Jellyfish for Your Health

first_img(Visited 28 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Jellyfish have inspired a cancer cell search tool – just one of new products and services inspired by nature.Tentacle probe:  “Inspired by marine creatures that present long tentacles containing multiple adhesive domains to effectively capture flowing food particulates,” medical researchers built a new probe for blood that catches more circulating tumor cells (CTCs) than possible before, a new paper in PNAS reported.  The tentacles allow a 3-D network arrangement of DNA strands that match rare cancer cells in small samples of blood.  Science Daily describes what they did:A new device from researchers at MIT and Brigham and Women’s Hospital overcomes those obstacles. Inspired by the tentacles of a jellyfish, the team coated a microfluidic channel with long strands of DNA that grab specific proteins found on the surfaces of leukemia cells as they flow by. Using this strategy, the researchers achieved flow rates 10 times higher than existing devices — fast enough to make the systems practical for clinical use.Science Daily posted a second article on this new bio-inspired technology that can help “catch and release” marker cells before they metastasize, all by mimicking the tentacle method of jellyfish and sea cucumbers.Mr. Clean butterfly:  Did you ever think about how hard it would be for a butterfly to fly with dirty wings?  Fortunately, they come equipped with self-cleaning surfaces that resist water and dust.  Researchers at Ohio State University have created a surface with similar properties that does a much better job at staying clean, Science Daily reported.  We’ve heard about shark skin and lotus leaves with this property, but now butterflies – already a source of bio-inspiration for their bright colors – join the cleaning crew.  Their research paper is entitled, “Bioinspired rice leaf and butterfly wing surface structures combining shark skin and lotus effects.”  Put that texture inside pipes and you could “enhance fluid flow and prevent surfaces from getting dirty — characteristics that could be mimicked in high-tech surfaces for aircraft and watercraft, pipelines, and medical equipment.”Automatic assembly:  Proteins fold into intricate shapes by nature of their amino acid sequences.  Scientists would like to build nano-machines that do that trick.  In Nature last week (Nov 8), a team came a little closer to that goal by designing sequences that could fold into very simple shapes that constitute building blocks of higher protein structures, namely, alpha coils and beta sheets.  So far the results only demonstrate proof of concept for the idea; natural proteins are much more complex.  According to the Editor’s Summary of a Nature News & Views article on this effort, “The design principles and methodology described here should allow the design of a wide range of robust and stable protein building blocks for the next generation of engineered functional proteins.”  Birte Hocker wrote, “With lengths of 80–100 amino acids, the authors’ protein structures are comparable in size to small protein domains that act as building blocks of larger, more complex proteins. The design of custom protein scaffolds that perform new functions is now conceivable, as is the assembly of bigger designed domains and quaternary complexes.”Nano-machines:  Speaking of proteins, many of them fold into molecular machines that capture random thermal energy and turn it into useful work.  Scientists in Berlin succeeded in making a very simple lever-like device that turns randomly moving hydrogen molecules into specified work, New Scientist said.  “Jose Ignacio Pascual at the Free University of Berlin in Germany and colleagues took inspiration from the natural world, where random motion powers structures such as proteins that move cargo around inside cells.”Weird brain:  In a case of biomimetics in reverse, one organism appears to mimic human intellectual abilities.  That organism is Physarum polycephalum, a slime mold.  Nature News published an article about how this colonial microbe shows an uncanny ability to “solve mazes, mimic the layout of man-made transportation networks and choose the healthiest food from a diverse menu—and all this without a brain or nervous system.”  This organism is raising questions about what constitutes intelligence.  The article includes a video clip of the organism solving a maze and creating a memory of the most direct path.Our Creator must laugh when proud man struggles to catch up with the technologies He built into the simplest living things.  Christian parents should think seriously about a biomimetics career for their science-precocious kids.  It’s 100% Darwin-free and can help mankind.  Start them on a science project to take a bug, spider or leaf from around the house and try to build something that imitates some desirable feature of its life.  If they hesitate, tell them they can be Spiderman.last_img read more

Malaysia Airlines coming back from the abyss

first_imgMalaysia Airlines was already in deep financial trouble as it entered 2014 and the twin tragedies of flights MH370 and MH17 only made things worse.The airline had lost $A1.5 billion since 2011 and the crashes saw its loss for the second quarter ending  June 30 of that fateful year burgeon to almost $A100 million as passengers stayed away. This was the sixth straight quarterly loss for the airline but it was almost double the loss for the corresponding quarter in the previous year.The response of the Malaysian government was to re-nationalise the airline and move it into a new company structure.This saw state-run Khazanah Nasional, which already owned 69.4 per cent of the airline, pay  $A450 million for the remaining 30.6 per cent of the shares and de-list it at the end of 2014.A few months later, an administrator was appointed to oversee the transfer of assets and liabilities from the existing company to a new vehicle, Malaysia Airlines Berhad.Then chief executive Christoph Mueller also set about what he called a “hard reset’’ for an airline he said had been technically bankrupt.In a restructure likened to US Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the airline offered jobs to just 14,000 of its 20,000 staff, sold buildings, shed some planes, reduced the size of aircraft on some routes and cut frequencies on others.The one change the Malaysians resisted, despite forecasts to the contrary,  was to change the name of the national carrier. The airline is now  two-and-a -half years into its recovery and parent company Kahazanah has spent more than RM5 billion($A1.49 billion) of the RM6 billion it set aside for the five-year process.But Khazanah managing director Azman Mokhtar said the recovery was slightly ahead of schedule, cash flow was increasing and suggested the airline could break even next year.His comments came after the carrier’s current chief executive, Peter Bellew, said in October there was no need for extra funding from Khazanah because targets were being met.The restructure has seen significant changes in Malaysia’s fleet and product as it moves to re-focus on growth within  Asia, with China a principal target, and uses codeshare deals with airlines such as Emirates to build its long-haul international are the long-haul Boeing 777 and 747 passenger aircraft and the airline’s fleet of six flagship Airbus A380 super-jumbos are destined to be reconfigured and leased for religious pilgrimages such as the Haj.  There are hints the airline could later this year order 25 widebody jets — either Airbus A330neos or Boeing 787 Dreamliners — to progressively replace its 15 Airbus A330-300s and give it the flexibility for growth.This would be in addition to six long-haul Airbus A350-900s on order as replacements for the A380s on routes such as London. The biggest part of Malaysia’s fleet, its narrowbody aircraft, is also getting an upgrade. The carrier has 25 next generation 737 MAX 8s  on order plus purchase rights on 2, Deliveries start in 2019 and these fuel- efficient aircraft fly further than carrier’s existing fleet of B737-800s and can carry more passengers.But as Bellew noted in an interview with Air Transport World last year, the delivery of the new 737s  will mean more than just the arrival of a new aircraft type.“Malaysia Airlines’ future is now safe and secure,’’ he said “The new aircraft make that a reality for our employees.’’Bellew told reporters at an industry gathering on Tuesday in Hong Kong that a sales and marketing blitz, combined with new inflight menus and product such as lie-flat business seats, had helped bring customers back.Confirming that the airline was meeting key performance goals and was on track to return to profitability in 2018, he said its load factor had averaged 82 per cent in the third quarter and 90 per cent in December.  These sorts of figures look promising in terms the Malaysian government’s aim of eventually relisting the airline on the stock exchange.last_img read more

Quick Tips for Premiere Pro CC Switchers

first_imgSwitching to Premiere Pro CC for the first time? Here are 5 quick tips to get you up to speed on Premiere.If you’re new to Premiere Pro CC or switching to it from something like FCP 7, there are a ton of great resources right here on PremiumBeat that can help you get started. For starters, you should definitely check out Danny Greer’s post on 10 Tips for Premiere Pro Editors, and Clay Asbury’s post on Ten New Features in Premiere Pro CC, FCP Editors Will Love for a great orientation lesson with the software.I thought I’d add my thoughts to the mix to help you make the switch by focusing on a few things that Premiere does differently that might catch you out the first time around.Getting Set Up in Premiere Pro CCFirst of all you should know that you no longer have to manage your Scratch Disks every time you open or switch projects. In Premiere Pro CC  you’ll automatically switch to whichever project is currently open and the destination you selected when you set it up. You can set all of these with one click when you setup your new project (top drop down menu in the image above), or toggle them to permanent destinations in each of the relevant drop down menus.Next, you should be aware that Premiere (unlike Avid Media Composer) really doesn’t mind what NLE you used to edit with, it’s just glad you’re here. So in a come-as-you-are approach you can easily set your keyboard shortcuts to FCP7 mappings…or Media Composer for that matter. To do this, or to create your own custom keyboard shortcuts, click on Premiere Pro > Keyboard Shortcuts to open the keyboard shortcuts window.One thing that I’ve found (am I doing something wrong?) is that if you load a custom preset (for example Jonny_FCP7, as shown in image below), and then change something inside that preset, Premiere Pro will default it the [Custom] setting. The only way to update your custom preset (Jonny_FCP7) is to then ‘Save As…’ over the top of it. This is kind of annoying.Tidy As You GoA handy thing that Premiere Pro does, that I prefer to the way Final Cut Pro 7 used to do things, is that it will automatically tidy any new asset you import or create into the bin that you had selected when you imported it. This a great way to keep your files tidy as you go. The only downside is that if you forget that you had a certain bin selected, and suddenly you can’t find your file, you’ll just have to remember to go back and find that previously selected bin.Three Tips on Working with TitlesThe text and title features in Final Cut Pro 7 where never very good (ok, they were downright terrible). One of the benefits of switching to Premiere Pro CC is that you have a much, MUCH more fully featured text function within the app and you can easily dynamic-link to After Effects for even more sophisticated functionality. That said there are a few things that Premiere Pro does differently.First of all you can’t simply copy and paste a text clip on a timeline to make a new fresh independent text clip. You will merely make a duplicate of it. This is one of the ways Premiere does things differently. So you need to create a new title every time you want another piece of text in your show.A good way to do this, especially if you have spent time finessing a particular font selection, size and design is to use one my favorite buttons in Premiere (which is highlighted by the top arrow in the image above). It’s the ‘New Title Based on Current Title‘ button. This will create a new copy with all the same text and details you can then edit. An alternative, if you Alt (or Option on PC)+ drag a text element in the timeline it will make a new independently editable version of the text clip. Just like FCP7 used to do.The second arrow at the bottom of the image above, is highlighting another great feature in Premiere Pro CC. With a few clicks, it will auto-center your text on the horizontal or vertical axis’ or both. It’s the little things that matter most!One final point about working with text elements in Premiere Pro, which may hang you up if you are used to FCP7, is that whereever the playhead is on the timeline, that is what you will see in the background of the text editing window. So if you have duplicated a text element and your playhead is still sitting on top of it, you will see it in the background but you won’t be able to touch it. The very first time I used Premiere Pro confused me a lot. It seems pretty obvious now, but at the time I just couldn’t figure it out!Anything Premiere Pro feature you like more than it’s FCP 7 equivalent? Got any tips to share for new Premiere Pro editors? Share your thoughts in the comments below!last_img read more

Yuvraj creates history at World Cup

first_imgMan-of-the-Match Yuvraj Singh, whose impressive all-round performance helped India beat Ireland by five wickets on Sunday, created history during the match.He became the first cricketer ever to claim a five-wicket haul and score a half-century in a singles World Cup match.Yuvraj Singh finished with figures of 10-0-31-5 and then scored an unbeaten 50 at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore.     A peek into the records that he surpassed on the day:– Yuvraj Singh became the first player to score a half century (50 not out) and take a five-wicket haul (5/31) in a World Cup match. The bowling figures are also his best in ODIs.– Yuvraj Singh (5-31) also became the first left-arm spinner to take five wickets in a World Cup match. Incidentally, Yuvraj himself owned the previous record of best bowling by a left-arm spinner in World Cups when he returned the figures of 4 for 6 against Namibia in the 2007 edition.– Yuvraj is only the fourth Indian bowler to take a five-for in the World Cup, after Kapil Dev, Robin Singh and Ashish Nehra.last_img read more