Temperatures and wind conditions move traffic noise

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — Imagine sitting down for your early morning coffee when your nice little suburban morning is disrupted by the sound of highway traffic from a quarter mile away. When you purchased your home far from the freeway, the last thing you expected to hear was the roar of traffic, but according to a new study presented at a meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Nick Ovenden from University College London says that is exactly what can happen when the right temperatures and wind conditions are present. © 2010 PhysOrg.com 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. Ovenden worked with an Arizona team to investigate reports from some local Scottsdale, Arizona residents that had been hearing loud noises during the early morning and dusk hours. These residents lived a third of a mile away from the closest highway.By using measurements of sound levels, wind speeds and direction, and temperature, the team inputted the information into models of noise, including the prism-like effects that wind and temperature can have on sound waves.What they discovered was that under the right conditions of crosswind and temperature gradient, sound that would normally go vertical is refracted back down. The reason this occurs most often in the early mornings and at dusk is because sound bends from hotter air to cooler air.At these locations in Scottsdale, the team was able to record sounds as high as 67 decibels, which, if it lasted an hour or longer, is above what the U.S Federal Highway Administration allows without requiring that noise abatement be created. While Ovenden did not record the noise for over an hour, he does say that under the right conditions, it would be possible.While any type of meteorological effect is currently not being used with highway noise models, Ovenden believes this information shows that it should be considered when planning a new highway in order to determine just how bad noise could be in certain areas. More information: Research paper: Impact of meteorological conditions on noise propagation from freeway corridors, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. Volume 126, Issue 1, pp. 25-35 (2009) asadl.org/jasa/resource/1/jasm … 5_s1?isAuthorized=novia Discovery Newscenter_img Explore further Is your convertible damaging your hearing? Citation: Temperatures and wind conditions move traffic noise (2011, May 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-05-temperatures-conditions-traffic-noise.htmllast_img read more

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UK duo suggest early humans retained fine hair to ward off parasites

first_img(a) Detection of ectoparasites on unshaved (black bars) and shaved (white bars) arms. (b). Residual detection rate (derived from detection versus search time on unshaved arms) was positively correlated with hair index. Image: © The Royal Society 2011 doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0987 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. Suspecting that having fine short hair, rather than no hair at all would help us detect the presence of skin parasites such as bed bugs, the two set up an experiment using volunteers from the University of Sheffield where they both work, to find out. The volunteers were made up of ten women and nineteen men each of whom had one small square on one arm shaved for testing. Hungry bed bugs were then dropped onto the bare skin to see how long it took the volunteer to feel its presence. Also timed was how long it took the bed bug to pick a spot for parking and eating. The bugs were removed just before they bit. The same experiment was performed on each volunteer on the other unshaved arm as well to provide a way to compare results.After tallying up the results afterwards, the researchers found that more hair causes bed bugs to take a lot longer to find a spot to eat, which makes sense because all those little body hairs make the trip more difficult. Sort of like the difference between us humans walking down the street or wading through a dense thicket. What’s perhaps more surprising, but maybe shouldn’t be, is that the volunteers all took much longer to feel the bug crawling on their skin on the shaved patch, then on the unshaved arm, indicating that the presence of fine hair helps us to feel such parasites on our skin and to get rid of them before they can begin biting us.Not surprisingly, men were better at detecting bed bugs on the unshaved arm, due to having thicker and longer hair than women. As to why men are generally hairier looking than women, the researchers suggest it might be due to something as simple as women preferring men with fewer parasites on them, which would imply more hair. More information: Human fine body hair enhances ectoparasite detection, Biol. Lett. Published online before print December 14, 2011, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.0987AbstractAlthough we are relatively naked in comparison with other primates, the human body is covered in a layer of fine hair (vellus and terminal hair) at a relatively high follicular density. There are relatively few explanations for the evolutionary maintenance of this type of human hair. Here, we experimentally test the hypothesis that human fine body hair plays a defensive function against ectoparasites (bed bugs). Our results show that fine body hair enhances the detection of ectoparasites through the combined effects of (i) increasing the parasite’s search time and (ii) enhancing its detection. New model suggests early humans lost fur after developing bipedalism (PhysOrg.com) — Evolutionary biologists have long been puzzled by the question of why human beings have retained body hair. Most agree that changes to the fur that our ancestors sported came about as a means to keep cool in the hot African climate. So why then, didn’t we just lose our body hair completely, instead of having it change from long thick fur, to short and thin hair that makes us look like we’re mostly bald all over anyway, when actually, we still have just as many hairs as we ever did? Isabelle Dean and Michael Siva-Jothy think they’ve figured it out and have published a paper in Biology Letters explaining how they believe it’s all about warding off skin parasites. Explore further Citation: U.K. duo suggest early humans retained fine hair to ward off parasites (2011, December 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-uk-duo-early-humans-retained.html © 2011 PhysOrg.comlast_img read more

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Research team uses robot eye technology to help the blind

first_img(Phys.org) — A research team from Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris have ported technology originally developed to help robots maneuver in real world environments to Braille enabled devices that help vision impaired people do the same. 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. © 2012 Phys.Org The new technology uses a pair of glasses affixed with sensors and cameras connected to hand-held devices that allow the blind wearer to “feel” the 3D environment around them. The team from the university’s Institute of Intelligent Systems and Robotics will be presenting their findings at this month’s IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation.The new technology incorporates cameras and sensors initially developed for use with robotics technology, along with image processing hardware and software, to gather information about the surrounding environment. From there though, the two technologies diverge. Instead of the data collected being routed to AI systems for use by a robot, it moves instead to a processor that converts 3D imagery to Braille signals that are passed along to real-time Braille devices in the hands of the person using the device. The result, the team says, is situational awareness unlike anything else currently available to assist the blind in moving around without benefit of a cane, guide dog or other assistive device.Two create true 3D imagery, the system uses two cameras on each side of the glasses, which are connected to an image processor that picks out objects, edges and other pertinent details of the view ahead. From that, a map is generated to represent the scene from the user’s perspective. That map, along with data from a gyroscope and accelerometers that provide information about speed and current location, is then converted by another processor to a series of signals that are sent to the Braille devices in the hand. Each is a flat pad with pins that can be raised or lowered using heat, to create a virtual tactile real-time image of the surrounding environment. And because the system generates new maps at a rate of about ten per second, the user is able to move, the developers say, at walking speed through a real world environment.Only time will tell of course, just how useful the new technology will be, as those that use it will likely develop a connection with the system over time akin to the way others grow accustomed to keyboards, canes and guide dogs, and only they will be able to judge whether new systems such as this are as useful as they appear in demonstrations.Via NewScientist ‘Sound of Football’ project allows blind to play football (w/ video) Explore further Citation: Research team uses robot eye technology to help the blind (2012, May 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-05-team-robot-eye-technology.htmllast_img read more

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Walking iPads to move into telepresence robot market w Video

first_img More information: www.doublerobotics.com/ Founded in 2011, Double Robotics is placing its product on pre-order, and it is an iPad-based platform called Double. This in essence is your “robot,” a mobile base with mounting bracket for the iPad, a robot imbued with technology that allows you to ask and say and learn what you want while being inhabited in the Double.The fifteen-pound device is functional out of the box once plugged in. and Double’s self-balancing sensors keep itself upright. Once you log into the iPad it lets you travel throughout the room, decide which height, and talk to people. Setting up Double app involves downloading the app. The same app is used for the driver’s iPad and the robot’s iPad. Connecting to Double happens by tapping its icon, which will start an interactive video call. During the call, you can maneuver the driving controls. According to the site’s instructions, you can drive from an iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or desktop web browser. Streaming two-way audio and video allow conversations with others. The Double app uses a video service for iOS-to-iOS calls from OpenTok. An important feature is that the iPad can be extended vertically from three and a half to five feet to maintain eye level with people sitting or standing. As the company video indicates, this increases the comfort level of the person speaking to the Double device.The device has a self-balancing dual wheel base. The Double can move around for a full work day on one charge. An internal rechargeable Lithium Ion battery provides up to eight hours of normal use. Double is able to recharge to full capacity in about two hours, using a provided AC to DC wall adapter. When not in motion, the device automatically deploys kickstands. The product could also amend the concept of teleconferencing, which has limitations in that many modern-day collaborations are more fluid and mobile in nature. A Segway type device could spell the difference in being able to visit a lab, participate in an international project, witness a remote museum exhibit, and more. Double would, in simple terms, enable any worker to communicate with remote teams. The price for Double is relatively low in the telepresence robot category. The pre-order price is $1,999, excluding the iPad. A user would need to provide the iPad, and it would need to be second and third generation. First generation iPads are not supported because they lack a camera.Founders include David Cann designer and iOS developer, and electrical/embedded systems engineer Marc DeVidts. The company operates out of Mountain View, and fabricates robot components from its shop in Miami, Florida. The product will ship to customers in December. Citation: Walking iPads to move into telepresence robot market (w/ Video) (2012, August 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-08-ipads-telepresence-robot-video.html © 2012 Phys.orgcenter_img (Phys.org) — Your body double is at a last-minute convention huddle, exhibition, all-staff meeting on another continent, and you are in control. Such is the dream, to be in a work age that commonly includes telepresence and excludes the need to fly or take a train every time there is an event you need or wish to attend. Such is the reality, in a new device from a Mountain View, California, startup, Double Robotics. Apple says shipment of new iPad may take 2-3 weeks 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. Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Study highlights risk of mosquito borne illnesses to captive orca

first_imgA killer whale leaps out of the water when swimming—a behaviour known as porpoising. Credit: Minette Layne/Wikipedia/CC More information: Orca (Orcinus Orca) Captivity and Vulnerability to Mosquito-transmitted Viruses. Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology. Vol. 5, No.2. 2013. (PDF) Three dead in Serbian West Nile virus outbreak (Phys.org) —Marine biologists John Jett and Jeffrey Ventra of Stetson University and Louisiana State University respectively have published a paper in Journal of Marine Animals and Their Ecology that suggests captive orca may be more at risk of dying from mosquito borne illnesses than has been previously thought. Citation: Study highlights risk of mosquito borne illnesses to captive orca (2013, May 31) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-05-highlights-mosquito-borne-illnesses-captive.html In their paper Jett and Ventra note that two captive orcas have died from mosquito born ailments since the animals became tourist attractions at water parks. One was a 25 year old male that died of encephalitis in 1990, the other a 14 year old male that died of West Nile Virus in 2007. Both highlight the fact that orca are subject to mosquito bites and because of that are at risk of contracting mosquito borne illnesses.To learn more about the problem the researchers studied the habits of the whales at water parks. They found that orca engage in a practice known as logging, where they simply float on the surface of the water rather than engage in swimming or diving. When logging, they note, mosquitoes congregate on the exposed surfaces of the whales, biting them. The two also noted that the whales are subject to sunburn, which they say, reduces immunity response to illness. Another problem is captive orca have substantial dental health problems which can lead to bacterial infections which in turn can also weaken an immune response.The two also point out that because Congress mandated that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric and Administration keep track of captive orca, records exist of whale births and deaths. In looking at the record they discovered that the whale that died of West Nile Virus in 2007 was listed as having died of pneumonia, suggesting that other whale deaths might have been listed incorrectly as well.The problem, the two say is that water parks are typically located in areas near other facilities that have standing water, which make them prime breeding grounds for mosquitoes. Also, there is no known way to apply sunscreen or mosquito repellant to orca to protect them. They also note that using fogging chemicals around water parks doesn’t appear to be a solution either as most research has shown it to be ineffective as well as hazardous. Curiously, not discussed is the possibility of covering water park tanks with mosquito netting. In any case, Jett and Ventra suggest that more research be done to ascertain whether anything can be done to make life safer for captive orca. © 2013 Phys.org 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. Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Best of Last Week – Neutrino oscillations photo of the moon and

first_img(Phys.org)—It was another good week for physics as one researcher, Roman Schnabel, a professor at the Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics, unveiled a plan for entangling massive objects—specifically two 0.1 kg mass mirrors—if the idea can be carried out in an experiment, it would represent a huge leap forward in entangling objects. Also, a team with the University of California cooled the world’s quietest gas to allow them to hear faint quantum effects—at just a billionth of a degree above absolute zero it had the lowest entropy ever recorded. Citation: Best of Last Week – Neutrino oscillations, photo of the moon and Earth and neuro impact of body posture during sleep (2015, August 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-08-week-neutrino-oscillations-photo-moon.html Explore further © 2015 Phys.org 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.center_img Another team working with the NOvA Fermilab experiment saw neutrinos change over 500 miles—allowing the team to measure oscillations of the tiny particles, and in the process prove that the detector built to study them actually works as planned. Also, another group of four researchers from the U.K., Singapore, Australia and Italy theorized that faster battery charging may be had by using a quantum battery—via energy stored as qubit quantum states.There was important space news as well, as one team of astronomers studying data from the Kepler Observatory discovered a tenth transiting “Tatooine”—where a planet orbits two stars. Also, a team of Hungarian and US researchers announced that they had found the largest feature in the universe—a ring of galaxies 5 billion light years across. And from a million miles away, a NASA camera showed the moon crossing the face of Earth—which showed its lighted “dark” side.In other news, a team of researchers working in Singapore asked, can genes make us liberal or conservative? They conducted a study that included surveying 1,771 university students and found evidence that suggested genetics might play a role in our political leanings—more specifically, they found a gene variant that appeared to be linked to contributing to liberal versus conservative views. And a King’s college study offered the first genetic analysis of people with extremely high intelligence—they found a genetic difference in the top 0.03 per cent of intelligent people.And finally, if you have been worrying about developing a neurological disease, there may be something you can do to reduce your chances—sleep on your side. A team of researchers with Stony Brook University found evidence that suggests physical positioning during slumber can impact the body’s ability to remove unneeded material in the brain. It was all part of a study looking into the question: could body posture during sleep affect how your brain clears waste? Physicist unveils plan for entangling massive objects Illustration of the Michelson interferometer setup for the generation of an EPR-entangled motion of two massive mirrors that are suspended as pendula. If the mirrors are well isolated from the environment, radiation pressure leads to entanglement between the motion of the mirror and the field quadratures of the reflected light field in each arm. Superimposing the two light fields and balanced homodyne detection at the two output ports (1, 2) enables entanglement swapping that continuously generates an EPR-entangled motion of the mirrors. Residual coupling to the environment continuously destroys the entanglement, such that the entanglement will be present continuously but only over some finite short-time interval. To achieve the required state purity at nonzero temperatures, conditional states of motion need to be defined. Credit: Phys. Rev. A 92, 012126 – Published 28 July 2015. DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevA.92.012126last_img read more

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Amino acid in fruit fly intestines found to regulate sleep

first_img Researchers find oxidative stress plays a role in telling fruit flies when to sleep Scientists have known about D-serine for many years, but thought that it only existed in bacteria. Recently, however, researchers found that humans also produce the amino acid, as do fruit flies. But until now, it was not known what function it served. In this new effort, the researchers found that, at least in fruit flies, it helps regulate sleep.To learn more about the amino acid, the researchers edited the genes of fly specimens to halt its production and found that doing so resulted in the flies sleeping only half as much as normal flies. But they also found something else. Fruit flies actually produce D-serine in two places—in their intestines and their brains. Logic would suggest that the acid produced in the brain would be the one associated with sleep, but the researchers found that the opposite was true. When they turned off the genes that controlled production of the enzyme, serine racemase, which syntheses D-serine in the intestines, the flies slept less, but when they did the same for those made in the brain, they saw no change in sleep habits.The researchers report that they have no idea how an amino acid produced in the intestines can impact sleep patterns, noting that sleep regulation is probably carried out by the central nervous system. Prior research has shown that sleep is a very old evolutionary development, which suggests its control is likely similar across species. They suggest that more research is needed to find the answers to other questions surrounding D-serine—for instance, is it produced in other parts of the body? Does it play a role in regulating sleep in humans, and if so, how? A team of researchers affiliated with several institutions in China has found that an amino acid made in fruit fly intestines plays a key role in regulating their sleep. In their paper published in the journal Nature Communications, the group describes their study of D-serine in Drosophila melanogaster and what they found. More information: D-Serine made by serine racemase in Drosophila intestine plays a physiological role in sleep, Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-09544-9 , https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-019-09544-9 Citation: Amino acid in fruit fly intestines found to regulate sleep (2019, May 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-amino-acid-fruit-intestines.html © 2019 Science X Networkcenter_img Drosophila melanogaster. Credit: Wikipedia/CC BY-SA 2.5 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. Journal information: Nature Communicationslast_img read more

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As within so without

first_imgHe seems desperate to search the reflection of self, in the blue water below. The artist Madan Lal leaves it to the viewers to follow the quest and find the answer to the reflection that eludes like a mirage.The artist used symbols of organic elements like floral patterns, egrets, lotus, germination of seeds, among other, to find their place along with the fast pace of technology symbolized by the steering wheel, globe, kettle, glasses, watches. Each canvas is like a book which in the initial glance attracts with a visual appeal, but when looked at more closely requires an attentive mind, to understand many interwoven aspects and elements, that could range from mundane life to a spiritual seeking. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’One of his paintings titled Face within – 3, depicts the human face, time and again, stands out from the crowd comprising of everyday elements symbolized by the kettle, glasses, germinating plants, geometric patterns are seen.Lal’s works do not have any melancholic effect and are rather visually very appealing. Moreover, his works are a kaleidoscope of life experiences that always find their space in some nook or corner of his composition. When asked about the inspiration behind the works the artist quotes famous writer Khalil Gibran ‘Whenever I come to the fountain to drink, I find the living water itself thirsty.’When: Till 10 NovemberWhere: Shridharni Art Gallerylast_img read more

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Rural people will soundly beat unholy nexus of Opposition says Partha

first_imgKolkata: The rural populace will defeat the “unholy alliance” of CPI-M, Congress and BJP in the forthcoming Panchayat election, scheduled to be held on May 14, Partha Chatterjee, Secretary General of Trinamool Congress, said on Thursday.He said Trinamool is fully ready to face the election, as the party workers go to the people and serve them throughout the year. In the past seven years, massive development has taken place in rural Bengal. “The communication has improved because of construction of new roads and the maintenance of the existing ones. The economic standard of the people has also improved and the students are getting scholarships. The rural people have seen how the development work is being carried out,” Chatterjee said.Coming down heavily on the Opposition, he said “The Opposition did not keep faith on the people and instead moved the Court with a motive to spoil the election. They have no contacts with people and so, an unholy alliance has been formed between CPI-M, Congress and BJP.”Chatterjee said that Congress and CPI-M had formed an unholy alliance against Trinamool in the 2016 Assembly election. The people had defeated the alliance, which was not formed on the basis of any principle, he said.”CPI-M and Congress has again formed an alliance and this time, they have BJP on their side. The people are against the alliance, which has been formed without any principle and will defeat them,” said Chatterjee.Chatterjee said that the Opposition is not saying a single word on the development that has taken place in rural Bengal. From roads to drinking water, there has been total development. “The Opposition think that they can conduct the election from their homes,” he said, adding that the leaders should go to the people instead.Meanwhile, BJP state president Dilip Ghosh and one of the party’s senior leaders Pratap Banerjee, have given contradictory views on the Court judgment. While Ghosh said the people will vote and the State Election Commission should ensure their safety and security, Banerjee expressed his displeasure over the judgment.last_img read more

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80 people die in city daily due to air pollution

first_imgIn a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar said that polluted air, particularly the respirable particulate matter is one of the several factors responsible for morbidity and premature deaths. “An international study released recently has claimed that foul air is killing up to 80 people a day in Delhi. The numbers of premature deaths given in the study are based on the constructive estimates and extrapolations of data,” the minister said. Also Read – Company director arrested for swindling Rs 345 croreHe said that government had sponsored two studies in Delhi, “Epidemiological Study on Effects of Air Pollution on Human Health in Delhi” during 2002-2005 and “Study on Ambient Air Quality, Respiratory Symptoms and Lung Function of Children in Delhi” which was carried out during 2003-2005. “The studies indicate that several pulmonary and systemic immunity and damage to chromosomes and DNA and other health impairments are associated with cumulative exposure to high level of particulate pollution that increases the risk of various diseases including respiratory and cardiovascular diseases,” Javadekar said.  Also Read – Man who cheated 20 women on matrimonial websites arrestedHe also added that of 2,800 highly polluting industries required to install online monitoring systems, industries have set up 920 such devices as on June 30. In a written reply in Rajya Sabha, Environment and Forests Minister Prakash Javadekar said that 2,800 industries under 17 categories of highly polluting industries are required to install online monitoring system.Of these, the industries have installed 920 devices, he said. Javadekar said that grossly polluting industries located in the Ganga basin are also required to install online monitoring system for effluents.“The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued directions to direct all industries falling under 17 categories of highly polluting industries to install online effluent/emission monitoring system inluding (those of) public sector like Steel Authority of India Limited, National Aluminium Company Limited and National Thermal Power Corporation Limited,” he said.last_img read more

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