Why Do We Have Fingerprints

first_img Explore further Clickfree USB Cable Transformer Availabe Now Citation: Why Do We Have Fingerprints? (2009, April 4) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-04-fingerprints.html (PhysOrg.com) — Unlike most wrinkles on our bodies, which appear due to bending and stretching of the skin, fingerprints aren’t the result of repeated motion. Each of us is born with a unique set of them, although scientists aren’t exactly sure what purpose fingerprints serve. One possible purpose of fingerprints is that they improve our sense of touch. In a recent study, scientists have investigated this idea by performing a series of experiments with artificial fingertips made of rubber-like sensors. The scientists compared the sensitivity between these grooved artificial fingertips and a smooth skin-like material, and found that the grooved fingertips produced vibrations up to 100 times stronger than the smooth material when sliding against a slightly rough surface. The researchers, from the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris, explained that increased vibrations give us an enhanced sense of touch, especially for detecting textures. As you rub your fingers across a textured surface, your fingerprints specifically amplify vibrations in an optimized frequency range to stimulate the Pacinian corpuscles, which are nerve endings in the skin that detect textures. In turn, texture information allows us to identify objects by touch.As the finding demonstrates, not only does our nervous system (the “software”) play a role in tactile computation, but the physical characteristics of the body (the “hardware”) also enhance the computation when sensing.However, the research doesn’t explain why everyone’s fingerprints are unique, or why our fingerprints are typically arranged in elliptical swirls. The scientists suggest that the loop design may ensure that some ridges are always brushing perpendicular to a surface, no matter the orientation of the fingertips. In addition, the researchers predict that this work could lead to enhanced tactile feedback for prosthetic hands.More information: “The Role of Fingerprints in the Coding of Tactile Information Probed with a Biomimetic Sensor.” J. Scheibert, S. Leurent, A. Prevost, and G. Debregeas (13 March 2009) Science 323 (5920), 1503. DOI: 10.1126/science.1166467via: CERN Courier and Science© 2009 PhysOrg.com The grooves in fingerprints enhance our ability to sense textures, according to a recent study. Image credit: Wikimedia. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Research team appears to solve the Pioneer anomaly

first_img The basic problem was that the spacecraft failed to accelerate at the rate predicted, and it did so at what at first appeared to be a constant rate. Subsequent research in the 90’s showed that whatever was preventing the craft from accelerating at the speed expected was lessening, which led some to believe it was tied to the radioisotope thermoelectric generator (RTG’s) onboard that created the electricity used by the craft’s electronic devices to take measurements and beam them back to Earth. Heat venting could work against the direction of travel if it was being expelled in the opposite direction, which it was. The problem though, was that the plutonium used to power the RTG had a half life of 88 years while the accelerating lessening effect occurred at a half-life equivalent to just 22 years.To solve the riddle the new research team built a computer simulation using any and all data that could be collected about the now decades old spacecraft. In doing so, they found that heat generated by the RTG likely wasn’t the culprit because it emitted heat in all directions. The electronics, on the other hand, because they were mounted on the back of the craft, away from the sun and dissipated heat mainly in that same direction, could indeed account for the discrepancy. But more importantly, they also found something prior researchers had not, and that was the decay in the efficiency of thermocouples that were converting heat to electricity which led to less and less heat being generated over time by the electronics, a rate that when combined with the radioactive decay of the plutonium, just happened to coincide with the rate at which the force that was causing the less than expected acceleration. And that they say, is why the craft have not accelerated at the rate calculated. Explore further © 2012 Phys.Org Citation: Research team appears to solve the Pioneer anomaly (2012, April 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-04-team-anomaly.html New theory proposed to explain Pioneer probe gravitational anomaly An artist’s concept of the Pioneer 10 Jupiter encounter. Image: NASA This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. More information: Support for the thermal origin of the Pioneer anomaly, arXiv:1204.2507v1 [gr-qc] arxiv.org/abs/1204.2507AbstractWe investigate the possibility that the anomalous acceleration of the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft is due to the recoil force associated with an anisotropic emission of thermal radiation off the vehicles. To this end, relying on the project and spacecraft design documentation, we constructed a comprehensive finite-element thermal model of the two spacecraft. Then, we numerically solve thermal conduction and radiation equations using the actual flight telemetry as boundary conditions. We use the results of this model to evaluate the effect of the thermal recoil force on the Pioneer 10 spacecraft at various heliocentric distances. We found that the magnitude, temporal behavior, and direction of the resulting thermal acceleration are all similar to the properties of the observed anomaly. As a novel element of our investigation, we develop a parameterized model for the thermal recoil force and estimate the coefficients of this model independently from navigational Doppler data. We find no statistically significant difference between the two estimates and conclude that once the thermal recoil force is properly accounted for, no anomalous acceleration remains.via PhysicsWorld (Phys.org) — Back in the early 70’s NASA launched two exploratory spacecraft, Pioneer 10 and 11. Their missions were to gather information about the solar system as they made their way through it by flying farther and farther from the sun, until they eventually left altogether. Though neither craft has been heard from since 2003, both have confounded scientists since it was discovered in the 80’s that they were not accelerating at the rate that physicists had predicted, a phenomenon that has come to be known as the Pioneer anomaly. Now it appears a small team of dedicated researchers has figured out what is going on, and as they explain in their paper uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, it’s due to nothing more than the way the propulsion system onboard does its job.last_img read more

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Amber 2 robot walks with a human gait w Video

first_img Walking robots: it’s all in the hips, say Japan researchers (Phys.org) —The engineering team at Texas A&M’s Amber robotics labs has been hard at work trying to improve one area of robotics that others seem to be ignoring—getting a robot to mimic the natural gait of a human being. Their latest effort is a robot they’ve named Amber 2—it’s basically a pair of legs and feet attached to an overhead boom, but it appears to come closer to walking like a person than any other robot out there. Explore further Demonstration of human-like mulit-contact locomotion on the bipedal robot AMBER. In particular, as inspired by human-locomotion, the robot demonstrates three phases of walking throughout the walking gait characterized by changing contact points at the heel and toe. Furthermore, these changing contact points result in different three different types of actuation throughout the walking gait: full actuation, underactuation and over actuation. The end result is human-like locomotion on the robot. Watching the Amber 2 in action stirs the imagination—it’s not difficult to envision such a robot with legs covered to resemble ours, with shoes on, walking around like we do, blending in. It’s all part of the ultimate goal—to build a robot indistinguishable from a human being—though what we’ll want from such a machine is still very much up for debate. © 2013 Phys.org More information: www.bipedalrobotics.com/ People are able to walk so smoothly because of the seamless interaction between the muscles, bone, ligaments, etc. in the legs, ankles and feet. More specifically there is a rolling motion that goes on when people walk—we push off with our toes and land with our heels. But there is more to it than that, our heel and toes must work independently of each other, allowing for pivoting, bending, twisting and stretching. It’s a smooth dance between our bodies and the external world beneath us. Getting a robot to walk like us means not just building legs, ankles or feet like ours, it means programming them all to work together in way that is graceful when the robot walks, and that appears to be where the Amber 2 team is headed.Amber 2 walks like a person—there’s little doubt about that. But, it’s also still attached to a boom—unleashed it would fall. The engineers on the project realize this of course and that’s why they are undoubtedly working on an Amber 3 or 4—there is still the problem of maintaining balance while walking like we do, something that for us at least, has as much to do with our brains, fluid in our ears, and even our arms, as it does with our legs, ankles and feet. Citation: Amber 2 robot walks with a human gait (w/ Video) (2013, October 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-10-amber-robot-human-gait-video.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Why humans may have more in common with chimps than we thought

first_imgWhat can humans learn about ourselves from studying chimpanzees? Primatologist Frans de Waal has spent almost three decades studying the behavior and intelligence of chimpanzees. Now, he’s focused on their emotional lives–and he’s found primates and people aren’t so different in how they react to circumstances and each other. Jeffrey Brown talks to de Waal about the implications of his findings. Read the whole story: PBSlast_img

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Pope to focus on poor in South America trip

first_imgPope Francis makes his first South American trip in two years on Sunday, for an eight-day tour of Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay – but not his native Argentina.The 78-year-old Jesuit pontiff, the first pope from his “beloved South America,” has said he wants to highlight the plight of the poor on his home continent.He is due to land in Ecuador’s capital Quito at 3:00 pm (0730 IST) and will give a Holy Mass in eight languages early tomorrow.Francis’s last visit to South America was a triumphant trip to Brazil that culminated with some three million people gathering in Rio de Janeiro along Copacabana beach for a mass at the end of a Catholic youth festival. Also Read – Pro-Govt supporters rally as Hong Kong’s divisions deepenThe Catholic Church has about 1.2 billion followers globally, and Latin America represents the biggest portion of that population. But the region has seen declining numbers as more people turn to Protestant churches.“I want to bear witness to the joy of the Gospel and bring God’s tenderness and care,” the pope said before leaving for South America.“Especially children in need, the elderly, the sick, the imprisoned, the poor, those who are victims of this throwaway culture.” The papal visit coincides with a time of political tension in Ecuador.last_img read more

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Delectable Thai Flavours

first_imgBlending different flavours such as sweet, sour, hot and salty, brings about a gush of variety to the palate which is precisely what Thai cuisine is famous for. For titillating food lovers’ taste buds, the Kempinski Ambience hotel is hosting a Thai food festival at Mei Kun, the Asian restaurant which will be on till July 19.The festival, which aims to satiate the thirst of Thai cuisine lovers in the city began on July 10. Puneet Singh, General Manager, Kempinski Ambience Hotel, said, “A harmonious blend of spicy, subtle, sweet and sour, Thai food is an absolute delight for the palate. This festival is our endeavour to introduce the magic of Thai cuisine to our guests.” Chef KwanraueanSaegsiting is one of the most sought after Thai Chefs in the world. When asked about the peculiarities of Thai cuisine Chef Kwan said “Thai food is one the most loved cuisines across the globe and is famous for its chilli-hot and sweet blends.  With flavours both savoury and sweet, my special creations are aimed at giving guests a one way ticket to Thailand. It is an absolute delight for me to be a part of the Thai food festival at Kempinski Ambience Hotel in Delhi and bringing the best of Thai cuisine to India.”  Some of the signature dishes include PhadPhakRuamMitr (Mixed vegetables in soya sauce), GaengKiew Wan Gai (Roasted Duck in Red Curry), Phad Thai Goong (Fried Thin Rice Noodles), Shrimp with Eggs among others.  The special menu will be available at Mei Kun at Rs 1400 /1600 plus taxes for dinner. A la Carte is also available.last_img read more

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Akhilesh promises all possible help to shiksha mitras

first_imgUttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav on Monday promised “all possible help” to contractual teachers to resolve the problem arising out of Allahabad High Court order striking down their regularisation by the state government. He also assured a six-member delegation of ‘Shiksha Mitras’ which met him here that the state government would find out ways to regularise their jobs.“The Chief Minister assured us all possible help and said that the government is actively considering ways to find out a way to ensure that our honour and dignity is maintained and we get our rightful place,” Uttar Pradesh Prathmik Shikshak Mitra Sangh Patron Shiv Kumar Shukla said. Also Read – Punjab on alert after release of excess water from Bhakra damThe government has invited a six-member team from Maharashtra where ‘Shiksha Mitras’ have been absorbed in regular service so that a procedure for doing the same in Uttar Pradesh could be found, Shukla said.“The Chief Minister has asked us to start attending schools from on Tuesday,” he said. Minister for Basic Education Ram Govind Chaudhary, who was also present in the meeting, said, “We are working on finding out a way to help ‘Shiksha Mitras’ without violating the law …we want to find out the best course.” Also Read – Union Min doubts ‘vote count’ in Bareilly, seeks probeAround 1.72 lakh ‘Shiksha Mitras’ across the state have been agitating since September 12 when Allahabad High Court declared as illegal the state government’s move to regularise them and appoint them as assistant teachers.A special three-judge bench, comprising Chief Justice DY Chandrachud, Justice Dilip Gupta and Justice Yashwant Verma, had quashed the amendments brought in the state education department’s rules whereby ‘Shiksha Mitras’ were being regularised.The court ruled that the state government’s move violated the norms laid down by National Council for Teachers’ Education (NCTE) as well as the provisions of the Right to Education Act, 2010.last_img read more

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Exploring diversity in art

first_imgThere is an interesting mix of tradition and contemporaneity in master artist Shuvaprasanna’s aesthetic genre that includes some amazing charcoal drawings, etchings and paintings around the City of Joy, his abode and playing fields since birth. “The prolific artist known for his series including those around the city, its people, birds, animals, clocks, wraps and flowers with varied nuances, has also created an amazing body of work on much revered icons,” says Sushma Behl.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The artist showcased his collection of works at Chawla Art Gallery in the national Capital recently. An intellectual rigour and socio political consciousness permeates all his work, be it in portraits, graphics, B&W drawings, illustrations, poster designs and publications, paintings in water colours, acrylic and oils, sculptures and installations besides writing and other forms of creative expressions. The infinite diversity is reflected in his repertoire including Lament 1971, Touch 72, Dream, Illusion 75,  Time/Clock, Illusion 77/8, Abode, Childish 79, Wrapped 81, Amphibious, Ave, Birds 83, Amphibious 85, Black & White 85/6, Calcutta Black and White 89, Bird, Wings of no End, Crow, Fish, Signal 92, Metropolis: Portraits of Calcutta, Middletone 93-97, Icons 98, Crows, Illusion 99, Icons 2000, Icons and illusions 2002, Lila 2004, The Golden Flute 2005, Evocative Expressions, The Divine Flute 2006, Night-Watch 2008 and Expressions 2009.          Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe winged creatures- crows, owls, pelicans, eagles and storks with an occasional appearance of a feline- dog, donkey or another specimen familiar to the city- have continued to be central in much of Shuva’s imagery. His work around Crow that shares an affinity with noble laureate Ted Hughes’ poems around the winged bird makes engaging and intellectually stimulating art. On crows, the artist says, “I like them because they cannot lie. They don’t pretend”. The crows and owls are depicted not as vicious or victims but as victors and wise. The cranes with long swan like beaks and ducks in the Amphibious were inspired by a visit to the zoo where he saw them with their open fluttering wings vibrating the waters. There are stark charcoal drawings and water colour paintings of crafty crows, wise owls and ominous street dogs that seem to speak of the animal’s survival instinct as a parody for the man!    Illusion and Maya series with sexual undertones featuring sensuousness through flowers radiate the bliss of touch and acceptance. “Insects, animals and humans all meet and mate to carry on with the cycle of life” and “I see sexuality as the rhythm of life”, says the artist. There is a touch of abstraction and ideation but no space for conceptual art in his scheme of things “an art work must communicate visually with no recourse to words” believes the artist, comfortable working in small format though prefers to work on large canvases.last_img read more

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Kites with messages of Safe Drive Save Life distributed among Kolkatans

first_imgKolkata: Colourful kites with Safe Drive Save Life slogans embossed on them were a unique sight on Viswakarma Puja, which was celebrated in Kolkata on Monday.Kite flying is an important feature of the occasion and is associated with Viswakarma Puja in Kolkata. Around 2,000 coloured kites were distributed among people by Medical Bank, as a part of the Safe Drive Save Life programme, an initiative taken by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to bring down the number of road accidents. Earlier, Medical Bank had distributed rakhis among people with Safe Drive Save Life slogan. The rakhis were distributed among the people at important road intersections. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that Mamata Banerjee has urged all the clubs to come forward and spread the awareness on safe driving. D Ashis, general secretary of Medical Bank, said the organisation had decided to distribute kites among people taking part in kite-flying on Viswakarma Puja. “We will have to create awareness among people about proper driving,” he said. Kite-flying was introduced by Nawab Wajed Ali Shah who left Lucknow and settled down at Metiabruz. Over the years, Metiabruz became a mini Lucknow. The Nawab was an expert in kite-flying. He came in contact with many Bengali aristocrats, who picked up the sport from him. Apart from Viswakarma Puja, kites are also flown on Makarsankranti Day, last day of the month Pous according to the Bengali calendar.last_img read more

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Christmas special dessert

first_imgPassionfruit & Strawberry Jelly Passionfruit Puree- 300 mlWater – 100 mlSugar – 140 gmGelatin – 10 gmStrawberry – 8Method:1) Boil Passionfruit puree, sugar  with water on stove.2) Stir the soaked gelatin in the above mix.3) Chop strawberry into dices.4) Cool the mix over ice-bath .5) Pour the mix into glasses and mix chopped Strawberry into it.6) Refrigerate for 2 hours.7) Garnish with chantilly and Strawberry.(Recipe by Chef Vivek Chauhan- Pastry Chef The Imperial New Delhi)last_img read more

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