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July 18, 2019
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Nanotechnology enables mice to see infrared light

first_imgIn our experiment, nanoparticles absorbed infrared light around 980 nm in wavelength and converted it into light peaked at 535 nm, which made the infrared light appear as the color green”.Jin Bao, University of Science and Technology of China In our study, we have shown that both rods and cones bind these nanoparticles and were activated by the near infrared light. So we believe this technology will also work in human eyes, not only for generating super vision but also for therapeutic solutions in human red color vision deficits.” The visible light that can be perceived by human’s natural vision occupies just a very small fraction of the electromagnetic spectrum. Electromagnetic waves longer or shorter than visible light carry lots of information.”Tian Xue, Senior Author, University of Science and Technology of China Source:http://www.cellpress.com/ Current infrared technology relies on detectors and cameras that are often limited by ambient daylight and need outside power sources. The researchers believe the bio-integrated nanoparticles are more desirable for potential infrared applications in civilian encryption, security, and military operations. “In the future, we think there may be room to improve the technology with a new version of organic-based nanoparticles, made of FDA-approved compounds, that appear to result in even brighter infrared vision,” says Han.The researchers also think more work can be done to fine tune the emission spectrum of the nanoparticles to suit human eyes, which utilize more cones than rods for their central vision compared to mouse eyes. “This is an exciting subject because the technology we made possible here could eventually enable human beings to see beyond our natural capabilities,” says Xue. When light enters the eye and hits the retina, the rods and cones–or photoreceptor cells–absorb the photons with visible light wavelengths and send corresponding electric signals to the brain. Because infrared wavelengths are too long to be absorbed by photoreceptors, we are not able to perceive them.”Gang Han, University of Massachusetts Medical School In this study, the scientists made nanoparticles that can anchor tightly to photoreceptor cells and act as tiny infrared light transducers. When infrared light hits the retina, the nanoparticles capture the longer infrared wavelengths and emit shorter wavelengths within the visible light range. The nearby rod or cone then absorbs the shorter wavelength and sends a normal signal to the brain, as if visible light had hit the retina. Related StoriesBlood based test using AI and nanotechnology devised for chronic fatigue syndromeNanotechnology treatment reverses multiple sclerosis symptoms in miceLight therapy may dramatically reduce neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s diseaseThe researchers tested the nanoparticles in mice, which, like humans, cannot see infrared naturally. Mice that received the injections showed unconscious physical signs that they were detecting infrared light, such as their pupils constricting, while mice injected with only the buffer solution didn’t respond to infrared light.To test whether the mice could make sense of the infrared light, the researchers set up a series of maze tasks to show the mice could see infrared in daylight conditions, simultaneously with visible light.In rare cases, side effects from the injections such as cloudy corneas occurred but disappeared within less than a week. This may have been caused by the injection process alone because mice that only received injections of the buffer solution had a similar rate of these side effects. Other tests found no damage to the retina’s structure following the sub-retinal injections.Xue says: A multidisciplinary group of scientists led by Xue and Jin Bao at the University of Science and Technology of China as well as Gang Han at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, developed the nanotechnology to work with the eye’s existing structures. Mar 4 2019Mice with vision enhanced by nanotechnology were able to see infrared light as well as visible light, reports a study published February 28 in the journal Cell. A single injection of nanoparticles in the mice’s eyes bestowed infrared vision for up to 10 weeks with minimal side effects, allowing them to see infrared light even during the day and with enough specificity to distinguish between different shapes. These findings could lead to advancements in human infrared vision technologies, including potential applications in civilian encryption, security, and military operations. Humans and other mammals are limited to seeing a range of wavelengths of light called visible light, which includes the wavelengths of the rainbow. But infrared radiation, which has a longer wavelength, is all around us. People, animals and objects emit infrared light as they give off heat, and objects can also reflect infrared light.last_img read more

July 18, 2019
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Repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation improves working memory study shows

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 16 2019Magnetic stimulation of the brain improves working memory, offering a new potential avenue of therapy for individuals living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, according to new research from the Duke University School of Medicine.Healthy younger and older adult participants who received a therapy called repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) performed better on a memory task than during an rTMS-like placebo in the study, which was published here in PLoS One. Source:Duke Department of NeurologyJournal reference:Beynel, L. et al. (2019) Online repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation during working memory in younger and older adults: A randomized within-subject comparison. PLoS One. doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0213707 Related StoriesRush University Medical Center offers new FDA-approved treatment for brain aneurysmsNew app created to help people reduce exposure to anticholinergic medicationsHealthy lifestyle lowers dementia risk despite genetic predispositionWorking memory is the process of recalling and then using relevant information while performing a task. It’s a key component of day-to-day tasks like driving to a new location, making a recipe, or following instructions. Individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, which will more than double by 2050, and other forms of dementia, experience progressive loss of working memory and other forms of cognition, leading to a greater risk of injury or death and reducing their ability to function without home care.Twenty-nine young adults and 18 older adults completed the study, which involved trying to remember and then reproduce a series of letters in alphabetical order. The authors applied either online high-frequency (5Hz) rTMS, or a placebo-like sham over the left prefrontal cortex, an area on the brain responsible for higher executive function. Participants of all ages who received rTMS performed better than those who received the rTMS-like placebo. This study relies on highly individualized parameters, from the selection of the stimulated target, based on fMRI activation, to the selection of the difficulty, titrated according to subjects’ performance. Now that we have shown that these specific parameters can improve performance in healthy subjects, we will be able to extend it to populations with memory deficits.”Lysianne Beynel, PhD, postdoctoral associate in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Interestingly, we only saw this effect during when participants were trying their hardest, suggesting a real use-it-or-lose it principle at work here. Contrary to much of what we hear, aging brains have a remarkable capability to remember past events and to use that information in a flexible manner. The brain stimulation applied in our study shows that older adults benefited just as much as the young.”Simon W. Davis, PhD, co-authorlast_img read more

July 18, 2019
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Walmart US CEO talks technology workers

first_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, photo Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran, left, talks with associate Shanay Bishop during tour of a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. Foran took over as CEO of the discounter’s U.S. division four years ago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Citation: Walmart US CEO talks technology, workers (2018, November 15) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-walmart-ceo-technology-workers.html Q. So do you think you’ll drop the $35 minimum order for free shipping for the holidays?A. These things are always discussed and reviewed. Sometimes that means following and other times it doesn’t. Q. Does Amazon keep you up at night? A. To be frank, lots of things keep me up at night. Amazon is one of them. Target is another. I am in Aldi stores, Lidl stores. There’s no doubt that Amazon is a significant competitor. You keep tabs. But your job is not to copy.Q. How are you approaching wages given increasing competitive pressures?A. We look at it regularly. As you can imagine, it’s a particularly large country. We’ve made a lot of progress getting ourselves from where we were to $9, then $10, and then $11 earlier on this year. We’ve got a number of stores that pay well over that now, $12, $13, $14. So we continuously review that. We then take into account what we’re doing in things like benefits so parental leave, PTO (paid time off) etc. In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, photo Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran, center, high-fives an associate during a tour of a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. Foran took over as CEO of the discounter’s U.S. division four years ago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, photo Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran answers a question during an interview inside a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. Foran took over as CEO of the discounter’s U.S. division four years ago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, photo Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran wears is employee badges during a tour of a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. Foran, who used to head Walmart’s China business, says he’s always looking to new technology that improves efficiency. Still, Foran, who crisscrosses the country twice a week to visit stores, takes delight in old-school retail basics like watching shoppers open a carton of produce. Foran took over as CEO of the discounter’s U.S. division four years ago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, photo Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran talks about the electronics department during a tour of a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. Foran took over as CEO of the discounter’s U.S. division four years ago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Q. Will there be fewer workers at Walmart stores given robotic technology?A. That’s going to play itself out. I am a big proponent of the good jobs strategy. For a lot of tasks that you used to do that were mundane, tedious, we’re now working out how we can digitize those. And then we’re creating new roles through turning stores into fulfillment centers because now we’ve got thousands of personal shoppers who are picking your order, so the jobs are changing. Foran’s obsession with the nitty-gritty details has helped lead to several years of straight quarterly sales gains for the U.S. division. But with Walmart facing competition from Amazon and other pressures, he’s also reimagining the shopping experience at Walmart’s 4,700 stores, transforming them into distribution hubs that can fill the fast-growing online orders to reduce shipping costs and speed up deliveries. To do that, Walmart has been training its 1.5 million workers at its new academies while using automation to relieve them of menial tasks.Scanning robots at a store in Houston as well as a cluster of others keep tabs of what’s on and not on the shelves and communicate that information to the automatic conveyor system that’s backed up to the truck bay. Workers with new apps on their hand-held devices manage routine tasks like price changes on the spot, freeing them to serve shoppers and even check them out.Foran, who used to head Walmart’s China business, says he’s always looking to new technology that improves efficiency. Still he takes delight in old-school retail basics like watching shoppers open a carton of produce. AP recently spoke with Foran during a tour of the Houston store about the holiday season, his views on workers and other issues. The questions and answers have been edited for clarity and length.Q. What makes this holiday season different?A. I wake up on Monday morning at 4 a.m. and the first email I look at is Amazon has gone and introduced free shipping. You’re getting competitors out there starting to up the ante. I think we’ll see more business done online, not just at Amazon but at Walmart and in other retailers. I think the fact that people like Toys R Us are out of the market has changed the environment around toys, both physical and digital offering. In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, photo Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran, right, high-fives associate Alicia Carter as she fulfills online grocery orders at a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. Foran took over as CEO of the discounter’s U.S. division four years ago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, photo Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran wears is employee badges during a tour of a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. Foran, who used to head Walmart’s China business, says he’s always looking to new technology that improves efficiency. Still, Foran, who crisscrosses the country twice a week to visit stores, takes delight in old-school retail basics like watching shoppers open a carton of produce. Foran took over as CEO of the discounter’s U.S. division four years ago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, photo Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran talks about the technology the company is using to keep shelves stocked at a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. Foran took over as CEO of the discounter’s U.S. division four years ago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) Walmart makes improvements to third-party marketplace In this Friday, Nov. 9, 2018, photo Walmart U.S. President and CEO Greg Foran answers a question during an interview inside a Walmart Supercenter in Houston. Foran took over as CEO of the discounter’s U.S. division four years ago. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip) When Walmart’s Greg Foran took over as CEO of the discounter’s U.S. division four years ago, he found messy stores with lots of items that were frequently out of stock. The 57-year-old New Zealand native dove in, making sure shelves were loaded with the most popular products and establishing controls to increase freshness in produce like strawberries.last_img read more

July 17, 2019
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HRD panel recommends 4year undergraduate degree programme on lines of scrapped FYUP

first_imgThe existing NEP was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992. The controversial Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP), which was scrapped in 2014, may make a come back as a panel constituted by the HRD Ministry has recommended the programme among undergraduate courses reforms for the new National Education Policy. The ministry officials, however, maintained that the committee has submitted its draft and no final decision has been taken yet. The draft of the new National Education Policy (NEP), formulated by a panel led by former ISRO chief K Kasturirangan, was handed over to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. He took charge as the Union Human Resource Development minister on Friday. The panel has recommended reintroduction of the four-year course as part of the undergraduate reforms.“Both three-year and four-year courses will be allowed to co-exist, but with multiple exit and entry options. The four-year programme will provide for greater rigour and allow students to conduct research optionally,” the draft said. “Students will graduate with a four-year Liberal Arts Science Education degree with Honours, or may graduate with a B Sc, BA, B Com or B Voc after completing three years with a suitable completion of credits within their subject,” it said. The four-year programme, the BLA or BLE in the chosen major and minors, will provide students the opportunity to experience the full range of liberal arts education. The three-year programme will lead to a Bachelors degree. Both programmes may lead to a degree “with Research”, if the student completes a rigorous research project as specified by the Higher Education Institute (HEI). HEIs may choose to call their three-year undergraduate degree a Bachelor of Arts, or Science, or Vocation, or the appropriate professional field, the draft report suggested.What was Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP)The Four Year Undergraduate Programme (FYUP) introduced by the Delhi University under the regime of previous Vice Chancellor Dinesh Singh was scrapped by former HRD minister Smriti Irani. The panel has also recommended an overhaul of the teacher education system with the introduction of the four year programme.“Teacher preparation for all school stages will be offered only in multidisciplinary universities through a four year programme, with the curricula and processes being revamped to address current issues with teacher preparation. “Institutions currently offering the two year programme will either transition to this mode or be phased out; no new two year programmes will be given recognition,” it said. The existing NEP was framed in 1986 and revised in 1992. A new education policy was part of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s manifesto ahead of the 2014 general election. Apart from Kasturirangan, the committee had eight members, including mathematician Manjul Bhargava. The experts also took into account the report of a panel formed by former HRD minister Smriti Irani and headed by ex-cabinet secretary T S R Subramanian. education Published on policy June 02, 2019 COMMENT SHARE SHARE EMAIL SHARE COMMENTSlast_img read more