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In quantum channels zero plus zero can equal nonzero

first_imgThe scientists account for this “superactivation” property by explaining that quantum channels have two different kinds of capacity. “Private capacity” is the rate at which a channel can send secure classical data. “Assisted capacity” is the transmission rate in which multiple symmetric channels can assist a given channel in sending quantum data. As the physicists demonstrated, a channel’s assisted capacity is always at least half as large as its private capacity. As an example of superactivation, the scientists showed that combining a private “Horodecki” channel and a symmetric channel (each with zero capacity) can give a quantum capacity of more than 0.01 qubits per channel. It’s as if each channel has the potential to activate the other, canceling the other’s reason for having zero capacity.“The effect has something to do with the existence of something called ‘private Horodecki channels,’” Smith said. “These channels have the weird property that, even though they’re too noisy to allow quantum communication, somehow they still allow you to send classical messages that are completely private. Roughly speaking, we figured out that there’s this second kind of channel – a symmetric channel – that also can’t send any quantum messages on its own, but can be used to transform the private classical communication of the Horodecki channel into noiseless quantum communication.”Superactivation raises some interesting questions about the nature of communication. For instance, you would think that the question “can this communication link transmit any information?” would have a straightforward answer. However, with quantum data, the answer may be that it depends on the context. If identifying a quantum channel’s capacity is not as straightforward as previously thought, then new ideas will be needed for designing error-correction techniques in quantum channels.These results lead to other questions, such as what the effect of combing three channels might be. The overall complexity of quantum channel capacity will keep the researchers investigating the fundamental characteristics of communication in the physical world.“First, I’d like to understand the role of privacy in this whole thing, and whether it’s necessary to achieve a superactivation,” Smith said. “In the longer term, I’d like to see if we can turn the improved understanding of quantum error correction that comes out of this into some practical ways to reduce noise in prototypes for quantum computers.”More information: Smith, Graeme and Yard, Jon. “Quantum Communication with Zero-Capacity Channels.” Science, 26 September 2008, Vol. 321. 10.1126/science.1164382.Copyright 2008 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. (PhysOrg.com) — Physicists have discovered a strange characteristic of quantum communication channels. If two quantum channels each have a transmission capacity of zero, they may still have a nonzero capacity when used together. This effect, which has no classical counterpart, reveals a new complexity in the fundamental nature of quantum communication. Citation: In quantum channels, zero plus zero can equal non-zero (2008, October 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2008-10-quantum-channels-equal-non-zero.html Explore further Physicists propose a second level of quantization for quantum Shannon theorycenter_img The coauthors of the study, Graeme Smith of the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center in Yorktown Heights, New York, and Jon Yard of Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, New Mexico, have published their research in a recent issue of Science.Smith and Yard explain that one of the most important challenges in designing communication networks of any kind is taking steps to correct for noise. By decreasing noise levels in communication channels, developers can increase channel capacity, which is defined as the number of bits (or qubits, in quantum channels) that one channel can transmit. For a channel with zero capacity, no bits are transmitted.For several decades, scientists have used a well-known formula developed by Claude Shannon in 1948 for developing error-correction techniques in classical communication channels. This formula guides the design of modern communication schemes used in cell phones, the Internet, and deep-space communication. In this classical formula, capacity is additive: when two channels are used simultaneously to transmit data, the capacities of the channels are added to obtain the total capacity.But even today, physicists don’t understand quantum communication nearly as well as the classical kind. In the current study, Smith and Yard show that some pairs of zero-capacity channels can have a positive quantum capacity when used together. As the physicists explain, that would be like two cut telephone cables being able to transmit data when used together. Their finding shows two things: that quantum capacity is not additive like classical capacity, and that the quantum capacity of a single channel does not completely specify its capability for transmitting quantum information.“To me, the strange thing is that you have these two things that you would have thought were useless – I mean, you’d usually think that a zero-capacity channel was good for nothing – and when you put them together, somehow there’s a kind of synergy and they develop a very quantifiable value,” Smith told PhysOrg.com. “This doesn’t happen when you work with classical channels, and since my intuition was based on that case, I was really surprised when it happened here.” Two quantum channels that have zero capacity when used individually (orange and yellow figures) can enable communication when used together (green figure). Image credit: Graeme Smith and Jon Yard. ©2008 Science. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Entrepreneur receives funding for tornado power generator

first_img © 2012 Phys.org Michaud’s idea is to use a fan to blow some of the excess heat produced by conventional power plants, into a cylindrical hollow tower, at an angle. Doing so should create a circular air current, which he says will grow stronger as it moves higher. The higher it goes the more energy it draws due to differences in temperature. The result would be a controlled man-made tornado. To put it to good user, turbines would be installed at the base of the vortex to create electricity. The original test will be conducted at Lambton College in Ontario – the tower will be 131 feet tall with a 26 foot diameter. That should be enough to create a vortex about a foot in diameter – enough to power a small turbine. It’s just a proof of concept, Michaud notes on his site, a real-world tower would be about 25 meters in diameter, and would be capable of producing up to 200 megawatts of power using only the excess heat generated by a conventional 500 megawatt plant. Power goes up geometrically, he says, as the size of tower grows. He adds that the cost of producing electricity this way would be about 3 cents per kilowatt hour, well below the typical 4 or 5 cents for coal plants.Michaud has been investigating the idea of harnessing the power of tornado’s to provide electricity for several decades but until now has had problems being taken seriously by venture capitalists. He adds that his company built and successfully tested an AVE prototype in 2009, hinting that he has no doubts that the new tower and turbines will work as advertised.For those worried that a man-made tornado might get out of hand, escape its enclosure and wreak havoc on the nearby community, Michaud says that can’t happen because all it would take to stop the whole process would be to turn off the fan that feeds the vortex the warm air. Citation: Entrepreneur receives funding for ‘tornado’ power generator (2012, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-12-entrepreneur-funding-tornado-power.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. French company uses wind turbine to create fresh watercenter_img (Phys.org)—Electrical engineer and entrepreneur Louis Michaud’s AVEtec company has received funding from PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel’s Breakout Labs program to build an experimental Atmosphere Vortex Engine (AVE). The $300,000 in startup funds is to go towards building a working engine to dispel or prove the viability of using such technology to produce electricity with virtually no carbon footprint. More information: vortexengine.ca/index.shtmlwww.breakoutlabs.org/news-even … abs-includes-an.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Physicists propose superabsorption of light beyond the limits of classical physics

first_imgIn one potential method to realize superabsorption, a superabsorbing ring absorbs incident photons, giving rise to excitons. Credit: Higgins, et al. Citation: Physicists propose superabsorption of light beyond the limits of classical physics (2014, August 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-08-physicists-superabsorption-limits-classical-physics.html More information: K.D.B. Higgins, et al. “Superabsorption of light via quantum engineering.” Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms5705 A comparison of absorption: Independent atoms (red line) absorb excitons linearly, while a proposed superabsorption scheme (green line) could absorb excitons superlinearly (ideally, N2). The yellow and blue lines represent superabsorption when accounting for costs in different ways. Credit: Higgins, et al. The ability to absorb light beyond the limits of classical physics could lead to a new class of quantum nanotechnology. One potential application is optical light or microwave sensors that could be used in future cameras or for scientific instruments. Light-harvesting technologies could also benefit by absorbing an increased number of excitons compared to conventional systems. Superabsorption could be particularly useful for wireless power transfer using light for situations where wired electrical power is impractical, such as for remote sensors or biologically implanted devices.”Eventually, harvesting sunlight in a highly efficient way might one day be possible using superabsorbing systems based on our design, but a more immediate application would be building an extremely sensitive light sensor that could form the basis of new camera technology,” said coauthor Simon Benjamin, Professor at Oxford University. “A camera sensor harnessing the power of our superbsorbing rings would have very high time and spatial resolution. And it could pave the way for camera technology that would exceed the human eye’s ability to see clearly both in dark conditions and in bright sunlight.”The physicists say that superabsorption could be experimentally demonstrated in the future in a few different ways, with possibilities including an array of quantum dots or a Bose-Einstein condensate. In the future, they plan to investigate new methods for achieving extreme light absorption.”We are working on an alternative scheme for quantum enhanced light absorption, which uses what’s called a ‘dark state’ as an efficient means of extracting energy from light, and is similar to what happens in photosynthesis, which is in contrast to superabsorption, which is very different to how natural light harvesters work,” Higgins said.”We also have plans to extend the present work by adding another effect from quantum optics, which we hope will make the proposal much easier to implement experimentally and thus realize the potential technological applications more quickly.” The key to achieving superabsorption is to use quantum engineering techniques to ensure that most state transitions take place within a specific frequency (which the scientists call the “good” frequency, in contrast with the “bad” frequencies that should be avoided). Photons can then be trapped so they are not emitted back out. Although the system would likely deviate from the “good” frequency over time, there are a few reinitialization schemes that would periodically monitor and correct the system’s frequency. (Phys.org) —In a well-known quantum effect called superradiance, atoms can emit light at an enhanced rate compared to what is possible in classical situations. This high emission rate arises from the way that the atoms interact with the surrounding electromagnetic field. Logically, structures that superradiate must also absorb light at a higher rate than normal, but so far the superabsorption of light has not been observed. Superabsorbing ring could make light work of snaps Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2014 Phys.org Now in a new paper published in Nature Communications, physicists Kieran Higgins, et al., have theoretically shown that superabsorption can be demonstrated using quantum engineering techniques. Structures capable of superabsorption could have applications including solar energy harvesting, novel quantum camera pixels, and wireless light-based power transmission.”If you had a ring comprising 40 atoms, this would absorb light 10x faster than any classical approach,” Higgins, at Oxford University, told Phys.org. “The key thing in this work is that it’s a fundamentally different way of absorbing light. So if you want to design the most efficient possible absorber and you have a certain number of atoms, this is a new and better way to do it using quantum physics. The atoms behave as if there’s more of them than there actually are, which is the really cool thing.”As the physicists explain, superabsorption is the reciprocal of superradiance. Superradiance was first introduced 60 years ago by the physicist Robert Dicke, and since then has found a variety of applications, including a new class of laser. Physically, superradiance occurs when a system of excited atoms decays and moves down a ladder of states called the “Dicke” or “bright” states. As a result, light can be emitted at an enhanced rate that is proportional to the square of the number of atoms.In natural systems, light emission dominates over light absorption, which is why superabsorption has not yet been observed. But in the new paper, the scientists have shown that atoms in close proximity and with a suitable geometrical arrangement can interact with each other in such a way as to exhibit superabsorption. Journal information: Nature Communicationslast_img read more

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Chinas Yutu lunar rover finds moon geography more complex than thought

first_img(Phys.org)—A team of researchers working on China’s Chang’E-3 lunar mission has found multiple distinct geographic rock layers beneath the surface of the moon, indicating a much more complex geographical history than was previously thought by most in the scientific community. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their analysis of data sent back by the Yutu rover. © 2015 Phys.org More information: A young multilayered terrane of the northern Mare Imbrium revealed by Chang’E-3 mission, Science 13 March 2015: Vol. 347 no. 6227 pp. 1226-1229 . DOI: 10.1126/science.1259866AbstractChina’s Chang’E-3 (CE-3) spacecraft touched down on the northern Mare Imbrium of the lunar nearside (340.49°E, 44.12°N), a region not directly sampled before. We report preliminary results with data from the CE-3 lander descent camera and from the Yutu rover’s camera and penetrating radar. After the landing at a young 450-meter crater rim, the Yutu rover drove 114 meters on the ejecta blanket and photographed the rough surface and the excavated boulders. The boulder contains a substantial amount of crystals, which are most likely plagioclase and/or other mafic silicate mineral aggregates similar to terrestrial dolerite. The Lunar Penetrating Radar detection and integrated geological interpretation have identified more than nine subsurface layers, suggesting that this region has experienced complex geological processes since the Imbrian and is compositionally distinct from the Apollo and Luna landing sites. Journal information: Science China’s Yutu rover is still alive, reports say, as lunar panorama released Citation: China’s Yutu lunar rover finds moon geography more complex than thought (2015, March 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-03-china-yutu-lunar-rover-moon.htmlcenter_img On December 14, 2013, China’s China’s Chang’E-3 spacecraft touched down on the surface of the moon, the first to conduct a soft landing since the Soviet Union sent craft back in 1976. A few hours after landing, a rover named Yutu (Jade Rabbit) was released from the craft and set off on a zig-zag course across the nearby terrain. Onboard the rover was a variety of sensor equipment, one of which offered Lunar Penetrating Radar (LPR) capable of probing up to 400 meters below the lunar surface. The rover captured subsurface data for approximately a month before technical problems caused it to shut down.In this new report, the researchers studying the data sent back by the rover report that LPR revealed nine distinct rock layers beneath the surface, indicating a geographical history far more complex than has been theorized. The layering is due, apparently, to lava flows which were mixed with regolith (lunar dust formed by weathering). The data sent back from Yutu is the first to reveal deep subsurface details—during the Apollo missions, drills were used to gather samples of subsurface rock, but they only penetrated to a depth of three meters. The team notes that in studying the rock layers, they made two important finds, the first was that the evidence shows that the moon has had far more volcanic activity than has been thought and the second was that the area under study showed that in addition to basalt there was pyroclastic rocks, an indication of explosive activity. Most who have studied the moon have believed that volatile gasses trapped in the mantle escaped while the moon was still forming. This new evidence suggests that was not the case.The team also notes that the composition of the geography where Yutu was operating appeared to be quite different from that observed by the U.S.’s Apollo missions and the U.S.S.R.’s Luna missions. Explore further Chang’e-3 moon lander This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Solar battery receives 20 of its energy from the sun

first_img(Left) Illustration of the new Li-I solar flow battery with an aqueous electrolyte, which compared to organic solvents has advantages in terms of performance, cost, and environmental friendliness. (Right) When the solar battery is exposed to light, the voltage that it needs from an external source immediately decreases, as the device is being charged by the solar cell. Credit: Yu, et al. ©2015 American Chemical Society Semiliquid battery competitive with both Li-ion batteries and supercapacitors (Phys.org)—Last October, researchers at Ohio State demonstrated the world’s first solar battery—a solar cell and a lithium-oxygen (Li-O2) battery combined into a single device. The main attraction of the solar battery concept is that, because it can harvest, convert, and store solar energy as chemical energy all in one device, it eliminates losses that occur when transferring electrons between multiple devices. The researchers estimate that this integration can potentially reduce overall costs by about 25%. © 2015 Phys.org Journal information: Journal of the American Chemical Society The researchers explain that the key component of the solar battery design is the electrolyte because it bridges the hydrophilic aqueous Li-I battery and the hydrophobic surface of the dye-sensitized solar cell photoelectrode. The electrolyte consists of several ingredients, including lithium iodide salt (LiI), which is essential for the battery’s electrochemical reactions, along with various additives that allow the hydrophilic electrolyte to wet the hydrophobic photoelectrode surface. This surface-wetting contact between the two components is essential for efficiently transferring charge from the solar cell to the battery.Overall, tests showed that the Li-I solar battery has a theoretical capacity (35.7 Ah/L with 2M LiI) close to that of conventional Li-I batteries, and it can be photocharged to about 91% of its theoretical capacity. It also appears to have good cyclability, retaining its full capacity for at least 25 cycles. Unfortunately, it currently takes about 16.8 hours to photocharge the device with a 0.1-mL electrolyte to its full capacity, and this long charge time is one of the biggest areas in need of improvement. The researchers plan to address this problem by improving the efficiency of the aqueous-compatible photoelectrode, among other strategies.In the future, the scientists also plan to extend some of the concepts in this solar battery design to other combinations of battery chemistry and solar cell photoelectrochemistry. One possibility is developing solar batteries that use sodium instead of lithium as the anode, since sodium has been gaining appeal due to its wide abundance and inexpensive fabrication costs.”Improving the solar battery’s photocharging rate and achieving full photocharging are among our goals,” Wu said. “We hope this technology will ultimately be commercialized for applications in grid-scale stationary solar energy conversion and storage.” Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Although the solar-charged Li-O2 battery represented a novel and promising concept, it had a drawback: its electrolyte was made of organic solvents, which are non-aqueous and therefore not compatible with aqueous (water-based) redox flow batteries, limiting the device’s performance. Organic solvents also face problems with environmental impact and cost.Now in a new paper published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Ohio State Professor Yiying Wu and his research group have improved upon their original design by developing a solar battery that replaces the organic solvents with a more environmentally friendly and cost-effective iodine redox-based aqueous solution. The new version is an aqueous lithium-iodine (Li-I) solar flow battery, which integrates an aqueous Li-I redox flow battery with a dye-sensitized solar cell. This compatibility allows the device to operate at a higher voltage, improving its overall performance and bringing the solar battery a step closer to commercialization.”I think the greatest significance is the identification and demonstration of aqueous flow batteries as the platform for solar batteries,” Wu told Phys.org. “Flow batteries are flexible in materials selection. They are modular and scalable, and are being considered for applications in stationary storage, stand-alone power and electric vehicles. Our aqueous flow solar battery is an important step that brings this simultaneous solar energy conversion and storage concept closer to practical applications.”When exposed to sunlight during the charging process, the Li-I solar battery receives about 20% of its charging energy from the sun, meaning it uses 20% less energy from conventional energy sources compared to conventional Li-I batteries. The photoassisted charging process occurs when sunlight illuminates the dye molecules, causing them to become photoexcited and inject their electrons into the photoelectrode—the battery’s third electrode, in addition to the conventional cathode and anode. The photoexcited electrons supply a photovoltage to the battery, which reduces the charging voltage (which is supplied by external energy sources) to a value that is even lower than the discharging voltage. As the researchers explain, this feat would be thermodynamically impossible without the solar energy input. More information: Mingzhe Yu, et al. “Aqueous Lithium–Iodine Solar Flow Battery for the Simultaneous Conversion and Storage of Solar Energy.” Journal of the American Chemical Society. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b03626 Citation: Solar battery receives 20% of its energy from the sun (2015, July 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-07-solar-battery-energy-sun.htmllast_img read more

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Soildwelling fungi study shows extent of worldwide distribution

first_img Arbuscular mycorrhizal root tuber. Citation: Soil-dwelling fungi study shows extent of worldwide distribution (2015, August 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-08-soil-dwelling-fungi-extent-worldwide.html More information: Global assessment of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus diversity reveals very low endemism Science 28 August 2015: Vol. 349 no. 6251 pp. 970-973 DOI: 10.1126/science.aab1161ABSTRACTThe global biogeography of microorganisms remains largely unknown, in contrast to the well-studied diversity patterns of macroorganisms. We used arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungus DNA from 1014 plant-root samples collected worldwide to determine the global distribution of these plant symbionts. We found that AM fungal communities reflected local environmental conditions and the spatial distance between sites. However, despite AM fungi apparently possessing limited dispersal ability, we found 93% of taxa on multiple continents and 34% on all six continents surveyed. This contrasts with the high spatial turnover of other fungal taxa and with the endemism displayed by plants at the global scale. We suggest that the biogeography of AM fungi is driven by unexpectedly efficient dispersal, probably via both abiotic and biotic vectors, including humans. © 2015 Phys.org Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungus live among 80 percent of plant roots in a symbiotic relationship with their host—the plants get assistance in obtaining nutrients, help with getting water in dry conditions and a leg up in battling pathogens. The fungi, in return, get a steady source of carbon. But, as the researchers note, little is known about the global biography of such microorganisms. They suggest a better understanding of how the microorganisms do their job and how they disperse could have important implications for better understanding our global ecosystem, helping with restoration of damaged areas, and perhaps for increasing or at least sustaining agricultural yields. To learn more, the team embarked on a study that took them to six continents and involved pulling up plants to examine their roots in forests, shrub land, grasslands, successional sites and semi-desert spots, looking for samples of fungi.In all, the team gathered 1,104 root samples, resulting in approximately 912 thousand fungus samples. Of those 836 were able to be sequenced revealing almost 250 DNA based “virtual taxa,” that could be associated with 161 unique plant species. The team also conducted ribosomal RNA testing on the samples to learn more about their evolutionary history. Arbuscular mycorrhiza seen under microscope. Flax root cortical cells containing paired arbuscules. Credit: Public Domain Explore furthercenter_img Fungi—key to tree survival in warming forest (Phys.org)—An international team of researchers has conducted a worldwide census of fungi that live in plant roots and in so doing has found them to be surprisingly broadly spread. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their far-flung study, what they found and offer theories on a mystery that was also uncovered. Journal information: Science In studying their data, the researchers found that 93 percent of the fungi identified existed in the soil on more than one continent, and that 34 percent of them were found on all six continents. They also found that dispersal appeared to lessen the farther plants were from the equator and that at the local level, spatial distance and environmental conditions had an impact on the types of fungus appearing in plant roots.RNA testing showed that the dispersal of the fungi appeared to have occurred after the continents drifted apart, which caused the researchers to wonder what sort of mechanism might have been responsible for carrying the microorganisms across such great distances. They suggest it could have been a variety of elements including both biotic and abiotic vectors. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Laryngeal muscles found to be underdeveloped compared to articulatory muscles explaining poor

first_img Explore further A trio of researchers, one with Bloorview Research Institute in Canada, the other two with the University of Maastricht in The Netherlands, has found that human laryngeal muscles are less well developed than articulatory muscles. In their paper published in Royal Society Open Science, Michel Belyk, Joseph Johnson and Sonja Kotz suggest that differences in the two muscle groups explains why people are better at whistling than singing. Singing in the brain: Songbirds sing like humans Journal information: Royal Society Open Science © 2018 Phys.org Credit: CC0 Public Domaincenter_img Citation: Laryngeal muscles found to be underdeveloped compared to articulatory muscles, explaining poor human singing (2018, April 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-laryngeal-muscles-underdeveloped-articulatory-poor.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Michel Belyk et al. Poor neuro-motor tuning of the human larynx: a comparison of sung and whistled pitch imitation, Royal Society Open Science (2018). DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171544AbstractVocal imitation is a hallmark of human communication that underlies the capacity to learn to speak and sing. Even so, poor vocal imitation abilities are surprisingly common in the general population and even expert vocalists cannot match the precision of a musical instrument. Although humans have evolved a greater degree of control over the laryngeal muscles that govern voice production, this ability may be underdeveloped compared with control over the articulatory muscles, such as the tongue and lips, volitional control of which emerged earlier in primate evolution. Human participants imitated simple melodies by either singing (i.e. producing pitch with the larynx) or whistling (i.e. producing pitch with the lips and tongue). Sung notes were systematically biased towards each individual’s habitual pitch, which we hypothesize may act to conserve muscular effort. Furthermore, while participants who sung more precisely also whistled more precisely, sung imitations were less precise than whistled imitations. The laryngeal muscles that control voice production are under less precise control than the oral muscles that are involved in whistling. This imprecision may be due to the relatively recent evolution of volitional laryngeal-motor control in humans, which may be tuned just well enough for the coarse modulation of vocal-pitch in speech. Humans, it has been noted, are not naturally good singers, though some are noticeably better than others. But humans are pretty good at whistling, the researchers with this effort found, at least when compared with singing ability. This, they suggest, is because the muscles that control the mouth are more developed than those that control the larynx, in an evolutionary context.The researcher wondered why highly trained singers, such as opera stars, are unable to match the precision of even the most basic of musical instruments. To find out, they recruited 34 volunteers, some of whom self-reported as able to sing, and some who thought otherwise. Each was asked to sing melodies created by a computer and also to sing a scale of notes that went from the lowest they could utter to the highest. Each was then asked to repeat the experiment, but instead of singing, were asked to whistle the notes. A computer was used to analyze all of the notes to judge how precise the volunteers were.The researchers report that all of the volunteers were better at staying on key while whistling than when they were singing, though they also noted that those better at singing in key were also better at whistling in key than those who were poor singers. The researchers also found that the volunteers more often went flat when singing and sharp when whistling.The researchers suggest their results indicate that the muscles that control the larynx are less developed than those that control the lips and jaws, which strongly impacts precision. This, they further suggest, is due to the more recent evolutionary development of the larynx muscles. Our ancient ancestors, they note, were likely whistlers, like modern apes.last_img read more

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What Twins Can Tell Us About Who We Are

first_imgThis week, psychologist Nancy Segal tells the story of the Bogotá twins, which was a tragedy, a soap opera, and a science experiment, all rolled into one. And she explains why twin studies aren’t just for twins. They can serve as a paradigm to understand age-old questions that affect us all: Is our fate written in our genes? And how powerful is upbringing in shaping who we become? Insights — and provocations — from twin studies, this week on Hidden Brain. Read the whole story: NPR In December 1988, two sets of identical twins in Bogotá became test subjects in a study for which they had never volunteered. It was an experiment that could never be performed in a lab, and had never before been documented. And it became a testament to the eternal tug between nature and nurture in shaping who we are. last_img read more

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The Opposite of Procrastination

first_img Other researchers have discovered effects related to pre-crastination, including the influence that looming deadlines can have on a person’s judgment and decision-making. University of Chicago psychological scientist Christopher Hsee was involved in a 2018 study, led by Johns Hopkins University consumer behavior scientist Meng Zhu, that showed a phenomenon the authors called the mere urgency effect. This concept holds that when people sense that they have a limited amount of time to complete a trivial task, they focus on that at the expense of more important tasks. Essentially, the deadline becomes salient, no matter the magnitude of the task at hand. This could translate, for example, into an employee hurrying to deliver a routine report (with typos and misspellings), rather than working to close a lucrative deal with a big client. The 2014 experiments that introduced pre-crastination into the scientific lexicon occurred when Rosenbaum, then a professor at Pennsylvania State University, set out with colleagues to study the trade-offs between an object’s weight and the distance people were willing to carry it. In the study, university students were asked to walk down an alley and pick up either of two empty buckets. Specifically, participants were told to choose the bucket that seemed easiest to carry to the end of the alley. The researchers expected the participants to pick up the bucket close to the end, since they’d have to carry it a shorter distance. But surprisingly, most of the participants chose the bucket closest to the starting point. When interviewed after the experiment, the students said they chose the near bucket to get the task done as quickly as possible. This made no sense; the time it would take to reach the end of the alley would be the same no matter which bucket they picked up. Rosenbaum’s team repeated the procedure in various iterations, including having the participants carry buckets filled with pennies, having them choose between one filled bucket and one empty bucket, and varying the positioning of the buckets. And in every case, participants chose to carry the bucket nearest them over the one near the end of the alley; in other words, they took the first chance to finish the task even though it required carrying the bucket a longer distance. Scientists have long studied the complexities of procrastination, tying it to poor perceptions of time and feeble self-regulation. But recently, behavioral researchers have begun to investigate the flip side of chronic dilly-dallying, studying people who rush to get things done even if they have to expend extra effort. Psychological scientist David A. Rosenbaum and his colleagues discovered this phenomenon in a 2014 study and dubbed it pre-crastination. The authors of the review raise the practical questions about pre-crastination for scientists to pursue. Do people interrupt others in conversation not to simply dominate the dialogue but to reduce their mental workload? Do people multitask because they’re pre-crastinators? And does pre-crastinating behavior vary in different cultures and settings? In a research review just published in Current Directions in Psychological Science, Rosenbaum (University of California, Riverside) and an international group of scientists provide a deep perspective on pre-crastination. They conclude that this habit does not just reflect simple haste or the pursuit of instant gratification; it also reduces demand on mental resources. Rosenbaum and other researchers suggest that pre-crastination enables people to reduce cognitive demand. That can be a particularly strong motivation in the workplace. Remembering to complete that quarterly sales report by a certain deadline can be cognitively taxing — but not if you complete it right away and scratch it off your to-do list. center_img Research is also focusing on individual differences in pre-crastination tendencies. Kyle Sauerberger, a researcher in Rosenbaum’s UC Riverside lab, has linked certain personality traits, such as high levels of conscientiousness and agreeableness, with pre-crastinating behavior. For every employee who chronically misses deadlines, there is another who completes assignments far ahead of schedule. One worker may take days to respond to an email, while another may write back so fast it’s as if they’d read the message before they even received it. A manager may treasure a staff member’s hypervigilance to deadlines and to-do lists, but those qualities may carry some business risks and opportunity costs. “If someone picks up near buckets,” they ask, “will he or she answer emails immediately, finish work too soon, and hurry on physical tasks that may lead to injury?”  ReferenceRosenbaum, D.A., Fournier, L.R., Levy-Tzedek, S., McBride, D.M., Rosenthal, R., Sauerberger, K. … Zentall, T.R. (2019). Sooner rather than later: Pre-crastination rather than procrastination. Current Directions in Psychological Science. doi.org/10.1177/0963721419833652. It’s also unclear whether the tendency to precrastinate generalizes across different tasks, the authors conclude. Answering that question may giving employers a better idea of the implications pre-crastination truly have in the workplace.last_img read more

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Realty scrips tower as Govt ups floor area ratio in Delhi

first_imgShares of Anant Raj jumped 9.71 per cent, DLF (7.20 per cent), Oberoi Realty (7.16 per cent) and Unitech (4.41 per cent) on the Bombay Stock Exchange. Similarly, shares of Housing Development and Infra Ltd rose 3.65 per cent, D B Realty (3.43 per cent) and Omaxe Ltd (1.20 per cent). Following the gains in these stocks, the BSE realty index was up 4.03 per cent at 1,660.73, the best among the 12 sectoral indices. ‘Led by the Delhi government’s decision to increase the Delhi city’s floor area ratio by 200 per cent, most realty sector stocks saw huge surge in buying activity,’ said Rakesh Goyal, Senior Vice President, Bonanza Portfolio Ltd. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashFAR in respect of plots of 750-1000 sq mt size has been enhanced from the present 150 per cent to 200 per cent while the same has been increased from 120 per cent to 200 per cent for plots of 1000 sq mt and above, according to a senior Urban Development ministry official. While the Ground Coverage for plots of 750-1,000 sq mt will remain at 50 per cent, it has been increased from 40 per cent to 50 per cent for plots above 1,000 sq mt.last_img read more

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Fake medical racket busted kingpin held

first_imgKolkata: Bidhannagar police have busted a fake medical racket and arrested the kingpin for duping lakhs of rupees from various medical aspirants by assuring them secure medical seats in colleges.On the basis of the complaint lodged by one Kaberi Sinha, the cyber crime department of Bidhannagar started a probe. According to police, the a 30-year-old man, Sandip Jaiswal set up an institute in the name of Education Point at Ballygunge Tarase near Golpark and also opened other branches in the city. Jaiswal has been arrested in this connection so far. Police are investigating if he was a part of any interstate racket. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPolice said he rented a house in the city saying that he runs an education centre where training is imparted to the medical aspirants. They also said Jaiswal duped Rs 35 lakh from a medical aspirant with assurances of a secure seat at a private medical college in the city. He and his associates told the aspirant that they would arrange a donor’s quota seat at KPC Medical College and got Rs. 35,30,000 from the family members of a medical aspirant. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedWhen he failed to arrange a seat, he said that he would arrange admission at GCRG Medical college, Lucknow in UP but failed to do so. Investigation reveals that this racket has been active in and around Kolkata since 2016. Many others were also duped by them. Police have seized mobile phones, one Toyota Fortuner and bank related documents of two banks accounts. Police said Jaiswal was absconding but based on a specific complaint, police started a detailed probe in this regard and arrested him.last_img read more

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Indias small farmers street vendors exhibit entrepreneurship

first_imgKolkata: Bibek Debroy, Chairman of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, said on Friday that India’s small farmers and street vendors are exhibiting far more entrepreneurship than the country’s corporate sector. “Entrepreneurship cannot be taught but skills can be taught. Let me remind you that the poor vendors on the streets of India are Exhibiting far more entrepreneurship than the Indian corporate sector does,” he said while addressing the Sixth Convocation of IMI-Kolkata. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsHe maintained that one cannot encourage entrepreneurship without encouraging failure.”We all think of successes of entrepreneurship. 95 percent of entrepreneurial attempts failed,” he said.Debroy, who is also a member of NITI Aayog, stressed upon the need for providing a suitable environment for entrepreneurship by the education institutes across the country. “There is a huge question mark on whether Indian education system provides enabling environment for entrepreneurship,” the economist said. He spoke of his prolonged association with the IMI, mentioning its growth “from a seed to a mighty sapling”. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedHe also said: “Students must understand the importance of failure as they strive to carve a space for their own selves” and reminded them of the necessity of giving back to society. “Schemes like Start Up India, SMART cities Mission are attempts of the government to include citizens in making a better country. India will change because of its citizens,” he maintained.Around 120 students of the Institute’s PGDM Programme graduated at the Annual Convocation. Interestingly, this year the three outstanding IMI-Kolkata achievers are women. While Sagnika Dutta received the Gold Medal in Academics, Yamini Gupta was awarded for her all-round performance. The IMI-Kolkata campus in Alipore, spread over nearly an area of 3-acre, was established in 2010 to provide significant opportunities to learn, grow and develop multiple skills across various disciplines of Management.last_img read more

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Darjeeling Kalimpong witness series of landslides 1 killed

first_imgDarjeeling: Darjeeling witnessed a spate of landslides, the first of the season. A construction worker died when a mud wall caved in. Construction work was on when a mud wall caved in at around 3:30 pm on Monday on J P Sharma road. The victim Nar Kumar Rai got buried in the debris.Fire Brigade, Municipal officials and other workers pitched in. At around 4:30 pm, the 33-year-old was taken out and rushed to a nearby hospital. However, he was declared brought dead by the doctors. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsRai is survived by his wife and two sons aged 4 months and 6 years. “He was the only earning member of the family,” stated Manju Rai, his sister. The deceased was a resident of Boudhagram in Darjeeling. Dorjee Tamang, another worker suffered injuries.The Darjeeling Municipality has lodged an FIR against proprietor Joseph Theeng. “He had applied for permission to dismantle the old building that housed the famous Orient restaurant and then we came to know that construction work was also going on. On May 4, we verbally asked them to stop the construction work immediately,” stated Prativa Rai, Chairperson, Darjeeling Municipality. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedLandslides of different magnitudes occurred in Kurseong and Kalimpong. In the Kurseong sub division, the house of one Suraj Tamang was damaged in a landslide in Gairigaon, Tung. Another house belonging to Laxmi Tamang was also damaged in Tung. Dilaram also witnessed a landslide.A slide also occurred between 29th Mile and Gale Khola in Kalimpong disrupting traffic.”An upper air north south trough is causing the rains. Rains will continue in the next 24 hours,” stated Gopi Nath Raha, in charge of the Met office in Gangtok. In the last 24 hours, Darjeeling recorded 101 mm of rains and Kurseong recorded 164 mm and Kalimpong measured 42.6 mm.last_img read more

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Ode to Punjab

first_imgThe festival, which will be held from 1-8  April, at the Open Palm Court, India Habitat Centre, takes off from the success of its first edition last year. It brings to the Capital, apart from the intricate and ubiquitous tradition of Phulkari, the heartland and spirit of Panjab through the colours, stories, history, traditions and craftsmanship of the state.This year, the art of Phulkari, known for its ‘flower’ technique and an unmatchable emotion running through every seam, will flow through the metaphorical energy of the state’s five rivers. The festival’s theme is the Convergence of these five facets, each exhibit bringing together the geographical and cultural diversity and richness on one platform. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Taking an old story and contemporising it to suit the aesthetic sensibilities of urban India, Mela Phulkari is more than a project; it draws inspiration from the past to recreate a future for artistic expression. Last year, the Capital saw the traditional Panjabi home ethos manifest at India Habitat Centre, complete with the ‘veda’, courtyard,  ‘manji’,  bed,  baghs, scrolls,  stoles and shirts. The second edition refines the concept further. Ideated and put together by a multi-faceted group of 1469 along with artists and designers from across the country, art installations will welcome the visitors with their visually dynamic stories. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe stage is set with essentials such as a welcome glass of lassi, decorated chairs depicting the culture of Punjab, or a quintessential and antique tanga that plays recordings of tanga tales. A doli brings to the imagination the traditional Panjabi wedding ritual, while the iconic image of Shaheed Bhagat Singh is seen through portraits created with wooden blocks (created by artist Jagdeep Singh from Nakodar); metal artist Tanushree’s recreation of old chests  and wooden doors with engraved blocks of Gurmukhi script created by 1469, add to the nostalgia. Other attractions include patch-work garments inspired by traditional antique baghs (embroidered wall hangings), paintings that employ pop art style, artwork inspired by oral folk traditions, and brass tapes intertwined into labyrinthine structures. Apart from the exhibition, one will find products on sale such as artefacts, clothes, decorative items, accessories such as parandhis and, most importantly, Phulkari. There will also be a ramp show of phulkari products made by concept 1469. There will also be cultural Trinjan, wherein women vocal artistes from Panjab will sing the famous Suhaag de Geet.  There is also the performance by Jasbir Jassi and by other punjabi singers. ?Talks and demonstrations will run throughout the week. Don’t miss it.last_img read more

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Hernandez stars for Real Madrid in sixgoal thriller

first_imgJavier Hernandez struck twice as Real Madrid kept the pressure on Barcelona at the top of La Liga by reducing the Catalans’ lead to two points with an enthralling 4-2 win at Celta Vigo on Sunday. Nolito fired the hosts into an early lead before goals from Toni Kroos and Hernandez turned the game around. Santi Mina brought Celta level, but James Rodriguez’s deflected effort put Madrid in front once more before the break and Hernandez rounded off the scoring in style 22 minutes from time. Hernandez had starred with the only goal of the tie as Real beat Atletico Madrid for the first time in eight meetings this season to reach the Champions League semifinal. However, they were pushed onto back foot straight away by a side that already claimed the scalps of Barcelona and Atletico in La Liga this season.  Also Read – Khel Ratna for Deepa and Bajrang, Arjuna for JadejaNolito opened the scoring after just nine minutes as he eased past the weak challenges of Dani Carvajal and Asier Illarramendi before leaving Iker Casillas flat-footed with a low shot that rolled in at the near post. Celta’s lead lasted only seven minutes as Cristiano Ronaldo’s dangerous cross from the right was cleared only as far as Kroos at the edge of the area and the German curled home just his second goal for Madrid. The visitors then went in front as Hernandez’s scoring streak continued with a fine low finish after a neat one-two with Rodriguez. In the second half, Hernandez sealed three points in stunning fashion as he controlled Sergio Ramos’s brilliant ball over the top before slamming past Alvarez for his fourth goal in as many games.last_img read more

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Stressed depressed women live shorter

first_imgProviding a new possible link between the mind and body, a study says women under chronic stress have significantly lower levels of klotho, a hormone that regulates aging and enhances cognition.The women with clinically significant depressive symptoms had even lower levels of klotho in their blood than those who were under stress but not experiencing such symptoms. The study, published in Translational Psychiatry, is the first to show a link between psychological influences and klotho. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting'”Our results suggest that klotho, which we now know is very important to health, could be a link between chronic stress and premature disease and death,” said lead author Aric Prather, an assistant professor of psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Based on research in mice and worms, scientists know that when klotho is disrupted, it promotes symptoms of aging and when klotho is made more abundant, the animals live longer.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe study included 90 high-stress caregivers and 88 low-stress controls, most of whom were in their 30s and 40s and otherwise healthy.Klotho is known to decline with age, but in this cross-sectional study of relatively young women, this decline only happened among the high-stress women. The low-stress women did not show a significant reduction in klotho with aging. “Chronic stress transmits risk for bad health outcomes in aging, including cardiovascular and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Dena Dubal, an assistant professor in the UCSF department of neurology. “It will be important to figure out if higher levels of klotho can benefit mind and body health as we age. If so, therapeutics or lifestyle interventions that increase the longevity hormone could have a big impact on people’s lives.”last_img read more

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Search ops for missing mountaineer called off

first_imgDarjeeling: A shadow of uncertainty descended over the family members of missing mountaineer Pemba Sherpa’s after search operations were abandoned in the Karakoram Range where he had gone missing a couple of days ago.Veteran mountaineer Pemba Sherpa, who had scaled Mount Everest eight times and successfully summited six of the world’s highest peaks, went missing between camp 2 and camp 1 after summiting Saser Kangri IV (7,416 meter), a peak in the Karakoram range in Jammu and Kashmir on July 13. A search operation was launched by the Indo-Tibetan Border Police and fellow mountaineers. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeAnother round of rescue operations were launched on July 15 but yielded no result.”The mountaineers including one of my brothers Tshering had descended partly down the crevasse through which Pemba had fallen. It was pitch dark and they hardly saw anything except for fast moving water which could be more than 40 ft deep. They have called off the search operations and are returning,” stated Tashi Sherpa, brother of the missing mountaineer while talking to Millennium Post. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedTashi alleged that the ITBP hardly helped with the search operations.Tashi, who is also a mountaineer, was part of the expedition but had returned to Darjeeling on July 3 from the base camp owing to ill health. Pemba’s mother, wife, two daughters and a son reside at the family house in Ghoom, 8 km from Darjeeling. 47-year-old Pemba was accompanying a team of mountaineers from Mountaineer’s Association of Krishnanagar (MAK), West Bengal and Pune, Maharashtra, as a climbing guide.On June 20, the team led by Everester Basanta Singh Roy had departed from Krishnanagar. The veteran mountaineer from Darjeeling had summited the peak on July13 morning.last_img read more

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Imbibing awareness through films

first_imgHuman Rights day is observed every year on December 10 to improve the physical, social, cultural and spiritual well being and welfare of the vulnerable group of people globally. On this occasion movies talking about gender-based violence will be showcased and discussed in the national Capital. American Centre in collaboration with Cinedarbaar will be organising a two-day Gender-Based Violence film festival on the December 11 and 12 at The American Center Auditorium.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The festival will show five films that brings stories of such violence. The festival will begin with the  film The Accused starring Kelly McGillis, Jodie Foster, Bernie Coulson. The film is about a young woman who suffers from a brutal rape and her justice for it. This will be followed by North Country starring Chalize Theron, Jeremy Renner, which is again based on a sexual harassment case.The second day of the festival will show films like The Color Purple starring Danny Grovel, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey which tells a story of a black Southern woman who struggles to find her identity after suffering for years from an abusive father. The second film What’s Love got to Do with it starring Angela Bassett, Lawrence Fishburne, is about a singer who breaks free from her abusive husband. The festival will close with Safe Haven starring Juliane Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders which tells a story about a young woman with a mysterious path and her bond with a widower forces her to confront the dark secret that haunts her.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe films will be followed by discussions with Prabhleen Tuteja. Prabhleen Tuteja, is Delhi based activist, an ardent gender practitioner with an experience of working with diverse constituencies ranging from grass roots to policy makers. She will explore gender based violence theme in context to the film screened. Her sessions will focus on lack of public sensitivity and by intervention on cases of violence against women. She would also bring attention to role of men and masculinity to intervene on gender based violence. For the second day she will put emphasis on role of society and relationships and women’s situation in the same. When: December 11 and 12 Where: American Center Auditorium, 24 Kasturba Gandhi Marglast_img read more

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As You Like It A Pierrot Parody

first_imgFrom the mound of theatre masterpieces, comes Rajat Kapoor’s recent stroke- I Don’t Like It, As You Like It, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s comedy As You Like It. A play within a play, with clowns being at its helm, it hits you like a breath of fresh air with its moments of high silliness and perfectly-timed comedy.The plot revolves around a troupe of clowns doing “not so well” in the clown company. A poor financial run, everyone hating each other and unfolding issues every now and then, makes it difficult for the troupe to save the company. The troupe attempts to stage As You Like It under Popo (Joy Fernandes), a baton-wielding director, quick enough in his large-self to strike an aberrant actor’s rear. Dollops of romance amongst the clowns mirror the characters that they play, bringing them closer as the play progresses. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Coco (Aadar Malik) and Mimi (Faezeh Jalali) are excited young lovers who’re unable to keep their hands off each other, while Fifi (Shruti Vyas) and Fido (Vinay Pathak) are another couple where Fido is head-over-heels about Fifi, who ignores him and fancies other men. Soso (Cyrus Sahukar), is a rather depressed soul who is in a relationship with his sock puppet Toto. Trying to fit in the mad brigade is a floppy hat-wearing Gigi (Rytasha Rathore), a newcomer in the troupe, trying to make an existence amongst her egotistical peers. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixTo make it more complicated, Popo makes it worse by interchanging gender roles. Yes! The men cross dress as the women and the women cross dress as men. The plot progresses with their respective dynamism, discovering something new about themselves and about each other. With such strong plot-holding actors, the play worked wonders amidst the audience. The spontaneity with which the actors goof around is simply delightful. Vivacious Jalali’s athleticism is once again on display proving to be a whirpool of motion. Malik and his love for music was clearly visible with his short versions of hysterical songs. King of versatility, Pathak, didn’t fail (like always) to channel the mix of sadness and humour while portraying lover-boy Fido. Vyas and Rathore, with their strong presence are hilarious with their poignant style. Sahukar, being the pseudo-intellectual, lumbers about the stage with his comic stance.last_img read more

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2 arrested for stealing mobile phone from parked car in Salt Lake

first_imgKOLKATA: Bidhannagar South Police Station has arrested two youths from Salt Lake for allegedly stealing a mobile phone from a parked car.Police have come to know that the duo had committed several thefts in Salt Lake during the past few months. The duo identified as Md Iftekar, alias Saharukh (20), and Md Sahid Parvej, alias Baccha Sahid (18), used to ride a scooter and look for targets. The duo used to pick up mobile phones and other valuables from parked cars in Salt Lake. According to police, one Indra Dev Das, a cab driver parked his car in front of FD 23 and had gone inside the house on October 6 at around 4 pm. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeWhile he was coming out, he noticed two youths on a scooter taking away something from near his car and fleeing the spot. He ran to his car only to find his mobile phone stolen. Later on October 7, Das lodged a complaint with Bidhannagar South Police Station. While probing the case, the sleuths have identified the duo from the CCTV footage at FD block. Police got a tip off that two youths were seen on the scooter with the same number plate in Salt Lake. On Wednesday night, they were further informed that the duo was seen near City Center area in Salt Lake. Cops immediately rushed to the spot. On seeing them, Iftekar and Parvej tried to flee but failed as they were chased by a police van. The duo has been remanded to four-day police custody on Thursday by Bidhannagar court.last_img read more

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