Left calls for protest over police action

first_imgThe Left parties have called a State-wide protest against the “police action” on their supporters during Monday’s ‘March to Nabanna.’ They will observe Tuesday as a day of condemnation across West Bengal.CPI(M) general secretary Sitaram Yechury said the protest would continue till the Trinamool Congress government apologised. “About 250 of our party supporters have sustained injuries and 100 grave injuries,” he said.“We condemn the police provocation and attack on our party workers who took part in today’s [Monday’s] peaceful rally. Many of them got severely injured as the police resorted to baton-charge and lobbing of tear-gas shells,” Left Front chairman Biman Bose said.Mr. Bose and CPI(M) State Secretary Surjya Kanta Mishra were present on Mayo Road, which resembled a war zone. They insisted that the march was “peaceful.”Asked about the injuries to the policemen, Mr. Bose alleged that it was the police who first resorted to violence, acting as agent provocateurs. “If the police did not throw stones at our activists, they would not have been injured. They resorted to stone-throwing first and some of our workers paid them back in the same coin.”Mr. Mishra said the march was a success and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee was scared of protest. “This shows the CM is scared. She thinks that the protest can be stopped. But the protest will not be limited to some city roads; it will be staged across the State,” he said.last_img read more

Tejashwi to focus on ‘insult to mandate’

first_imgStung by Chief Minister Nitish Kumar’s parting of ways with the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) to rejoin hands with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), former Deputy Chief Minister and RJD leader Tejashwi Yadav is all set to launch his ‘Janadesh Apman’ (‘insult to the people’s mandate’) yatra from the East Champaran district on Wednesday.The yatra will commence from the Gandhi Maidan in Motihari, where Mr. Tejashwi will first garland the statue of Mahatma Gandhi and seek his blessing.“I will also seek forgiveness from Mahatma Gandhi for making an alliance with Nitish Kumar, who did not honour the people’s mandate in his lust for power,” Mr. Tejashwi said.He is expected to go to Bettiah in West Champaran and address a public meeting at the Janaki Devi High School in the Madhopur village of the Majahuli block.‘Mandate betrayed’Mr. Tejashwi and other RJD leaders are expected to travel all across the State and also appeal to people to come to the party’s proposed ‘BJP bhagao, desh bachao’ mega rally in Patna on August 27.“I, too, am itching to go to the people of the State but because of regular court appearances, I am not able to do so. Tejashwi Yadav will expose how Nitish Kumar betrayed people’s faith and the mandate they had reposed in the previous Grand Alliance government,” RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav told journalists on Monday.He also reiterated that the August 27 event would be a massive rally in which all non-BJP party leaders would participate that would be the beginning of the end of RSS-BJP government at the Centre.The ruling party Janata Dal-United (JD-U) leaders took a dig at Mr. Yadav’s proposed campaign, saying that he should start a ‘jail yatra’ instead as his name had cropped in graft cases.last_img read more

Gujarat municipality polls: BJP wins 47 municipalities

first_imgThe ruling BJP in Gujarat won 47 out of 75 municipalities, down from 59 it held before the local elections, while the Opposition Congress won 16, in results announced on Monday.Though the BJP retained its urban base in towns, winning most municipalities, it saw a decline in the total number of seats, while the Congress made some inroads. “In the elections to 75 municipalities, the BJP has won 47, the Congress 16, the NCP 1 and the BSP 1, while in 6 municipalities, no one got a majority, and Independents got 4,” State Election Commissioner Varesh Sinha said.BJP bags 1,167 seatsIn terms of total seats, the BJP has won 1,167 seats, the Congress 630, Independents 202, the NCP 28 and the BSP 15, while 18 seats have gone to other parties.After the elections for municipalities in semi urban towns, elections will be held for two district panchayats and 17 taluka panchayats this month.“People of Gujarat have once again reposed their faith in the BJP,” State BJP president Jitu Vaghani told media persons. He, however, denied that the Congress made inroads in urban pockets, which have been BJP bastions.Mr. Vaghani said that in all places where the Congress won Assembly polls recently, the BJP won the municipality polls.He gave the example of Amreli district, where the Opposition party lost municipality polls despite winning all five Assembly seats in the district.Both the BJP and the Congress made claims regarding improving of their performance because this was for the first time in a decade that the parties contested local bodies elections on party symbols.last_img read more

Several areas inundated in Rajasthan dam breach

first_imgA dam built as part of the Kumbha Ram Arya lift canal project near Malsisar town in Rajasthan’s Jhunjhunu district breached on Saturday, inundating several areas in the region.The water swept away a large number of cattles and vehicles, but no loss of life was reported. Jhunjhunu Collector Dinesh Kumar Yadav said Kakdeu village and some government offices on the outskirts of Malsisar were submerged and several houses damaged. The dam – constructed barely three months ago – had 80 million litres per day (MLD) of water in terms of supply, stored at a height of 9 metres. A portion of the dam first developed cracks and later breached. The cause of the breach was yet to be ascertained. However, the flow of the water had been diverted towards open fields away from Malsisar, Mr. Yadav said.The State government rushed the State Disaster Relief Force teams from Jaipur to Malsisar, situated 210 km away. Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Hemant Gera was monitoring the situation. The rescue teams evacuated project officials and labourers trapped inside the dam’s filter plant, control tower and administrative building.last_img read more

Train, bus services disrupted in Bihar as Left parties call for bandh against Muzaffarpur rapes

first_imgTrain service and bus services have been disrupted at some places during the Bihar bandh call by Left parties on Thursday. The Opposition parties Rashtriya Janata Dal, Congress, Hindustani Awam Morcha and others too have supported the bandh call.Supporters and workers of left parties blocked railway track in Jehanabad, Gaya, Bhojpur, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Patna and Madhubani districts disrupting movement of over a dozen trains on the route. Road traffic too has been affected in Siwan, Patna, Nawada, Bhojpur, Arwal and Jehanabad districts due to bandh call. All schools in Patna have been closed and there are few vehicles plying on the road. However, no untoward incident has been reported in the State so far.Left parties have called for a Bihar bandh seeking resignation of Chief Minister Nitish Kumar over the sexual abuse of minor girls at state-run Muzaffarpur shelter home.Leader of the Opposition in Bihar Assembly Tejaswi Yadav had tweeted on Wednesday, “Against ghastly, dreadful & gruesome mass rape sponsored by Nitish Kumar, Left parties have called Bihar Bandh supported by RJD & Congress demanding CM Nitish Kumar resignation. I assure that I will compel Nitish Kumar to speak up. Chacha (uncle), get ready to walk the talk.”Earlier, Muzaffarpur-based NGO Seva Sankalp Evam Vikas Samiti was blacklisted after a social audit report conducted by the Tata Institute of Social Sciences revealed horrific details of the sexual assault on minor girls.34 of 42 girls’ medical reports had confirmed their sexual abuse. The main accused, Brajesh Thakur who was managing the affairs of the NGO has been arrested along with 10 others.The CBI is currently investigating the case following a recommendation by Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar.last_img read more

Policeman killed in militant attack in Shopian

first_imgA policeman was killed in a militant attack on a police station in Jammu and Kashmir’s Shopian district on Sunday, police said.“Terrorists in District Shopian fired indiscriminately on Police Station Shopian. The attack was repulsed by alert jawans,” a police spokesman said.Constable Saqib Mir sustained injuries and was evacuated to a nearby hospital for medical treatment, he said. However, the injured jawan succumbed to injuries. Police have registered a case and investigation has been initiated in the matter, he added.last_img

Now, an institute for aspiring politicians

first_imgGood news for aspiring politicians. They will soon have an institute in Ghaziabad to learn the nuances of the profession, the Uttar Pradesh government said on Wednesday.The decision to establish a sprawling political training institute at a cost of ₹198 crore was taken on Wednesday at the State Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.“The Cabinet has approved establishment of a political training institute in Ghaziabad at a cost of ₹198 crore. It has also made a provision of ₹50 crore for the first phase of the institute to be set up on 60 bighas of land,” Urban Development Minister Suresh Kumar Khanna told reporters.”This will be a first-of-its-kind institute in the country,” he added.A to Z training The courses are being designed for the institute and will impart A to Z training to those planning entry into politics and also to the elected representatives, the Minister said.The institute will also offer lectures by prominent political personalities, including ambassadors, heads of states and other experts.The location of the institute has been selected in the National Capital Region so that those coming to Delhi can easily plan a visit there, the Minister said.The institute will be run by the Urban Development Department of Uttar Pradesh, Mr. Khanna said, adding that discussions are on with various national universities for its recognition so that its degrees have value and weight.The institute will become operational in the next two years, he said, adding that a committee has already been formed to decide its curriculum.last_img read more

Bhima-Koregaon case: Charge sheet filed against activists

first_imgThe Pune Police on Thursday filed a 5,000-page charge sheet against five activists arrested on June 6 for their alleged linkages with the outlawed Communist Party of India (Maoist) and the Bhima-Koregaon clashes of January 1.On September 2, the court had granted the police a 90-day extension for filing a chargesheet against the Dalit activist-publisher Sudhir Dhawale, human rights lawyer Surendra Gadling, tribal activist Mahesh Raut, Nagpur University English Professor Shoma Sen and activist Rona Wilson.“The accused have been indicted under a number of Sections like 124A and 153 of the IPC as well as the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) for seditious activities, propagating a wrong kind of history designed to foster a climate of hate, sowing seeds of discord between communities, planning to overthrow the established government and acting as a channel for funds for a proscribed organisation,” said a senior police officer, on condition of anonymity.The police had filed the application seeking an extension on grounds that as the UAPA had been invoked against the accused the period to file the chargesheet could be extended up to 180 days as the investigation was not yet complete.During her arguments in September seeking an extension to file the chargesheet, Special Public Prosecutor Ujjwala Pawar had alleged that the accused had received ₹5 lakh for allegedly fomenting the Bhima-Koregaon clashes.Urban naxalismSaying that the phenomenon of ‘urban naxalism’ was graver than the one in the jungles, Ms. Pawar had presented before the court that the police had evidence of the funds being given to the accused with instructions to aggravate the clashes during the bicentenary celebrations of the 1818 battle of Bhima-Koregaon.The prosecution further submitted that the police needed the additional time to thoroughly examine the vast quantity of electronic data in the form of CDs, pen drives, hard disks that had been seized from the homes of the accused during the multi-city raids on June 6 besides probing their bank accounts and phone call records.The investigating officer in the case, ACP Shivaji Pawar had submitted before the court that the accused activists were allegedly attempting to veer youth from prestigious institutes towards Naxalism.The two countrywide swoops by the Pune police – in June and in August – were based on an FIR registered at the city’s Vishrambaug Wada police station in connection with ostensibly provocative speeches made during the controversial Elgaar Parishad.The FIR was based on a complaint by one Tushar Damgude against six participants, including Mr. Dhawale, of the Parishad. Those named in the FIR were members of the Kabir Kala Manch – a radical Dalit cultural troupe.The complaint had accused the KKM activists of making a number of “inflammatory” speeches and delivering “socially divisive” presentations during the course of the troupe’s performance and recitals at the ‘Elgaar Parishad’, which lasted nearly eight hours and witnessed the participation of thousands of persons from more than 250 progressive social outfits including several left-leaning and Ambedkarite groups across Maharashtra.last_img read more

J&K politics: I had the numbers, says Sajad Lone

first_imgSajad Lone of the Peoples Conference (PC) said here on Friday that his party was caught unawares by the coming together of the National Conference (NC), the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and the Congress. Their sole aim was to stall the “PC from forming a government in J&K”.“We continue to have the requisite numbers [for government formation]. PDP president Mehbooba Mufti did not have the support of a majority of former PDP legislators. This contemptuous presumption that elected leaders are cattle and can be herded is ridiculous. I am ready to prove it on the floor of the Assembly,” Mr. Lone said.However, Mr. Lone said, he respected Governor Satya Pal Malik’s decision to dissolve the Assembly. He dared Ms. Mufti to challenge the dissolution in court. Mr. Lone on Wednesday evening staked claim to form a government with the BJP’s support. He claimed to have the backing of 18 MLAs from other parties. The PDP had also claimed the support of 56 MLAs in the 87-member Assembly.Denying reports of any horse trading, Mr. Lone said money was with those people and leaders who ruled the J&K in the past. “Where will I raise money to do horse trading,” he asked. He said the PDP was not serious about forming a government. “The party was lying. Even the letter shot off to Mr. Malik was not written to stake claim for forming a government,” he said. ‘Blatant lie’“The claim that the alliance of NC, PDP and Congress was formed to protect Article 35A and Article 370 was also a blatant lie. The Congress eroded the special status 95 times and made amendments at least 52 times,” he said.Describing Article 35A and Article 370 as “sacred for the people of J&K”, Mr. Lone said his party would reach out to the people and contest the next elections. “The PC has emerged as an alternative to the traditional politics of exploitation and misrule practised by the twin-family political monopoly that has used blackmail and expedient ideological ambiguity to deprive J&K of peace and prosperity. What I speak in Delhi is what I will say in Srinagar,” he said.On the BJP alliance, Mr. Lone said it was no sin as both Ms. Mufti and Mr. Abdullah had allied with it in the past.As for BJP national general secretary Ram Madhav’s remarks against Pakistan being behind the NC-PDP-Congress alliance, which he later backtracked on, Mr. Lone said, “I would not be surprised if the accusation proves true.”Mr. Lone was joined by former PDP legislator Imran Ansari, who joined the party. “There is a queue to join us. You will see more faces joining us soon,” Mr. Ansari said.last_img read more

Protest against Manipur journalist’s arrest under NSA

first_imgThe BJP-led coalition government in Manipur is facing mounting pressure from the Indian Journalists Union (IJU), the Press Council of India (PCI), various students’ organisations, and political parties to release Kishorechandra Wangkhemcha, a local cable network journalist arrested on November 27 under the National Security Act (NSA).He was arrested earlier for criticising Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Manipur Chief Minister N. Biren Singh for observing the birth anniversary of Rani of Jhansi in Imphal. The journalist had contended in his Facebook message that the Rani of Jhansi had nothing to do with Manipur and the anniversary was observed at the directives of the Centre.On November 26, the court of the Chief Judicial Magistrate, Imphal west, released Mr. Wangkhemcha on bail saying that his message did not amount to “sedition”. However, the government arrested him the next day under the NSA. Ranjita, his wife, said the police did not furnish reasons for the arrest when they raided their house.The Manipur University Students’ Union (MUSU) in a statement appealed to all to raise their voice against this “blatant violation” of human rights. MUSU general secretary I. Kennedy wondered how a few words by Mr. Wangkhemcha could pose a threat to national security.Report soughtThe Press Council of India (PCI) has registered a suo motu case on the arrest. PCI chairman Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad has directed the Chief Secretary, the Home Secretary and the Director-General of Police to submit a report on the arrest.The Indian Journalists Union (IJU) said that it curtailed the freedom of expression and was a blatant misuse of the NSA. In a statement, IJU president and PCI member Amar Devulapalli and secretary-general Sabina Inderjit said: “The arrest must be seen as an attack on freedom of expression and most undemocratic”.‘Case holds no water’A prominent Manipur High Court advocate told The Hindu on Tuesday that the State government should have gone to the High Court against the ruling of the CJM, Imphal West, if it wanted to arrest the journalist under the NSA. The government’s justification will not hold water if Mr. Wangkhemcha goes to the High Court challenging his detention under the NSA as the lower court had ruled that his case did not amount to sedition.The All Manipur Working Journalists’ Union (AMWJU) has, however, said it would not get involved in the issue. AMWJU president Brozendra Ningombam said: “There is a resolution which says that the AMWJU shall not get involved in matters which have nothing to do with the profession of a journalist”.Mr. Wangkhemcha’s wife is miffed that no help was extended to her husband from any circle.Congress MLA and party spokesperson Joykishan Khumukcham said the BJP-led government was out to muzzle the voices of journalists and all others. He dared the authorities to arrest him since he too was a critic of the government.last_img read more

CBI files 5 cases against HAL official, others

first_imgThe Central Bureau of Investigation has registered five cases against a senior manager of the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) and others for allegedly causing a loss of more than ₹13 crore to the public sector undertaking.The agency has alleged that Bhaben Maitra, Senior Manager (Finance) at HAL’s office in Odisha, siphoned off the funds in conspiracy with other employees by using forged documents between 2013 and 2017.The first case pertains to alleged misappropriation of ₹13.11 lakh by the accused official in 2013, in league with two contractual workers and two private contractors. Another case involves ₹1.86 crore, in which the same modus operandi was used by accused persons, while in the third case they allegedly siphoned off ₹1.71 crore.In October last year, the agency had registered a case against Mr. Maitra for alleged embezzlement of ₹5 crore using forged bills, work orders and invoices.last_img read more

Approval needed for hysterectomies in Beed

first_imgPrivate doctors from Beed conducting uterus removal surgeries will now have to first seek permission to carry out the procedure from the civil surgeon or the taluka health officer. A circular issued by the Beed Collector Astik Kumar Pandey on April 16 has also stated that all hysterectomies by private practitioners be notified within 24 hours of the procedure and a monthly report of such surgeries should be sent to the health authorities.The circular, however, has not gone down well with doctors, who feel it will affect emergency surgeries. “A doctor is the best to decide the line of treatment. There cannot be such conditions dictated by the Collector,” said Dr. Kalyan Barmade, chairperson of the public awareness committee of the Federation of Obstetric and Gynaecological Societies of India (FOGSI). He said that FOGSI is seeking legal opinion on this with all its members.On April 9, The Hindu Business Line had reported that many women in Beed have had hysterectomies so that menstrual periods don’t hinder work.last_img read more

Bats and Dolphins Evolved Echolocation in Same Way

first_imgDolphins and bats don’t have much in common, but they share a superpower: Both hunt their prey by emitting high-pitched sounds and listening for the echoes. Now, a study shows that this ability arose independently in each group of mammals from the same genetic mutations. The work suggests that evolution sometimes arrives at new traits through the same sequence of steps, even in very different animals. The research also implies that this convergent evolution is common—and hidden—within genomes, potentially complicating the task of deciphering some evolutionary relationships between organisms. Nature is full of examples of convergent evolution, wherein very distantly related organisms wind up looking alike or having similar skills and traits: Birds, bats, and insects all have wings, for example. Biologists have assumed that these novelties were devised, on a genetic level, in fundamentally different ways. That was also the case for two kinds of bats and toothed whales, a group that includes dolphins and certain whales, that have converged on a specialized hunting strategy called echolocation. Until recently, biologists had thought that different genes drove each instance of echolocation and that the relevant proteins could change in innumerable ways to take on new functions.But in 2010, Stephen Rossiter, an evolutionary biologist at Queen Mary, University of London, and his colleagues determined that both types of echolocating bats, as well as dolphins, had the same mutations in a particular protein called prestin, which affects the sensitivity of hearing. Looking at other genes known to be involved in hearing, they and other researchers found several others whose proteins were similarly changed in these mammals.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(*)Now, Rossiter’s team has expanded the search for this so-called molecular convergence to the entire genome. They sequenced the genomes of four species from various branches of the bat family tree, two that use echolocation and two that don’t. They added in the existing genome sequences of the large flying fox and the little brown bat, another echolocator. Evolutionary biologist Joe Parker, also at Queen Mary, University of London, compared the bat genetic sequences to those from more than a dozen other mammals, including the bottlenose dolphin. He focused on the 2300 genes that exist in single copies in all the bats, the dolphin, and at least five other mammals. He evaluated how similar each gene was to its counterparts in various bats and the dolphin. The analysis revealed that 200 genes had independently changed in the same ways, Parker, Rossiter and their colleagues report today in Nature. Several of the genes are involved in hearing, but the others have no clear link to echolocation so far; some genes with shared changes are important for vision, but most have functions that are unknown. “The biggest surprise,” says Frédéric Delsuc, a molecular phylogeneticist at Montpellier University in France, “is probably the extent to which convergent molecular evolution seems to be widespread in the genome.”Genomicist Todd Castoe from the University of Texas, Arlington, is also impressed: “I’m pretty convinced they are finding something real, and it’s really exciting [and] pretty important.” However, he is critical about the way the analysis was done, suggesting that the approach found only indirect evidence of molecular convergence.The discovery that molecular convergence can be widespread in a genome is “bittersweet,” Castoe adds. Biologists building family trees are likely being misled into suggesting that some organisms are closely related because genes and proteins are similar due to convergence, and not because the organisms had a recent common ancestor. No family trees are entirely safe from these misleading effects, Castoe says. “And we currently have no way to deal with this.”last_img read more

700-Year-Old Poop Tracks History of Human Gut Microbes

first_imgPetrified human feces from the 14th century have revealed the earliest evidence of an arms race in the human gut. Our intestinal bacteria, it seems, were employing antibiotics long before people developed drugs like penicillin.The bacteria that live in your intestines are territorial little suckers. When new microbes arrive, the natives fight them off with antibiotics. The invaders respond by developing immunity to these compounds. So the native bacteria in your gut—known as the microbiome—develop ever stronger antibiotics. This war has likely been waging in the human intestine for eons, but scientists have had little evidence of its history.That’s now changed, thanks to a surprise find in Namur, Belgium. An urban development project there unearthed some historic bowel movements in 1996. Excavation under a town square revealed latrines from the Middle Ages buried 4 meters deep. Each held sealed barrels of human waste that had not been aired out in nearly 700 years.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(*)Paleomicrobiologists carefully extracted the fossilized feces—known as coprolites (they look a bit like poop-shaped rocks)—from the barrels to prevent modern bacteria and viruses from contaminating the medieval microbes. A preserved fecal deposit eventually plopped into the virology lab of Christelle Desnues at the Research Unit on Infectious and Emerging Tropical Diseases (URMITE) in Marseille, France.Her team bored into the coprolite, extracting a piece of its core approximately the weight of a nickel. Electron microscopy exposed viruslike structures peppered throughout the samples. When the team sequenced the genomes of all the viruses in the ancient poop, they discovered that most of them were bacteria-loving viruses called bacteriophages, or “phages” for short. Phages are the cargo ships of the bacterial world, picking up genes from one bacterium and transferring them to another. Occasionally, this process instills their bacterial hosts with an evolutionary advantage. Indeed, researchers have observed modern-day phages shipping antibiotic resistance genes between bacteria that cause infections, thus increasing their virulence.Desnues and her team discovered that the phage genomes from the coprolite were packed with antibiotic resistance genes, as they report online this month in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. This supports that bacteriophages are an ancient reservoir of resistance genes in the gut, dating back as far as the Middle Ages, Desnues says.A broader diversity of antibiotic resistance genes were observed in the coprolite. “It was surprising that the ancient stool had more [antibiotic resistance] genes than modern stool samples,” says Jeremy Barr, a microbiologist at San Diego State University in California who was not involved with the study. If this coprolite specimen is representative of the time period, then the reduction in these genes over time may reflect that modern sanitation in food or water supplies have weakened the defenses of gut bacteria, he says.Interestingly, Desnues’s team’s research reveals that the phages also carried metabolic genes that equip host bacteria with the ability to process fats and amino acids, which may be the traits that made them so useful to our intestines in the first place. Members of the human microbiome help us digest food, temper inflammation, and may fight obesity—so their resistance to antibiotics actually benefits us.“It’s as if we need these phages as part of our microbiome,” says Vincent Racaniello, a microbiologist at Columbia University who was not involved in the research. He says that though the species of gut phages have changed over time, the key genes that they swap have remained the same. “We evolved as humans to house [gut phages] for the functions they provide—that’s the coolest part.”last_img read more

Top Stories: Wild Running Wheels, Windborne Illnesses, and Microbes in the Placenta

first_imgEven in the Wild, Mice Run on WheelsDo caged mice really like their exercise wheels, or are they just bored and neurotic? Scientists set up a simple experiment—outdoor wheels paired with infrared cameras—to find out. It turns out that even wild mice really enjoy running on wheels. For some reason, the animals seem to relish the feeling of running without going anywhere. The findings suggest that like (some) humans, mice and other animals may simply exercise because they like to. Mysterious Illness May Be Carried by the WindSign 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(*)Kawasaki disease is one of the world’s most baffling illnesses. Now, we’re one step closer to understanding what causes it. A new study has found that the disease is at its deadliest when the wind blows from northeastern China. The findings suggest that the illness may be caused by an airborne toxin from that region—but just which one remains unclear.New Plan for U.S. Particle Physics: Go InternationalTo finally get started on building their next megaproject at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, the United States’ sole particle physics lab, leading U.S. physicists say they’re willing to take a gamble. They want to stage the project as an international collaboration—even if that means ceding direct control of the experiment to a council of member nations.The Science of InequalitySocial mobility is an important concept for social scientists who study economic inequality and opportunity. But collecting enough of the right data to draw meaningful conclusions is difficult. And applying those findings to public policy is even harder. As part of Science’s free special section on the science of inequality, reporter Jeffrey Mervis explores these issues in four related articles. Placenta Harbors Bacteria, May Impact Fetal HealthResearchers have discovered a small community of bacteria living in a most unlikely place: the placenta, an organ long thought to be sterile. The discovery of a placental microbiome adds to speculation that no tissue in the human body is, in fact, sterile. The study also suggests that the placental microbes come from the mother’s mouth, so if you’re pregnant, take good care of your teeth!last_img read more

Space solar observatory will look for ripples on sun’s surface

first_imgSuborbital spacecraft such as Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipOne aren’t just for super-rich space tourists. At the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco next week, researchers will be showing off a new miniature solar observatory for use during the 5 minutes in space of a suborbital flight. Designed by researchers at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) in San Antonio, Texas, the SwRI Solar Instrument Pointing Platform is initially pointed toward the sun by the spacecraft pilot and then locks on automatically. Its first experiments will look for ripples of ultrasound on the sun’s surface and it will be carried aloft by XCOR’s Lynx spacecraft (pictured), which begins flight testing next year. Such experiments used to be carried out using sounding rockets—one-shot missiles designed to take instruments to the edge of the atmosphere—but instruments got a rough ride and often took months or years to recondition. SwRI researchers calculate that suborbital flights will be 30 times cheaper and can be carried out many times per week.last_img read more

How much plastic is there in the ocean?

first_imgMore than 5 trillion plastic particles weighing 268,940 tons are estimated to be floating in Earth’s oceans. The new estimate, published today in PLOS ONE, is based on models of floating plastics data gathered from a series of 680 surface net tows and 891 visual surveys from oceans around the world. Currents and winds push the plastics around the world’s oceans, concentrating many of the pieces in five massive midocean gyres in the northern and southern Atlantic, the northern and southern Pacific, and the Indian Ocean. Despite having fewer inputs—due to smaller coastal populations—the amount of plastic in the gyres in the Southern Hemisphere was of similar magnitude to that in the north. That hints that ocean currents may redistribute material between the gyres more easily than thought—or that the most abundant particles, called microplastics (less than 4.75 millimeters), disappear from the sea surface more quickly in the Northern Hemisphere, the researchers found. Based on how plastics break into smaller fragments, the scientists had expected to see even more microplastics than they counted; those missing microplastics, they suggest, could sink more easily below the surface, become stranded on shorelines, be eaten by animals, or break down more rapidly under ultraviolet light from the sun.last_img read more

For overseas expansion, startups look to hire foreign Ivy League interns

first_imgAs they prepare to expand overseas, Indian startups like Droom, Pepperfry and HealthifyMe are planning to hire foreign students from top universities including Ivy League schools for newer markets. Foreign interns are being hired ahead of expansion in order to not only familiarize them with the company’s operations but also prepare a pool of manpower for handling overseas markets.Read it at Business Standard Related Itemslast_img

EB-5 visas gaining popularity as H-1B becomes more difficult to get

first_imgThe EB-5 visa is gaining popularity as an alternative to the embattled H-1B visa, which is the most popular US visa category for the movement of Indian techies.Usually an entrepreneurial visa, with an initial investment of USD 500,000 and a promise to create at least ten full time jobs in the US, children of high net worth individuals, executives as well as middle class people are looking at the visa as a sure shot chance at a US Green Card.Read it at Money Control Related Itemslast_img