Researchers develop glowing probes to detect germs via RNA

first_img Imaging instruction: Researchers produce ‘primer’ to guide the use of STORM Citation: Researchers develop glowing probes to detect germs via RNA (2012, April 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-probes-germs-rna.html Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences More information: RNA signatures allow rapid identification of pathogens and antibiotic susceptibilities, PNAS, Published online before print April 2, 2012, doi:10.1073/pnas.1119540109AbstractWith rising rates of drug-resistant infections, there is a need for diagnostic methods that rapidly can detect the presence of pathogens and reveal their susceptibility to antibiotics. Here we propose an approach to diagnosing the presence and drug-susceptibility of infectious diseases based on direct detection of RNA from clinical samples. We demonstrate that species-specific RNA signatures can be used to identify a broad spectrum of infectious agents, including bacteria, viruses, yeast, and parasites. Moreover, we show that the behavior of a small set of bacterial transcripts after a brief antibiotic pulse can rapidly differentiate drug-susceptible and -resistant organisms and that these measurements can be made directly from clinical materials. Thus, transcriptional signatures could form the basis of a uniform diagnostic platform applicable across a broad range of infectious agents.via Discover Blogs 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. In recent years, people in the medical profession have had to rely on DNA analysis to identify certain pathogens, which can take days, or even sometime weeks to carry out. Time that could be better spent treating the diseases they cause. The research team, led by Deborah T. Hunga, following up on findings by Amy Barczak has found that focusing on RNA molecules instead offers much more timely results.The probes are based on the fact that when DNA molecules are switched on, they pass on information to RNA molecules, which are far more prevalent in the body and thus easier to find and look at. Thus, when DNA molecules are switched on due to coming under attack by a pathogen, RNA molecules are notified, which opens up the possibility of simply watching RNA molecules for reactions instead of testing DNA directly. That’s just what the team has done. They’ve created so-called glowing probe molecules that physically light up when they come into contact with the material that is transmitted to RNA molecules from DNA when it comes under attack. And because different DNA molecules switch on for different germs, the message sent is different causing specific probes to light up, which allows for identifying which pathogen has struck.In lab tests, the glowing probes have been able to identify HIV, herpes, influenza, several kinds of bacteria and even the fungus that causes thrush. The team believes that their probes could be used together to test for a variety of ailments in one fell swoop, saving countless hours.As impressive as their results are thus far, there’s more to the story. The team also found that their glowing probes were also able to discern whether a discovered bacteria was drug-susceptible or resistant, a result that could save precious time when trying to figure out the most appropriate drug to use to treat patients infected with dangerous pathogens.Because their research is still so new, more work will need to be done to ensure that the probes are as accurate as they seem and to figure out exactly which pathogens can be identified by them and which cannot. (PhysOrg.com) — A team of researchers from the Boston area have developed a “glowing probe” molecule that is able to detect the presence of many common types of bacteria, viruses and even fungi. The results of their work, which they describe in their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, show that the molecular probes can be used to help diagnose diseases. © 2012 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Britain to use spent nuclear fuel for batteries to power deep space

first_img Citation: Britain to use spent nuclear fuel for batteries to power deep space craft (2012, September 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-britain-spent-nuclear-fuel-batteries.html © 2012 Phys.org Explore further The idea would follow designs already used by the United States to power its Cassini and Voyager space probes and now in use by the Mars rover, Curiosity. Nuclear material gives off heat for many years, which can be used directly to keep a craft warm, or be converted into electricity for use by electronic components. The team has reportedly already harvested some amount of americium-241 from the plutonium waste left over from the production of nuclear weapons. The Sellafield facility reprocesses or separates plutonium, uranium and other fissionable materials from spent nuclear fuel, some of which is used for other purposes such as creating new fuel for nuclear reactors. It’s also the site of what will be a new nuclear power station due to begin operation in 2025.The ESA is keen to find a suitable replacement for plutonium-238, as it’s only currently available from the United States and Russia, and believes americium-241, harvested from already existing plutonium waste would make a good choice. Each nuclear battery would only need about 5 kg of the material, which would mean Britain could supply all that would be needed (the Sellafield facility is believed to house some 100 tonnes of waste plutonium) by the ESA for the foreseeable future. Batteries made using it could be used to support missions to other planets and other exploratory projects.It’s also been noted that such batteries could be used for other purposes as well, such as in long term undersea probes, or in buoys outfitted with sensors to monitor sea conditions and other countries such as China and India have already expressed interest in using them for various projects. Thus, the market for long duration nuclear batteries might be expanding, which would make harvesting americium-241 not only cost efficient but perhaps at some point, profitable. 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.center_img Sellafield Nuclear Reprocessing Facility (Phys.org)—To reduce the cost of cleaning up nuclear waste at Britain’s Sellafield nuclear reprocessing facility in Cumbria, workers from the British National Nuclear Laboratory have been harvesting americium-241, in hopes of using it as part of nuclear batteries for long range spacecraft built by the European Space Agency (ESA). It’s all part of a £1 million pilot program designed to find ways to use existing fissionable materials for use in future space missions. Engineers develop technique to help combat nuclear proliferationlast_img read more

Researchers explore the use of decision pathways to inform climate engineering policies

first_imgCredit: public domain Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Citation: Researchers explore the use of decision pathways to inform climate engineering policies (2016, January 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-explore-decision-pathways-climate-policies.html More information: Robin Gregory, Terre Satterfield, and Ariel Hasell. Using decision pathway surveys to inform climate engineering policy choices. PNAS 2016 ; published ahead of print January 4, 2016, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1508896113AbstractOver the coming decades citizens living in North America and Europe will be asked about a variety of new technological and behavioral initiatives intended to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change. A common approach to public input has been surveys whereby respondents’ attitudes about climate change are explained by individuals’ demographic background, values, and beliefs. In parallel, recent deliberative research seeks to more fully address the complex value tradeoffs linked to novel technologies and difficult ethical questions that characterize leading climate mitigation alternatives. New methods such as decision pathway surveys may offer important insights for policy makers by capturing much of the depth and reasoning of small-group deliberations while meeting standard survey goals including large-sample stakeholder engagement. Pathway surveys also can help participants to deepen their factual knowledge base and arrive at a more complete understanding of their own values as they apply to proposed policy alternatives. The pathway results indicate more fully the conditional and context-specific nature of support for several “upstream” climate interventions, including solar radiation management techniques and carbon dioxide removal technologies. 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. (Phys.org)—The acceleration of anthropogenic climate change has increased the urgency of calls for technological approaches to the problem. It’s a global challenge at a scale requiring the mobilization of resources that only nation states are capable of, and public input into policies related to mitigating climate change is particularly important. Traditional survey techniques provide a snapshot of public opinion from which policymakers can draw conclusions, but such surveys have inherent limitations because people use a variety of mental models to interpret information and make sense of policy options.center_img Explore further A collaborative of researchers from the U.S. and Canada propose a decision pathway approach that offers some of the benefits of traditional survey techniques, while also capturing the reasoning of deliberations within groups, and helping participants to deepen their knowledge of issues and solutions. The researchers have modeled this approach with a decision pathway design that addresses climate engineering technologies, and published their results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The authors write, “Decision pathway survey designs seek first to inform people, about both their own values and the facts relevant to multisided public policy choices, and then to provide decision makers with information about both what and how citizens think without reliance on more costly, and less scalable, qualitative research methods.”The prescriptive model adopted for the study is PrOACT, an acronym describing its five basic steps: understand the problem context; clarify objectives; define alternatives; identify consequences; highlight key tradeoffs. Responses are iterative, as participants revisit earlier questions in light of information presented during later stages. The pathway survey emphasized climate engineering technologies that capture and store carbon dioxide before it is released into the atmosphere, or technologies that reflect sunlight and its accompanying solar heat before it reaches the Earth’s surface. Keeping in mind that any survey design wields influence over participants as they construct a response, the researchers focused explicitly on the reasoning processes used by individuals as they went through the five steps of the decision pathway.Among their findings:A large majority (70 percent) of those who described themselves as “not at all concerned” about climate change chose “to do nothing more” to mitigate climate change, while the remainder supported transportation alternatives.Shifts in opinions on alternatives occurred in the other groups, who described themselves as “not very concerned,” “fairly concerned,” and “very concerned.”There is an overall pattern among all groups to regard their own views on climate governance as likely to be shared by others.Significantly, all groups rated all categories of risks associated with geoengineering as more likely than all categories of benefits.The authors write, “Results underscore both the nuanced responses of participants and the need for survey methods that can capture and reflect this conditional reasoning. As one example, consistent support for geoengineering exists when interventions involve mostly natural means, including use of biotic infrastructure (e.g., planting new forests, cultivating plankton and algae) and improvements to built infrastructure (e.g., modifying buildings and surfaces to increase reflectivity), across the spectrum of concerns.” The authors note that one shortcoming of their study is that it lacks a control group. Further investigation of decision pathway methodologies could make better comparisons with results from conventional surveys conducted in parallel. © 2016 Phys.org 40-country survey: Majority support for cutting emissionslast_img read more

Scientists express concern over disposal of nuclear waste at New Mexico underground

first_img Explore further (Phys.org)—A trio of Earth and Environmental scientists with hazardous waste backgrounds, from Stanford University, has published a Comment piece in the journal Nature, outlining their concern over a recent proposed plan to add more nuclear waste to the Department of Energy’s, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) located in a deep underground salt formation in New Mexico. The trio, Cameron Tracy, Megan Dustin and Rodney Ewing suggest more thought be put into the idea before the government gives the go-ahead for the project. More information: Policy: Reassess New Mexico’s nuclear-waste repository, nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/529149a The cold war led to the stockpiling of a huge amount of nuclear arms in the U.S. and Russia, as most everyone knows. But it also led to an ever increasing amount of hazardous materials associated with that stockpiling. Now that the arms race has cooled, and the U.S. and Russia have agreed to reduce their stockpiles, a means of dealing with many tons of hazardous materials must be found. To deal with such materials, the U.S. built the WIPP (which is essentially a platform built inside a cave that formed in a layer of salt), where such materials have been placed for storage over the past 15 years. But, now, a team of researchers hired by the government to address a whole new round of disposal requirements has recommended that 34 tons of nuclear waste be added to the WIPP, which the research trio suggests, may be pushing the limits of the facility. They also suggest that safety assessments have not taken into consideration all of the things that could go wrong with the storage faculty—such as how material inside of drums will react with salt over thousands of years after they are crushed, or what might happen if over many years, the WIPP becomes unknown to future generations who at some point begin drilling in the area.The researchers acknowledge the good safety record of the WIPP, just one major problem has occurred, where cat litter was used to sop up material which led to a reaction inside a drum, forcing the lid to pop off, allowing gas to escape. Such accidents are inevitable, the team notes—what they are worried about is the lack of planning regarding what should be done in the event other types of accidents occur—over a 10,000 year timeline. Once the site is sealed in 2033, monitoring will end—there will be no way to know what is going on inside the faculty which means there will be no way to assess whether radioactive material has begun to leach into outside areas or whether carbon dioxide begins to build up due to decay, which can lead to pressure causing fractures to the surface. The group suggests the DOE take a harder look at the safety features that are in place now before adding tons more material to the site. Citation: Scientists express concern over disposal of nuclear waste at New Mexico underground salt formation (2016, January 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-scientists-disposal-nuclear-mexico-underground.html Journal information: Nature Radiation leak detected at New Mexico nuclear plant © 2016 Phys.org 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

Graphene photodetector enhanced by fractal golden snowflake

first_imgA graphene photodetector with gold contacts in the form of a snowflake-like fractal pattern has a higher optical absorption and an order-of-magnitude increase in photovoltage, as compared to graphene photodetectors that have contacts with plain edges. Credit: Fang et al. ©2016 American Chemical Society © 2017 Phys.org The researchers explained that these characteristics can be directly attributed to the fractal pattern. (Phys.org)—Researchers have found that a snowflake-like fractal design, in which the same pattern repeats at smaller and smaller scales, can increase graphene’s inherently low optical absorption. The results lead to graphene photodetectors with an order-of-magnitude increase in photovoltage, along with ultrafast light detection and other advantages. “Our proposed fractal metasurface has the unique ability of supporting plasmonic resonances (free electron oscillations) over a wide spectral range in a polarization-insensitive way due to its complex and highly hexagonally symmetric geometry,” Kildishev said. “Previously reported plasmonic-enhanced graphene photodetectors use simpler narrowband and polarization-sensitive structures, and therefore the enhancement is also narrowband and polarization-sensitive.”As previous research has shown, the reason that a fractal pattern can improve optical absorption is that the fractal metasurface creates additional resonances, with the amount of resonance increasing as the number of fractal levels increases. In addition, the researchers here found that the fractal metasurface confines and enhances the electric field of the light that hits the surface. This ultimately leads to a higher photovoltage generated in the graphene photodetector.As Kildishev explained in more detail, there are two major mechanisms of inducing photovoltage in a graphene-based photodetector: the photovoltaic effect and the photothermoelectric effect. The photovoltaic effect uses the built-in electric field induced by differently doped regions in graphene to separate the optically excited electron hole pairs in graphene. The photothermoelectric effect drives the free electrons in graphene across regions with different thermoelectric powers (Seebeck coefficients), given a temperature gradient in between the two regions. The fractal metasurface enhances both effects in graphene photodetectors by increasing the electric field intensity and by heating via incident light in highly confined spaces.”The fractal metasurface enhances the photovoltage by making use of plasmonic resonance—free electron oscillations in gold under the excitation of light,” Kildishev said. “This then confines the electromagnetic energy to ultra-small volumes, generating excessive electron-hole pairs in graphene which are then separated by the photovoltaic effect. The incident light also heats up the plasmonic structure to create a large temperature gradient across the metal/graphene interface, giving rise to a stronger photothermoelectric response.”In the future, the researchers plan to explore the potential applications of graphene photodetectors, which could extend beyond photodetection to photoharvesting, with applications such as solar cells and optical heating. Technologies that require a fast response could also experience significant improvements due to the graphene photodetector’s fast operation speed.”One great attribute of the graphene photovoltaic/photothermoelectric detector is that it reacts to light at an extremely fast rate, thanks to the ultrafast electron moving speed (photovoltaic effect) and the ultrashort time the electrons need to give away heat (photothermoelectric effect) in graphene,” Wang said. “Such response speed is unparalleled by other photodetection materials. “Plasmonic enhancement has been known to sacrifice the ultrafast response speed to a minor extent. Therefore, plasmonic-enhanced graphene photodetectors are promising for all-optical modulator readout and other applications where response speed is key. Moreover, graphene has zero (or tunable) bandgap and uniform optical absorption in the entire electromagnetic spectrum. Therefore, graphene photodetectors can in principle be used to detect light of any frequency with identical sensitivity, which again is unparalleled by other detectors made of other photodetection materials.” Developing graphene microwave photodetector 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. The researchers, from Purdue University in Indiana, include graduate students Jieran Fang and Di Wang, who were guided by professors Alex Kildishev, Alexandra Boltasseva, and Vlad Shalaev, along with their collaborators from the group of Professor Yong P. Chen. The team has published a paper on the new graphene photodetector fractal design in a recent issue of Nano Letters.Photodetectors are devices that detect light by converting photons into an electric current. They have a wide variety of applications, including in X-ray telescopes, wireless mice, TV remote controls, robotic sensors, and video cameras. Current photodetectors are often made of silicon, germanium, or other common semiconductors, but recently researchers have been investigating the possibility of making photodetectors out of graphene.Although graphene has many promising optical and electrical properties, such as uniform, ultra-broadband optical absorption, along with ultra-fast electron speed, the fact that it is only a single atom thick gives it an intrinsically low optical absorption, which is its major drawback for use in photodetectors. To address graphene’s low optical absorption, the Purdue researchers designed a graphene photodetector with gold contacts in the form of a snowflake-like fractal metasurface. They demonstrated that the fractal pattern does a better job of collecting photons across a wide range of frequencies compared to a plain gold-graphene edge, enabling the new design to generate 10 times more photovoltage.The new graphene photodetector has several other advantages, such as that it is sensitive to light of any polarization angle, which is in contrast to nearly all other plasmonic-enhanced graphene photodetectors in which the sensitivity is polarization-dependent. The new graphene photodetector is also broadband, enhancing light detection across the entire visible spectrum. In addition, due to graphene’s inherently fast electron speed, the new photodetector can detect light very quickly.”In this work, we have solved a vital problem of enhancing the intrinsically low sensitivity in graphene photodetectors over a wide spectral range and in a polarization-insensitive manner, using an intelligent self-similar design of a plasmonic fractal metasurface,” Wang told Phys.org. “To our knowledge, these two attributes were not achieved in previously reported plasmonic-enhanced graphene photodetectors.” Journal information: Nano Letters More information: Jieran Fang et al. “Enhanced Graphene Photodetector with Fractal Metasurface.” Nano Letters. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.6b03202 Citation: Graphene photodetector enhanced by fractal golden ‘snowflake’ (2017, January 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2017-01-graphene-photodetector-fractal-golden-snowflake.html Fractal levels of the snowflake-like fractal design, along with a simulation of the electric field under the gold fractal metasurface. Credit: Fang et al. ©2016 American Chemical Societylast_img read more

Azealia Banks wants to leave US

first_imgRapper Azealia Banks says she wants to leave the US because she hates “everything” about the country.The 23-year-old slammed the United States of America in an interview with Playboy Magazine in its April issue, reports aceshowbiz.com.“Yes! I hate everything about this country. Like, I hate fat white Americans,” she said, and added: “All the people who are crunched into the middle of America, the real fat and meat of America, are these racist conservative white people who live on their farms. Those little teenage girls who work at Kmart and have a racist grandma-that’s really America.” Asked if there’s any person whose career she would like to emulate, Banks said: “Jay-Z. That’s the only person I have my eye set on. The race thing always comes up, but I want to get there being very black and proud and boisterous about it. You get what I mean? A lot of times when you’re a black woman and you’re proud, that’s why people don’t like you,” she said speaking to the media recently.last_img read more

Mamata to lay foundation stone of Jhargram University today

first_imgKolkata: In a historic move, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee will lay the foundation stone of Jhargram University on Thursday.The proposed university is coming up on Jhargram- Lodhasuli Road on 27.02 acres of land. It may be mentioned that Banerjee, during her last trip to Jhargram, had announced the setting up of a university to meet the long-standing demand of the student community. Partha Chatterjee, state Education minister, will be present at the programme, which will be held at the Jhargram Stadium. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe university will have five departments to start with. Arts, Social Science, Information Science and Media, Science and Technology and vocational courses. There will be facilities to study the Arts subjects in Olchiki script. With the construction of the university in Jhargram, there will be three universities in Paschimanchal. The two existing universities are Vidyasagar University in West Midnapore and Sidho Kanho University in Purulia.The proposed university will benefit the local students immensely, as they will not have to go to other districts to pursue higher education. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedJhargram, which was then a part of West Midnapore district, was the epicenter of Maoist activities between 2006 and 2011. The Maoists had taken control over some of the villages and forced the children not to go to the schools as they were being used as pawns.After coming to power in 2011, Banerjee has made frequent visits to Jhargram, to win the confidence of the people. Projects had been taken up for massive development of the area. A bridge was constructed at Lalgarh. A nursing college, women’s college and super-specialty hospital have come up. To provide better education to the tribal students, Banerjee had requested the then general secretary of the Ramakrishna Order Swami Suhitanandaji, to take over the Eklavya Model Residential School. RKM took over the school and in the past two years, the students have come up with good results.A trilingual dictionary, the only of its kind, has been brought out by the Backward Classes Welfare department (BCW). Distribution of bicycles among the students between classes IX to XII of state-run, aided and sponsored schools has brought down the number of dropouts.Because of the Chief Minister’s initiatives, the road connectivity has improved, resulting in growth in the tourism sector. The unemployed youths are now being given training in hospitality management, which will help them to get jobs in the hotels, lodges and resorts. Banerjee’s plan has opened new areas before the student community.last_img read more

Decomposed body of elderly man found at his residence

first_imgKolkata: Mystery shrouds the death of an elderly man whose decomposed body was recovered from his residence at Chandannagar in Hooghly on Tuesday morning.Locals got a foul smell emanating from his house. After being informed, police reached the spot and entered the house. They found the decomposed body of the victim, Gopinath Mukherjee, lying on the floor of the house. According to a preliminary investigation, police suspect that the victim died a few days ago. Police said that the victim’s younger brother, Apurba Mukherjee, was living with the victim in the house for the past few years. The younger brother was also present when police reached the spot. They came to know that the younger brother had developed some mental issues. Police are yet to ascertain if the victim had died a natural death or there was any foul play behind the incident. They have started a detailed probe in this regard and have failed to interrogate the younger brother as he started shouting at the police officers. Locals told the police that they saw the victim three days ago. They have urged the police to send the victim’s younger brother to a destitute home.last_img read more

Devotion on a thali

first_imgAs the city gears up for Navaratri and its festivities, it is the perfect time to give rest to those stringent diet plans, and give in to some good cooking. For those who love to satisfy their taste buds, chefs all over the national Capital have laid out arrays of decadent, lip-smacking dishes to indulge in. BarShala: Satiate your non-veg craving in the pocket friendly restro-bar BarShala during this Navratri. This year, BarShala has launched a special menu for non-vegetarians. In the category of “Soya Asman”, they have introduced ‘NakliMurga’ and ‘NakliBakra’- both vegetarian dishes, made from soya to indulge a die-hard non-vegetarian. Other popular dishes from their menu include, ‘Sabzi ki Ungal’ (Veg Fingers), ‘Basanti Salad’  along with other variants like ‘Bandar Chaat’ (Moongfali Chaat) and ‘Bomos’ (veg momos). Also Read – Add new books to your shelfDhaba by Claridges: This festive season, they bring to you a special Navratri menu observing the norms of Sattvik cuisine. Enjoy mouth-watering dishes like ‘Kacche Kele ka Kofta’, ‘Jeera Sendha Namak ka Pulao’ and ‘Singhade Aate ki Poori’ amongst other savoury dishes. For sweet indulgences, one can go for ‘Sabudane ki Kheer’ or ‘Shakarkandi ka Halwa’. The special menu is available for delivery as well.Jaypee Vasant Continental: This time, chefs at Jaypee Vasant Continental have created a cyclic menu which comprises of a series of dishes that adhere to the dietary restrictions of those who keep the nine day fast. The Cyclic menu has 3 menus and the menus would be rotated every day. Some of the signature dishes include ‘Tamatari Paneer’, ‘Sitaphal ki Bhaaji’, ‘Aloo Ki Subzi’ and ‘Sabudana Aur Makhane Ki Kheer’. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveThe Pride Plaza Hotel: Keeping in mind the individuals who are fasting and those who adore the taste of festive food, experts have curated a special menu from local produce. Sendha namak is the key ingredient in all the Navaratri dishes. Some special attractions on their menu are Buckwheat (kuttu) deep fried patty, garnished with chard potatoes and plantain chips, accompanied with ‘saffron caviar’, and ‘Dhoodh ki Sabzi’. World Art Dining: Since Navaratri is associated with spiritual and traditional values, chefs here have tried to make the dishes look ethnic. Besides the regular ingredients that are used for the Navaratri meals, ingredients like home made fruit yogurts and custards, among others have been incorporated in various recipes for pancakes, waffles, blinis, cookies, puddings to reinvent the dishes in a creative manner.last_img read more

Sleaze racket busted in W Midnapore 3 arrested

first_imgKolkata: A sleaze racket was busted at Midnapore Sadar in West Midnapore on late Thursday night.The sleaze racket was allegedly running in an under-construction building. In the past few days, some locals found suspicious movement of a few in the area. They were keeping a watch at the situation and found people entering the building on Thursday night. They caught two persons and a woman. The locals reported the matter to the police. They handed them over to the police. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe woman claimed that she is a resident of a state in the northern part of the country and she was brought here on the assurance of getting a job. But she was not provided with any job, the woman claimed. Police found that a local youth was also allegedly involved in the racket. They are trying to find out whether any such activity is going on in any part in the area. Cops are taking all necessary steps to check such activities in the area and a vigil in the area and have urged the locals to inform them in case they get any such information or find someone moving around suspiciously.last_img read more

Doctors assaulted after patient dies at Malda Hospital

first_imgKolkata: The family members of a patient who died at Malda Medical College and Hospital on Friday assaulted some of the junior doctors.The deceased’s family members attacked the doctors alleging that the patient had died of negligence. The incident triggered chaos inside the hospital campus. The junior doctors also staged a demonstration protesting against the hooliganism. The doctors have, however, denied the allegation of negligence and added that the patient was brought to the hospital in a critical condition and despite their sustained efforts, the patient did not survive. Also Read – 3 injured, flight, train services hit as rains lash BengalAfter conducting the protest demonstration, the junior doctors later joined their duties following the intervention of senior officials of the hospital and police. A police officer who went to the spot assured the doctors that the accused would be arrested soon. It was learnt that one Biren Sarkar, a local resident, was taken to the hospital at around 8.45 pm on Thursday after he had complained of serious respiratory distress. The patient died on Friday morning. Following the incident, the victim’s family members attacked some junior doctors including a lady doctor. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedA junior doctor who was assaulted during the incident told police a lady doctor was first attacked. As other doctors had come to her rescue, they were also manhandled by the patient’s relatives. The doctors were rescued as police reached the spot on time. A section of junior doctors at the hospital said they were feeling insecure and demanded adequate security arrangements for all the doctors. The family members of the deceased, however, alleged that the patient died due to negligence. Police have started a detailed probe into the incident and suspect that some outsiders might have joined the relatives of the patient during their attack on the doctors. Cops are yet to arrest anybody in this connection.last_img read more

CM welcomes decision to allow paramilitary forces to travel by air in

first_imgKolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday welcomed the move allowing paramilitary personnel deployed in Kashmir to take commercial flights to either join duty or go on leave but said it came when the current government had reached its “expiry date”. Without naming the BJP government, she accused it of ignoring intelligence inputs of the Home Ministry. “It’s better late than never. There was an intelligence input and the Home Ministry asked for permission for air lifting. That time they (Centre) did not allow… they did not care… If the doctor comes after the death then it will not help,” Banerjee told reporters. Also Read – Bose & Gandhi: More similar than apart, says Sugata Bose”When the expiry date is over and people have been killed and now you are taking decision,” she claimed. Banerjee accused the Centre of “total failure” in containing the mishap though there was an intelligence input and alleged it was “doing politics”. “They are a total failure. They are misusing the situation. When our jawans are getting killed, we are doing politics,” she said. Personnel of the paramilitary forces deployed in the Kashmir Valley for counter-terror operations have been entitled by the government on Thursday to take commercial flights to either join duty or go on leave, in the wake of the killing of 40 jawans in a deadly attack on their convoy in Pulwama. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) issued an order saying it “has approved the entitlement of air travel on Delhi-Srinagar, Srinagar-Delhi, Jammu-Srinagar and Srinagar-Jammu sectors to all the personnel of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs)”. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataThis includes, the order said, their journey for joining duty, transfer, tour or going on leave. Till now, officers in the rank of Inspectors and above were given this air travel facility. As many as 65,000 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) personnel are deployed in the state as part of 65 battalions apart from units of the Border Security Force, Indo-Tibetan Border Police, Central Industrial Security Force, Sashastra Seema Bal and the National Security Guard present in the Kashmir valley for rendering a variety of roles in the internal security grid.last_img read more

Using phones while shopping may make you buy more

first_imgPeople who use their smartphones for making calls, texting or listening to music while shopping at a store are more likely to make unplanned purchases and forget items they had planned to buy, according to a study. Researchers from the Fairfield University in the US investigated the impact of mobile phone use on in-store shopping behaviour. They found that those who used mobile phones in store for purposes unrelated to shopping, such as making phone calls, texting, checking emails or listening to music, were more likely to make unplanned purchases and forget items they had planned to buy. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe study, published in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, observed this effect even when phones were only used for part of the shopping trip, suggesting that in-store mobile phone use may consume attentional resources even after the phone is put away. “Our finding that phone use that is unrelated to shopping negatively affects shopping behaviour was in stark contrast to beliefs held by consumers,” said Michael Sciandra, corresponding author of the study. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsive”The vast majority of shoppers we asked thought that mobile phones did not have any negative effect,” Sciandra said. The researchers asked 231 participants to complete a simulated shopping task. While the participants either refrained from using their phone, or used it for an unrelated task either constantly (simulated phone call) or intermittently, they were shown a first person perspective video of someone grocery shopping. The participants were given a shopping list of items and were asked to compare the list to the products the person in the video placed in the cart, or picked up and put down. The participants’ mobile phone dependence was assessed via self-report. The researchers found that consumers who are highly dependent upon mobile phones, characterised by excessive use of and reliance on the device, were the most at risk of deviating from a shopping plan while engaging in shopping-unrelated mobile phone use. “Mobile phones are quickly becoming the principal distractor for many consumers and they offer a unique form of interruption,” Sciandra said. “Our findings may influence consumers’ attitudes towards mobile phone use while shopping and persuade them to reflect on how these devices impact our lives, both positively and negatively,” he said.last_img read more

Tips to keep hair shiny skin glowing in summer

first_imgStruggling to keep your hair shiny and skin dewy during summer time? Go for moisturisers with hydrating ingredients and do oil your hair, suggest experts. Beauty experts have doled out tips to maintain healthy hair and skin during the summer season: Say goodbye to creams and hello to moisturisers: Go for moisturisers with hydrating and soothing ingredients. It will help in keeping your skin hydrated and will remove excess oil from your face so that your face does not look greasy or heavy at the same time. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfKeep your skin hydrated: Summer is all about heat and itchy skin, so it is always recommended to opt for foods rich in water content to keep your skin hydrated all day long. Try consuming fruits and veggies like watermelon, oranges, cucumbers, celery, and carrots. Always make sure that you drink enough water and juices to keep your skin hydrated in order to make your skin look fresh and not fatigued. Always keep a sunscreen handy: A good sunscreen is a must-have for summer, as it protects your skin from harmful UV rays and signs of aging. Always make sure that you apply two layers of sunscreen in order to make your skin supple, smooth and tan-free. Always use a broad spectrum sunscreen and be on a look out for some anti-pollution factors in it and make sure that it is not comedogenic at the same time. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveUse clearing shampoo: Rain water is dirty and harmful for your hair. It is essential to use a deep cleansing or clearing shampoo twice a week, to remove the dirt residue on the scalp. Keep your hair nourished: Monsoon makes it difficult to protect your hair from the damage it causes. So, it is essential to opt for a good hair masque to avoid frizz. Rain water also makes your hair under nourished that may lead to fungal infections. Eat foods that are rich in protein, iron, Omega 3 to keep your hair nourished, strengthen hair follicles and prevent from fungal infections. Regular oiling: Your hair needs to be moisturised on a regular basis. Rain water tends to make your hair dry. To revitalise the parched hair, it is necessary to oil your hair effectively. You can also opt for deep conditioning once a week to boost the moisture in your hair.last_img read more

Rare Gorgeous Photos of Ancient Trees Around the Globe

first_imgAncient trees cling to life against the odds and against the elements. They tower over us, tall and straight, or scrape and bow, massively twisting back to the earth in slow decline. Something about them stirs people to their core. Beth Moon has made it her life’s work to document the most magnificent of these survivors of time and nature. She has traveled the globe for 14 years, seeking out and photographing the oldest and rarest of them.Anka. Photo by Beth Moon PhotographyHer pictures, collected into two books, are the next best thing to seeing the trees in person. In some cases, her stunning specialty prints may even be better. They are made with a labor-intensive duotone platinum and palladium process that yields otherworldly results. The pictures have an intense tonality and seem to glow with a light of their own.Fornax. Photo by Beth Moon PhotographyMoon is Wisconsin-born. It was there her father instilled in her a love of nature, sharing with her the names of plants and animals that populated the landscape. Later, she studied fine arts at the University of Wisconsin.Andromeda. Photo by Beth Moon PhotographyHer photographic eye was honed by classes in painting, live drawing, design and sculpture. She moved to England, where she noticed the Brits embraced their rare old trees like old friends. Whole societies were dedicated to identifying and protecting the venerable yews in the British landscape.Elanth. Photo by Beth Moon PhotographyIt was these ancient trees that inspired her to start photographing. Smitten, she began expanding her scope.Since then, Moon’s work has taken her to some of the most remote places on the planet, including the interiors of South Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Madagascar.The Ifaty Teapot. Photo by Beth Moon PhotographyHer work was no hit-and-run job. She did painstaking research to not only find the biggest and oldest of these trees, but the often incredible stories behind them.Bellatrix. Photo by Beth Moon PhotographyHer sources are history books, newspapers, tree registers and oral histories passed down through communities.Corvus. Photo by Beth Moon PhotographyIn Great Britain, she found the Whittinghame Yew, a gnarled old tree under which a Scottish nobleman’s demise was planned. It is also the home of the Major Oak, where Robin Hood and his Merry Men were said to gather. In Cambodia, she found the latticed roots of a massive strangler fig clamped down around temple ruins.Desert Rose Erher Beaach. Photo by Beth Moon PhotographyMany of the trees are centuries old. A few are four- or five-thousand years old. Moon has learned patience from the trees. Once on site, she spends time studying them to decide on the best shot. Sometimes, just getting to a site takes patience.Lacerta. Photo by Beth Moon PhotographyOne case is a bit more extreme than others: It took her three years to get into Yemen-controlled land to photograph the giant dragon’s blood tree growing near the horn of Africa.Lyra. Photo by Beth Moon PhotographySometimes she hires locals to find what she is looking for. While in Madagascar to shoot the unusual baobab trees, setting out by jeep with her guide, a whole village trailed them like a comet running behind.Perseus. Photo by Beth Moon PhotographyThe first of her two books was Ancient Trees: Portraits of Time. The second, done with slow exposures under night skies, is the dazzling Ancient Skies, Ancient Trees. In her own artistic statement, Moon talks about the meaning she finds in her work: “Standing as the earth’s largest and oldest living monuments, I believe these symbolic trees will take on a greater significance, especially at a time when our focus is finding better ways to live with the environment.”Read another story from us: Buttington Oak: Planted to mark a Viking defeat in 893 collapses after 1,000 yearsHer work on Portraits of Time even got a nod from noted anthropologist Jane Goodall: “Beth Moon’s stunning images capture the power and mystery of the world’s remaining ancient trees. These hoary forest sentinels are among the oldest living things on the planet and it is desperately important that we do all in our power to ensure their survival. I want my grandchildren – and theirs – to know the wonder of such trees in life and not only from photographs of things long gone. Beth’s portraits will surely inspire many to help those working to save these magnificent trees.”Terri Likens’ byline has appeared in newspapers around the world through The Associated Press. She has also done work for ABCNews, the BBC, and magazines that include High Country News, American Profile, and Plateau Journal. She lives just east of Nashville, Tenn.last_img read more

Dont Call it a Comeback The Return of the Waterbed

first_imgEven though most of us associate waterbeds with the ‘70s and ‘80s, they actually were first conceived much earlier that. Boyd Flotation talks about the unusual bed’s history, saying that legend has it they were first used in Persia, more than 3,500 years ago, and made of water-filled goatskins that were warmed in the sun.There is apparently some debate over whether those early devices would have been used as beds for royalty, or perhaps they were used as a way to provide comfort for the elderly and the ill.Bed in PompeiiThe waterbed didn’t show up in the Western world until the early 1800s, when Dr. Neil Arnott, a Scottish physician, put together an early version as a means of helping prevent invalids from developing bedsores.By 1873, Sir James Paget from St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London was using Dr. Arnott’s water bed to successfully treat patients, and ten years after that, Dr. William Hooper of Portsmouth, England, took out the first patent on a water-filled bed.WaterbedBoth physicians saw the potential of flotation for helping a variety of conditions, from ulcers to rheumatism, but those first beds had a couple of major problems.The first problem was that there was no way to regulate the temperature of the water, and the second was that there wasn’t much available in terms of sturdy, watertight materials for the mattresses.Softside Waterbed inside 160x200cm with heating and two waterchambersAccording to the New York Times, it wasn’t until 1967 that a viable waterbed came into being at the hands of an engineering student from San Francisco State University named Charles Hall. Hall created what he originally referred to as “flotation furniture” as a project for one of his classes, although the process wasn’t without a few snags on the way.Hall’s first attempts used a mixture of jello and cornstarch to fill the vinyl bladder that was the mattress — but not only was the filled mattress too heavy to move, but the gelatin would also go rancid after several days, producing an unpleasant odor.Emptying and dismantlinga PVC waterbad mattressHall did some fine-tuning (for instance, using water) on his original design, and, a year later, his first 8-foot-square, heated bed, dubbed the “Pleasure Pit,” went on display at a local gallery.A phone call and a slow news cycle got Hall’s bed a bit of press coverage, and it ended up being talked about all over the country. His thought at the time was that it would act as both a bed and a chair, becoming the only furniture you’d ever need.He tried to market his Pleasure Pit to mattress manufacturers and department stores but didn’t get any positive response.Model lying atop the ‘Pleasure Island’ waterbed designed by Aaron Donner. (Photo by Heinz Kluetmeier/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)So Hall started selling his beds himself, carrying them in his station wagon to local head shops. He sold a few to celebrities – including one covered in green velvet to Hugh Hefner for his Playboy Mansion.Despite the lurid applications he used to promote the first beds, Hall remained committed to the idea of creating a better sleep experience to promote well-being.Eventually, he found investors and created a company, Innerspace Environments, which opened about 30 stores. Hall patented his designs, which were not cheap, but imitations with a lower price point and correspondingly lower quality started sprouting up like mushrooms.WaterbedHall filed for bankruptcy in 1975, for a couple of reasons. First, there was some mismanagement by his investors. Second, he had moved on to other projects that caught his interest, including things like camping mattresses and solar showers.Even so, the waterbed’s popularity continued to grow. By the mid-1980s, it had become a much more mainstream item. By 1986, waterbed sales approached $2 billion and were approximately 12-15 percent of the mattress market. By the early ‘90s, nearly one in five mattresses sold in the U.S. were waterbeds.As mattress technology, in general, continued to improve, however, waterbeds started to go out of fashion, replaced by less-expensive and less high-maintenance alternatives like foam and pillow tops.Now, half a century later, Hall and two of his former colleagues are trying to bring the waterbed back. The old waterbed has been updated, and the men are calling their new company Afloat. The new version is definitely a luxury item, with a queen bed going for around $2000-$2500, including the frame, a heater, and a kit with all the things you need to fill and drain it. It’s been designed to use regular, standard bed linen, and all the beds are designed to fit building code floor-load requirements.Read another story from us: Pet Rocks! The Most Hilarious Toy Fad of the 70sThey even have beds with two smaller mattresses, so people can adjust the temperature to their preference without interfering with their partner’s comfort.Hall and his partners began selling Afloat beds online in January 2019, and are still deeply committed to a quality night’s sleep.last_img read more

Paintings Attributed to Hitler Fail to Sell at Auction

first_imgFive paintings attributed to Adolf Hitler failed to sell at an auction in the German city of Nuremberg in February 2019, but doubts about their authenticity may have scared off bids as much as the identity of the artist. High starting price points ranging between $21,000 and $50,000 also played a part. The Nürnberger Nachrichten newspaper reported recently that no bids were received on the paintings, said to have been produced during Hitler’s early days in Bavaria as an aspiring artist. The Weidler auction house did not comment on the reasons. However, the paintings could be sold at a later date.Auctioning of Hitler water colour painting. Photo by Daniel Karmann/picture alliance via Getty ImagesAmong the items that failed to sell was a painting of a mountain lake view and a wicker armchair with a swastika symbol.The Nuremberg mayor said the entire auction was in “bad taste.”Despite commercialization of Hitler and the Nazis being widely condemned in Germany, dozens of works attributed to Hitler have been sold over the years.Hitler, twice rejected by the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, is known to have sold his artwork while living close to poverty before the outbreak of World War One. The future dictator is believed to have painted as many as 2,000 pictures as a young man as he unsuccessfully tried to make it as an artist.Portrait of Adolf Hitler. Photo by Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-H1216-0500-002 / CC-BY-SAIn 2015, Weidler auction house sold more than a dozen paintings attributed to Hitler for almost €400,000, according to the BBC. Bidders then reportedly came from Germany, China, France, Brazil, and the United Arab Emirates.Related Video: Hitler’s Mercedez-Benz heads to AuctionThe Guardian reports, “According to Stephan Klingen of the Central Institute for Art History in Munich, Hitler had the style of ‘a moderately ambitious amateur’ but his creations did not stand out from ‘hundreds of thousands’ of comparable works from the period – making their authenticity especially hard to verify.”Hitler painting on auction. Photo by Daniel Karmann/picture alliance via Getty ImagesFake Hitler paraphernalia is a continuing problem, one that law enforcement tries to crack down on. Several days before the auction, prosecutors seized 63 other paintings attributed to Hitler from the same auction house in order to investigate allegations they were fake.Nuremberg-Fuerth prosecutor’s office said it had opened an investigation against persons unknown “on suspicion of falsifying documents and attempted fraud”, chief prosecutor Antje Gabriels-Gorsolke told the AFP news agency.Vienna State Opera House, Adolf Hitler, 1912“If they turn out to be fakes, we will then try to determine who knew what in the chain of ownership,” she said.Sales of alleged artworks by Hitler – whose campaign of extermination led to the mass murder of at least 12 million people during the Second World War – “frequently spark outrage that collectors are eager to fork out high prices for Nazi memorabilia,” said The Independent.Watercolors owned by one of Hitler’s photographers Heinrich Hoffmann stored at the Army Center of Military History. The paintings were cited in Price v. United States.Some buyers insist they are making these purchases for historical reasons, but campaign groups warn items are also purchased by far-right group members who idealize Hitler and the Nazi Party.Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889, in the Upper Austrian border town Braunau am Inn, located about 65 miles from Munich. In 1898, the Hitler family moved to Linz, the capital of Upper Austria.Adolf-Hitler as an infant c. 1889–90Hitler dropped out of school at the age of 16 and wanted a career as an artist, which his father opposed, saying his son should enter the Habsburg civil service. After his father’s death, Hitler pursued his goals.Read another story from us: When Groucho Marx Literally Danced on Hitler`s GraveFrom 1908 to 1913, Hitler lived in Vienna. He had little money, and painted watercolor scenes of Vienna to earn a subsistence living. In 1913 he moved to Munich, and eagerly volunteered to serve in the German army at the outbreak of World War One.last_img

Keyboards That Dont Hurt

first_img Register Now » 3 min read Typing that doesn’t cripple starts with proper keyboard placement. Hands should rest easily an inch or so above your lap, just above the keyboard, with wrists and elbows properly supported. Usually, that requires all sorts of pricey add-on technology (like drop-down keyboard holders), adjustable chairs and an office large enough to make all this possible. But Microsoft had a better idea: a light, inexpensive wireless keyboard that rests right on your lap and naturally provides the proper waist-level wrist and elbow position. The Microsoft Arc weighs less than half a pound and allows users stress-free typing on everything from a comfy chair to any desk. An included micro USB connector connects the keyboard to your computer. Although it lacks some functions for serious data entry–the single direction arrow key can be an enormous pain, for example–the Arc is hard not to like for basic typing.Smartfish ErgoMotion($149.95) ErgoMotion Keyboard This story appears in the January 2011 issue of . Subscribe » Microsoft Arc($59.95) ErgoMotion Keyboard December 21, 2010center_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. It has come to this: a keyboard that thinks for you. In December, Englewood, N.J.-based Smartfish Technologies began shipping what it claims is the world’s first intelligent keyboard, the ErgoMotion. It features a patented motion sensing system that–get ready for this–captures your typing habits and then gradually changes its keyboard angle to match your hand and wrist position. No kidding. This thing slowly spreads or narrows the distance between the groups of keys below the right or left hands until they match your personal typing style. For a reasonable price, you get a high-quality, comfortable keyboard with a smooth key feel, overall good looks and nice layout. Without question, the ErgoMotion is the most interesting idea in peripherals since the invention of the wireless keyboard. Optimus Maximus Keyboard($2,400) Microsoft Arc Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global Yes, that really does say $2,400 for a keyboard. But for absolute, best-there-is typing, the Optimus is it. Not only is the keyboard, made by Art. Lebedev Studio in Russia, probably the highest-quality one we have ever used, it also really is helpful for entering data by hand into a computer: Why? Every key is customizable. That means any stress problem–from your middle finger aching from hitting the “E” key too many times to your shoulder hurting from the sequences required for dropping too many photos into a blog–can be easily alleviated. Changing the position of the key is a simple but impressive solution. Plus, the keyboard is built with well-made parts that can be cleaned and replaced. For serious data entry or heavy design work, the Optimus Maximus handily makes an argument for its hefty price tag.last_img read more

Eye of the Tiger US Army Eyes Night Vision Contact Lenses

first_imgApril 23, 2014 Register Now » Fighting wars in the dark could get a little less harrowing in the future. And a lot more cat-like. That is if the U.S. Army swaps out bulky night vision goggles for contact lenses that could also see things go bump in the night.Yes, we’re talking featherweight futuristic night vision awesomeness here, Iron Man soldier suit style, without the hulking suit. They seem almost as cool as Google’s blood glucose-level tracking contacts.Scientists at the University of Michigan’s College of Engineering have invented a room-temperature light sensor that doesn’t require heavy cooling equipment to function. They recently published their research in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.The researchers achieved this (with help from their graduate students) by using graphene, the two-dimensional nanomaterial that the American Physical Society calls the “wonder material” of the future because it’s “a million times thinner than paper, stronger than diamond, more conductive than copper.”So using graphene, on top of pioneering some innovative electrical signal amplification techniques, allowed researchers to create a thermal sensor “smaller than a pinky nail,” certainly light enough to incorporate into a “super-thin” contact lens prototype.And, voila, we have infrared night vision contact lenses. Similar high-tech “cat vision” contacts might have been worn by Navy SEAL Team Six when they took out Osama Bin Laden during Operation Neptune Spear in May 2011.The killer thermal vision contact lenses of the future aren’t quite ready yet for production, let alone mass production. Not until researchers can increase the range of temperatures they pick up on and the amount of light they’re sensitive to, which could take years, according to Wired. Then there’s the battle to lasso all of the proper safety approvals, along with courting partnerships with government agencies and private companies.Researchers envision some interesting mass consumer uses for their ultra-light infrared sensor technology. They say it could be applied it to vehicle windshields to help drivers see better when driving at night. It could also be incorporated into smartphone cameras to snap infrared shots.We didn’t think there’d be enough of a demand for thermographic photography for smartphone makers to bother, but there’s already budding market for it. There’s even an iPhone night vision adapter in the works.What crazy apps and gadgets have you come across lately? Let us know by emailing us at FarOutTech@entrepreneur.com or by telling us in the comments below. Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goalscenter_img Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. 3 min readlast_img read more

Apple Music Faces Antitrust Scrutiny

first_img The attorneys general of New York and Connecticut are investigating Apple Inc’s negotiations with music companies to look for signs of potential antitrust violations.The attorneys general want to know whether music labels colluded or were pressured into favoring Apple’s paid music subscription service, which was released on Monday.Apple launched Apple Music on Monday, a $9.99-a-month streaming music service that will likely alter the dynamics of how consumers listen to music as the music industry grapples with declines in downloaded songs and tries to figure out new ways to get people to pay for music.In a letter to the New York Attorney General, Universal Music Group said it had no agreements with Apple or music companies like Sony Music and Warner Music that would impede the availability of free or ad-supported services, or prevent it from licensing its recorded music to any music streaming service.Universal Music also said it offers limited exclusive content to some music streaming services where such exclusivity is not part of an agreement to restrain competition.”This letter is part of an investigation of the music streaming business, an industry in which competition has recently led to new and different ways for consumers to listen to music,” said Matt Mittenthal, a spokesman for the New York attorney-general, Eric Schneiderman.”To preserve these benefits, it’s important to ensure that the market continues to develop free from collusion and other anticompetitive practices.”An Apple spokesman declined to comment on the investigation. Reuters could not immediately reach Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen for comment outside regular U.S. business hours.The investigation was earlier reported by the New York Times.(Reporting by Supriya Kurane in Bengaluru; Editing by Anupama Dwivedi) This story originally appeared on Reuters June 10, 2015 2 min read Register Now » Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globallast_img read more