Scientists create world’s fastest spinning man-made object……

      Scientists have created the world’s fastest spinning object, a tiny dumbbell-shaped nanoparticle made from silica, that spins at rates close to 60 billion rotations per second. The scientists made the dumbbell spin by levitating it using a laser. The discovery will help scientists study things like quantum mechanics and the properties of vacuum like vacuum friction and gravity.

      At more than 60 billion revolutions per minute, this machine is more than 100,000 times faster than a high-speed dental drill. “This study has many applications, including material science,” said Tongcang Li, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, and electrical and computer engineering, at Purdue University. “We can study the extreme conditions different materials can survive in.” Li’s team synthesized a tiny dumbbell from silica and levitated it in high vacuum using a laser. The laser can work in a straight line or in a circle—when it’s linear, the dumbbell vibrates, and when it’s circular, the dumbbell spins. A spinning dumbbell functions as a rotor, and a vibrating dumbbell functions like an instrument for measuring tiny forces and torques, known as a torsion balance. These devices were used to discover things like the gravitational constant and density of Earth, but Li hopes that as they become more advanced, they’ll be able to study things like quantum mechanics and the properties of vacuum.

NASA may have observed star consuming a planet for 1st time……

     Scientists believe that NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory may have, for the first time ever, observed a parent star consuming the debris of nearby planets that got destroyed. The parent star, which is roughly 450 light-years from Earth, is believed to have begun consuming the remnant debris following the collision of two nearby planetary bodies.

         Scientists may have observed, for the first time, the destruction of a young planet or planets around a nearby star. Observations from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory indicate that the parent star is now in the process of devouring the planetary debris.  This discovery gives insight into the processes affecting the survival of infant planets. Since 1937, astronomers have puzzled over the curious variability of a young star named RW Aur A, located about 450 light years from Earth. Every few decades, the star’s optical light has faded briefly before brightening again. In recent years, astronomers have observed the star dimming more frequently, and for longer periods. Using Chandra, a team of scientists may have uncovered what caused the star’s most recent dimming event: a collision of two infant planetary bodies, including at least one object large enough to be a planet. As the resulting planetary debris fell into the star, it would generate a thick veil of dust and gas, temporarily obscuring the star’s light. “Computer simulations have long predicted that planets can fall into a young star, but we have never before observed that,” says Hans Moritz Guenther, a research scientist in MIT’s Kavli Institute for Astrophysics and Space Research who led the study. “If our interpretation of the data is correct, this would be the first time that we directly observe a young star devouring a planet or planets.”

          The star’s previous dimming events may have been caused by similar smash-ups, of either two planetary bodies or large remnants of past collisions that met head-on and broke apart again. RW Aur A is located in the Taurus-Auriga Dark Clouds, which host stellar nurseries containing thousands of infant stars. Very young stars, unlike our relatively mature sun, are still surrounded by a rotating disk of gas and clumps of material ranging in size from small dust grains to pebbles, and possibly fledgling planets. These disks last for about 5 million to 10 million years. RW Aur A is estimated to be several million years old, and is still surrounded by a disk of dust and gas. This star and its binary companion star, RW Aur B, are both about the same mass as the sun. The noticeable dips in the optical brightness of RW Aur A that occurred every few decades each lasted for about a month. Then, in 2011, the behavior changed. The star dimmed again, this time for about six months. The star eventually brightened, only to fade again in mid-2014. In November 2016, the star returned to its full brightness, and then in January 2017 it dimmed again. Chandra was used to observe the star during an optically bright period in 2013, and then dim periods in 2015 and 2017, when a decrease in X-rays was also observed. Because the X-rays come from the hot outer atmosphere of the star, changes in the X-ray spectrum – the intensity of X-rays measured at different wavelengths – over these three observations were used to probe the density and composition of the absorbing material around the star. The team found that the dips in both optical and X-ray light are caused by dense gas obscuring the star’s light. The observation in 2017 showed strong emission from iron atoms, indicating that the disk contained at least 10 times more iron than in the 2013 observation during a bright period. Guenther and colleagues suggest the excess iron was created when two planetesimals, or infant planetary bodies, collided. If one or both planetary bodies are made partly of iron, their smash-up could release a large amount of iron into the star’s disk and temporarily obscure its light as the material falls into the star. A less favored explanation is that small grains or particles such as iron can become trapped in parts of a disk. If the disk’s structure changes suddenly, such as when the star’s partner star passes close by, the resulting tidal forces might release the trapped particles, creating an excess of iron that can fall into the star.

           The scientists hope to make more observations of the star in the future, to see whether the amount of iron surrounding it has changed – a measure that could help researchers determine the size of the iron’s source. For example, if about the same amount of iron appears in a year or two that may indicate it comes from a relatively massive source. “Much effort currently goes into learning about exoplanets and how they form, so it is obviously very important to see how young planets could be destroyed in interactions with their host stars and other young planets, and what factors determine if they survive,” Guenther says. Guenther is the lead author of a paper detailing the group’s results, which appears today in the Astronomical Journal.  NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, manages the Chandra program for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. The Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory in Cambridge, Massachusetts, controls Chandra’s science and flight operations. Sources NASA.

Study finds that each person’s brain anatomy is unique…….

        Scientists at the University of Zurich have found that similar to the case with fingerprints, each person’s brain anatomy is also unique. The study claims that the brain anatomy of each individual is shaped by a combination of genetic factors and individual life experiences. Over 450 brain anatomical features were assessed using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Experiences make their mark on the brain

Professional musicians, golfers or chess players, for example, have particular characteristics in the regions of the brain which they use the most for their skilled activity. However, events of shorter duration can also leave behind traces in the brain: If, for example, the right arm is kept still for two weeks, the thickness of the brain’s cortex in the areas responsible for controlling the immobilized arm is reduced. “We suspected that those experiences having an effect on the brain interact with the genetic make-up so that over the course of years every person develops a completely individual brain anatomy,” explains Jäncke.

Magnetic resonance imaging provides basis for calculations

To investigate their hypothesis, Jäncke and his research team examined the brains of nearly 200 healthy older people using magnetic resonance imaging three times over a period of two years. Over 450 brain anatomical features were assessed, including very general ones such as total volume of the brain, thickness of the cortex, and volumes of grey and white matter. For each of the 191 people, the researchers were able to identify an individual combination of specific brain anatomical characteristics, whereby the identification accuracy, even for the very general brain anatomical characteristics, was over 90 percent.

Combination of circumstances and genetics

“With our study we were able to confirm that the structure of people’s brains is very individual,” says Lutz Jäncke on the findings. “The combination of genetic and non-genetic influences clearly affects not only the functioning of the brain, but also its anatomy.” The replacement of fingerprint sensors with MRI scans in the future is unlikely, however. MRIs are too expensive and time-consuming in comparison to the proven and simple method of taking fingerprints.

Progress in neuroscience

An important aspect of the study’s findings for Jäncke is that they reflect the great developments made in the field in recent years: “Just 30 years ago we thought that the human brain had few or no individual characteristics. Personal identification through brain anatomical characteristics was unimaginable.” In the meantime magnetic resonance imaging has got much better, as has the software used to evaluate digitalized brain scans – Jäncke says it is thanks to this progress that we now know better.

World’s first ever colour X-ray performed on human body……..

       Scientists from New Zealand have performed the first-ever 3-D, colour X-ray on a human body, using the imaging technology developed for the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN physics lab. Scientists claim that this new imaging technology will help in providing more information about the tissues and mass surrounding the bones, something that was not possible with traditional X-ray imaging.

    What if, instead of a black and white X-ray picture, a doctor of a cancer patient had access to colour images identifying the tissues being scanned? This colour X-ray imaging technique could produce clearer and more accurate pictures and help doctors give their patients more accurate diagnoses. This is now a reality, thanks to a New-Zealand company that scanned, for the first time, a human body using a breakthrough colour medical scanner based on the Medipix3 technology developed at CERN. Father and son scientists Professors Phil and Anthony Butler from Canterbury and Otago Universities spent a decade building and refining their product. Medipix is a family of read-out chips for particle imaging and detection. The original concept of Medipix is that it works like a camera, detecting and counting each individual particle hitting the pixels when its electronic shutter is open. This enables high-resolution, high-contrast, very reliable images, making it unique for imaging applications in particular in the medical field.

      Hybrid pixel-detector technology was initially developed to address the needs of particle tracking at the Large Hadron Collider, and successive generations of Medipix chips have demonstrated over 20 years the great potential of the technology outside of high-energy physics. MARS Bioimaging Ltd, which is commercialising the 3D scanner, is linked to the University of Otago and Canterbury. The latter together with more than 20 research institutes forms the third generation of Medipix collaboration. The Medipix3 chip is the most advanced chip available today and Professor Phil Butler recognises that “this technology sets the machine apart diagnostically because its small pixels and accurate energy resolution mean that this new imaging tool is able to get images that no other imaging tool can achieve.” MARS’ solution couples the spectroscopic information generated by the Medipix3 enabled detector with powerful algorithms to generate 3D images. The colours represent different energy levels of the X-ray photons as recorded by the detector hence identifying different components of body parts such as fat, water, calcium, and disease markers.

Special status to J&K not a temporary provision: SC…….

        The Supreme Court on Tuesday stated that Article 370, granting special status to Jammu and Kashmir, is not a temporary provision. The court was responding to a petition challenging the validity of Article 370. The petitioner claimed that continuing the provision even after dissolution of the state’s Constituent Assembly “amounts to fraud on the basic structure of our Constitution.”

New MRI tech diagnoses cancer without the need for biopsy……..

       US-based researchers have developed a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology that can determine whether a cancerous tumour is benign or malignant without performing a biopsy. Biopsies are invasive procedures to sample tumour cells and are not risk-free, researchers noted. The new technology uses the MRI scans to painlessly detect stage 1 kidney tumours with 80% accuracy.

Scientists devolop Injectable Tissue Bandage to repair Heart…….

      Scientists have developed an injectable tissue bandage smaller than a postage stamp that can repair damaged hearts. Repairing heart tissue destroyed by a heart attack or medical condition with regenerative cells usually requires invasive open-heart surgery.

               Researchers at the University of Toronto in Canada have developed a technique that lets them use a small needle to inject a repair patch, without the need to open up the chest cavity. The AngioChip is a tiny patch of heart tissue with its own blood vessels and heart cells beating with a regular rhythm. Miles Montgomery, a PhD candidate, spent nearly three years developing a patch that could be injected, rather than implanted. Source The Hindu.

DRDO develops India’s first unmanned tank ‘Muntra’…….

       Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed India’s first unmanned tank, which has three variants namely surveillance, mine detection and reconnaissance in areas with nuclear and bio threats.

           It is called Muntra (Mission UNmanned TRAcked) and has been rolled out of the Chennai lab.

      The tanks will facilitate Indian Armed forces in conducting unmanned surveillance missions. Muntra-S developed for unmanned surveillance missions, whereas Muntra-M is built for detecting mines. Source Freshers Live.

“SURFNET” can create 3D models from 2D Photos…….

       Scientists, including one of Indian origin, have developed a new artificial intelligence software that can create 3D models from two dimensional photographs, an advance that could allow future robots to navigate in the real world.

       When fully developed, the method called SurfNet could have significant applications in the fields of 3D searches on the internet researchers said. “The “magical” capability of AI deep learning is that it is able to learn abstractly,” said Karthik Ramani, professor at Purdue University in the US. “If you show it hundreds of thousands of shapes of something such as a car, if you then show it a 2D image of a car, it can reconstruct that model in 3D,” Ramani said. “It can even take two 2D images and create a 3D shape between the two, which we call ‘hallucination’,” he said.

       Perhaps most exciting, however, is that the technique could be used to create 3D content for virtual reality and augmented reality by simply using standard 2D photos. “You can imagine a movie camera that is taking pictures in 2D, but in the virtual reality world everything is appearing magically in 3D,” Ramani said. “Inch-by-inch we are going there, and in the next five years something like this is going to happen,” he said. One significant outcome of the research would be for robotics, object recognition and even self-driving cars in the future. They would only need to be fitted with standard 2D cameras, yet still have the ability to understand the 3D environment around them. Source Indian Express.

1st Robotics Olympiad : Indians win Gold & Bronze…….

       A group of seven Indian students has bagged two awards at the first global robotics Olympiad in the US where 157 countries participated. The students, who hail from Mumbai, won gold for Zhang Heng Engineering Design Award and bronze for Global Challenge Match at the international robotics challenge organised by FIRST Global in Washington, according to a statement.

       The Indian team was led by 15-year-old Rahesh, the youngest member of the group. Others were Aadiv Shah, tam spokesperson; Harsh Bhatt, alliance strategist; Vatsin, alliance analyst; Adhyyan, a robot tactician; Tejas, robot controller and Raghav, robot driver.

       The three-day event capped weeks of tense moments for the all-girl team from Afghanistan, whose visas were denied twice by the State department. However due to a last-minute intervention by President Donald Trump, they were able to arrive over the weekend to participate in the competition.

       “Absolutely thrilled that we were able to live up to our promise… We had a lot of fun at the FIRST Global Challenge 2017,” the group said on its Facebook page.

       The Afghan team won the Rajaa Cherkaoui El Moursli award for courageous achievement. First Daughter Ivanka Trump met them at the competition venue in the morning. “We are not terrorists. We are simple people with ideas. We need a chance to make our world better. This is our chance,” Alireza Mehraban, an Afghan software engineer who is the team’s mentor, was quoted as saying by the New York Times.

       Mexico City will host the competition next year. Source The Wire.In