|Animated Collage of NewsWeek (47)|
|Collage of News Week(47)|
Science News This Week:
1) Sleep Mechanism Identified That Plays Role in Emotional Memory:
|Sleep Mechanism Identified That Plays Role in Emotional Memory|
Sleep researchers from University of California campuses in Riverside and San Diego have identified the sleep mechanism that enables the brain to consolidate emotional memory and found that a popular prescription sleep aid heightens the recollection of and response to negative memories. Their findings have implications for individuals suffering from insomnia related to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other anxiety disorders who are prescribed zolpidem (Ambien) to help them sleep.
The study -- "Pharmacologically Increasing Sleep Spindles Enhances Recognition for Negative and High-arousal Memories" -- appears in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience.Mednick and UC San Diego psychologists Erik J. Kaestner and John T. Wixted determined that a sleep feature known as sleep spindles -- bursts of brain activity that last for a second or less during a specific stage of sleep -- are important for emotional memory.Research Mednick published earlier this year demonstrated the critical role that sleep spindles play in consolidating information from short-term to long-term memory in the hippocampus, located in the cerebral cortex of the brain. Zolpidem enhanced the process, a discovery that could lead to new sleep therapies to improve memory for aging adults and those with dementia, Alzheimer's and schizophrenia. It was the first study to show that sleep can be manipulated with pharmacology to improve memory."We know that sleep spindles are involved in declarative memory -- explicit information we recall about the world, such as places, people and events, " she explained.But until now, researchers had not considered sleep spindles as playing a role in emotional memory , focusing instead on rapid eye movement (REM) sleep.Using two commonly prescribed sleep aids -- zolpidem and sodium oxybate (Xyrem) -- Mednick, Kaestner and Wixted were able to tease apart the effects of sleep spindles and rapid eye movement (REM) sleep on the recall of emotional memories. They determined that sleep spindles, not REM, affect emotional memory.The researchers gave zolpidem, sodium oxybate (Xyrem) and a placebo to 28 men and women between the ages of 18 and 39 who were normal sleepers, allowing several days between doses to allow the pharmaceuticals to leave their bodies. The participants viewed standardized images known to elicit positive and negative responses for one second before and after taking supervised naps. They recalled more images that had negative or highly arousing content after taking zolpidem, a finding that also suggests that the brain may favor consolidation of negative memories, she said.
"I was surprised by the specificity of the results, that the emotional memory improvement was specifically for the negative and high-arousal memories, and the ramifications of these results for people with anxiety disorders and PTSD," Mednick said. "These are people who already have heightened memory for negative and high-arousal memories. Sleep drugs might be improving their memories for things they don't want to remember."The study may have even broader implications, the researchers said. Clinical guidelines of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense recommend against the routine use of benzodiazepines to treat PTSD, although their use increased among men and women with PTSD between 2003 and 2010. The effects of benzodiazepines on sleep are similar to those of zolpidem.The U.S. Air Force uses zolpidem as one of the prescribed "no-go pills" to help flight crews calm down after taking stimulants to stay awake during long missions, the researchers noted in the study."In light of the present results, it would be worthwhile to investigate whether the administration of benzodiazepine-like drugs may be increasing the retention of highly arousing and negative memories, which would have a countertherapeutic effect," they wrote. "Further research on the relationship between hypnotics and emotional mood disorders would seem to be in order."
2) NASA's Chandra Turns Up Black Hole Bonanza in Galaxy Next Door:
|NASA's Chandra Turns Up Black Hole Bonanza in Galaxy Next Door|
Using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have discovered an unprecedented bonanza of black holes in the Andromeda Galaxy, one of the nearest galaxies to the Milky Way. Using more than 150 Chandra observations, spread over 13 years, researchers identified 26 black hole candidates, the largest number to date, in a galaxy outside our own. Many consider Andromeda to be a sister galaxy to the Milky Way. The two ultimately will collide, several billion years from now."While we are excited to find so many black holes in Andromeda, we think it's just the tip of the iceberg," said Robin Barnard of Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) in Cambridge, Mass., and lead author of a new paper describing these results. "Most black holes won't have close companions and will be invisible to us."The black hole candidates belong to the stellar mass category, meaning they formed in the death throes of very massive stars and typically have masses five to 10 times that of our sun. Astronomers can detect these otherwise invisible objects as material is pulled from a companion star and heated up to produce radiation before it disappears into the black hole.
The first step in identifying these black holes was to make sure they were stellar mass systems in the Andromeda Galaxy itself, rather than supermassive black holes at the hearts of more distant galaxies. To do this, the researchers used a new technique that draws on information about the brightness and variability of the X-ray sources in the Chandra data. In short, the stellar mass systems change much more quickly than the supermassive black holes.To classify those Andromeda systems as black holes, astronomers observed that these X-ray sources had special characteristics: that is, they were brighter than a certain high level of X-rays and also had a particular X-ray color. Sources containing neutron stars, the dense cores of dead stars that would be the alternate explanation for these observations, do not show both of these features simultaneously. But sources containing black holes do.The European Space Agency's XMM-Newton X-ray observatory added crucial support for this work by providing X-ray spectra, the distribution of X-rays with energy, for some of the black hole candidates. The spectra are important information that helps determine the nature of these objects."By observing in snapshots covering more than a dozen years, we are able to build up a uniquely useful view of M31," said co-author Michael Garcia, also of CfA. "The resulting very long exposure allows us to test if individual sources are black holes or neutron stars."
The research group previously identified nine black hole candidates within the region covered by the Chandra data, and the present results increase the total to 35. Eight of these are associated with globular clusters, the ancient concentrations of stars distributed in a spherical pattern about the center of the galaxy. This also differentiates Andromeda from the Milky Way as astronomers have yet to find a similar black hole in one of the Milky Way's globular clusters.
Seven of these black hole candidates are within 1,000 light-years of the Andromeda Galaxy's center. That is more than the number of black hole candidates with similar properties located near the center of our own galaxy. This is not a surprise to astronomers because the bulge of stars in the middle of Andromeda is bigger, allowing more black holes to form."When it comes to finding black holes in the central region of a galaxy, it is indeed the case where bigger is better," said co-author Stephen Murray of Johns Hopkins University and CfA. "In the case of Andromeda we have a bigger bulge and a bigger supermassive black hole than in the Milky Way, so we expect more smaller black holes are made there as well."This new work confirms predictions made earlier in the Chandra mission about the properties of X-ray sources near the center of M31. Earlier research by Rasmus Voss and Marat Gilfanov of the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, used Chandra to show there was an unusually large number of X-ray sources near the center of M31. They predicted most of these extra X-ray sources would contain black holes that had encountered and captured low mass stars. This new detection of seven black hole candidates close to the center of M31 gives strong support to these claims."We are particularly excited to see so many black hole candidates this close to the center, because we expected to see them and have been searching for years," said Barnard.These results will be published in the June 20 issue of The Astrophysical Journal. Many of the Andromeda observations were made within Chandra's Guaranteed Time Observer program.
3) The body electric: Researchers move closer to low-cost, implantable electronics:
|The body electric: Researchers move closer to low-cost, implantable electronics|
New technology under development at The Ohio State University is paving the way for low-cost electronic devices that work in direct contact with living tissue inside the body. The first planned use of the technology is a sensor that will detect the very early stages of organ transplant rejection.
Paul Berger, professor of electrical and computer engineering and physics at Ohio State, explained that one barrier to the development of implantable sensors is that most existing electronics are based on silicon, and electrolytes in the body interfere with the electrical signals in silicon circuits. Other, more exotic semiconductors might work in the body, but they are more expensive and harder to manufacture"Silicon is relatively cheap… it's non-toxic," Berger said. "The challenge is to bridge the gap between the affordable, silicon-based electronics we already know how to build, and the electrochemical systems of the human body."In a paper in the journal Electronics Letters, Berger and his colleagues describe a new, patent-pending coating that that they believe will bridge that gap.
In tests, silicon circuits that had been coated with the technology continued to function, even after 24 hours of immersion in a solution that mimicked typical body chemistry.The project began when Berger talked to researchers in Ohio State's Department of Biomedical Engineering, who wanted to build an insertable sensor to detect the presence of proteins that mark the first signs of organ rejection in the body. They were struggling to make a working protein sensor from gallium nitride.
"We already have sensors that would do a great job at detecting these proteins, but they're made out of silicon. So I wondered if we could come up with a coating that would protect silicon and allow it to function while it directly touched blood, bodily fluids or living tissue," Berger said.In the body, electrolytes such as sodium and potassium control nerves and muscles and maintain hydration. They do this by carrying a positive or negative electric charge that spurs important chemical reactions. But those same charges make the electrolytes attractive to silicon, which will readily absorb them. Once inside, the charges alter the electronic behavior of the silicon so that the readings of a sensor can't be trusted.In the study, Berger's team tested whether electrolytes could be blocked from entering silicon with a layer of aluminum oxide.The researchers submerged the coated test sensors in fluid for up to 24 hours, removed them from the solution, and then ran a voltage across them to see if they were working properly. The tests showed that the oxide coating effectively blocked electrolytes from the solution so the sensors remained fully functional.Once developed, a device using this technology could detect certain proteins that the body produces when it's just beginning to reject a transplanted organ. Doctors would insert a needle into the patient's body near the site of the implanted organ. Silicon sensors on the needle would detect the protein, and doctors would know how to tailor the patient's dosage of anti-rejection drugs based on the sensor readings.The work represents a first step toward fabricating devices that could be implanted in the body long-term, Berger said.Though the current study describes a silicon sensor coated with aluminum oxide, he envisions that other devices could utilize coatings made from other materials such as titanium. Such coatings could even be tailored to boost the performance of sensors or other biomedical devices.In particular, Berger sees a potential use for coated polymer semiconductors that goes beyond sensing chemicals in the body. He suspects that such semiconductors could replace nerves in the body that have been damaged by disease or injury."We could replace a damaged nerve with an artificial neuron and restore functionality immediately, and that's a really exciting possibility," he said.Berger's team is working with Ohio State researchers Tom Rosol, professor of veterinary biosciences, and Phillip Popovich, professor of neuroscience, to explore that possibility.
4) Filmmaking Magic With Polymers:
|Filmmaking Magic With Polymers|
Think about windows coated with transparent film that absorbs harmful ultraviolet sunrays and uses them to generate electricity. Consider a water filtration membrane that blocks viruses and other microorganisms from water, or an electric car battery that incorporates a coating to give it extra long life between charges.
The self-assembled copolymer block film that makes it all possible is now being fabricated with intricately organized nanostructures, giving them multiple functions and flexibility on a macroscale level never before seen.Gurpreet Singh, a Ph.D. candidate in The University of Akron College of Polymer Science and Polymer Engineering, led a team of researchers to devise a method that enables the films to assemble themselves and allows them to serve as templates or directly as end products. The films can be embedded with nanoparticles that enable everything from data storage to water purification.
Breakthrough with many functions
Superimposed with nanopatterns that allow them to be implanted with a variety of functions -- electronic, thermal or chemical -- the films can be produced at an industrial level, which is no small feat in the world of science, says research team member Alamgir Karim, associate dean of research for the college and Goodyear Chair Professor of Polymer Engineering. Other research collaborators include Kevin Yager of Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, N.Y., Brian Berry of the University of Arkansas and Ho-Cheol Kim of the IBM Research Division of Almaden Research Center in San Jose, Calif."We have moved films manufacturing from microns to meter scale, opening pathways from the lab to fabrication," Karim says. "Fundamentally, it allows us to practice nanoscience on a large scale. We can now produce these films quickly and inexpensively, yet with precision and without compromising quality."Created with speed and uniformity, compatible with flexible surfaces, and subjected to temperature extremes, the copolymer thin films -- developed at the National Polymer Innovation Center at UA -- are noted in two recent American Chemical Society Nano journal articles: "Dynamic Thermal Field-Induced Gradient Soft-Shear for Highly Oriented Block Copolymer Thin Films"and "Large-Scale Roll-to-Roll Fabrication of Vertically Oriented Block Copolymer Thin Films."
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the research represents a market-ready revival of a technology developed by Bell Laboratories in the 1950s for metal and semiconductor purification and adapted in the 1980s for polymer crystallization. Since then, the technology remained dormant, until now.
"We revived the technology and made it scalable, opening opportunities for full-scale manufacturing," Karim says, noting that IBM has expressed interest in continuing the research and development of the technology, and is exploring applications ranging from membranes for batteries to high-density magnetic tape storage."The process should be of interest to a broad range of industries -- from high-tech to low-tech -- worldwide," Karim adds. "Manufacturing of these nanostructures can be done on industrial platforms such as UA's roll-to-roll manufacturing (developed by collaborator Distinguished Professor of Polymer Engineering Miko Cakmak) at relatively high speeds not possible previously."
5) Easy and Effective Therapy to Restore Sight: Engineered Virus Will Improve Gene Therapy for Blinding Eye Diseases:
|Easy and Effective Therapy to Restore Sight: Engineered Virus Will Improve Gene Therapy for Blinding Eye Diseases|
Researchers at UC Berkeley have developed an easier and more effective method for inserting genes into eye cells that could greatly expand gene therapy to help restore sight to patients with blinding diseases ranging from inherited defects like retinitis pigmentosa to degenerative illnesses of old age, such as macular degeneration. Unlike current treatments, the new procedure is quick and surgically non-invasive, and it delivers normal genes to hard-to-reach cells throughout the entire retina.Over the last six years, several groups have successfully treated people with a rare inherited eye disease by injecting a virus with a normal gene directly into the retina of an eye with a defective gene. Despite the invasive process, the virus with the normal gene was not capable of reaching all the retinal cells that needed fixing.
"Sticking a needle through the retina and injecting the engineered virus behind the retina is a risky surgical procedure," said David Schaffer, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering and director of the Berkeley Stem Cell Center at UC Berkeley. "But doctors have no choice, because none of the gene delivery viruses can travel all the way through the back of the eye to reach the photoreceptors -- the light sensitive cells that need the therapeutic gene.
"Building upon 14 years of research, we have now created a virus that you just inject into the liquid vitreous humor inside the eye, and it delivers genes to a very difficult-to-reach population of delicate cells in a way that is surgically non-invasive and safe. "It's a 15-minute procedure, and you can likely go home that day."
The engineered virus works far better than current therapies in rodent models of two human degenerative eye diseases, and can penetrate photoreceptor cells in monkeys' eyes, which are like those of humans.Schaffer said he and his team are now collaborating with physicians to identify the patients most likely to benefit from this gene delivery technique and, after some preclinical development, hope soon to head into clinical trials.Schaffer and John Flannery, UC Berkeley professor of molecular and cell biology and of optometry, along with colleagues from UC Berkeley's Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and the Flaum Eye Institute at the University of Rochester in New York, published the results of their study on June 12 in the journal Science Translational Medicine.
Harnessing a benign virus for gene therapy
Three groups of researchers have successfully restored some sight to more than a dozen people with a rare disease called Leber's congenital amaurosis, which leads to complete loss of vision in early adulthood. They achieved this by inserting a corrective gene into adeno-associated viruses (AAV), and injecting these common but benign respiratory viruses directly into the retina. The photoreceptor cells take up the viruses and incorporate the functional gene into their chromosomes to make a critical protein that the defective gene could not, rescuing the photoreceptors and restoring sight.Unfortunately, the technique cannot be applied to most blinding diseases because the needle often causes retinal detachment, making the situation worse. Yet, the standard AAV used in eye and other types of gene therapy cannot penetrate into tissue to reach the photoreceptors and other cells, such as retinal pigment epithelium, that need to be fixed. The retina is about 100,000 times thicker than the diameter of AAV, which is about 20 nanometers.
Years ago, Schaffer set out to find a way to "evolve" AAV to penetrate tissues, including eye and liver, as a way to deliver genes to specific cells. To date, he has generated 100 million variants of AAV -- each carrying slightly different proteins on its coat -- from which he and his colleagues selected five that were effective in penetrating the retina. They then used the best of these (7m8) to transport genes to cure two types of hereditary blindness for which there are mouse models: X-linked retinoschisis, which strikes only boys and makes their retinas look like Swiss cheese; and Leber's congenital amaurosis. In each case, when injected into the vitreous humor, the AAV delivered the corrective gene to all areas of the retina and restored retinal cells nearly to normal.When injected into the eye of a normal monkey, the viruses penetrated cells spottily across the retina, but almost completely in the very important fine-vision area called the fovea. Current viruses do not penetrate foveal cells at all.Schaffer predicts that the viruses can be used not only to insert genes that restore function to non-working genes, but can knock out genes or halt processes that are actively killing retina cells, which may be the case in age-related macular degeneration."When I first got here 14 years ago, I really had the idea or the goal that I wanted to work on problems that would have direct impact on human health, and we are now getting there," Schaffer said.
Movie Release This Week:
1) Man of Steel:
|Man of Steel|
A young boy learns that he has extraordinary powers and is not of this Earth. As a young man, he journeys to discover where he came from and what he was sent here to do. But the hero in him must emerge if he is to save the world from annihilation and become the symbol of hope for all mankind.
2) The Guillotines:
An elite crime-fighting unit in the court of the Chinese emperor relies on flying swords to defeat their enemies.
3) This Is the End:
|This Is the End|
Follows six friends trapped in a house after a series of strange and catastrophic events devastate Los Angeles. As the world unravels outside, dwindling supplies and cabin fever threaten to tear apart the friendships inside. Eventually, they are forced to leave the house, facing their fate and the true meaning of friendship and redemption.
4) Apostles of Comedy: Onwards and Upwards:
|Apostles of Comedy: Onwards and Upwards|
Restore your faith in laughter with the comedy event of the year.Delivering laughs for the entire family, this hilarious stand-up comedy feature film stars comedy superstars Jeff Allen, Keith Alberstadt and Ron Pearson.Jeff Allen has performed at churches, on TV and radio, for U.S. troops overseas and at corporate functions for three decades. He has starred in the film Thou Shalt Laugh and in comedy specials on Comedy Central, Showtime and VH1. His Happy Wife, Happy Life® message of a marriage gone wrong and redeemed has given laughter and encouragement to millions of people.Keith Alberstadt has been featured on The Late Show with David Letterman, NBC’s Last Comic Standing and was a finalist on CMT’s Next Big Comic. He performs for U.S. troops overseas and is a contributing writer for Saturday Night Live’s Weekend Update, National Lampoon and various online magazines.Ron Pearson has made hundreds of TV appearances doing stand-up on shows like The Late, Late Show, Chelsea Lately and Comedy Central. He starred on the TV series Malcolm & Eddie and has had recurring roles on That 70s Show, The George Lopez Show, The Drew Carey Show, Boston Legal, Norm and Two Guys and a Girl.
5) Storm Surfers 3D:
|Storm Surfers 3D|
Combining cutting-edge 3D technology and bravura filmmaking, Storm Surfers 3D is the ultimate big-wave thrill ride. The film follows best friends and surfing legends Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones, along with surf forecaster Ben Matson, as they track and chase giant storms in their quest to ride the Pacific’s biggest and most dangerous waves. Using state-of-the-art miniature 3D cameras that put audiences inside the barrel of the waves, Storm Surfers 3D is a visually stunning cinematic adventure unlike any other.
Political News This Week:
1) BJP sticks to Modi's elevation but tries to pacify Advani:
|BJP sticks to Modi's elevation but tries to pacify Advani|
The Bharatiya Janata Party is split between LK Advani and Narendra Modi. A day after the National Executive sent out a clear message with the elevation of Narendra Modi, LK Advani quit all posts in the party on Monday. But BJP President Rajnath Singh rejected Advani's resignation and efforts are on since Monday to try and pacify Advani to reconsider his resignation.
"The Parliamentary board has adopted a resolution that Advani's resignation won't be accepted, he will continue to be our guide," BJP President Rajnath Singh said. From hailing Narendra Modi as the new hope to now looking for a face saver, the wheel has turned a full circle for Rajnath Singh and the party he presides over.As the BJP struggled all through Monday to come to terms LK Advani's shocking resignation from all party positions, it seemed to be running out of options. "I have met him, I am hoping he will reconsider, after all he is our father figure," BJP spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
The BJP Parliamentary board is clear that there is no question of reversing Modi's anointment as the campaign panel chief. But despite several rounds of meetings with senior BJP leaders, Advani has so far refused to budge.On Tuesday, the RSS is expected to send its emissaries to persuade Advani. But with no commitment from his own party on either a separate election management panel or a curtailed role for Modi, Advani may well be fighting the last tough battle of his political career.The question now is whether Narendra Modi's elevation in the party has humiliated Advani. Is his resignation being seen as a fight for his own PM ambitions or is it the his last attempt to preserve the ideology of the party?
Senior journalist Swapan Dasgupta said, "Mr Advani anticipating the appointment of a new captain decided to not attend the National Executive, which is very graceless. This is petulance."However, senior journalist Kumar Ketkar said Advani is taking a political fight upfront. "He knows that unless he fights back, the humiliation on him stays, that he was totally sidelined on the decision making even though he has been talking on every issue for the past four months. He has realised he is in minority and he is taking a political fight upfront," Ketkar said.
2) Resign and win another election, BJP dares Nitish Kumar:
|Resign and win another election, BJP dares Nitish Kumar|
Bihar's ruling coalition took another hit today as the BJP told Chief Minister Nitish Kumar to resign and seek a fresh mandate if he decides to break the alliance.BJP minister Chandra Mohan Rai told the media that the 2010 mandate in Bihar was for the Janata Dal United (JDU) and the BJP to govern the state jointly."Nitish Kumar should resign as chief minister because people of the state gave the mandate to the NDA (National Democratic Alliance)," he said. Another BJP leader and MP Hukumdeo Narain Yadav, too, made the same demand. "Nitish Kumar should resign and go for fresh elections (if the alliance breaks)."
The BJP demand came amid mounting tensions in the Bihar coalition following Mr Kumar's objection to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi being projected as the prime ministerial candidate. (At break point, a look at what Nitish has against Narendra Modi) Mr Modi's growing status in the BJP has not helped matters, with the Gujarat leader's supporters in the Bihar unit gunning for Mr Kumar.The war of words is widely expected to lead to the snapping of the 17-year-old alliance.
Earlier today, Deputy Chief Minister and senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi refused to meet Mr Kumar, saying the issue of Mr Modi needed to be taken up with the BJP national leadership. (Read)A source close to the chief minister said Mr Kumar had invited his deputy and Road Construction Minister Nand Kishore Yadav of the BJP to discuss the political situation.Mr Yadav, also the state convenor of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), admitted that he and Sushil Kumar Modi were invited by Mr Kumar for discussions.Till recently, Sushil Kumar Modi was considered not only close to Mr Kumar but was an enthusiastic supporter of the alliance with the JDU. He has now changed his attitude.BJP ministers in Bihar have not attended office in the past two days.
JDU leader and Bihar Education Minister PK Shahi reiterated that the BJP should clear its stand on Narendra Modi, whose party has named him chief of the election campaign committee."It is not possible for JDU to be part of an alliance under the leadership of Narendra Modi," Mr Shahi said after meeting the chief minister.Nitish Kumar had, on Thursday, described the political situation in Bihar as "difficult".All eyes are now on JDU president Shard Yadav, who will arrives in Patna later today and will hold meetings with Mr Kumar and other party leaders.One JDU leader told IANS that the party had decided to snap its alliance with the BJP and that a formal announcement would be made on Sunday.
3) Kanimozhi files nomination for Rajya Sabha polls:
|Kanimozhi files nomination for Rajya Sabha polls|
Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam on Saturday re-nominated sitting MP M Kanimozhi, daughter of party president M Karunanidhi as its candidate for the June 27 Rajya Sabha elections for six seats, hoping to drum up support from other parties to ensure a second term for her.Kanimozhi, one of the accused in the 2G spectrum scam, that surfaced during her maiden term as a Rajya Sabha member, submitted her nomination papers on Saturday.
The term of six Rajya Sabha MPs from Tamil Nadu, including Kanimozhi, ends next month.Party sources said Kanimozhi, accompanied by her brother and former Deputy Chief Minister M K Stalin and senior political leaders, filed her nomination papers today after seeking the blessings of her father. DMK patriarch Karunanidhi had stated on June 13 that the party would consult other political parties on fielding a candidate for the RS polls.The party's decision also comes a day after Union Minister and senior Congress leader Jayanthi Natarajan met Karunanidhi at his residence in Chennai.The party had snapped its ties with UPA over the Sri Lankan Tamils issue in March last.Each candidate needs 34 first preference votes to win in the polls.DMK, with 23 MLAs in the 234 member assembly, has to muster support of other parties to ensure 34 first preference votes for it's candidates victory.Congress has five MLAs.The last date for filing of nominations is June 17. Scrutiny will be on June 18 and the last date for withdrawal is June 20.
4) Britain's future king has Indian heritage, DNA proves:
|Britain's future king has Indian heritage, DNA proves|
Prince William ,second-in-line to the throne, will be first British king with proven Indian ancestry, DNA analysis has revealed. The DNA analysis of saliva samples taken from the Duke of Cambridge's relatives have established a direct lineage between the 30-year-old prince and an Indian housekeeper on his mother Princess Diana's side.It is his only non-European DNA and means he will become the first Head of the Commonwealth with a clear genetic link to its most populous nation - India .William is now likely to be encouraged to make his debut mission to India soon after the birth of his baby next month.Researchers have uncovered the details of his lineage via a doomed relationship of William's Indian great-great-great-great-great grandmother.Eliza Kewark was housekeeper to Prince William's great grandfather Theodore Forbes (1788-1820), a Scottish merchant who worked for the East India Company in the port town of Surat in Gujarat.
Eliza's mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) was passed on by her daughters and granddaughters directly in an unbroken line to Princess Diana and then on to Prince William and Prince Harry .Eliza is claimed to have been Armenian, possibly because her surname is rather like the Armenian name Kevork and letters from her to Forbes have been found which contain Armenian script.This in turn suggests a degree of Armenian cultural heritage and the possibility that her father may have been of Armenian descent."But we believe that all the evidence we have gathered shows that her genetic heritage through her motherline is Indian," Britains DNA, a DNA ancestry testing company, said in a release."Princes William and Harry carry Eliza Kewark's markers but will not pass this Indian mtDNA onto their children, as mtDNA is only passed from mother to child," it added.Jim Wilson, a genetics expert at the University of Edinburgh and BritainsDNA who carried out the tests, said that Eliza's descendants had an incredibly rare type of mtDNA, inherited only from a mother.It has so far been recorded in only 14 other people, 13 Indian and one Nepalese.The revelation explains why the Scottish father of Eliza's children suddenly deserted her and sent their daughter, Katherine, to Britain at the age of 6.
5) Malaysian Indian Congress leader shot at, critical:
|Malaysian Indian Congress leader shot at, critical|
A leader of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) is in critical condition after being shot at by an unknown gunman outside his home in the town of Yong Peng in the Malaysian state of Johor.B. Manikam, who is in his 50s, was chatting with a friend when an unknown gunman fired at him several times around 10 p.m. Thursday, the Malaysian Star reported Saturday.His friend also sustained bullet injuries in his leg.Both men were rushed to the Batu Pahat Hospital where Manikam is reported to be fighting for his life.Police recovered empty bullet slugs from the spot and are investigating whether the incident is business- or politics-related.MIC is one of the three major constituents of Malaysia's ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, the other two being United Malays National Organisation and the Malaysian Chinese Association.
Sports News This Week:
1) India dismiss Pakistan for 165 in Champions Trophy:
|India dismiss Pakistan for 165 in Champions Trophy|
Pakistan tumbled to 165 all out from 39.4 overs in their rain-interrupted Champions Trophy Group B match against India at Edgbaston in Birmingham on Saturday.
The final match in the group was reduced to 40 overs a side after a lengthy rain break.
India, who had already qualified for next week's semi-finals along with South Africa from Group B, were set a victory target of 168 on the Duckworth-Lewis method for rain-affected matches.
Left-armer Ravindra Jadeja, who took seven wickets in India's first two matches of the tournament, captured two for 30 from his eight overs and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took two for 35, also from eight.India enjoyed early success after their captain MS Dhoni had won the toss when Nasir Jamshed (2) was caught at second slip by Suresh Raina pushing forward to a full delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar.Wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, promoted to open in an attempt to bolster the fragile Pakistan top order, and Mohammad Hafeez took the total to 50 from 12 overs before the players went off for a brief rain break.
On their return, Hafeez (27) nibbled at the first ball of the 13th over from Kumar and was caught behind by Dhoni, diving to his right.Akmal followed shortly afterwards for 21 attempting to drive Aswhin. He got an inside edge which flew off Dhoni's left thigh to Virat Kholi at leg-slip.Ashwin was getting significant turn and Dhoni called up a short-leg to add to the pressure when the rain came again and the players left the field for more than 2-1/2 hours with India 70 for three off 19 oversAfter the resumption, Jadeja struck a critical blow by bowling Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq for 22. Misbah had scored 96 not out and 55 in his previous two innings.Shoaib Malik was lbw to Jadeja for 17 and Ashwin bowled Wahab Riaz for a second-ball duck. There were also two run-outs as Pakistan failed to bat out their overs.
2) Rafeal Nadal Beats Novak Djokovic in French Open Semifinals:
|Rafeal Nadal Beats Novak Djokovic in French Open Semifinals|
Rafael Nadal celebrates his victory in the men’s singles semi-final match against Novak Djokovic on day thirteen of the French Open held at Roland Garros on Friday (June 7) in Paris, France.The 27-year-old Spanish tennis star, who is currently ranked number 4, beat the number 1 Novak, whose girlfriend Jelena Ristic supported him from the crown, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, 6-7 (3), 9-7.The French Open is the only major title Novak has yet to win.Rafael will play the winner of the David Ferrer vs Jo-Wilfried Tsonga match this coming Sunday.
3) IPL spot fixing: Bail hearing adjourned to Monday:
|IPL spot fixing: Bail hearing adjourned to Monday|
A court here Saturday deferred to July 17 the hearing on the bail pleas of suspended Rajasthan Royals player Ajit Chandila and five others, arrested in connection with IPL spot fixing scam.Additional Sessions Judge Ajay Kumar Jain adjourned the hearing after he was informed that the senior public prosecutor in the case was not present. The court asked the prosecutor to remain present on Monday, when the bail pleas will be heard.
Besides Chandila, other accused who moved bail pleas are bookies Ramesh Vyas, Ashwani Aggarwal, Deepak Kumar, Sunil Bhatia and ex-Ranji player Baburao Yadav.The Special Cell of Delhi Police, meanwhile, also filed their reply on bail plea of Vyas, saying he should not be granted relief as he was in direct contact with the underworld and was running the syndicate on their behest in south India."Ramesh Vyas, whose arrest in this case had been effected on June 8, and who has been remanded to judicial custody, has disclosed the role played by Ashwani Aggarwal as link between fixers, bookies, hawala operators of India and the syndicate member who are operating from Dubai and Pakistan," it said in its the reply
Vyas was controlling the entire south India network and Ashwani was looking north India operations on behalf of mafia dons Dawood Ibrahim and Chhota Shakeel, it further added.The court Friday directed police to file reply on the bail application of Vyas, who moved the court seeking relief after being sent to judicial custody till June 18.On Friday, police opposed the bail plea of Chandila and others, telling the court that Chandila was a key conspirator in the entire case.
Delhi Police May 16 arrested three Rajasthan Royals players - S. Sreesanth, Chandila and Ankeet Chavan on spot fixing charges. 25 others were subsequently arrested.The other 21 accused including Sreesanth and Chavan have already been granted bail by the court.
4) Lionel Messi scores hat-trick as Argentina beat Brazil 4-3 in New Jersey:
|Lionel Messi scores hat-trick as Argentina beat Brazil 4-3 in New Jersey|
Lionel Messi was delighted his hat-trick contributed to victory over Brazil, insisting the sheen was not taken off by the fact it was a friendly. Messi was the headline act in a wonderful match between the South American giants in New Jersey that saw Messi seal a 4-3 win with a superb third of the night.Romulo, Oscar and Hulk were on target for Brazil, with Federico Fernandez notching the goal that tied the score at 3-3.Speaking afterwards, Messi said: "This kind of triumph make us stronger as a team and group and helps us to grow up even more."Despite being a friendly, it is always nice to defeat Brazil. I'm also very happy with my three goals, it's not common see seven goals in Argentina versus Brazil." Argentina fielded a near full-strength side, while Brazil opted for a younger-looking Olympic-style squad. His side's selection policy clearly found favour with Messi.
"It is very nice to play with huge players like Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain. This result is good for and for for them, for all my team-mates."
Messi also revealed he had swapped shirts with Brazilian ace Neymar."He always spoke well of me," he said. "He is a great player and after the match we exchanged shirts."Argentina boss Alejandro Sabella was pleased by the efforts of his side but understandably by Messi in particular."Fortunately, Messi is Argentinian and we can enjoy him," he said."Messi is an extraordinary player and he has been for a long time. In the national team his recent performances have been good for us and today's game was great."We played against a team who have a great attacking power. It was a very exciting duel for the crowd."Manchester City star Aguero was equally blown away by his strike partner's performance."He does not surprise me anymore. He is the world's best player, no question about it."He won three (FIFA) Ballon d'Or and he is competing for another one. He will be the best player in the world until he retires."
5) French Open 2013: Serena Williams won the women's title with delicacy as well as sheer power:
|French Open 2013: Serena Williams won the women's title with delicacy as well as sheer power|
Where does Serena Williams get her versatility from? In the women’s final on Saturday, Williams beat Maria Sharapova with a performance that offered huge power – most obviously in her 120mph first serves – but also an unexpectedly delicate short game. After the match, Maria Sharapova made reference to Williams’s muscular physique, saying: “I think if I was built like Serena I hope I’d be able to hit a big serve like that, too.” Yet Williams has not always been a powerhouse. As a girl, she was a late developer who had to compete with her taller and stronger sister Venus.
“I was talking to my mum about this, and to Patrick,” said Williams, who not only trains with the experienced French coach Patrick Mouratoglou but has now struck up a relationship with him, too. “He said I had unbelievable hands, great drop shots and angles and slices and he never knew. I said, it was because when I was younger I was so small – I was like the runt. I didn’t have power so I had to learn how to play other ways.
“That also taught me how to be mentally tough because Venus used to win her matches really fast and I would be out there hitting lobs, fighting and grinding. I think at the end, that really developed me as a player, to learn how to win. Then when I did get bigger and stronger, it just helped me, it just helped me to win easier.” What we are seeing now is surely the most complete player ever to compete on the women’s tour. Williams has won 31 matches on the bounce, the longest streak of her career. And that record looks likely to roll on at Wimbledon, where she has not only won five singles titles but last year’s Olympic gold medal.Her weak point in the past has been her focus, which used to ebb and flow from one day to the next. But then, as Mouratoglou pointed out last week, her mindset changed after the year she spent out of the game between the 2010 and 2011 Wimbledon. After surgery on her foot, she suffered a pulmonary embolism that could have ended her career or even her life.
As it happened: Rafael Nadal-The King of Clay reigns supreme against compatriot David Ferrer at French Open:
|Rafael Nadal-The King of Clay reigns supreme against compatriot David Ferrer at French Open:|
This is Nadal's 8th French Open title taking his Grand Slam titles to 12. Rafael Nadal holds a 19-4 record vs David Ferrer this includes 3-1 at majors, 16-1 on clay and 8 straight wins. The last time the duo met was Rome when Nadal won 6-4 4-6 6-2.
Book of This Week :
|engali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America By Vivek Bald (Writer)|
Bengali Harlem and the Lost Histories of South Asian America By Vivek Bald (Writer):
In the final years of the nineteenth century, small groups of Muslim peddlers arrived at Ellis Island every summer, bags heavy with embroidered silks from their home villages in Bengal. The American demand for “Oriental goods” took these migrants on a curious path, from New Jersey’s beach boardwalks into the heart of the segregated South. Two decades later, hundreds of Indian Muslim seamen began jumping ship in New York and Baltimore, escaping the engine rooms of British steamers to find less brutal work onshore. As factory owners sought their labor and anti-Asian immigration laws closed in around them, these men built clandestine networks that stretched from the northeastern waterfront across the industrial Midwest.
The stories of these early working-class migrants vividly contrast with our typical understanding of immigration. Vivek Bald’s meticulous reconstruction reveals a lost history of South Asian sojourning and life-making in the United States. At a time when Asian immigrants were vilified and criminalized, Bengali Muslims quietly became part of some of America’s most iconic neighborhoods of color, from Tremé in New Orleans to Detroit’s Black Bottom, from West Baltimore to Harlem. Many started families with Creole, Puerto Rican, and African American women.
As steel and auto workers in the Midwest, as traders in the South, and as halal hot dog vendors on 125th Street, these immigrants created lives as remarkable as they are unknown. Their stories of ingenuity and intermixture challenge assumptions about assimilation and reveal cross-racial affinities beneath the surface of early twentieth-century America.
Vivek Bald (Writer):
|Vivek Bald (Writer)|
Vivek Bald is Associate Professor of Writing and Digital Media at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the director of three documentary films: Taxi-vala/Auto-biography, Mutiny: Asians Storm British Music, and In Search of Bengali Harlem (forthcoming).