humongous fungus’: 25 years later, this Armillaria gallica is bigger than first thought, says researcher Citation: Giant fungus covering many acres found to have stable mutation rate (2018, December 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2018 Science X Network A team of researchers from Canada and the U.S. has found that a giant fungus covering many acres has a stable mutation rate. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes their study of the extremely old fungus and what they found. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Map of all collections of Armillaria. Black dots, C1; open circles, C2; grey dots, all other individuals combined. The outline of the pine plantation and Paint Pond Road are included as alignment features. The present sample, which was larger and more broadly distributed than the previous [1], was designed to find the approximate borders of C1. The dashed line encompasses collections of C1 and includes some non-C1 individuals. Other individuals surround C1. The present sample reveals that C1 is larger and older than originally reported [1]. Based on previous growth rate measurements and estimation of fungal biomass, the revised estimates for minimum age and mass are 2500 years and 4 × 105 kg, respectively. Credit: Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.2233last_img read more

Debuting in great style

first_imgThey have been performing all over for years now. But while their songs have entertained music lovers in the Capital for long, it is only recently that Skavengers managed to launch their debut album. The band launched their much awaited debut LP at Cheri in the Capital on Saturday night. The evening saw the eight-piece band — known for creating an electrifying atmosphere —  set the place on fire ‘SKA’ style. They were accompanied by the Reggage Rajahs and Bass Foundation. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The exclusive live set and performance by the troupe was led by Samara C on vocals, Delhi Sultanate (vocals), Stefan Flexi K on the organ and also vocals, Raghav Diggy Dang (guitar) , Tony ‘Bass’ Guinard (Bass), Rie Ona (saxophone), Yohei Sato (trombone). They were joined by the new addition to their bass section —  Shirish Malhotra, who made his debut with the band on baritone sax. The evening saw the music enthusiasts of Delhi sway and dance way to the eclectic mix of drum and bass, jazz and a touch of Electronic with a Ska-styled twist.The Skavengers launched their debut LP amidst much fanfare and cheering from fellow musicians and music lovers and set the night on fire with an electrifying performance with the Bass Foundation and Reggae Rajahs which made it an epic night at Cheri. The album launch and live performance at Cheri kickstarted the group’s India LP Tour as well. They will thereafter go on to Mumbai and Sunburn Festival, Goa with their debut LP.last_img read more

I dont know if going by trends is such a great idea

first_imgRaghu Dixit makes happy music’ says his website. We would gladly agree. After having played in over 20 countries and clocked over 750 shows over the last 12 years, Dixit has had quite a remarkable career. He’s in the Capital to perform live at Blue Frog tonight. Don’t miss it! And while you decide to cancel other events to make place for this one – here are excerpts from the interview…Tell us a bit about where you started from and your initial years in the industry? Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’I started making my music from my early 20s in Mysore. The story of how I got into music is widely read now, but long story short, I discovered music, loved it so much that I thought it was worth it to quit my job as a scientist and jump into this full time! That was 15 years ago, and in 2011, I got the best New Comer award by Songlines magazine, so I think I am still in my early years in this industry.What is ‘your kind of music’? Is there any music that you just don’t like listening to? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixI’ve always maintained that I think there are 2 genres of music, good music, and bad music. I strive to make as much good music as I can – there is no type of music I don’t like listening to, as long as it’s good. I don’t have any genre based dislikes, though my preference is for folk and world music.How do you think the music scene in India has changed over the last decade?Immensely! from being mostly a hobby for everyone involved, today, we have a festival almost every weekend in India and bands that are of such varied genres and musical styles. I think we have come a long way in the last decade and the next decade will make Indie music huge in India. Are there trends that are coming up now that you can foresee as the next best thing in music?I don’t know if going by trends is such a great idea. I know that a whole lot of people are experimenting with music and technology, and there will be a lot of hits and misses.  Do you have a dream project in mind?I am working on a couple of dream projects at the moment and they will be announced soon.Who are the best artistes you have worked with?Everyone I have worked with has been special in their own way, and it will be very hard for me to single people out for this.What songs are on your playlist right now?A lot of world music, the new John Mayer album, all my essentials, right from Dave Matthews to Michael Jackson!What next for the Raghu Dixit Project?Our album comes out next month, and we should start making a lot of noise very soon about it, that is something we have been looking forward to for the last 5 years almost!How has Delhi been for you? How have the Delhi audience been for you?I love playing in Delhi and we have had some amazing shows there. A lot of people know our music inside out when they come for a gig and there is a lot of singing along and the atmosphere is brilliant! I don’t expect any less this time.Tell us five things you like and dislike about Delhi.I love Delhi, its food and people, and particularly dislike it’s traffic at times and at some points in the year, its weather!last_img read more

Akhilesh dares PM Modi to ban beef exports

first_imgTargeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav today said those who spoke against “pink revolution” should ban beef exports as they were now in power and alleged that they wanted to disturb the “secular” ethos of the country by raising such issues.Amid the outrage over lynching of a man in the state’s Dadri town after villagers accused him and his family of consuming beef, the Chief Minister today broke his silence saying that “our religion and our country” allow people to live the way they want and respect their rights. Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra dam”A rumour does not have anything in it but a lot can happen because of it. Our Constitution is based on secularism.Our schemes are all based on this principle but some forces want to vitiate the atmosphere.”They want to rake up such issues. These forces talked about pink revolution. We will say today – you are in government now, so ban beef exports. You should build support for banning their export,” Yadav said in an apparent reference to Modi, who had in the run-up to last Lok Sabha elections attacked the then UPA government over meat exports, saying it was encouraging “pink revolution”. Also Read – Union Min doubts ‘vote count’ in Bareilly, seeks probeWithout naming Modi, Yadav said that those who are marketing the country abroad should consider what kind of food is eaten by the people there.”The world where you are roaming, marketing and promoting your country, just think once what kind of food they eat from dawn to dusk. That’s why we should not interfere in each other’s way of life,” he said at a function here.A blame game has erupted between BJP and ruling SP in the state over the killing of the 50-year-old man following rumours that he and his family had eaten beef. Iqlakh was beaten to death and his 22-year-old son Danish was critically injured by a 200-strong mob which barged into their house on Monday night following rumours that the family had consumed beef. Cow slaughter is banned in Uttar Pradesh.Samajwadi Party has accused BJP of deliberately inciting violence ahead of 2017 assembly polls in Uttar Pradesh as part of efforts to polarise people while BJP has termed it a failure of the state government to maintain law and order.last_img read more

Lab for testing export goods to come up in New Town

first_imgKolkata: A laboratory to test export goods will be set up in New Town. The state Cabinet has given the approval to allot 40 cottahs of land to Export Inspection Agency, a wing of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, to set up the laboratory in New Town. The laboratory will come up at Action Area III.The laboratory will test goods, particularly tea and seafood items, which are being exported. In order to export goods, various certificates are required and the consignments are often rejected as they fail to meet the international standards. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe Export Inspection Lab, which now functions from a rented premise, was established in 1963. Its purpose is to ensure development of export trading through quality control.The lab conducts chemical testing on items like spices and condiments, pulses, fish and fishery products, fruit juices, fruits and vegetables, drinking water, carbonated water etc. which undergo tests like Parathion methyl, Aldrin, Alpha-BHC, Copper, Acidity, Moisture, Total ash, Water Soluble ash, Crude Fiber, Volatile Oil and many more.The lab also conducts biological testing on items like fish and fish products, milk and milk products, bakery products, swabs, water and ice from processing industries, beverages etc. which undergo tests like Shigella sp, Total Plate Count, Escherichia coli, Salmonella sp, Coliforms and many more. The lab is well-equipped with skilled professionals to carry out accurate testing services.last_img read more

Baby takin from Berlin dies at Darjeeling zoo

first_imgDarjeeling: The 8-month-old male takin, the youngest of the five takins brought to the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park (PNHZP) from Berlin, died on Tuesday.The other four animals are in good health and have been shifted to the display area of the zoological park in Darjeeling. “Charles was the youngest of the takins. He was suffering from acute stomach infection and was under treatment for five days. The animal died on Friday night. The other takins are in good health. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata BoseThey have been shifted to the display area,” said Rajendra Jakher, director of Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park. The zoological park had received five zoo-bred takins from Tierpark Berlin-Friedrichsfelde GmbH Zoo as part of an exchange programme in January this year. A pair of red pandas will be sent to Berlin soon in return. Mishmi Takins (Budorcas taxicolor) is a goat-antelope found in eastern Himalayas. The four takins from Berlin that are on display are —Claire (female, two years 10 months) Danny (male, two years 11 months) Ramona (female, one year one months) and Rock (male, one year four months). Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataOn arrival from Berlin they were under observation and regular check-ups were conducted to keep tabs on their health. Recently, they were shifted to the display area and have become a major attraction at the zoo. The zoo was founded in 1958 and specialises in the captive breeding of endangered Himalayan species including Snow Leopard, Red Panda, Tibetan Wolf; Blue Sheep, Himalayan Tahr and Satyr Tragopan (crimson-horned pheasant) Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park is the pioneer zoo in India to have initiated the captive breeding programme of snow leopards. In 1986, this programme had been initiated with four snow leopards.last_img read more