Researchers glue bar codes on to ants to study individual behavior within

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. Group of marked ants. Credit: Joël Meunier Laurent Keller is very well known in biology circles for his work in studying fire ants over the past 20 years. Today, he runs a lab in Lausanne dedicated to trying to understand how and why ants behave the way they do. In this new effort, one of his former students, Danielle Mersch began looking for a way to track individual ants in a colony over many days. Traditional approaches, such as color coding didn’t allow for nearly enough information capture so Mersch and Keller enlisted the assistance of Alessandro Crespi, a robotics engineer. Together the team devised a means for gluing tiny paper bar codes onto the backs of every ant in a colony, then scanning them from above (taking snaps twice per second). The data from the scans was fed into a computer which noted the position of every ant in a colony at a given moment in time—that allowed for tracking the movements of each individual ant over a period of time. Once the system was in place, the team used it to track the movement of ants in six colonies, each of which had approximately 100 members, over periods of 41 days each. Play Trajectories of marked ants. Each colored line represents the trajectory of an ant in the preceding minute. Ants without visible lines were immobile in the preceding minute. The frame rate is accelerated five times. Credit: Video data and overlay by Danielle Mersch and Alessandro Crespi In analyzing the behavior of the ants they were studying, the researchers were able to note interactions between the ants (over 9 million in total) and to follow how the roles they filled in the colony changed as the ants grew older. They discovered that there were three basic jobs or roles for the ants in the colony: caretaker, cleaner and forager. They found also that interaction between members who performed the same duties was very high, whereas interactions between members who performed different functions, was limited. They also found that as the ants grew older, they quite often switched jobs. For the most part, they noted, caretaking was a job for the youngest ants—most eventually graduated to becoming cleaners, and then eventually to foragers. Journal information: Science Explore further Marked and unmarked ants in their colony near the brood (young). Colored dots allow the researchers to infer the age of the ants. Credit: Alessandro Crespi Marked ant on sand. Credit: Alessandro Crespi The novel approach developed by the team is likely to be adopted by others studying the behavior of individuals in groups—offering the possibility of developing new theories regarding social behavior in general. © 2013 Citation: Researchers glue bar codes on to ants to study individual behavior within group (w/ video) (2013, April 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —A team of researchers made up of two behavioral ecologists from the University of Lausanne and a robotics engineer from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology has developed a novel way to study the behavior of individual ants in a colony—they’ve glued bar codes to their backs which they scan from above. In their paper published in the journal Science, the group describes how their groundbreaking approach has led to new discoveries about how ants behave. More information: Tracking Individuals Shows Spatial Fidelity Is a Key Regulator of Ant Social Organization, Science DOI: 10.1126/science.1234316ABSTRACTAnts live in organized societies with a marked division of labor among workers, but little is known about how this is generated. We use a tracking system to continuously monitor individually tagged workers in six colonies of the ant Camponotus fellah over 41 days. Network analyses of over 9 million interactions revealed three distinct groups that differ in behavioral repertoires. Each group represents a functional behavioral unit with workers moving from one group to the next as they age. The rate of interactions was much higher within than between groups. The precise information on spatial and temporal distribution of all individuals permitted calculation of the expected rates of within- and between-group interactions. These values suggest that the network of interaction within colonies is primarily mediated by age-induced changes in the spatial location of workers. Ant’s social network similar to Facebook PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreenlast_img read more

Charger specification for notebooks to be available early 2014

first_img Why bother? Consider the e-waste, answers the IEC: A single power supply covering a wide range of notebook computers represents a major step in lowering e-waste.”Each year billions of external chargers are shipped globally. Power supplies for notebooks weigh typically around 300 but sometimes up to 600 grams. They are generally not usable from one computer to the next,” said the IEC. “Sometimes they get lost or break, leading to the discarding of computers that may still work perfectly well. It is estimated that the total e-waste related to all kinds of chargers of ICT devices (Information and Communication) exceeds half a million tons each year; basically the equivalent of 500 000 cars.”The spec covers various aspects of chargers for notebooks: their connector and plug, as well as safety, interoperability, performance and environmental considerations.The announcement comes at a time when news broke on Tuesday of a Google and Hewlett-Packard recall of power chargers for the Chromebook 11 laptop. The headline from the Consumer Product Safety Commission was “Google and HP Recall HP Chromebook 11 Chargers Due to Fire and Burn Hazards; Charger Can Overheat and Melt.” (It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product. Federal law bars any person from selling products subject to a publicly-announced voluntary recall by a manufacturer or a mandatory recall ordered by the Commission.)This recall involves chargers that were sold with the HP Chromebook 11 and affects about 145,000 units. In a Google Chrome blog posted on Tuesday, Google’s Caesar Sengupta, VP, Product Management, said that, “with guidance and approval from the CPSC and other regulatory agencies, Google and HP are recalling the original charger for the HP Chromebook 11. Customers should visit to request a free replacement charger.” Sengupta also noted, “With our partner HP, we are resuming sales of the HP Chromebook 11. All new packages will include the replacement charger.” 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. Google, HP halt sales of Chromebook 11 More information: … omebook-11-Chargers/ © 2013 Citation: Charger specification for notebooks to be available early 2014 (2013, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( —A new specification focused on a charger that can work on notebook computers from different manufacturers was announced on Monday. The IEC Technical Specification 62700: DC Power supply for notebook computer will be available in early 2014. The intent is for a charger that will work with a wide range of notebook computers from different manufacturers in order to allow consumers use of a single external charger for a wide range of notebook computers. Founded in 1906, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is involved with preparing and publishing standards for electrical, electronic and related technologies—addressing devices that contain electronics, and use or produce electricity. The significance of the Monday announcement is that, according to the IEC, this is the first globally relevant technical spec for a single external charger for a wide range of notebook computers.last_img read more

Big B wants to play Harivansh Rai Bachchan on screen

first_imgDuring an open question-and-answer session at the Penguin Annual Lecture 2013 in the Capital, an enthusiastic fan out of an audience of almost a thousand asked Big B to pick one of his beloved characters that he’d like to play in a film.He gave it a thought, and said, ‘Maybe I’d like to play the role that my father played in his autobiography.’ You mean you want to play Harivansh Rai Bachchan, asked the startled host, Rajdeep Sardesai. To that, Big B smiled and said ‘It’s a tough call, but I want to try.’ Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Amitabh has often shared anecdotes of his celebrated father and it was no different at the event. He talked about some of his conversations with his father – in his childhood, during his youth and of those that he shared with Harivansh Rai during his last days in 2003. Amitabh said his father once told him he was his ‘greatest poetry’. But ‘I do not know whether I am a free verse or a couplet, a chaupai or a shloka.’‘I wish I had asked. Now it is too late,’ he lamented even as he proudly recited some verses from his father’s Madhushala in his distinct baritone at the behest of the audience.last_img read more

Erdogan scripts last act in Kobane

first_imgIt was a toss up between Brazil’s President Lula da Silva and Turkey’s Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan. In fact, compared to Lula’s two terms as president, Erdogan completed three glorious terms as prime minister.???With the downturn in the global economy in 2009, Turkey towered above regional economies. One comparison was particularly galling for the West. Greece, the mother of Western civilisation was on its knees while the ‘Turk’, a despised figure in Western literature, was towering over it.?? Also Read – Syrian army suspends ‘Aleppo fighting’Remember how tersely Valery Giscar d’Estaing dismissed Turkey’s application for membership of Europe: European civilisation is Christian civilization. For a leader like Erdogan there was sympathy and admiration. He looked like a transformed leader who had come out of his narrow, provincial Islamism, outgrown his Madrasa roots. But alas it turns out that he had only disguised his strong Akhwan ul Muslimen, Muslim Brotherhood background. My disappointment is that he pretended to be something he could not play out to the end. To explain the tragedy of Erdogan, the backdrop is important. Mustafa Kemal Pasha Ataturk disbanded the Caliphate and thereby Islamism in 1924 and imposed a secular constitution. Also Read – Alarming seismic activityThe Turkish army became a jealous guarantor of this constitution. Turkey remained a quasi police state during the cold war. Even during the rule of Itruk Ozal, who was feted as a great libertarian, you could not stand on the Bosphorus bridge without a man in a long coat appear from nowhere, demanding your papers.??The end of the Cold War came riding on the wings of the global 24X7 media, which brought Operation Desert Storm into our drawing rooms. Saddam Hussain’s rout divided the world: Iraq’s defeat came across to the Muslim world as Muslim humiliation. Turkey was no exception. For the West, it was triumphalism.? The two Intefadas also impacted on the world’s Muslims and non-Muslims in a diametrically opposite way. But what affected Turks the most were the brutalities of the Bosnian war played out on live TV over four years. Balkans are part of the Turkish historical memory. Sarajevo derives from the Turkish word ‘Sarai’. Turkish Islamism was reignited. Refah party came to power under Necmettin Erbakan. Tayyip Erdogan and Abdullah Gul were his under studies then.??When the army ousted Erbakan, the Refah party discarded its Islamic garb. Demonstrating practical sense, the party reinvented themselves as the Justice and Development party and rode a crest of anti Americanism when they refused the Americans the right of passage for their troops to Iraq in 2003. There has been no looking back for Erdogan, prime minister for a record three terms. He had arguably exceeded even Ataturk’s popularity.??There emerged a regional contrast which was something of a status reversal for the West. In the wake of the global financial crisis, Greece was out on the street with a begging bowl. Turkey meanwhile had zero problems with neighbours, a booming economy. To create a constituency in the Arab street, Turkey stood upto Israel on several issues. This was drastic change from the days of Ozal, when Turkey and Israel coordinated all their policies.??The Arab Spring in 2011 coincided more or less with Erdogan’s last term as prime minister. The Turkish constitution does not permit a fourth term. As Erdogan began to dream of a larger democratic role in the Arab world, the Syrian civil war opened up for him an option. So he thought. He faced a contradiction. Turkish constitution demanded that he remain on the secular straight and narrow. But a greater role in Syria and Libya, where he turned up for prayers in the Tripoli square, dictated a reversal to his Muslim Brotherhood past. He is in the process of falling between two stools.??A Turk who supports an Arab cause is welcome from a distance. But a Turk casting himself in a regional role, scares the Arab as a potential Ottoman. That is where Erdogan is stuck at the moment. His maximalist aspiration to play a larger regional role will be challenged by the Arabs. His minimalist position to keep internal order by keeping the Kurds under his jackboot will lead to civil unrest. His instinctive support for the Brothers component in the IS will bring him into conflict with the Americans. In brief, he is in trouble. This is without taking into account the restless Alawis, who are an eruption waiting to happen.??A metaphor for all his woes is the Syrian enclave of Kobane abutting Turkey. He is aching to weaken Syrian and Turkish Kurds by any means, even by enabling ISIS to win. The internal situation is by no means stable. Already 40 Kurd protesters have been killed in police firing. It may one day soon be said of him: nothing became him less than the leaving of it. IANSlast_img read more

NCE Bengal to unveil biographical archive on Dr Triguna Sens life

first_imgKolkata: The National Council of Education, Bengal is all set to unveil a unique biographical archive depicting various aspects of Dr Triguna Sen’s life. He was the one who formulated the National Education Policy in 1968 during his tenure as the Union Education minister. Padma Bhusan recipient Sen was the first Vice-Chancellor of Jadavpur University of which NCE Bengal is the parent body.”A plethora of rare photographs of Sen with national leaders across the globe, numerous letters written by him during his illustrious career, various articles and the different prizes he had won during his eventful life will come alive through this archive,” said Anandadeb Mukhopadhyay, the general secretary of NCE, Bengal. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedBorn on December 24 at Sylhet (now part of Bangladesh) in 1905, Sen completed his graduation in Mechanical Engineering from Bengal Technical Institute of NCE Bengal in 1925. He went to Germany for higher studies and was awarded doctorate from Technical University Munich in 1933.He returned to India and actively participated in Non-Cooperation Movement, thus jailed.On his release from jail, he took up a job at Dibrugarh Electric Supply Corporation and worked there for nine years. Also Read – Naihati: 10 councillors return to TMC from BJPIt was because of his sustained efforts that Jadavpur University was set up in 1955 and he further immensely contributed towards its growth.He later became the Rector and became the Vice-Chancellor of JU in 1964-65. He was awarded Padma Bhusan in the year 1965. He became the Union Minister of Mines, Metals and Petroleum in 1969.It was during his tenure as the Petroleum minister when the stringent drug prices control order was issued.Sen, who had active participation in the Bangladesh Liberation Movement in 1971, became the President of NCE, Bengal in 1972. He was a member of Rajya Sabha from 1967 to 1974. He passed away on January 11, 1998 in Kolkata.Mukhopadhyay said the archive will be inaugurated by Shekhar Dutt, former Governor of Chattisgarh on July 9.It will be located on the second floor of the NCE building.Dutt will also release a book published by NCE captioned – “Lessons in Living: Stories from the Life of Dr Triguna Sen” on the same day.Jadavpur University Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das will be the guest of honour at the programme.It may be mentioned that as a tribute to Sen, the NCE had begun Triguna Sen Memorial Annual Lecture in the NCE office at Jadavpur from 2003.The Triguna Sen auditorium inside JU campus was unveiled by the Alumni Association of NCE and JU in 2008.last_img read more

DRI unearths Rs 150 cr duty evasion in import of totos by

first_imgKolkata: The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has detected a huge duty evasion by a company here in the import of e-rickshaws worth around Rs 150 crore and arrested two promoters of the firm, according to an official statement issued on Tuesday.The Kolkata-based firm has imported ‘Electric-Three-Wheeled Vehicles (e-rickshaws)’ commonly known as ‘toto’in completely knocked down (CKD)condition, by “grossly misdeclaring” goods as ‘spare parts of electric tricycle’, it said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe importer paid 10 percent customs duty leviable on such parts, whereas, they had actually been importing electric tricycles in CKD condition, with pre-assembled transmission mechanism, which attract the much higher rate of 30 percent customs duty, the statement said.Their omission and commission have resulted in short-payment of customs duty to the extent of Rs 19 crore on the import of e-rickshaws in the last four years valued at approximately Rs 150 crore, it said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”Therefore, taking into consideration the present as well as the past imports made by the said importer, by resorting to such gross misdeclaration, the short-payment of duty comes to the extent of Rs 19 crore,” the statement said.The importer actually imported complete e-rickshaws (toto) in completely knocked down (CKD) condition, which were split over a number of consignments, it said.As the individual consignment did not contain all parts of an e-rickshaw, they claimed benefit of exemption by declaring such goods as parts and spares of electrical tricycle, the DRI said.”When collectively considered, it is seen that sets of e-rickshaws were imported in CKD condition, but the importer by deliberately misclassifying the same as parts/spares of electrical tricycle, paid customs duty only at the rate of 10 per cent, resulting in evasion of huge amount of customs duty,” it said.DRI officials searched the premises known to be the ‘factory’ of the firm at Sankrail Industrial Park at Mouza Bhagabatipur in Howrah.”During a search of the factory premises, it was found that in the entire facility, they had only a few machines and tools. One machine was tightening bolts and drilling, one for laser printing and another machine for embossing plate,” the statement said, adding, it was found that the premises was basically meant for warehousing imported goods.The two directors of the company,who were the main persons behind the whole scam of evasion of customs duty, have accepted their involvement in the fraud and they have been arrested, the DRI said.”Detection by DRI of this modus operandi of import of misdeclared e-rickshaws will not only boost the ‘Make in India’ campaign of the government by discouraging such fraudulent imports by unscrupulous traders but will also provide a level playing field to the domestic manufacturer vis-a-vis imported e-rickshaws,” it said.last_img read more

Kolkata Port Trust mulls dedicated freight corridor

first_imgKolkata: The Kolkata Port Trust (KoPT) is planning to come up with a dedicated freight corridor to segregate the movement of goods vehicles from Garden Reach dockyard. As per plans, the KoPT will be coming up with a flyover that will link Garden Reach with Vidyasagar Setu, popularly known as Second Hooghly Bridge.A meeting in this regard was held at the Kolkata Police headquarters in Lalbazar on Tuesday, which was attended by the top brass of the city police and senior officials of KoPT, including its deputy chairman S Balaji Arun Kumar. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”Our studies on accidents caused by different types of vehicles in the city have revealed that though goods vehicles account for only 8 percent of the traffic on city roads, they account for 27 percent of the accidents. So we have been proposing KoPT to have some sort of infrastructure to segregate the movement of goods vehicles. They are coming up with a flyover which will act as a freight corridor,” said deputy commissioner of police (Traffic), Kolkata Police, Sumit Kumar, at a Safety Symposium and Exposition organised by CII. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedChairman of KoPT Vinit Kumar said: “We are planning to have a freight corridor from Garden Reach and we will like to utilise the service and expertise of National Highway Authority of India (NHAI).”Kumar further said at the symposium that Kolkata Police, in collaboration with the state Transport department, are considering issuing a mandate that all buses should have a special type of front mirror installed to enable drivers to have clearer views, especially on the left. Bigger vehicles have a blind spot to the left of the driver. They can not see always if a passenger is boarding the vehicle or getting off from it.”This specially built front mirror will help reduce accidents,” Kumar said, adding that a number of Volvo buses have already installed such mirrors.”We will first have these mirrors installed in government buses, before we push owners of private buses for this,” he said.Kumar also disclosed that Kolkata Police has booked 46 habitual offenders in the past one month. He also said installation of speed cameras and modern equipment has helped significantly reduce accidents.According to Kumar, the initiatives of road safety taken by Kolkata Police have brought down the number of fatal accidents in the city. In 2016, the number of fatal cases in the city was 239. In 2017, it came down to 200, while this year it has decreased to 173 (all figures till July 31).last_img read more

KMC conducts surprise raids at several city bakeries

first_imgKolkata: The food safety wing of Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) on Monday conducted surprise raids at a number of bakeries involved in the making of cakes and pastries and collected a number of samples. “The samples will be tested in the laboratory of KMC and if irregularities are found, action will be taken as per the legal provisions under the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI),” said Deputy Mayor Atin Ghosh, who also holds the charge of the Health department of KMC. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe KMC team visited as many as 17 bakeries in areas like Alimuddin Street, Behala and Sealdah area, to ensure that sanitation and hygiene is properly maintained during preparation of cakes and pastries. The officials instructed the units about proper maintenance of cleanliness and warned them of action if they ignored these aspects. “Some of the manufacturing units were found unhygienic and they have been cautioned,” an officer said. “Christmas is the time when there is a huge demand for cakes and whenever there is increased demand, there is a tendency of compromising with the quality during preparation of bulk items,” said a senior food safety officer who was present during the drive. The Deputy Mayor made it clear that the officers will conduct regular food drives with emphasis on cakes and pastries until Christmas. “During Durga Puja and Kali Puja, we conducted drives in restaurants and food stalls. We also checked the kitchens to ensure that the ingredients used for cooking meet the standards of Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI),” said the FSSAI officer of KMC.last_img read more

Justice Radhakrishnan is new Chief Justice of Calcutta HC

first_imgKolkata: Justice TBN Radha-krishnan was sworn-in as the new Chief Justice of Calcutta High Court on Thursday. Bengal Governor K N Tripathi administered the oath of office to Justice Radhakrishnan in a solemn ceremony at the High Court. The other judges of the High Court and senior members of the Bar were present at the oath-taking ceremony. Justice Radhakrishnan was earlier the Chief Justice of the High Court of Hyderabad for the states of Telangana and Andhra Pradesh from July 7, 2018. He was sworn-in as permanent Judge of the High Court of Kerala on October 14, 2004. Enrolled on December 11, 1983, he practised at Thiruvananthapuram, before shifting to Kerala High Court in 1988, where he dealt with cases in different branches of law, including civil, constitutional and administrative law.last_img read more

Daylight Robbery England And Wales Once Had A Window Tax

first_imgEveryone has an opinion on taxation. Generally, people aren’t too happy about paying taxes, but the fundamental reasoning behind many tax systems is relatively rational; taxes allow societies to progress and evolve, with the funds raised through taxation ideally going towards supporting and developing public services and projects. The world has seen some very strange taxes over the years, with several odd tax laws still in effect today, but perhaps one of the strangest and most notorious of all was the Window Tax, which was in placed in England and Wales from 1696 all the way through to 1851. For over 150 years, this tax forced property owners to pay tax based on the number of windows in their home.“This large house on Norton Street, Uppingham, has several blocked up windows. It looks old enough to have been subject to the tax which was first imposed in 1681 and abolished in 1825.” Photo by Kate Jewell CC BY-SA 2.0The idea sounds ludicrous, but it was actually based on quite sound logic. According to British History Online, the tax was introduced in 1696 by King William III.AdChoices广告inRead invented by TeadsThe idea of the tax was actually similar to a modern day income tax; the King wanted to put a tax system in place that made rich people pay more and gave poorer people less of a financial obligation.King William III of EnglandThe Window Tax was effectively able to act as an income tax, but disguised as something different. Naturally, wealthier people would have larger houses with more windows, and would therefore have to pay more, while those who were poor would have fewer windows and smaller payments to make.Nowadays, the idea of income tax is relatively widely accepted, but back then, it was a highly controversial and divisive concept. Many people throughout England and Wales were entirely opposed to the notion of income tax, as they felt that it was a way for the government to interfere in people’s private lives and threaten their freedom.Bricked up window at Eton College dating from the time of the Window Tax. Photo by Basher Eyre CC BY-SA 2.0As reported by The Telegraph, the Window Tax was introduced with a flat rate of two shillings per house — with two shillings being equivalent to around £14 or $18 in today’s money — plus a variable tax dependent on the number of windows in the house.Only properties with 10 or more windows had to pay the extra fee. Those with 10 to 20 windows would need to pay an additional four shillings in total, while those with more than 20 windows were charged eight shillings.This meant that those living in relatively small or standard homes would only be charged the initial two shillings. In practice the system didn’t work out too well for the poorest people living in large towns or cities. The cheapest lodgings were in tenement blocks, which counted as one dwelling under the tax — so to avoid paying up, many landlords simply bricked up the windows.The Window Tax was repealed in 1851 following a national campaign against itSimilar taxes were established in France, Scotland and Ireland. Over the years, the system was changed in various ways, eventually reaching a point where the flat rate was upped to three shillings and houses with over 20 windows were charged an additional shilling per window.In all of its guises, with all of its varying rules and fees, the Window Tax was always unpopular. Some people, as revealed in documents digitized by the UK National Archives, argued that the tax was forcing people to pay for the alleged privilege of light and air in their own homes. The Window Tax had a real effect on society and the construction of buildings around England and Wales.A Vision of the Repeal of the Window Tax. ‘Hollo! Old Fellow, we’re glad to see you here’. Photo by Wellcome Images CC BY 4.0New homes constructed during this period were actually designed with the Window Tax in mind, so would often have as few windows as possible in order for the owners to pay the minimal amount of tax. Other property owners actually went as far as boarding and blocking up their own windows, rather than pay the tax.Read another story from us: The Small Green Solution to Prevent Victorian Taxi Drivers from Drinking on DutyIn the end, after a lot of debate and protest, the Window Tax was repealed on July 24, 1851. It had been in force for a total of 156 years. It was replaced by a more standard form of property tax which people felt more comfortable paying, and allowed many of those old homes with blocked up windows to be restored and given some much needed light and air.last_img read more