(PhysOrg.com) — A Canadian filmmaker whose childhood hero was Lee Majors as a bionic man is making the most out of what he has done to compensate for having lost one eye by becoming Eyeborg Man. Rob Spence, who lost an eye in a childhood shooting accident, calls himself Eyeborg Man because he wears a prosthetic eye that behaves as a miniature video camera, transmitting footage wirelessly to a recording device. What he looks at realtime is filmed realtime. He sees it as a kind of window on his soul. Those in medical science see it as a step toward stirring interest in the future of bionics. Spence’s bionic eye consists of a wireless video camera that sits between two layers of a prosthetic eye. The design comes from his collaboration with a former engineer for the rocket firm SpaceX, Kosta Grammatis. 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. Spence talks about the features of his camera in action as part of a documentary that he has made, commissioned by makers of the new video game, Deus Ex: Human Revolution. The game imagines a world when people with mechanical augmentations roam the earth. His documentary accompanies the game’s launch. The game makers asked him to look at whether this fictional world was actually so far away. Spence pops the camera into his eye and turns it on by waving a magnet in front of it. The video is transmitted to his hand-held LCD viewer. In his film, Spence further demonstrates where body enhancements are today. In addition to showing advances in prosthetic limbs, the film shows a blind man from Finland who, with a chip implanted under his retina, can see the shape of a banana on a black table. Then there is the head of Tanagram Partners who has been working with Augmented Reality. He shows off a firefighting mask and glove, under development, where the firefighter can access information off the mask’s screen and can view a menu off a computerized glove when squeezing the gloved hand. He says he expects the mask and glove to be in production within the next two years.While Spence’s bionic eye is really no big deal as a prosthetic eye–after all, the in-socket camera does not restore his vision and is not connected to his brain–Spence has demonstrated an effort to shrink wearable technologies and embed them as part of the human body. That effort was the reason that OmniVision was keen to help. Success with the device could possibly accelerate vision-restoring research.But to answer his assigned question: How far along are we in bionic body parts? He is told that researchers are just beginning to experiment with neuroprosthetics but the day will come. He is also reminded that technology moves more quickly than we can imagine. © 2011 PhysOrg.com More information: eyeborgproject.com/ and www.vimeo.com/eyeborg Citation: ‘Eyeborg’ man films vision of future (w/ video) (2011, August 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-08-eyeborg-vision-future-video.html Also, an ocularist made a mold of the eye to see how much space they had to work with for the camera. A tiny 3.2mm 328 x 258 video camera was provided by OmniVision. That company has developed some of the world’s smallest imaging solutions. A battery from PowerStream, which measured 5x9x10mm, was used along with the wireless transmitter. The components were connected via printed circuit board. One-eyed filmmaker conceals camera in prosthetic Explore further
For young birds, getting stressed out can be a good thing More information: Do smart birds stress less? An interspecific relationship between brain size and corticosterone levels, Published 11 September 2013 DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2013.1734AbstractVertebrates respond to unpredictable noxious environmental stimuli by increasing secretion of glucocorticoids (CORT). Although this hormonal stress response is adaptive, high levels of CORT may induce significant costs if stressful situations are frequent. Thus, alternative coping mechanisms that help buffer individuals against environmental stressors may be selected for when the costs of CORT levels are elevated. By allowing individuals to identify, anticipate and cope with the stressful circumstances, cognition may enable stress-specific behavioural coping. Although there is evidence that behavioural responses allow animals to cope with stressful situations, it is unclear whether or not cognition reduces investment in the neuroendocrine stress response. Here, we report that in birds, species with larger brains relative to their body size show lower baseline and peak CORT levels than species with smaller brains. This relationship is consistent across life-history stages, and cannot be accounted for by differences in life history and geographical latitude. Because a large brain is a major feature of birds that base their lifetime in learning new things, our results support the hypothesis that enhanced cognition represents a general alternative to the neuroendocrine stress response. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B 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.
Researchers invent smart window that tints and powers itself Many types of smart-glass have been created, some that display a tint when it gets sunny out, others that change to prevent heat from coming in, etc. In this new effort, the researchers sought to add something new—production of electricity. Realizing that many types of glass are subjected to rain and wind, they sought to find a way to coat a window that would take advantage of triboelectrics—capturing the energy in static electricity that occurs when two materials meet.They came up with a two layer solution, one layer to capture the energy in raindrops, the other to do the same for wind. In the first layer, the researchers developed nano-sized generators that would take advantage of the positive charge in raindrops that develops as it rubs against air on its way down from clouds and then as it crashes into a car’s windshield. The second layer consisted of a sandwich of two charged sheets of plastic with tiny springs between them. As wind pressure develops on an accelerating vehicle, the plastic sheets are pushed closer together, creating an electric current.Together the two layers result in a glass that is initially clear, but then develops a blue tint—they also generated as much as 130 milliwatts of electricity per square meter of glass, which the researchers point out, is enough to charge a sleeping smartphone. Moving forward, the team suggests that such types of glass could be used with wireless networks because it is not based on a separate power source. But, before that can happen, the team is looking into ways to store the power that is generated. They think it might be possible to embed see-through super-capacitors in the glass as well. At this time, it is not clear how much glass with all that embedded technology would cost. Credit: ACS Nano, DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b00706 Citation: New kind of smart-glass changes color and produces electricity (2015, April 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-kind-smart-glass-electricity.html © 2015 Phys.org 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. Journal information: ACS Nano (Phys.org)—A team of researchers working at the Georgia Institute of Technology has developed a type of smart-glass that not only changes color, but creates electricity. They have published a description of their work and the glass they have produced and some ideas on what the new kind of glass might be used for in their paper published in ACS Nano. More information: Motion-Driven Electrochromic Reactions for Self-Powered Smart Window System, ACS Nano, Article ASAP. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.5b00706AbstractThe self-powered system is a promising concept for wireless networks due to its independent and sustainable operations without an external power source. To realize this idea, the triboelectric nanogenerator (TENG) was recently invented, which can effectively convert ambient mechanical energy into electricity to power up portable electronics. In this work, a self-powered smart window system was realized through integrating an electrochromic device (ECD) with a transparent TENG driven by blowing wind and raindrops. Driven by the sustainable output of the TENG, the optical properties, especially the transmittance of the ECD, display reversible variations due to electrochemical redox reactions. The maximum transmittance change at 695 nm can be reached up to 32.4%, which is comparable to that operated by a conventional electrochemical potentiostat (32.6%). This research is a substantial advancement toward the practical application of nanogenerators and self-powered systems.
New framework sheds light on how, not if, climate change affects cold-blooded animals Explore further To find out if the lizards were somehow sequestering heat from sunlight during the day, the researchers withheld both food and sun from several of the lizards, but they remained warmer than their surroundings nonetheless—it might be, the research group suggests, because warmer bodies help both genders more successfully reproduce. They note that the rise in temperature became more pronounced as the lizards emerged from their burrows in the morning, prime mating time. Tegu lizards in a burrow. Credit: Glenn Tattersall One of the main differences between birds and mammals, and amphibians, reptiles and fish, is the ability to self-heat. Those that cannot are known as ectotherms, creatures that get their heat from the environment. Lizards fall into that category, but one species, the black and white tegu appears to be breaking the rules—the research team found that they cause their bodies to be from 4 to 10 C° warmer than the environment in which they are situated from approximately September to December—the mating season.As the researchers note, tegus tend to spend a lot of time in the sun during the day, warming their bodies. At night, they go into burrows where it is warmer than outside, but still, as the temperature in the burrow drops, so too does the body temperature of the lizards—but not so much during mating season. In addition to an increase in heat, the lizards also had an increased heart and breathing rate, which may offer a clue regarding how the supposedly cold-blooded creature is able to make itself warmer—a faster metabolism could explain the increase in heat, the team suggests, but so could a secreted hormone that forces tissue to work harder than normal, or organs that have a heat producing element. The researchers readily acknowledge that they do not know how the lizard heats itself, but plan to keep looking—finding the answer might help to better understand how warm-bloodedness developed in other organisms. A thermal image of a tegu lizard taken at 6 a.m. inside its burrow. Credit: Glenn J. Tattersall (Phys.org)—A species of lizard, the Argentinean black and white tegu (Salvator merianae), has been discovered by a combined team of researchers from Brazil and Canada, to cause its internal body temperature to rise over the course of several months, during mating season. In their paper published in the journal Science Advances, the team describes their study of captive tegu, what they found regarding body temperature and offer some ideas on how the cold blooded reptile manages to heat itself. More information: G. J. Tattersall et al. Seasonal reproductive endothermy in tegu lizards, Science Advances (2016). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1500951AbstractWith some notable exceptions, small ectothermic vertebrates are incapable of endogenously sustaining a body temperature substantially above ambient temperature. This view was challenged by our observations of nighttime body temperatures sustained well above ambient (up to 10°C) during the reproductive season in tegu lizards (~2 kg). This led us to hypothesize that tegus have an enhanced capacity to augment heat production and heat conservation. Increased metabolic rates and decreased thermal conductance are the same mechanisms involved in body temperature regulation in those vertebrates traditionally acknowledged as “true endotherms”: the birds and mammals. The appreciation that a modern ectotherm the size of the earliest mammals can sustain an elevated body temperature through metabolic rates approaching that of endotherms enlightens the debate over endothermy origins, providing support for the parental care model of endothermy, but not for the assimilation capacity model of endothermy. It also indicates that, contrary to prevailing notions, ectotherms can engage in facultative endothermy, providing a physiological analog in the evolutionary transition to true endothermy. Journal information: Science Advances © 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. Citation: Lizard found to heat itself during mating season (2016, January 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-01-lizard-season.html A basking tegu lizard. Credit: Glenn Tattersall
ASASSN’s creed—a surprising ultraviolet rebrightening observed in a superluminous supernova (Phys.org)—A team of astronomers has found a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova with exceptional properties. According to a research paper published online on May 17, on the arXiv pre-print server, the cosmic explosion, designated PS1-14bj, shows an exceptionally slow rise to maximum light and a very leisurely fade-out. It the longest rise time measured in a superluminous supernova to date. Citation: Astronomers discover an unusual, slowly evolving superluminous supernova (2016, May 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-05-astronomers-unusual-slowly-evolving-superluminous.html Explore further PS1-14bj was first detected in November 2013 by an international team of researchers led by Ragnhild Lunnan of the California Institute of Technology. The astronomers used the Pan-STARRS telescope (PS1) on Mount Haleakala in Hawaii to find this supernova and employed a set of other telescopes worldwide to conduct follow-up observations of the object.PS1 is excellent at finding supernovae and other objects that change or move in the sky. PS1-14bj was found as part of a project carried out by PS1, called the Medium Deep Survey, that imaged the same fields of the sky every night to search for transient objects like supernovae.What drew the attention of the astronomers was that the newly discovered supernova was rising in brightness to maximum light much more slowly than usual.”PS1-14bj stood out in the PS1 data by rising in brightness much slower than a common supernova does, which is what initially prompted us to follow it up further,” Lunnan told Phys.org.Follow-up observations allowed the team to obtain spectra and additional optical images of PS1-14bj. It turned out that this supernova evolves very slowly as its rise time to maximum takes more than 120 days, and it also fades away very slowly (about 250 days). To put that in perspective, ordinary supernovae usually take a few weeks to rise to maximum light, while a typical superluminous supernova rise time might be 30 to 50 days.According to Lunnan, this slow evolution is similar to what is expected for a special kind of explosion mechanism called a pair-instability supernova, and PS1-14bj fits some of the theoretical expectations of what such an explosion would look like.However, it also has some properties that are very hard to explain in a pair-instability model. What puzzles the scientists is its unusual color evolution, with the color temperature rising prior to peak, and staying constant within uncertainties around 8,000-10,000 K through the peak and decline. The team speculates about how the color stays blue, indicating high temperatures, as the supernova fades away, rather than cooling.”This means that there is some energy source heating the supernova ejecta at very late times, and it’s unclear what that energy source is. One possibility is that there is material around the star, a shell of gas that got ejected from the star before it exploded, and as the supernova explosion runs into this the gas is heated by the collision,” Lunnan said.Other possible explanation offered by the scientists is that the supernova could be powered by a magnetar. It is a rapidly spinning neutron star with a strong magnetic field that was formed from the core of the star as the star went supernova, which could then also be heating the supernova ejecta to very late times.”Every time we discover something we haven’t seen before, it adds to our understanding. For example, PS1-14bj shows us that there exist superluminous supernovae that have the kind of broad, slow light curves that are predicted by pair-instability supernova models. Of course, discovering new things also tends to add to the list of things we don’t yet understand, but that is part of the fun of doing science,” Lunnan concluded.Since PS1-14bj has faded away, the team will now focus on the study of the host galaxy to determine what kind of star exploded. They hope to find out whether the star came from a very low metallicity galaxy or not. More information: PS1-14bj: A Hydrogen-Poor Superluminous Supernova With a Long Rise and Slow Decay, arxiv.org/abs/1605.05235AbstractWe present photometry and spectroscopy of PS1-14bj, a hydrogen-poor superluminous supernova (SLSN) at redshift z=0.5215 discovered in the last months of the Pan-STARRS1 Medium Deep Survey. PS1-14bj stands out by its extremely slow evolution, with an observed rise to maximum light ≳125 days in the rest frame, and exponential decline out to ∼250 days past peak at a measured rate of 9.75×10−3 mag day−1, consistent with fully-trapped 56Co decay. This is the longest rise time measured in a SLSN to date, and the first SLSN to show a rise time consistent with pair-instability supernova (PISN) models. Compared to other slowly-evolving SLSNe, it is spectroscopically similar to the prototype SN 2007bi at maximum light, though somewhat lower in luminosity (Lpeak≃4.4×1043 erg s−1) and with a flatter peak than previous events. In addition to its slow evolution, PS1-14bj shows a number of peculiar properties, including a near-constant color temperature for >200 days past peak, and strong emission lines from [O III] λ5007 and [O III] λ4363 with a velocity width of ∼3400 km s−1, in its late-time spectra. These both suggest there is a sustained source of heating over very long timescales, and are incompatible with a simple 56Ni-powered/PISN interpretation, or any model that predicts a monotonically decreasing temperature (such as the simple magnetar spin-down model). A modified magnetar model including emission leakage at late times can reproduce the light curve, in which case the blue continuum and [O III] features would be interpreted as material heated and ionized by the inner pulsar wind nebula becoming visible at late times. Alternatively, the late-time heating could be due to interaction with a shell of H-poor circumstellar material. Stacked iP1 PS1/MDS pre-explosion image of the ﬁeld around PS1-14bj (left), compared to an i-band image from GMOS taken near peak (right). A faint host galaxy is clearly seen at the supernova position. In the GMOS image, which has signiﬁcantly better seeing (0.4′′ FWHM, compared to 1.3′′ in the template), it appears that the host galaxy may have some structure or multiple components. Credit: Lunnan et al., 2016. 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. © 2016 Phys.org
© 2019 Science X Network Controlling neurons with light—but without wires or batteries , Science For this, the team coupled a microscale light-emitting diode (LED) with two millimeter-scale coils to create an inductive charging system, which delivered instantaneous power at biologically safe frequencies in an experimental rodent (rat) model. The wireless setup stimulated neurons in the visual cortex, while maintaining the temperature increase below 10C as a critical safety threshold for biomedical implants. The results are now published on Microsystems and Nanoengineering. Khan et al. introduced a single channel neurostimulator containing a reflector-coupled, microscale light-emitting diode (µLED) with an integrated millimeter sized wireless receiver (RX) coil. The experimental setup allowed for free-floating, battery-free, untethered optogenetics neuromodulation. They used a two-coil inductive link in the system to deliver instantaneous power at a low operating frequency (<100 MHz) for continuous optical stimulation. The process posed minimal invasiveness and tissue exposure to electromagnetic radiation. When they coupled a microscale reflector to the µLED, the optical-reflector displayed significantly enhanced light intensity compared to bare µLED. The scientists controlled the operational temperature of the setup for implant biocompatibility and conducted in vivo experiments in rats, followed by histological studies to verify the efficacy of wireless optical stimulation in the primary visual cortex of the animal model. They visualized the process using c-Fos biomarker, which appeared green on immunostaining, as a reporter of light-evoked neuronal activity. TOP: Simulation model for the inductive coupling at cross-section planes. Plane 3 refers to the bottom plane of the Tx coil (z axis displacement, z = 0), plane 1, 2, 4 refers to z = 2.5 mm, z = 1 mm, and z = −1 mm, respectively. (a) The simulation model in HFSS. Magnetic flux distributions for (b) plane 1, (c) plane 2, (d) plane 3, and (e) plane 4. Induced magnetic flux by the Rx coil at plane 2, while the Rx is positioned at f Tx center and g Tx periphery. Units of flux distributions provided in the color map legend. BOTTOM: Optical and thermal characteristics. (a) Light penetration through tissue sections with a coupled reflector (n = 5), (b) intensity improvement of reflector coupled stimulator compared with a bare μ-LED, and (c) change in temperature for devices stimulating through a 500 μm cortical tissue slice (n = 3). Credit: Microsystems & Nanoengineering, doi: 10.1038/s41378-019-0061-6 System validation using Immuno-histology. (a) In vivo stimulation using a wirelessly-powered neurostimulator on the V1 of an anaesthetized rat. (b) quantitative representation of c-Fos expressed cells using cell sorting. Fluorecent images of mCherry (c, e) as well as c-Fos (d, f) expressions of the control and stimulated cortices, respectively, obtained from the same cortical areas of the same transfected animal. (g, h) c-Fos expressions of the control and stimulated cortices, respectively, obtained from a non-transfected animal. Credit: Microsystems & Nanoengineering, doi: 10.1038/s41378-019-0061-6 Discoveries and inventions in neuroscience have recently progressed rapidly due to advances in semiconductor implants in neurobiological systems, for successful clinical translation. For example, scientists can use implantable "electroceuticals" in a new medical approach to target the central and peripheral nervous system during therapeutic intervention. As a result, optogenetics is finding new applications in neuroscience to deliver light to neural tissues of interest while collecting readouts from cells using targeted control tools. The ability to implant miniature optical sources, recording electrodes, sensors and other components in to designated areas of the brain has renewed the optimism for long-term diagnostics and therapeutics. Using such developments, scientists can study the transmission of primary sensory information to specific domains of the brain, including the olfactory, visual and auditory regions in depth. They can also use the technique to understand cells that drive or inhibit fundamental bioactivities such as hunger, thirst, energy balance and respiration via activity patterns. , Nature Methods Conceptual diagram of the wirelessly-powered opto neuro-stimulator and its placement over the cortex of the animal (rodent) brain. Credit: Microsystems & Nanoengineering, doi: 10.1038/s41378-019-0061-6 Explore further "" The scientists then conducted in vivo experiments in transfected rats (foreign DNA introduced into cells) to then implement the proposed surgical procedures. They followed the experiments with immunohistochemical assays to validate the efficacy of the cell transfection procedure and the subsequent optical stimulation procedure in the rats. During transfection, they induced the expression of channelrhodopsin-2 in the animal models with a viral solution and then placed the coiled stimulator on the primary visual cortex (V1 lobe) of the animal for subsequent optical stimulation. The scientists coupled the coiled stimulator to a Tx coil and used the other V1 lobe of the same animal as a control sample. After completing the in vivo experiments, the scientists analyzed the expression of c-Fos (green dye) in the stimulated vs. non-stimulated lobe to identify neural activity. For this, Khan et al. used immunobiological assays in the work and observed elevated c-Fos expression (green) within the virus-transfected cortex (red) induced by LED stimulation of the experimental neurostimulator. In this way, Khan et al. designed, fabricated and characterized a reflector-coupled, wireless single-channel optical neurostimulator with a mm-sized receiver coil for optogenetic neuromodulation. The reflector-coupled stimulator allowed higher performance compared to bare µLED in the present work. The scientists studied the performance of the two-coil telemetry link using analytical circuit models, FEM stimulations and experimental approaches. They verified the proposed potential of the neurostimulator in a rat model with upregulated cellular activity observed via optical stimulation. Khan et al. will aim to conduct further investigations in the future to miniaturize the devices for neurobiological applications. The scientists tested the surface morphology of the prototype using scanning electron microscopy to observe the cavity array after isotropic silicon etching and surface aluminum coating. They then tested the surface roughness using atomic force microscopy to detect surfaces that created negligible light scattering for optimally enhanced light intensity and activated the neurostimulator on a benchtop setup via inductive powering. The scientists also incorporated Parylene-c to engineer the constructs due to inherent biocompatibility of the material, although they observed potential cracking as before as a result of high temperatures in the engineering process. Khan et al. simulated electromagnetic properties of the inductive link between the Rx and Tx coils using the finite element method (FEM) and high frequency structure stimulator (HFSS) software; to show similarities between the simulated Tx coil and those engineered in the work. The scientists investigated the optical properties and showed that the neurostimulator could reach deep brain cells less invasively compared to a waveguide or penetrating probes. While the data showed superior optical performance of the reflector-coupled stimulator, the intensity reduced heavily with thicker tissue sections. The intensity of the reflector-coupled stimulator was significantly higher in the present work compared with a bare stimulator for effective deep brain stimulation without deep-brain tissue invasion. Khan et al. similarly tested and optimized the thermal properties, electromagnetic properties and the power transfer efficacy of the neurostimulator prototype. To conduct translational studies in an animal model, the scientists proposed implanting the resonator coil between the skull and skin without wire connections to the Tx or Rx coil. Optogenetics must target the neural population without altering the natural behavior of animal models for accurate applications in medicine. Pioneering work by researchers in the field have led to the development of several optimized neuro-stimulators with mid-field radiofrequency (RF) and far-field power transfer. However, scientists are yet to report on a fully implantable and miniaturized high voltage (HV) stimulator that provides precise stimulation control of the parameters of interest. An ideal wireless optical implant must therefore:Be miniature in the millimeter scale (mm) to prevent invasive surgical infection, inflammation and post-surgical trauma.Allow highly efficient power transfer and long-distance communication to deep region target neurons with aims for human applications.A significant challenge with engineering such implants is the energy required to optically activate optogenetic opsins, which typically include a few mWs, although greater than the values for conventional electrical stimulation or data communication. To solve this challenge, Khan and co-workers proposed a fully implantable, mini wireless optical stimulator to deliver sufficient power for µLED operations—without surpassing the operational temperature. In the proposed system, they included a solenoid transmitter (TX) coil and receiver (RX) unit. In a proof-of-concept of the proposed prototype, Khan et al. used a blue µLED (465 nm wavelength) of 270 µm x 220 µm surface area to optically excite neurons expressing channelrhodopsin. To validate the functionality of the device in an animal model, the scientists placed the Tx coil outside the brain and inductively coupled it to the Rx coil, which was integrated to the µLED neurostimulator placed within a craniotomy cavity. The scientists used the free-floating method for epidural optical neuromodulation in the craniotomy cavity located on top of the dura mater. Citation: Biotechnology: Using wireless power to light up tiny neural stimulators (2019, June 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-biotechnology-wireless-power-tiny-neural.html More information: Wasif Khan et al. Inductively coupled, mm-sized, single channel optical neuro-stimulator with intensity enhancer, Microsystems & Nanoengineering (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41378-019-0061-6 Kristoffer Famm et al. A jump-start for electroceuticals, Nature (2013). DOI: 10.1038/496159a Karl Deisseroth. Optogenetics, Nature Methods (2010). DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.f.324T.-i. Kim et al. Injectable, Cellular-Scale Optoelectronics with Applications for Wireless Optogenetics, Science (2013). DOI: 10.1126/science.1232437 Conceptual diagram of the inductively coupled neuro stimulator system. (a) An overview of the inductive link system. (b) Conceptual diagram of the wirelessly-powered opto neuro-stimulator and its placement over the cortex of the animal brain. Credit: Microsystems & Nanoengineering, doi: 10.1038/s41378-019-0061-6 Characterization results and images of an operating prototype. (a, b) SEM images of the etched Si cavity. (c, d) Post and prior Al coating of the cavity, respectively. (e, f) AFM images for quantitative analysis of cavity surface roughness (x axis units in μm, y axis in nm). (g) Fabricated single-channel opto neurostimulator. h Rx-coil coupled single-channel opto neurostimulators. (i, j) An opto stimulator powered wirelessly by a Tx coil. Credit: Microsystems & Nanoengineering, doi: 10.1038/s41378-019-0061-6 Journal information: Nature 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. Implantable optical devices that target neurons can be improved using miniature coils smaller than a grain of rice using optogenetic technology. Scientists can propagate pulses of light using the method to turn protein expression on or off in genetically modified neurons. Neuroscientists have used bulky cables and batteries to control and collect data from such experimental setups so far. In a recent study, Wasif Khan and a team of researchers in the interdisciplinary departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physiology in the U.S. developed a completely wireless prototype to replace the bulky hardware.
Kolkata: In a bid to cater to the huge demand of Haringhata Meat in North Bengal, the West Bengal Livestock Development Corporation (WBLDC) has come up with a cold storage facility in Siliguri which will act as a central store for storing frozen meat.”We have as many as 35 franchises ready to sell Haringhata Meat in North Bengal. However, due to lack of cold processing unit in North Bengal, we were facing difficulty to supply to these franchises from our unit in Haringhata, Nadia. This 10 metric tonne facility will help us to provide quality meat to the people of North Bengal in a more organised way,” Gouri Shankar Koner, managing director of WBLDC said. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe same building with the storage facility also has an animal hospital with facilities for investigation of diseases and guest house facilities. The whole project has entailed an investment of around Rs 2.16 crore. Koner said WBLDC, which comes under the aegis of the state Animal Resource Development department, has also set up a pig breeding farm at Mohitnagar in Jalpaiguri. Around 1,800 animals will be produced annually there.”Haringhata Meat procures pig from farmers and in some cases, there have been concerns over quality. Now, we will have our own infrastructure for pig breeding and these animals will be slaughtered in our pig processing plant at Haringhata,” Koner said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt may be mentioned that pork products like salami, bacon and sausages of Haringhata Meat are in huge demand in the state. The pig breeding farm has had an investment of Rs 2.29 crore. WBLDC has a 3.5 metric tonne capacity processing unit of chicken and pork at Haringhata in Nadia. Frozen meat and a plethora of value-added products made from meat are sold in 230-odd outlets in the state, under the brand name Haringhata Meat. WBLDC is setting up a chicken and pork processing plant at Phansidewa in Darjeeling district which is expected to be operational by the middle of 2018.”All these projects will help us to cater to the gap of demand and supply in North Bengal and most importantly open up an avenue for export to North-Eastern states and Bhutan where there is a huge demand for quality meat,” Koner said.
Kolkata: A couple died in a road accident while their 4-year-old son sustained serious injuries in the same. Four others have also been injured in two separate accidents in the city.The first accident took place in Nadia’s Ranaghat where the bike, which the victims were riding, was hit by a truck on Sunday morning. Police said one Rajesh Mondal, a resident of Begopara area of Nadia was going with his wife and his 4-year-old son to Ranaghat along the National Highway 34. When they were passing Doyabari area, a speeding truck coming from the opposite direction hit them. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe truck driver and the helper fled the spot immediately after the accident leaving the vehicle at the spot. According to the locals, the truck was running at a high speed as a result of which the driver failed to control the vehicle. The locals rushed the injured victims to a nearby hospital where the couple declared brought dead while the boy has been fighting for his life in the hospital.Police have seized the vehicle and are conducting raids to nab the truck driver who has been absconding since the incident took place. The accident caused traffic congestion on the National Highway 34 after the accident. Normalcy was restored after an hour following the intervention of the district police officers. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIn another incident, a speeding car lost control and overturned on Mahim Haldar Street in Kalighat injuring the driver. The locals rescued the driver and sent him to MR Bangur Hospital at around 12.30 am on Saturday midnight. According to the hospital sources, the victim’s condition is serious. Police later reached the spot and seized the vehicle. Police suspect that the victim might have been driving the vehicle in a drunken state. CCTV footages are being looked into. They have started a probe in this regard.The third accident took place in Bidhannagar where two persons travelling in a car received injuries after the vehicle dashed against the road divider. The accident took place near Baguiati in the wee hours of Sunday. The victims have been identified as Md Tarif (27) , Kaushar Ali (24) and Md Samsul (26). They were taken to RG Kar Medical College and Hospital.
Kolkata: As the carcass meat case came to light, corporate tourists from abroad are avoiding consuming meat during their stay in the city.According to Prabir Singha Roy, general secretary of the Travel Agents Association of Bengal, said majority of foreign tourists in the city are corporate ones.”The corporate tourists from abroad are now preferring to vegetables or fish at the most as the carcass meat row have come to light. They are avoiding meat,” said Roy. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsHe further said that in many cases attempts were taken to convince the tourists by making them feel that the quality of food is not the same everywhere. However, some are getting convinced and having meat while some are not.It may be recalled that the case of carcass meat sale came to light for the first time with the arrest of two youth who were caught chopping off meat from dead animals found at a dump yard at Budge Budge in South 24-Parganas. Subsequently, Police have arrested more than 10 people in this connection and the case has been finally taken up by the state’s Criminal Investigation Department (CID). Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedChief Minister Mamata Banerjee also set up a nine member committee headed by Chief Secretary Malay De to completely uproot the menace.The developments have resulted in a considerable drop in the sale of meat and chicken at eateries. Preliminary investigation revealed that the carcass meat was supplied to a section of eateries and some departmental stores as well.The matter related to the sale of dead chicken also came to light with police recovering a huge quantity of fungal-infected chicken at a farm in Rajarhat. In a bid to gain faith of the people, hotels and restaurants are taking all necessary steps.In such a situation, the Hilsa festival is going to take place in Sunderbans in August and the tour operators are expecting more footfall in the festival this time compared to that of the last year. However, according to the operators, the increase in number of turn out in Sunderbans doesn’t have any connection with the carcass meat case.