|3D Picture of Science News of This Week|
Science News This Week:
1) Cyborg Surgeon: Hand and Technology Combine in New Surgical Tool That Enables Superhuman Precision:
|Cyborg Surgeon: Hand and Technology Combine in New Surgical Tool That Enables Superhuman Precision:|
Even the most skilled and steady surgeons experience minute, almost imperceptible hand tremors when performing delicate tasks. Normally, these tiny motions are inconsequential, but for doctors specializing in fine-scale surgery, such as operating inside the human eye or repairing microscopic nerve fibers, freehand tremors can pose a serious risk for patients.
By harnessing a specialized optical fiber sensor, a new "smart" surgical tool can compensate for this unwanted movement by making hundreds of precise position corrections each second -- fast enough to keep the surgeon's hand on target. Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, Md., have combined the Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) imaging technique as a distance sensor with computer-controlled piezoelectric motors to actively stabilize the tip of a surgical tool.
A paper describing their new device, named SMART (Smart Micromanipulation Aided Robotic-surgical Tool), was published September 27 in the Optical Society's (OSA) open-access journal Optics Express.
"Microsurgery relies on excellent motor control to perform critical tasks," said Cheol Song, a postdoctoral fellow in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Johns Hopkins. "But certain fine micro-manipulations remain beyond the motor control of even the most skilled surgeon." At its most steady, the human hand naturally trembles, moving on the order of 50-100 microns (about the thickness of a sheet of paper) several times each second.
Various optomechatronics techniques, including robotics, have been developed to help augment stability and minimize the impact of hand tremors. None so far has been able to seamlessly merge simple fiber-optic rapid and fine-grained sensing with handheld automated surgical tools. The major challenge for researchers has been finding a way to precisely measure and compensate for the relative motions of a surgical instrument in relation to the target.
The emerging imaging technique of OCT attracted the attention of the researchers because it has higher resolution (approximately 10 microns) than either MRI or ultrasound. It also uses eye-safe near infrared light to image tissues. To apply this imaging technique to their work, the research team first had to integrate an OCT-based high-speed high-precision distance sensor directly into a small, handheld surgical device. The device could then hold a variety of surgical instruments at the tip, such as a scalpel or forceps. The well-known fiber-optic based common path optical coherence tomography (CP-OCT) technique provided the essential capability. As its name suggests, the optical signal of this sensor uses the same path, or optical fiber, to both transmit and receive the near infrared light.
Because this single fiber-optic cable is so small and flexible, the researchers could easily integrate it into the front of a tool used for eye surgery. By continually sending and receiving the near infrared laser beams, the high-speed fiber-optic sensor precisely measures the motion of the probe. This information then feeds to a computer that sends signals to small piezoelectric motors integrated into the surgical device to control the position of the tool tip. This creates a series of "station keeping" maneuvers that compensate for the surgeon's hand tremors.
2) Predatory Bacterial Crowdsourcing: Scientists ID Simple Formula That Allows Bacteria to Engulf Food in Waves:
|Predatory Bacterial Crowdsourcing: Scientists ID Simple Formula That Allows Bacteria to Engulf Food in Waves:|
That's the winning formula of one of the world's smallest predators, the soil bacteria Myxococcus xanthus, and a new study by scientists at Rice University and the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) Medical School shows how M. xanthus uses the formula to spread, engulf and devour other bacteria.
The study, featured on the cover of this month's online issue of the journal PLOS Computational Biology, shows how the simple motions of individual bacteria are amplified within colonies of M. xanthus to form millions-strong waves moving outward in unison. The findings answer longstanding questions about how the waves form and the competitive edge they provide M. xanthus.
"When the cells at the edge of the colony are moving outward, they are unlikely to encounter another M. xanthus cell, so they keep moving forward," said lead author Oleg Igoshin, assistant professor of bioengineering at Rice. "When they are traveling the other way, back toward the rest of the colony, they are likely to encounter other cells of their kind, and when they pass beside one of these and touch, they get the signal to turn around."
Igoshin said the net effect is that the cells "spend more time moving outward than inward, and as a result, they spread faster."
M. xanthus is an oft-studied model organism in biology but, Igoshin said, it is one of the few well-studied organisms that lends itself to the study of systems biology, a rapidly growing field of life sciences that aims to model and discover emergent phenomena -- like the rippling waves of M. xanthus colonies -- that have a basis in genetics but only become apparent when cells cooperate.
"Most of the model bacteria that biologists selected for study in the lab were chosen because they were very good at growing on their own in a test tube and not sticking to the wall or to one another," Igoshin said. "When we were choosing model organisms, we lost a lot of the social properties that systems biologists like to study. M. xanthus is different in that people chose to study it because it grew into cool patterns and structures arising from cooperative behavior."
As a computational biologist, Igoshin specializes in creating mathematical models that accurately describe the behavior of living systems. Such models are useful for understanding the cellular and even genetic basis of emergent phenomena.
In the case of M. xanthus waves, Igoshin and Rice graduate student Haiyang Zhang and postdoctoral fellow Peng Shi created an agent-based model, a computer program that simulated the actions and interactions of individual cells to examine how they collectively produced M. xanthus waves.
The model showed that just three ingredients were needed to generate the rippling behavior:
When two cells moving toward one another have side-to-side contact, they exchange a signal that causes one of them to reverse.
A time interval after each reversal during which cells cannot reverse again.
Physical interactions that cause the cells to align.
To verify the model's accuracy, Igoshin's team partnered with UTHealth's Heidi Kaplan, associate professor of microbiology and molecular genetics. Kaplan and graduate students Zalman Vaksman and Douglas Litwin, both of the University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston, used time-lapse images from microscopes to examine the behavior of M. xanthus waves. The experiments confirmed the relationships between wavelength, reversal time and cell velocity that had been predicted by the model.
"We also found an interesting flip side for the behavior, which was counterintuitive and unexpected," Kaplan said. "The same behavior that causes the waves to spread quickly and to cover newly found prey also allows M. xanthus cells to stay on a patch of food and not drift away until the food is devoured."
The exact biochemical signals that the cells use to sense their prey and signal one another to reverse are still a mystery, but the new study helps to narrow the field. For example, many signals between bacteria do not require physical contact, but the study found that the reversing behavior requires contact between cells.
"If the mechanism for this behavior can be found, it could prove useful for synthetic biologists who are interested in programming touch-induced functions into synthetic organisms," Igoshin said.
Myxococcus xanthus is a predatory bacterium that exhibits various collective behaviors throughout its lifecycle. At left, M. xanthus cells self-organize into traveling waves when preying upon E. coli. At right, in areas without prey, M. xanthus self-organizes into haystack-shaped spore-filled structures
3) Electronics That Vanish in the Environment or the Body:
|Electronics That Vanish in the Environment or the Body:|
Physicians and environmentalists alike could soon be using a new class of electronic devices: small, robust and high performance, yet also biocompatible and capable of dissolving completely in water -- or in bodily fluids.
Researchers at the University of Illinois, in collaboration with Tufts University and Northwestern University, have demonstrated a new type of biodegradable electronics technology that could introduce new design paradigms for medical implants, environmental monitors and consumer devices.
"We refer to this type of technology as transient electronics," said John A. Rogers, the Lee J. Flory-Founder Professor of Engineering at the U. of I., who led the multidisciplinary research team. "From the earliest days of the electronics industry, a key design goal has been to build devices that last forever -- with completely stable performance. But if you think about the opposite possibility -- devices that are engineered to physically disappear in a controlled and programmed manner -- then other, completely different kinds of application opportunities open up."
Three application areas appear particularly promising. First are medical implants that perform important diagnostic or therapeutic functions for a useful amount of time and then simply dissolve and resorb in the body. Second are environmental monitors, such as wireless sensors that are dispersed after a chemical spill, that degrade over time to eliminate any ecological impact. Third are consumer electronic systems or sub-components that are compostable, to reduce electronic waste streams generated by devices that are frequently upgraded, such as cellphones or other portable devices.
Transient electronic systems harness and extend various techniques that the Rogers' group has developed over the years for making tiny, yet high performance electronic systems out of ultrathin sheets of silicon. In transient applications, the sheets are so thin that they completely dissolve in a few days when immersed in biofluids. Together with soluble conductors and dielectrics, based on magnesium and magnesium oxide, these materials provide a complete palette for a wide range of electronic components, sensors, wireless transmission systems and more.
The team has built transient transistors, diodes, wireless power coils, temperature and strain sensors, photodetectors, solar cells, radio oscillators and antennas, and even simple digital cameras. All of the materials are biocompatible and, because they are extraordinarily thin, they can dissolve in even minute volumes of water.
The researchers encapsulate the devices in silk. The structure of the silk determines its rate of dissolution -- from minutes, to days, weeks or, potentially, years.
"The different applications that we are considering require different operating time frames," Rogers said. "A medical implant that is designed to deal with potential infections from surgical site incisions is only needed for a couple of weeks. But for a consumer electronic device, you'd want it to stick around at least for a year or two. The ability to use materials science to engineer those time frames becomes a critical aspect in design."
Since the group uses silicon, the industry standard material for integrated circuits, they can make highly sophisticated devices in ways that exploit well-established designs by introducing just a few additional tricks in layout, manufacturing and supporting materials. As reported in the Sept. 28 issue of the journal Science, the researchers have already demonstrated several system-level devices, including a fully transient 64-pixel digital camera and an implantable applique designed to monitor and prevent bacterial infection at surgical incisions, successfully demonstrated in rats.
Next, the researchers are further refining these and other devices for specific applications, conducting more animal tests, and working with a semiconductor foundry to explore high-volume manufacturing possibilities.
"It's a new concept, so there are lots of opportunities, many of which we probably have not even identified yet" Rogers said. "We're very excited. These findings open up entirely new areas of application, and associated directions for research in electronics."
4) NASA Rover Finds Old Streambed On Martian Surface:
|NASA Rover Finds Old Streambed On Martian Surface:|
NASA's Curiosity rover mission has found evidence a stream once ran vigorously across the area on Mars where the rover is driving. There is earlier evidence for the presence of water on Mars, but this evidence -- images of rocks containing ancient streambed gravels -- is the first of its kind.
Scientists are studying the images of stones cemented into a layer of conglomerate rock. The sizes and shapes of stones offer clues to the speed and distance of a long-ago stream's flow.
"From the size of gravels it carried, we can interpret the water was moving about 3 feet per second, with a depth somewhere between ankle and hip deep," said Curiosity science co-investigator William Dietrich of the University of California, Berkeley. "Plenty of papers have been written about channels on Mars with many different hypotheses about the flows in them. This is the first time we're actually seeing water-transported gravel on Mars. This is a transition from speculation about the size of streambed material to direct observation of it."
The finding site lies between the north rim of Gale Crater and the base of Mount Sharp, a mountain inside the crater. Earlier imaging of the region from Mars orbit allows for additional interpretation of the gravel-bearing conglomerate. The imagery shows an alluvial fan of material washed down from the rim, streaked by many apparent channels, sitting uphill of the new finds.
The rounded shape of some stones in the conglomerate indicates long-distance transport from above the rim, where a channel named Peace Vallis feeds into the alluvial fan. The abundance of channels in the fan between the rim and conglomerate suggests flows continued or repeated over a long time, not just once or for a few years.
The discovery comes from examining two outcrops, called "Hottah" and "Link," with the telephoto capability of Curiosity's mast camera during the first 40 days after landing. Those observations followed up on earlier hints from another outcrop, which was exposed by thruster exhaust as Curiosity, the Mars Science Laboratory Project's rover, touched down.
"Hottah looks like someone jack-hammered up a slab of city sidewalk, but it's really a tilted block of an ancient streambed," said Mars Science Laboratory Project Scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
The gravels in conglomerates at both outcrops range in size from a grain of sand to a golf ball. Some are angular, but many are rounded.
"The shapes tell you they were transported and the sizes tell you they couldn't be transported by wind. They were transported by water flow," said Curiosity science co-investigator Rebecca Williams of the Planetary Science Institute in Tucson, Ariz.
The science team may use Curiosity to learn the elemental composition of the material, which holds the conglomerate together, revealing more characteristics of the wet environment that formed these deposits. The stones in the conglomerate provide a sampling from above the crater rim, so the team may also examine several of them to learn about broader regional geology.
The slope of Mount Sharp in Gale Crater remains the rover's main destination. Clay and sulfate minerals detected there from orbit can be good preservers of carbon-based organic chemicals that are potential ingredients for life.
"A long-flowing stream can be a habitable environment," said Grotzinger. "It is not our top choice as an environment for preservation of organics, though. We're still going to Mount Sharp, but this is insurance that we have already found our first potentially habitable environment."
During the two-year prime mission of the Mars Science Laboratory,esearchers will use Curiosity's 10 instruments to investigate whether areas in Gale Crater have ever offered environmental conditions favorable for microbial life.
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a division of Caltech, built Curiosity and manages the Mars Science Laboratory Project for NASA's Science Mission Directorate, Washington.
5) Lab Encodes Collagen: Program Defines Stable Sequences for Synthesis, Could Help Fight Disease, Design Drugs:
|Lab Encodes Collagen: Program Defines Stable Sequences for Synthesis, Could Help Fight Disease, Design Drugs|
The human body is proficient at making collagen. And human laboratories are getting better at it all the time. In a development that could lead to better drug design and new treatments for disease, Rice University researchers have made a major step toward synthesizing custom collagen. Rice scientists who have learned how to make collagen -- the fibrous protein that binds cells together into organs and tissues -- are now digging into its molecular structure to see how it forms and interacts with biological systems.
Jeffrey Hartgerink, an associate professor of chemistry and of bioengineering, and his former graduate student Jorge Fallas, now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington, wrote a new computer program that predicts the most stable structures of nanometer-sized collagen. In nature, these small structures link into chains that serve as connective tissue in the body. Hartgerink and Fallas followed up the computer research by making and testing the collagen detailed in their calculations.
Their success, reported September 25 in the online journal Nature Communications, will be of interest to physicians and scientists who work in reconstructive surgery, cosmetics and tissue engineering as well as to researchers investigating collagen protein interactions that could lead to new treatments for cancer and other diseases.
"Collagen is an odd protein. On one hand, it's the most abundant protein in the human body," said Hartgerink, who in a previous work unveiled a new way to synthesize self-assembling collagen. "It basically is the connective fiber that holds cells together; without it you'd turn into a big puddle.
"By mass, collagen is the most common protein there is. But it's different from almost any other you might look at," he said.
Hartgerink likened collagen to DNA with a structural twist, as it has not two but three intertwining peptide strands. "Watson and Crick, when they were first trying to understand DNA, figured out the underlying code for how all the base pairs fit together," he said. "Collagen is similar, except there are three strands. In this paper, we've started to crack the code of which amino acids go with what others to stabilize the structure."
While scientists have made a great deal of progress defining the structures of other proteins, "only a small group of us have been interested in collagen. And because of that, our understanding of it has lagged behind," he said.
In their new work, Hartgerink and Fallas analyzed charged interactions between amino acids that attract one strand to another (and in this case, yet another) to form the triple helix. "We look at positively charged and negatively charged amino acids and where they need to be aligned to result in stabilization," Hartgerink said.
In the same way three-color images must be properly aligned for a viewer to see a complete picture, the three strands of a collagen protein must be in register for the protein to carry out its function.
"Collagen does more than hold cells together," he said. "It also binds other proteins that have interesting functions. Those proteins will attach to collagen, and then cells come along and bind to those proteins. Based on that interaction, a cell will then 'decide' how to behave or differentiate into a different type of cell."
Hartgerink said that property makes collagen especially valuable for biological scaffolds, materials that are under intense study as a way to grow new body parts -- even entire organs -- to replace damaged ones.
Hartgerink said strand alignment also determines a collagen helix's stability. The computer program designed by Fallas and Hartgerink calculates the stability of each possible alignment of a given set of peptide strands -- 27 in all -- to find the best matches of positively and negatively charged amino acids. It then assigns each set a score, based on the net positive or negative charge of the entire helix.
"If we have a positive charge in a peptide sequence, it will destabilize the triple helix, and we score that as a minus 1," he said. "If we have a negative charge, that also destabilizes the helix and we also score that as a minus 1. But if those charges line up in what we call the axial geometry, it negates the destabilization. This triple helix would have a score of 0, which is good.
"We create huge, theoretical populations of collagen sequences and score all of them," he said. "We find out which are closest to this magical score of 0 and throw out all the other ones." That tells the researchers which sequences are likely to self-assemble into the most stable helixes. "The math looks complicated, but a personal computer can generate one of these sequences in one or two minutes of processing time. It's not super sophisticated." He said the code will be available on his group's home page for other researchers to try.
Hartgerink's lab, based at Rice's BioScience Research Collaborative, has the unusual capacity to carry out both theoretical and experimental sides of the work. While the program generates test sequences in minutes on a desktop computer, synthesis and analysis of actual collagen takes much more effort.
"Once you have a sequence, you want to test it to see if it actually works," he said. "The math is useless if it's not predicting reality. Our proof-of-principle showed the computer code can be used to design a triple helix that folds properly. Now that we know how to do this, we can think about making collagen biomaterials for things like scaffolding, or to test protein/collagen receptor interactions, which people have been trying to demonstrate for a long time."
>He said the new work could help researchers decipher collagen's role in the metastasis of cancer. "Cancer cells need to be able to degrade collagen in order to move from organ to organ. We need to understand the structure of collagen to learn how they do that," Hargerink said. "Blood clots happen because specific proteins recognize a collagen sequence. If we don't understand the structure, we can't assist clotting to heal a wound or help people who have overclotting problems.
"All these targets are critical but they're very difficult to approach when we don't fundamentally understand collagen structure," he said. "We're not solving all those problems here, but this is a good first step."
A program developed at Rice University details stable forms of collagen proteins for synthesis in the lab. The ability to synthesize custom collagen could lead to better drug design and treatment of disease. The colored portion of the molecule in this illustration shows positively charged lysine and negatively charged aspartate interacting in the required axial geometry that stabilizes the triple helix.
|3D Picture of Political News of This Week|
Political News This Week:
1) UPA will bring a populist budget and go for elections in 2013, claims Mamata Banerjee:
|UPA will bring a populist budget and go for elections in 2013, claims Mamata Banerjee:|
Trinamool Congress Chief Mamata Banerjee, who recently walked out of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government over foreign direct investment (FDI) in retail and diesel price hike, has hit out at the Centre saying it has lost the credentials to govern the country.
In an exclusive interview with IBN18 Editor-in-Chief Rajdeep Sardesai, the West Bengal Chief Minister said that the government was not stable in her view and would go for elections in 2013.
She said that the UPA government would bring a populist budget in 2013 for "eyewash" and then go for elections after the Budget Session.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Hello and welcome to CNN-IBN special with the politician of the moment. The politician who has brought the UPA II to the brink, admired, feared, rivaled in equal measure. Joining us for her first full interview after she withdrew support to the UPA II, to the government of Manmohan Singh is the West Bengal Chief Minister and Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee.
Appreciate your joining us Mamata Banerjee. Just a few days ago you had announced the decision to withdraw the support to the UPA government, now do you have any regrets? Do you feel that may be you made the wrong decision?
Mamata Banerjee: No regrets, I am very happy. I am delighted. I am getting good response from people. I am always with people so whatever is their response is my response.
Rajdeep Sardesai: The reason I am asking you this is because the government appears to be not going anywhere. The government is stable, in fact Mulyam and Mayawati have given every indication that they are ready to bailout this government. So, Mamata goes, Mulayam and Mayawati come, the government stays safe and you are left out.
Mamata Banerjee: I am not left out. I am very much into the real politics because Mulayam and Mayawati may bailout the government for the time being but will the people bailout the government. You have to understand people’s agony, their feelings. In a democratic setup, people are the supreme. The government may continue for the next three to six months or may not continue but it has lost credentials.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Sonia Gandhi the other day said that the government is stable and it will last its full term till 2014. Do you believe that this Manmohan Singh government will last till 2014?
Mamata Banerjee: It is stable of the corruption, by the corruption, for the corruption. But it is not stable from the public point of view.
Rajdeep Sardesai: It is stable of the corruption, by the corruption, for the corruption. You are saying the UPA II government is a corrupt government?
Mamata Banerjee: Whatever I have seen this coalgate, FDI in retail, why all this is happened. This happened because they wanted to suppress things. We never said anything because it was our duty to support them. At the time of Lok Sabha elections, we committed to complete our full term. We tried our best but it was getting disastrous. I can’t stay quiet all the time.
Rajdeep Sardesai: But you must have known about it earlier, you are now saying that it was a government of corruption, by corruption and for corruption. Did you not know about it for the last several years when you have supported this government?
Mamata Banerjee: No. We didn’t support this coal blocks allocation action.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Do you hold the Prime Minister responsible for coalgate?
Mamata Banerjee: Sometimes silence is golden. I am not taking anybody’s name. But I can tell you one thing that we tried our best to see that this government completes full five years. But enough is enough. Everyday we wake up with the fear that what will happen next. Sometimes they will increase the price, sometimes they will go for FDI in retail, sometimes they go for corruption. They don’t care about their allies.
Rajdeep Sardesai: But do you believe that the Prime Minister himself has to be held responsible for this? When you are today saying that this government is of the corruption, by the corruption, for the corruption, you have been a part of this government for the last three-and-a-half year, do you hold the Prime Minister responsible?
Mamata Banerjee: Not three-and-a-half year, it’s just been three years.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Do you believe the Prime Minister himself should be held accountable?
Mamata Banerjee: The Congress will reply to this question. I am not going to reply to this.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Do you believe the Congress should be held accountable?
Mamata Banerjee: They are leading the government. And I am telling you this government never consults its allies. So, whatever they do they do it quietly.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Let me ask this to you again. Sonia Gandhi has very clearly stated that the government is stable and will last its full term till 2014. Do you Mamata Banerjee believe that this government will last till 2014?
Mamata Banerjee: I will not saying anything against Soniaji because of my personal relations with her. But I can say that this government might be stable from the Congress’s point of view but it is not a safe and sound government.
Rajdeep Sardesai: When you say that are you saying somewhere that you feel that the Congress will threaten other parties like Mulayam and Mayawati to support it, that they will use the CBI for example, is that your fear? That they will try to stay in power using ‘saam’ (influence), ‘daan’ (bribe), ‘dand’ (punishment), ‘bhed’ (division).
Mamata Banerjee: Money power, muscle power and mafia power. These three powers they are using. I don’t know why. Why in our country, which has a democratic setup, why are we afraid of the CBI before taking any decision? The Central government must not be like this.
Rajdeep Sardesai: You are saying that this government is going to use money power, muscle power and mafia power to stay in power till 2014?
Mamata Banerjee: You told me that because Mulayam and Mayawati, because they have so many problems, sometimes they are scared. So, in response to that I want to say that the power is misused.
Rajdeep Sardesai: So, do you fear that Mulayam and Mayawati will stay because they fear CBI and the Congress party will use the CBI?
Mamata Banerjee: I don’t want to say anything specific about any particular political party.
Rajdeep Sardesai: But in general.
Mamata Banerjee: Yes, in general. They use to misuse their power like anything.
Rajdeep Sardesai: You believe that this government use to misuse the CBI to challenge their rivals?
Mamata Banerjee: This is not only now, it is from the beginning when we were elected, since 2009 after Parliament elections, one day I called a meeting of all my Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha MPs and I told them. I also asked Pranab da, when he was the finance minister, that dada can you tell me that you people had brought all the (Income Tax) files of my MPs to Delhi and asked the CBI to go into their details but have you got anything.
Rajdeep Sardesai: You are saying they took all the files of your ministers, of your MPs and brought them to Delhi to use against those MPs at some stage? Am I correct?
Mamata Banerjee: Yes. And I asked them why.
Rajdeep Sardesai: And no answer.
Mamata Banerjee: No answer is the only answer. And the other thing I can tell you, I have example papers with me, you should have asked me earlier, I would have got those for you. I think you have seen that earlier also.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Yes.
Mamata Banerjee: Before my assembly elections, they asked Income Tax officials to thoroughly investigate all bank accounts of the Trinamool Congress. If they do it for each and every party, I have no problems but who are they. The Election Commission will take care of this.
Rajdeep Sardesai: There is some talk though that you can now bring a resolution against the FDI in retail during the Winter Session. Will you do so or is it only a threat?
Mamata Banerjee: It is not my duty to threat anybody. Parliament is the supreme in a democratic setup. The political party will decide what will be its next step.
Rajdeep Sardesai: What is your view? You have come out very strongly against FDI in retail. Will you bring a resolution in Parliament?
Mamata Banerjee: That we will discuss inside the party.
Rajdeep Sardesai: You have not yet taken a decision?
Mamata Banerjee: I have yet not taken a decision because I have not yet discussed the matter. I haven’t taken my MPs into confidence yet and there are few other political parties who are friends, so I have to talk to them also.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Will you try and bring this government down on the floor of Parliament? Simple question. If you say this is a government which is running through money power, muscle power and mafia power, which is of corruption, by corruption and for corruption, why don’t you bring this government down on the floor of Parliament?
Mamata Banerjee: This government is very arrogant and I think all political parties need to decide because in our Parliament it depends on numbers.
Rajdeep Sardesai: The reason I am asking you this is because Mulayam Singh has hinted that if Mamata Banerjee brings a resolution on FDI, he will support it.
Mamata Banerjee: Let’s see. I will talk to them so see if they agree or not.
Rajdeep Sardesai: If they agree?
Mamata Banerjee: If they agree, it’s okay. It shouldn’t be that today they say we agree and tomorrow they don’t. They need to make it clear that if they agree, come what may, they will support the resolution.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Okay. So, if Mulayam Singh gives you a categorical assurance, only then will you bring the resolution.
Mamata Banerjee: Otherwise, any political party can bring it. It’s not that only the Trinamool Congress has to bring it.
Rajdeep Sardesai: Okay. So, you are saying that if anyone brings it with the numbers then you will support it?
Mamata Banerjee: That we will decide.
2) PM working for foreigners' benefit: Modi:
|PM working for foreigners' benefit: Modi:|
BJP leader and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi Friday launched a sharp attack on the UPA government, accusing Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of working for the benefit of "foreigners".
Taking a jibe at the prime minister, Modi compared him to a Hindi film character "Singham", asking as to why he became bold only to benefit foreign countries.
"Mr prime minister, the country wants to know. In eight years, you have become 'Singham' twice -- once when there was the nuclear treaty with the US, and the second time on the FDI issue," Modi said.
"Both the instances benefit foreigners. Why doesn't he become 'Singham' for India," he said.
Modi also said that on both occasions, elections were about to be held in the United States.
"What is the reason behind the PM becoming active when there are polls in the US? Is there a connection," he said.
Modi also attacked Congress president Sonia Gandhi, questioning if her recent visit to the United States had an effect on the decision.
"Did Soniaji's trip to the US affect the decision on FDI," he said.
According to Congress spokespersons, Gandhi was in the US for a week in the beginning of the month for a health check-up. She had undergone surgery for an undisclosed ailment in the US last year.
Modi went ahead to allege that Gandhi had a hand in the alleged irregularities in the coal block allocations.
"An English newspaper had a report that prime minister had said that Ahmed Patel had a role in coal allocations. It seems the Congress president has a role in all the scams," Modi said.
Modi also questioned why the prime minister wanted FDI in retail, while US President Barack Obama was advocating small retailers.
"Obama tweeted that US citizens should buy from small shopkeepers and not from malls. Mr prime minister, why can't you see the position they are taking," he said.
3) Ajit Pawar's resignation accepted :
|PM working for foreigners' benefit: Modi:|
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar's resignation has been accepted, Nationalist Congress Party chief and union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar announced here Friday evening.
Ajit Pawar had sent his resignation on Tuesday to Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, who is now expected to forward it to the state governor.
4) China seals Bo's fate ahead of November 8 leadership congress:
|China seals Bo's fate ahead of November 8 leadership congress|
China's ruling Communist Party accused disgraced politician Bo Xilai of abusing power, taking huge bribes and other crimes on Friday, sealing the fate of a controversial leader whose fall shook a leadership handover due at a congress from November 8.
The once high-flying Bo now faces a criminal investigation that stemmed from a murder scandal, and will almost certainly be jailed. With the Communist Party congress about six weeks away, further steps in the case could come before then, helping pave the way for a transition of power, experts said.
"Bo Xilai's actions created grave repercussions and did massive harm to the reputation of the party and state, producing an extremely malign effect at home and abroad," the official statement from a party leaders' meeting said, according to a report by the official Xinhua news agency.
Bo's wife Gu Kailai and his former police chief Wang Lijun have already been jailed over the scandal stemming from the murder of British businessman Neil Heywood in the southwestern municipality of Chongqing, where Bo was Communist Party chief.
The official statement carried by Xinhua said that in the murder scandal, Bo "abused his powers of office, committed serious errors and bears a major responsibility".
That charge appears to reflect accusations from Wang's trial that suggested Bo tried to stymie the murder investigation.
Reports that Bo, the "princeling" son of a revolutionary leader, could escape with a light punishment have now been dealt a fatal blow, and accusations of womanising could further tarnish his reputation in the eyes of Chinese people.
But the few weeks left before the congress will probably not allow time for a trial, said He Weifang, a law professor at Peking University who has closely followed Bo's downfall.
"I think it's quite certain that he won't be able to escape punishment under the criminal law, but the timing makes it unlikely that will happen before the congress," said He.
"I'd guess that he'll get a jail sentence of 20 years or longer. The death penalty is unlikely, although the bribery charges could in theory allow it, if the amount is as huge as they say."
At the congress, Chinese President Hu Jintao will step down as party chief, almost certainly making way for Vice President Xi Jinping to emerge as top leader. Xi is then almost sure to be appointed state president at the annual parliament session, likely in March next year.
5) Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's son Bilawal Bhutto and foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar:
| Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's son Bilawal Bhutto and foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar: |
Love Affair between Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's son Bilawal Bhutto and foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar. This is the current hot topic of the whole world is thinking. The Love is happened with any one. So this turn is for Hina Rabbani and Bilal
A sensational news over Hina Rabbani Khar & Bilawal Bhutto's love affair rocked Pakistan. A Bangladeshi tabloid recently has claimed that the duo are in love & planning to leave Pakistan soon after their marriage.
However, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari was upset as they doesn't require his 24-year-old son to marry a woman who is 11-year-older than him & as well as a father of daughters, reported the tabloid.
According to the document, the president found the love-birds in a compromising position at their residence. The president reportedly had tried to put an finish to their relationship after allegedly using his political power & government machinery against Khar's husband, millionaire businessman Firoze Gulzar.
However, Zardari failed in his work to dissuade Hina from going ahead along with her relationship with Bilawal as he's decided to finish her marital relation with Gulzar & to settle in Switzerland post her marriage with Bilawal.
The tabloid even revealed few content from of the hand-written letters which were sent by the Pakistan foreign minister to the young Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
Hina, according to the tabloid, wrote, "The foundation of our relations is eternal & soon they shall be ourselves." The tabloid also claimed that Bilawal had threatened to quit PPP when they was advised by his brother to finish his relationship with Hina.
According to the Bangladeshi tabloid, Zardari fears that such a move by his son won't only jeopardise Bilawal's political career but also cause political doom for the ruling PPP
Officials denied the affair, but some privately confirmed that Khars millionaire husband Firoze Gulzar on Tuesday submitted an application to the Federal Inquiry Agency for subscriber details & call information record of suspected numbers.
|3D Picture of Sports News of This Week|
Sports News This week:
1) India Easily Win T20 Match Against England and enter into super 8 in T20 ICC world Cup:
|India Easily Win T20 Match Against England and enter into super 8 in T20 ICC world Cup:|
# England (80 off 14.4 overs) posted their lowest total in Twenty20 Internationals - their previous lowest being 88 against the West Indies at The Oval on September 25, 2011.
# England's total is the lowest by a Test-playing side in the ICC World Twenty20.
# India (170/4) posted their second highest total against England in the World Twenty20 - their highest is 218 for four at Durban on September 19, 2007.
2) Australia Easily Win Over India in T20 ICC world Cup Super 8 Play:
|Australia Easily Win Over India in T20 ICC world Cup Super 8 Play:|
A record Twenty20 World Cup opening stand of 133 by David Warner and Shane Watson helped Australia cruise to a nine-wicket win over India in their first Super Eights match on Friday.
Watson, who also took three for 34 with his seam bowling, won his third straight man of the match award in the tournament after lashing seven sixes and two fours in a 42-ball 72 as his side reached their target of 141 with 31 deliveries to spare.
Warner made an undefeated 63 in 41 balls after rain had interrupted play in the first over of the Australian innings.
India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was unable to stem the flow of runs despite using eight bowlers including part-timers Yuvraj Singh, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.
Earlier, Dhoni won the toss and chose to bat first but his team were restricted to 140 for seven. Opener Irfan Pathan top-scored with 31.
Australia pace bowler Pat Cummins brilliantly ran out opener Gautam Gambhir for 17 by kicking the ball on to the stumps.
The in-form Kohli also fell for 15 before Watson removed Yuvraj (eight) and Pathan in the same over.
Cummins finished with figures of two for 16 in four overs.
|3D Picture of Movie Release News of This Week|
Movie Release This Week:
1) The Hole:
From director Joe Dante comes a 3D thriller that explores the fears and secrets buried deep within the human mind. After moving into a new neighborhood, brothers Dane and Lucas, along with their neighbor Julie, discover a bottomless hole in the basement of their home. They find that once the hole is exposed, evil is unleashed. With strange shadows lurking around every corner and nightmares coming to life, they are forced to come face to face with their darkest fears to put an end to the mystery of The Hole.
|Resident Evil: Damnation:|
2) Resident Evil: Damnation:
United States Special Agent Leon S. Kennedy sneaks into a small Eastern European country to verify rumors that Bio Organic Weapons (B.O.W.s) are being used in war. Right after his infiltration, the U.S. government orders him to leave immediately. Determined to uncover the truth, Leon ignores the order and enters the battlefield to end the chain of tragedies caused by the B.O.W.s.
3) Hotel Transylvania:
Welcome to the Hotel Transylvania, Dracula's (Adam Sandler) lavish five-stake resort, where monsters and their families can live it up, free from meddling from the human world. But here's a little known fact about Dracula: he is not only the Prince of Darkness; he is also a dad. Over-protective of his teenage daughter, Mavis, Dracula fabricates tales of elaborate dangers to dissuade her adventurous spirit. As a haven for Mavis, he opens the Hotel Transylvania, where his daughter and some of the world's most famous monsters – Frankenstein and his bride, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, a family of werewolves, and more – can kick back in safety and peace. For Drac, catering to all of these legendary monsters is no problem – but his world could come crashing down when one ordinary guy stumbles on the hotel and takes a shine to Mavis.
|Won't Back Down|
4) Won't Back Down:
Two determined mothers , one a teacher, look to transform their children's failing inner city school. Facing a powerful and entrenched bureaucracy, they risk everything to make a difference in the education and future of their children.
A father seeks redemption by rescuing his daughter, a PRODIGAL, from two organizations hell-bent on acquiring her special abilities.