first_imgThe Gujarat government has agreed for a judicial probe in the Kutch sex racket and gang rape case, in which a four local BJP leaders are allegedly accused. The announcement of the probe was made by Chief Minister Vijay Rupani in the Assembly on Wednesday. He said, “We are committed to ensure that all guilty [are] punished and no one is spared.”The Congress had aggressively pushed for a probe in the case by forcing adjournment of Assembly proceedings frequently on Monday and Tuesday. However, the Opposition party did not raise the issue after the Mr. Rupani’s announcement.Members of the Congress had even placed their demands even before the presentation of annual budget in the house on Tuesday. The house was adjourned and the Congress members pressed for a probe during the question hour. Earlier, a State Congress delegation had sought for Gujarat governor O.P. Kohli’s intervention in the matter. The caseA 23-year-old woman had filed an FIR with the Kutch police earlier this month, accusing nine persons of gang rape. She had also alleged that 35 young women and college-going girls were lured by a group of businessmen and politicians into flesh trade. According to the FIR, in August 2015, the woman came to her mother’s house at Kothara village in Kutch from Mumbai (where she was staying with her husband). She was looking for a job and her mother sought help from one Bababhai, who owned a mobile shop in Naliya town. He reportedly assured the family that he would help the woman find a job within a couple of days. He also introduced her to a gas agency owner Shantilal Solanki, who offered her a job at ₹5,500 per month. Subsequently, the woman was repeatedly gang raped by nine persons at different places in Kutch district. Four local BJP politicians, among other accused, were named in the FIR filed by the victim. The politicians have been arrested by the cops.last_img read more

first_imgPune: Nine months after city-based whistleblower Hemant Gavande filed a complaint against former Maharashtra Revenue Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Eknath Khadse in connection with a case of alleged land grab, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra anti-corruption bureau (ACB) to investigate and file an FIR against Mr. Khadse.It was Mr. Gavande’s accusation that brought to light Mr. Khadse’s alleged transactions involving a prime plot of land under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in Bhosari. He had lodged a police complaint against Mr. Khadse, his wife Mandakini, and his son-in-law Girish Chaudhari, at Pune’s Bund Garden police station on May 30 last year.After months of investigation, M.K. Bahaddarpure, a senior police inspector at the police station, filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday stating that “no prima facie proof could be found against Mr. Khadse”, following which an FIR can not be lodged.In a letter to Mr. Gavande, Mr. Bahaddarpure said that owing to the lack of proof, no FIR can be lodged.Clean chit quashedThe court also slammed the Bund Garden police’s ‘clean chit’ to the former Minister.The court has directed that the matter be transferred to the ACB within a week, following which the agency would probe and file an FIR against Mr. Khadse.Speaking to The Hindu Mr. Gavande said, “I have full faith in the ACB and the High Court’s directive is an indication of hope. It proved that any politician, no matter how high, ought not to misuse his position.”Mr. Gavande had alleged a pre-meditated “criminal conspiracy” between Mr. Khadse, his kin, and the original owner of the plot of land, Abbas Rasool Ukani.According to Mr. Gavande, the original valuation of the plot, according to the sub-registrar, stood at ₹31 crore, as opposed to Mr. Khadse’s figure of Rs. 3.75 crore. Mr. Gavande alleged that the value of the property when Mr. Khadse’s kin applied for compensation would stand at Rs. 65 crore, twice the original market valuation (calculated as per the compensation under the new Land Acquisition policy of 2013).last_img read more

Panaji: Goa’s biggest Hindu folk festival, Shigmo, will begin on March 14 and will continue in various rural areas over a fortnight. Different days have been earmarked for celebrations in different parts of the State.The festival has become an important annual event on the State’s tourism calendar. A statement issued by the State Tourism Department said thousands of tourists are expected to visit, to witness the spectacular Shigmo parades.The float parades will begin at Ponda, Central Goa, on March 14. Panaji will witness these parades on March 18. The floats are elaborately built and depict scenes from mythologies. The parades consist of traditional folk and street dancers, dancing on the tunes of Dhol tashas, flutes, and other instruments played in the processions across.The festival also depicts the Goan life in traditional folk dances like Ghode Modni, Goff, and Fugdi, performed in troupes along the procession, passing through the streets that are lit up with colourful décor.It was traditionally celebrated as the homecoming of the warriors who had left their homes and families at the end of Dusshera to fight invaders.Pandurang Phaldesai, former member secretary of the State-owned Goa Kala Academy, and an expert on the State’s folk music and dances, said the word Shigmo has its roots in Prakrit word Sugimaho (meaning post-harvest celebration).Mr. Phaldesai said, “The festival marks celebration of harvesting of crop and also coincides with Holi.” read more

first_imgPrecious manuscripts in Sanksrit and its derivatives, Pali and the Prakrits, are soon to be preserved for posterity with the Bhandarkar Oriental Research Institute (BORI) launching an e-library and commencing on a major digitization process of its treasure trove in Indology.Unperturbed by the tumult of Pune’s dramatically changing landscape, the institute, named after legendary Indologist Ramkrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, was set-up in 1917 and remains a fixture of the city’s historic-cultural fabric and a veritable researchers’ paradise. Its venerated walls house one of South Asia’s largest and most invaluable agglomeration of rare manuscripts.“The move to digitise rare books had begun in earnest since September last year. The institute has formed a three-member committee to examine the institute’s repository of 1.35 lakh books and 28,000 manuscripts,” said Dr. Shreenand Bapat, registrar and curator-in-charge, BORI.While a Zeutschel high-resolution German scanner has been specially procured by the institute at the cost of Rs. 15 lakh, the restoration promises to be a painstaking and laborious process and promises to stretch on for the better part of five years.The scanning process, according to Dr. Bapat, poses particular challenges owing to the age of the manuscripts, some of which are more than a millennium old. “A team of four researchers are working on this project comprising of Prof. Shrikant Bahulkar, Dr. Maitreyee Deshpande and their two assistants. Each day, around 4,000 pages of the manuscripts which have to be digitised and pass it on to an IT company in Mumbai specializing in digitization,” he informed, adding that almost 12 lakh images of pages have to be digitized.At present, around 12,000 manuscripts and books – the rarest of the rare – have been scanned.The Government of Bombay State had first begun a pan-Indian manuscript collection project in the mid-1860s under which eminent scholars like R.G. Bhandarkar and German Indologists Johann Georg Buhler and Lorenz Franz Kielhorn among others collected several thousand manuscripts.This treasure trove, which is to be digitized, was first deposited at Mumbai’s Elphinstone College, from whence it was moved to Pune’s Deccan College for better preservation facilities.There were permanently housed in 1918 in BORI with Lord Willingdon [Major Freeman-Thomas], the then Governor of the Bombay Presidency and the first president of institute, authorizing for the valuable government collection to be transferred there.Among the notable publications that have emerged from this grand collection is a critical 19-volume edition of The Mahabharata, collated with copious critical material, out of nearly 1260 old manuscripts.Apart from the ageing process, the manuscripts have also fallen prey to petty political bickering, most notoriously in 2004, when the institute was shaken by the vandalism committed by the pro-Maratha Sambhaji Brigade, protesting against American scholar’s James Laine’s book on King Shivaji. Several manuscripts were destroyed while Dr. Bahulkar was manhandled by Brigade activists for allegedly explaining the meaning of Sanskrit references to Prof. Laine.The move to build a metadata has always been mired in financial stress, and while baby steps were taken since 2011, the digitization process gained momentum only recently after the Centre approved of a revised budget outlay for the same.In 2003, the National Mission for Manuscripts (NAMAMI) had selected BORI as one of the 32 manuscripts’ resource and conservation centres across the country.last_img read more

first_imgA policeman has been killed as militants attacked ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) legislator Abdul Majid Padroo in south Kashmir’s Kulgam on Saturday afternoon.Preliminary reports suggest that the cavalcade of Mr. Padroo came under fire at Nandmarg crossing in Noorabad constituency.A police official said the policeman, identified as Khurshid Ahmad, died on the spot while another was injured. Ahmad was working as a driver. The MLA escaped unhurt in the attack.The area has been cordoned off.last_img read more

first_imgSeparatist Jammu Kashmir Liberation Front (JKLF) chief Yasin Malik was arrested on Saturday, when he was on his way to hold a demonstration on a number of issues, including the Kathua rape, outside the Jamia Masjid in Srinagar. He alleged that he was assaulted.“A senior police officer ordered his uniformed soldiers to attack Mr. Malik, who was injured and dragged to the Khanyar police station,” said a JKLF spokesperson.The spokesperson said the assault on Mr. Malik was an act of naked hooliganism. “It’s the police behaviour that is pushing Kashmiris to the wall.They are promoting violence, which is highly condemnable,” he said.Separatist leaders Syed Ali Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq condemned the police action.“The police’s behaviour against JKLF chairman is a clear indication that Kashmir is a police State. The police have been given a free hand to run its writ,” said Mr. Geelani and the Mirwaiz in a joint statement.The separatist leaders had called for the demonstration to protest “the killing of Kashmiri boys, use of force against the students, illegal detention of leaders by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) and the Kathua rape-and-murder.”Police deny assaultA police spokesman in Srinagar said Mr. Malik was stopped at 12.10 p.m. and asked to produce the car’s papers.“Mr. Malik, instead of producing the papers, obstructed the officer from carrying out his lawful duty. The police have initiated action under relevant provision of the law. The allegations of harassment to these individuals is strongly rebutted,” said the spokesman.last_img read more

first_imgThe Bharatiya Janata Party in Assam has registered a complaint against a porn site that used a variant of its uniform resource locator (URL) or web address.The party unit was alarmed when internet users found a website using the domain www.bjpassam.org that offered pornographic content.“We informed the Special Branch of the police, whose cyber cell is expected to follow it up,” a BJP leader said.Some in the BJP did not rule out any mischief by “vested interests” but spokesperson Roopam Goswami said the party’s IT cell traced the site to Kenya.“I think someone created a fake website to malign the party. This objectionable site is registered in Kenya and has tweaked our web address,” Mr. Goswami said.The State BJP’s URL is http://assam.bjp.org/index.php, he said.last_img read more

first_imgBijay Bhuyan, a farmer in Odisha’s Bhadrak district, has been living with his family in their ancestral home for years, but he had no inkling that he was sharing it with cobras.To his utter surprise, he found 106 juvenile cobra snakes in the house in Paikasahi village on Friday. Efforts are on to retrieve more reptiles from an ant-hill that has come up adjacent to an earthen wall. Fellow villagers have thronged Mr. Bhuyan’s house to see the young reptiles.“Family members had come across snakes around their house on several occasions,” said Seikh Mirza, a member of Snake Helpline, a voluntary forum that helps rescue snakes in distress. “Their religious belief did not allow them to dismantle the ant hill.”“We have rescued 99 young cobras. Six snakes were found dead. As many as 19 eggs have also been spotted,” he said.last_img read more

first_imgIn a bid to push for a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has said that it planned to enroll 25,000 fresh Bajrang Dal “sainiks” as volunteers and also impart training in tridents to some of them.The new recruits would be imparted with “trishul deeksha,” the VHP said, but did not clarify if tridents would also be distributed to the Bajrang Dal members.Bajranj Dal was the youth wing of the VHP.The right-wing outfit had planned a “dharma sabha” in Ayodhya on November 25 and said representatives of various Hindu groups across the country would attend. A gathering would be held in Delhi on December 9, three days after the anniversary of the Babri Masjid demolition.”There is anger among Hindus due to the adjournment of the case,” said VHP vice-president Champat Rai, adding that the wait for a temple had now become “unbearable.”The VHP had threatened direct action. “If necessary, Bajrang Dal’s dedicated workers can march to Ayodhya any time for the construction of the temple on the instructions of the seers,” said Bholendra, VHP Awadh organisation secretary in a statement.Mr. Bholendra justified that the weapons training to Bajrang Dal recruits, saying it was part of “Indian tradition,” and such programmes were held to safeguard Hindu religion and culture.The VHP’s meeting in Ayodhya cames at a time when Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was scheduled to visit Ayodhya on November 24 for two days.The events had alarmed Babri litigant Iqbal Ansari, who said the Muslims in Ayodhya felt insecure due to the heavy presence of Hindu outfits aggressively campaigning for a temple.”In 1992, too, the crowds gathered in a similar fashion. Mosques were destroyed, homes set on fire. What guarantee is there that something won’t happen if crowds gather again,” Mr. Ansari asked.He had threatened to leave Ayodhya if the security of the place was not increased before the VHP meet.last_img read more

first_imgBuying houses will be dearer in Mumbai as the State government on Tuesday cleared a Bill, without discussion, to increase stamp duty on property transfers by 1%. The extra money will be transferred to transport infrastructure projects planned in the city. To ensure public projects like the coastal road, Metro, monorail and freeways have enough funds, a surcharge will be added to the stamp duty charged for the sale, gift and rental transactions of properties.The Bill was passed without discussion as it was presented amid sloganeering from Opposition and ruling party MLAs over the issue of Maratha reservation.Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said that the government acted in an authoritarian manner and similarly pushed eight other Bills too. “We were not given a chance to speak. This is not how Bills are cleared,” he said. Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar said,“It is important that every Bill is discussed in detail. Every aspect should be scrutinised and that is our work. But they didn’t want it to be discussed,” he said.However, Parliamentary Affairs minister Girish Bapat said the Oppositioncreated the ruckus and the government had stopped them for speaking on the Bill.last_img read more

first_imgBJP president Amit Shah on Saturday said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) expected to bag 300 seats in the coming Lok Sabha elections with a contribution of nearly 50 seats from the northeastern region and West Bengal. The party was in the process of preparing a wide-ranging poll manifesto based on feedbacks from all State units.“There is no challenge to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the NDA. We are going to win 300 seats in the Lok Sabha polls,” Mr. Shah said at a news conference in Agartala.Mr. Shah, accompanied by a team of senior party office-bearers, arrived in Agartala to oversee organisational matters. Addressing a huge gathering of the party’s ”Pristha Pramukhs” (page observers) at Swami Vivekananda Stadium, he spoke on political and organisation issues and credited the party workers for the significant win in the Assembly elections in Tripura.Lauds Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb Later, speaking to media, he lauded Chief Minister Biplab Kumar Deb for leading all- round development activities in the State. He said, “The State has been immensely benefited from the 129 schemes the Central government introduced and the cooperation from the Centre would change life of all sections of people of the State”. Most of the poll pledges made in Tripura already fulfilled.Lashing out at the Congress and its effort to create a ‘mahagatbandhan’ to take on the BJP, he said it would not yield any fruitful result. The BJP was confident of winning 21 seats in the Northeast and at least 23 in West Bengal.Mr. Shah said he would visit all the States, including that of the Northeast before Lok Sabha polls. “The BJP means development and through its good governance, 22 crore families benefited under different schemes.”On Ram mandir issue, he said the matter was pending in the apex court, but the BJP was determined to help construct a magnificent temple at Ayodhya.last_img read more

first_imgLast January, researchers suggested that the wrinkles that form on fingertips after a long soak might help humans and other primates better handle objects in wet conditions. A new study has failed to reproduce those results. Researchers had 40 volunteers—sometimes with dry hands, other times with wrinkly, wet ones—grab 52 items (including small and large glass marbles, rubber balls, and brass weights), one item at a time, with their thumb and forefinger and then pass each object through a 5-by-5-centimeter hole. In some tests, the hole was 45 cm above the table top; in the others it was 75 cm. On average, volunteers with wrinkly fingers completed the task no more quickly than their dry-handed counterparts, researchers report this week in PLOS ONE. Results of two other tests—one designed to test feeling in the skin of the fingertip on the index finger, the other designed to assess sensitivity of nerves in the underlying tissues to vibration—suggested that water-wrinkled fingers were no more or less sensitive than dry, smooth ones. Altogether, the researchers contend, the work suggests that skin puckering doesn’t provide any evolutionary advantage. Maybe wrinkling is just an odd side effect of extended immersion, they say. Although the new study’s test of dexterity wasn’t quite the same as the one used by the team reporting last year’s findings (those tests used fewer objects overall and included glass marbles and lead fishing weights), the new research used twice as many volunteers and therefore might be considered more reliable.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

first_imgThe next time you’re about to make an important decision, wait a second. Scientists have found that a brief pause can make the difference between the right choice and the wrong one. Researchers recruited 13 scientists at Columbia University and told them to follow the direction of different colored dots on a computer screen. The team found that the subjects took, on average, 120 milliseconds to shift their attention from one color to another and identify which direction the dots moved across the screen. Subjects who refrained from using the first 50 milliseconds of information made, on average, one extra correct decision per second. This suggests that the first pulses of information our brains receive are misleading, because distractions—in this case different colored dots—confuse the decision-making process. We are better off with an ounce of procrastination, the scientists report in PLOS ONE.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

first_imgOur DNA is locked in a constant battle with itself. It’s fighting to control mobile bits of genetic material that copy themselves and spread through the genome—so-called jumping genes. But that’s a molecular game of Whac-A-Mole: For every bit it manages to suppress, another finds a way to break free. A new study has pinned down genes that have evolved to thwart these molecular intruders. The work paints a picture of the ongoing evolutionary struggle being waged within our genome.“It’s very interesting, this yin and yang of evolutionary changes,” says Haig Kazazian, a geneticist from the University of Pennsylvania who was not involved with the study. “Nobody has looked at these proteins in the light of evolutionary change.” The work could have applications ranging from stem cell development to cancer prevention and may even lead to a deeper understanding of how the cell makes use of its genetic material.Sequences of DNA that can self-replicate and then insert themselves into new locations in the genome are called transposons, or, more simply, jumping genes. They can cause problematic mutations if they jump into important genes: One that inserts itself into a gene used for slowing cell growth could cause cancer, for example. So our genomes have evolved countermeasures. Those countermeasures include a large family of genes that code for proteins known as KRAB zinc fingers. Establishing the link between a specific KRAB zinc finger and its target jumping gene has been a daunting task, though. The KRAB family contains approximately 170 different versions of the same basic protein.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)To solve this problem, Frank Jacobs, a biologist from the University of California (UC), Santa Cruz, and colleagues studied cultured mouse cells that carry a human chromosome with transposons, but no human zinc finger genes. “In the absence of primate KRAB zinc fingers, the human [transposons] ran wild,” Jacobs says. Next, the team added 14 different zinc finger proteins to the mouse cells one by one, to see which ones could stop the jumping genes from jumping. Two KRAB zinc fingers (KZNF91 and KZNF93) worked against two kinds of human transposons. Jumping genes stopped jumping, the team reported online on 28 September in Nature.Once the zinc fingers were paired with their target jumping genes, the team confirmed that indeed the zinc fingers had evolved shortly after the transposon emerged. When the experiment was repeated using a zinc finger from orangutans or macaques, the human transposons were able to escape. The result suggests that somewhere in our ancestry the jumping genes mutated to dodge the zinc fingers, but the zinc fingers also evolved to silence them once again. “We could actually look at when these zinc fingers arose in relation to when these transposons were active and could see this really interesting evolutionary story,” says Sofie Salama, a UC Santa Cruz biologist involved in the study. “It shows this sort of evolution in action.”These zinc finger proteins turn off more than just the jumping genes. They also control other genes nearby and over evolutionary time can be incorporated into the cell’s program for regulating those genes’ activities, Jacobs says. This unintentional benefit may explain why many zinc finger genes persist in our DNA even after their target jumping genes lose the ability to copy themselves.Primates in particular have shown explosive expansion in the KRAB zinc finger gene family; considerable differences exist in this family even between humans and chimpanzees. Our DNA is 98% identical to chimpanzees, but the big differences come from how and when that DNA is used. Jacobs suggests that many of our species’ distinctive features may have arisen because of changes in gene expression caused by zinc finger regulation. “[Zinc fingers] provide this potential regulatory landscape that can be used by the host to do something interesting and change in interesting ways,” Salama adds. By understanding that regulatory landscape, researchers may be better able to understand how, in various diseases, the way genes get used goes awry and find new ways to correct problems.last_img read more

first_imgA report from the Wall Street Journal today details Apple’s minuscule success in India with iPhone, specifically highlighting Amit Rajput, who runs a counter selling iPhones in the country with a population of over 1.3 billion. Rajput spoke on how one iPhone sale a day is considered ‘lucky’, with his coworkers at the Samsung, Oppo and Nokia counters selling well over ten devices daily.Read it at 9to5mac Related Itemslast_img

first_imgThe fault lines run deep. Four generations later, South Africans of Indian descent are still struggling to come to grips with the new Rainbow Nation. From 1684 till the present, the Indian diaspora in South Africa has had a chequered history. But they remain synonymous with three points of identity: indenture, apartheid and Mahatma Gandhi.Read it at New Indian Express Related Itemslast_img

first_imgIn a bid to make it easier for foreign nationals to visit India for business trips, the government of India has relaxed e-business visa norms. The revised rules provide for longer visa validity, continuous stay up to 180 days and multiple entries into India, among major changes.Read it at Financial Express Related Itemslast_img

first_img1. Your father is Indian and your mother is Japanese. How do you see yourself? A: Being born here I identify most with being American. Until recently I had no idea who Amitabh Bachchan was. However, when I was a child we hung around mostly with Indians, so I was subjected to many Indian functions growing up. So I sat through many awful talent shows, four-hour Malayalee weddings, and of course Indians never want to pay for a babysitter so you have children running around screaming at all these events. 2. Does this mixed heritage make for some very funny stand up comedy?A: I like to think so. Everyone I meet tells me they’ve never met an Indian-Japanese comedian before. I think I’m the only Indian Japanese comedian, unless my sister decides to take up the profession.3. What’s the South Asian material that draws the most laughs?A: South Asian audiences are really wonderful about laughing at themselves. So I think it’s the things that are really true that draw the most laughs, for example the outsourcing jokes or the jokes about Bollywood films.4. And the Japanese anecdote?A: I was driving with my whole family and we saw some cows grazing in a field. My father pointed out that the word graze could have a lot of different meanings, and I said for example you can be grazed by a bullet, and then my mother said “or it’s a kind of doughnut.” The funniest part of this is that she actually meant it!  The Japanese have a big problem distinguishing between the L and the R – as Indians have a problem with the V and the W.5. Do the Japanese find you funny? A:  South Asian audiences are the most receptive. I don’t think the Japanese are as expressive; it’s not really part of their culture. Once I performed at a Japanese show and when I started, I yelled out, “Come on, make some noise, who here is from Japan?” fully expecting everybody to yell “Woo-Hoo” or “Banzai” or  “Bonsai” or something like that but instead they all raised their hands! Afterwards a few people came up and said they didn’t understand the doughnut joke!6. What do you eat at home?A: I love going home, because my mother makes a combination of Indian, Japanese and American food. Of course the first day I come home she always makes keema for me.  Even though she’s Japanese she has become quite a fire breather because of my father.  She absolutely loves mango pickles.7.  What’s the line that never fails to make South Asians laugh?A: It’s the line where I say that it’s just a matter of time before Indian companies start outsourcing to poor Americans who are pretending to be Indian. (In a southern accent, “Thank you for calling Air India. This is Mahatma Gandhi.”)8. Do you have a lucky talisman? A: Unfortunately I am a complete atheist and do not believe in anything except science. No religion, no astrology, no professional wrestling, so I would have to say no to a talisman. 9. Any chance your dad might get you into an arranged marriage? A: My father tried fixing me up with various Malayalee women, but it was always a disaster. I went to one girl’s house and when the door opened, I asked her “Is your daughter here?” But it turned out that that actually was the daughter!  10. You must be having a lot of fun with Indian and Japanese last names and accents?A: Yes, I thank God that I didn’t get a combination Indian Japanese name like Sanjay Hajimoto, or Mahatma Mitsubishi.11. Any real life funny incidents?A: I was backstage at an Intel event and was talking to a security guard who was a Muslim Indian. I asked him what the reasoning was behind having multiple wives in Islam. He told me that the reason was if you want to have relations with your wife, but she has her periodical, then you need to have another wife or two. He actually said the word periodical. I almost fell over laughing.12. Any plans to take your show on the road to India?A: Now that I know who Amitabh Bachchan is, a lot of people are encouraging me to do an act where I do impressions of him. Of course I would love to go to India. Last time I was there I was only six years old, and it was extremely crowded and overpopulated, so imagine what it will be like now since there are twice as many people in India as when I was last there! Related Itemslast_img read more