Pigs learn to understand mirrors

first_img Citation: Pigs learn to understand mirrors (2009, October 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2009-10-pigs-mirrors.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. A domestic pig on an organic farm in Solothurn, Switzerland. Image: Wikimedia Commons Pigs prefer 3 square meals a day (PhysOrg.com) — A study of domesticated pigs has found that with just a little experimentation they can find food based only on a reflection in a mirror. The study, carried out by Donald M. Broom, Professor of Animal Welfare at Cambridge University in the U.K., found that given a chance to familiarize themselves with a mirror first, most pigs can find food based only on its reflection. Pigs that are not familiar with mirrors look behind them for the food.In the study, soon to be published in the journal Animal Behaviour, four pairs of domesticated pigs were allowed to familiarize themselves with a mirror for five hours. They generally approached it cautiously at first, ending with their noses pressed against the mirror, but one pig charged at its reflection and broke the mirror. They looked behind the mirror, and watched their own reflections moving in front of it.After familiarization, each pig was placed in a pen with an angled mirror and a partition, behind which were treats such as apple slices or M&Ms. Seven of the eight pigs immediately looked behind the partition and found the food. A control group of pigs that had never seen a mirror before searched behind it for the food.Professor Broom said the study shows pigs have a high degree of what he terms assessment awareness, or the ability to use memories and observations to quickly learn to assess a situation and act on it.According to Marc Hauser of Harvard’s Cognitive Evolution laboratory, an understanding of reflections in mirrors has been demonstrated in other nonhuman animals before, but it is paradoxical that many don’t seem to recognize their own reflections. Researchers have confirmed this by marking a spot on the animal with dye and seeing if they try to remove the spot when they see it reflected in a mirror. Only a few, such as bottlenose dolphins, apes, elephants, and magpies, recognize the mark as being on their own bodies. Professor Broom said he had tried marking the pigs, but they took no notice. He said this is hardly surprising because pigs often get marks on their bodies.The study proves pigs have awareness, and Broom said that if an animal is known to be clever it is less likely to be treated as a food-producing machine and more like a sentient being. Perhaps the conditions in which pigs are raised, including overcrowding, which do not meet the needs of the animal, may be improved as a result of the study.via Sciencenews.org© 2009 PhysOrg.com Explore furtherlast_img read more

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Physicist proposes method to teleport energy

first_img Report: Scientists ‘teleport’ two photons © 2010 PhysOrg.com Explore further Masahiro Hotta’s energy teleportation scheme. 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. More information: Masahiro Hotta. “Energy-Entanglement Relation for Quantum Energy Teleportation.” arxiv.orgvia: Technology Review (PhysOrg.com) — Using the same quantum principles that enable the teleportation of information, a new proposal shows how it may be possible to teleport energy. By exploiting the quantum energy fluctuations in entangled particles, physicists may be able to inject energy in one particle, and extract it in another particle located light-years away. The proposal could lead to new developments in energy distribution, as well as a better understanding of the relationship between quantum information and quantum energy. Citation: Physicist proposes method to teleport energy (2010, February 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-02-physicist-method-teleport-energy.html Japanese physicist Masahiro Hotta of Tohoku University has explained the energy teleportation scheme in a recent study posted at arxiv.org, called “Energy-Entanglement Relation for Quantum Energy Teleportation.” Previously, physicists have demonstrated how to teleport the quantum states of several different entities, including photons, atoms, and ions. Researchers predict that the principles of teleportation could also extend to molecules, viruses, and other more complex objects. Over the past year, physicists have also been exploring quantum energy teleportation, and Hotta’s latest paper builds on these studies.In quantum energy teleportation, a physicist first makes a measurement on each of two entangled particles. The measurement on the first particle injects quantum energy into the two-particle system, which is possible because there are always quantum fluctuations in the energy of any particle. This energy can then be immediately extracted at the second particle by making a second carefully chosen measurement on that particle. Throughout the process, the energy of the overall system remains the same. As in previous examples of teleportation, the actual particles aren’t teleported since they’re basically identical at the quantum level. Rather, the information they carry is the important part. For this reason, physicists can simply send the information within a particle and not the particle itself. A receiving particle accepts the information from a sending particle, taking on the identity of the sending particle.Hotta’s paper marks the first example of the energy-entanglement relation for the smallest kind of quantum energy teleportation model. As he explains, the findings could enable scientists to explore the foundations of physics: specifically, the relationship between quantum information and quantum energy.“These energy-entanglement inequalities are of importance because they help in gaining a profound understanding of entanglement itself as a physical resource by relating entanglement to energy as an evident physical resource,” he writes. As a story in MIT’s Technology Review explains, these new ideas about entanglement and information could have far-reaching implications: “There is a growing sense that the properties of the universe are best described not by the laws that govern matter but by the laws that govern information. This appears to be true for the quantum world, is certainly true for special relativity, and is currently being explored for general relativity. Having a way to handle energy on the same footing may help to draw these diverse strands together.”last_img read more

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New Zealand team finds early plant arrivers dominated landscape

first_img Explore further Invasive species widespread, but not more than at home range © 2011 PhysOrg.com More information: Plant radiation history affects community assembly: evidence from the New Zealand alpine, Biology Letters, Published online before print February 8, 2012, doi: 10.1098/rsbl.2011.1210AbstractThe hypothesis that early plant radiations on islands dampen diversification and reduce habitat occupancy of later radiations via niche pre-emption has never, to our knowledge, been tested. We investigated clade-level dynamics in plant radiations in the alpine zone, New Zealand. Our aim was to determine whether radiations from older colonizations influenced diversification and community dominance of species from later colonizations within a common bioclimatic zone over the past ca 10 Myr. We used stem ages derived from the phylogenies of 17 genera represented in alpine plant communities in the Murchison Mountains, Fiordland, and assessed their presence and cover in 262 (5 × 5 m) vegetation plots. Our results show clear age-related community assembly effects, whereby congenerics from older colonizing genera co-occur more frequently and with greater cover per unit area than those from younger colonizing genera. However, we find no evidence of increased species richness with age of colonization in the alpine zone. The data support priority effects via niche pre-emption among plant radiations influencing community assembly. To come to these conclusions the team took samples of plants from 262 different areas in the mountains of New Zealand. They then made age estimates of 17 genera using molecular analysis and other means to estimate how many of each were present in the given area and how much ground they covered, or dominated, in the place where they lived. They also noted the mountainous location was ideal because plants in the area would have survived the last ice age, allowing for tracing back their original origins approximately ten million years.After analyzing all the data, the team found that those plant species that had arrived first developed in ways that allowed them to dominate the areas in which they lived even as other species arrived. The first arrivers grew taller, for example, leaving those that came after to exist as smaller species. And because of this, they were also able to take up more of the available space, meaning more of them lived in any given area than did any other species; and that arrangement has lasted through the years.The team notes that while other environmental factors such as soil conditions, temperature variations and average rainfall, most certainly play a part in which species are able to thrive over time in any given area, those that came first, and found the conditions hospitable, held the advantage over millions of years, and don’t seem likely to cede it any time soon. Journal information: Biology Letters Citation: New Zealand team finds early plant arrivers dominated landscape (2012, February 9) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-02-zealand-team-early-dominated-landscape.html (PhysOrg.com) — It seems intuitive that not all plant species could have taken a foothold on land at the same time all those millions of years ago as conditions on Earth evolved to the point where they could survive; some had to come first, which means of course, that some had to come after. But did the order in which they arrived make any difference in how those plant species evolved? Or to put it another way, did the plants that arrived first enjoy an advantage that has survived to this very day? Dr William Lee and his colleagues from Landcare Research in New Zealand thought the idea seemed plausible, so they set themselves the task of finding out. As it turns out, as the team describes in their paper published in Biology Letters, those that arrived first, did appear to take advantage of their status and flourished, leaving those that came after to carry on in less dominant roles ever since 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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Building a digital life form OpenWorm Open Source

first_imgCode, data and models produced as part of the OpenWorm project is open-source under the MIT license.The Open Worm project thus far has produced an early demo that shows five muscle segments of the worm’s body moving in water. “People will need to wait some months, though, before being able to download the virtual creature, according to one of the development team members. He estimated it would take another three to five months before simulations are debugged and integrated “to the point where the average curious developer could build and run the project and see the muscular shell of a worm swimming around,” he told New World Notes.What’s the point of all this effort to create a digital worm? “If we cannot build a computer model of a worm, the most studied organism in all of biology, we don’t stand a chance to understand something as complex as the human brain,” according to the project site.” We must crawl before we can walk!”The project members hope this is the first step toward creation of more biologically accurate virtual creatures. (Phys.org) —The worm Caenorhabditis elegans is one of the most widely studied creatures. Scientists consider the worm a model organism for exploring animal development including neural development. The reasons are basic; it has one of the most simple nervous systems, and is convenient for genetic analysis. Never mind that, in turn, there is already an enormous amount of biological data about the C. elegans; scientists are still seeking more answers about the worm. Now there is a novel information path, The OpenWorm Project. They are working up an artificial life form, computationally created, a digital life form as no other. “OpenWorm is an open source project dedicated to creating a virtual C. elegans nematode in a computer,” says the project web page.This is a collaborative undertaking that includes software developers and neuroscience researchers. Their work marks the first comprehensive computer model of the Caenorhabditis elegans nematode worm. This will be a detailed simulation modeling each of the worm’s cells. Their data draws from completed scientific experiments conducted over the past ten years. They are incorporating the available data into software models. They hope that modeling the creature with enough detail will trigger complex behaviors, such as feeding, finding mates and avoiding predators, spontaneously. In other words, their virtual worm would, as they anticipate, behave like a real-world worm.With all the C. elegans simplicity, however, their work is not so easy. Reporting on their progress so far, the OpenWorm project site notes that “the challenge of simulating even a tiny worm is immense. It requires a lot of parallel activities.” 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. Citation: Building a digital life form: OpenWorm, Open Source (2013, May 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-05-digital-life-openworm-source.html A map of the worm: First detailed anatomical atlas of C. elegans for use in the lab © 2013 Phys.org More information: nwn.blogs.com/nwn/2013/05/open … artificial-life.html Caenorhabditis elegans. Image: Wikipedia. Explore further The OpenWorm project is traveling over five hills to get where they need to go: NeuroML connections; the Geppetto simulation engine; the OpenWorm browser; a fluid mechanics simulator; and optimization engine.Talking about the NeuroML Connectome, they converted all 302 neurons into multicompatmental neuronal models described in NeuroML format. “We are currently building descriptions of the synaptic junctions and the ion channels for each cell.” Talking about the fluid mechanics simulator, they said they implemented an algorithm, Smoothed Particle Hydrodynamics (SPH), to simulate the body of the worm and its environment using GPUs. This algorithm was worked out in C++ (with OpenGL visualization), then ported to Java as a bundle for Geppetto, the simulation engine.As for Geppetto, this simulation platform is designed to run the different models together. Geppetto features a built-in WebGL visualizer, for visualization of simulated models right in the browser.last_img read more

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New era Myanmar set to open first stock exchange by October

first_img“Our target date is October 2015 at the latest. But it may be earlier,” he said on Tuesday from the capital Naypyidaw, adding that “no more than five companies” would be listed on the stock exchange to begin with. Myanmar’s central bank signed a joint venture agreement with Japan Exchange Group and Daiwa Institute of Research, the research arm of Daiwa Securities Group, last month to set up and run the Yangon Stock Exchange following years of discussions. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashMyanma Economic Bank will own the controlling 51 per cent stake in the Yangon Stock Exchange Joint-Venture Company with the remainder divided between the Japanese partners, the state-backed Global New Light of Myanmar reported on Wednesday. The newspaper quoted Maung Maung Thein as saying Myanmar was one of only nine countries in the world, including North Korea and Brunei, without a stock exchange.“We will be able to exit the list of countries with no stock exchange soon,” he said. Since the end of outright military rule in 2011, Myanmar has moved to liberalise its economy as part of wider reforms aiming to lure international companies as the once cloistered nation seeks to rebuild its economy.Japanese businesses in particular have been active in the country with strong backing from Tokyo, which has cancelled billions of dollars of debt and offered massive aid grants.last_img read more

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Art with an edge

first_imgArtworks with a twist will provide a visual treat to art lovers as the Barisha Silpara Art Society will present a group art exhibition which comprises of paintings, drawings, sculptures, graphics and ceramics by some renowned artists. Th exhibition will be held from February 13 to 19 in the national Capital.The exhibition will have participants from across the country and the names include Abdul Salam, Akhil Chandra Das, Arup Kumar Das, Bikram Das, Chandni Guha Roy, David Malaker and Debashis Kulay. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The works of artists like Iqubal Hossain, Mina Mondal, Partha Protim Gayen, Premangshu Mitra, Pradip Ghosh, Rakesh Sadhak, Souvik Das, Shubha Kayal, Sushanta Bhowmik and Tapan Bhattacharya will also be showcased .The artworks belong to a group of upcoming artists, who would be an established clear symbol of new age modern art. The members of the art society work together through metal casting, ceramics, terracotta, oil, etchings, lino and/or wood cut prints. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThey also exhibit their work in different galleries on a regular basis. It has got a creative corner built up for the children from 1987, who had the prospect of blossoming into art practitioners in the future. The society produces art not only on subjective, but also in objective basis.When: February 13-19Where: Lalit Kala Akademi, Rabindra BhavanTIMINGS: 11 am – 7 pmlast_img read more

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Guild approaches Imran Khan to ensure participation of Pakistani Publishers at Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: Keen to rope in publishers from Pakistan for the first time in the history of the International Kolkata Book Fair (IKBF), the organisers have written to the country’s Prime Minister Imran Khan seeking his intervention, an official said on Friday. “We have written to the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan on November 28 and am hopeful of the country’s participation for the first time as six publishers have shown interest in our invitation,” secretary of the Publishers and Booksellers Guild Tridib Chatterjee said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThe 12-day event, beginning January 30, 2019, is slated to be inaugurated by Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The central American nation Guatemala — the heart of the Mayan World — is the focal country this time along with participating countries such as the UK, the US, Russia, China, Japan, Vietnam, 11 Latin American countries and Bangladesh. He said he had approached the National Book Foundation of Pakistan in September and spoken to them. Not hearing from them even after two months, the Guild decided to seek the help of Pakistan’s Prime Minister. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedChatterjee recalled that Khan, World Cup winning Pakistan cricket captain, was one of the speakers at the Kolkata Literature Festival, a highlight of the IKBF, in 2012. “He came to the Book Fair in 2012 and experienced the gathering and footfall himself. So we requested him to look into the matter,” he said. The organisers are hopeful as the participants and publishers have already applied for the Visa. “We wrote to him reminding about 2012 when he was a special guest and visited Kolkata Literature Festival.. That time he was a participant but not a Prime Minister, now things have changed,” Chatterjee said. Khan had himself seen the craze among the Abook lovers of Kolkata and the excitement surrounding the fair. “So we are hoping for the best,” Chatterjee added. With the fair’s regular venue Milan Mela still undergoing renovation, the fair would be held at the Central Park in Salt Lake this year too, and stalls of approximately 600 publishers and 200 small magazines will be set up. Also, the sixth Kolkata Literature Festival, will be held from February 7 to 9 and the book fair wraps up on February 10.last_img read more

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Heritage Charkha Museum spin tales of Indian legacy

first_imgIn what comes as the first initiative to link charkha with tourism, BJP president Amit Shah unveiled the Large Steel Charkha and Heritage Charkha Museum – consisting 14 vintage charkhas – at Palika Bazar Park in Delhi’s Connaught Place, amid much fervour and gaiety recently.Hailing this initiative, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his special message to Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Chairman, said: “As Mahatma Gandhi himself believed, the Charkha is a symbol of our Swaraj and self-reliance. The museum and the monument for the Charkha in the Capital will be a proud tribute to the Charkha’s historic importance in our nation. This will economically empower the lives of several weavers associated with the Khadi industry.” Also Read – Add new books to your shelfKVIC chairman Vinai Kumar Saxena, in his welcome speech, said that Charkha, like the memorial to unknown soldiers, is memorial to the unknown rural masses, who took to the demonstrated ways of self-reliance and dignity of labour following the call of the father of the nation. “The KVIC, in association with New Delhi Municipal Corporation (NDMC), has set up this Heritage Charkha Museum, showcasing 50 to 100 year old charkhas, gifted to KVIC by the owners of these charkhas. The charkha, run by the PM on Oct 18, 2016 at Ludhiana, has also been kept permanently in the museum for display for general public,” he said, adding, “Located in the heart of the Capital, it will certainly catch the eyes of foreign tourists coming here. The sparkling white marble statue of Mahatma Gandhi and the Large Steel Charkha will be visible from all four sides of Baba Kharak Singh Marg.” Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveBJP President Amit Shah said that from time immemorial Charkha had been the symbol of economic empowerment of our nation. “It is really a commendable job from the part of KVIC and NDMC that both the organisations have come up with a novel mission with economic model to promote tourism. I hope that the spinning wheel would symbolise the mission of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’.” Corroborating similar views, Kalraj Mishra, Union Minister MSME, said that Charkha would script the story of economic Independence of India in coming days. In his thanksgiving note, New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Chairperson Naresh Kumar said that it would not only give a direct exposure to the vision to the New Delhi area about ‘Charkha’– a symbol of nation’s prosperity – but also to values and preserve the rich heritage of our composite culture. “Charkha is not only a symbol of simplicity and economic freedom by Swadeshi but also a symbol of peace and harmony, hence it will promote Prime Minister’s vision for ‘Make In India’,” he said, adding, “The NDMC will deliver its best to up-keep and maintain the Charkha and Heritage Museum spin tail of Indian legacy. The Council is striving hard for transforming the efficient, effective and livable New Delhi area through the intervention of modern digital technology.” The 2.5 tonne large steel charkha is made of high-quality chromium nickel stainless steel and is corrosion resistant, non-magnetic and not hardenable by heat. The order to make this 12 feet tall and 25 feet long spinning wheel was given to Prayog Samiti, KVIC unit, near Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat. The high quality stainless steel for the charkha was donated by Steel Authority of India (SAIL).On this occasion, besides gifting 500 new model eight-spindle charkhas – with a cost of approximately Rs 70 lakh – to the women spinners of nine states, a live charkha demonstration was also held by 10 women inmates of Tihar Jail. A film on Mahatma Gandhi was also screened, after a philatelic exhibition on ‘Father of the Nation’.last_img read more

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How parents can disrupt childrens friendships

first_imgChildhood friendships can often fall apart if the parents suffer from depression, or are psychologically controlling and manipulative, a study has found. The study published in the Journal of Family Psychology is the first to demonstrate that parents are an important factor behind the stability of kid’s friendships.Looking at data from 1,523 children (766 boys) from grades one to six, researchers from Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in the US and the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland conducted a survival analysis to identify the characteristics of parents that predict the stability of their children’s friendships. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe researchers examined mother and father reports of their own depressive symptoms and parenting styles and used these reports to predict the occurrence and timing of the dissolution of best friendships from the beginning to the end of elementary school.They assessed three commonly recognised parenting styles: behavioural control such as curfews and monitoring; psychological control such as shaming and guilt; and warmth and affection.They also assessed parental depression to disentangle the unique contributions of parenting styles from parent mental health difficulties known to shape parenting. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveLastly, they assessed the children’s peer social status or how well-liked they are by other children to separate the effects of parenting from difficulties that children have getting along with peers. “We already know that peer status plays an important role in friendship outcomes. For example, well-liked children have more long-lasting relationships than do their classmates,” said Brett Laursen, a professor FAU.”Our study is the first to include both parent characteristics and peer social status in the same model to identify the unique contributions of parents to child friendship stability,” said Laursen. Researchers wanted to determine if negative parenting characteristics such as manipulative and coercive behaviours disrupt children’s friendships.The study found clear support for their hypothesis that negative features of parenting, such as depression and psychological control, increase the risk that best friendships would end.For children with clinically depressed parents, the risk of best friendship dissolution increased by up to 104 percent. There was a similar, although not quite as dramatic, increase in the risk of best friendship dissolution for children with psychologically controlling parents.Parent depression and parent psychological control uniquely predicted subsequent child friendships breaking up, above and beyond contributions of peer difficulties.A surprising finding from the study that was contrary to the researchers’ expectations was that they did not find any evidence that positive parenting behaviours like warmth and affection altered the stability of children’s best friendships. “We were hoping that positive behaviours would help extend the life of friendships and that it would be a buffer or a protective factor,” said Laursen.”This wasn’t the case – warmth and affection don’t appear to make that much of a difference. It’s the negative characteristics of parents that are key in determining if and when these childhood friendships end,” he said.Findings from this study also confirmed that most friendships were transitory; fewer than 10 per cent of first-grade best friendships survived from the first to the sixth grade, with roughly half (48 per cent) dissolving within a year of initiation.”Psychologically controlling parents create an affective climate that is detrimental to a child’s well-being, with problems that spill over into the peer social world. Best friendships are one causality of this affective spillover. We believe that children with depressed and psychologically controlling parents are not learning healthy strategies for engaging with other people,” he said.last_img read more

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IGNCA to celebrate Mexicos Independence

first_imgAs part of the 208th – anniversary celebrations of Mexico’s Independence, the Embassy of Mexico is organising a photo exhibition in collaboration with Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts, New Delhi.The exhibition titled, ‘Mexico in the World Heritage’ – A collection of pictures captured by Mexican photographer Adalberto Ríos Szalay – portraying the sites and practices of Mexico listed as World Heritage by UNESCO will be inaugurated by H E Melba Pría, Ambassador of Mexico to India and Dr Sachchidanand Joshi, Member Secretary, Indira Gandhi National Centre for the Arts on August 27 at IGNCA at 6 pm. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfThe show will remain open for public view until September 14 from 10:30 am – 7:30 pm every day.This exhibition aims to initiate creative dialogues between Mexico and India, and explore the opportunities of knowledge exchange on restoration, conservation, and promotion of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.Mexico is, as India, one of the finest examples of the complexity of these processes and of the gradual formation and transformation of the idea of cultural heritage.last_img read more

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