|Animated Pictures Collage of NewsWeek (67)|
|Pictures Collage of NewsWeek (67)|
Science News This Week:
1) Evidence mounts for bat origins of SARS:
Chinese horseshoe bats carry two newly identified viruses that are closely related to the coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS, in people. The discovery, reported October 30 in Nature, provides the strongest evidence to date that SARS may have originated in bats.
The spread of SARS in 2002–2003 caused a pandemic that sickened more than 8,000 people and killed 774 worldwide. Scientists have identified several SARS-like coronaviruses in bats in China, Europe and Africa and proposed that the animals may have spread the virus to humans. But there’s been no strong evidence to support the idea.
In the new study, led by Xing-Yi Ge of the Wuhan Institute of Virology in China, scientists analyzed the genomes of the newly identified bat coronaviruses. The results show that these viruses are more closely related to the SARS coronavirus than to other SARS-like microbes previously identified in bats. The new viruses also use the same human cell receptor as SARS does to invade cells.
2) Most Detailed Picture Yet of Key AIDS Protein:
Collaborating scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and Weill Cornell Medical College have determined the first atomic-level structure of the tripartite HIV envelope protein -- long considered one of the most difficult targets in structural biology and of great value for medical science.The new findings provide the most detailed picture yet of the AIDS-causing virus's complex envelope, including sites that future vaccines will try to mimic to elicit a protective immune response.
"Most of the prior structural studies of this envelope complex focused on individual subunits, but we've needed the structure of the full complex to properly define the sites of vulnerability that could be targeted, for example with a vaccine," said Ian A. Wilson, the Hansen Professor of Structural Biology at TSRI, and a senior author of the new research with biologists Andrew Ward and Bridget Carragher of TSRI and John Moore of Weill Cornell.The findings are published in two papers in Science Express, the early online edition of the journal Science, on October 31, 2013.
A Difficult Target
HIV, the human immunodeficiency virus, currently infects about 34 million people globally, 10 percent of whom are children, according to World Health Organization estimates. Although antiviral drugs are now used to manage many HIV infections, especially in developed countries, scientists have long sought a vaccine that can prevent new infections and perhaps ultimately eradicate the virus from the human population.However, none of the HIV vaccines tested so far has come close to providing adequate protection. This failure is due largely to the challenges posed by HIV's envelope protein, known to virologists as Env.
Env's structure is so complex and delicate that scientists have had great difficulty obtaining the protein in a form that is suitable for the atomic-resolution imaging necessary to understand it."It tends to fall apart, for example, even when it's on the surface of the virus, so to study it we have to engineer it to be more stable," said Ward, who is an assistant professor in TSRI's Department of Integrative Structural and Computational Biology.
In the current work the Cornell/Scripps team was able to engineer a version of the Env trimer (three-component structure) that has the stability and other properties needed for atomic-resolution imaging, yet retains virtually all the structures found on native Env.
Using cutting-edge imaging methods, electron microscopy (spearheaded by graduate student Dmitry Lyumkis) and X-ray crystallography (led by Jean-Philippe Julien, a senior research associate in the Wilson lab), the team was then able to look at the new Env trimer. The X-ray crystallography study was the first ever of an Env trimer, and both methods resolved the trimer structure to a finer level of detail than has been reported before.The data illuminated the complex process by which the Env trimer assembles and later undergoes radical shape changes during infection and clarified how it compares to envelope proteins on other dangerous viruses, such as flu and Ebola."It has been a privilege for us to work with the Scripps team on this project," said Moore on behalf of the Weill Cornell group. "Now we all need to harness this new knowledge to design and test next-generation trimers and see if we can induce the broadly active neutralizing antibodies an effective vaccine is going to need."
Other contributors to the studies, "Cryo-EM structure of a fully glycosylated soluble cleaved HIV-1 envelope trimer," and "Crystal structure of a soluble cleaved HIV-1 envelope trimer," included TSRI's Natalia de Val, Devin Sok, Robyn L. Stanfield and Marc C. Deller; and Weill Cornell Medical College's Rogier W. Sanders (also at Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam), Albert Cupo and Per-Johan Klasse. In addition to Wilson, Ward and Carragher, senior participants at TSRI included Clinton S. Potter and Dennis Burton.
3) Morel mushroom may grow crop of its own:
A fungus could be a farmer itself, sowing, cultivating and harvesting bacteria.A sought-after mushroom that people can’t farm might be the first fungus known to do some agriculture itself.
Human farmers have yet to reliably coax the thick-footed morel, one of several culinary morel species, into sprouting the mushrooms that chefs prize. People have gotten the Morchella crassipes fungus to form mats of fine strands but no stalked, wrinkly, spore-forming bodies to sauté.
Lab tests, however, suggest that these fungal strands themselves can do simple farming tasks. The morel can spread soil bacteria to new “fields” and cultivate them with fungal secretions that the bacteria consume, says microbial ecologist Pilar Junier of the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland. The fungus can supplement its food suppy by taking up carbon from the bacteria, she and her colleagues report October 30 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
4) Giant Atom Eats Quantum Gas:
A team of experimental and theoretical physicists from the University of Stuttgart studied a single micrometer-sized atom. This atom contains tens of thousands of normal atoms in its electron orbital. The interaction of electrons and matter is fundamental to material properties such as electrical conductivity. Electrons are scattering from atoms of the surrounding matter and can excite lattice oscillations, so called phonons, thereby transferring energy to the environment. The electron is therefore slowed which causes electrical resistance. However, in certain materials phonons can surprisingly cause the opposite effect, so-called superconductivity, where the electrical resistance drops to zero. Understanding the interaction of electrons and matter is therefore important goal in order to both answer fundamental questions as well as to solve technical problems.
A single electron is best suited for systematic investigations of such processes. For the first time, physicists from Stuttgart have now realized a model system in the laboratory, where the interaction of a single electron with many atoms inside its orbital can be studied. These atoms are from an ultracold cloud near absolute zero, a so-called Bose-Einstein condensate.
The basic idea now is simple: Instead of using a technically challenging electron trap, the scientists are using the fact that in nature electrons are bound to a positively charged atomic core. In a classical picture, they are travelling on ellipsoidal orbits around the core. These orbits are usually very small, typically in the range below one nanometer. In order to achieve an interaction between an electron and many atoms, an atom is excited from a cloud consisting of 100,000 atoms using laser light. The orbit of a single electron then expands to several micrometers and a Rydberg atom is formed. On atomic length scales, this atom is huge, larger than most bacteria, which are consisting each of several billions to trillions of atoms. The Rydberg atom then contains tens of thousands of atoms from the cold cloud. Thus, the electron is trapped in a defined volume and at the same time interacts with a large number of atoms. This interaction is so strong that the whole atomic cloud, consisting of 100,000 atoms is considerably influenced by the single electron. Depending on its quantum state the electron excites phonons in the atomic cloud, which can be measured as collective oscillations of the whole cloud culminating in a loss of atoms from the trap.
The experimental observations in the group of Prof. Tilman Pfau could so far largely be explained by collaborative work with the theory group of Prof. Hans Peter Büchler. However, this work is only the basis for a series of further exciting experiments. According to the previous studies an electron is leaving a clear trace in the surrounding atomic cloud. Therefore imaging a single electron in a well defined quantum state seems to be feasible.
5) Defective Nanotubes Turned Into Light Emitters:
UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country researchers have developed and patented a new source of light emitter based on boron nitride nanotubes and suitable for developing high-efficiency optoelectronic devices. Scientists are usually after defect-free nano-structures. Yet in this case the UPV/EHU researcher Angel Rubio and his collaborators have put the structural defects in boron nitride nanotubes to maximum use. The outcome of his research is a new light-emitting source that can easily be incorporated into current microelectronics technology. The research has also resulted in a patent.Boron nitride is a promising material in the field of nanotechnology, thanks to its excellent insulating properties, resistance and two-dimensional structure similar to graphene. And specifically, the properties of hexagonal boron nitride, the focus of this research, are far superior to those of other metals and semiconductors currently being used as light emitters, for example, in applications linked to optical storage (DVD) or communications. "It is extremely efficient in ultraviolet light emission, one of the best currently available on the market," remarked the UPV/EHU researcher Angel Rubio.
However, the light emission of boron nitride nanotubes takes place within a very limited range of the ultraviolet spectrum, which means they cannot be used in applications in which the emission needs to be produced within a broader range of frequencies and in a controlled way (for example in applications using visible light). The research carried out by the UPV/EHU's NanoBio Spectroscopy Group has come up with a solution to overcome this limitation, and open up the door to the use of hexagonal boron nitride nanotubes in commercial applications.They have shown that by applying an electric field perpendicular to the nanotube, it is possible to get the latter to emit light across the whole spectrum from the infrared to the far ultraviolet and to control it in a simple way. This ease of control is only to be found in nanotubes due to their cylindrical geometry (these are tubular structures with lengths in the order of micrometres, and diameters in the order of nanometres).
Rubio has been working with boron nitride nanotubes for nearly 20 years. "We proposed them theoretically, and then they were found experimentally. So far, all our theoretical predictions have been confirmed, and that is very gratifying," he explained. Once the properties of layered hexagonal boron nitride and its extremely high efficiency in light emission were known, this research sought to show that these properties are not lost in nanotubes. "We knew that when a sheet was rolled up and a tube was formed, a strong coupling was produced with the electric field and that would enable us to change the light emission. We wanted to show," and they did in fact show, "that light emission efficiency was not being lost due to the fact that the nanotube was formed, and that it is also controllable."
The device functions on the basis of the use of natural (or induced) defects in boron nitride nanotubes. In particular, the defects enabling controlled emission are the gaps that appear in the wall of the nanotube due to the absence of a boron atom, which is the most common defect in its manufacture. "All nanotubes are very similar, but the fact that you have these defects makes the system operational and efficient, and what is more, the more defects you have, the better it functions."
Rubio highlighted "the simplicity" of the device proposed. "It's a device that functions with defects, it does not have to be pure, and it's very easy to build and control." Nanotubes can be synthesised using standard methods in the scientific community for producing inorganic nanotubes; the structures synthesised as a result have natural defects, and it is possible to incorporate more if you want by means of simple, post-synthesis irradiation processes. "It has a traditional transistor configuration, and what we are proposing would work with current electronic devices," he stressed. The "less attractive" part, as specified by Rubio, is that boron nitride nanotubes are still only produced in very small quantities, and as yet there is no economically viable synthesis process on a commercial scale.
Rubio is in no doubt about the potential of the new materials based on two-dimensional systems, and specifically, of compounds that offer an alternative to graphene, like, for example, hexagonal boron nitride. Without prejudice to graphene, Rubio believes that the alternative field could have greater potential in the long term and needs to be explored: "It's a field that has been active for over the last fifteen years, even though it has been less visible. We have been working with hexagonal boron nitride since 1994, it's like our child, and I believe that it has opened up an attractive field of research, which more and more groups are joining."
Movie Release This Week:
|Movie Release This Week|
1) Ender's Game:
70 years after a horrific alien war, an unusually gifted child is sent to an advanced military school in space to prepare for a future invasion
2) Last Vegas:
Billy (Michael Douglas), Paddy (Robert De Niro), Archie (Morgan Freeman) and Sam (Kevin Kline) have been best friends since childhood. So when Billy, the group's sworn bachelor, finally proposes to his thirty-something (of course) girlfriend, the four head to Las Vegas with a plan to stop acting their age and relive their glory days. However, upon arriving, the four quickly realize that the decades have transformed Sin City and tested their friendship in ways they never imagined. The Rat Pack may have once played the Sands and Cirque du Soleil may now rule the Strip, but it's these four who are taking over Vegas.
3) Free Birds:
In this irreverent, hilarious, adventurous buddy comedy for audiences of all ages, directed by Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who!), two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history - and get turkey off the holiday menu for good.
4) Man of Tai Chi:
Set in modern Beijing, Man of Tai Chi marks Keanu Reeves’ directorial debut. The film, also starring Reeves, follows the spiritual journey of a young martial artist (played by Tiger Chen) whose unparalleled Tai Chi skills land him in a highly lucrative underworld fight club. As the fights intensify, so does his will to survive.
Takes audiences into the private realm of one the world's most iconic and inescapably public women -- the Princess of Wales, Diana -- in the last two years of her meteoric life. On the occasion of the 16th anniversary of her sudden death, acclaimed director Oliver Hirschbiegel explores Diana's final rite of passage: a secret love affair with Pakistani heart surgeon Hasnat Khan, the human complications of which reveal the Princess's climactic days in a compelling new light.
Krrish 3 is a 2013 Bollywood superhero science fiction film. The film is produced and directed by Rakesh Roshan. The film will continue the story of Rohit Mehra and his superhero son Krrish, after Koi... Mil Gaya and Krrish. Both the previous films were hugely successful at the box office. The film was supposed to release along with its 3D format on Diwali, November 4, 2013. However, due to lack of time to convert the film to 3D, Rakesh Roshan later confirmed that the film will be released only in the 2D format.The film released worldwide on November 1, 2013. Krrish 3 received mainly positive reviews from critics on release
Political News This Week:
1) Revealed: Men behind Patna blasts and the role they played:
From assembling bombs to planting them, 10 terror operatives spread across Patna on Sunday and wreaked havoc in the city. Vicky Nanjappa reports finds out they orchestrated the serial blastsLess than a week into the Patna serial blasts, the Bihar police and the National Investigation Agency have made headway into the case. Four arrests have been made so far and several others have been detained for their alleged role in the blasts.According to a first information report filed by the Bihar police, Indian Mujahideen’s Tehsin Akhtar, Imitiaz Ansari, Ainul alias Tarique, Hyder, Numan and Taufeeq were the key operatives in the attack. Here is the role they played.
Tehsin Akthar: He is said to be the mastermind behind the attack and allegedly the new boss of the Indian Mujahideen. Akhtar, said sources, has assumed his new role after the arrest of Yasin Bhatkal.
Tehsin, according to the investigation, oversaw the entire operation. He surveyed the places, which were targeted and stayed in Patna for nearly a month disguised as a tourist guide. His name appears in the FIR, but he is yet to be arrested.
Imtiaz: He is the main accused in the case. He led the operation last Sunday, said sources. He took orders from Akthar.
Imtiaz stayed in Patna for nearly a month to oversee the preparations for the operation. He cdenamed the operation as Machli 5, which aimed at targeting Narendra Modi.
Ainul alias Tarique: He was the suspect number 2 in the case. Ainul a close aide of Tehsin Akthar died on Friday in hospital. He was in fact one of the first persons to be apprehended by the police when they found him in pain at the Patna railway station. He sustained major injuries on his head when the bomb he was assembling went off.
Hyder: He goes by the pseudonim 'Black Beauty'. Hyder planted one of the bombs in Patna. He was a liaison between operatives in Patna and Ranchi.
Numan: A foot soldier of the IM, he hails from Ranchi. He allegedly planted two bombs near Gandhi Maidan ahead of Modi’s rally. He was picked up a day after the blasts based on information provided by Imtiaz during his questioning. He has been named in the FIR and the police are still interrogating him.
Taufeeq: Another foot soldier, he is reportedly a close aide of Imtiaz. He arrived in Patna four days before the attack. Responsible for planting bombs at the railway station, his name too figures in the FIR.
All the above-mentioned names appear in the FIR and they are viewed as accused in the blasts case.
The names mentioned below are still viewed as suspects and they are still being questioned in order to ascertain their role in blasts.
Meher Alam: Though a few investigators say that he was an informer, the NIA insists that he was detained for questioning in the case. He escaped from custody but was rearrested on Thursday. The details of his role are not clear, but sources say that he helped operatives during the blasts
Tabish: He was detained for questioning by the NIA on Thursday for allegedly funding the Patna blasts. This information was provided by Imtiaz during his questioning. Tabish is yet to confess about of his involvement.
Arshad Ahmed: He was picked up for questioning from Bihar’s East Champaran. He is said to be part of the Darbhanga module and is suspected to have helped in the logistics and transportation of bombs. He is still being questioned and is being viewed as a suspect.
Tausim: A close aide of Imtiaz, he is also suspected to have planted bombs around Gandhi Maidan. He was picked up from Ranchi and is still being questioned by both the Bihar police and the NIA.
2) Andhra bus tragedy: Driver, travel company owner arrested:
A day after the tragic mishap in Mahabubnagar district of Andhra Pradesh, in which 45 passengers of a Volvo bus were burnt alive after it caught fire, the police on Thursday arrested the owner of the bus operator company and its driver.
Owner of Jabbar Travels, Shakeel Jabbar and driver Feroze were arrested from Kothakota in Mahabubnagar district, Wanaparthy Deputy Superintendent of Police Srinivas Reddy told PTI over phone.The owner and the driver were booked under various sections of Indian Penal Code and Motor Vehicles Act, he said.The owner failed to have a second driver in the bus, allowed excess passengers, failed to maintain a list of passengers and allowed unaccounted-for cargo, the DSP said.
Initial probe revealed that driver Feroze jumped out when the bus burst into flames, leaving the passengers to their fate, Reddy said. While Fayaz, the helper, raised alarm after seeing flames and saved some of the passengers, getting burn injuries himself in the process.
Forty-five passengers, including a baby girl, were charred to death and seven others were injured when the luxury bus was engulfed in flames near Palem village early hours on Wednesday.Fifty-two persons including 50 passengers were traveling in the ill-fated Volvo bus.Bangalore-based Jabbar Travels had leased the bus, which has Andhra Pradesh number plate and sitting capacity of 43+2.
3) Assam: 1 killed, 5 injured in police firing:
One person was killed and five others were injured as police opened fired to disperse protesters who had set afire a bus while blocking National Highway 37 at Krishnai in Goalpara district on Thursday.
Trouble erupted when the demonstrators, demanding exclusion of non Rabha-Hasong villages from the upcoming Rabha-Hasong Autonomous Council elections, set ablaze a long distance bus and refused to lift their blockade on the highway despite hundreds of vehicles being stranded on both sides of the road, officials said.
Police used lathicharge and then opened fire at the violent protesters killing a person identified as Sahidul Islam (22) and injuring five, who were hospitalised, they said, adding the stir was being organised by several non-Rabha-Hasong organisations.
Protests also took place in Lakhipur area against the polls and demonstrators burnt effigies of Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi.
Violence broke out in Goalpara district on October 20 following the announcement of the Rabha Hasong Autonomous Council elections there, the first since its formation 18 years ago.
The council polls are scheduled to be held in three phases from November 13 to 25 next.
4) Yet another scam: Jagan assets case brings Srinivasan to court:
India Cements Managing Director and Board of Cricket Council of India President N Srinivasan, an accused in the illegal assets case involving YSR Congress leader Y S Jaganmohan Reddy, on Friday appeared before a special court in Hyderabad, along with others chargesheeted by the Central Bureau of Investigation in the high-profile case.
The CBI court on September 25 had taken cognisance of the sixth charge-sheets filed by the probe agency against Jagan, Srinivasan and others on September 10, and issued summons, asking all the accused to appear on November 1.
Accordingly, all of them appeared in the court, which then fixed December 3 for the next hearing.
The sixth charge-sheet relates to India Cements making alleged quid pro quo investments to the tune of Rs 140 crore into Jagan-owned companies, and consequent "undue" benefits received by the firm in allocation of land and water from rivers Krishna and Kagna from the then Andhra Pradesh government led by Y S Rajasekhara Reddy, Jagan's father.
Jagan and his financial advisor Vijay Sai Reddy figured as the first two accused in the charge-sheet, while the others include Srinivasan, IAS officers M Samuel and Aditya Nath Das, Jagati Publications and Carmel Asia.
"We have not done anything wrong, it will be proved (in court). Beyond that I have nothing to say," Srinivasan told the waiting journalists as he emerged out of the court.
The CBI has so far filed 10 charge-sheets, which have names of former state ministers, bureaucrats, corporate entities and businessmen, besides Jagan and his associates.
Jagan, the prime accused in the case, was granted bail on September 23 after spending over a year behind bars.
The case relates to investments made by various companies in Jagan's firms as quid quo pro for alleged favours bestowed on them during the tenure of Rajasekhara Reddy, who was chief minister between 2004 and 2009.
5) Gorakhpur: Encephalitis claims 16 lives in 24 hrs; toll 495:
As many as 16 children have succumbed to encephalitis in Gorakhpur district, Uttar Pradesh in the past 24 hours, taking the death toll in eastern Uttar Pradesh to 495.
All the 16 children died at the Baba Raghav Das Medical College Hospital in Gorakhpur.
Six of them belonged to Gorakhpur, four from Kushinagar, two from Mahrajganj and one each from Sant Kabirnagar, Bihar, Dewaria and Siddharth Nagar, official sources said.
As many as 23 patients of encephalitis have been admitted in the hospital in the past 24 hours, they said.
A total of 2,358 encephalitis patients have been admitted to hospitals this year, the officials said.
Over 236 patients are being treated at BRD MCH and adjoining government hospitals, they said.
6) Trinamool MP Somen Mitra to quit party, rejoin Cong:
Dissident Trinamool Congress MP Somen Mitra on Friday said he has decided to leave the party and go back to the Congress, while stating he would resign from his Lok Sabha membership first.
"I have decided to leave Trinamool Congress and go back to my mother party Congress," Mitra, who was once the president of West Bengal Pradesh Congress Committee, said while inaugurating a Kali Puja in Kolkata. "But my morality prevents me from joining the Congress while I am still a Trinamool Congress MP, so I will first resign from my Lok Sabha membership and rejoin the Congress only after that," Mitra said.
"I have learnt from the mistake I committed by leaving the Congress and will rectify it. I will go back to my mother party," Mitra, who has been a heavyweight Congress leader in the state for long, said.Speaking at the function organised by Congress councilor Santosh Pathak of Ward 45 of Kolkata Municipal Corporation, Mitra alleged that law and order situation in the state has fallen apart and said, "There has been no change in people's safety issues despite a change of regime after 34 years of Left Front's misrule."
A Congress member of the West Bengal assembly from 1972 to 2006 from Sealdah in Kolkata, he had left the Congress and formed a new party -- Pragatisheel Indira Congress in 2008, following differences with the party leadership.
In October 2009, he merged his party with the Trinamool Congress and went on to become an MP from Diamond Harbour constituency.Interestingly, Mamata Banerjee had left the Congress to form Trinamool Congress in 1998 as a result of tussle with Mitra.Mitra had joined the party, which had been formed by her once bete-noire Mamata Banerjee and the bonhomie continued till 2012. Mitra's wife Sikha, a Trinamool Congress MLA, had first spoken up about differences with the party leadership and the gap went on widening, leading to her suspension from the TMC for alleged anti-party activities.Mitra and Sikha had recently shared dias with TMC Lok Sabha MPs -- Kunal Ghosh, Tapas Pal and Satabdi Roy -- where the latter three took a dig at the party leadership.
Sports News This Week:
1) Buoyed India eye series win:
India will yet again rely on their batting firepower as they seek to clinch the one-day series against an equally-determined Australia when the two teams clash in the seventh and final match in Bangalore on Saturday in what promises to be another high-scoring thriller.After two successive washouts in Ranchi and Cuttak, India rebounded to level the series 2-2 in Nagpur with yet another superlative show by their batsmen, who chased down a mammoth 351-run target.The incredible run chase brought back memories of India's magnificent victory in Jaipur when they chased a stiff target of 360, achieving the second highest successful run chase ever in ODI history.The bowlers of both the sides are under tremendous pressure on flat batting tracks as despite the two washouts, more than 2500 runs have been scored so far.
Even the score of 350 cannot be considered a cushion and Saturday's match is also likely to be another high-scoring tussle with the wicket at M Chinnaswamy stadium traditionally being a batting-friendly wicket.
The Indians, however, will find the going a little easier on the morrow as Australia's pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson will sit out of the match as he is returning home to prepare for the Ashes.India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be hoping that his young teammates can maintain the tempo to turn the tables on the Australians who have won two seven-game series in the past against the hosts.
Among the batsmen, Virat Kohli and opener Shikhar Dhawan are the top-scorers for the hosts as they have batted brilliantly. Dhoni himself has been a solid batsmen in the middle-order.Opener Rohit Sharma has also been instrumental in India's good fight with his partnerships with Dhawan and the hosts would look forward to the openers to provide yet again a solid start.
2) Ronaldo hattrick, braces from Bale and Benzema give Real Madrid 7-3 win:
Cristiano Ronaldo grabbed a hat-trick and Gareth Bale became the fifth British player to score for Real Madrid at the Bernabeu in La Liga when he struck twice in an action-packed 7-3 win over Sevilla on Wednesday.
Making his first home start for the Spanish club, Bale also conjured two assists in a performance that will help dispel doubts about the 100 million euro ($138 million) winger's form and fitness since his record move from Tottenham Hotspur.
France striker Karim Benzema, who has been struggling to find the net for both club and country, also helped himself to two goals as third-placed Real closed to within two points of Atletico Madrid ahead of their game at Granada on Thursday.
Carlo Ancelotti's team looked far from convincing at times and let Sevilla back into the match after taking an early 3-0 lead but what eventually became a rout was a welcome boost after Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Barcelona.
Sevilla played the final quarter of an hour with 10 men after midfielder Stephane M'Bia was shown a second yellow card for catching substitute Luka Modric with a flailing arm and it was the first time in almost 50 years that 10 goals were scored in a La Liga match at the Bernabeu.
"It was quite a strange game with the amount of goals and everything that happened, some of the decisions, but we got the three points," Real midfielder Xabi Alonso, who came on as a second-half substitute after a lengthy injury absence, told Spanish television.
"Personally I am very pleased to be back because these five months have been a big challenge," added the Spain international. "Little by little I will pick up the pace and start to be useful to the team again.
3) Saurav Ghosal scripts history, becomes first Indian to reach World C'ship quarters:
Saurav Ghosal scripted history at the World Squash Championships as he became the first Indian to reach the quarter-finals of the mega-event by notching up a come-from-behind victory over Henrik Mustonen in a hard-fought contest in Manchester.
The World No. 17 Ghosal played out of his skin to stretch the unseeded Finn in a tough pre-quarterfinal that the Indian won 3-2 under considerable pressure.
"For me it's a massive achievement. It's the first time I've made it to the quarter-finals of the World Championship and it's huge to be in there in the last eight with the world's best players," a delighted Ghosal said.
"I've made it one step further than I have before so I'm going to enjoy it - but I will be coming back tomorrow and hopefully I can play another good game and give myself a chance of progressing even further," he added.
The 27-year-old Kolkata-born was down 0-2 against his lesser-known opponent but the Leeds-based player showed his class when it mattered the most and upped the ante in the second half of the match to close out the issue 5-11 8-11 11 8 11-4 11-2.
"Henrik played unbelievable squash in the first two games," said Ghosal.
"Actually he was match ball down in his first round match and came back to win it - that shows how strong he is mentally.
"He really caught me off guard with the quality of his shots. I had to dig in super super super deep to grind out of that one, said Ghosal, who is widely regarded as one of the fastest players in the Tour," he added.
The eventual scoreline hardly did justice to the incredible performance from the Indian in the first two games. Ghosal matched his opponent stroke for stroke in the third game with the players feeling each other out.
4) Jwala-Ashwini crash out in Germany:
India's women's doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa on Thursday crashed out of the Bitburger Open Grand Prix Gold after suffering a straight-game defeat against the Malaysian pair of Hui Ern Ng and Hui Lin Ng in the second round in Saarbrucken, Germany.
The Commonwealth Games gold-medallist pair lost 15-21, 16-21 to the fourth seed duo of Hui Ern and Hui Lin in a 26-minute match this evening. In men's singles competition, Anand Pawar let go a one game advantage to lose against Ireland's Scott Ivans 16-21, 21-17, 21-6 in a hard-fought contest.
It was curtains for P C Thulasi in the women's section when the Indian lost her battle against sixth seed Sashina Vignes Waran of France 21-18 14-21 14-21 in a match that lasted 54 minutes.
Earlier, the mixed doubles pair of Ashwini and Tarun Kona matched their opponents, Sweden's Nico Ruponen and Amanda Hogstrom, in smash and net play but eventually ran out of steam in the dying moments of the decider.
Ashwini-Kona lost 15-21, 21-19, 17-21 after giving the Swedish pair a run for their money. In the opening round, the pair of Jwala-Ashwini had brushed aside the challenge of Germany's Anika Dorr and Annika Horbach 21-14, 21-11.
Saina slips to No.7
The second-round exit from French Open Super Series proved costly for Saina Nehwal as the Indian badminton ace continued her downward slide, slipping one more spot to be placed at world number seven in the latest BWF ranking released on Thursday. The Olympic bronze medallist shuttler had slipped to world number six last week after failing to defend her title at Denmark Open. The 23-year-old had lost to World No. 6 Ji Hyun Sung in the quarterfinals of the Premier event.
Shivani, Das advance
Junior national champion Ruthvika Shivani and Rituparna Das kept India's medal hopes alive in the BWF World junior badminton championship with contrasting victories in the girls' singles third round in Bangkok on Thursday. Ruthvika had to quell a fighting Maria Mitsova of Bulgaria 21-16, 18-21, 21-13 in just under an hour, while Rituparna managed to pack off Hong Kong's Wing Yung Ng 21-13, 22-20 in just 25 minutes.
Book Of This Week:
Beneath A Marble Sky : By John Shors:
In the Seventeenth century, Emperor Shah Jahan, Overwhelmed by grief after the of Mumtaz Mahal , His beloved wife , Pledges to create the grandest tribute to love the world has ever seen.The stunning Princess Jahanara, The Emperor`s eldest daughter,is to oversee te construction of this architechtural masterpeice . Even as the monument is being built, Jahanara falls in love with Ustad Isa, The Celebrated architect of the Taj Mahal . But theirs is a romance that must remain furtive.
Author : John Shors:
After Graduating from Collorado College John Shors lived for several years in Kyoto Japan,Where He Taught English . On a shoestring budget,he later trekked across Asia Visinting ten countries and climbing the Himalayas.
After returning to United States He Became Newspaper Reporter in his Hometown,Des Moines Iowa, Winning Several statewide awards in Journalism.
Now full time Novelist in Boulder, Colorado , John Spends his days writing and going on family outings with his wife,Allison and their two young children, Sophie and Jack.