|Animated Collage of NewsWeek (51)|
|Collage Pictures of NewsWeek(51)|
Science News This Week:
1) News in Brief: Killer whales are (at least) two species:
|News in Brief: Killer whales are (at least) two species|
Orca genetics highlights distinctions among groups:
Killer whales come in more varieties than anyone had realized, a new study of the predator’s DNA confirms. The finding could have important implications for marine conservation efforts, such as reducing the number of killer whales allowed to be caught when fishing in certain areas.
Until recently, scientists thought orcas that freely roamed the cold waters of the northern Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea were a single species. But studies of the killer whales’ behavior and genetics suggested that there are at least two species — “resident” fish-eating orcas and “transient” mammal-eaters also known as Bigg’s killer whales (SN: 5/22/10, p. 8).
A new study of 462 killer whales, published July 11 in the Journal of Heredity, supports the division of northern Pacific orcas into two species. DNA analysis also indicates those species aren’t monolithic, Kim Parsons of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and colleagues report. Resident orcas fall into four genetically distinct subpopulations; at least five subgroups of transient killer whales ply the frigid seas.
Those subdivisions largely reflect the prey each group prefers, the researchers say.
2) Gene therapy treats children with rare diseases:
Gene therapy treats children with rare diseases:
Six kids are healthy, up to three years after treatment.
A virus derived from HIV can safely fix broken immune systems and correct genetic diseases, suggest two new studies involving children with rare conditions.
For both studies, researchers put healthy genes into the children’s own DNA using lentiviruses, in this case genetically engineered versions of HIV that can no longer cause disease. Earlier gene therapy trials using different viruses had a flaw: When the viruses plunked themselves into the patient’s DNA, they sometimes amped up activity of neighboring cancer-causing genes, leading to leukemia. That side effect, along with the death of a young man participating in another clinical trial, nearly halted gene therapy in the United States in the early 2000s.
Now, researchers led by Luigi Naldini of the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy in Milan have altered the lentiviruses so that they won’t accidently turn on nearby genes. The researchers then infect bone marrow stem cells with lentiviruses carrying the appropriate gene and transplant the stem cells into patients.
In one study, three boys with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, an inherited disease that disables the immune system, received gene therapy. Now, two to three years after the therapy, the former “bubble boys” have healthy immune systems, Naldini and colleagues report July 11 in Science. The boys also show no signs of developing leukemia — which should help allay concerns about the team’s gene therapy approach, says Todd Rosengart, a surgeon and gene therapy researcher at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
In the second trial, Naldini and his colleagues treated three children with a metabolic disease called metachromatic leukodystrophy. Children with the disease lack an important enzyme. As a result, they gradually become paralyzed and suffer damage to their ability to think, dying within a couple of years. Up to two years after the therapy, the children in the study are still making enough of the enzyme to keep their brain and spinal cord working normally with no sign of leukemia, the researchers report in the same issue of Science.
The results are encouraging, says Uta Griesenbach, a gene therapist at Imperial College London. “Even after fairly long-term follow up, it appears to be safe and effective.” The boys aren’t out of the woods yet — some of the patients in the original gene therapy trials didn’t develop cancer until four years after treatment. But Griesenbach says that the children in the new studies don’t have warning signs of cancer.
Because the lentiviruses appear safe and work so well, scientists may start doing gene therapy for more common conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, says Senlin Li, a medical researcher at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
3) Lionfish Expedition: Down Deep Is Where the Big, Scary Ones Live:
|Lionfish Expedition: Down Deep Is Where the Big, Scary Ones Live:|
Last month, the first expedition to use a deep-diving submersible to study the Atlantic Ocean lionfish invasion found something very disturbing -- at 300 feet deep, there were still significant populations of these predatory fish, and they were big.
Big fish in many species can reproduce much more efficiently than their younger, smaller counterparts, and lionfish are known to travel considerable distances and move to various depths. This raises significant new concerns in the effort to control this invasive species that is devastating native fish populations on the Atlantic Coast and in the Caribbean Sea."We expected some populations of lionfish at that depth, but their numbers and size were a surprise," said Stephanie Green, the David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow in the College of Science at Oregon State University, who participated in the dives. OSU has been one of the early leaders in the study of the lionfish invasion.
"This was kind of an 'Ah hah!' moment," she said. "It was immediately clear that this is a new frontier in the lionfish crisis, and that something is going to have to be done about it. Seeing it up-close really brought home the nature of the problem."OSU participated in this expedition with researchers from a number of other universities, in work supported by Nova Southeastern University, the Guy Harvey Foundation, NOAA, and other agencies. The five-person submersible "Antipodes" was provided by OceanGate, Inc., and it dove about 300 feet deep off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., near the "Bill Boyd" cargo ship that was intentionally sunk there in 1986 to create an artificial reef for marine life.That ship has, in fact, attracted a great deal of marine life, and now, a great number of lionfish. And for that species, they are growing to an unusually large size -- as much as 16 inches.Lionfish are a predatory fish that's native to the Pacific Ocean and were accidentally introduced to Atlantic Ocean waters in the early 1990s, and there became a voracious predator with no natural controls on its population. An OSU study in 2008 showed that lionfish in the Atlantic have been known to reduce native fish populations by up to 80 percent.
Eradication appears impossible, and they threaten everything from coral reef ecosystems to local economies that are based on fishing and tourism.
Whatever is keeping them in check in the Pacific -- and researchers around the world are trying to find out what that is -- is missing here. In the Caribbean, they are found at different depths, in various terrain, are largely ignored by other local predators and parasites, and are rapidly eating their way through entire ecosystems. They will attack many other species and appear to eat constantly.And, unfortunately, the big fish just discovered at greater depths pose that much more of a predatory threat, not to mention appetite."A lionfish will eat almost any fish smaller than it is," Green said. "Regarding the large fish we observed in the submersible dives, a real concern is that they could migrate to shallower depths as well and eat many of the fish there. And the control measures we're using at shallower depths -- catch them and let people eat them -- are not as practical at great depth."Size does more than just increase predation. In many fish species, a large, mature adult can produce far more offspring that small, younger fish. A large, mature female in some species can produce up to 10 times as many offspring as a fish that's able to reproduce, but half the size.Trapping is a possibility for removing fish at greater depth, Green said, and could be especially effective if a method were developed to selectively trap lionfish and not other species. Work on control technologies and cost effectiveness of various approaches will continue at OSU, she said.
When attacking another fish, a lionfish uses its large, fan-like fins to herd smaller fish into a corner and then swallow them in a rapid strike. Because of their natural defense mechanisms they are afraid of almost no other marine life, and will consume dozens of species of the tropical fish and invertebrates that typically congregate in coral reefs and other areas. The venom released by their sharp spines can cause extremely painful stings to humans.
Aside from the rapid and immediate mortality of marine life, the loss of herbivorous fish will also set the stage for seaweed to potentially overwhelm the coral reefs and disrupt the delicate ecological balance in which they exist.This newest threat follows on the heels of overfishing, sediment deposition, nitrate pollution in some areas, coral bleaching caused by global warming, and increasing ocean acidity caused by carbon emissions. Lionfish may be the final straw that breaks the back of Western Atlantic and Caribbean coral reefs, some researchers believe.
4) NASA's OPALS to Beam Data from Space Via Laser:
|NASA's OPALS to Beam Data from Space Via Laser:|
NASA will use the International Space Station to test a new communications technology that could dramatically improve spacecraft communications, enhance commercial missions and strengthen transmission of scientific data.
The Optical Payload for Lasercomm Science (OPALS), an optical technology demonstration experiment, could improve NASA's data rates for communications with future spacecraft by a factor of 10 to 100. OPALS has arrived at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida from the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. It is scheduled to launch to the space station later this year aboard a SpaceX Dragon commercial resupply capsule on the company's Falcon 9 rocket.
"OPALS represents a tangible stepping stone for laser communications, and the International Space Station is a great platform for an experiment like this," said Michael Kokorowski, OPALS project manager at JPL. "Future operational laser communication systems will have the ability to transmit more data from spacecraft down to the ground than they currently do, mitigating a significant bottleneck for scientific investigations and commercial ventures."
OPALS will be mounted on the outside of the International Space Station and communicate with a ground station in Wrightwood, Calif., a mountain town near Los Angeles."It's like aiming a laser pointer continuously for two minutes at a dot the diameter of a human hair from 30 feet away while you're walking," explained OPALS systems engineer Bogdan Oaida of JPL.The OPALS instrument was built at JPL and is slated to fly on the Dragon capsule in late 2013. The mission is expected to run 90 days after installation on the station.The OPALS Project Office is based at JPL, a division of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena.
5) First Full Genome Sequencing for Autism Released:
|First Full Genome Sequencing for Autism Released|
A collaborative formed by Autism Speaks has found full genome sequencing examining the entire DNA code of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their family members to provide the definitive look at the wide ranging genetic variations associated with ASD.
The study published online today in American Journal of Human Genetics, reports on full genome sequencing on 32 unrelated Canadian individuals with autism and their families, participants in the Autism Speaks Autism Genetic Resource Exchange (AGRE). The results include both inherited as well as spontaneous or de novo, genetic alterations found in one half of the affected families sequenced.
This dramatic finding of genetic risk variants associated with clinical manifestation of ASD or accompanying symptoms in 50 percent of the participants tested is promising, as current diagnostic technology has only been able to determine a genetic basis in about 20 percent of individuals with ASD tested. The large proportion of families identified with genetic alterations of concern is in part due to the comprehensive and uniform ability to examine regions of the genome possible with whole genome sequencing missed in other lower resolution genome scanning approaches.
"From diagnosis to treatment to prevention, whole genome sequencing efforts like these hold the potential to fundamentally transform the future of medical care for people with autism," stated Autism Speaks Chief Science Officer and study co-author Dr. Robert Ring.
The study identified genetic variations associated with risk for ASD including de novo, X-linked and other inherited DNA lesions in four genes not previously recognized for ASD; nine genes previously determined to be associated with ASD risk; and eight candidate ASD risk genes. Some families had a combination of genes involved. In addition, risk alterations were found in genes associated with fragile X or related syndromes (CAPRIN1 and AFF2), social-cognitive deficits (VIP), epilepsy (SCN2A and KCNQ2) as well as NRXN1 and CHD7, which causes ASD-associated CHARGE syndrome.
"Whole genome sequencing offers the ultimate tool to advance the understanding of the genetic architecture of autism," added lead author Dr. Stephen Scherer, senior scientist and director of the Centre for Applied Genomics at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and director of the McLaughlin Centre at the University of Toronto. "In the future, results from whole genome sequencing could highlight potential molecular targets for pharmacological intervention, and pave the way for individualized therapy in autism. It will also allow for earlier diagnosis of some forms of autism, particularly among siblings of children with autism where recurrence is approximately 18 per cent."
This $1 million collaboration of Autism Speaks, SickKids, BGI and Duke University piloted Autism Speaks' initiative to generate the world's largest library of sequenced genomes of individuals with ASD announced in late 2011. "As we continue to test more individuals and their family members from the AGRE cohort, we expect to discover and study additional genetic variants associated with autism. This collaboration will accelerate basic and translational research in autism and related developmental disabilities," concluded Autism Speaks Vice President for Scientific Affairs Dr. Andy Shih who oversees the collaboration, "and this collection of sequenced genomes will facilitate new collaborations engaging researchers around the world, and enable public and private entities to pursue pivotal research."
In this pilot effort, a total of 99 individuals were tested, including the 32 individuals with ASD (25 males and seven females) and their two parents, as well as three members of one control family not on the autism spectrum. Using families in the Autism Speaks AGRE collection, this Autism Speaks initiative will ultimately perform whole genome sequencing on more than 2,000 participating families who have two or more children on the autism spectrum. The data from the 10,000 AGRE participants will enable new research in the genomics of ASD, and significantly enhance the science and technology networks of Autism Speaks and its collaborators.
Movie Release This Week:
1) Pacific Rim:
When legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity's resources for years on end. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers, which are controlled simultaneously by two pilots whose minds are locked in a neural bridge. But even the Jaegers are proving nearly defenseless in the face of the relentless Kaiju. On the verge of defeat, the forces defending mankind have no choice but to turn to two unlikely heroes—a washed up former pilot (Charlie Hunnam) and an untested trainee (Rinko Kikuchi)—who are teamed to drive a legendary but seemingly obsolete Jaeger from the past. Together, they stand as mankind's last hope against the mounting apocalypse.
2) The Hunt:
The Hunt is a disturbing depiction of how a lie becomes the truth when gossip, doubt and malice are allowed to flourish and ignite a witch-hunt that soon threatens to destroy an innocent man’s life.
Mads Mikkelsen plays Lucas, a highly-regarded school teacher who has been forced to start over having overcome a tough divorce. Just as things are starting to go his way, his life is shattered. An untruthful remark throws the small community into a collective state of hysteria. The lie is spreading and Lucas is forced to fight a lonely fight for his life and dignity.
3) The Hot Flashes:
|The Hot Flashes|
An unlikely basketball team of unappreciated middle-aged Texas women, all former high school champs, challenge the current arrogant high school girls' state champs to a series of games to raise money for breast cancer prevention. Sparks fly as these marginalized women go to comic extremes to prove themselves on and off the court, and become a national media sensation.
4) Coffee Town :
Produced by CollegeHumor, Coffee Town is the first workplace comedy for the generation that increasingly doesn't work out of a traditional office. When a 30-something website manager who uses a local café as his office learns of plans to convert the space into a bar, he enlists the help of his two best friends to help save his freeloading existence.
When a freak hurricane swamps Los Angeles, thousands of sharks terrorize the waterlogged populace. And when the high-speed winds form tornadoes in the desert, nature’s deadliest killer rules water, land, and air.
6) Bhaag Milkha Bhaag:
|Bhaag Milkha Bhaag|
Bhaag Milkha Bhaag is an Indian biographical sports film based on the life of "Flying Sikh" Milkha Singh an Indian athlete who was a world champion runner and an Olympian.
Political News This Week:
1) 30 percent Indian lawmakers have criminal cases against them:
|30 percent Indian lawmakers have criminal cases against them|
In a landmark verdict, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a convicted elected representative cannot continue in office. However, an analysis of affidavits declared by MPs and legislators shows that around 30 percent of 4,807 lawmakers have criminal cases against them, said a think-tank.
The Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch (NEW), in an analysis of the affidavits provided by candidates to the Election Commission of India before contesting an election, also found that 14 percent of the current MPs and legislators have "serious criminal cases" against them.
According to analysis of data, 162 or 30 percent of the 543 Lok Sabha MPs have declared criminal cases against themselves, while 14 percent of the Lok Sabha MPs have declared serious criminal cases against themselves, said the think-tank in a statement here.
|30 percent Indian lawmakers have criminal cases against them|
It said 1,258 - or 31 percent - of the 4,032 sitting legislators from all state assemblies have declared criminal cases, while 15 percent of the current legislators from all state assemblies have declared serious criminal cases against themselves.The Jharkhand 2009 assembly has the highest percentage of elected representatives, 74 percent, who had declared criminal cases against themselves.
The Bihar 2010 assembly has 58 percent legislators with criminal cases, while the Uttar Pradesh 2012 assembly has 47 percent.None of the legislators of the Manipur 2012 assembly have declared criminal cases against themselves.Among parties, the Jharkhand Mukti Morcha has the highest number of lawmakers - 82 percent of MPs and legislators - who have declared criminal cases against themselves. The Rashtriya Janata Dal follows with 64 percent, and the Samajwadi Party with 48 percent.The Bharatiya Janata Party follows with 31 percent of MPs and legislators with criminal cases against them, while the Congress follows with 21 percent. Elaborating the numbers, it says of the 1,017 MPs and legislators from the BJP, 313 have declared criminal cases against themselves, while of the 1,433 elected representatives from the Indian National Congress, 305 have criminal cases against themselves, the statement said.
2) Rain fury claims six more lives in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand:
|Rain fury claims six more lives in flood-ravaged Uttarakhand|
Rain fury continued in Uttarakhand where six persons were on Thursday killed in a landslide in Nainital district even as a lake formed by a melting glacier near the Himalayan shrine of Badrinath prompted the Chamoli district administration to sound an alert.
Five persons were killed in a landslide triggered by heavy overnight rains in Lohardhunga village near Bhimtal in Nainital district at about 3.30 AM, the district information officer said. Senior officials have rushed to the spot to supervise rescue operations, he said, adding, details are awaited.
Meanwhile, a lake formed after melting of glaciers at Satopanth in Chamoli district posed danger to the rain-ravaged areas of Badrinath, Joshimath and Karnaprayag, prompting the district administration to issue an alert. "We have issued an alert following instructions to his effect from the state Disaster Management and Mitigation department," Chamoli District Magistrate S A Murugesan said.
The lake which has formed after melting of glaciers at Satopanth, about 30 km from Badrinath can pose danger to the adjoining areas including the shrine, Joshimath and Karnaprayag, he said. With the administration still grappling with the aftermath of the colossal tragedy that hit the state recently, nothing can be left to chance, he said.However, with the weather largely clear in Chamoli, Uttarakashi and Rudraprayag districts air relief operations continued unobstructed in the affected areas, officials in Dehradun said.
3) West Bengal panchayat elections: Sporadic violence reported:
|West Bengal panchayat elections: Sporadic violence reported|
Sporadic violence and booth capturing were reported from the three districts of West Midnapore, Purulia and Bankura during the first phase of panchayat elections in West Bengal on Thursday. Both the Congress and CPM have also alleged that Central forces were not used in many areas and the ruling Trinamool Congress took advantage of this and captured hundreds of booths. A Congress worker Dipankar Ghosh was shot at with arrows at Sabong in West Midnapore district. Ghosh is now undergoing treatment at a government hospital here. State election commission secretary Tapas Roy told reporters, "We have received reports of sporadic violence and scuffles in some places, specially Sabong."
CM Mamata Banerjee told reporters at Writers' Buildings that "polling has been peaceful in Jangalmahal and it is our great achievement." Both the state election commission and state government had taken adequate security arrangements for holding the polls in Jangalmahal due to threats from the Maoists who had also given a call for boycotting of elections. But the electors ignored the Maoist and cast their ballots freely. The presence of ultras during the polling hours on Thursday was hardly felt. Over 150 companies of central force and 35,000 state armed police personnel were deployed to ensure a free and fair elections.
According to state election commission, 63% of votes were polled in West Midnapore district till 5 pm and polling in Bankura and Purulia was 51% and 59%, respectively. The polling percentage would have gone up as thousands of voters were still in the queue at different booths after the closure of polling hour at 5 pm.
Eleven persons were injured at Sabong in West Midnapore as Congress and TMC workers clashed. Among the injured was a TMC gram panchayat candidate. The opposition leader and CPM politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra also had an altercation with TMC workers at Khakurda. CPIM state secretary Biman Bose and state Congress leader Abdul Mannan have made similar complaints regarding Thursday's elections.
Govt says ‘terror' attack after blasts at Mahabodhi Temple:
|Govt says ‘terror' attack after blasts at Mahabodhi Temple|
A series of explosions in and around Buddhism's holiest shrine in Bihar injured two persons early on Sunday, in what the government described as a “terror” attack. The Mahabodhi Temple complex is located in Bodh Gaya, the place where the Buddha is believed to have attained enlightenment.
“It is a terror attack ... no outfit has claimed credit for these attacks,” junior home minister RPN Singh told reporters.Prime Minister Manmohan Singh condemned the blasts and said such attacks on religious places “will never be tolerated”.The explosions, which occurred between 5:30 am and 6 am, injured two persons, Bihar police chief Abhayanand told reporters in Patna.Four blasts occurred inside the Mahabodhi Temple premises, three blasts at Tergar monastery and another near the famous 80-foot Buddha statue, Union Home Secretary Anil Goswami said, adding a team from the National Investigation Agency (NIA) will probe the explosions.
One blast occurred where a tourist bus was standing, Home Minister Sushil Shinde informed reporters.An eyewitness monk told a TV channel he heard explosions near the Bodhi tree, a sacred fig near the Mahabodhi Temple which is said to be a descendent of the one Buddha sat under for three days and nights in the sixth century BC, before finding enlightenment.“The place where we offer butter lamps, there was one explosion there. The incident occurred behind the Bodhi Tree,” he said
Narendra Modi condemns terror attack on Mahabodhi temple:
|Narendra Modi condemns terror attack on Mahabodhi temple|
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi condemned the terror attack on Mahabodhi temple in in Bihar's Bodh Gaya district.
"Cowardly attack on Mahabodhi Temple is a matter of great sadness for the people of India and the Buddhist community around the world," Modi wrote on micro-blogging site Twitter.Nine serial explosions rocked the internationally renowned temple town of Bodh Gaya, including four in the Mahabodhi Temple complex, injuring two monks in the blasts.
The Mahabodhi Temple is frequented by Buddhist pilgrims from Sri Lanka, China and Japan and the whole of southeast Asia. A total of 52 countries have established their monasteries here.
4) Mahabodhi blasts: Role of Naxals, Rohingyas being probed:
|Mahabodhi blasts: Role of Naxals, Rohingyas being probed|
Groping in dark over the Mahabodhi temple serial blasts, security agencies have now started looking into the role right wing extremists, Maoists, Rohingya Muslims besides Indian Mujahideen in the incident.
A senior Home ministry official said the sleuths were probing every aspect related to the blast and the role of every outfit which includes right wing, left wing besides Indian Mujahideen and Rohingyas is being looked into.The official said the IED planted at the highest seat of Buddhism was manufactured in most crude form and timers were set barely one hour before triggering the explosions.Agencies suspect the terror module involved in Bodhgaya temple blasts in Bihar could be a new one, as the unexploded IEDs don’t have signatures of bombs that were used in previous terror strikes across the country.Sources in National Investigation Agency said a preliminary analysis of three unexploded IEDs recovered from Mahabodhi temple do not match with the IEDs used so far for terror strikes in the country.In an attempt to nail the terrorists, NIA matches the style of making IEDs with the previous blasts to identify the module which could have executed the act.
The sources said IEDs used in Mahabodhi temple blasts did not match any previous blasts, which indicates that a new module could have been involved in the incident.However, they said it is a very preliminary inference drawn by the investigators and further probe would clarify the picture.Meanwhile, NIA has registered a case in connection with Sunday's serial bomb blasts at Mahabodhi temple in the historic city of Bodh Gaya which had injured two monks.
5) Mumbai slows down as rains hit road, rail traffic:
|Mumbai slows down as rains hit road, rail traffic|
Heavy rains continued to lash Mumbai and other parts of Maharashtra for the second consecutive day on Friday, disrupting normal life. Road and rail traffic has been hit in the city. Trains on both the western and central railway are running late by 30 minutes. Water logging is reported from low-lying areas in Dadar, Parel in central Mumbai, Andheri, Kandivali and Borivali in the western suburbs and Thane in the central suburbs. There were traffic snarls on the Western Express Highway and the Eastern Express Highway. In the neighbouring Thane district, railway tracks were flooded at Nalla Sopara, Mumbra, Thane, Diva and other places, leading to train delays on all the routes.
6) Legendary actor Pran dies at 93:
|Legendary actor Pran dies at 93|
Pran, one of Bollywood's most respected actors, died in Mumbai's Lilavati Hospital today. He was 93 and had been admitted to hospital a month ago.
"He died after a spell of prolonged illness," his daughter Pinky told news agency PTI. "He was not keeping well, he was very weak. His health was deteriorating," she added.Pran received the Dadasaheb Phalke Award this year in May. He was unable to travel to Delhi to receive the award at the presentation ceremony because of ill health. He was given the award at his home in Mumbai the next day.
Pran, star of films such as Zanjeer and Amar Akbar Anthony, began his career as a hero in Punjabi films, made a tremendous impact on Bollywood as the villain in Dilip Kumar's Ram Aur Shyam and was the first actor to break stereotype by playing character roles as well. In the '70s, there was almost no major film that did not feature Pran and he was often higher paid than the hero. Pran was credited with making the role of the villain as important as the hero's, and was known for his sophistication and style on screen. (Read: Pran, Bollywood's 'black gold')
Pran was also credited with helping actor Amitabh Bachchan get his biggest break - Zanjeer, which marked the rise of the Angry Young Man and made Amitabh Bachchan famous. Pran played one of his best known roles - the Pathan Sher Khan - in Zanjeer. He and Amitabh Bachchan formed a long and successful screen partnership after Zanjeer and struck up a lifelong friendship. Pran made one of his last public appearances at Amitabh Bachchan's 70th birthday party in October last year.
Pran's other famous films include Madhumati, Half Ticket, Upkar, Kashmir Ki Kali, Don, Karz, Naseeb and Shahenshah. He last appeared on-screen in 1997's Mrityudaata.He is survived by his wife Shukla, daughter Pinky, and sons Arvind and Sunil.
Sports News This Week:
1) 'Nutty' tennis fan gets tattoo of Andy Murray holding Wimbledon trophy on bum:
|'Nutty' tennis fan gets tattoo of Andy Murray holding Wimbledon trophy on bum|
An Andy Murray enthusiast has put a tattoo impression of the Scot holding the Wimbledon trophy on his bum, keeping his promise to pals that he would sport a unique record of the historic moment.According to the Mirror, tennis fan, Will Hirons, 27, has already told friends that he would get another tattoo of the England cricket team on the other side of his bum, if they win the Ashes.
Andy Murray had ended a 77-year wait of British fans to see a man from their country win the men's singles title at Wimbledon.
2) Marion Bartoli beats Sabine Lisicki in straight sets to win Wimbledon 2013 women's singles final:
|Marion Bartoli beats Sabine Lisicki in straight sets to win Wimbledon 2013 women's singles final|
One of the toughest, too. Bartoli disclosed last night that she had spent the second set in acute pain, with a growing blister under her big toe, and that she refused even to summon the trainer for fear of showing the struggling Lisicki any weakness. “I’m a very tough person,” she said, with a deceptively delicate smile.
“When I took my sock off it was red with blood. But I am this kind of person. Even if it felt like I could barely walk at the end, I could still focus.” Pausing, she added: “I am really as strong as wood,” banging on the table for emphasis.
Bartoli has needed to be resilient, ever since her father Walter put through her through punishing drills at a freezing gym in their hometown of Le Puy‑en‑Velay, offering her sweets only when her serves hit the tiniest of targets. Walter, who gave up his job running the local medical practice to coach Marion, was in the players’ box yesterday for the first time all fortnight, observing this remarkable consummation of their journey together. He was the one whom she thanked most profusely, the one she embraced most tenderly when it was all over.
“It is all so overwhelming,” she reflected. “I don’t know if you can fully know, but as a tennis player, when to start to hit balls at five years old and when you first turn professional, all you dream about is winning a grand slam. You think about it every single day. So when it finally happens, you have finally achieved something that you contemplated for perhaps a million hours. You went through pain, you went through tears, and so in those five or 10 seconds before you shake the hand of your opponent you feel almost like you are not walking any more on Earth.”
Poor Lisicki, the conqueror of Serena Williams but a tormented understudy when it mattered, looked as though she felt much the same way. Alas, her debut on such an august occasion turned all too rapidly from pleasure to pain. She stared in amazement at her traditional finalist’s bouquet, as if the spectacle of a sun‑drenched Centre Court was just a chimera. From her opening service game, which she threw away with a double-fault, she never looked as if she belonged in such an amphitheatre, on such a day.
This was pure, unadulterated stage fright, and deeply uncomfortable to watch. As she wiped away panic-stricken tears between points, and as she ballooned one first serve so wretchedly that it practically cleared the baseline, it was about as pleasurable as watching a child freeze during a public-speaking test. “It was something completely new for me,” Lisicki said, as she dissolved in tears at the thought she had not offered even a glimpse of her best. “The feeling, the atmosphere was different. You do not get it every day.”
Still, her unravelling here was distressing. She had become the poster-girl of the ladies’ draw by her easy grin and relaxed demeanour, as well as her formidably tenacious tennis – enabling her to prevail twice in three sets against Williams and Poland’s Agnieszka Radwanska – but here she folded in the face of Bartoli, a one-off in the ladies’ game with her double-handed groundstrokes on both wings and her bizarre fist-pumps to galvanise herself before every game.
Long may Bartoli remain a singularity. She has been unfairly maligned during her progress through this draw, especially when she complained of bad light in her quarter-final against Sloane Stephens, but her reaction to this, her greatest achievement, spoke of her essentially charming nature.
Of late she has had to suffer some of the most testing times, jettisoning her father as coach last summer and claiming that she reached “rock bottom”. Without identifying the precise cause of her unhappiness, she has talked of a loneliness on the circuit with Walter not present, despite the fact that she once had to order him off court at Wimbledon for irritating her.
Off the court the 28-year-old is renowned for being fiercely intelligent; indeed, an IQ of 175 has been ascribed to her. She also completed what is surely a first at Wimbledon by correctly reciting the Fibonacci Sequence, the mathematical series where each number is the sum of the previous two, live on American television. “Here we go again,” she said, when the subject was raised, giggling and slapping her hands. “I am ready for the challenge.”She was certainly primed for the main event yesterday, reeling off five games in a row to take the opening set. Lisicki eked out four break points to take a 2-0 lead in the second set but could only make four more hapless errors and when Bartoli forged ahead 4‑1, Lisicki began crying.
At 5-1, Bartoli reached match point three times as Lisicki belatedly discovered her game, striking the ball with the type of power that had deserted her. But it was too late, as the Frenchwoman rallied once more to hold to love and secured the win with her second ace of the match. She ran in rather ungainly fashion to the stands, clambering up to her box to be kissed by her friend Amelie Mauresmo, as her face spoke of a joy unconfined.
3) Dhoni takes India to victory against Sri Lanka in Tri Nation final:
|Dhoni takes India to victory against Sri Lanka in Tri Nation final|
Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni had led his side over to victory against Sri Lanka by a wicket as he hit 16 runs off the last over in a nail-biting Tri-Nations series final at Port of Spain.Ravindra Jadeja did the damage for India, taking 4-23 off 7.5 overs, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ishant Sharma waded in with two wickets apiece.
Although India slumped from 139-3 to 152-7, despite Rohit Sharma hitting 58, with Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga capturing the wicket of Bhuvneshwar Kumar to leave India on 167-8, however, India's Vinay Kumar came to the rescue and added 15 with Dhoni.The report further said that after last man Sharma left Dhoni needing 15 off the last over after scoring just two runs, Dhoni smashed a massive six to leave India requiring nine off four balls, after which he scored a boundary and then took another six to see his side home by one wicket and two balls to spare.
4) Shiva Thapa gives credit to coach, support staff:
|Shiva Thapa gives credit to coach, support staff|
As Shiva Thapa was given a hero's welcome here on his arrival after winning gold at the Asian Boxing Championships in Amman, the teen pugilist gave credit to his coach and support staff for his success.The 19-year-old boxer was received at the Lokopriaya Gopinath Bordoloi International Airport here by his friends, family members, members of boxing associations and various social organisations.
Talking to reporters at the airport, Shiva said, "I am feeling good at my achievement. It was a very rewarding win for me. I have been training hard to make sure that I perform to the best of my ability. The Indian team also gave a good performance at the Championship."I do a lot of meditation and concentrate on my training. The hard work has become my habit and my coach and support staff deserve credit for where I'm right now. No one is born with exceptional qualities and only hard work can make that possible."
Shiva said he would be at home with his family for a few days before going to Patiala for training for the World Boxing Championship and Rio Olympics.Shiva, in the 56kg category, defeated local favourite Obada Alkabeh in the final on a split decision of 2-1 after fighting out a tactically superior bout.
Meanwhile, the All Assam Students Union (AASU), Assam Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chatra Parishad, Gorkha Students' Union and various other civil organisations greeted Shiva with flowers, 'gamosa' (scarfs) and 'japi' (Assamese decorative bamboo hat).
Singers and musicians led him to a truck that brought him from the airport to his home in a procession.His gold medal at the premier continental event on Sunday was his first major achievement after winning medals in the Youth Olympics and World Youth events, besides participating in the London Olympics.Chief minister Tarun Gogoi has congratulated the state boxer for becoming the youngest pugilist from the country to clinch a gold medal in Jordan.
Book of This Week : Freud's Mistress : by Karen Mack, Jennifer Kaufman