|3D Picture of Subhaditya Science News|
Science News This Week:
|Tenth of Quirky Creature's Active Genes Are Foreign: Believed to 'Ingest' DNA from Other Simple Organisms|
1) Tenth of Quirky Creature's Active Genes Are Foreign: Believed to 'Ingest' DNA from Other Simple Organisms:
Up to 10 per cent of the active genes of an organism that has survived 80 million years without sex are foreign, a new study from the University of Cambridge and Imperial College London reveals. The asexual organism, the bdelloid rotifer, has acquired a tenth of its active genes from bacteria and other simple organisms like fungi and algae.
The findings were reported Nov. 15 in the journal PLoS Genetics.
Bdelloid rotifers are best known for going 80 million years without sex, as they have evolved to reproduce successfully without males. Many asexual creatures go extinct without the benefit of traditional genetic evolution. However, bdelloids have flourished by developing ingenious ways of overcoming the limitations of being asexual.
Bdelloids have also developed the fascinating ability to withstand almost complete desiccation when the freshwater pools they typically live in dry up. They can survive in the dry state for many years only to revive with no ill effect once water becomes available again.
"We were thrilled when we discovered that nearly 10 per cent of bdelloids' active genes are foreign, adding to the weirdness of an already odd little creature," said Professor Alan Tunnacliffe, lead author of the study from the University of Cambridge. "We don't know how the gene transfer occurs, but it almost certainly involves ingesting DNA in organic debris, which their environments are full of. Bdelloids will eat anything smaller than their heads!"
Because some of the foreign genes are activated when the bdelloids begin to dry out, the researchers believe that the genes play a role in bdelloids' ability to survive desiccation.
Professor Tunnacliffe added: "Other researchers have shown that bdelloids contain powerful antioxidants, which help protect them from the toxic oxidising agents that are the by-products of desiccation. These antioxidants have not yet been identified, but we think that some of them result from foreign genes."
For the study, the researchers extracted all of the messenger RNA (genetic code similar to DNA which provides a blueprint for the creation of proteins) from bdelloid rotifers and sequenced each message, creating a library of the animal's active coding information. Using a supercomputer, they then compared these messages with all other known sequences and found that in many cases similar sequences had been found in other organisms.
Strangely, however, these other organisms were often not animals, but simple microbes. This means that bdelloids have genes that are not present in other animals, but have been acquired from micro-organisms and adapted for use in the rotifer.
The research was funded by the Biotechnology and the Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the European Research Council.
|Neurons Made from Stem Cells Drive Brain Activity After Transplantation in Laboratory Model:|
2) Neurons Made from Stem Cells Drive Brain Activity After Transplantation in Laboratory Model:
Researchers and patients look forward to the day when stem cells might be used to replace dying brain cells in Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative conditions. Scientists are currently able to make neurons and other brain cells from stem cells, but getting these neurons to properly function when transplanted to the host has proven to be more difficult. Now, researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute have found a way to stimulate stem cell-derived neurons to direct cognitive function after transplantation to an existing neural network.
The study was published November 7 in the Journal of Neuroscience.
"We showed for the first time that embryonic stem cells that we've programmed to become neurons can integrate into existing brain circuits and fire patterns of electrical activity that are critical for consciousness and neural network activity," said Stuart A. Lipton, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study. Lipton is director of Sanford-Burnham's Del E. Webb Neuroscience, Aging, and Stem Cell Research Center and a clinical neurologist.
The trick turned out to be light. Lipton and his team -- including Juan Piña-Crespo, Ph.D., D.V.M., Maria Talantova, M.D., Ph.D., and other colleagues at Sanford-Burnham and Stanford University -- transplanted human stem cell-derived neurons into a rodent hippocampus, the brain's information-processing center. Then they specifically activated the transplanted neurons with optogenetic stimulation, a relatively new technique that combines light and genetics to precisely control cellular behavior in living tissues or animals.
To determine if the newly transplanted, light-stimulated human neurons were actually working, Lipton and his team measured high-frequency oscillations in existing neurons at a distance from the transplanted ones. They found that the transplanted neurons triggered the existing neurons to fire high-frequency oscillations. Faster neuronal oscillations are usually better -- they're associated with enhanced performance in sensory-motor and cognitive tasks.
To sum it up, the transplanted human neurons not only conducted electrical impulses, they also roused neighboring neuronal networks into firing -- at roughly the same rate they would in a normal, functioning hippocampus.
The therapeutic outlook for this technology looks promising. "Based on these results, we might be able to restore brain activity -- and thus restore motor and cognitive function -- by transplanting easily manipulated neuronal cells derived from embryonic stem cells," Lipton said.
|Wax-Filled Nanotech Yarn Behaves Like Powerful, Super-Strong Muscle|
3) Wax-Filled Nanotech Yarn Behaves Like Powerful, Super-Strong Muscle:
New artificial muscles made from nanotech yarns and infused with paraffin wax can lift more than 100,000 times their own weight and generate 85 times more mechanical power than the same size natural muscle, according to scientists at The University of Texas at Dallas and their international team from Australia, China, South Korea, Canada and Brazil.
The artificial muscles are yarns constructed from carbon nanotubes, which are seamless, hollow cylinders made from the same type of graphite layers found in the core of ordinary pencils. Individual nanotubes can be 10,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, yet pound-for-pound, can be 100 times stronger than steel.
"The artificial muscles that we've developed can provide large, ultrafast contractions to lift weights that are 200 times heavier than possible for a natural muscle of the same size," said Dr. Ray Baughman, team leader, Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry and director of the Alan G. MacDiarmid NanoTech Institute at UT Dallas. "While we are excited about near-term applications possibilities, these artificial muscles are presently unsuitable for directly replacing muscles in the human body."
Described in a study published in the Nov. 16 issue of the journal Science, the new artificial muscles are made by infiltrating a volume-changing "guest," such as the paraffin wax used for candles, into twisted yarn made of carbon nanotubes. Heating the wax-filled yarn, either electrically or using a flash of light, causes the wax to expand, the yarn volume to increase, and the yarn length to contract.
The combination of yarn volume increase with yarn length decrease results from the helical structure produced by twisting the yarn. A child's finger cuff toy, which is designed to trap a person's fingers in both ends of a helically woven cylinder, has an analogous action. To escape, one must push the fingers together, which contracts the tube's length and expands its volume and diameter.
"Because of their simplicity and high performance, these yarn muscles could be used for such diverse applications as robots, catheters for minimally invasive surgery, micromotors, mixers for microfluidic circuits, tunable optical systems, microvalves, positioners and even toys," Baughman said.
Muscle contraction -- also called actuation -- can be ultrafast, occurring in 25-thousandths of a second. Including times for both actuation and reversal of actuation, the researchers demonstrated a contractile power density of 4.2 kW/kg, which is four times the power-to-weight ratio of common internal combustion engines.
To achieve these results, the guest-filled carbon nanotube muscles were highly twisted to produce coiling, as with the coiling of a rubber band of a rubber-band-powered model airplane.
When free to rotate, a wax-filled yarn untwists as it is heated electrically or by a pulse of light. This rotation reverses when heating is stopped and the yarn cools. Such torsional action of the yarn can rotate an attached paddle to an average speed of 11,500 revolutions per minute for more than 2 million reversible cycles. Pound-per-pound, the generated torque is slightly higher than that obtained for large electric motors, Baughman said.
Because the yarn muscles can be twisted together and are able to be woven, sewn, braided and knotted, they might eventually be deployed in a variety of self-powered intelligent materials and textiles. For example, changes in environmental temperature or the presence of chemical agents can change guest volume; such actuation could change textile porosity to provide thermal comfort or chemical protection. Such yarn muscles also might be used to regulate a flow valve in response to detected chemicals, or adjust window blind opening in response to ambient temperature.
Even without the addition of a guest material, the co-authors found that introducing coiling to the nanotube yarn increases tenfold the yarn's thermal expansion coefficient. This thermal expansion coefficient is negative, meaning that the unfilled yarn contracts as it is heated. Heating the yarn in inert atmosphere from room temperature to about 2,500 degrees Celsius provided more than 7 percent contraction when lifting heavy loads, indicating that these muscles can be deployed to temperatures 1,000 C above the melting point of steel, where no other high-work-capacity actuator can survive.
"This greatly amplified thermal expansion for the coiled yarns indicates that they can be used as intelligent materials for temperature regulation between 50 C below zero and 2,500 C," said Dr. Márcio Lima, a research associate in the NanoTech Institute at UT Dallas who was co-lead author of the Science paper with graduate student Na Li of Nankai University and the NanoTech Institute.
"The remarkable performance of our yarn muscle and our present ability to fabricate kilometer-length yarns suggest the feasibility of early commercialization as small actuators comprising centimeter-scale yarn length," Baughman said. "The more difficult challenge is in upscaling our single-yarn actuators to large actuators in which hundreds or thousands of individual yarn muscles operate in parallel."
Other UT Dallas Nanotech Institute researchers involved with the work were research associates Dr. Mônica Jung de Andrade, Dr. Jiyoung Oh and Dr. Dongseok Suh; Dr. Shaoli Fang, associate research professor; Dr. Mikhail Kozlov, research scientist; Carter Haines and Taylor Ware, graduate students in materials science and engineering; and Dr. Walter Voit, assistant professor of materials science and engineering.
Additional collaborators are from four continents: Dr. Geoffrey M. Spinks and Dr. Javad Foroughi at the University of Wollongong in Australia; Dr. Min Kyoon Shin and Dr. Seon Jeong Kim at Hanyang University in South Korea; Dr. Yongsheng Chen at Nankai University in China; Dr. John D. W. Madden at the University of British Columbia in Canada; Leonardo D. Machado and Douglas S. Galvão at the State University of Campinas in Brazil; and Alexandre F. Fonseca at Sao Paulo State University in Brazil.
This research was principally funded by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, with additional funding from the Office of Naval Research, the Robert A. Welch Foundation, the Creative Research Initiative Center for Bio-Artificial Muscle, the Korea-U.S. Air Force Cooperation Program, the Australian Research Council, and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada.
|At Least One-Third of Marine Species Remain Undescribed|
4) At Least One-Third of Marine Species Remain Undescribed:
At least one-third of the species that inhabit the world's oceans may remain completely unknown to science. That's despite the fact that more species have been described in the last decade than in any previous one, according to a report published online on November 15 in the Cell Press publication Current Biology that details the first comprehensive register of marine species of the world -- a massive collaborative undertaking by hundreds of experts around the globe.
The researchers estimate that the ocean may be home to as many as one million species in all -- likely not more. About 226,000 of those species have so far been described. There are another 65,000 species awaiting description in specimen collections.
"For the first time, we can provide a very detailed overview of species richness, partitioned among all major marine groups. It is the state of the art of what we know -- and perhaps do not know -- about life in the ocean," says Ward Appeltans of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO.
The findings provide a reference point for conservation efforts and estimates of extinction rates, the researchers say. They expect that the vast majority of unknown species -- composed disproportionately of smaller crustaceans, molluscs, worms, and sponges -- will be found this century.
Earlier estimates of ocean diversity had relied on expert polls based on extrapolations from past rates of species descriptions and other measures. Those estimates varied widely, suffering because there was no global catalog of marine species.
Appeltans and colleagues including Mark Costello from the University of Auckland have now built such an inventory. The World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) is an open-access, online database (see http://www.marinespecies.org/) created by 270 experts representing 146 institutions and 32 countries. It is now 95% complete and is continually being updated as new species are discovered.
"Building this was not as simple as it should be, because there has not been any formal way to register species," Costello says.
A particular problem is the occurrence of multiple descriptions and names for the same species -- so called "synonyms," Costello says. For instance, each whale or dolphin has on average 14 different scientific names.
As those synonyms are discovered through careful examination of records and specimens, the researchers expect perhaps 40,000 "species" to be struck from the list. But such losses will probably be made up as DNA evidence reveals overlooked "cryptic" species.
While fewer species live in the ocean than on land, marine life represents much older evolutionary lineages that are fundamental to our understanding of life on Earth, Appeltans says. And, in some sense, WoRMS is only the start.
"This database provides an example of how other biologists could similarly collaborate to collectively produce an inventory of all life on Earth," Appeltans says.
|Scientists Discover Ways to Optimize Light Sources for Vision: Tuning Lighting Devices Could Save Billions|
5) Scientists Discover Ways to Optimize Light Sources for Vision: Tuning Lighting Devices Could Save Billions:
Vision researchers at Barrow Neurological Institute have made a groundbreaking discovery into the optimization of light sources to human vision. By tuning lighting devices to work more efficiently with the human brain, the researchers believe billions of dollars in energy costs could be saved.
The research was conducted by Stephen Macknik, PhD, of Barrow's Laboratory of Behavioral Neurophysiology, and Susana Martinez-Conde, PhD, of Barrow's Laboratory of Visual Neuroscience. The study is published Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The paper is believed to be the first attempt to tune light-emitting devices to the optimal temporal dynamics of the human visual system.
The discovery concerns the way humans perceive temporal modulations of light. For example, most light-emitting devices, such as light bulbs, video monitors and televisions, flicker. Faster flicker rates result in reduced perception of flicker, which is more comfortable to viewers. In studying this phenomenon in the brain, the researchers discovered that there is a range of flicker dynamics of light that optimizes the perceived brightness of the light without increasing power.
"We found a temporal sweet spot in visual perception that can be exploited to obtain significant savings by redesigning light emitting devices to flicker with optimal dynamics to activate visual system neurons in the human brain," says Dr. Macknik.
The researchers estimate that if every light-emitting device in the U.S. -- from light bulbs to cell phones -- operated at optimal efficiency for the human visual system, it could result in billions of dollars of savings in electricity and power.
To come to their conclusion, the researchers conducted experiments into two contradictory theories of temporal visual perception, or how bright a light appears. Bloch's Law states that the perceived contrast of a visual stimulus increases with its duration, but eventually plateaus at approximately 100 milliseconds. For example, a 5-millisecond flash will appear half as bright as a 10-millisecond flash, but a 200-millisecond flash will be just as bright as one of 400 milliseconds. The Broca-Sulzer Effect, on the other hand, states that perceived contrast increases with duration initially, but then peaks and falls again.
The researchers discovered that the discrepancy between Bloch's Law and the Broca-Sulzer Effect is caused by an intrinsic bias among experiment subjects, leading to dramatically skewed data. By improving their experimental design to overcome this bias, something that has never been before reported or intentionally controlled for, the results demonstrated that temporal vision actually follows the Broca-Sulzer Effect.
"Researchers have been studying temporal vision for more than 125 years, but because ours is the first experiment of its kind to control for all known forms of criteria, it is the first to accurately measure the role of temporal dynamics in brightness perception," says Dr. Macknik. "Thus, the power savings are ripe for the picking because we can adjust our lighting to flicker to take advantage of this peak in perception."
|3D Picture of Subhaditya Political News|
Political News of This Week:
|Farmers’ protest turns aggressive in Maharashtra|
1) Farmers’ protest turns aggressive in Maharashtra:
Seeking better prices for sugarcane, agitating farmers in the state of Maharashtra went on a protest on Wednesday in which the farmers and police had a scuffle with each other that sent shock waves all through Kolhapur, Satara and Sangli districts.
The protesting farmers set a police jeep on fire and also damaged several state-run buses. Police had to lathi-charge to disperse the protesters and also opened fire to restrict the irate mobs in which a farmer was injured after he was hit on the leg in the clash. Earlier on Monday, a farmer was reportedly dead after the police opened fire to contain the agitating protesters said the police.
According to the farmers, they are making a demand of Rs 3,000 for one ton of sugarcane instead of Rs 2,300 which they claim to be too less. The owners of the factory who are said to be the most powerful politicians from the ruling Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), however are not accepting the demand of the farmers.
The protest turned aggressive following the arrest of the Independent MP Raju Shetty, under whom the agitation has been led. Mr Shetty was lodged in the Yerawad central jail in Pune after his refusal to apply for a bail.
In the meantime, activist-turned-politician Arvind Kejriwal, took a chance using the hot-tempered opportunity by pulling himself into the matter accusing the government of Maharashtra by saying that the farmers’ interests have been ignored as most of the owners of the sugar factory are very close to the ruling party in the state.
Extending his support, social activist Anna Hazare also condemned the act of police firing on the agitating farmers and criticized the state government for being cruel to the farming community.
|Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping (R) and Vice-Premier Li Keqiang at the 18th Communist Party Congress in Beijing on Wednesday.|
2) Meeting Chinese aspirations:
The Chinese Communist Party on Thursday selected China's new leadership headed by Mr. Xi Jinping. He will lead not only the party as general secretary of the party's Central Committee but also the military as chairman of the party's Central Military Commission. He is expected to be elected China's president, with Mr. Li Keqiang as premier, in March during a session of the National People's Congress.
Mr. Xi inherits the country from his predecessor, Mr. Hu Jintao, when it is at a crossroads. Although it is now the world's No. 2 economy, it is suffering from a great rich-poor gap, serious environmental disruption, widespread corruption and ethnic problems.
There were times that China's economy enjoyed two-digit growth. But this year it is expected to grow only 7.8 percent.
|Mr. Xi Jinping|
"The Scientific Outlook on Development," the party's new "theoretical guidance," which is the legacy of the outgoing Mr. Hu and is aimed at achieving sustainable and balanced growth, sums up what the new Chinese leadership must accomplish.
It is an enormous task for the leadership of a country with a population of 1.34 billion. To prove his quality as leader, Mr. Xi needs to develop a concrete mechanism to address and lessen people's grievances and complaints.
|Amitabh Bachchan is the biggest crowdpuller at Kolkata film festival|
3) Amitabh Bachchan is the biggest crowdpuller at Kolkata film festival :
Megastar Amitabh Bachchan, who had mesmerised Kolkatans with his Bengali at the inauguration of the Kolkata International Film Festival (KIFF) last week, continues to be its biggest crowd puller. A selected bouquet of seven of his most memorable films are being screened at the eight-day festival which ends on Saturday.Officials said all the shows are going houseful with tickets being sold out days in advance. 26-year-old techie Goutam Basak, who stood in a queue at the state-run auditorium Nandan to buy tickets of the Yash Chopra directed 1975 classic film 'Deewar' said it is probably the only time he will get to watch his favourite film on the big screen.
"The new releases can be seen in theatres but not the old ones. This was a golden opportunity for me to watch it on the big screen rather than on DVD," he said.
Right from the 1969 film 'Saat Hindustani', one of Bachchan's earliest films, to more recent hits like 'Black' and 'Chini Kum', are being shown. Others include Hrishikesh Mukherjee directed 'Abhimaan' and Sudhendu Roy's 1973 film 'Saudagar'.
Fondly called 'Babu Moshai', as his character was called by Rajesh Khanna in 'Anand', Bachchan had struck a chord with the city while inaugurating KIFF last Saturday.He had begun his speech by saying "Ami Banglay bolchi asa kori apni bhujte parben (I am speaking in Bengali. Hope you will understand)" amidst loud applause.To break vested interests, he needs to establish the rule of law, strengthen democratic processes and introduce a system to monitor and restrain state power and the behavior of officials.
He may face difficulty in his reform efforts because the majority of the all-powerful, seven-member Politburo Standing Committee is believed to be under the influence of former Chinese President Jiang Zemin, a leader of the old guard.
Mr. Xi enumerated the issues that he must tackle when he said, "Our people have an ardent love of life. They wish to have better education, more stable jobs, more income, greater social security, better medical and health care, improved housing conditions and a better environment." His worth as leader will be measured by whether he can meet these aspirations of the people.
In the international community, China's rapid military buildup and its hardline policy aimed at protecting its maritime interests are causing worries among neighboring countries. If China is obsessed with pushing this line of policy, it will lose trustworthiness in the international community. Mr. Xi should pursue the establishment of cooperative relations with other countries.
He said, "In modern times ... China has endured untold hardships and sufferings, and its very survival has hung in the balance ... Our responsibility now is to rally and lead the entire Party and the people of all ethnic groups in China in taking over the relay baton passed on to us by history."
He may be hinting that he will take a hardline stance toward Japan over the issue of Senkaku Islands sovereignty. It must be remembered that taking an anti-Japan attitude is a sure way to secure one's legitimacy in Chinese politics.
Japan should make serious efforts to develop channels of communication with China at various levels and consider imaginative ways to resolve the current diplomatic crisis with China while maintaining a resolute attitude.
|Mamata Banerjee omnipresent at Kolkata film fest|
Mamata Banerjee omnipresent at Kolkata film fest:
Notwithstanding the presence of Bollywood stars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan that pervaded the 18th Kolkata Film Festival inauguration here Saturday, it was West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who was the real master of ceremonies.When chief guest Amitabh Bachchan was invited to take his seat on the dais first, Banerjee gestured to the compere to call out the names of all the VIPS from the Hindi and Bengali film industries so that they could take their place on the stage together.
Seeing some veterans from the Bengali film industry having problems in climbing the stairs to the dias, she lent them a helping hand.
She felicitated all the guests on the stage one by one, wrapping scarves around them and handing out bouquets.When the time came for the formal inauguration by lighting the ceremonial lamp, she requested Bachchan to do the needful. After Bachchan lit the lamp, Banerjee passed it to Shah Rukh Khan. Always careful about the sentiments of the Bengali film veterans, she helped them be a part of the lighting ceremony.
During his speech, Bollywood actor Mithun Chakraborty said that Banerjee had virtually "hijacked" him to the festival. "She threatened to spoil all my work in Mumbai if I don`t make it to the festival," he mused.
Shah Rukh Khan, who is West Bengal`s brand ambassador at Banerjee`s prodding, was all praise."Everytime I come here all I want to see is Mamata di running around energetically. With her energy and enthusiasm she always gets things moving. I don`t know if I should say this but she packs a big punch in a little package," he said.Earlier in the day, Shah Rukh Khan had expressed admiration for the leader at a promotional."It is highly commendable the way she leads. Im a big fan of hers," he had said."She is a firebrand leader, she takes a lot of initiative in doing things. That is her leadership style. In our country for a lady it is doubly difficult to be so outgoing," he said.Speaking in a mix of Bengali and English, the chief minister talked about how she had almost fought with director Goutam Ghosh to force him to cancel all engagements away from the city.
She announced that over 2,000 foreign delegates have come for the fest.Banerjee said that her government was interested to set up three film cities to give more support to Bengali films. Concluding her speech, she packaged Bengal as an investment destination."Bengal has the potential. Bengal can be the destination for world cinema. I invite invite national and international film personalities to invest in Bengal," she said.
|EC orders probe into Swamy's charges against Rahul|
4) EC orders probe into Swamy's charges against Rahul:
The Election Commission has asked the returning officer of Amethi Lok Sabha constituency to probe allegations by Subramanian Swamy that Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi gave "wrong information" regarding his assets while filing nomination papers in the 2009 polls.
In a letter to the chief electoral officer on November 15, the EC said Swamy has alleged that Gandhi had given "wrong information" relating to his assets and cited a June 2004 letter, which said the returning officer is the competent authority to look into such complaints.
"Since the affidavit is filed before the returning officer, in view of the provisions of Section 195 of CrPC, it is the returning officer concerned, who is the competent authority to consider any complaint regarding false statement in the affidavit...," the EC letter said.
The letter written by Principal Secretary RK Srivastava also said if the returning officer is satisfied that the affidavit contained false statement, he can take appropriate follow up action.
The EC directed the CEO to forward Swamy's complaint to the returning officer for appropriate action. "The Commission may be kept informed of the action taken in the matter," the letter said. Swamy had earlier this month alleged that Gandhi did not show shares owned by him in Associated Journals, which ran the now-defunct National Herald newspaper in the affidavit he filed during Lok Sabha elections in 2009.
|Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray passes away|
5) Shiv Sena Supremo Bal Thackeray passes away:
Bal Thackeray (86), founder of the Shiv Sena passed away at his residence Matoshree in suburban Bandra on Saturday. After his demise, son Uddhav has been taken ill. Close family members including nephew Raj Thackeray and his wife were by his side.
Bal Thackeray suffered a cardiac arrest and the doctors couldn't revive him. He was declared dead at 3.30 pm.
Bal Thackeray had been critically ill for the last few days and the condition of the 86-year-old Sena patriarch worsened on Wednesday night when he had to be put on life support. He was taken off life support later after showing signs of improvement.
Bal Thackeray had been suffering from lung and pancreatic ailments and had been under the supervision of doctors for the past two weeks. He was admitted to hospital for a week in July following fever, stomach pain and problems.
He is survived by two sons Uddhav and Jaidev and their families. While Uddhav who now runs the Sena, lived with Bal Thackeray, Jaidev moved out several years ago and the father-son shared strained ties. Thackeray's another son Bindumadhav died in an accident 15 years ago. His family also lives in Mumbai.
Raj Thackeray and his family reached Matoshree late Wednesday night, soon followed by top Sena leaders including Manohar Joshi, Leeladhar Dake, Sanjay Raut and Ramdas Kadam. Actor Amitabh Bachchan went to the Thackeray residence around midnight.
Popularly known as the Hindu Hriday Samrat (ruler of Hindu hearts), Thackeray had single handedly created and then transformed the Shiv Sena from a rag tag bunch of street youth in 1966 into a formidable political force which governed the state of Maharashtra for a period
of four years from 1995 to 1999 along with its Hindutva ally the BJP.
Referred by many as the uncrowned King of Mumbai, Thackeray, a cartoonist by profession made space for himself in Maharashtra’s political arena in the 1960s by addressing the concerns of Maharashtrians who increasingly felt marginalized and deprived of the opportunities in the fast developing metropolis of Mumbai.
In the five decades of the Sena’s existence, Thackeray formed an alliance with almost all political parties including the Congress, Socialist and even the Muslim League at various points of time to further his own cause.
Thackeray, however, had an anathema of adorning any constitutional posts and was happy in governing through “remote control.”
The Sena supremo’s darkest political hour was when he was personally indicted by the Srikrishna Commission Report for directing a pogrom of violence against Muslims in Mumbai in December 1992-January 1993.
An astute politician, Thackeray was also well known for being a lover of the good life and had a huge friend circle amongst Mumbai’s filmstars. His penchant for sipping warm beer had now given way to having a glass of red wine suggested by doctors.
In short, Thackeray defied every political stereotype. As it is popularly said you could like him, you could desist him but you could never ignore him.
|Savita Halappanavar, 31|
6) Won't take rushed decision on abortion: Irish PM:
With an Indian dentist's tragic death igniting protests over right to abortion in Ireland, Irish Prime Minister Enda Kenny has said he is awaiting a report by an expert group on the issue but will not be rushed into an immediate decision.
Kenny said his government would go through the report and indicated it will take its own time in arriving at a decision.
Savita Halappanavar, 31, died in an Irish hospital last month after doctors refused to terminate her pregnancy despite telling her that she was miscarrying. Savita died of blood poisoning after spending three days in pain and agony.
The case has prompted protests in Ireland and calls for right to choice, and the PM himself asked to see the report into the investigation in the case.
India summoned the Irish ambassador in New Delhi on Friday to convey its "concern and angst" over the tragic death of Savita and hoped the inquiry instituted into the case would be "independent".
Kenny was quoted as saying by state broadcaster RTE News that the report of an expert group will be before the Cabinet on November 27, and can be discussed by "everyone else" after it is published. He said he will not be rushed on the issue of abortion by pressures from any side, according to RTE.
Earlier, Minister for Health James Reilly also suggested the government will take its own time in arriving at any decision as rushing the issue or coming to wrong conclusions, which could have "disastrous" consequences into the future. He admitted that right to abortion had long divided opinion in the Catholic country, but said his government was determined to deal with it as a sensitive issue.
Amnesty International has written to Reilly over the issue expressing its concern and asking the country to address the gap in law over the issue.
"Successive Irish governments have failed in their duty to provide the necessary clarity on how this right is protected and vindicated, leaving women in Ireland in a very vulnerable position. The government must offer this clarity without further delay," said Colm O'Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International in Ireland.
|3D Picture of Subhaditya Movies News|
Click on Movie Name and Poster To see the trailer of The movie:
Movie Release This Week:
|The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2|
1) The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2:
Brought back from near-death by Edward after childbirth, Bella begins her new life as a vampire and mother to their daughter, Renesmee. When the Volturi are led to believe that Renesmee was not born as a vampire but, rather, turned into one in violation of their code, the Volturi set out to destroy the child and the Cullen clan. The Cullens band together with vampires from around the world to stand united against the Volturi.
|28 Hotel Rooms|
2) 28 Hotel Rooms:
Both traveling for work, in a city in which neither lives, a man and a woman have a one-night stand. Months later, in another city, they run into each other in a hotel restaurant and sleep together a second time. Though she's married and he has a girlfriend, they decide to keep meeting. This begins an unexpected love that slowly evolves into a profound relationship and threatens to impact everything else in their lives.
|Jab Tak Hai Jaan|
3) Jab Tak Hai Jaan:
An ex-army man, leading a double life in London, must choose between his wife and muse.
Yash Chopra's last labour of love was his dream ever since his last outing as a director with Veer-Zaara. His untimely demise three weeks before the release of his last film makes this film even more special for fans of Yash Chopra and now the title "Jab Tak Hai Jaan" (Till my last breath) captures the legend and his passion for cinema. This is Bollywood at its best! The film stars The King of Bollywood - Shah Rukh Khan, Katrina Kaif, and Anushka Sharma. Music is by the Oscar-winning A.R. Rahman and produced by Aditya Chopra
|Son Of Sardar|
4) Son Of Sardar:
Remember Ajay Devgan riding two mobikes in his debut Phool Aur Kaante? He comes riding on two horses here. He believes the world is useless without sardars and all hell breaks lose when his pagri is trampled on. Though clearly aimed at a Sikh audience, the film ends up upholding the familiar cliches about them, especially about being all brawn and little brain.
It’s that old tale of conflict between two families till love brings them together. Thrown in are stunts, chases, absurd humour, bizarre characters and silly lines like the one who leaves India is “Hindustan Lever”. A watch, if loud, mindless gags work for you.
|Juan in a Million|
5) Juan in a Million:
Juan Pablo Garcia woke up a December morning to deliver his application to Harvard. He came home to rest before a night of legendary party and a great summer ahead of him. When he woke up, the entire city was empty.
|3D Picture of Subhaditya Sports News|
Sports News this Week:
|Pragyan Ojha takes five as India force England to follow on|
1) 1st Test: Pragyan Ojha takes five as India force England to follow on:
India forced England to follow on after the visitors folded for 191 with left-arm spinner Pragyan Ojha grabbing his career's fourth five-wicket haul in the first cricket Test here today.
India, who had made a massive 521 for 8 declared yesterday, enforced the follow on and an early tea was taken by the two teams.
Ojha finished with superb figures of 5 for 45 in 22.2 overs and he was supported well by his off-spin partner R Ashwin who was more expensive by giving away 80 runs in 27 overs while bagging three wickets.
The other two wickets fell to medium pacers Umesh Yadav and Zaheer Khan.
England, who started the day at 41 for 3, were pushed to the brink before lunch when they were reduced to 110 for 7. The visitors fought back a bit through Matt Prior (48) and Tim Bresnan (19) before losing all their wickets.
Prior, who faced 100 balls while striking four fours, was the last man out when he stepped out to Ojha and lost his off stump after having kept the Indians at bay in the company of Bresnan with whom he added 47 runs in 71 minutes.
Prior's was the top score of the innings with only captain Alastair Cook (41) being the only other batsman to cross 40 in a pathetic display against the hosts' spin attack.
Prior, who had come to the wicket at the fall of Ian Bell when the total was a miserable 69 before lunch, top-scored for the visitors with positive intent while most others looked clueless.
India's hopes of wrapping up the England first innings quickly after lunch suffered a setback when he and Bresnan defied the hosts for 71 minutes after both survived chances on either side of lunch.
|Wow! As if a hat-trick wasn't enough Ibrahimovic produces something truly stunning to end the match - an opportunistic overhead-kick from 30-yards out which loops perfectly into the net|
2) England left crushed after Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores four for Sweden (4 - 2) :
y the end, Roy Hodgson had given six different players their debuts. Leon Osman, Raheem Sterling and Steven Caulker all began the match while Carl Jenkinson, Ryan Shawcross and Wilfried Zaha were introduced in the second half. They will cherish the memories but, equally, they will be quite grateful if they do not have to come up against Zlatan Ibrahimovic any time soon.
|Then Ibrahimovic scores a long range free-kick to complete his hat-trick and put Sweden 3-2 up|
Has there been a better performance from an opposition striker in an England fixture? Possibly, yet Ibrahimovic has put himself in the record books with this demonstration of spectacular finishing. Sweden's captain, talisman and inspiration seemed determined to do everything he could to upstage everyone on the night of Steven Gerrard's 100th cap and he finished a remarkable performance with all four Sweden goals.
The fourth in particular, an overhead volley from an almost implausible angle and distance, was the kind of rare brilliance that could be associated with only an elite band of footballers. The third was not too shabby either, coming direct from a free-kick over 25 yards, and the first two were other reminders of the man's uncommon ability. England have to be grateful he was not on this form when the sides met in the summer. If he had touched these exhilarating heights, the ordeal at Euro 2012 may have come even more quickly.
Hodgson's team had led 2-1, on course for their first win in Sweden since 1965, after recovering from Ibrahimovic's opener to equalise via Danny Welbeck in the 35th minute, followed shortly afterwards by Caulker becoming the first England player to score on his debut since David Nugent against Andorra in 2007. To think England's supporters could be heard loudly mocking Ibrahimovic at this point as a substandard version of Andy Carroll. The one-man show in the last quarter of an hour should guarantee they never make the same mistake again.
Hodgson, however, was not clutching at straws when he argued there were still plenty of positives. Sterling looked lively, with his enthusiasm to run at Sweden's defenders. Osman was impressive, always wanting the ball and generally doing the right thing with it. Caulker will be better for the experience.
Of all the debutants, Shawcross was the only one who really suffered. England had been leading when he went on the pitch, in direct combat to Ibrahimovic, and the Stoke City defender was at fault for the goal that made it 2-2. It was a bad night for Joe Hart, too, following on from his mistake for Manchester City against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday. One mixup with Gary Cahill presented Mathias Ranegie with a chance to make it 2-0. There was a dropped catch, albeit under pressure from the same player, in the second half, and Ibrahimovic's fourth came from the goalkeeper running out of his penalty area to meet a long ball and not getting enough distance with his headed clearance.
Hodgson admitted afterwards it was "not one of Joe's best nights" though, in fairness, it was still fairly ludicrous that Ibrahimovic could score from such a position, throwing his body at the ball, connecting perfectly and sending the ball into the air, up and down and dropping into the empty goal.
Ibrahimovic's first was another beauty and a lesson, too, for Sterling given that it was he who lost the ball in the buildup. Martin Olsson exchanged passes with Ranegie and sent a low cross into the penalty area. Ibrahimovic's first shot came back off Caulker. The second was an old-fashioned toe-poke that was still rising as it arrowed into the top corner.
England's response was impressive. Welbeck volleyed in at the far post after Ashley Young had broken free on the left wing and eluded Sebastian Larsson. Three minutes later, Gerrard stood over a free-kick on the right wing. The delivery was sumptuous and Caulker slid in at the back post to score from close range.
For a long spell after that, England were pretty comfortable. Tom Cleverley looks increasingly confident at this level, while Gerrard seemed determined to mark his milestone with a good performance. Hodgson will be glad to see Jack Wilshere back in an England shirt, brought on just after an hour, and praised Osman afterwards as one of the team's better performers.
The problem for England was that, among the blitz of second-half substitutes, the Swedish No10 never went up. After 78 minutes Anders Svensson sent a long ball through the middle and Shawcross lost its flight. Ibrahimovic cushioned the ball on his chest and, in one movement, volleyed emphatically past Hart.
His next moment of brilliance came six minutes later, rifling his free-kick into the bottom corner to become the first player to score a hat-trick against England since Marco van Basten in the 1988 European Championship. The highlight arrived in stoppage time. It was a masterclass in finishing, a wonderful way to open Sweden's national stadium, and afterwards Ibrahimovic was asked to consider the fact Gerrard had given his England career a mark of six or seven out of 10. What would the match-winner give himself? "Ten."