Nanoparticles Generate Supersonic Shock Waves to Target Cancer

first_img Citation: Nanoparticles Generate Supersonic Shock Waves to Target Cancer (2008, January 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from By mixing nanomaterials that act as fuel and oxidizer, researchers have created a combustible nano explosive that can generate shock waves with Mach numbers up to 3. The team of researchers, a collaboration from the University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC) and the U.S. Army, hope that this nano-sized “smart bomb” can target drug delivery to cancer cells, and leave healthy cells unharmed. Their study is published in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.“Nanoengineered thermites can produce shock waves, and their properties are similar to some primary lead-based explosives,” Shubhra Gangopadhyay, Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UMC, told “Hence these materials may be able to replace lead-based primary explosives. We are also able to integrate this material with micro-chip technology and produce shock waves using these compact micro-chip systems. This micro system has many applications in defense, as well as in life sciences, such as targeted drug and gene delivery.”The researchers explain that nanothermite composites, made of metallic fuel and inorganic oxidizer, have “outstanding” combustion characteristics. Mixing a low-density composite of copper oxide nanorods (fuel) and aluminum nanoparticles (oxidizer) results in a large contact area between the fuel and oxidizer. On the nanoscale, the low density and large contact area of the nanothermite composite can lead to a fast-propagating combustion.The team tested the combustion in a shock tube studded with optical fibers and pressure sensors to measure the combustion wave speed. They found that the nano composites could generate combustion waves with velocities ranging from 1500 to 2300 meters per second, which is in the Mach 3 range.The power of these nano explosives could lead to a breakthrough in drug delivery for cancer and HIV, the researchers explain. First, drugs would be administered with a needle as usual, dispersing through the entire body. But then a hand-held device aimed at the tumor would send a pulse into the tumor. The shock waves created by the pulse would make tiny holes in the cells it was aimed at, allowing the drug to enter the tumor cells. Further, the force of the shock waves would push the drugs to those cells within milliseconds.The researchers have tested the method on animal tissue, and have demonstrated a 99% success rate – almost all of the cells have properly accepted the drugs. Healthy cells, on the other hand, demonstrate much fewer side effects than with conventional treatments such as chemotherapy. As Gangopadhyay explains, the nano explosives have some different characteristics than conventional explosives. “In conventional explosives, shock waves are generated during detonation,” she says. “In nanothermites, fast propagating chemical reactions can create shock waves without detonation.” Generating shock waves without detonation is the key to this technology, she says.If everything goes well, the researchers hope to have the device ready to use in two to five years. Besides biomedical applications, the nano explosives could be useful in other areas, such as geology and seismology. Originally, the technology was used in the Army for IED (improvised explosive device) detection, where shock waves sent into the ground could give an image of what lies beneath. More information: S. Apperson, et al. “Generation of fast propagating combustion and shock waves with copper aluminum nanothermite composites.” Applied Physics Letters 91, 243109 (2007).Copyright 2008 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Tests of the nano combustion in the shock tube showed that the nanocomposite could generate combustion waves with velocities ranging from 1500 to 2300 meters per second, which is in the Mach 3 range. Credit: S. Apperson, et al. Shaken and stirred: Scientists capture the deformation effect of shock waves on a material 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.last_img read more

Chinese scientists create metamaterial black hole

first_img Citation: Chinese scientists create metamaterial black hole (2009, October 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from (a) A model of black hole composed of a gradient-index metamaterial shell and a lossy dielectric core. (b) Photograph of the fabricated artificial black hole based on metamaterials, which is composed of 60 concentric layers, with the ELC structures in the core layers and the I-shaped structures in the shell layers. Image (c) Qiang Cheng, arXiv paper. Explore further A black hole is a region from which no light can escape. In space, according to relativity theory, black holes are formed when the space becomes distorted by a large mass, preventing light from escaping its gravitational field, but any region from which no light escapes is a black hole.The scientists exploited the special properties of metamaterials to create their mini black hole for microwave frequencies. Metamaterials are a class of ordered composites with properties not usually seen in nature. They are known to distort light, and have already been used to create invisibility cloaks that can steer light around an object. The Chinese scientists used their metamaterial to distort microwaves to the extent that those entering cannot escape.The electromagnetic black hole was built from 60 strips of printed circuit boards coated with a thin layer of copper and arranged in concentric circles. The outer 40 strips form the shell, while the inner strips form the core. Intricate patterns were etched in the copper that alternately resonated and did not resonate at microwave frequency, and which changed progressively from strip to strip. The scientists measured microwaves going into the device, and found none coming out. The microwaves entering the shell are trapped and guided towards the core, where they are absorbed in all directions equally because of the circular symmetry. The energy absorbed is emitted as heat.The current device works only with microwaves, but they are aiming to develop a black hole for visible light next. This is more difficult because the wavelength of visible light is much smaller than microwaves, which means the etched structures must also be much reduced in size. Tie Jun Cui said he expected the visible light black hole to be demonstrated later this year.An artificial visible light black hole could find practical uses in harvesting light for solar cells, and this could mean solar energy could be harvested even in places with diffuse sunlight.More information: An electromagnetic black hole made of metamaterials, arXiv:0910.2159v1 [physics.optics]© 2009 Now scientists think you’d be ‘roasted’ in a black hole ( — Two physicists in China have used metamaterials to create the first artificial electromagnetic black hole. The scientists, Qiang Cheng and Tie Jun Cui from the Southeast University in Nanjing, China created the tiny black hole in their laboratory, in an experiment that aimed to simulate a black hole. 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

Microsoft Street Slide threatens to eclipse street view rivals w Video

first_img Explore further Researchers Johannes Kopf, Billy Chen, Richard Szeliski, and Michael Cohen say their system provides an uninterrupted transition between the bubbles and multi-perspective panoramas, and a dynamic stitching together of the views that simulates either a perspective view or a hyper-perspective view like viewing the street from a distance. This overcomes limitations of other systems, such as a reduction in resolution as the viewer zooms in to a view, and provides a sense of parallax to make the view seem more realistic as the viewer “street slides” along the street façade.The team demonstrated their Street Slide system using images of a streetscape in Seattle, Washington, and carried out a study that tested the system against the Google and Bing software. The 20 volunteers found it easier and significantly quicker (an average of 17 seconds faster) to locate a specific building on an unfamiliar street using the Street Slide system. Citation: Microsoft Street Slide threatens to eclipse street view rivals (w/ Video) (2010, July 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Starting from within a bubble (a), as the field of view reaches 90(b), the view transitions to a multi-perspective panorama and the virtual camera begins to dolly backwards (c) revealing slices from adjacent bubbles, (d). Note that the virtual camera remains locked at 90 during the apparent backward motion. Also, the field of view of the central slice reduces from its initial 90′ while the edges of outer most slices stay at 45 to simulate a backward dollying (hyper) perspective camera. Image: Johannes Kopf et al. Microsoft Research. More information: Research paper (PDF): … per/street_slide.pdf Greece bars Google’s Street View pending detailscenter_img ( — Microsoft has unveiled “Street Slide,” which gives viewers 360-degree multi-perspective panoramas (“bubbles”) of a city streetscape. The system should rival Google’s Street View and Bing Maps’ Streetside. 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. This is an accompanying video to researchers’ SIGGRAPH 2010 paper. Street Slide presents the viewer with slices of many images, making it possible to see all the buildings on a street at the same time, and to slide sideways along the street. The Google and Bing systems also provide panoramic photographs or bubbles, but the viewer must jump from one bubble to the next and it is not possible to “travel” smoothly down the virtual street. Microsoft senior scientist Michael Cohen explained that the bubbles provide only a limited view, even though a viewer can rotate within a bubble to look in any direction. He said “You want to back up until you can see the whole street but you can’t because the buildings on the other side are in the way.” The new system creates that viewpoint by stitching together images taken from all the bubble panoramas on the street. As the view zooms out of the bubble the long distance view is presented, but the user can also return to the classic bubble view at any time.The street views are wide, leaving room at the top and bottom for additional information such as the street name and numbers, business information, a map and navigational aids. Cohen said the space could also be used for advertising, or even social information such as the locations of people linked into a social network.The Street Slide system was introduced at Microsoft Research’s publication page, and will be presented in Los Angeles this week at the SIGGRAPH 2010 computer graphics conference. The team is already developing a version of Street Slide compatible with the iPhone. © 2010 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

Mapping subcellular temperature profiles with geneticallyencoded thermosensors

first_img More information: Genetically encoded fluorescent thermosensors visualize subcellular thermoregulation in living cells, Nature Methods (2013) DOI: 10.1038/nmeth.2690AbstractIn mammals and birds, thermoregulation to conserve body temperature is vital to life. Multiple mechanisms of thermogeneration have been proposed, localized in different subcellular organelles. However, visualizing thermogenesis directly in intact organelles has been challenging. Here we have developed genetically encoded, GFP-based thermosensors (tsGFPs) that enable visualization of thermogenesis in discrete organelles in living cells. In tsGFPs, a tandem formation of coiled-coil structures of the Salmonella thermosensing protein TlpA transmits conformational changes to GFP to convert temperature changes into visible and quantifiable fluorescence changes. Specific targeting of tsGFPs enables visualization of thermogenesis in the mitochondria of brown adipocytes and the endoplasmic reticulum of myotubes. In HeLa cells, tsGFP targeted to mitochondria reveals heterogeneity in thermogenesis that correlates with the electrochemical gradient. Thus, tsGFPs are powerful tools to noninvasively assess thermogenesis in living cells. 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. Measuring temperaure inside cells. Credit: Steven H. Lee © 2013 Mitochondrial cooperatives Journal information: Nature Methods The key to building this new sensor is a protein known as TlpA, which is made by Salmonella. The normal operation of TlpA is as an autoregulatory repressor that senses temperature to control transcription. At around 37 degrees C, it undergoes rapid and reversible structural transition to an unfolded monomer. By fusing the fluorophor region of GFP to TlpA, the researchers were able to make the fluorescence spectrum of GFP temperature dependent. The final step was to join the fusion protein to sequences that could target the protein to either the mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or plasma membrane.The researchers were then able to simultaneously image the temperature-sensitive GFP along with the mitochondrial membrane potential indicator dye, JC-1. They found that that elevations in temperature and potential were highly correlated. Perhaps that is not so surprising, but it is the nature and order of these correlations where potency might be derived. They also confirmed this link using another genetically-encoded sensor (ATeam26), along with fluorescence resonance imaging (FRET)to measure ATP. Since ATP is synthesized primarily by an electrochemical pump during oxidative phosphorylation, its production should reflect the mitochondrial proton gradient as seen by JC-1.The characteristics of these complex sensors were vetted by studying the well-known phenomenon of thermogenesis. The researchers looked at brown fat adipocytes, and also avian skeletal muscle, which is the preferred method of heat generation in bird species. The full power of this technology will arguably best be brought to bear when it is applied to the brain. The thermodynamics of spiking neurons has been driven experimentally mainly by rather imprecise external temperature sensors. With a better handle on temperature changes, not just inside and outside axons, but inside the glial cells which myelinate them—and also carry a significant fraction of the spike energy, possibly as phase transitins—a better understand of neural transmission may be had.Where neurons connect, the role of presynaptic mitochondria as transactors of electro-mechanical spike currency into chemo-mechanical vesicle dynamics might now be imaged in telling detail. Similarly on the opposed side of the synapse, where mitochondria are scuttled as a function of minipotential to sop or source calcium, ATP and heat itself, their broader function as hidden communicator of information and power not just at the level of synapse, but cell, may be revealed. Infrared thermography is generally not suitable for imaging fine features in cells. Its spatial resolution is greater than 100μm and it detects only the surface temperature of the object. To measure organelle temperatures, you need a sensor that operates on their scale. A quantum dot or nanodiamond sensor perhaps 100nm wide could be incorporated into a cell by endocytosis, but once inside, it can go anywhere. These sensors can measure intracellular fluctuations of just 0.05 Kelvin (and outside the cell 0.0018), but unless they remain right at heat producing structures in the cell, they will probably only sense uniform thermal background. The reason for this is that not only does any heat generated by these organelles diffuse away rapidly, the organelles themselves like to move. It is worth mentioning that a fascinating paper appeared not long ago on the Arxiv server which attempted to measure how far the effects of the hydrolysis of a single ATP molecule could be felt. The number they came up with is the same size as the sensors we just mentioned, 100nm.The first direct links between organelle function and temperature were made earlier this year by researchers from Japan. They developed a fluorescence lifetime method which used a polymer based thermometer. The temperature resolution they obtained was 0.2 C (apologies for the unit mixing) while the spatial resolution was diffraction limited. These researchers were able to show that the nucleus and centrosome were significantly hotter than other parts of the cell. We generally think of cilia and their associated centrioles as being chemically or molecularlly controlled. Watching their response as a function of temperature may cast their primal role in a new light. While these studies are nice, what sets apart the new research (also done by a Japanese team), is that they could genetically encode a protein-based sensor, target it directly to different organelles like the mitochondria, and then simultaneously measure membrane potential and energy production to correlate temperature increases to the intrinsic function of the organelle. ( —If you asked a biologist what any given cell is going to do next, they might ask you first to tell them its electrical potential, oxygenation, pH, osmolarity or glucose concentration. Depending on how finely-scaled your answer might be, they might be able to predict anything from firing an action potential or entering mitosis, to undergoing apoptosis. But what if you knew the subcellular temperature profile in such detail that each mitochondria, centriole and even regions of the endoplasmic reticulum could be read as easily as a mother her child’s fever? That question now drives some of the most exciting research in biology. This year several groups have come up with ingenious thermometric methods ranging from fluorescence lifetime microscopy to exotic diamond nanosensors employing nitrogen vacancy centers. The latest breakthrough, just published in Nature Methods, describes a method that uses a genetically-encoded sensor built from green fluorescent protein (GFP) that is fused to a thermosensing protein borrowed from Salmonella. The researchers used this construct to probe thermogenesis in brown fat mitochondria, and perhaps most astoundingly, were able to correlate temperature with both mitochondrial membrane potential and ATP production. Citation: Mapping subcellular temperature profiles with genetically-encoded thermosensors (2013, October 16) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Explore furtherlast_img read more

Study of galaxy Segue 1 suggests it may be a fossil from

first_img Citation: Study of galaxy Segue 1 suggests it may be a fossil from the early universe (2014, April 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Scientists have known about Segue 1 for some time—it’s both close to us (just 75,000 light years away) and very small, with just few hundred stars. In this new effort, Anna Frebel with MIT, Joshua Simon with Carnegie Mellon University and Evan Kirby with the University of California studied the makeup of red giants in Segue 1 and found they are made up mostly of hydrogen and helium. This implies that the stars came about due to the explosions of massive stars—prior research has shown that it’s smaller star explosions that result in new stars forming heavy with metals (because the smaller stars create the heavier elements). Prior research has also shown that higher mass stars tend to blow up at a much younger age than low mass stars. Also when stars explode in general, they release material that winds up being used in new star formation. As the process repeats, more stars with heavy metals are created. But not Segue 1—for some reason the evolution process simply stopped, leaving the galaxy in very nearly the same condition it was shortly after forming. Why this happened is a mystery, though there is one theory—it’s based on reionization.Reionization theory suggests that shortly after the universe was born, ionized gasses began to cool allowing the formation of atoms and eventually stars. Those stars eventually blew up releasing radiation that served as fuel for more reionization. New stars cannot form from ionized gasses, of course, so if certain parts of space had stars that caused a lot of reionization, the creation of new stars would have been impossible—the evolution of such a galaxy would simply stop.Thus far, Segue 1 is the only such galaxy to have been found, but if the reionization theory is correct, it’s likely there are many more, researchers just can’t see them because they are too far away. © 2014 Explore further Ellipticals and spirals comprise two different populations of “green” galaxies More information: Segue 1: An Unevolved Fossil Galaxy from the Early Universe, arXiv:1403.6116 [astro-ph.GA] present Magellan/MIKE and Keck/HIRES high-resolution spectra of six red giant stars in the dwarf galaxy Segue 1. Including one additional Segue 1 star observed by Norris et al. (2010), high-resolution spectra have now been obtained for every red giant in Segue 1. Remarkably, three of these seven stars have metallicities below [Fe/H] = -3.5, suggesting that Segue 1 is the least chemically evolved galaxy known. We confirm previous medium-resolution analyses demonstrating that Segue 1 stars span a metallicity range of more than 2 dex, from [Fe/H] = -1.4 to [Fe/H] = -3.8. All of the Segue 1 stars are alpha-enhanced, with [alpha/Fe] ~ 0.5. High alpha-element abundances are typical for metal-poor stars, but in every previously studied galaxy [alpha/Fe] declines for more metal-rich stars, which is typically interpreted as iron enrichment from supernova Ia. The absence of this signature in Segue 1 indicates that it was enriched exclusively by massive stars. Other light element abundance ratios in Segue 1, including carbon-enhancement in the three most metal-poor stars, closely resemble those of metal-poor halo stars. Finally, we classify the most metal-rich star as a CH star given its large overabundances of carbon and s-process elements. The other six stars show remarkably low neutron-capture element abundances of [Sr/H] < -4.9 and [Ba/H] < -4.2, which are comparable to the lowest levels ever detected in halo stars. This suggests minimal neutron-capture enrichment, perhaps limited to a single r-process or weak s-process synthesizing event. Altogether, the chemical abundances of Segue 1 indicate no substantial chemical evolution, supporting the idea that it may be a surviving first galaxy that experienced only one burst of star formation.via NatureNews , Astrophysical Journal Journal information: arXiv ( —A trio of space researchers studying the galaxy Segue 1 has found that its red giant stars are made mostly of hydrogen and helium, with very few heavy elements, suggesting the galaxy stopped evolving not long after its formation. In their paper uploaded to the preprint sever arXiv (and soon to be published in Astrophysical Journal) the team describes observation data they've obtained regarding the galaxy and why what they've found might mean Segue 1 is the oldest observable galaxy in the night sky. The portion of sky in which astronomers found the Segue 1 dwarf galaxy. Credit: Marla Geha/W.M. Keck Observatory. 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

Genetic study suggests humans may be evolving in a way that prevents

first_img Citation: Genetic study suggests humans may be evolving in a way that prevents alcoholism (2018, February 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Largest genetic study of mosquitoes reveals spread of insecticide resistance across Africa Humans are, of course, still evolving, which suggests studies looking into the ways we are evolving might be important. In this new effort, Johnson and Voight analyzed genetic data from the over 2,500 people whose DNA ended was used in the 1000 Genomes Project. More specifically, they looked for emerging variants in different population groups that might shed some light on the evolutionary changes that we are currently undergoing. They report that they were able to identify five genetic “hot spots”—resistance to malaria in African populations, an amino acid change in Europeans, two sections of DNA left over from interbreeding with Neanderthals, and finally, an ADH variant.The ADH gene is responsible for inducing production of alcohol dehydrogenase, an enzyme that breaks down alcohol into acetaldehyde, which is then converted to acetate by another process. The researchers note that the variants seem to protect against alcoholism, though how that might happen is still unclear. They theorize that it might break down alcohol faster, causing drinkers to feel sick almost right away—a side-effect that would almost certainly deter drinkers from further consumption. They further theorize that it is possible that over the past 1000 years or so, people, particularly those in their reproductive years, who drank a lot wound up killing themselves off before reproducing—a trend still in evidence today as young people who drink and drive frequently wind up dead before they have a chance to make babies.The researchers report that there was an anomaly in the data, however—ADH variants were not nearly as prevalent in European and American populations as they were in others. They suggest this might have been due to overlooking the markers in the data. © 2018 A depiction of the double helical structure of DNA. Its four coding units (A, T, C, G) are color-coded in pink, orange, purple and yellow. Credit: NHGRI Explore furthercenter_img More information: Kelsey Elizabeth Johnson et al. Patterns of shared signatures of recent positive selection across human populations, Nature Ecology & Evolution (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0478-6AbstractSignatures of recent positive selection often overlap across human populations, but the question of how often these overlaps represent a single ancestral event remains unresolved. If a single selective event spread across many populations, the same sweeping haplotype should appear in each population and the selective pressure could be common across populations and environments. Identifying such shared selective events could identify genomic loci and human traits important in recent history across the globe. In addition, genomic annotations that recently became available could help attach these signatures to a potential gene and molecular phenotype selected across populations. Here, we present a catalogue of selective sweeps in humans, and identify those that overlap and share a sweeping haplotype. We connect these sweep overlaps with potential biological mechanisms at several loci, including potential new sites of adaptive introgression, the glycophorin locus associated with malarial resistance and the alcohol dehydrogenase cluster associated with alcohol dependency. Journal information: Nature Ecology & Evolution A pair of researchers with the University of Pennsylvania has found evidence suggesting humans may be evolving in a way that will prevent alcoholism in the future. In their paper published in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, Kelsey Elizabeth Johnson and Benjamin Voight describe their study which involved analyzing data from the 1000 Genomes Project looking for emerging gene variants and what they found. 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

A Day Of Power And Strength Epste

first_img by NPR News Colin Dwyer 8.27.19 3:06pm Updated at 2:30 p.m. ETJeffrey Epstein is dead, but that doesn’t mean his accusers have been silenced.On Tuesday, nearly three weeks after the wealthy financier and alleged sex trafficker took his own life in jail, a host of women and their attorneys took the stand to tell their stories. Judge Richard Berman decided last week that Epstein’s death — and prosecutors’ subsequent proposal to drop the charges — should not close the door on those who wish to speak about the case.”The Court believes that where, as here, a defendant has died before any judgment has been entered against him, the public may still have an informational interest in the process by which the prosecutor seeks dismissal of an indictment,” Berman wrote.About 20 women, many of whom chose to remain anonymous, gave their accounts Tuesday, along with prosecutors and defense attorneys, in a courtroom without cameras present. Afterward, two accusers stood before reporters at a news conference led mostly by their attorney, Gloria Allred.”All I’m going to say is today is a day of power and strength,” said one accuser, Teala Davies, in a brief statement before ceding the microphone to Allred.”It was wonderful, as far as they were concerned, to have this opportunity to be heard,” Allred said, commenting on how rare Tuesday’s hearing was. “I just received an invitation from the court last week, and I was just amazed because I’ve never received that in all my years of practice.”Despite Epstein’s absence, the hearing marks a milestone in the long, sordid saga surrounding the controversial financier. Long suspected of running a sex trafficking ring that targeted young girls in particular, Epstein managed to elude his accusers’ attempts to bring him to justice — and largely to keep their stories quiet. Most notably, his first major trial ended in 2008 with a lenient federal plea deal that allowed Epstein to plead guilty to a state charge of soliciting prostitution from a teenager and serve about a year in jail. He was allowed to leave the jail frequently during his time in custody; what’s more, his plea deal also sealed the agreement and largely hid it from his accusers and the public alike.It was not until last year’s investigation by the Miami Herald shed light on details of the deal that outrage over Epstein escalated again. That anger also led to the resignation of the man who had negotiated the agreement, Alexander Acosta. Acosta had been a U.S. attorney at the time and stepped down as labor secretary last month.A separate lawsuit packed with revealing testimony about the operation Epstein and his associate Ghislaine Maxwell allegedly ran with the help of others was left under seal for years, until a judge released a trove of documents related to the case. Those thousands of pages of documents, released just a day before Epstein’s death, contained claims that he and Maxwell recruited and used teenage girls for sex, often forcing them to have sex with other prominent men connected with Epstein.When Epstein died, many of his accusers feared they had once again been robbed of the chance to speak out in court.”I cannot say that I am pleased he committed suicide, but I am at peace knowing that he will not be able to hurt anyone else,” one of Epstein’s alleged victims wrote in a letter signed “Jane Doe” and posted to Twitter by her lawyer, Lisa Bloom. “However, a sad truth remains: I, along with other women, will never have an answer as to why; I will never have an apology for all the wrong doing; and, most importantly, Epstein will not be justly sentenced for his crimes.””In choosing death,” the woman added, “Epstein denied everyone justice.”Tuesday’s hearing might mark the end of the case against Epstein himself should Berman approve prosecutors’ request to dismiss the indictment, but other legal battles are far from over. Several of Epstein’s accusers have filed significant lawsuits against his estate, and prosecutors have vowed to pursue justice against his associates.The message that authorities are far from finished was a prevailing theme, according to NPR’s Cat Schuknecht, who was in the courtroom Tuesday. “My takeaway,” she says, “is that even if the case is dismissed, which is what they’re asking for, that they are reassuring everyone that investigations will be ongoing.”That’s in accordance with a pledge earlier this month by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.”To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you,” the office said in a statement, “and our investigation of the conduct charged in the Indictment — which included a conspiracy count — remains ongoing.”Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. ‘A Day Of Power And Strength’: Epstein’s… Kevin Hagenlast_img read more

Celebrating the spirit of women

first_imgWomen’s Moksha, a women’s organisation, has organised Abhoni 2014, the Artisans Crafts Bazaar and Bengali Food Festival  to commemorate the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda and to celebrate the International Women’s Day. The festival which will go on till 10 March has been organised to promote the cause of women empowerment and the power of youth in our society. The festival which was inaugurated by the Resident Commissioner of West Bengal, Bhaskar Khulbe, looks ahead to promote handloom, handicraft, jute products, food and the varied culture of India. It also aims to provide special emphasis to the tribal and rural segment of the country. A Dog show and mock drill will be demonstration by the National Disaster Response Force team during the festival to make the youth and the common man understand the ground realities of natural calamities and how to cope with such eventualities. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Swami Vivekananda held women in high esteem and appreciated their spirit of service and compassion. For the youth of this country Swami Vivekananda is a role model, an icon of dynamism and vibrancy. He ignited young minds saying ‘my faith is in the younger generation, the modern generation, out of them will come my workers. They will work out the whole problem like lions’.  The festival following Vivekananda’s thoughts looks to contribute by creating a platform where youth and women from across the country can come together and share their ideas and bridge the barriers of race, colour, religion and gender. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThis festival is a conscious effort by Women’s Moksha to create a credible platform for the women and youth of this country to come together and showcase their culture and tradition. This shall be a stage where women and youth from different states shall get an opportunity to share their culture, tradition, thoughts, skills and talent.Some of the award winning talent of India will also be showcasing their talent during the festival. Some of which include Nagender from A.P. to Naim Khan pottery of Uttar Pradesh. Pattachitra of Orisaa and Jamdani from bengal represented by Akshaye Barik and Khokan Nandy. Abahoni also aims to focus on the culture, tradition and different forms of textiles of Eastern part of India including states like West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhatisgarh. The major attraction of the festival is the Artisans Craft Bazaar which will witness participation by artisans from across the country. The objective is to promote rural and tribal handicraft and handloom in India. The artisans and women  entrepreneurs shall showcase their work from handloom, handicraft and jute products which in a way will provide them a platform to get a larger audience and market for their work.Other major attraction of the event would be the food festival  which will display varied dishes and cuisines from the eastern part of the country. The festival shall witness participants serving diverse varieties and items with several recipes from Bengal, and  some exclusive Mughlai dishes. There would also be a special  Bengali food stall serving more than 100 nostalgic Bengali dishes.The cultural shows during the festival will witness some renowned local artists from Bengal who would showcase their talent. The fest will also feature different forms of folk dances and music. The festival shall create awareness on the rich and cultural heritage. Such festivals for the youth not only reflect the spirit of friendship but also peace and development. Besides all this, this festival shall provide a nation-wide exposure to the youth for the expression and fulfilment of their cultural talents and aspiration.Women’s Moksha is an organisation dedicated to promote eco- friendly products, principally jute, which have been crafted by the rural section of the Indian Society, thereby empowering them to be self reliant as well as enabling a traditional industry to flourish.WHEN: On till 10 MarchWHERE: Indira Gandhi National Centre For Arts, 3, Rajendra Prasad Roadlast_img read more

Jilted lover slashes girls throat at Princep Ghat

first_imgKolkata: A jilted lover, under the pretext of having a talk with his girlfriend, slashed her with a razor blade at Princep Ghat on Tuesday evening.The victim, a college student, suffered deep injuries on her throat. She has been under a state of trauma ever since the incident took place. She has been undergoing treatment.The city police have arrested the accused youth Pavan Khan alias Monu. It was learnt that the accused wanted to take revenge on the victim girl as she expressed her desire not to continue the relationship. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPolice said the victim and the accused, have been seeing each other for some time but the girl wanted to end their relationship for some reasons. She told him about the matter a few days ago. But this did not go down well with the accused and he hatched a plan to give her a lesson. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that they started a relation a year ago. For last two months, the duo had engaged in repeated quarrels over various issues. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAccording to the police, the accused called up the girl on Tuesday afternoon saying that he wanted to settle the matter amicably. She was asked to come to Princep Ghat. He also assured that he would not disturb her further after she meets him there. After the victim arrived the place, a heated altercation broke out between the duo. During the quarrel, the accused suddenly took out a attacked the girl with a razor blade. Hearing the screaming of the victim, locals and on duty police men rushed to the spot and they managed to catch hold of the accused. He was taken to the South Port police station for interrogation. He was later arrested by the police in this connection. The victim girl was taken to a hospital for treatment as she suffered serious injuries on her throat. On the basis of the complaint lodged by the family members of the victim, the police have started a specific case in this regard.last_img read more

Full Statehood back on the agenda

first_imgWith the escalating conflict between Delhi’s Chief Minister, Arvind Kejriwal and Lieutenant Governor, Najeeb Jung, the peculiarities of the city-state’s governance structure are back in the spotlight. Another battle line bubbling beneath the surface, albeit without the same kind of media glare, is that between the Delhi government and the Municipal Corporation Department (MCD). This too had come to the fore in March, when the three municipal corporations demanded that the Delhi government pay the salaries of the striking safai karamcharis. While these conflicts between the State government, the Centre and the MCD may come to the surface occasionally, the citizens of Delhi are not unfamiliar with the governance mess that exists in this city. Anyone who has tried to get a heap of garbage cleared from outside their apartment or attempted to get a broken sewage line repaired, would have come across the multiplicity of authorities – be it the MCD, the DDA, the Delhi Jal Board, the MLA or Councillor – without any single one of them being accountable for the job at hand. It is this messy multiplicity that has given rise to periodic demands for full statehood for Delhi. Also Read – Gateway of criminal justiceGovernance of the national capital is always a complex issue, and most countries across the world have struggled to find appropriate solutions for it. On the one hand is the ‘national’ dimension of a capital city, as it houses all national institutions of the legislature, the executive and the judiciary; it hosts international embassies and diplomats, and often ‘national’ monuments. The capital city often has great symbolic value for the image a nation and its government wish to convey to the larger world. And these are the reasons why national governments wish to retain control over the governance of the capital city. However, the ‘national’ dimension is in contradiction with the needs of the citizens who live and work in the city that need well-functioning basic amenities, public transport and security. It is these latter needs that often suffer neglect when capital cities are governed by national governments. Unfortunately, this is precisely the dilemma that has existed as far as Delhi is concerned. Also Read – Turning a blind eyeAt the time of Independence, Delhi was a Chief Commissioner’s province. In 1956, it became a Union Territory. A year later, the Delhi Municipal Corporation and the Delhi Development Authority Acts were enacted to promote the growth and development of the city. However, despite these landmark legislations, there was a demand for a democratic government for Delhi, which could focus on fulfilling the needs of the citizens of the city. In partial fulfilment of this demand, the Delhi Administration Act was enacted in 1966, which provided for the creation of a Metropolitan Council, which was a deliberative body that had 56 elected members and 5 other nominated by the president. It was headed by the Lieutenant Governor, and was empowered to recommend but not legislate. It was intended as a compromise between an elected legislature and rule by the President. And yet the governance of Delhi – especially because of its growing and socio-economically diverse population – remained a matter of concern. In 1989, the Balakrishnan Committee set up by the Government of India recommended that Delhi needed an elected Legislature and Council of Ministers to deal with matters that concern the common person in this city. It was based on this recommendation that the Government of National Capital Territory (GNCT) Act was passed in 1991, along with Constitutional Amendments that introduced Articles 239AA and 239AB in the Constitution, providing for a Legislative Assembly in Delhi. The Legislative Assembly was given power to legislate and govern on all matters in the State List except Land, Police and Public Order, as these were supposed to be essential for the ‘national’ functions of the capital.As an elected Legislature has governed Delhi for the past 22 years, several shortcomings in this governance structure have emerged. One, the Delhi Municipal Corporation Act predated the formation of the Legislative Assembly, so the Municipal Bodies, which fulfil various essential functions, remain accountable to the Union government and not the elected Delhi government. Two, the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is under the control of the Ministry of Urban Development. With both these institutions under the Union government, the ability of the elected government of Delhi to meet the needs of the people gets severely curtailed. Three, with the Delhi Police being under the Home Ministry, which is meant to ensure security to the entire country, there is an unsurprising neglect of security provision outside Lutyens Delhi, which has been brought to light by horrific incidents of rape in the capital.It is for these reasons that there is a repeated demand for full statehood for Delhi so that the elected government can control the provision of essential services for Delhi’s citizens. Moreover, with the multiplicity of authorities and the lack of clarity about their relationship, governance and delivery has suffered. And while the ‘national’ dimensions of the city need to be recognised and provided for, there is a substantive devolution of power that can be done to the Government of Delhi; a detailed blueprint for which has been made by the Second Administrative Reforms Commission (ARC) in 2005. These include chairing of DDA by the Chief Minister of Delhi, control of MCD by Delhi government (with an exclusion of certain zones which have national significance), broader security to be retained by the Union government with traffic and local policing being devolved.As Delhi faces governance related challenges and conflicts today, it is the spirit of the city’s institutional evolution that needs to be understood and taken further. Delhi’s institutional evolution has shown a move towards the need to transfer power into the hands of elected representatives of the people, in line with the pattern of democratic evolution throughout history. It is this spirit that needs to be respected and furthered, not curtailed. And it is in this light that the recommendations of the Second ARC are significant, as they reflect that if the Union Government is committed to the interests of the people of Delhi, the governance crisis can be resolved without compromising national interests. What remains to be seen is whether the Union government will gracefully devolve these powers, or will they eventually do the same under duress and pressure from the people of Delhi?(Atishi Marlena is a social activist and policy researcher, who has been with the Aam Aadmi Party for the past two years. Views expressed are personal)last_img read more