|3D Picture of Science News|
Science News This Week:
|Giant Harvestman Yet to Be Named: Arachnologist Discovers Another Giant of the Animal World in Laos:|
1) Giant Harvestman Yet to Be Named: Arachnologist Discovers Another Giant of the Animal World in Laos:
A scientist at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt has discovered a harvestman with a leg span of more than 33 centimetres. The creature found during a research trip to Laos is one of the largest representatives of the entire order worldwide. Experts have so far failed to properly identify it to species level.
The reason Dr. Peter Jäger from the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt (Germany) originally flew to Laos in April was to film a major TV production. "In between takes I collected spiders from the caves in the southern province of Khammouan," the Frankfurt arachnologist explains. In doing so, he made a sensational discovery. "In one of the caves I discovered a harvestman that was absolutely huge." The leg span of the gigantic male harvestman was more than 33 centimetres and therefore one of the world's largest. The current record is just over 34 centimetres leg span for a species from South America.
Initially the discovery lay hidden among other organisms and was only recognised as unique when sorted and labelled. "In attempting to categorise the creature properly, however, and give it a scientific name, I soon reached my limits," says Jäger. The Frankfurt scientist deals mainly with huntsman spiders -- harvestmen are not his particular field. Even the specialist he consulted, Ana Lucia Tourinho from the National Institute for Research of the Amazon (INPA) in Manaus, Brazil, who is currently a visiting academic at the Senckenberg Arachnology lab, could only conclude that it is probably the genus Gagrella in the Sclerosomatidae family.
"It's a shame we can't identify such an exceptional discovery correctly, i.e. its species," says Jäger, "we haven't dealt with these and related genera from China and neighbouring South East Asia before. Specialists are also unavailable due to the fact that descriptive taxonomy is no longer the main focus of research funding"
As such, the harvestmen of the Sclerosomatidae family have invaluable potential. Specimens can be found in virtually every habitat and they constitute an ecologically very important predator group in the natural food chain.
They could serve as an indicator of the ecological state of the natural and cultural scenery. These long-legged creatures are also of interest to behavioural scientists and evolutionary biologists. For example, during courtship the male presents a nuptial gift to the female, which is intended to demonstrate his fitness. Only when the female accepts it do they mate.
The Senckenberg arachnologist would now like to investigate the Sclerosomatidae family in a detailed case study using conventional and molecular methods along with his Brazilian colleague and in collaboration with other scientists in Germany, China and Japan. The findings should then be applicable to other groups and regions. "We want to avoid a situation in future where we again lack the experts to classify such unique creatures," says Jäger.
Meanwhile, Laos has turned out to be a veritable land of giants. Other arthropods with similar huge dimensions have been found in the same region -- the Laotian huntsman spider Heteropoda maxima with a leg span of up to 30 centimetres, the whip scorpion Typopeltis magnificus with a span of 26 centimetres and the predatory centipede Thereuopoda longicornis with a total span of almost 40 centimetres.
All these organisms are more or less closely linked to caves in these karst areas. "What mechanisms or factors are responsible for this frequency of gigantism is still unclear," says Jäger. One possible explanation is the potentially slower rate of growth in the caves. But the only thing that seems certain is that there is a limit to growth -- either due to the lack of oxygen supply to the long appendages or because when fleeing or catching prey long legs can no longer be moved quickly enough.
Text Source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121016084932.htm#.UH27pYV6mpI.facebook
|Breakthrough Offers New Route to Large-Scale Quantum Computing:|
2) Breakthrough Offers New Route to Large-Scale Quantum Computing:
In a key step toward creating a working quantum computer, Princeton researchers have developed a method that may allow the quick and reliable transfer of quantum information throughout a computing device
The finding, by a team led by Princeton physicist Jason Petta, could eventually allow engineers to build quantum computers consisting of millions of quantum bits, or qubits. So far, quantum researchers have only been able to manipulate small numbers of qubits, not enough for a practical machine.
"The whole game at this point in quantum computing is trying to build a larger system," said Andrew Houck, an assistant professor of electrical engineering who is part of the research team.
To make the transfer, Petta's team used a stream of microwave photons to analyze a pair of electrons trapped in a tiny cage called a quantum dot. The "spin state" of the electrons -- information about how they are spinning -- serves as the qubit, a basic unit of information. The microwave stream allows the scientists to read that information.
"We create a cavity with mirrors on both ends -- but they don't reflect visible light, they reflect microwave radiation," Petta said. "Then we send microwaves in one end, and we look at the microwaves as they come out the other end. The microwaves are affected by the spin states of the electrons in the cavity, and we can read that change."
In an ordinary sense, the distances involved are very small; the entire apparatus operates over a little more than a centimeter. But on the subatomic scale, they are vast. It is like coordinating the motion of a top spinning on the moon with another on the surface of Earth.
"It's the most amazing thing," said Jake Taylor, a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the Joint Quantum Institute at the University of Maryland, who worked on the project with the Princeton team. "You have a single electron almost completely changing the properties of an inch-long electrical system."
For years, teams of scientists have pursued the idea of using quantum mechanics to build a new machine that would revolutionize computing. The goal is not build a faster or more powerful computer, but to build one that approaches problems in a completely different fashion.
Standard computers store information as classical "bits," which can take on a value of either 0 or 1. These bits allow programmers to create the complex instructions that are the basis for modern computing power. Since Alan Turing took the first steps toward creating a computer at Princeton in 1936, engineers have created vastly more powerful and complex machines, but this basic binary system has remained unchanged.
The power of a quantum computer comes from the strange rules of quantum mechanics, which describe the universe of subatomic particles. Quantum mechanics says that an electron can spin in one direction, representing a 1, or in another direction, a 0. But it can also be in something called "superposition" representing all states between 1 and 0. If scientists and engineers can build a working machine that takes advantage of this, they would open up entirely new fields of computing.
"The point of a quantum computer is not that they can do what a normal computer can do but faster; that's not what they are," said Houck. "The quantum computer would allow us to approach problems differently. It would allow us to solve problems that cannot be solved with a normal computer."
Mathematicians are still working on possible uses for a quantum system, but the machines could allow them to accomplish tasks such as factoring currently unfactorable numbers, breaking codes or predicting the behavior of molecules.
One challenge facing scientists is that the spins of electrons, or any other quantum particles, are incredibly delicate. Any outside influences, whether a wisp of magnetism or glimpse of light, destabilizes the electrons' spins and introduces errors.
Over the years, scientists have developed techniques to observe spin states without disturbing them. (This year's Nobel Prize in physics honored two scientists who first demonstrated the direct observation of quantum particles.) But analyzing small numbers of spins is not enough; millions will be required to make a real quantum processor.
To approach the problem, Petta's team combined techniques from two branches of science: from materials science, they used a structure called a quantum dot to hold and analyze electrons' spins; and from optics, they adopted a microwave channel to transfer the spin information from the dot.
To make the quantum dots, the team isolated a pair of electrons on a small section of material called a "semiconductor nanowire." Basically, that means a wire that is so thin that it can hold electrons like soda bubbles in a straw. They then created small "cages" along the wire. The cages are set up so that electrons will settle into a particular cage depending on their energy level.
This is how the team reads the spin state: electrons of similar spin will repel, while those of different spins will attract. So the team manipulates the electrons to a certain energy level and then reads their position. If they are in the same cage, they are spinning differently; if they are in different cages, the spins are the same.
The second step is to place this quantum dot inside the microwave channel. This allows the team to transfer the information about the pair's spin state -- the qubit.
Petta said the next step is to increase the reliability of the setup for a single electron pair. After that, the team plans to add more quantum dots to create more qubits. Team members are cautiously optimistic. There appear to be no insurmountable problems at this point but, as with any system, increasing complexity could lead to unforeseen difficulties.
"The methods we are using here are scalable, and we would like to use them in a larger system," Petta said. "But to make use of the scaling, it needs to work a little better. The first step is to make better mirrors for the microwave cavity."
Text Source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121019141254.htm
|Astronomers Uncover a Surprising Trend in Galaxy Evolution :|
3) Astronomers Uncover a Surprising Trend in Galaxy Evolution :
A comprehensive study of hundreds of galaxies observed by the Keck telescopes in Hawaii and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has revealed an unexpected pattern of change that extends back 8 billion years, or more than half the age of the universe.
"Astronomers thought disk galaxies in the nearby universe had settled into their present form by about 8 billion years ago, with little additional development since," said Susan Kassin, an astronomer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., and the study's lead researcher. "The trend we've observed instead shows the opposite, that galaxies were steadily changing over this time period."
Today, star-forming galaxies take the form of orderly disk-shaped systems, such as the Andromeda Galaxy or the Milky Way, where rotation dominates over other internal motions. The most distant blue galaxies in the study tend to be very different, exhibiting disorganized motions in multiple directions. There is a steady shift toward greater organization to the present time as the disorganized motions dissipate and rotation speeds increase. These galaxies are gradually settling into well-behaved disks.
Blue galaxies -- their color indicates stars are forming within them -- show less disorganized motions and ever-faster rotation speeds the closer they are observed to the present. This trend holds true for galaxies of all masses, but the most massive systems always show the highest level of organization.
Researchers say the distant blue galaxies they studied are gradually transforming into rotating disk galaxies like our own Milky Way.
"Previous studies removed galaxies that did not look like the well-ordered rotating disks now common in the universe today," said co-author Benjamin Weiner, an astronomer at the University of Arizona in Tucson. "By neglecting them, these studies examined only those rare galaxies in the distant universe that are well-behaved and concluded that galaxies didn't change."
Rather than limit their sample to certain galaxy types, the researchers instead looked at all galaxies with emission lines bright enough to be used for determining internal motions. Emission lines are the discrete wavelengths of radiation characteristically emitted by the gas within a galaxy. They are revealed when a galaxy's light is separated into its component colors. These emission lines also carry information about the galaxy's internal motions and distance.
The team studied a sample of 544 blue galaxies from the Deep Extragalactic Evolutionary Probe 2 (DEEP2) Redshift Survey, a project that employs Hubble and the twin 10-meter telescopes at the W. M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii. Located between 2 billion and 8 billion light-years away, the galaxies have stellar masses ranging from about 0.3 percent to 100 percent of the mass of our home galaxy.
A paper describing these findings will be published Oct. 20 in The Astrophysical Journal.
The Milky Way galaxy must have gone through the same rough-and-tumble evolution as the galaxies in the DEEP2 sample, and gradually settled into its present state as the sun and solar system were being formed.
In the past 8 billion years, the number of mergers between galaxies large and small has decreased sharply. So has the overall rate of star formation and disruptions of supernova explosions associated with star formation. Scientists speculate these factors may play a role in creating the evolutionary trend they observe.
Now that astronomers see this pattern, they can adjust computer simulations of galaxy evolution until these models are able to replicate the observed trend. This will guide scientists to the physical processes most responsible for it.
The DEEP2 survey is led by Lick Observatory at the University of California at Santa Cruz in collaboration with the University of California at Berkeley, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Md., the University of Chicago and the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
The Hubble Space Telescope is a project of international cooperation between NASA and the European Space Agency. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., manages the telescope. The Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI) in Baltimore, Md., conducts Hubble science operations. STScI is operated by the Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy, Inc. in Washington
|Picture Description: Given Below|
This plot shows the fractions of settled disk galaxies in four time spans, each about 3 billion years long. There is a steady shift toward higher percentages of settled galaxies closer to the present time. At any given time, the most massive galaxies are the most settled. More distant and less massive galaxies on average exhibit more disorganized internal motions, with gas moving in multiple directions, and slower rotation speeds.
Text Source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121019135427.htm
|Mayfly With Springtail Hitchhiker: Amber Specimen -- 16 Million Years Old -- Reveals Unknown Animal Behaviors|
4) Mayfly With Springtail Hitchhiker: Amber Specimen -- 16 Million Years Old -- Reveals Unknown Animal Behaviors :
Stunning images, including video footage, from a CT scan of amber have revealed the first evidence of any creature using an adult mayfly for transport.
Researchers at the University of Manchester say this 16-million-year-old hitchhiker most likely demonstrates activity that is taking place today but has never previously been recorded.
Entombed in amber the tiny springtail can be seen resting in a v-shaped depression at the base of one of the mayfly's wings. It appears to have secured itself for transport using its prehensile antennae.
Dr David Penney and colleagues from the Faculty of Life Sciences and the School of Materials used a high resolution CT scanner to take over 3,000 X-rays from different angles.
The scientists then created slices, showing the fossil in cross sections. From these slices 3D digital images of the springtail were made so an accurate analysis of its behaviour could be conducted.
Dr Penney says: "The images are really impressive. This pioneering approach to studying fossils has allowed us an insight into the behaviour of one of the world's most prevalent organisms."
Springtails are minute creatures (usually only 1-2mm long) related to true insects. They're found around the world in great numbers, including here in the UK. Gardeners will recognise them as the tiny insects that hop around when soil is disturbed. They readily colonize newly-formed islands but very little is known about how they manage to migrate. One of the reasons is that they are incredibly nervous creatures and have an astonishing ability to leap away from danger using a springing organ (the furca) on the underside of the abdomen, which makes observing them in life very difficult.
Interestingly, when the 3D image of the springtail in amber is magnified it's possible to see that the springtail is very slightly detached (by just 50 micrometres) from the mayfly. This suggests it was attempting to spring away as the amber set around it.
Only one previous case of phoresy (the transportation of one organism by another) has been recorded for springtails. This was found in a piece of Baltic amber where five springtails were hooked in a row on the leg of a harvestman arachnid.
It was this discovery in 2010 which prompted Dr Penney to take a closer look at his own specimen. "I had initially thought the creature on the mayfly may have been a tiny nymphal pseudoscorpion, as they are known to use other creatures for transport, and this behaviour is not uncommon to see in amber. I was interested in the fact that this was the first time a creature had been found on an adult mayfly but I didn't truly appreciate the significance of my find until I used the CT scanner and was able to identify the animal as a springtail."
Phoresy in adult mayflies has never before been recorded. They live for just a short period of time from one hour to a few days depending on the species. The primary function of the adult stage is reproduction and they are unable to feed. This makes it very difficult to study mayflies in their natural habitat and record instances of phoresy.
The amber specimen encasing the mayfly and the springtail provides an accurate snapshot of behaviour that scientists wouldn't otherwise be able to record, highlighting one important application of the fossil record for understanding the present. The near perfect condition of the mayfly demonstrates that it died instantaneously and wasn't moved far from where it rested when the resin ran over it. Equally the position of the springtail resting on the back of the mayfly and the fact that it is in contact with the creature means the pair were unlikely to have been brought together by the resin as it moved down the tree.
The details of Dr Penney's research has been published in the journal, PLOS ONE. More analysis of amber using CT scans is continuing.
Dr Penney says: "The CT scan allows us to build up a 3D image that catches minute details of the animal. We can rotate the image to see parts of the creature that are obscured when looking from the outside in. In effect, we are able to digitally dissect the fossil without causing any damage to it whatsoever. This technology has revolutionised how we study fossils and the findings are incredibly exciting."
Text Source : http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121017181349.htm
|Reprogrammed Amniotic Fluid Cells Could Treat Vascular Diseases|
5) Reprogrammed Amniotic Fluid Cells Could Treat Vascular Diseases:
A research team at Weill Cornell Medical College has discovered a way to utilize diagnostic prenatal amniocentesis cells, reprogramming them into abundant and stable endothelial cells capable of regenerating damaged blood vessels and repairing injured organs.
Their study, published online October 18 in Cell, paints a picture of a future therapy where amniotic fluid collected from thousands of amniocentesis procedures yearly, during mid-pregnancy to examine fetal chromosomes, would be collected with the permission of women undergoing the test. These cells, which are not embryonic, would then be treated with a trio of genes that reprogram them quickly into billions of endothelial cells -- the cells that line the entire circulatory system. The new endothelial cells could be frozen and banked the same way blood is, and patients in need of blood vessel repair would be able to receive the cells through a simple injection.
If proven in future studies, this novel therapy could dramatically improve treatment for disorders linked to a damaged vascular system, including heart disease, stroke, lung diseases such as emphysema, diabetes, and trauma, says the study's senior investigator, Dr. Shahin Rafii, the Arthur B. Belfer Professor in Genetic Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College and co-director of its Ansary Stem Cell Institute.
"Currently, there is no curative treatment available for patients with vascular diseases, and the common denominator to all these disorders is dysfunction of blood vessels, specifically endothelial cells that are the building blocks of the vessels," says Dr. Rafii, who is also a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator.
But these cells do much more than just provide the plumbing to move blood. Dr. Rafii has recently led a series of transformative studies that show endothelial cells in blood vessels produce growth factors that actively participate in organ maintenance, repair and regeneration. So while damaged vessels cannot repair the organs they nurture with blood, he says an infusion of new endothelial cells could.
"Replacement of the dysfunctional endothelial cells with transplantation of normal, properly engineered cultured endothelial cells could potentially provide for a novel therapy for many patients," says study co-author Dr. Sina Rabbany, adjunct associate professor of bioengineering in genetic medicine at Weill Cornell. "In order to engineer tissues with clinically relevant dimensions, endothelial cells can be assembled into porous three-dimensional scaffolds that, once introduced into a patient's injured organ, could form true blood vessels."
Dr. Rafii says that this study will potentially create a new field of translational vascular medicine. He estimates that as few as four years are needed for the preclinical work to seek FDA approval to start human clinical trials to advance the potential of reprogrammed endothelial cells for treatment of vascular disorders.
As part of their study, the research team proved, in mice, that endothelial cells reprogrammed from human amniotic cells could engraft into an injured liver to form stable, normal and functional blood vessels. "We have shown that these engrafted endothelial cells have the capacity to produce unique growth factors to promote regeneration of the liver cells," says the study's lead investigator, Dr. Michael Ginsberg, a senior postdoctoral associate in Dr. Rafii's laboratory.
"The novelty of this technique is that, from 100,000 amniotic cells -- a small amount -- we grew more than six billion new authentic endothelial cells within a matter of weeks," Dr. Ginsberg says. "And when we injected these cells into mice, a substantial amount of them engrafted into regenerating vessels. It was remarkable to see that these cells went right to work building new blood vessels in the liver as well as producing the right growth factors that could potentially regenerate and repair injured organs."
The Goldilocks of Cellular Reprogramming
To date, there have been many failed attempts to clinically produce endothelial cells that can be used to treat patients. Isolation of endothelial cells from adult organs so they can be grown in the laboratory is not efficient, according to Dr. Daylon James, study co-author and an assistant professor of stem cell biology in reproductive medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. Attempts to produce the cells from the body's master pluripotent stem cells have also not worked out. Experiments have shown that prototypical pluripotent stem cells, such as embryonic stem cells, which have the potential to become any cell in the body, produce endothelial cells but often grow poorly, and if not fully differentiated could potentially cause cancer. "Coaxing adult cells to revert to a stem-like state so they can then be pushed to form endothelial cells is, at this point, not clinically feasible, and ongoing studies in my lab are focused on achieving this goal," says Dr. James, who is also assistant professor of stem cell biology in obstetrics and gynecology and genetic medicine at Weill Cornell.
Therefore, Dr. Rafii's team searched for a new source of cells that they could turn into a vast supply of stable endothelial cells. They probed human amniotic fluid-derived cells, which some studies had suggested have the potential to become differentiated cell types, if stimulated in the right way -- which no one had yet identified.
In their first experiments with these cells three years ago, Dr. Ginsberg used cells taken from an amniocentesis given at 16 weeks of gestation. Researchers found that amniotic cells are the "Goldilocks" of cellular programming. "They are not as plastic and unstable as endothelial cells derived from embryonic cells or as stubborn as those produced from reprogramming differentiated adult cells," Dr. Ginsberg says. Instead, he says amniotic cells provide conditions that are just right -- the so-called "Goldilocks Principle" -- for producing endothelial cells.
But in order to make that discovery, the researchers had to know how to reprogram the amniotic cells. To this end, they looked for the genes that embryonic stem cells use to differentiate into endothelial cells. Dr. Rafii's group identified three genes that are expressed during vascular development, all of which are members of the E-twenty six (ETS) family of transcription factors known to regulate cellular differentiation, especially blood vessel formation.
Next, they used gene transfer technology to insert the three genes into mature amniotic cells, and then shut one of them off after a brief and critical period of activity by using a special molecular inhibitor. Remarkably, 20 percent of the amniotic cells could efficiently be reprogrammed into endothelial cells. "This is quite an achievement since current strategies to reprogram adult cells result less than one percent of the time in successful reprogramming into endothelial cells," says Dr. Rafii.
"These transcription factors do not cause cancer, and the endothelial cells reprogrammed from human amniotic cells are not tumorigenic and could in the future be infused into patients with a large margin of safety," Dr. Ginsberg says.
The findings suggest that other transcription factors could be used to reprogram the amniotic cells into many other tissue-specific cells, such as those that make up muscles, the brain, pancreatic islet cells and other parts of the body.
"While our work focused primarily on the reprogramming of amniotic cells into endothelial cells, we surmise that through the use of other transcription factors and growth conditions, our group and others will be able to reprogram mouse and human amniotic cells virtually into every organ cell type, such as hepatocytes in the liver, cardiomyocytes in heart muscle, neurons in the brain and even chondrocytes in cartilage, just to name a few," Dr. Ginsberg says.
"Obviously, the implications of these findings would be enormous in the field of translational regenerative medicine," emphasizes study co-author Dr. Zev Rosenwaks, the Revlon Distinguished Professor of Reproductive Medicine in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Weill Cornell Medical College and director and physician-in-chief of the Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "The greatest obstacle to overcome in the pursuit to regenerate specific tissues and organs is the requirement for substantial levels of cells -- in the billions -- that are stable, safe and durable. Our approach will bring us closer to this milestone."
"Most importantly, these endothelial cells could be reprogrammed from amniotic cells from genetically diverse individuals," says co-author Dr. Venkat R. Pulijaal, director of the Cytogenetic Laboratory, associate professor of clinical pathology and laboratory medicine at Weill Cornell. What endothelial cells a patient receives would depend on their human leukocyte antigen (HLA) type, which is a set of self-recognition molecules that enable doctors to match a patient with potential donors of blood or tissue.
"Selecting the proper immunologically matched endothelial cells for each patient would be akin to blood typing. There are only so many varieties, which are well represented across the amniotic fluid cells that could be obtained, frozen and banked from wide variety of ethnic groups around the world," Dr. Rafii says.
text source: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/10/121018123314.htm
|3D Picture of Political news|
Political and other News This Week:
|President Mukherjee meets Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata|
1) President Mukherjee meets Mamata Banerjee in Kolkata:
President Pranab Mukherjee met West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in the VIP lounge of the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport here on Saturday.
What transpired during the meeting is not known.
Mukherkee had earlier arrived by a special Indian Air Force plane at around 2.15 p.m. and was received by West Bengal Governor M.K. Narayanan, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and senior officials.
After his meeting with Banerjee, Mukherjee left by Air Force helicopter for Kirnahar, where he will stay with his octogenarian elder sister Annapurna Banerjee. He will worship family deity Devi Durga at his village home at Miriti, 3 km away, for three days from Sunday.
He will return to Delhi on October 23, a Rashtrapati Bhawan release said
|Rahul denies Chautala's allegation of land scam|
2) Rahul denies Chautala's allegation of land scam:
Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi Wednesday denied the illegal land purchasing charges labeled by former Chief Minister of Haryana and Indian National Lok Dal chief Om Prakash Chautala citing it "entirely false, utterly baseless and defamatory.
Chautala on Wednesday alleged Rahul Gandhi that Rahul had purchase a 6.5 acre land in Hassanpur in Palwal district of Haryana on March 03, 2008, which was irregular.
Talking to reporters in Jalandhar in Punjab, INLD President said while Gandhi bought the land in Hassanpur, his brother-in- law Robert Vadra had purchased land in Gurgaon from the same seller. Vadra is embroiled in a controversy over various land deals in Haryana.
Gandhi's office here, in a late evening statement, said the land in Hassanpur was bought March 3, 2008 at a price of Rs.26.47 lakh paid through a cheque at the rate of Rs.4.10 lakh an acre.
It also said that the Congress leader paid stamp duty of six percent amounting to Rs.1.58 lakh for the purchase.
Countering the allegation, Congress party in a press release said, "Allegations made by Om Prakash Chautala against Rahul Gandhi in his press conference this evening in Jalandhar are entirely false, utterly baseless and defamatory."
This was the second land grab charges that came in the lime light on Wednesday as earlier India Against Corruption members Arvind Kejriwal and Anjali Damania alleged Bhartiya Janta Party President Nitin Gadkari to be involved in multi-crore irrigation scam in Maharashtra and to illegally grab the farmer's land for his factory.
|Sonia Gandhi and Rahul to lead Congress campaign in Himachal Pradesh|
3) Sonia Gandhi and Rahul to lead Congress campaign in Himachal Pradesh:
For the beleaguered Congress, reeling under unprecedented price rise and a series of scams, winning the upcoming Himachal Pradesh elections will not just be a symbolic victory, but also an answer to its doomsayers and a morale booster for its cadre.
While the party is not betting on Gujarat, it is making all-out efforts in Himachal, hoping to achieve the same feat it did in Uttarakhand earlier this year - wresting power from the BJP.
Congress president Sonia Gandhi will kick start a high-voltage campaign in Himachal Pradesh on Monday with a public rally in Mandi, followed by another in Kangra.
AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi will also join the campaign trail from next week, and is expected to address five to six rallies, sources said. There are reports that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, too, would be addressing a few public meetings, the dates and venues for which are still being worked out.
Former chief minister and HPCC chief Virbhadra Singh, the party's best bet in the state, has already started a whirlwind tour of the state.
The fresh allegations of corruption against him ahead of the polls have made him even more combative. He sees the election as a chance to restore his credibility among the voters, a source close to him said.
The 82-year-old five-time chief minister on Friday dismissed the allegations as baseless and motivated to dent the party's electoral prospects.
"These are all diversionary tactics of (chief minister and arch rival Prem Kumar) Dhumal, (BJP leader Arun) Jaitley and (Dhumal's son and MP) Anurag, who have hatched a conspiracy to malign me by getting the socalled scams and corruption issues highlighted through the media in the run-up to the polls," he said.
The Congress hopes to turn the tables on the BJP, especially on the issue of corruption, by highlighting the multiple alleged land scams linked to Dhumal, besides highlighting the lack of development among other local issues such as closure of schools, low connectivity by road and indifference towards farmers.
Additionally, the party will highlight the UPA's flagship programmes and the recent decision of the Cabinet to permit "One-ran-kone-pension for ex-servicemen", which was an emotional issue during the past few elections in the state.
Party sources said the delimitation of constituencies had injected a new dimension to the elections. In the November 4 polls, many candidates will be contesting from re-drawn constituencies after 30-odd years, and both the BJP and the Congress are in the dark about its possible impact on their prospects.
|The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2012 Alvin E. Roth, Lloyd S. Shapley:|
4) The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2012 Alvin E. Roth, Lloyd S. Shapley:
The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel 2012 was awarded jointly to Alvin E. Roth and Lloyd S. Shapley "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design"
Alvin E. Roth
Affiliation at the time of the award: Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA, Harvard Business School, Boston, MA, USA
Prize motivation: "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design"
Lloyd S. Shapley
Born: 1923, Cambridge, MA, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA
Prize motivation: "for the theory of stable allocations and the practice of market design"
|Kareena relaxes at Saif's ancestral home|
5) Kareena relaxes at Saif's ancestral home :
After five-day-long wedding celebrations in Mumbai and Delhi, actress Kareena Kapoor reached Ibrahim Palace on Friday along with her husband Saif Ali Khan, a relative said. Ibrahim Palace is Saif's ancestral home, 26 km from here.
Saif-Kareena, who completed the formalities of a registered marriage on Tuesday, came here with a few selected relatives for a traditional family feast, said a source.
Sharmila Tagore, Saif's mother, reached the mansion in the morning, while the actor's daughter Sarah and sister Soha accompanied them.
From Oct 1, Pataudi Palace, being run by Neemrana Hotels, had put bookings on hold and since than Sharmila has been visiting the mansion regularly.
On Thursday evening, relatives from Pakistan arrived at the Pataudi Palace. The family will stay there till Saturday.
After the death of Nawab Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, his son Saif was anointed the 10th nawab of Pataudi (symbolic) by the heads and prominent figures of 52 villages of the area. But for the Friday's function, none of them were invited.
Locals were seen standing near the main gate since morning, but they could not have a glimpse of Saif-Kareena as the security was beefed up by a private company.
Mansoor Ali, who died in New Delhi Sept 22 last year, is buried in the palace compound along with his forefathers.
|3D Picture of Movie Release News|
Movie Release This Week:
1) Alex Cross:
Alex Cross, a young homicide detective/psychologist, meets his match in a serial killer. The two face off in a high-stakes game of cat and mouse, but when the mission gets personal, Cross is pushed to the edge of his moral and psychological limits.
2) All Together:
Annie, Jean, Claude, Albert and Jeanne have been friends for over forty years. But they are growing old and old age tends to be synonymous with reduced autonomy, loss of memory, illness, retirement home and, worst of all, separation. One day, one of the five friends suggests to say no to isolation and loneliness: what if they lived together?
An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children.
Matt, a small-time inventor, keeps coming up with clever but impractical products.
Sam, Matt's longtime friend and business partner, is a born salesman. Just ask him, he'll tell you.
Gina, Matt's wife, is a flight attendant dealing with the flying public's bizarre behavior. Gina is picking up extra trips to help sustain Matt's struggling business.
One day, out of the blue, Matt get the Big Idea. The one he's been waiting on to save his business and marriage. Wild money-raising schemes ensue to finance the American Dream product
|Student of the Year|
5) Student of the Year:
Student of The Year is set in a school called St. Teresa’s, which is one of India’s premier academic institutions. Every year, the boys and girls of St.T’s compete with each other to win Student of the Year’s trophy. 3 competitions take place and the student with the highest score at the end of all competitions emerges as the winner. Our story begins with two boys Abhi and Rohan, who meet each other in St. Teresa’s in their final year. Soon their gang of their friends extends to Shanaya and her friends. They all become thick friends and it appears that nothing can break them until things turns upside down as Abhi and Shanaya fall for each other and the Student of the Year competition begins. As friendships are tested and passions run high, Student of The Year rushes towards an exciting climax.
Next Week Must Watch Movie Release
Chakravyuh is the story of two best friends: Adil (Arjun Rampal) and Kabir (Abhay Deol) .
There is a war raging in India. A war whose end can't be seen.A war that isn't being waged by outsiders. The enemy is our own! The youth of the country are rebelling.. Against injustice, against tyranny, against exploitation. Inequality will not be tolerated forever. There is anger, and there is deep social unrest. Our own countrymen are locked in the bloodiest armed mutiny this country has ever seen.
Chakravyuh is the story of six extraordinary characters, each with an all-consuming dream.. A promise.. A promise they will uphold above everything else.
|3D Picture of Sports News|
Sports News This Week:
|World Cup qualifier: Bolivia defeat Uruguay 4-1|
1) World Cup qualifier: Bolivia defeat Uruguay 4-1:
Bolivia defeated Uruguay 4-1 at the Hernando Siles Stadium here in the South American qualification series for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Xabier Azkargorta's team had a better performance than the previous 1-1 draw with Peru four days ago, which lowered its possibilities to qualify for the World Cup, reports Xinhua.
Playing with a very solid defence and better order in the middle sector, Bolivia scored through forward Carlos Saucedo in the 5th, 50th and 55th, and by Gualberto Mojica in the 27th minute.
Uruguayan star Luis Suarez scored in the 80th minute.
This is Uruguay's third consecutive defeat in away matches, who now have 12 points and are ready to try their chance of directly qualifying for Brazil 2014.
Bolivia achieved eight points after the win and will visit Colombia next in March 2013, when Uruguay host Paraguay.
|First-half goals from Lionel Messi|
2) Argentina go three points clear:
First-half goals from Lionel Messi and Gonzalo Higuain put Argentina 2-0 up at the break, before Felipe Gutierrez pulled one back for the hosts in injury time.
Real Madrid striker Higuain was taken off in the second half after apparently suffering an ankle injury following a tackle from Gonzalo Jara.
"We have forwards of huge standing who normally never forgive (mistakes). Argentina were sharper with their finishing," Argentina coach Alejandro Sabella said.
"We knew Chile would take the ball from us a lot and we had to be very concentrated in defence."
Argentina now have 20 points from nine games, three points ahead of Ecuador, who drew 1-1 in Venezuela after Segundo Castillo cancelled out Juan Fernando Arango's early opener for the hosts.
|Chennai Super Kings take on Mumbai Indians|
3) Live Cricket Score: Chennai Super Kings vs Mumbai Indians Champions League T20 2012 tie at Johannesburg:
Chennai Super Kings take on Mumbai Indians in their inconsequential clash of the Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2012 at Johannesburg.
Chennai Super Kings had made a big splash when they won the Indian Premier League in 2010 and 2011 and also annexed the Champions League title in 2010 but the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team failed to live up to their reputations in the latest edition of the twenty20 event as they suffered successive loses in the tournament so far.
CSK started its campaign with a 14-run loss to Sydney Sixers and then suffered a six-wicket defeat at the hands of the Lions last Tuesday. Given the situation, Dhoni has to come up with something special to take his team through to the semi-finals.
Harbhajan Singh-led Mumbai Indians too is looking for their first win in the event. They have so far posted almost identical scores (157 and 156) in the first two matches against Lions and Yorkshire respectively.
While West Indies batsman Dwayne Bravo has got some runs up the order, they have been hugely let down by Sachin Tendulkar's lack of form as the India great could manage only 16 and 7 so far.