Search This Blog

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Green energy and future fuel

Green energy

A solar trough array is an example of green energy
The term Green energy is used to describe sources of energy which are considered environmentally friendly, non-polluting; and therefore may provide a remedy to the systemic effects of certain forms of pollution, and Global warming.
Green energy is commonly thought of in the context of electricity, heating, and cogeneration, and is becoming increasingly available. Consumers, businesses, and organizations may purchase green energy in order to support further development, help reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity generation, and increase their nation’s energy independence. Renewable energy certificates (Green certificates, or green tags) have been one way for consumers and businesses to support green energy. Over 35 million homes in Europe, and 1 million in the United States, are purchasing such certificates.
Additionally, some governments have drafted specific definitions for Green energy or similar terms which may be eligible for subsidies or other support for related technologies.
Renewable energy is energy generated from natural resources—such as sunlight[2], wind, rain, tides and geothermal heat—which are renewable (naturally replenished). Renewable energy technologies include solar power, wind power, hydroelectricity, micro hydro, biomass and biofuels.
In 2006, about 18% of global final energy consumption came from renewables, with 13% coming from traditional biomass, such as wood-burning. Hydropower was the next largest renewable source, providing 3%, followed by hot water/heating, which contributed 1.3%. Modern technologies, such as geothermal, wind, solar, and ocean energy together provided some 0.8% of final energy consumption. The technical potential for their use is very large, exceeding all other readily available sources.
Renewable energy technologies are sometimes criticised for being intermittent or unsightly, yet the market is growing for many forms of renewable energy. Wind power is growing at the rate of 30 percent annually, with a worldwide installed capacity of over 100 GW,and is widely used in several European countries and the United States. The manufacturing output of the photovoltaics industry reached more than 2,000 MW in 2006,and photovoltaic (PV) power stations are particularly popular in Germany. Solar thermal power stations operate in the USA and Spain, and the largest of these is the 354 MW SEGS power plant in the Mojave Desert. . The world's largest geothermal power installation is The Geysers in California, with a rated capacity of 750 MW.Brazil has one of the largest renewable energy programs in the world, involving production of ethanol fuel from sugar cane, and ethanol now provides 18 percent of the country's automotive fuel. Ethanol fuel is also widely available in the USA.
While there are many large-scale renewable energy projects and production, renewable technologies are also suited to small off-grid applications, sometimes in rural and remote areas, where energy is often crucial in human development.Kenya has the world's highest household solar ownership rate with roughly 30,000 small (20–100 watt) solar power systems sold per year.
Climate change concerns coupled with high oil prices, peak oil and increasing government support are driving increasing renewable energy legislation, incentives and commercialization. European Union leaders reached an agreement in principle in March 2007 that 20 percent of their nations' energy should be produced from renewable fuels by 2020, as part of its drive to cut emissions of carbon dioxide, blamed in part for global warming.[14] Investment capital flowing into renewable energy climbed from $80 billion in 2005 to a record $100 billion in 2006. This level of investment combined with continuing double digit percentage increases each year has moved what once was considered alternative energy to mainstream. Wind was the first to provide 1% of electricity, but solar is not far behind.Some very large corporations such as BP, General Electric, Sharp, and Royal Dutch Shell are investing in the renewable energy sector.

Green Energy Resources is dedicated to working with power generating utilities, government, and corporations for carbon emission strategies, and is the only American company selected to supply the Euro Energy Group.Green Energy Resources is Europe and America's first choice for reliable, low cost, high quality, high BTU/ KCAL heating valued wood fiber fuels. Green Energy Resources is the only American company to offer, the stringent UTCS environmental certification, and is 100% Kyoto compliant. Products include biomass, and woodchips for direct energy and gasification, as well as sawdust, to reduce coal-polluting emissions in co-firing

Stem Cell : Why so important?

Stem cells have the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body. Serving as a sort of repair system for the body, they can theoretically divide without limit to replenish other cells as long as the person or animal is still alive. When a stem cell divides, each new cell has the potential to either remain a stem cell or become another type of cell with a more specialized function, such as a muscle cell, a red blood cell, or a brain cell.

I. Introduction
Research on stem cells is advancing knowledge about how an organism develops from a single cell and how healthy cells replace damaged cells in adult organisms. This promising area of science is also leading scientists to investigate the possibility of cell-based therapies to treat disease, which is often referred to as regenerative or reparative medicine.
Stem cells are one of the most fascinating areas of biology today. But like many expanding fields of scientific inquiry, research on stem cells raises scientific questions as rapidly as it generates new discoveries.
The NIH developed this primer to help readers understand the answers to questions such as: What are stem cells? What different types of stem cells are there and where do they come from? What is the potential for new medical treatments using stem cells? What research is needed to make such treatments a reality?


A. What are stem cells and why are they important?

Stem cells have two important characteristics that distinguish them from other types of cells. First, they are unspecialized cells that renew themselves for long periods through cell division. The second is that under certain physiologic or experimental conditions, they can be induced to become cells with special functions such as the beating cells of the heart muscle or the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas.
Scientists primarily work with two kinds of stem cells from animals and humans: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells, which have different functions and characteristics that will be explained in this document. Scientists discovered ways to obtain or derive stem cells from early mouse embryos more than 20 years ago. Many years of detailed study of the biology of mouse stem cells led to the discovery, in 1998, of how to isolate stem cells from human embryos and grow the cells in the laboratory. These are called human embryonic stem cells. The embryos used in these studies were created for infertility purposes through in vitro fertilization procedures and when they were no longer needed for that purpose, they were donated for research with the informed consent of the donor.
Stem cells are important for living organisms for many reasons. In the 3- to 5-day-old embryo, called a blastocyst, stem cells in developing tissues give rise to the multiple specialized cell types that make up the heart, lung, skin, and other tissues. In some adult tissues, such as bone marrow, muscle, and brain, discrete populations of adult stem cells generate replacements for cells that are lost through normal wear and tear, injury, or disease.
It has been hypothesized by scientists that stem cells may, at some point in the future, become the basis for treating diseases such as Parkinson's disease, diabetes, and heart disease.
Scientists want to study stem cells in the laboratory so they can learn about their essential properties and what makes them different from specialized cell types. As scientists learn more about stem cells, it may become possible to use the cells not just in cell-based therapies, but also for screening new drugs and toxins and understanding birth defects. However, as mentioned above, human embryonic stem cells have only been studied since 1998. Therefore, in order to develop such treatments scientists are intensively studying the fundamental properties of stem cells, which include:
determining precisely how stem cells remain unspecialized and self renewing for many years; and
identifying the signals that cause stem cells to become specialized cells.

Stem Cells for the Future Treatmentof Parkinson's Disease
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a very common neurodegenerative disorder that affects more than 2% of the population over 65 years of age. PD is caused by a progressive degeneration and loss of dopamine (DA)-producing neurons, which leads to tremor, rigidity, and hypokinesia (abnormally decreased mobility). It is thought that PD may be the first disease to be amenable to treatment using stem cell transplantation. Factors that support this notion include the knowledge of the specific cell type (DA neurons) needed to relieve the symptoms of the disease. In addition, several laboratories have been successful in developing methods to induce embryonic stem cells to differentiate into cells with many of the functions of DA neurons.
In a recent study, scientists directed mouse embryonic stem cells to differentiate into DA neurons by introducing the gene Nurr1. When transplanted into the brains of a rat model of PD, these stem cell-derived DA neurons reinnervated the brains of the rat Parkinson model, released dopamine and improved motor function.
Regarding human stem cell therapy, scientists are developing a number of strategies for producing dopamine neurons from human stem cells in the laboratory for transplantation into humans with Parkinson's disease. The successful generation of an unlimited supply of dopamine neurons could make neurotransplantation widely available for Parkinson's patients at some point in the future.

II. What are the unique properties of all stem cells?
Stem cells differ from other kinds of cells in the body. All stem cells—regardless of their source—have three general properties: they are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods; they are unspecialized; and they can give rise to specialized cell types.
Scientists are trying to understand two fundamental properties of stem cells that relate to their long-term self-renewal:
why can embryonic stem cells proliferate for a year or more in the laboratory without differentiating, but most adult stem cells cannot; and
what are the factors in living organisms that normally regulate stem cell proliferation and self-renewal?
Discovering the answers to these questions may make it possible to understand how cell proliferation is regulated during normal embryonic development or during the abnormal cell division that leads to cancer. Importantly, such information would enable scientists to grow embryonic and adult stem cells more efficiently in the laboratory.
Stem cells are unspecialized. One of the fundamental properties of a stem cell is that it does not have any tissue-specific structures that allow it to perform specialized functions. A stem cell cannot work with its neighbors to pump blood through the body (like a heart muscle cell); it cannot carry molecules of oxygen through the bloodstream (like a red blood cell); and it cannot fire electrochemical signals to other cells that allow the body to move or speak (like a nerve cell). However, unspecialized stem cells can give rise to specialized cells, including heart muscle cells, blood cells, or nerve cells.
Stem cells are capable of dividing and renewing themselves for long periods. Unlike muscle cells, blood cells, or nerve cells—which do not normally replicate themselves—stem cells may replicate many times. When cells replicate themselves many times over it is called proliferation. A starting population of stem cells that proliferates for many months in the laboratory can yield millions of cells. If the resulting cells continue to be unspecialized, like the parent stem cells, the cells are said to be capable of long-term self-renewal.
The specific factors and conditions that allow stem cells to remain unspecialized are of great interest to scientists. It has taken scientists many years of trial and error to learn to grow stem cells in the laboratory without them spontaneously differentiating into specific cell types. For example, it took 20 years to learn how to grow human embryonic stem cells in the laboratory following the development of conditions for growing mouse stem cells. Therefore, an important area of research is understanding the signals in a mature organism that cause a stem cell population to proliferate and remain unspecialized until the cells are needed for repair of a specific tissue. Such information is critical for scientists to be able to grow large numbers of unspecialized stem cells in the laboratory for further experimentation.
Stem cells can give rise to specialized cells. When unspecialized stem cells give rise to specialized cells, the process is called differentiation. Scientists are just beginning to understand the signals inside and outside cells that trigger stem cell differentiation. The internal signals are controlled by a cell's genes, which are interspersed across long strands of DNA, and carry coded instructions for all the structures and functions of a cell. The external signals for cell differentiation include chemicals secreted by other cells, physical contact with neighboring cells, and certain molecules in the microenvironment.
Therefore, many questions about stem cell differentiation remain. For example, are the internal and external signals for cell differentiation similar for all kinds of stem cells? Can specific sets of signals be identified that promote differentiation into specific cell types? Addressing these questions is critical because the answers may lead scientists to find new ways of controlling stem cell differentiation in the laboratory, thereby growing cells or tissues that can be used for specific purposes including cell-based therapies.
Adult stem cells typically generate the cell types of the tissue in which they reside. A blood-forming adult stem cell in the bone marrow, for example, normally gives rise to the many types of blood cells such as red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets. Until recently, it had been thought that a blood-forming cell in the bone marrow—which is called a hematopoietic stem cell—could not give rise to the cells of a very different tissue, such as nerve cells in the brain. However, a number of experiments over the last several years have raised the possibility that stem cells from one tissue may be able to give rise to cell types of a completely different tissue, a phenomenon known as plasticity. Examples of such plasticity include blood cells becoming neurons, liver cells that can be made to produce insulin, and hematopoietic stem cells that can develop into heart muscle. Therefore, exploring the possibility of using adult stem cells for cell-based therapies has become a very active area of investigation by researchers.

B. Scope of this document
This primer on stem cells is intended for anyone who wishes to learn more about the biological properties of stem cells, the important questions about stem cells that are the focus of scientific research, and the potential use of stem cells in research and in treating disease. The primer includes information about stem cells derived from the embryo and adult. Much of the information included here is about stem cells derived from human tissues, but some studies of animal-derived stem cells are also described.

Bigfoot: The art of selling a website

What was most revealing about today's exhilarating and highly truthful Bigfoot press conference was not what was said.
It was the headgear.
Emblazoned with the a URL that sold their own Bigfoot tracking enterprise, the baseball caps worn by Matthew Whitton (aka Gary Parker) and Rick Dyer said so very much.
Their words on MSNBC's Countdown With Keith Olberman said it with a cleanliness only rivaled by Bigfoot's teeth. When asked by the lucky stand-in presenter, Rachel Maddow, whether they were out to make as much money as they could, Mr. Dyer, who had not uttered a word through the entire interview, firmly stated that this was the case. (Please take note, Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg)
These are businessmen who put most Web 1.0 enterprises to shame. Most of Web 2.0 too. They have a geneticist's rigorous grasp of detail. And they have a clearly articulated business plan.
Messrs Whitton and Dyer are afraid of nothing, certainly not of the world's press. After all, they have faced and sniffed the body of Bigfoot. They have dragged his five hundred pounds back to their pickup truck. They have resisted the urge of calling the police, or Animal Rescue. These are men smart and courageous enough to have run Webvan.
In their interview with Ms. Maddow, they were amusedly unphased. They stated their case. They insisted that, despite previous reports (that might well have been true), they weren't hunters at all, merely hikers who happened to come across an incredible find and even braved the circling of other Bigfeet who were perturbed to see the body of their blood brother being dragged away, like a large, hairy Lindsay Lohan, to a career in Hollywood.
But they have learned one thing about life- and specifically about the internet business. They don't just talk monetization. They do it. On another of their sites.
If you hotfoot it to, you can pick up an authentic SearchingForBigfoot cap, in black or white, for $24.99. You can hitch up your trousers with a commemorative Bigfoot Lives pewter belt buckle, its price inexplicably reduced from $34.99 to $29.99. And for a mere $35 (reduced from $40) you can adorn your front porch with a Bigfoot Welcome Mat.
Were they hunters, which they avowedly are not, they might describe this as a great way to make a killing.
Of course, these products are merely loss leaders, because when the venerable scientists from Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan or Georgiastan confirm that Matt (aka Gary) and Rick are, indeed, in possession of a Bigfoot cadaver, will rival Amazon and Fifth Avenue for traffic and profit. And it will rival Facebook on the engagement scale.
The possibilities are taller than some would accuse their story. Bigfoot perfume, Bigfoot dogfood, a Bigfoot steakhouse chain, perhaps even a Bigfoot blog from beyond the grave.
You see, it's not enough just to have a good idea, you have to have your business plan jingling with readiness.
I understand that the real reason today's press conference was held in Palo Alto is that the two intrepid businessmen had another meeting in the vicinity.
The Stanford Business School has already offered Messrs. Whitton and Dyer professorships. The two hikers from Georgia said they would think about it.
You see how clever they are?
news 2.

Georgia hunters Matt Whitton and Rick Dyer sparked an almighty Internet explosion late last week when they announced the discovery and frozen preservation of a Bigfoot corpse, claiming to have finally put credence to the mythological half-man, half-ape creature that supposedly roams the forestry of North America.
In light of such a media furore, and with sceptics reacting to the story with almost as much passion as true-believers, the hunters have duly attempted to support their claim during an official press conference, which was held yesterday in Palo Alto, California.
With several hundred expectant journalists and Bigfoot experts in attendance, Whitton (an officer of the Clayton County Police Department), and Dyer (a former corrections officer), sat alongside long-time Bigfoot hunter Tom Biscardi -- apparently the only person to have physically seen and verified the corpse -- and fielded a variety of probing questions.
While the hunters failed to produce the actual body, something Biscardi had previously intimated in a Scientific American report, their promised substantiation came in the form of a somewhat questionable e-mail communication from a scientist regarding DNA samples, and a selection of photographs showing the apparently disembowelled creature stuffed into a freezer in order to prevent decomposition.
One of the most telling, and potentially damaging, questions thrown at the insistent trio asked why anyone should accept the Bigfoot claim as truth given their continued unwillingness to reveal its actual frozen corpse or confirm exactly where it had been located?
Standing firm that their three DNA samples provided credible evidence, Whitton, Dyer and Biscardi offered up a supporting e-mail from University of Minnesota scientist Curtis Nelson. However, of the three samples tested and reported in the e-mail, the scientist returned that the first likely belonged to a human, the second to an opossum, and the third could not be tested due to technical issues.
“Extensive scientific studies will be done on the body by a team of scientists including a molecular biologist, an anthropologist, a paleontologist and other scientists over the next few months at an undisclosed location,” offered Whitton and Dyer via their official Web site. “The studies will be carefully documented and the findings will be released to the world.”
Photographs offered up by Biscardi to help support the claim included the same shot that recently swept the Internet, in which what appears to be an ape-like creature is lying in a large freezer with entrails visible across its torso.
According to press conference attendee Jeffrey Meldrum, an anthropologist at Idaho State University, the high-profile media event was “not compelling in the least.” He also commented that he thought the freezer photograph looked suspiciously “like a costume with some fake guts thrown on top for effect.”
Lending support to those calling the Bigfoot claim little more than an example of elaborate fakery, Whitton and Dyer have supplied a selection of different accounts explaining how they came across the corpse, according to an AP report.
Specifically, one outlines how it was shot by a former felon before the two men followed it into the woods, while a second version claims they found a “family of Bigfoot” in the mountains north of Georgia, and a third has them finding the creature while out hiking together.
Further compounding any clawing sense of being hoodwinked, a YouTube video posted by Whitton and Dyer introduces a scientist, Dr. Paul Van Duren, into the unfolding story. It was later revealed by the men in another YouTube clip that the alleged scientist was actually Whitton's brother.
However, despite the lack of irrefutable evidence and an exposed penchant for deception, the two hunters remain adamant that the secretly stored creature is authentic and that emerging sceptics are merely jealous of the find.
“They don’t have a choice [but] to believe us,” insisted Dyer. “We have a body.”
Outside of their day jobs, Whitton and Dyer offer short expeditions to search for Bigfoot throughout the northern forests of Georgia via their company Bigfoot Global LLC. They reportedly charge $499 USD for the weekend-long trips.
Biscardi, who claims to have been actively seeking Bigfoot for some 35 years, runs a group called “Searching for Bigfoot.” Despite his drive, Biscardi is not held in particularly high regard by other hunters, and has even been accused of committing Bigfoot hoaxes in the past.
Whitton and Dyer have announced they’re partnering with Biscardi’s Searching for Bigfoot Team in order to capture and return a live Bigfoot. The expedition is expected to start “very soon” throughout dates and locations that “are being kept confidential.”

Robotic Intelligence

A European research project has brought the dream of human-like robots closer to reality by creating a human-like arm and hand controlled by an electronic ‘brain’ modelled on the human cerebellum.European researchers have created a robotic hand that mimics the flexibility and sensitivity of a human hand, and is controlled by a neural-network-based program modelled on the cerebelloum.The hand developed as part of the research project Sensopac being run by 12 groups — can grasp an egg, snap its fingers, and carry coffee.Experts at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) have revealed that they made a robotic "skin" out of a thin, flexible carbon that changes its resistance depending on pressure.According to them, this enabled the robot hand to tell the shapes of an object, the amount of force placed upon it, and the direction of that force.

The researcher say that there are 38 opposing motors that control the hand"s joints, giving it a touch that ranges from light to forceful.To model the robot hand, the researchers utilised hundreds of MRI images of human hands.The researchers hope that they can improve the robot"s understanding of movement and sensation thorough its neural network, reports say that the robot will be able to sense the properties of an article as and when it picks it up, and adjust its motions in accordance with what it contains—such as a cup containing water or flour.Started in 2006, Sensopac is a four-year project focused on creating an artificially intelligent robot with sophisticated hand manipulation and grasping abilities.

“Hollywood did a bad job for us,” says Patrick van der Smagt, the coordinator of SENSOPAC, an EU-funded project whose goal is to create a robotic arm, hand and brain with human-like physical and cognitive capabilities.
While the movies have convinced many people that humanoid robots, such as C-3PO or WALL-E are realistic, van der Smagt knows all too well how difficult it is to build robots with even basic human abilities.
Yet robots that could function flexibly and safely alongside people in everyday environments could revolutionise daily life.
Existing robots, such as those that help assemble cars or computers, can perform repetitive actions quickly and precisely. However, says van der Smagt, “they are not very intelligent or flexible and they don’t do very much sensing”.
The international team of neuroscientists and roboticists that he leads decided that the best way to make a robot that is intelligent, flexible and sensitive is to model it on the human body and brain.
This approach, called biomimetics, is inspired by the realisation that evolution has provided the human body and brain with an astonishing range of abilities. “We can run for hours, yet also perform very high precision tasks,” says van der Smagt. “If you compare that to any robot system, it’s oceans apart.”
After two-and-a-half years of research, and €6.5 million in funding by the EU’s Sixth Framework Programme for research, SENSOPAC scientists have designed and tested a human-like arm with a dextrous and sensitive hand, controlled by a computer program inspired by the human cerebellum.
Sensitive skin
Every step towards this accomplishment required groundbreaking research by the 11 partners in the consortium.
To develop robotic skin as sensitive as human skin, the researchers started by studying how human skin senses not just pressure and position but features such as the direction pressure is coming from.
To mimic the skin’s sensing capabilities, researchers at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR), guided by physiology results from UmeĆ„ University, in Sweden, created a thin flexible material filled with a form of carbon whose resistance changes with pressure. This approach let them combine information from sensors in different parts of the skin in order to minimise the number of information-carrying wires.
“We can soon integrate hundreds of detector elements and get the information out with just five wires,” says van der Smagt. “And we have the ability to distinguish between shape, the amount of force, and the direction of force.”
The human arm and hand can generate and control a remarkable range of force, from the delicate touch of a watchmaker to the power of a javelin thrower. Much of this range of force and finesse comes from the pairs of opposing muscles that control each joint.
Researchers at DLR took the same approach. The artificial arm they built and are now experimenting with uses a total of 58 motors in opposing pairs, coupled with non-linear springs, to control the arm.
The hand they have built is closely modelled on the human hand. It can snap its fingers, pick up an egg or carry a cup of coffee. Its fingers are moved by 38 opposing motors.
Again, the researchers had to go back to basics, for example making detailed MRI studies of human hands in hundreds of different positions.
“Surprisingly enough, this doesn’t exist anywhere else,” says van der Smagt.
How to build a brain
From the start, the group knew that sensitivity, dexterity, and strength were not enough. They had to provide the biomimetic arm with a high degree of intelligence.
Their ultimate goal is to create a microchip that will allow the arm to carry out tasks requiring human-level skills in a real-world setting.
Van der Smagt envisions an arm that could “decide” to pick up a cup, sense important properties of what it contains, for example water versus flour, and move it from place to place.
“It’s not that the system needs to know that there’s water in the cup,” says van der Smagt, “but how to handle whatever is in it appropriately.”
Scientists at the University of Edinburgh, in Scotland, and at Lund University, in Sweden, decided that the best approach was to model the human cerebellum.
The cerebellum is a fist-sized organ at the base of the brain that coordinates sensation and movement.
The researchers are currently using software to simulate important aspects of how the cerebellum processes and integrates information.
“It’s the first neural-network-based controller that can control the dynamics of a robotic system in its full operational range,” says van der Smagt.
In the next six months, they will be seeing how well this system can learn to control the arm.
Although he is excited by the group’s progress towards a robotic arm and hand with human-like capabilities, van der Smagt remains impressed by what nature has already done.
“It makes one realise that we are still light-years away from achieving what biology has accomplished,” he says. “We are definitely not there yet, but we are getting much closer.”

Shab-e-Baraat : The Night of Blessing


In some basic belief on GOD -ALLAH is to belive on fate or luck, Its like click,

We see manything prosperous is not doing good otherway manything dummish is going peak, Not exactly so, we belive on luck.

Muslims pray on Shab-e-Barat as a Night of luck blessing.

From Bangladesh :

Tens of thousands of Muslims thronged mosques across the country while many more stayed at home on Saturday to pray to God on the night of Shab-e-Barat, both in preparation for Ramadan and for the forgiveness of the sins they have committed. Taking place 15 days before the start of Ramadan, the night brings annual hopes of forgiveness and good fortune amid traditional festivities. Shab-e-Barat – the Night of Fortune – is believed to be one of the most sacred nights of the Islamic calendar for seeking forgiveness from God. Muslims believe that God writes the destinies of all men for the coming year by taking into account the deeds committed by them in the past. Many devoted Muslims are praying in their houses. Muslims are distributing roti, halua and other sweets to relatives and neighbours since afternoon, which a tradition of Shab-e-Barat nowadays. The roti and halua of Shab-e-Barat are also being distributed among the poor people irrespective of religion, caste. The Islamic Foundation has organised Waaz Mahfil at Baitul Mukarram National Mosque from Saturday evening, which will run through to early Sunday. An akheri munajat would be offered at dawn. Dhaka Metropolitan Police has banned carrying and exploding of dangerous materials including fire crackers from Saturday evening till further orders to maintain sanctity of Shab-e-Barat, and peace and discipline. Television and radio channels are airing special programmes highlighting significance of the day. The newspapers have published special articles. Also known as Lailatul Barat, it falls on the 15th night of the month of Sha'ban, of the Arabic Hijri calendar, ahead of the holy month of Ramadan. Devotees offer nafal prayers, recite from the Holy Quran and perform doa throughout the night to seek God's goodwill. It has also become a long-standing social event and Muslims in the Indian subcontinent, Bangladesh in particular, observe the occasion with great festivity. People prepare special foods such as bread, a variety of sweets and halua , offering them to neighbours and the poor. President Iajuddin Ahmed and chief adviser Fakhruddin Ahmed gave separate messages Friday to mark the occasion.

MIT developing super-realistic image system


'6-D' pictures can look just like the real thing

By producing "6-D" images, an MIT professor and colleagues are creating unusually realistic pictures that not only have a full three-dimensional appearance, but also respond to their environment, producing natural shadows and highlights depending on the direction and intensity of the illumination around them.
View video post on MIT TechTV
The process can also be used to create images that change over time as the illumination changes, resulting in animated pictures that move just from changes in the sun's position, with no electronics or active control.
To create "the ultimate synthetic display," says Ramesh Raskar, an associate professor at the MIT Media Lab, "the display should respond not just to a change in viewpoint, but to changes in the surrounding light."
Raskar and his colleagues will describe the system, which is based entirely on an arrangement of lenses and screens, on Aug. 11 at the annual SIGGRAPH (Special Interest Group on Graphics and Interactive Techniques) conference of the Association for Computing Machinery held in Los Angeles.
Three-dimensional images, created using a variety of systems that make separate images for each eye, have been around for many decades. The new MIT process could bring an unprecedented degree of realism to such images.
The basic concept is similar to those inexpensive 3-D displays sometimes used on postcards and novelty items, that use an overlay of plastic that contains a series of parallel linear lenses that create a visible set of vertical lines over the image. (It is a different approach from that used to create holograms, which require laser light to create.) In addition to three-dimensional images, these are sometimes used to present a series of images that change as you view them from different angles from side to side. This can simulate simple motion, such as a car moving along a road.
By using an array of tiny square lenses instead of the linear ones, such displays can also be made to change as you change the viewing angle up or down - making a "4-D" image. This reveals different views with horizontal as well as vertical movement of the viewer. The new "lighting aware" system adds additional layers of lenses and screens to add two more dimensions of change. The image that is seen is then not only based on the position of the viewer, but also on the direction of the illumination.
In an initial test of the principle, Raskar and his team created an image of a glass wine bottle, whose caustic (a term for the collection of light rays coming from a curved surface), shadows and highlights change with the illumination.
"Even if you have the best hologram out there," explains Raskar, when the angle of the light changes "if I have a hologram of a flower, and a real flower next to it, the hologram doesn't look real. All the shadows and all the reflections on that flower are not mimicked on that hologram."
The new system, still in a relatively low-resolution laboratory proof-of-concept, could have applications including pictures used for training purposes, he said. In training someone how to carry out industrial inspections, an image of the device to be inspected would respond just like a real object when the inspector shines lights on it from different angles, for example.
Because the system is being built by hand from custom-made parts, Raskar says, the present version costs about $30 per pixel to make. Since it takes thousands of pixels to create a recognizable image, practical devices at an affordable price will require significant further development. "It will be at least 10 years before we have any realistic practical-sized displays," he estimates.
The main applications ultimately would be for advertising and for entertainment, Raskar says. A similar system could even be adapted to produce motion pictures and moving computer displays as well, he says.
The research was done in collaboration with Martin Fuchs, Hans-Peter Seidel, and Hendrik P.A. Lensch, all of MPI Informatik, The work was partly funded by Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories.

Building microchips from the bottom up


MIT develops novel self-assembly method that could break size barrier,
Using a novel system based on molecules that can assemble themselves into precise patterns, MIT researchers have come up with a way of beating size limitations that would otherwise crimp improvements in data-storage media and electronic microchips.

Such self-assembling molecular systems, called block copolymers, have been known for many years, but the problem was that the regular patterns they produced were well-ordered only over very small areas. The MIT researchers found a way to combine this self-assembly with conventional lithographic chip-making technology, so that the lithographic patterns provide a set of "anchors" to hold the structure in place, while the self-assembling molecules fill in the fine detail between the anchors.

The work, carried out by three MIT professors and three graduate students, is being reported this week in the journal Science.

Karl Berggren, the Emanuel E. Landsman Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering in MIT's Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, explains that without the lithographed "pillars" to anchor the pattern, the self-assembling molecules "would be a mess of randomly arranged lattices." But with the pillars, "the block copolymer lattice is sort of fooled by these pillars, and forms its array around them. They form a nice, ordered pattern around the pillars."

Edwin L. Thomas, Morris Cohen Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and head of the department, who is also a co-author of the paper, says that the original inspiration came from a graduate student, Ion Bita, who now works for Qualcomm in California. Bita explains that "by properly choosing the spatial distribution of the pillars to match a desired final structure, it was possible to consistently generate defect-free polymer nanostructures."

The molecules themselves are made from a pair of polymer chains that are bonded together. The chains are chemically different, like oil and water, and do not mix. As a result, when spread on a surface they naturally separate into an orderly array, forming a pattern of tiny balls, each about 20 nanometers across. By using similar molecules with shorter chains, the resulting structures could be made even smaller, says Caroline Ross, Toyota Professor in MIT's Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

"Nature allows you to get these really well-ordered structures without doing much work," because of the way the molecules assemble themselves, Ross says. "It sort of magically forms these structures."

By changing the spacing of the pillars they create on the chip surface, the new method makes it possible to control the size and spacing of the overall pattern, Berggren says. The pillars themselves are placed on the surface using advanced high-resolution electron-beam lithography methods that have also been developed at MIT.

The most immediate application will be for improving the storage capacity of magnetic storage systems such as the hard disk drives used in computers, he says. For that application, the new method could be tested within the next year or two, he says. "The state of the industry in magnetic media is really ready for this," Berggren says. "They really need something right now."

In the future, by creating more complex patterns in the lithographic part of the process, entire computer chips could be made this way, says Ross. "The ultimate goal would be a complete self-assembling chip structure," she says. The lithographic step, instead of just a regular grid of dots as in the present system, could produce a more complex pattern of dots, lines and junctions, with the block copolymers then filling in the patterns between them.

"Ultimately, this is a technology that is very high-resolution and very scalable," Berggren says. It could also be used for other kinds of devices, including energy technology applications such as electrodes for fuel cells.

MIT graduate students Joel Yang and Yeon Sik Jung also worked on the project. It was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Semiconductor Research Corp., the Nanoelectronics Research Initiative, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology and Alfaisal University, and the Singapore-MIT Alliance.

Find here

Home II Large Hadron Cillider News