Science News This Week:
1) Brain’s growth, networks unveiled in new maps:
Two new maps illustrate human and mouse brains in sharp relief, offering insights into how brains are built and operate. The studies, led by scientists at the Allen Institute for Brain Science in Seattle and published April 2 in Nature, join other recent large-scale descriptions of the brain (SN Online: 3/27/14; 2/17/14).
The new human map covers territory that’s still forming. By studying levels of gene activity in four postmortem fetal brains, researchers were able to describe how genes in different regions orchestrate the growth of the human brain. Some of these genes have been linked to developmental problems such as autism spectrum disorders. Having a detailed map of when and where these genes are active might provide clues to complex neural disorders, the researchers write.
The mouse map traces multitudes of spidery neural connections in an adult brain. The resulting grid is based on about 15 to 20 percent of neurons situated in 295 distinct anatomical locales that cover the entire mouse brain. The map will serve as a valuable resource for scientists intent on figuring out how brains handle information, the authors write.
2) Cosmic question mark:
The Planck mission’s data put a kink in precision cosmology. For as long as humans have wondered about it, the universe has concealed its vital statistics — its age, its weight, its size, its composition. By the opening of the 21st century, though, experts began trumpeting a new era of precision cosmology. No longer do cosmologists argue about whether the universe is 10 billion or 20 billion years old — it was born 13.8 billion years ago. Pie charts now depict a precise recipe for the different relative amounts of matter and energy in the cosmos. And astronomers recently reached agreement over just how fast the universe is growing, settling a controversy born back in 1929 when Edwin Hubble discovered that expansion.
3) Footprints of dino chase digitally reconstructed:
Scientists digitally reconstructed a model of a dinosaur chase using photos of theropod and sauropod footprints excavated 70 years ago, according to results published April 2, 2014, in the open access journal PLOS ONE by Peter Falkingham from Royal Veterinary College, London, and colleagues James Farlow and Karl Bates. As one of the most famous set of dinosaur tracks in the world, the Paluxy River tracks contain both theropod and sauropod footprints. American paleontologist Roland Bird originally excavated the extensive and well preserved footprints in 1940 in Texas, but post-excavation, paleontologists removed the tracks from their original location, divided them into blocks, and transported them to various locations around the world. Prior to their removal, Bird documented the original site with photos and maps, but since excavation portions of the tracks have been lost. A wealth of information could be gained if we were able to view the tracks in one piece again, so researchers set about making that happen.
To digitally reconstruct the site as it was pre- excavation, scientists scanned 17 photos, developed a model and compared the model to maps drawn by Bird. Despite the variation between the photos and the hand drawn maps, scientists were able to reconstruct and view the entire 45 m long sequence in 3D for the first time since excavation. The 3D digital model helped the authors corroborate the maps drawn by Bird when the tracksite was first described. The authors hope that this study will help others digitally recreate paleontological, geological, or archaeological specimens that have been lost or deteriorated over time, but for which old photographic documentation exists.
Peter Falkingham added, "In recent years technology has advanced to the point where highly accurate 3D models can be produced easily and at very little cost just from digital photos, and this has been revolutionizing many different fields. That we can apply that technology to specimens, or even entire sites, that no longer exist but were recorded photographically is extremely exciting."
4) Self-healing engineered muscle grown in the laboratory:
Biomedical engineers have grown living skeletal muscle that looks a lot like the real thing. It contracts powerfully and rapidly, integrates into mice quickly, and for the first time, demonstrates the ability to heal itself both inside the laboratory and inside an animal. The study conducted at Duke University tested the bioengineered muscle by literally watching it through a window on the back of living mouse. The novel technique allowed for real-time monitoring of the muscle's integration and maturation inside a living, walking animal.Both the lab-grown muscle and experimental techniques are important steps toward growing viable muscle for studying diseases and treating injuries, said Nenad Bursac, associate professor of biomedical engineering at Duke.The results appear the week of March 25 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition.
"The muscle we have made represents an important advance for the field," Bursac said. "It's the first time engineered muscle has been created that contracts as strongly as native neonatal skeletal muscle."Through years of perfecting their techniques, a team led by Bursac and graduate student Mark Juhas discovered that preparing better muscle requires two things -- well-developed contractile muscle fibers and a pool of muscle stem cells, known as satellite cells.Every muscle has satellite cells on reserve, ready to activate upon injury and begin the regeneration process. The key to the team's success was successfully creating the microenvironments -- called niches -- where these stem cells await their call to duty."Simply implanting satellite cells or less-developed muscle doesn't work as well," said Juhas. "The well-developed muscle we made provides niches for satellite cells to live in, and, when needed, to restore the robust musculature and its function."
To put their muscle to the test, the engineers ran it through a gauntlet of trials in the laboratory. By stimulating it with electric pulses, they measured its contractile strength, showing that it was more than 10 times stronger than any previous engineered muscles. They damaged it with a toxin found in snake venom to prove that the satellite cells could activate, multiply and successfully heal the injured muscle fibers.Then they moved it out of a dish and into a mouse.With the help of Greg Palmer, an assistant professor of radiation oncology in the Duke University School of Medicine, the team inserted their lab-grown muscle into a small chamber placed on the backs of live mice. The chamber was then covered by a glass panel. Every two days for two weeks, Juhas imaged the implanted muscles through the window to check on their progress.By genetically modifying the muscle fibers to produce fluorescent flashes during calcium spikes -- which cause muscle to contract -- the researchers could watch the flashes become brighter as the muscle grew stronger."We could see and measure in real time how blood vessels grew into the implanted muscle fibers, maturing toward equaling the strength of its native counterpart," said Juhas.The engineers are now beginning work to see if their biomimetic muscle can be used to repair actual muscle injuries and disease."Can it vascularize, innervate and repair the damaged muscle's function?" asked Bursac. "That is what we will be working on for the next several years
5) Mitosis and preparing for cell division:
In textbooks, the grand-finale of cell division is the tug-of-war fought inside dividing cells as duplicated pairs of chromosomes get dragged in opposite directions into daughter cells. This process, called mitosis, is visually stunning to observe under a microscope. Equally stunning to cell biologists are the preparatory steps cells take to ensure that the process occurs safely.
Molecular biologists define those "cell cycle" steps as: G1, when cells survey chromosomes for damage and, if they pass muster, prepare to replicate them; S phase, in which replication occurs; and G2, when cells check duplicated chromosomes one last time for damage and construct the protein machinery required for mitosis.
Failure of a single step is ominous: almost any disease--from autoimmunity to neurodegeneration--is marked, if not caused, by some kind of cycle malfunction. The most obvious is cancer, in which G1 or G2 quality control steps fail and uncontrolled division of tumor cells harboring oncogenic mutations can go totally unchecked.
Halting abnormal cell division thus requires knowing what genes are operational in G1 versus G2. To define them, Stowers Institute of Medical Research Associate Investigator Matt Gibson, Ph.D., undertook a genome-wide comparison of genes expressed during the G1 and G2 phases in larval tissue of the fruitfly Drosophila melanogaster. This work, currently reported online and in the April 14, 2014 print issue of Developmental Cell, catalogues over 300 genes differentially expressed at these steps. Significantly, it is the first to accomplish that in a multicellular organism.Researchers have previously performed genome-wide screens for cell cycle genes in yeast or cultured animal cells where it is possible to obtain large numbers of cells at precise phases of cell cycle progression. "We started out from the general principle that regulation of the cell cycle in a complex tissue could be very different from how cells divide in a dish," says Gibson. "To understand what happens physiologically, we wanted to apply genome-scale methods to characterize cell division as it occurs in the animal."
Liang Liang, Ph.D., a Gibson lab graduate student, led the all-Stowers team, assisted by Jeff Haug, head of the Cytometry Core, and Genomic Scientist Chris Seidel, Ph.D. Liang began by painstakingly optimizing procedures to dissociate wing disc tissue but keep it viable long enough to analyze. Haug, who worked with her in this phase of the project, calls this a feat in itself, requiring what he calls "institutional memory" of methods used by other Stowers investigators to prepare cells from Drosophila tissues.
The team then stained living target cells with dye that labels DNA. That procedure allowed them to sort cells into two bins using a technique called flow cytometry: one bin contained cells with one copy of the genome (cells in G1) and the other contained cells with two genomes (those in G2, which had replicated their DNA but not yet divided).
Microarray analysis then identified every gene exhibiting different levels of expression in the G1 or G2 cell populations. Some were expressed in both, but 431 genes were upregulated in G1 and 336 during G2. The team further validated candidates by genetically "knocking down" each separately in wing discs and examining adult fly wings for defects, which they saw in 80% of cases.Gibson says that many usual suspects were activated at the "right" time. "Things that control DNA replication were enriched in G1, while factors regulating mitosis were expressed in G2," he explains. The surprise came when the team compared data with parallel profiles obtained using cultured Drosophila S2 cells: many of the roughly 200 genes differentially expressed in G1 or G2 in disc cells were uniformly expressed in S2 cells. Likewise, close to 100 genes differentially expressed in S2 cells showed uniform expression in disc cells."What was exciting was the plasticity we saw in cell cycle regulation of gene expression," says Liang, noting different profiles seen in disc versus S2 cells. "Every animal uses the same cell cycle machinery, but that machinery may be regulated very differently depending on the cell type, even in the same organism."First and foremost, the work provides a searchable resource freely available to scientists and citizens alike at the Stowers Original Data Repository There, you can see if your favorite gene is expressed in G1 or G2 in wing discs or S2 cells and view pictures of what fly wings look like when that gene is deficient.
The work also identifies brand-new suspects for the Gibson lab. Wing disc cells and cells that line almost every mammalian body cavity are epithelial cells, which grow in sheets. They divide in a peculiar fashion: right before mitosis the nucleus of an elongated epithelial cell moves into one end of the cell for cell division, a process called interkinetic nuclear movement (IKNM). Gibson is interested in the mechanics of IKNM, in part because epithelial cell cancers, termed carcinomas, comprise over 80% of all malignancies. "One motivation for this study was to discover what links IKNM to the cell cycle," he says. "That required a global view."He was right. The paper reports two genes that when knocked down in wing discs disrupt IKNM as cells divide without interrupting division itself. Intriguingly, one is a long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), a currently mysterious class of RNAs that does not encode proteins but instead may regulate downstream gene expression.Seidel, who helped analyze data for the paper, says next-gen technologies free researchers to ask unbiased questions, without which the team would have surely missed the lncRNA. He compares "old" versus "new" genome exploration to mapping Earth before and after satellites. "Before, you sailed from place to place for hundreds of years establishing landmarks to create a map," he says. "Afterwards, a few hours' worth of data collection offered a comprehensive, global view."Gibson concurs, but with a nod to the field's Magellans and Ponce de Leons. "Historically, scientists studied cell cycle control by taking a gene-by-gene and protein-by-protein approach, usually in cultured cells," he says. "Those pioneers provided immense insight into how cell division works. Now we have tools to determine how that fundamental process is fine-tuned to operate in the complex and varied contexts present in a multicellular animal."
6) Zoom in on amazing detail in NASA moon map:
If a private spaceflight doesn’t fit your travel budget, NASA’s new interactive lunar atlas may be the next best thing. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter team has stitched together 10,581 images into a gorgeous, detailed online map of the moon’s north pole.The mosaic covers 2.54 million square kilometers — slightly larger than the combined areas of Alaska and Texas. The detail is stunning: At the highest zoom, each pixel shows a piece of the moon just 2 meters across.Anyone who has used online maps will be familiar with the interface. Simple pan and zoom buttons allow users to soar and swoop over the lunar landscape. Dynamically updated labels mark interesting sites and keep you oriented.The subtleties visible in the terrain are remarkable. You can see pock-marked impact melts, tracks from rolling boulders and fissures blanketing crater floors. Each vista highlights the cold beauty of our celestial neighbor and shows that the moon is an active, changing world.
New research finds 'geologic clock' that helps determine moon's age:
An international team of planetary scientists determined that the Moon formed nearly 100 million years after the start of the solar system, according to a paper to be published April 3 in Nature. This conclusion is based on measurements from the interior of Earth combined with computer simulations of the protoplanetary disk from which Earth and other terrestrial planets formed. The team of researchers from France, Germany and the United States simulated the growth of the terrestrial planets (Mercury, Venus, Earth and Mars) from a disk of thousands of planetary building blocks orbiting the Sun. By analyzing the growth history of Earth-like planets from 259 simulations, the scientists discovered a relationship between the time Earth was impacted by a Mars-sized object to create the Moon and the amount of material added to Earth after that impact.
Augmenting the computer simulation with details on the mass of material added to Earth by accretion after the formation of the Moon revealed a relationship that works much like a clock to date the Moon-forming event. This is the first "geologic clock" in early solar system history that does not rely on measurements and interpretations of the radioactive decay of atomic nuclei to determine age.
Movies Release This Week:
After the cataclysmic events in New York with The Avengers, Marvel’s “Captain America: The Winter Soldier” finds Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, living quietly in Washington, D.C. and trying to adjust to the modern world. But when a S.H.I.E.L.D. colleague comes under attack, Steve becomes embroiled in a web of intrigue that threatens to put the world at risk. Joining forces with the Black Widow, Captain America struggles to expose the ever-widening conspiracy while fighting off professional assassins sent to silence him at every turn. When the full scope of the villainous plot is revealed, Captain America and the Black Widow enlist the help of a new ally, the Falcon. However, they soon find themselves up against an unexpected and formidable enemy—the Winter Soldier.
Aliens descend upon Earth with a specific mission in mind: To abduct hitchhikers and take them back to their home world, where human meat is considered a delicacy.
When her husband vanishes from their honeymoon, Ava uncovers a violent conspiracy in the middle of the island paradise.
Shawn, an automotive designer, enjoys an idyllic life with his new wife Jasmine until it is interrupted by a cryptic message. The message warns of imminent danger and a curse that has afflicted his family for generations. Having lost his parents as a child, Shawn doesn't believe this unsettling revelation of his past....until strange things start to happen. Unable to explain the threats and fearing for his life, Shawn turns to Gabriel and Father Westhoff, a mysterious duo claiming to have answers. With their help, and the aid of Ali, a shackled mental patient, Shawn discovers that there is far more to this world than he ever imagined. These revelations set Shawn on a collision course with the unknown, and he alone must find the strength protect his family and confront the ancient evil that is hunting them.
James and Lily live off the grid, raising their young daughter in a cocoon of comfort and sustainability. When a mysterious mass text ripples its way across the country, triggering a crippling, apocalyptic cyber-attack, their home transitions from sheltered modern oasis to a fortress for the estranged old friends that show up at their door for protection and community. The unexpected reunion--abundant with revelry and remembrances, generously enhanced by organic wine and weed--is quickly undermined by the slights of the past, the spark of lingering flirtations and the threat of a locally grown new world order. Balancing tense confrontations with slivers of levity, director Denis Henry Hennelly pinpoints a future where ideology explodes into action in every area.
Political News This Week:
1) BJP and co will sweep Hindi heartland: Poll:
An opinion poll has projected it is advantage Bharatiya Janata Party and its allies in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Punjab and Haryana in the Lok Sabha elections while claiming that there is neck-and-neck race in Himachal Pradesh.According to a CNN-IBN and The Week survey done by Lokniti at CSDS, BJP and its ally Apna Dal may win between 42 and 50 parliamentary seats out of the 80 in UP.Narendra Modi is the most popular person for the Prime Minister's post in the state followed by Rahul Gandhi, the survey concluded.
It projected SP may get 11 to 17 Lok Sabha seats while BSP may bag between 10 and 16 seats. It gave a bleak figures of between 4 and 8 seats for Cong-RLD alliance in UP.
In Rajasthan, the survey found that BJP would sweep the polls with 21-25 seats with Congress likely to get 0-2. In Delhi, the survey said that BJP may get 40 per cent of the votes and 3-4 Lok Sabha seats, with AAP capturing 2-3 seats and Congress bagging 1 seat. However, it said the preference of voters for Delhi assembly is different, with AAP likely to get 42 per cent votes, ahead of BJP (36 per cent) and Congress (16 per cent).At 38 per cent, Narendra Modi leads the race in being the preferred PM choice in Delhi with Kejriwal second (20 per cent), the survey claimed.The survey also said that SAD-BJP combined may get 42 per cent vote share in Lok Sabha polls in Punjab and predicted that Cong-PPP alliance may get 29 per cent.The opinion poll gave an edge to BJP-HJC combine with a projected vote share of 36 per cent in Haryana. It showed 30 per cent vote percentage in favour of Congress and 16 per cent and 7 per cent for INLD and AAP, respectively.
2) 155 candidates contesting Lok Sabha polls face serious charges:
Phases 1 to 4 of the Lok Sabha elections will witness 278 candidates with charges. The data of 1,566 candidates which have been analysed by the Association for Democratic Reforms show that out of the 278 candidates with charges, 155 of them have serious charges against them.
23 (25 per cent) of 92 candidates fielded by Indian National Congress, 38 (39 pc) out of 97 candidates from Bharatiya Janata Party, 15 (16 pc) out of 92 fielded by Aam Aadmi Party and 16 (18 pc) out of 89 Bahujan Samaj Party candidates have declared criminal cases against themselves in their affidavits.
14 (15 pc) out of 92 candidates fielded by INC, 22 (23 pc) out of 97 candidates from BJP, 10 (11 pc) out of 92 fielded by AAP and 9 (10 pc) out of 89 BSP candidates have declared serious cases against themselves in their affidavits.
Out of the 1,566 candidates analysed, 456 (29 pc) are crorepatis. 75 (82 pc) out of 92 candidates in INC, 62 (64 pc) out of 97 candidates in BJP, 40 (44 pc) out of 92 candidates in AAP and 34 (38 pc) out of 89 candidates in the BSP have declared assets worth more than Rs 1 crore.
The average assets per candidate contesting from Phase 1 to 4 of Lok Sabha 2014 election is Rs 3.26 crore.
Among the major parties, the average assets per candidate for 92 INC candidates is Rs 15.40 crore, 97 BJP candidates have average assets of Rs 5.51 crore, 92 AAP candidates have average assets worth of Rs 2.63 crore and 89 BSP candidates have average assets of Rs 8.27 crore.
3) Army chief unveils statue of Sam Manekshaw:
On the birth centenary of late Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh on Thursday unveiled his statue at the Manekshaw auditorium in New Delhi.
Born on April 3, 1914 at Amritsar, Manekshaw was the first Field Marshal of the Indian Army and is credited for the Indian victory in the 1971 Bangladesh war.Inaugurating the statue, Gen Bikram Singh credited Manekshaw for creating "a country on the globe in 13 days" in form of Bangladesh in 1971.The Army chief urged the officers to follow Manekshaw who, he said, had the conviction of telling the political leadership about the right time of starting the war when he was asked to move into action immediately.
Gen Singh said the officers should also learn from him the art of being humble while dealing with the men in the force.He also released a book Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw -- The Man and His Times'.The event was attended by Maja Daruwalla, daughter of the legendary leader, accompanied by her husband.As part of the ongoing centenary celebrations a number of events were organised at Ooty and Coonor, the place where he chose to spend his last days.The Field Marshal passed away on June 27, 2008 at the age of 94.
4) Cong doing 19th century politics of appeasing Muslims: Akbar:
Bharatiya Janata Party’s national spokesman and veteran journalist-turned-politician, M J Akbar on Thursday criticised the Congress for resorting to its old practice of treating the Muslim community as a ‘commodity’ to be bought during election time.
He held that it was the Congress that was responsible for under-development of the community, and slammed Congress president Sonia Gandhi for seeking to appease the Muslims with ‘19th century politics’.
“The Congress must stop treating any community (Muslims) as a commodity to be brought at election time by middlemen who have lost their credibility. I am deeply saddened over Sonia Gandhi’s meeting with Imam Bukhari. She is doing politics of the 19th century when the Indian Muslims today want development of the 21st century,” he said. He maintained that such outlook of using the community as a ‘commodity’ has the worst impact on the Muslim as they had not been facilitated the desired development and given false promises.
Claiming that the United Progressive Alliance government was not sincere in its assurances to the Muslim community, Akbar cited the special funds scheme for 90 minority-heavy districts in the country. “After three years of announcement of this special scheme, it all remained in paper. It was found that not a single rupee was sent to these districts. “Don’t dump the Muslims into a basket of fear, treat them as Indians” he said.
“The BJP has been able to win the confidence of the Muslims. Development alone is sufficient to win the trust of any community. The Muslims in Gujarat have prospered under Narendra Modi,” Akbar said.Regarding the Gujarat riot slur on Modi, the BJP spokesperson said that those who pointed accusing finger at Modi for Gujarat riots, should now say sorry after Modi had been given clean chit by repeated probe conducted into the riot.
Akbar, who was also among those who had accused Modi of precipitating the riot in Gujarat, said that all who had spoken out against Modi at that time must now have the courage to admit their mistake.He pointed out that Modi had been given clean chit by repeated enquiries conducted at behest of a rival government.“I am deeply grateful to the UPA government since they have raised every question there was to be asked (regarding the riots). He (Modi) has been subjected to the most intense scrutiny for any chief minister by a host of agencies,” Akbar said, adding no one has been able to hold Modi personally responsible for the riots.
5) 'Sonia-Bukhari meet like fox and wolf talking non-violence':
Slamming Congress president Sonia Gandhi's meeting with Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid to prevent split in secular votes, Shiv Sena on Thursday said it was akin to "fox and wolf" discussing non-violence and vegetarianism."Imam Bukhari and Sonia Gandhi held a meeting and it is said that they discussed that secular votes should not get split in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls...It is like fox and wolf coming together to talk non-violence and vegetarianism," Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said in an editorial in party mouthpiece 'Saamana'."Finally Sonia Gandhi had to surrender before Imam Bukhari. This is the death of Congress. Now the Imam will issue a fatwa and appeal to the Muslims to vote for Congress to avoid division of secular votes. But who pays heed to the fatwas issued by Imams? Islam has no place for such fatwas," he said.
The Imams and Maulvis issue fatwas on trivial subjects like the colour of nail polish and lip-stick a woman should use. These fatwas have failed to improve the living standards of the Muslims, he said."There is poverty among Muslims due to illiteracy and lack of knowledge in the community. This has been going on for generations because the Mulla-Maulvis have confined the new generations within the walls of dargahs and madrassas," he said.
"So far, Imam Bukhari has never issued a fatwa to eliminate poverty and lack of knowledge," Thackeray said.He said that after Emergency, former prime minister Indira Gandhi had also sought the help of the Imam of Jama Masjid. "Even then the Imam had issued a fatwa to vote for Congress. However, despite that Congress had lost the elections, which shows that the Muslims had completely ignored his decree," he said.Earlier, Sena's ally BJP had accused Sonia of trying to polarise votes in the polls by holding a meeting with the Shahi Imam on Tuesday where she asked him to ensure secular votes were not split, a charge rubbished by the Congress president.
6) Former Pakistan President Musharraf survives assassination bid:
Former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, facing treason trial, had a narrow escape when a powerful bomb went off on a road near his farmhouse on the outskirts of Islamabad shortly after his convoy had passed.
The explosion took place on VVIP Road between Faizabad and Rawal Dam Chowk, one hour after 70-year-old Musharraf's convoy passed through the same route at 3 am to shift him to his farmhouse from from Armed Forces Institute of Cardiology in Rawalpindi.
The intensity of the blast caused about a foot deep hole in the ground at the site of the incident. The police claimed that the attack was aimed to target the former president, media reports in Islamabad said.The police said the bomb disposal squad was called in at the blast site -- three kilometers from Musharraf's sprawling Chak Shehzad farmhouse.The bomb was reportedly planted in a drainage pipe adjacent to the footpath.Since Musharraf is under threat from terror groups, heavy security has been given to him and all his routes are thoroughly checked before he gets out.
Reports said one person, who was in a car passing through the area, was injured in the blast.The former military dictator was admitted to the AFIC on January 2 when he complained of heart problems on his way to a special court set up for his high treason trial for abrogating the constitution and detaining judges in 2007.
7) Powerful earthquake strikes off Chile, triggers tsunami:
A mighty 8.2-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of northern Chile late Tuesday, triggering small landslides, cutting power and generating a tsunami.
Four men and one woman died -- two who suffered heart attacks and three who were crushed, said Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo.
About 300 prisoners escaped from the northern port city of Iquique in the immediate aftermath, he said.The quake struck about 8:46 p.m. local time, some 60 miles northwest of Iquique. It had a depth of 12.5 miles, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
Chile's National Emergency Office asked coastal residents to evacuate."The fact is, we will know the extent of the damage as time goes by and when we inspect the areas in the light of day," Chile's President Michelle Bachelet said early Wednesday. "The country has faced these first emergency hours very well."Chile's history with earthquakes Chile quake causes 7 ft. tsunami wavesResidents in the port city of Antofagasta walked calmly through the streets to higher ground as traffic piled up in places.
"Many people are fearful after experiencing the powerful earthquake in 2010, so they immediately fled for higher ground when they heard the tsunami warning," said Fabrizio Guzman, World Vision emergency communications manager in Chile."There have been multiple aftershocks and communications have been cut off in many of the affected areas. So people are waiting in the dark hills not knowing what is to come, and hoping they will be able to return to their homes safely."The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued several tsunami warnings, but canceled all of them by early Wednesday. Tsunami watches, which initially extended as far north as Mexico's Pacific coast, were called off as well.
Tsunami waves of more than 6 feet generated by the earthquake washed ashore on the coast of Pisagua, according to Victor Sardino, with the center.
Iquique, with a population of more than 200,000, saw 7-foot waves.An earthquake of the scale that struck Tuesday night is capable of wreaking tremendous havoc.
So, if the initial reports stand, Chile may have dodged a major catastrophe.Landslides damaged roads in some regions. Power and phone outages were reported in others.
Chile is on the so-called "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines circling the Pacific Basic that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.
On March 16, a 6.7-magnitude earthquake struck 37 miles west-northwest of Iquique. A 6.1-magnitude hit the same area a week later.
Large earthquake hits off coast of Chile Breaking: Earthquake off Chilean coast Earthquake occurs in subduction zone Expert: Tsunami waves move like a jet
About 500 people were killed when an 8.8-magnitude earthquake struck Chile on February 27, 2010. That quake triggered a tsunami that toppled buildings, particularly in the Maule region along the coast.According to researchers, the earthquake was violent enough to move the Chilean city of Concepcion at least 10 feet westward and Santiago about 11 inches to the west-southwest.
8) Love ain't quite lost in Gandhi parivar:
The relationship between estranged Gandhi cousins was once again the focus of attention on Wednesday when Bharatiya Janata Party candidate from Sultanpur Varun Gandhi praised cousin Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi for the work he has done in his constituency, Amethi.
Varun referred appreciatively to the initiatives undertaken by Rahul in Amethi at a meeting in his constituency, stating that similar development work should be implemented in Sultanpur.While an embarrassed BJP was cringing at this uncalled for praise at a time when the saffron party is locked in a high-voltage electoral battle with the Congress, Rahul was quick to respond to his cousin’s words of praise.Stating that he was happy about his work being appreciated, Rahul said, "I am very happy that others are appreciating the work that we are doing here. We have worked in Amethi with a certain strategy in mind."Caught on the backfoot, Varun subsequently clarified that that his comment should not be seen as endorsement of any party or candidate."My comment, last night, in a meeting with teachers and NGOs, in response to being asked whether I knew about initiatives in Amethi, was that although I had not seen the work done via self help groups in Amethi, I had heard it was fairly decent, and that I would stress. It should not be seen as an endorsement of any political party or candidate," Varun said.The younger Gandhi’s belated explanation was meant to underscore that the two cousins are firmly in opposite political camps but Varun’s comments about Rahul only reaffirmed that the much-talked about “Gandhi vs Gandhi” electoral face-off is unlikely to take place in the ongoing Lok Sabha poll.When the BJP decided to field Varun from the Sultanpur Lok Sabha constituency adjoining Rahul’s Amethi, it was generally expected that this move would set the stage for a family duel and make for a great media story.
PSLV C24 injects IRNSS 1B Satellite into the intended orbit with remarkable precision. IRNSS 1B, is the second of seven which comprise the first generation Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS).The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) successfully launched its IRNSS 1B satellite from Sriharikota today.The 1,432-kg satellite is second of the seven planned satellites for the regional navigational system.
The satellite is equivalent to Global Positioning System (GPS) of the US and would help put in place the Indian Regional Navigational Satellite System (IRNSS). ISRO needs to launch at least four of the seven satellites to start the operations of the IRNSS. ISRO launched its first satellite on July 1 last year and it is presently in orbit. The satellite navigation system is a fleet of seven satellites that will help provide precise locations within 20 meters.
The Indian space agency made history today by launching the Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle or PSLV successfully 25 times in a row, bringing India one step closer to its own global positioning system or the 'desi' GPS. The 44 meter, 320 ton, PSLV rocket successfully lifted off into the sky at 5.14 PM from Sriharikota and 19 minutes later accurately placed India's second navigation satellite in space. The satellite navigation system will be a fleet of seven satellites that help provide precise locations within 20 meters. The 'desi GPS' will be similar in function to the American Global Positioning System (GPS) but regional in coverage.
India will be the sixth country in the world, after America, Russia, Europe, China and Japan to have this system. This is vitally necessary in times of war since most modern precision bombs and missiles depend on accurate positioning. Till now most of us have relied on the American GPS, very popular on smart phones but not good enough for military applications as it can't be relied upon for seamless coverage in times of war and the in-built error makes it un-suitable for precision strikes. Today in its 26th flight India's workhorse rocket the PSLV hoisted a 1432 kilogram special satellite that also carries on it a precision clock called an atomic clock. The entire fleet of satellites is likely to be ready by 2016 when Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System will become operational. India's satellite system is designed to cover a region of about 1500 km on either side of the border, essentially covering the geographical region from where India has a perception of threat, and both Pakistan and China are within the footprint.
The first Indian navigation satellite launched last year in July is working normally. Late last year the PSLV had successfully sent India's maiden mission to Mars the Mangalyaan, which is healthy and rapidly closing on the Red Planet and in a few months it will rendezvous it.
ISRO is now gearing for the first experimental flight of its largest rocket the Geo-synchronous Satellite Launch Vehicle (GSLV) Mark III that will be launched sometime in June this year from Sriharikota and will flight test India's first crew module.
Sports News This Week:
1) Sri Lanka reach final after hailstorm in Mirpur:
Sri Lanka sailed into the World Twenty20 final after bad weather literally poured cold water on West Indies' title defence in a rain-ruined contest on Thursday.
Chasing 161 for victory against the side they beat in the 2012 final, West Indies were 80 for four in 13.5 overs when the teams were forced off by a hailstorm and a wet outfield subsequently prevented any further play in the semi-final."(It's) disappointing to come out of a tournament like this," captain Darren Sammy told reporters."We had a good run but I'm sad that we got knocked out by the Duckworth-Lewis system."
Sri Lanka now face the winners of Friday's game between India and South Africa in Sunday's title showdown and will want to improve on their poor final record.Over the past seven years Sri Lanka have lost in the final of the 50-over World Cup in 2007 and 2011 and World Twenty20 in 2009 and 2012.Earlier, cameos from Lahiru Thirimanne (44), Angelo Mathews (40) and Tillakaratne Dilshan (39) led them to 160 for six at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium.After opting to bat first, Lasith Malinga's team cruised to 40 for nought inside four overs before Kusal Perera (26) dragged a Krishmar Santokie delivery on to his stumps to trigger a collapse to 49 for three.Mahela Jayawardene was run out without facing a ball and former captain Kumar Sangakkara fell for one to continue his woeful form in his last Twenty20 international competition.Dilshan added 42 with Thirimanne to steady the innings before the opener was run out.Thirimanne fell in the 17th over after a 35-ball knock that included two sixes and three fours.Man of the match Mathews hit two sixes and three fours in his brisk 23-ball knock to take Sri Lanka past the 150-mark."(It) would have been great if we'd played the 20 overs. It would have been a good, close game but thanks to the weather we are in the final," said Mathews."We deserve to be in the final. We have played some good cricket."West Indies did not get the flying start to their reply that was expected from their openers.
Chris Gayle, whose new-look approach of biding his time before exploding later has not really worked in this tournament, was removed for three.Leading the side in place of regular Twenty20 skipper Dinesh Chandimal, fast bowler Malinga removed the dangerous Gayle with the first ball of his second over and fellow opener Dwayne Smith for 17 with the fifth delivery.West Indies also lost Lendl Simmons for four before Dwayne Bravo (30) shared a 43-run stand for the fourth wicket with Marlon Samuels (18 not out).Paceman Nuwan Kulasekara dismissed Bravo in the 14th over and then the weather intervened."It was like people were pelting stones at us," said Sammy of the hailstorm. "I have never seen something like that before."
2) Bouchard beats Venus to reach last eight in Charleston
Rising Canadian star Eugenie Bouchard booked her place in the quarter-finals of the Family Circle Cup in Charleston on Thursday with a 7-6(6) 2-6 6-4 victory over former world number one Venus Williams.Sixth seed Bouchard, an unabashed fan of Williams as she came up through the junior ranks, broke her opponent's serve twice in the final set to claim her first win against the 33-year-old American.
"Every time I walk on the court, I believe I can win, and I think I believed more this time than probably the last time I played her," the 20-year-old Bouchard, beaten by Williams in three sets in their only previous meeting, told reporters."It's always an opportunity for me to play someone I've watched on TV when I was younger and someone who's been No. 1 and such a great player."So I always expect great tennis because she's still playing at a great level, and she was at an amazing level."
Williams, the 11th seed who won the tournament a decade ago but has struggled with health issues in recent years, felt her inconsistency had made the biggest difference against Bouchard after she had battled through her two previous matches."My errors really hurt me a lot today, just a lot of up and down, a lot of errors," said the American. "(I didn't) have the endurance this week, so I think that contributed to my errors.
"I just kind of wanted to make the points shorter a lot of the times. I made some bad choices or my legs would stop. So that kind of made it more challenging."Next up for Bouchard in the last eight is Serbia's Jelena Jankovic, the second seed and 2007 champion, who shrugged off a close opening set to beat Croatia's Ajla Tomljanovic 7-5 6-1.
In other matches on Thursday, Germany's 2009 champion Sabine Lisicki, the fourth seed, was knocked out by compatriot Andrea Petkovic 6-1 6-0, while Swiss qualifier Belinda Bencic fought back to beat Ukrainian teenager Elina Svitolina 6-7(4) 6-4 6-1.Third-seeded Italian Sara Errani scraped past China's Peng Shuai 7-6(6) 7-6(5), Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova brushed aside Brazil's Teliana Pereira 6-2 6-3 and Jana Cepelova, also of Slovakia, fended off Russian Elena Vesnina 7-6(4) 3-6 6-3.
3) 12 players named in Mudgal Committee’s secret report to Supreme Court:
Contrary to earlier reports, the confidential report submitted to Supreme Court by Justice Mudgal Committee on IPL fixing scam contains “unverified” allegations against 12-13 players of 5 different IPL teams, instead of just 6, as earlier reported.According to a report in Indian Express, the Mudgal Committee report has named around a dozen players belonging to 3 other teams apart from Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals in IPL, increasing the suspicion of match-fixing over 5 out of 8 IPL teams.
However, these allegations are yet to be verified and while the names of these undisclosed players have been mentioned in the report which was submitted to the Supreme Court in a sealed cover in February, retired Punjab and Haryana HC chief Justice Mukul Mudgal, who headed the probe set up by SC, has maintained that that these allegations remain “unverified”.
It’s also stated that apart from these 12-13 players, at least 3 top officials of IPL have also been named in the report. “These are top office-bearers who have been closely involved in the organisation of the IPL for several years,” an unnamed source, who knows about these allegations, was quoted by Indian Express.
The Mudgal Committee report is also believed to be containing allegations against owners other than those of Chennai Super Kings and Rajasthan Royals.
Despite all the reports, what remains clear is that these are still ‘allegations’.The Mudgal Committee knew that without verification, if the names were made public, it would malign the reputation of these players and hence, it submitted its report to Supreme Court with the understanding that without any proof, these names would be kept confidential.But this revelation makes it clear that corruption may not be limited to just a couple of teams and a few individuals. As has been believed by many cynics, the ring may be bigger than previously imagined.
4) Schumacher showing 'encouraging signs' of coming out of coma: Manager:
The manager of comatose Formula One legend Michael Schumacher has said that there are 'encouraging signs' in the process of bringing the former German racer out of a medically-induced coma.According to News.com.au, there has been a 'noticeable improvement' in Schumacher's condition and his manager Sabine Kehm confirmed the reports, saying that there have been 'encouraging signs' in his recovery.
Schumacher suffered severe head injuries in a skiing accident at the French resort of Meribel on December 29.The seven-time world champion was taken to a hospital in Grenoble for emergency surgery and was then placed in an artificial coma, the report added. (ANI)
The semifinals secured in the most serene fashion, with three comfortable victories, India can probably let go of that intensity button a little when they take on Australia in a Group 2 match of the ICC World T20 2014 in Dhaka on Sunday. Australia have lost both their matches in the T20 World Cup so far, and could well be out of the reckoning for a semifinal place if Pakistan, as expected, top Bangladesh in the early game.
The painful losses to Pakistan and, a couple of days ago, to West Indies have hurt Australia bad and the favourites going into the tournament look set to be knocked out of the group stages.
"I think we under-clubbed with the bat in both games to be perfectly honest," said Australia coach Darren Lehmann, who was riding on a wave of success against England and South Africa heading into the World T20. "I think we needed 75 off ten [overs] in the first game with eight wickets in hand.
"And our match awareness has got to improve in this format. Again we got 178 [in the match against the West Indies] and we didn't bat very well. Our top six have got to take the shoulder of that, especially the times they got out, more so than anything else."
The last time the two teams met, they were part of a humdinger of an ODI series, where pretty much every match saw scores over 300 being posted with a couple of records also being broken.Lehmann is confident Australia will be able to tack India's spin trio, who have spun webs around the batsman in this tournament."[Playing spin is] not a weakness, because certainly spinners didn't get us out, we got ourselves out," Lehmann added. "So we've got some work to do in that area, but that's like every area: fast bowling, playing short-pitched bowling. It's no different. The wickets certainly haven't spun as much as we thought, so that's no excuse for our batters.
India W0n against S0uth Africa By 6 wickets and secured their place in final.
South Africa vs. India
172/4 (20) 176/4 (19.1)
Book of this week:
Business Maharajas Author: Gita Piramal:
Summary Of The Book
Business Maharajas is an engrossing inside story of eight business tycoons who have been described as the most powerful in all of Asia. With a combined turnover of more than INR 55,000 crore, Piramal’s selection is bang on target. The author has picked the best talent from among the big family businesses.
Business Maharajas profiles noted business tycoons like Rahul Bajaj, Brij Mohan Khaitan, Dhirubhai Ambani, Ratan Tata, R. P. Goenka, Bharat and Vijay Shah and Aditya Birla. Piramal has presented the lives of these business giants in detail along with an overview of their business tactics. There are various details and incidents which are woven together from different newspaper reports and publications. Gita Piramal has peppered the book with interesting anecdotes and personal accounts.
Business Maharajas attempts to present a series of highly prominent yet critical episodes which are illustrative in the context of the high profile careers of these men. There are little quotes and details which give the book a popular touch. These include Ramnath Goenka and Dhirubhai Ambani’s rivalry and their truce, the kidnapping of Bharat Shah’s son-in-law’s twin and payment of a million US dollars as ransom and Nusli Wadia’s presence at the wedding of a daughter of the Ambani family.
Various important quotes and beliefs of these powerful industrialists are mentioned in this book. Gita Piramal’s book reveals how all these men took radically different routes to success amidst certain startlingly common disparities. She also highlights how each of these men had crucial mentorship and luck at some point of their lives which propelled them upwards.
About Gita Piramal
Gita Piramal is a renowned business historian, author, freelance writer, media personality and ex-director of BP Ergo and VIP Industries Limited. Gita Piramal has also written Business Legends, Business Mantras, India’s Industrialists, Vol. 1, Smart Leadership, Managing Radical Change, Sumantra Ghoshal on Management: A Force for Good and World Class in India.
Gita Piramal has a Master’s degree in History along with a Business History PhD from Bombay University. She has received awards like the Business Today Award and Scholar of the Year 2004 Award from Ness Wadia College in Pune. The Delhi Management Association has also listed two of her books as the best in the management section. Gita Piramal has worked with The Financial Times as its Bombay Correspondent and also with the Indian School of Business as the Associate Dean of ISB Interactive. She was featured in the list of twenty five most powerful Women in Indian business in 2004. She has written for The Economic Times and is also a consulting editor at the World Executive’s Digest. She has made business programmes for Plus Channel and BBC and been a member of the LBS Regional Advisory Board. She is presently the managing editor of The Smart Manager magazine. She married Dilip Piramal, chairman of VIP Industries Limited in 1979 and divorced him in 2005.