The Golden Globe winner and her friend were shown around by tour guides Charlene McCrossan and Garvin Kerr on Saturday.Dressed down in a parka jacket and woolly hat, Saoirse went largely unnoticed by the locals until she went into Foyleside.“She said she loved Derry and she wanted to show her friend Jack the city,” explained Ms McCrossan.“She was lovely and down to earth and said her dad had a friend from Derry. Charlene McCrossancity toursDERRY’S WALLSHollywood darling Saoirse Ronan visits Derry to show pal all top tourist attractionsSandinos bar HOLLYWOOD A-lister Saoirse Ronan was in Derry last weekend to show a friend around the city.The ‘Lady Bird’ star is no stranger to the Maiden City, having presented the Turner Prize here in 2013 during the City of Culture year.But keen to know more about the history of the Walled City the Oscar Nominee enlisted the help of City Tours to see all the sites. “On The Walls no one noticed her- she had a coat and a hat on and she just looked like any other visitor- but a few people recognised her in Foyleside.”City Tours are no stranger to A-list clients with Will Ferrell and Susan Boyle having previously taken the tour with the company’s founder, the late Martin McCrossan.After the tour the Academy Award nominee headed to Sandinos Bar to soak up some more of the famous Derry atmosphere.Hollywood darling Saoirse Ronan visits Derry to show pal all top tourist attractions was last modified: March 14th, 2018 by John2John2 Tags: ShareTweet
We’ve gotten used to new technology that comes along and renders obsolete the old tech it displaces. But there are also plenty of instances where the new meshes nicely with the old, changing the world in amazing and unforeseen ways. That’s what I thought when I stumbled across an article from BusinessWeek about a five-employee startup company in Maine called Advanced Infrastructure Technologies (AIT). This outfit unites innovative new materials with one of humanity’s hoariest engineering accomplishments: the construction of the arched bridge. Specifically, the company has designed a system that allows for the building of a new bridge in as few as 10 days, with no heavy equipment involved. What’s more, these structures—because they offer greater protection from corrosive factors like weather and salt—are projected to have a longer life than those made with traditional construction techniques. Although materials are a bit costlier, that’s more than offset by savings in labor. AIT’s technique involves using concrete-filled, carbon fiber-reinforced polymer composite tubes. Many people probably still think of carbon as the stuff that makes up the human body or the end of a graphite pencil, or what is left over after you burn paper. OK, most know that it also makes diamonds. But turning it into a fiber that’s strong enough to replace steel in bridge arches? That doesn’t seem possible. Yet it is. Here’s how the process—”Bridge in a Backpack,” as it’s known—works: CF is possible because of one of the peculiarities of carbon is that it can exist in a number of different forms (allotropes), depending on the way the atoms bond together. Each of these allotropes—which can be fashioned by nature into coal and by man into buckyballs and nanotubes—will have very different properties. For example, each carbon atom in a diamond is covalently bonded to four other carbons in a tetrahedron. These tetrahedrons together form a three-dimensional network of six-membered carbon rings. Graphite, on the other hand, consists of sheets of carbon atoms (“graphene” sheets) arranged in a regular hexagonal pattern. The structure of CF is similar to graphite, with the difference being in the way the graphene sheets interlock. One surprising fact is that while carbon fibers are generally thought of as a space-age material, their lineage actually dates back to the late 1800s. Thomas Edison used carbon fibers in his early light bulb filaments, which required the ability to conduct electricity while remaining fire resistant and capable of enduring the intense heat needed to create incandescence. In order to make the fibers, you start with a raw material, or precursor. Edison took a cellulose-based precursor such as bamboo and baked it at high temperature in a controlled atmosphere in a carbonization process known as “pyrolysys.” It’s similar to what we still do today. The technology took a long time to evolve. Bamboo and other such materials were not replaced as precursors until the introduction of rayon into the process in the late 1950s. That yielded the first high-tensile-strength fibers. Shortly thereafter, in the early 1960s, modern CF arrived with the discovery that polyacrylonitrile, derived from petroleum, was the ideal precursor. However, this early manufacturing process produced a fiber that was only 55% carbon. At present, polyacrylonitrile is still the source of 90% of the world’s carbon fiber, but purification has improved dramatically, with standardization of quality coming in 1990. The precursor is now stretched into long strands, and then heated to a very high temperature without allowing it to come in contact with oxygen. Without oxygen, the fiber cannot burn. Instead, the high temperature causes the atoms to vibrate violently until most of the non-carbon atoms are expelled. This method of carbonization leaves a fiber that’s nearly 100% carbon. Carbon fibers are relatively expensive when compared to similar products such as glass or plastic fibers, due to the manufacturing process being slow and energy intensive. But their properties—high stiffness, high tensile strength, low weight, high chemical resistance, high temperature tolerance, and low thermal expansion—make them desirable for particular applications, especially when combined with resins and molded. (If perchance you have some DIY home projects that might benefit from carbon fiber molding, you can have a go at it, beginning with this tutorial.) That is to say, CF by itself is an interesting material, but alone it’s of little value in structural applications. What really kicked its usage into high gear was what happened when it was added to different kinds of resins to create composites, generally termed “carbon-fiber-reinforced polymers” (CFRPs). You may remember the first composite tennis racquets, which revolutionized the game in the early 1980s. And as soon as they could, golfers of a certain age began choosing carbon fiber (usually mischaracterized as “graphite”) shafts instead of steel for their clubs, because the former are more forgiving and much easier on older bodies. Even before that, though, governmental and private aerospace efforts had been quick to embrace the possibilities. Carbon fiber composites’ favorable strength-to-weight ratio means weight savings of 20-30% over heavier metals. Thus it began to replace steel and aluminum—wherever possible consistent with safety—in airplanes and helicopters… a godsend for the Air Force. But commercial interests weren’t far behind. Weight reduction is everything in the airline business. A modern jet aircraft is apt to have carbon fiber all over the place: in its fairings, landing gear, engine cowls, rudder, elevators, flaps, fin boxes, doors, floorboards, and many other components. Much the same happened in extraterrestrial craft. CF has gone into space with NASA and on to the moon. Again, weight considerations are paramount when lifting off from the earth. But equally important is a lower ablation rate (i.e., the speed at which a material is stripped away by the friction of reentry), along with higher bulk density, superior mechanical strength, and high modulus (inelasticity). Carbon fiber composites—including carbon-carbon, which consists of CF-reinforced graphite—that have been densified fill the bill, and are used in nose tips and heat shields. The space shuttle was largely dependent on CF materials. CF/epoxy composites made up the payload bay doors and the shuttle’s remote manipulator arm. Likewise for satellites, which require high specific stiffness and dimensional stability to combat the large temperature swings in space. Thus similar composites are employed in fabricating antenna ribs and struts. Lately, there has also been much publicity about unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, as they are more commonly called. UAV bodies are likely to be made of CF materials. So are the gondolas and tail fins used in blimps. But carbon fiber is not only found in such esoteric arenas. It’s very much a part of the more grounded aspects of life. For example: Race cars—The sport has used the tech to create faster cars with lighter bodies. Among NASCAR and Formula 1 race cars, each of them has a body constructed from carbon fiber composites. Street wheels—While the cost of CF bodies for cars has put them beyond the reach of ordinary consumers (i.e., those who can’t afford Lamborghinis), that’s about to change. CF’s properties make it ideal for electrics, where lighter weight means longer distances between battery charges. BMW plans to be first to market with its electric city car, the i3, slated for release in 2014. Despite the higher cost of a CF body structure, the company will realize savings in the water and electricity needed to make it; thus the i3 will be marketed for about the same cost as conventional 3 Series models. BMW concedes the risk involved, but chances are it will not be the last company to make this leap. Sporting goods—We’ve already mentioned tennis racquets and golf clubs. But that’s just the beginning. CF has also become an integral part of such products as sailboats, rowing shells, canoes, bicycles, motorcycles, tripods, fishing rods, hockey sticks, paintball equipment, archery shafts, tent poles, protective helmets, pole vaulting poles, and pool cues. Shoe manufacturers use carbon fiber as a shank plate in some basketball sneakers to keep the foot stable. Music—Increasingly, CF is finding its way into such things as drum shells, bagpipes, and stringed instrument bodies. It also goes into high-end audio loudspeakers, and musical accessories such as violin bows and guitar pickguards. Building retrofits—CFRP can be applied to enhance shear strength of reinforced concrete by wrapping fabrics or fibers around the section to be strengthened. Wrapping a building column can also improve its ductility, greatly increasing the resistance to collapse under earthquake loading. Such seismic retrofit is a major and very cost-effective application in earthquake-prone areas, since it is much more economic than alternative methods. The use of ultra-high modulus CFRP is also one of the few practical methods of strengthening cast-iron beams, to which it can be bonded. Infrastructure—Prestressed concrete cylinder pipes (PCCP) account for the vast majority of water transmission mains in the US. But they are prone to corrosion and gradual deterioration. Failures of PCCP are usually catastrophic and affect large populations. But over the past decade, CFRPs have been utilized to line PCCPs internally, resulting in a strengthened structural system. Inside a PCCP, the CFRP liner acts as a barrier that controls the level of strain experienced by the steel cylinder in the host pipe. The composite liner enables the steel cylinder to perform within its elastic range to ensure the pipeline’s long-term performance is maintained. Medicine—The poster boy (at least, before his arrest on suspicion of murdering his girlfriend) for carbon fiber prosthetics was South Africa’s Oscar Pistorius, who ran in the Olympics on his CF legs. Weapons—CF can substitute for metal, wood, and fiberglass in many areas of a firearm in order to reduce overall weight. Carbon fiber is also a popular material in crafting the handles of high-end knives. Other consumer products (with the caveat that many of these currently are expensive vanity items)—These include such things as wallets, money clips, belts, corkscrew bodies, organizer trays, iPhone cases, license plate frames, attachés and briefcases, laptop stands, duffle bags, sunglass and eyeglass frames, toilet seats, luxury bathtubs, coffee tables, table lamps, pens, sushi plates, and, yes, cigar cutters. All of this merely scratches the surface. The fact of the matter is that carbon fiber has in a relatively short time become an integral part of modern life. New applications are popping up literally on literally a daily basis. Usage is expected to drive a $13+ billion/year business by 2015. That figure will be amplified a great deal as cheaper, more efficient manufacturing techniques are developed. If carbon fibers were suddenly to disappear, we’d be up the proverbial creek without a (CF) paddle… [Doug Hornig is a senior editor for Casey Extraordinary Technology.] Whether AIT will be able to convince a sizeable chunk of the notoriously conservative construction industry that this is in fact a better approach remains to be seen. But so far, it has been involved in the construction of 13 bridges, mostly in Maine, Massachusetts, and Michigan. In any event, the unlikely image of bridge supports made out of fiber got me to wondering just what other uses there might be for this miracle material. I knew that my golf club shafts use it, for example, and that it’s in some car parts which used to be metal. But where else do we find it? Well, turns out that it’s just about everywhere. First, though, just what is it anyway? Carbon fiber, or CF, is a material made up of carbon atoms bonded together in crystals along the long axis into filaments about 5-10 μm (micrometers) in diameter. This is what one such filament looks like; it’s laid atop a human hair for comparison purposes.
Next Article –shares Add to Queue 2 min read Volvo’s Vera will eventually mean fewer trucking jobs. Jake Leary Sorry Truckers, Volvo’s Autonomous Vehicles Can Handle it From Here This story originally appeared on PCMag Image credit: Volvo Autonomous Cars Volvo is ready to put its first autonomous, fully electric truck to the test. With the assistance of shipping company DFDS, the vehicle, known as Vera, will ferry goods from a logistics center to a port in Gothenburg, Sweden.The car maker has been experimenting with fuel-efficient, driverless vehicles for the last several years, and first teased Vera in September. It’s optimal for short-range heavy-load jobs. The truck follows a predetermined route and is connected to a control center and cloud network. Vera pinpoints its position down to the centimeter, enabling it to detect sudden and minute changes in its environment — a good thing since part of Vera’s route takes it on public roads.”The transport system we are developing can be an important complement to today’s solutions and can help meet many of the challenges faced by society, transport companies, and transport buyers,” Claes Nilsson, President of Volvo Trucks, said in a statement.Volvo eventually wants to expand and include multiple autonomous trucks in its operation. It made Vera compatible with most existing trailers and load carriers to take advantage of existing infrastructure. A fleet of Veras would ideally increase predictability and minimize unnecessary downtime, Volvo says.More Veras would also mean fewer truckers, which Volvo positions as positive, citing the widespread belief that the industry is dying. But according to a report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that’s a misconception, especially for short-distance drivers, who would be most affected by Volvo’s new technology.Fortunately for currently employed drivers, it’ll likely be a while before Vera becomes ubiquitous. Volvo’s statement concludes with a vague promise to extend the vehicle’s availability and functionality in “the near future.” The only list that measures privately-held company performance across multiple dimensions—not just revenue. 2019 Entrepreneur 360 List June 17, 2019 Apply Now »
Marketing Magazine Contributor 2 min read Entrepreneurs Help Each Other –shares Make Connections on the Club Network. Want to join a skyrocketing group of entrepreneurs? Check out the Club E Network, a social networking site and broadband channel that connects entrepreneurs of all ages. With a free membership, entrepreneurs enjoy peer-to-peer support and expert advice as well as access to capital and introductions to successful business owners. The online aspect mirrors the best social networking sites, but there are also real-life chapters that throw real-world get-togethers for locals. The first chapters launched in Arizona: Gilbert, Glendale, Phoenix, Prescott, Scottsdale, Tempe and Tucson. Today, chapters can be found in Austin, Texas; Denver; and Orange County, California, with plans to open additional chapters nationwide. “This is going to be something really special,” says co-founder and serial entrepreneur Corey Kossack, author of eBay Millionaire or Bust.Chance Carpenter, founder of Essential Event Technologies, a digital media production company in Scottsdale, is one entrepreneur who has benefited from the Club E Network. Since starting the business in 2005, Carpenter has built annual sales to approximately $450,000 in part through links he made through the group. “The connections I’ve made from Club E Network have been really phenomenal,” says?Carpenter, 47. “They’ve led to direct revenue in my business. Club E is really about entrepreneurs helping each other.”Club E Network also offers online educational video programming, where members can learn from famed entrepreneurs including Jeff Bezos and Entrepreneur columnist Guy Kawasaki. And if you need the support of an incubator, check out the recently launched eFactory, a development and incubation center for startups. The first is located in Gilbert, Arizona; check out clubefactory.com for more information. November 18, 2008 Next Article Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business Nichole L. Torres This story appears in the December 2008 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe » Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. Add to Queue Register Now »
–shares Register Now » Next Article 2 min read Add to Queue Image credit: Shutterstock Sixty-two percent of U.S. adults now get news from social media sources, according to a Pew Research study published yesterday. Reddit has the largest number of users who say they get their news on the site at 70 percent, followed by Facebook users at 66 percent and Twitter at 59 percent.The numbers drop off from there, with just 31 percent of Tumblr users and 19 percent of LinkedIn users saying they get news from those sites. Pew also found that a majority of people (64 percent) get news on just one social media site — most commonly Facebook.The study was conducted from Jan. 12 to Feb. 8, 2016, and surveyed 4,654 participants about their online news habits. Many of its questions were related to specific platforms and news discovery methods.”YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram news users are more likely to get their news online mostly by chance, when they are online doing other things,” the survey found. Reddit, Twitter, and LinkedIn users, however, are more likely to seek out news online.Facebook has rapidly solidified its status as a news source. Three years ago, another Pew study found that 47 percent of its users got news from the social networking site, representing approximately 30 percent of the U.S. population.At its F8 developers conference last month, Facebook introduced an expansion of its Instant Articles feature, which reduces the load time of articles posted by participating publishers. Facebook also curates its own “Trending” section for breaking news, though that has been criticized for prioritizing politically liberal topics.Twitter has also made efforts to boost its news content. It now classifies its mobile app in the “news” category of the iOS App Store, instead of its previous home in the social media category. Since publishers self-identify the category in which their app is listed, the move was likely intended to boost Twitter’s App Store rankings. News reporter Free Webinar | Sept 5: Tips and Tools for Making Progress Toward Important Goals Majority of U.S. Adults Get News From Social Media This story originally appeared on PCMag News and Trends May 27, 2016 Attend this free webinar and learn how you can maximize efficiency while getting the most critical things done right. Tom Brant
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 21 2019An international group of scientists under the supervision of a staff member of Sechenov University (Russia) and Karolinska Institute (Sweden) found out that earlier views on the mechanisms that provide and regulate skeletal growth were wrong. Previously, scientists used to believe that at birth a body had a certain number of cells to grow the skeleton, and when this amount was over, the growth stopped. However, the authors of the work discovered a special area of the growth plate (a structure that enables longitudinal growth of bones) called a stem niche that can theoretically produce infinite numbers of new cells. The scientists believe that growth stops not when all growth cells are used, but when the stem niche is destroyed. This discovery changes the whole concept of growth and may suggest new method of growth disorder treatment in children. The article of the team was published in Nature.Skeletal growth in children is secured by the growth plate – an area of dividing and growing cartilage tissue cells or chondrocytes. The plates are narrow disks around 1 mm thick. They are located at each end of a bone between the head and the main part (except for several skull, pelvis, and scapula bones). Inside a growth plate there are progenitor cells (the precursors of chondrocytes). They are differentiated into chondrocytes, and the latter divide, grow bigger, and die leaving behind a mineralized carcass made of the intercellular substance that bone tissue later bases on. This process enables the children’s growth, and any disorders in it may lead to various growth anomaly, including stunted growth and microplasia.Previously, it was believed that progenitor cells were used during the whole process of longitudinal skeletal growth, and when there were no more such cells in the growth plate, the growth stopped. However, the life of such cells in short, and the number of divisions is limited. Therefore it was difficult to understand how they were able to produce numerous chondrocytes that were required to secure the growth of bone tissue for many years.To monitor the division and growth of progenitor cells, the scientists used the so-called Confetti mice. Their cells glow with different colors under UV rays. The genes that code the glowing proteins are inherited when the cells are divided. Therefore, one may identify the progeny (clone) of each marked cell. The authors of the work traced the progeny of each progenitor cell in the growth plate and found out that the clones differed depending on the age of the mice. In embryos and newborns each progenitor cell divided only 2 or 3 times and formed small clones. Starting from the age when the mice were able to walk and run, their progenitor cells divided in a slower, but a more consistent pattern and formed big and stable clones.Related StoriesRepurposing a heart drug could increase survival rate of children with ependymomaNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationHaving modeled the division and development of the cells (see the results of the modeling on the web-site of the lab), the scientists found out that this type of clone formation was only possible in the case of self-renewing progenitors. Such behavior of these cells is typical in the tissues that have to produce numerous cells, such as skin, blood, or intestines. It is known that for such progenitors (the so-called adult stem cells) to have special favorable conditions for constant updating, they have to be surrounded by other cells and the extracellular matrix. The total of such conditions is called a stem niche. The authors of the work verified this hypothesis and confirmed that specific genes typical for stem niches were expressed in the growth plate. The new stem niche was called an epiphyseal one.The authors of the article believe that the niche might have appeared due to the formation of a secondary ossification (calcification) center in the head of the bone that happens in mice at the age of three weeks, and in people – by the end of their first year.The research was carried out on mice, and it will take time and additional studies to understand whether it is applicable to people. However, if it is confirmed that human children grow based on the same growth plate functioning principles, scientists will be able to reconsider the methods of treatment for the children with growth disorders. Current results already explain the observed cases of unconstrained growth in several patients with genetic disorders. Moreover, the results obtained by the scientists may explain the reasons why the growth of children stops after trauma or chemotherapy and suggest new treatment methods.”In our article we point out that skeletal growth is based on the so-called stem niche principle that we discovered and characterized. It suggests completely new approaches to the treatment of children with growth disorders. When we understand how the niche is controlled, we’ll be able to regulate it and let the kids with growth disorders grow as high as they want to be”, said Andrei Chagin, the head of the Laboratory for the Regeneration of Skeletal Tissues of Sechenov University.Source: https://science.sechenov.ru/
By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDApr 24 2019Economist Emily Oster has come up with her new book called Cribsheet that has debunked several myths surrounding parenting and its challenges.Parenting books come in all shapes and sizes and they are loaded with different tips and plans to be a good parent. The debates start way before delivery – home birth or water birth or hospital delivery or assisted normal delivery or C-section? Which one is best for the baby? How long and how to breast feed? How to potty train or sleep train? Whether to leave the child at the day-care or with a nanny or become a stay-at-home parent? How will the baby’s arrival change or alter the marriage? Which cereal to choose from? Organic food or no? How much sugar/salt/trans fats? The list is longer than the scope of any article or book!A professor of Economics, Emily Oster from Brown University has faced all sorts of advice, wanted or unwanted and hurdles with her firstborn. She said, “It’s hard to be thoughtful about any one of [the choices],” adding that there are a host of other choices to be explored. So she decided to research a bit and wrote this handbook of sorts for parents called the Cribsheet: A Data-Driven Guide to Better, More Relaxed Parenting, From Birth to Preschool. This came after her blockbuster pregnancy book called Expecting Better in 2014.Oster is at heart an economist first so what she did for her book was gather data and collate them to create decision trees to help new parents decide on which options to choose for their precious bundles of joy. The book deals with babes at birth till they are preschoolers. So now readers get a taste of advice that is backed by evidence and actual hard facts and numbers rather than conventional wisdom.For example the book has a section on breastfeeding, nipple confusion, on co-sleeping, on sleep training and on effects a baby has on marriages. She explains that there are no randomized controlled trials on parenting issues. These trials are the gold standards when deciding on which option is the best. She said, “Randomized controlled trials are difficult to implement, and comparing families who make different choices is fraught with problems. Having said this, there are some cases where I think the data is better.” On breastfeeding she says, “Most of the studies on this are done by comparing the kids whose moms breastfeed to the kids whose moms don’t. The issue with that is that the kind of moms who breastfeed are different than the moms who don’t, on average. So, in the U.S. in particular, moms who breastfeed tend to be better educated, higher income, more likely to be married.” This means that the long term effects of breastfeeding on either IQ or obesity in the baby cannot be determined from the existing studies she says.On co-sleeping for example, Oster says that it may not necessarily be a risk for the baby but may allow parents to sleep more. “More sleep” are two words that are like music to any new parents’ ears. There are two sides of the debate she says. Co-sleeping helps bond better with the baby and there are experts who advise against co-sleeping because it may smother babies. Oster says, when done correctly, co-sleeping can be safe and effective. Oster warns that if the parents are smoking and drinking the risk of babies being smothered while co-sleeping may be higher. She writes, “To be more specific, the breastfed babies of nonsmoking, non-drinking moms who co-sleep experienced 0.22 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 0.08 deaths among moms with the same behaviors who just shared a room (not a bed) with their child. “In the US, the overall infant mortality rate is around 5 deaths per 1,000 births. This therefore represents a very small increase relative to the overall mortality rate.”Related StoriesCommon tool to assess potential adoptive parents lags behind societal changesResearch reveals the parenting habits of our earliest extinct ancestorsParental opioid use doubles the risk of suicide attempts by their childrenAnother issue addressed is whether being a stay-at-home mom is a better option than being a working mom. Oster says that there is no clear evidence that being a working mom can harm a baby any more than being a part-time working mom or a stay-at-home mom. Oster says that moms who take some time off after delivery in forms of maternity leave may be doing their babies good. Maternity leaves reduce preterm birth and also infant mortality she says. But there is no evidence of maternal leave or work on a long term basis. She said that parents need to plan their family budget before thinking about making decisions on maternal work schedules.Couples face a few rocky years after their babies are born – or so say parenting advice sites and books. Oster says, “That’s on average true — marital satisfaction declines — but those declines are larger in some groups and in some families than others.” She said that for babies that are planned and if the couples have financial stability and social support may not be unhappy after arrival of their babies. “It correlates in the way you might expect with differences in socioeconomic status,” Oster said. “Part of it is that there are a lot of stresses — financial and time — that come with having a kid, and those are more acute if you don’t have other resources.”According to Oster, internet is one of the most used resources for parenting tips and what works for others may not work for some. She said, “I think the problem in the case of parenting is that, particularly when people are looking to make choices based on evidence or data, it can be very difficult to get a complete picture of the facts based on what people are writing on the internet.” She said that when they say on the internet that so-and-so could improve your child’s IQ, it could be by a miniscule number which could be quite insignificant. Oster says, “What I do in the book is actually try to comb through these studies and figure out which of them are giving us the best information. So then you can make these choices having the best information, not just the first thing that comes up when you Google it at 3 o’clock in the morning.”She explains that when making a decision regarding parenting a baby, “Step one is to kind of really figure out what the best evidence says about the choice. But then there’s a really important second step, which is to combine that with what is going to work for your family.”
Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems invented a magnetically controlled soft robot only four millimeters in size, that can walk, crawl or roll through uneven terrain, carry cargo, climb onto the water surface, and even swim in it. The inspiration comes from soft-bodied beetle larvae and caterpillars, and even jellyfishes posed as biological models. One day, this small-scale robot may enable targeted drug delivery or minimally invasive surgery, the researchers hope. Its multiple locomotion capability in complex environments is so unique that science journal Nature will publish the researchers´ findings in its February edition. Provided by Max Planck Society The soft millirobot climbs on the water meniscus by changing its body curvature and lands on the solid surface. Next, it encounters a large obstacle and traverses it fast and easily by jumping over it, and walks on the surface after landing. The dashed line shows the direction of the robot motion. Credit: Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems Citation: Nature-inspired soft millirobot makes its way through enclosed spaces (2018, January 25) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-nature-inspired-soft-millirobot-enclosed-spaces.html The video demonstrates gripping, transportation and release of a cargo by the soft robot (Fig. 4c). Credit: Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems So far, the caterpillar-inspired soft robot has been tested within a synthetic surgical stomach model and chicken tissue. Sitti’s team, consisting of Wenqi Hu, Guo Zhan Lum, and Massimo Mastrangeli, navigated and steered the robot successfully in such environments via ultrasound image guidance. Sitti hopes that one day, this robot will become a standard in healthcare, to enable a non-invasive access to enclosed spaces, such as the unprecedented or hard-to-reach tight regions inside the human body. “Currently it is not possible to access many small regions inside the human body without surgery, but our target is to reach such regions non-invasively and conduct diagnostic and therapeutic operations with our soft robots,” Sitti envisions. Stuttgart – Being able to easily move around in a complex environment, whether on land or on or inside a liquid, is what makes this soft robot unique. It is only four millimeters in size, flat as a rectangular sheet of paper and made of a soft elastic polymer. While other existing small-scale robots have very limited mobility, and are unable to navigate through uneven terrain or overcome obstacles, this robot can easily transition from swimming through liquids to moving on solid surfaces without physical intervention. It can also pick up cargo, transport it and deposit it elsewhere. So despite having no legs, this robot can move around as freely as a caterpillar.”We looked at the physical mechanism of locomotion of soft-bodied caterpillars and jellyfishes and took inspiration from them. The result is that our millirobot is a mix of small-scale soft-bodied animals, such as a beetle larva, a caterpillar, a spermatozoid, and a jellyfish”, says Prof. Metin Sitti, Director of the Physical Intelligence Department at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart. His team’s robot invention will be published in the February edition of the prestigious scientific journal Nature. Online the scientific paper was already published late on Wednesday 24th January. The video demonstrates selectively triggered cargo release by a modified soft robot (Fig. 4d and Fig. S45). Credit: Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems Journal information: Nature More information: Small-scale soft-bodied robot with multimodal locomotion, Nature nature.com/articles/doi:10.1038/nature25443 Inspired by geckos, researchers engineer soft gripping system that outperforms current adhesion methods Explore further The soft millirobot. Credit: Max Planck Society The video presents the rolling (Fig. 2e) and straight walking locomotion modes (Fig. 2f). Subsequently, the robot demonstrates steered walking, and we show that walking is better than rolling when the robot has to cross a gap. Credit: Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems The scientists use external magnetic fields to exert torque on magnetic particles embedded inside the soft elastomer body of the robot to change the robot’s body shape and steer it around. Through its body deformations, the robot can walk or roll on surfaces, jump over obstacles, crawl through narrow tunnels, climb onto the water surface curvature, and swim in or on water. It is this multimodal locomotion that lets the robot easily navigate and transit through different liquid and solid uneven terrains, making it unique. Additionally, it can pick an object up, transport and release it using its body shape-change control. “In the future, our robot can carry drugs and deliver them to a desired location where they are most needed, much like a doorstep delivery”, Metin Sitti hopes. “We would use it for minimally invasive medical applications inside the human body: it would be delivered through swallowing or a cavity on the skin and make its way through the digestive or urinary tract, abdominal cavity, or heart surface.” The video presents the relationship between the traveling wave produced on the soft robot body and the crawling direction (Fig. 2g), and demonstrates that the robot’s crawling direc- tion can be flipped by reversing the direction of the traveling wave. Credit: Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems The invention of small-scale untethered robots used for medical purposes such as non-invasive surgery takes center stage at the Physical Intelligence Department, led by Metin Sitti, who is one of seven Directors at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems. Many projects he and his team of scientists are focused on are novel smart mobile milli- or micro-robots for medical applications. The robots´ sizes range from a few millimeters all the way down to a few hundred microns. 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.
Despite stereotypes that paint millennials as “all technology, all the time,” young people may still prefer curling up with a paper book over their e-reader—even more so than their older counterparts—according to a new study from the University of Arizona that explores consumers’ psychological perceptions of e-book ownership. Provided by University of Arizona Citation: Decoding digital ownership: Why your e-book might not feel like ‘yours’ (2018, May 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-decoding-digital-ownership-e-book.html Credit: CC0 Public Domain —Along similar lines, many study participants lamented restrictions on sharing e-books with friends, or gifting or selling the books, saying this made e-books feel less valuable as possessions than physical books.—Participants described being more emotionally attached to physical books, and said they use physical books to establish a sense of self and belonging. Participants across age groups frequently spoke about their nostalgia for certain childhood books. They also talked about experiencing physical books through multiple senses—describing, for example, the sound, smell and tactile experience of opening a new book, and the ability to highlight or write notes on paper pages. Participants also said they use their physical book collections to express their identity to others who might be perusing their shelves. E-books did not have these associations.—Minimalists expressed a preference for digital books because they take up less physical space.—Many participants said the e-book experience feels more like renting than buying.—While almost everyone expressed strong attachment to physical books, and no one embraced a fully digital reading experience, older consumers, contrary to what one might expect, saw more advantages than younger consumers to reading with an e-reader. They referenced physical benefits that might not be as relevant to younger consumers, like the lightweight nature of e-readers and the ability to zoom in on text.Understanding differences in how people relate to digital versus physical products is important, especially as digital products become more ubiquitous in various domains of life, Helm said.”One of the conclusions of our research was that digital books and physical books are entirely different products,” she said. “E-books feel like more of a service experience; overall, they seem to offer a more functional or utilitarian experience. You have much more richness if you deal with a physical book, where all your senses are involved.””Physical books are very special products, and we know that physical books have a lot of meaning for a lot of people,” Helm continued, noting that books are one of the earliest objects with which children interact. “Digital reading is still fairly new, digital books are still a fairly new product category, and thinking about ownership in the context of these kinds of products is new for most people.”Based on what the study revealed about people’s perceptions of digital ownership, marketers of e-books should consider one of two strategies, Helm said:They should focus on making the e-reading experience more closely emulate the experience of reading a physical book, which might require making physical changes to e-readers that make it easier to do things like scribble notes in the margins, for example.They should further distance e-books from physical books and focus on establishing e-books as a unique form of entertainment—more of a service-based experience that includes features you can’t get from a physical book, like an integrated soundscape, for example.”A lot of participants pointed out that they see digital books as too expensive for what they deliver, because they don’t offer the same richness as a physical book; you read them and nothing is left,” Helm said. “If we position digital reading in a different way—as an independent service experience—consumers might be willing to pay a higher price if there’s an obvious added value. If it’s different from a physical book, they won’t compare it to the physical book anymore, because it’s an entirely different form of entertainment.”Helm emphasized that both physical and digital books have their place. “There are just really different values or benefits that we get out of them,” she said. More information: Sabrina V. Helm et al, Consumer interpretations of digital ownership in the book market, Electronic Markets (2018). DOI: 10.1007/s12525-018-0293-6 US book lovers embracing digital editions: Pew study The study also found that adult consumers across all age groups perceive ownership of e-books very differently than ownership of physical books, and this could have important implications for those in the business of selling digital texts.”We looked at what’s called psychological ownership, which is not necessarily tied to legal possession or legal rights, but is more tied to perceptions of ‘what is mine,'” said lead study author Sabrina Helm, a UA associate professor who researches consumer perceptions and behaviors.Peoples’ sense of psychological ownership is affected by three primary factors: whether they feel like they have control over the object they own, whether they use the object to define who they are, and whether the object helps give them a sense of belonging in society, said Helm, who teaches in the UA’s John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.”Psychological ownership is important in people’s perception of how they value certain products or services or objects,” she said. “In the context of digital products, we thought it would be appropriate to look at how people take ownership of something that’s not really there—it’s just a file on your computer or device or in the Cloud; it’s more of a concept than an actual thing.”For the study, which is published in the journal Electronic Markets, Helm and her colleagues convened four focus groups in different age ranges: one group of Baby Boomers; one group of members of Generation X; and two groups of millennials. The millennial groups were split into current college students and older millennials.The researchers moderated discussions with the groups about their feelings surrounding ownership of physical books versus e-books.The following major themes emerged from the discussions:—Participants across all age groups reported feeling a constricted sense of ownership of digital books versus physical books, based on the fact that they don’t have full control over the products. For example, they expressed frustration that they often could not copy a digital file to multiple devices. 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. Explore further
COMMENTS Published on Goa Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar will continue in his post, BJP president Amit Shah said Sunday as he announced that a reshuffle of the state’s ministers will soon take place.The BJP chief said so in a tweet following a discussion with Bharatiya Janata Party’s core group team from Goa.“It has been decided during a discussion with the Goa BJP core team that Manohar Parrikar will continue to lead the Goa government. There will soon be a reshuffle of ministers and their portfolios,” he said.Parrikar’s poor health has sparked speculation over his continuation as chief minister of Goa, and Shah recently sent a team of central party leaders to the coastal state to speak to allies and take stock of the political situation there.The opposition Congress, which is the single-largest party in the state, has staked claim to form the government. The BJP has asserted that its government continues to have the support of a majority of MLAs.Parrikar is admitted to AIIMS and undergoing treatment for pancreatic ailment.The reshuffle of ministers will be aimed at consolidating support for the BJP-led alliance government as the Congress is looking for signs of discontent to topple the Goa government.In the 40-member state assembly, the Parrikar-led government has the support of 23 MLAs.The BJP has 14 MLAs against 16 of the Congress, and Parrikar’s appeal was a key reason behind its success in securing support from a cross-section of legislators following last year elections.Choosing a replacement for Parrikar, if such a need arises, will be tricky for the BJP as finding a leader who could command the loyalty of MLAs from different parties would not be easy, political watchers believe. Goa Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar – PTI SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENT September 23, 2018 SHARE state politics