Plants and caterpillars make the same cyanide

first_imgThe larva was stimulated to secrete defence droplets (marked by white circles) containing the two cyanogenic glucosides linamarin and lotaustralin. Scale bar, ~2 cm. Image credit: NPG, doi:10.1038/ncomms1271 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. Convergent evolution describes how two unrelated species acquire the same biological trait. In this case, Jensen discusses the cyanide-making abilities of both the plant and the caterpillars. While the poison in both is identical, as is the process they are made, both species abilities evolved separately, though using a similar trinity of genes.The burnet moth is able to eat the cyanide leaves of the trefoil and scientists believed that this was how the caterpillar was able to store and use cyanide. However, raising these caterpillars on non-cyanide producing plants, they learned that the caterpillars were making their own.Both the caterpillar and the plant create two cyanides, linamarin and lotaustralin, that are created from the same amino acids, valine and isoleucine. They knew that the trefoil used three genes to convert the amino acids into the cyanides and when they examined the skin of the caterpillars for similar genes, they discovered that the caterpillar utilizes a similar genetic trinity, though the DNA in both the plants’ and the caterpillars’ genes look nothing like the other.Jensen also discovered that both species produce similar shaped proteins even though the genes are of different sequence. The genes of the caterpillar are more closely related to those found in the silkworm, while the genes within the trefoil are close to that of mustard cress. While this is not the first example of convergent evolution across kingdoms, previous findings have found all others reaching that point via different chemical reactions, this discovery of the trefoil and caterpillar creating cyanide from amino acids using the identical chemical reactions is a first. Alien caterpillars found on Oahu (PhysOrg.com) — With an amazing example of convergent evolution, Niels Bjerg Jensen of the University of Copenhagen published a report in Nature Communications discussing the bird’s-foot trefoil plant and the burnet moth and their ability to produce cyanide. © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further More information: Convergent evolution in biosynthesis of cyanogenic defence compounds in plants and insects, Nature Communications 2, Article number: 273 doi:10.1038/ncomms1271 Citation: Plants and caterpillars make the same cyanide (2011, April 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-caterpillars-cyanide.htmllast_img read more

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Wrinkletraveling Clothbot makes its IEEE debut w Video

first_img Explore further Berkeley robot uses tiny, spiny toes to climb cloth More information: via IEEE Spectrum (Phys.org) — As any gathering of scientists working with robots will suggest, attempts toward perfecting techniques and outcomes of grasping and maneuvering are key issues for researchers working on climbing robots. At this week’s IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation in Saint Paul, Minnesota, the robotics community got to see what a Chinese team has achieved in its presentation of Clothbot. This is a climbing robot that easily climbs up your pants or shirt. The Clothbot is small and lightweight, which did not deter from bloggers’ reactions that the device was “creepy.” System and Design of Clothbot: a Robot for Flexible Clothes Climbing, by Yuanyuan Liu, Xinyu Wu, Huihuan Qian, Duan Zheng, Jianquan Sun and Yangsheng Xu from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and the Chinese University of Hong Kong, was presented Tuesday at the IEEE event. They have come up with a climbing robot with special features that they say include high maneuverability on “flexible” clothes. Clothbot has an omni-directional tail of two DOFs, say the authors, so that it can change its center of gravity to control the moving direction on complex clothes. Consequently, Clothbot can access most positions by moving straight and turning around, with only four motors. The other feature they point to is Clothbot’s gripper design, consisting of two parallel wheels that can grip continuously and stably on various kinds of clothes. Clothbot’s gripping mechanism creates cloth wrinkles and then proceeds up the wrinkle. Those who watched the Cloithbot video concluded that all the robots need are wrinkles to really get going; the robots use the wrinkles to move along, inspiring, for the researchers anyway, ideas for end applications such as electronic toys or very upwardly mobile phones for users at times when they need to be hands-free.The Clothbot will not leave a lot of marks as a result of its movements; only slight folds remain. The authors suggest besides an application as a tiny pet device climbing on human bodies or a climbing phone that the Clothbot can be applied for body inspection. Clothbot is but one of many design and development efforts toward creating climbing robots that can be used in civilian and military applications. Observers say that progress has been made but the technology of climbing and walking robots still represents a challenging research area. © 2012 Phys.Org Citation: Wrinkle-traveling Clothbot makes its IEEE debut (w/ Video) (2012, May 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-wrinkle-traveling-clothbot-ieee-debut-video.html 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.last_img read more

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Study suggests genetic basis for samesex sexual behavior offers evolutionary advantage

first_img Citation: Study suggests genetic basis for same-sex sexual behavior offers evolutionary advantage (2015, May 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-05-genetic-basis-same-sex-sexual-behavior.html Drosophila sp fly. Credit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim / Wikipedia. GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 Explore further (Phys.org)—A trio of researchers with the University of St. Andrews in the U.K. has found what appears to be an evolutionary advantage for same-sex sexual behavior in fruit flies. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Jessica Hoskins, Michael Ritchie and Nathan Bailey describe their research with the flies and what they found by doing so. Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B Scientists have insisted for years that despite the seeming paradox, there must be an evolutionary advantage for same-sex sexual behavior (SSB)—if there weren’t, the behavior would disappear due to natural selection, but thus far, they haven’t been able to find it. In this new effort, the researchers describe experiments they carried out with fruit flies that led to evidence of just such an advantage.In their study, the team began with the assumption that prior research has suggested that a possible evolutional advantage might be related to over-dominance and sexual antagonism—they carried out 2,320 behavioral trials, which consisted of putting flies together in a container and watching how they behaved with one another, most specifically recording instances of licking, singing and abdomen curling (attempts at mounting) of both opposite gender and same gender male flies under a variety of conditions, such as changes in temperature, degree of inbreeding in a line, etc.In analyzing all the data they had amassed, the team noted one factor that stood out, males passing on a genetic factor to females resulting in increased fecundity (rate of producing healthy offspring). More specifically, they found that males with a family tree full of males exhibiting SSB tendencies tended to cause an increase in fertility rates when they mated with females. The team did not search for the genes they believe are responsible for the genetic factor, but insist their study suggests that a genetic mechanism exists that allows for the maintenance of persistent (and low) levels of SSB in the fruit flies they studied. They also suggest their work highlights the need for more research on SSB in other creatures besides humans—they noted that they were able to find just one other study that had looked into finding a genetic reason for SSB persistence in any other species.center_img © 2015 Phys.org Researchers find evolutionary reasons for homosexual behavior in beetles More information: A test of genetic models for the evolutionary maintenance of same-sex sexual behaviour, Published 27 May 2015. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.0429 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.last_img read more

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Supernova SN 2018byg triggered by a heliumshell double detonation study finds

first_img © 2019 Science X Network Supernovae (SNe) are energetic stellar explosions basically classified as Type I and Type II, depending on their light curves and nature of their spectra. Type I SNe are divided into three subclasses: Ia, Ib and Ic. Type Ia SNe are believed to be the result of the explosion of a carbon-oxygen white dwarf in a binary as it goes over the so-called Chandrasehkar limit (1.4 solar masses), either due to accretion from a donor or mergers.First spotted on May 4, 2018, SN 2018byg (also known as ZTF 18aaqeasu or ATLAS 18pqq) is one of many interesting Type Ia SNe. A team of astronomers led by Kishalay De of California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has carried out an observational campaign of this supernova using various ground-based telescopes and spacecraft. These observations provided important insights on the origin of this stellar explosion.”In this paper, we present observations of ZTF 18aaqeasu, a peculiar Type I SN that exhibits remarkable similarities to expected signatures of a He-shell double detonation on a white dwarf,” the researchers wrote in the paper.As noted in the study, De and colleagues assume that in the case of SN 2018byg, the explosion was most likely triggered by a detonation of a helium-shell on a white dwarf. In particular, observations show that the outer layers of the ejecta are unusually rich in iron (Fe) group elements. This, according to the astronomers, could indicate a decay of radioactive elements in the outermost ejecta for an explosion powered by a helium-shell detonation.Furthermore, the study found that photometric and nucleosynthetic properties of SN 2018byg are several similarities to sub-luminous Type Ia SNe. However, its peak photospheric spectra have extremely strong line blanketing features and red colors, what is unusual for Type Ia SNe.In order to explain these properties of SN 2018byg, the researchers compared the data to various models. They found that the most plausible hypothesis explaining SN 2018byg’s peculiarity is the detonation of a massive (around 0.15 solar masses) helium-shell on a white dwarf with a mass of about 0.75 solar masses.”We show that the peculiar properties of ZTF 18aaqeasu are consistent with the detonation of a massive (≈ 0.15 M) helium shell on a sub-Chandrasekhar mass (≈ 0.75 M) white dwarf after including mixing of ≈ 0.2 M of material in the outer ejecta,” the authors of the paper concluded.The researchers added that the properties and origin of SN 2018byg make this supernova one of its kind. Their study suggests that helium-shell double detonations must be intrinsically rare in the population of thermonuclear supernovae. Citation: Supernova SN 2018byg triggered by a helium-shell double detonation, study finds (2019, January 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-01-supernova-sn-2018byg-triggered-helium-shell.html Simulations uncover why some supernova explosions produce so much manganese and nickel Detection field and host galaxy of ZTF 18aaqeasu. The top panel is an archival SDSS image of the region while the lower panel shows an image taken with WASP on P200. The location of the transient is marked with the white circle – it is at a projected offset of ≈ 17.2” corresponding to a physical projected distance of 21.9 kpc at the host galaxy redshift. Credit: De et al., 2019. Astronomers have recently conducted photometric and spectroscopic observations of SN 2018byg, a peculiar Type Ia supernova. Results of these observations, presented in a paper published January 3 on the arXiv pre-print server, suggest that this cosmic explosion was caused by double detonation of a massive helium shell. Explore further More information: Kishalay De et al. ZTF 18aaqeasu (SN 2018byg): A Massive Helium-shell Double Detonation on a Sub-Chandrasekhar Mass White Dwarf. arXiv:1901.00874 [astro-ph.HE]. arxiv.org/abs/1901.00874 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.last_img read more

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Of Gods and fairytales

first_imgAn art exhibition inspired by the fairy tale characters Cinderella and Snow White, and the Indian god, Ganesha, will be on display here 28-30 June.Artist Seema Chaudhary’s Chromophore series showcases love, longing, patient waiting and happiness.’I have been inspired by the fairy tales Cinderella and Snow White. These stories are part of every girl’s fantasy, and through the paintings, I express childlike and innocent feelings in a simple manner,’ Chaudhary said. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Using multiple layers and rich textures in acrylic and oil pastels, Chaudhary has essayed the expression in the eyes of a woman waiting for her lover to return to her. Nitin Chaudhary’s inspiration is Lord Ganesha, the elephant-headed deity, in various forms. Using vibrant colours in the background, and geometric and self-textured patterns in black and white, Nitin has tried to create balance between forms, lines and colours.This one’s for the art lovers – head over!last_img read more

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Man awarded 10 years imprisonment for assaulting minor

first_imgKolkata: The Sealdah Court awarded ten years of imprisonment to one Santosh Thakur on charges of sexual assault on a minor hailing from Cossipore area in north Kolkata. The accused was also directed to pay Rs 3 lakh as compensation to the victim.Santosh, a resident of Bihar, who was living at her relative’s house in Kolkata had fled with the 14-year-old girl who was his neighbour on September 12, 2017. He allegedly raped him inside a train bound for Danapur.last_img

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Lanka CJ wants diplomatic post to quit office

first_imgThe top judge’s reported demand has triggered a face-off with the Maithripala Sirisena government and drawn rebukes from the judiciary. Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL) President Upul Jayasuriya said Peiris has made a diplomatic posting to the UK, Brazil or Italy the condition of his resignation.“The Bar does not want a Chief Justice who begs for diplomatic postings,” Jayasuriya told Daily FT.Jayasuriya told the daily that the association would meet tomorrow to decide if lawyers would continue to work under Peiris.“We will take whatever action we can take. We don’t want to serve under this kind of beggar Chief Justice,” he said.The tussle between the new government and the Chief Justice came to the fore on Wednesday after ministers of the ruling party said Peiris had agreed to step down, while the Chief Justice insisted he has not resigned.Peiris is under pressure to step down because of his controversial appointment as the head of the judiciary and his alleged presence at the Temple Trees on January 9, when an alleged attempt to trigger a coup was made by former president Mahinda Rajapaksa.Peiris, who was appointed 44th Chief Justice by Rajapaksa after the impeachmenet of Shirani Bandaranayake, is one of the suspects in the investigation into the alleged coup attempt.Media reports in Sri Lanka suggested that Bandaranayake could be to be reinstated after Peiris demits office.last_img read more

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So you think you can dance

first_imgPut your dancing shoes on as there’s going to be a ‘dance explosion’ in the Capital. Urshilla Dance Company is organising a dance competition called Dance Explosion…B Fab. It is an initiative to promote excellent young talent that usually goes unrecognised.Entry to all college students based on their ID cards are free. 475 dancers including 25 groups have registered till now. The entire competition will be divided into four categories – solo and duet, performances by NGO dance teams, choreography teams of Delhi university, and free style dance. Some underprivileged children will also be participating in the competition.  The whole focus is to wipe the status bar and develop mutual respect and appreciation for artists whether he is from an affluent family or from a humble background. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Leading dance company Sadhya – Unit of Performing Arts and an internationally acclaimed dancer Rahul Goswami will also be performing. The judges are dance director Mandeep Raikhy, Chhau artist Brandy Leary and Amith Kumar from. Internationally acclaimed choreographer SAntosh Nair will be holding a talk discussing different issues. Dance company Brooklyn Academy of dance and arts will also take the stage. Dance Explosion is an initiative to help youth feel empowered. It aims to help youth feel a sense of direction and motivation towards the performing arts, specially for the NGO’ dancers and the soloists out of whom some come from very poor backgrounds. Most of these youth manage to save funds to build on their competition out of their own initiative. The whole incentive of this event is to bring a change in the mindsets of people towards dance as a career. And to also broaden the horizon of dance in India.When: April 2Where: LTG Auditorium, Copernicus Marg Timing: 9.30 am onwardslast_img read more

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Fear of trying new food linked to low selfesteem

first_imgChildren who are hesitant to try new food even during their adolescence may have a poor diet and also suffer from low self-esteem and anxiety problems, suggests new research.However, forcing them to try such foods at the dining table against their will may also backfire, the researchers warned. To avoid this problem it is important that there exists a strong parental bond with the child, said researcher Edurne Maiz from University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU) in Spain. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’She also recommended, “Having a relaxed, pleasant atmosphere at meal times, that the children should participate in preparing the food and doing the shopping, using positive reinforcements and, finally, being a good model”.The behaviour involving rejection of new foodstuffs is a typical phase in infant development, above all in two- to tree-year-olds and which subsides around the age of five.Maiz conducted the study on 831 school children between the ages of eight and 16.  In the study, she used questionnaires on infant neophobia—in which the participants were asked about whether they were prepared to eat new foodstuffs. The neophobic participants displayed a lower quality index in terms of the Mediterranean diet, and this is mainly due to the reduced consumption of fruit and vegetables and an increase in foods regarded as being for occasional consumption. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixBoth in childhood and adolescence, the neophobes were more anxious than their peers.  Likewise, with respect to self-esteem, neophobes scored in childhood less than those who like to try new food in the five dimensions —family, social, physical, emotional and academic—studied within self-concept. In adolescence, too, their scores in family and physical self-concept were lower.last_img read more

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Ensure ventilation for healthy indoor air

first_imgA single sunbeam can wash away all the darkness. Make sure your house is well-ventilated with a lot of sunlight making its way indoors and also decorate your abode with plants to improve air quality where you live, says an expert. Here are a few tips which can ensure a healthy indoor air quality:* Regularly keep a watch on indoor humidity: Too much humidity can cause mould, increase allergens and potential illness. So, strategically place temperature and humidity sensors in all the rooms, as well as in the basement.* Minimise use of chemical pollutants in homes: Minimise the use of harsh cleaners, solvent-based cleaners or cleaners with strong fragrances in homes.* Maintain cleanliness: Wash pillows, bed-sheets and the comforters on weekly basis to reduce the risk of allergens, including dust mites.* Ensure proper ventilation: Make sure that fireplaces, heaters and exhaust fans and other appliances are vented to the outside well away from the windows. It is also important to ensure that all the mechanical filters fit well and that they are changed periodically.* Grow indoor plants: Indoor plants can serve as natural air purifiers, helping you breathe easier.* Use air purifiers: Use an air purifier that kills all harmful substances like pollen dust, allergens, virus, mould, gases and foul smell not just from the air but also from the surface of things kept indoors which helps in creating a neutral and fresh environment to breathe easy and safe air.last_img read more

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