Bengal Congress on the back foot with Noor’s exit

first_imgThe departure of Congress MP Mausam Benazir Noor, elected from Malda-North in central Bengal, has set off ripples in the party.Malda has remained a Congress bastion since 1980. But after Ms. Noor’s exit many Congress workers and leaders are sceptical if the party will be able to keep the rest of the flock – three MPs, and two dozen MLAs in West Bengal – together till the Lok Sabha polls given that about one and a half dozen of its legislators have already joined the Trinamool Congress since the 2016 Assembly polls.Ms. Noor, the niece of legendary Congress leader late A.B.A Ghani Khan Choudhury, joined the TMC on January 28 and said that she “trusted Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee in her fight against communalism”.Her exit has dented the confidence of State Congress workers. “National leaders of the Congress and several possible coalition partners shared the stage with Mamata Banerjee about a week ago. We never thought she would poach from the Congress after that January 19 meeting, but she did. It indicates how ruthless she is,” said a Congress MLA.Legislators of two Assembly segments under the Malda-North Lok Sabha constituency joined the TMC over the last few months. One of them, Samar Mukherjee, was with the Congress, while the other, Dipali Biswas, was a CPI(M) leader. “This development shook the confidence of Mausam Noor,” said the MLA. Ms. Noor was the Malda district president of the Congress.The BJP factor Another factor responsible for Ms. Noor’s decision to join the TMC is the BJP’s growth in parts of her constituency. The BJP won six of Malda district’s 38 zila parishad seats in the three-tier panchayat polls last year, despite large-scale violence in the region. While the TMC’s seats in the zila parishad went up from six in 2013 to 30 in 2018, the BJP’s jumped from none to six. The Left Front and the Congress’ dropped from 31 to two. Ms. Noor read the writing on the wall and left the party that was never defeated in Malda [delimitation bifurcated the seat into Malda-North and Malda-South Lok Sabha constituencies] since 1980. “Huge turnout in [BJP president] Amit Shah’s rally in her constituency earlier this month also disturbed her,” the MLA, known to be close to Ms. Noor, said.Bengal Congress president Somendra Nath Mitra said that Ms. Noor’s exit will not affect the Congress’ poll prospects in any way, indicating that Ghani Khan Choudhury’s nephew, Isha Khan Choudhury, will be its Malda-North candidate in the Lok Sabha elections. If so, then the seat will witness a fight between two cousins – Mausam Benazir Noor from the TMC and Isha Khan Choudhury from the Congress.The BJP’s vote percentage may improve if the family fight splits the minority vote in the constituency. Malda district has over 51% Muslim vote, as per the 2011 census. Trends indicate that in some blocks of Malda, the BJP has managed to woo sections of the tribal people who earlier always voted for the Left.last_img read more

BSP to contest 38 seats in U.P. as SP settles for 37; RLD to get 3

first_imgThe Samajwadi Party (SP) and Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) on Thursday announced that they will contest 75 out of the 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh in the 2019 general election, practically ruling out any possibility of the Congress joining the anti-BJP alliance in the State.While the SP will contest 37, the BSP will fight it out in 38 seats, the presidents of the two parties, Akhilesh Yadav and Mayawati, said in a joint statement.The names of the candidates have not been announced. Out of the remaining five seats, three will go to the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD). The RLD brushed aside all speculation of being in talks with the Congress, and affirmed that it was a part of the SP-BSP alliance. The three seats for the RLD are Muzaffarnagar, Baghpat and Mathura. RLD chief Ajit Singh is expected to fight from Muzaffarnagar while vice-president Jayant Chaudhary is likely to contest from Baghpat, considered the pocket borough of the family.The alliance has decided to not field any candidates in Rae Bareli and Amethi, currently held by Sonia Gandhi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi. Some key constituencies, held by high-profile BJP leaders, including Varanasi, Lucknow, Gorakhpur, Kairana, Phulpur, Allahabad, Azamgarh and Faizabad, have been allotted to the SP. While Varanasi is the constituency of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Gorakhpur is the bastion of Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath and Lucknow is currently held by Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. However, in 2018, the SP wrested Phulpur and Gorakhpur with the support of the BSP and the Nishad Party in a by-poll, while in Kairana the RLD defeated the BJP as a united Opposition experimented in poll management.The SP’s seats include Kannauj, where Mr. Akhilesh Yadav is expected to contest, and Mainpuri, considered a stronghold of SP founder Mulayam Singh. Mulayam’s poserMoments before the list was released, however, SP chief Akhilesh Yadav was once again embarrassed by his father Mulayam Singh, who questioned the distribution of seats, saying it would weaken the SP. “On what basis were half the seats given (to the BSP),” the SP patriarch asked, while addressing party workers at the party headquarters. The seats in the BSP’s list of 38 include Saharanpur, Meerut, Aligarh, Bijnor, and Bulandshahr. Out of the 17 reserved (SC) seats in teh State, the BSP is contesting 10 while the SP has got seven. The reserved seats include Agra, Nagina and Bulandshahr. While the BSP has no members in the current Lok Sabha, the SP has seven. The RLD holds the Kairana seat.RLD vice-president Jayant Chaudhary said his party was regularly working for an “effective opposition unity” against the anti-farmer, anti-youth and anti-Dalit policies of the BJP government.last_img read more

Day after EC notice, Sidhu continues attack on PM

first_imgCricketer-turned-politician Navjot Singh Sidhu on Saturday said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi was like that new bride who puts on a pretence, rather than actually working, in her marital household. The jibe comes a day after the Election Commission issued notice to Mr. Sidhu for making a derogatory statement about the PM and in the process violating the model code of conduct. “Modi is like a new bride who prepares less rotis but clangs her bangles more to show the neighbourhood that she is neck deep in work. I’m asking the PM the umpteenth time to list one achievement of his in his five-year tenure,” he said. Showing the latest edition of US news magazine Time, which has Mr. Modi on the cover with the caption ‘Divider in Chief’, Mr. Sidhu said the PM was not just that but also “liar in chief’ and “Ambani and Adani’s manager in chief”. He said Mr. Modi was harping on nationalism as he had nothing to show by way of governance. He also attacked Mr. Modi for his statement that a “historic mistake” on the part of the then Congress government ensured that Kartarpur Sahib was included in Pakistan rather than India. “What does this have to do with development, GST etc?” he asked.last_img read more

Desert Farming Experiment Yields First Results

first_imgA project to “green” desert areas with an innovative mix of technologies—producing food, biofuel, clean water, energy, and salt—reached a milestone this week in the Gulf state of Qatar. A pilot plant built by the Sahara Forest Project (SFP) produced 75 kilograms of vegetables per square meter in three crops annually, comparable to commercial farms in Europe, while consuming only sunlight and seawater.  The heart of the SFP concept is a specially designed greenhouse. At one end, salt water is trickled over a gridlike curtain so that the prevailing wind blows the resulting cool, moist air over the plants inside. This cooling effect allowed the Qatar facility to grow three crops per year, even in the scorching summer. At the other end of the greenhouse is a network of pipes with cold seawater running through them. Some of the moisture in the air condenses on the pipes and is collected, providing a source of fresh water.One of the surprising side effects of such a seawater greenhouse, seen during early experiments, is that cool moist air leaking out of it encourages other plants to grow spontaneously outside. The Qatar plant took advantage of that effect to grow crops around the greenhouse, including barley and salad rocket (arugula), as well as useful desert plants. The pilot plant accentuated this exterior cooling with more “evaporative hedges” that reduced air temperatures by up to 10°C. “It was surprising how little encouragement the external crops needed,” says SFP chief Joakim Hauge.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The third key element of the SFP facility is a concentrated solar power plant. This uses mirrors in the shape of a parabolic trough to heat a fluid flowing through a pipe at its focus. The heated fluid then boils water, and the steam drives a turbine to generate power. Hence, the plant has electricity to run its control systems and pumps and can use any excess to desalinate water for irrigating the plants.The Qatar plant has also experimented with other possibilities such as culturing heat-tolerant algae, growing salt-tolerant grasses for fodder or biofuel, and evaporating the concentrated saline the plant emits to produce salt.The Qatar plant—which is supported by Qatari fertilizer companies Yara International and Qafco—is just 1 hectare in extent with 600 square meters of growing area in the greenhouse. The fact that this small greenhouse produced such good yields, Hauge says, suggests that a commercial plant—with possibly four crops a year—could do even better. SFP researchers estimate that a facility with 60 hectares of growing area under greenhouses could provide all the cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and egglants now imported into Qatar. The results “reveal the potential for enabling restorative growth and value creation in arid land,” Hauge says. “I personally think that it is very important that people promote and invest in these ideas. Protected agriculture (I call it “indoor food production”) is an important option for the desert areas, particularly in the Middle East,” says Richard Tutwiler, director of the Desert Development Center at the American University in Cairo. “The big question is economic feasibility. How much did it cost to produce 75 kg of cucumbers per square meter?”SFP is now engaged in studies aimed at building a 20-hectare test facility near Aqaba in Jordan. “This will be a considerable scaling up from the 1 hectare in Qatar,” Hauge says, and big enough to demonstrate commercial operation.*Update, 11 November, 2:58 p.m.: A quote from Richard Tutwiler, director of the Desert Development Center at the American University in Cairo, has been added to the story.last_img read more

Old Data Play Hard to Get, Study Finds

first_imgThe older the raw data, the harder it is to get your hands on. That’s the perhaps-not-unsurprising message of a new study by a group of ecologists and evolutionary biologists, who set out to track down the authors of 516 papers published between 2 and 22 years ago.Evolutionary biologist Timothy Vines, of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in Canada, got the idea for the project after finishing up a paper late last year about how archiving policies at journals affected the availability of data. Vines began wondering about a broader question: How fast do data (or the people generating it) disappear?Vines and his colleagues focused on a type of data collection that hasn’t changed all that much, certain types of morphological studies of plants and animals. They focused on 516 papers published after 1990, examining only those that appeared in odd-numbered years to make their list more manageable. They searched for author e-mail addresses online.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In one sense, it was tough to gather data regardless of when the paper was published. In 167 papers published before 2000, 38% had no working author e-mail; for the 349 papers published after 2000, the number dropped to 19%. For papers where an e-mail apparently got through, Vines and his colleagues received a response about half the time, regardless of when the paper was published.Vines suspects that some e-mails, particularly on older papers, didn’t go through. Authors of older papers were much more likely to admit that their data had been lost. Statistical analysis of results suggested that for every extra year a paper had been in circulation, the odds that its data were still around declined by 17%. In only two cases out of 26 from 1991 did Vines and his colleagues determine that data still existed; the number rose steadily to nearly 40% by 2011 (and would likely have been much higher if more authors had responded to their e-mails).Vines notes that the study, published today in Current Biology, has its limitations. Many authors might simply have ignored the e-mails requesting data. “If we had told them, ‘Your research funding will stop right now if you don’t give us your data,’ clearly we would have had a higher response rate,” he admits. Still, there’s no doubt that data are disappearing, whether because researchers become difficult to find or because, as Vines also found, older data are stored using obsolete technology such as on floppy disks.“Everyone sort of thinks this is happening and quietly acknowledges it, but I think it’s important to drag it into the light,” Vines says. Some data sets, such as fieldwork in ecology, are “irreplaceable,” he says. Some are costly to redo. Finally, “if your research is paid for by public money, in some sense the data doesn’t belong to the authors,” Vines argues. “It belongs to the people who paid for it.”last_img read more

An 11,000-Year-Old Dog Tumor

first_imgA sexually transmitted cancer has been spreading from dog to dog for as long as 11,000 years, according to a new analysis. And today, each case of the cancer—known as canine transmissible venereal tumor (CTVT)—still retains genetic signatures of its very first host. That’s giving researchers a glimpse of the biology of the earliest domesticated dogs and insight into how a cancer can evolve over such long time periods.“This is definitely exciting,” says cancer geneticist Elaine Ostrander of the U.S. National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, who was not involved in the research. “Dogs have propagated and babysat and taken care of this cell line for thousands of years, and now we have an opportunity to study it.”In 2006, researchers discovered that, unlike most cancers, CTVT doesn’t arise from mutations in an individual animal; rather, it spreads from dog to dog, primarily among feral dog populations in tropical climates. During sex between dogs, cancer cells sloughed by one animal jump to its mate, where they begin forming a new tumor, most often on the genitals. In most cases, chemotherapy is effective, but that’s not true of the only other known transmissible cancer: devil facial tumor disease (DFTD), which is ravaging Tasmanian devils in Australia. DFTD—spread when the ferocious animals bite each other—kills Tasmanian devils within months and has caused the population to decline by 70%. Research into CTVT, scientists hope, will lead to ways to stop or slow the spread of DFTD.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The 2006 CTVT study showed, based on the genetic differences between a handful of tumors, that the cancer had been jumping between animals for at least 200 years—but possibly much longer. Now that more advanced genetic technology is available, geneticist Elizabeth Murchison of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom wanted a more specific timeline for the emergence of the cancer. So she and her colleagues sequenced the genomes of two CTVTs, collected from dogs in Australia and Brazil. They found that—compared with the normal dog genome—the cancer contains more than 2 million mutations, far more than any known human cancer. “I was surprised by the sheer number of mutations that we found,” Murchison says. “One in two genes carries a mutation that changes the protein it encodes.”Using previous knowledge about the average mutation rate per year for certain genes, the scientists were able to deduce that the cancer has been in existence for an estimated 11,368 years, they report online today in Science. They were also able to pinpoint genes that originated in the first host of the cancer, when it likely arose through mutations. The genes of this original dog, they concluded, suggest that it had short, dark fur and a body that resembled today’s Alaskan malamutes. Genetics couldn’t determine whether the dog was a male or female, or where it lived, but its genome did show signs of inbreeding, a potential clue as to how the tumor got started.“If this dog was inbred, maybe it was in a very inbred overall population,” Murchison says. “If so, that may have been an environment which was especially conducive for the emergence of a transmissible cancer.”Most cancers can’t spread between individuals because the potential recipient’s immune system detects that the cancer cells are foreign and kills them. In inbred populations, that may not be the case because individuals are more similar genetically, allowing a cancer to become transmissible. Once the tumor had evolved within multiple, similar hosts, it may have developed genetic mutations that allowed it to thrive in an even broader population, Murchison says. The tumor likely didn’t spread from an isolated population to the rest of the world until about 500 years ago, her team found.The new research “sets the stage for future work on what properties of the tumors and of the hosts let these cancers propagate,” Ostrander says. Although there are no instances of transmissible tumors in humans today, understanding how they emerge could help ensure it remains that way, she says.*Correction, 23 January, 3:37 p.m.: The caption and credit were incorrect; they have now been fixed.last_img read more

Indians Among Most Favoured Migrants in UK

first_imgThe Indians residing in the United Kingdom are among the among most favoured migrants living in the country, a recent opinion poll has claimed. According to the YouGov poll, the Indian migrants have a more positive image in the UK as compared to other South Asian communities.Read it at Zee News Related Itemslast_img

A Furious Backlash is Brewing Against India’s Tech Billionaires

first_imgIn May 2018, Walmart gave India’s startup scene a $16 billion (£12bn) boost, splashing out on a majority stake in Flipkart, the online retailer and Amazon rival. On the surface, India’s largest internet deal justifies the recent hype around its tech sector. But underneath there is trouble brewing, as India’s digital giants risk suffering a big tech backlash of their own.Read it at Wired Related Itemslast_img

Indian ride-hailing firm Ola starts operations in Britain

first_imgIndian ride-hailing company Ola began operating in south Wales on Aug 20 ahead of a planned expansion across Britain by the end of the year, intensifying its battle with US rival Uber.Unlike Uber, the company offers customers the option of private hire vehicles and taxis on one platform. Read it at The Star Related Itemslast_img

Akhilesh sees tie-up with BSP as a trial that didn’t triumph

first_imgSamajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday equated his party’s gathbandhan (alliance) with the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh to a “trial” that didn’t succeed and declared that the “path in politics” was “open” for his party.“It’s fine, trials happen. Sometimes you don’t succeed. But at least you come to know of the weaknesses,” he told reporters at an Eid-ul-Fitr event in Lucknow.Mr.Yadav said if his party was contesting the coming bypolls alone, he would discuss that with his colleagues and chart out a strategy that would also bring the “Samajwadi people” to power in 2022.“As far as the question of alliance and contesting alone goes, now the path in politics is open,” he said.The SP chief, however, kept the window for compromise open, just like BSP chief Mayawati did a day earlier by praising him and his wife Dimple Yadav personally and asserting that their personal relationship would never end despite the “political compulsions” of putting the political alliance on hold.Mr. Yadav said, “I can assure you what is said for honourable Mayawatiji on the first day, in the first press conference, that her honour will be my honour, even today I say the same thing.”Mayawati’s announcementOn Tuesday, Ms. Mayawati stumped everyone by announcing that she would go it alone in the bypolls coming up in the State after 11 Assembly seats were vacated following the entry of the sitting MLAs to the Lok Sabha. Ms. Mayawati claimed that the Yadavs had deserted the SP and hurt the alliance’s prospects and issued an ultimatum to the SP chief to train his workers to be “missionary” like the BSP cadre, for a revival of the alliance. She also said“there is no breakup of the alliance yet.”last_img read more

LJP rebels float new party

first_imgA group of disgruntled leaders of Ram Vilas Paswan’s Lok Janshakti Party announced the launch of a new outfit, accusing the leadership of reducing the party to a “private limited company”.Mr. Paswan played down the development, saying “let them go”. Led by LJP national general secretaries Satyanand Sharma and Anil Kumar Paswan, and treasurer Ramesh Chandra Kapoor, the rebel leaders announced the formation of LJP (Secular).last_img

Muzaffarnagar riots: key hearing on July 1

first_imgA court here on Monday sent the murder case of an eyewitness in a Muzaffarnagar riots case to the sessions case for hearing on July 1. Chief Judicial Magistrate Rakesh Kumar Gautam sent the murder case against six accused to the sessions court for hearing and asked them to appear before it on July 1. Shot dead in KhatauliAshfaq, who was an eyewitness in the murder case of his two brothers, was shot dead in Khatauli town of Uttar Pradesh’s Muzaffarnagar district in March this year. Ashfaq’s brothers, Nawab and Shahid, were shot dead during the 2013 riots, in which more than 60 lives were lost and over 40,000 people were displaced. Case registeredPolice registered a case and arrested all the six accused, including gangster Sushil Munch’s son.last_img read more

Woman, daughter run over by train while chasing thief near Mathura

first_imgA woman and her daughter were crushed to death on the railway track near Mathura early on Saturday after they fell from the Trivandrum Express while chasing a thief who stole one of their bags, the police said.According to Jogender Kumar, Superintendent of Police, Railways, Agra region, Meena Devi, 45, and Manisha, 21, who hail from Durgapur, West Bengal, jumped out of the moving train when they discovered that a thief had robbed them of their bag which had cash, ATM and identity cards. While the thief escaped, the mother and daughter were crushed by the Sampark Kranti Express that was passing on the adjacent track.“The incident happened in S2 coach near Vrindavan city station and it seems the thief pulled the chain before jumping off the train. Meena was found dead on the spot while Manisha died during treatment at Sau Shaiyya hospital in Vrindavan.”Meena’s son Akash, 23, slept through the incident and was woken up by fellow passengers. “Akash told us that the family had boarded the train at Hazrat Nizamuddin. They were going to Kota to get Manisha admitted for medical coaching. He also told us that the bag that has been stolen had around ₹4000, two mobile phones, and some crucial documents,” said Mr. Kumar.Interim relief After post-mortem, the bodies have been sent to Bardhaman through the Sealdah Express. The Railways have given an interim relief of ₹35,000 to Akash.The SP has transferred inspector Rajesh Kumar Dubey, the GRP in-charge of Mathura station, to Police Lines and a departmental inquiry has been ordered for dereliction of duty. Local reports suggest that the thief was not alone and his accomplices tried to rob other passengers on the train as well. “It seems the robbers boarded the train at Hazrat Nizamuddin station itself. We have formed two teams to investigate the matter and the culprits will be arrested soon,” said Mr. Kumar.last_img read more

Lok Sabha bypoll: ex-Sikkim governor pitted against NCP’s royal turncoat

first_imgSenior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader and ex-Sikkim Governor Shriniwas Patil will take on ex-NCP MP and the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s candidate, Udayanraje Bhosale, in the Satara Lok Sabha bypoll to be held along with the Assembly elections in Maharashtra on October 21.Mr. Patil, a former IAS officer and a close associate of NCP chief Sharad Pawar, staged a show of strength in Satara after filing his nomination on Thursday.Mr. Pawar had earlier urged senior Congressman Prithviraj Chavan to contest the by-election. However, Mr. Chavan, the sitting MLA of Karad South (in Satara) had declined, preferring instead to focus on the Assembly elections.Mr. Patil has been elected MP twice, in 1999 and 2004, from the erstwhile Karad Lok Sabha constituency in Satara before its delimitation ahead of the 2009 polls.Political equations have changed overnight in Satara, which was completely dominated by the NCP before this year’s Lok Sabha polls after the defections of both royals — Shivendrasinh Bhosale, the former NCP MLA from Satara and Udayanraje Bhosale, the ex-NCP MP from Satara Lok Sabha constituency — to the ruling BJP.The NCP currently holds three of the six Assembly segments in Satara — Koregaon (Shashikant Shinde), Wai (Makarand Patil) and Karad North (Balasaheb Patil) — while Mr. Chavan holds the Karad South seat, the sole Congress borough in the district.Mr. Chavan, a former Maharashtra Chief Minister, too filed his nomination on Thursday, accompanied by Mr. Patil and other supporters. He is pitted against the BJP’s Atul Bhosale, who staged a spectacular show of strength in Karad before filing his nomination.“Our aim is to weed out the BJP’s socially divisive policies. Karad has been the wellspring of progressive thought. I am confident that the people here will reject the regressive ideology of the current government in the upcoming elections,” Mr. Chavan said.last_img read more

127 extremist-related incidents in Manipur in 2018: officials

first_imgThe Manipur police has claimed that the number of extremist-related incidents declined in the State in the year 2018 when compared to the previous years. A statement issued by the PRO of Manipur police, W. Basu Singh on Monday said 127 insurgency-related incidents were reported in the State in the year 2018, while in 2017 it was 167 and 233 in the year 2016. It said the State police, along with security personnel deployed in the State, had arrested 404 extremists from various places in the State in the year 2018. The statement claimed the State police and the security forces have been taken up proactive counter-insurgency measures which led to a decline in the number of extremist-related incidents.last_img read more

₹4.35 crore house tax notice on Anand Bhavan

first_imgA notice for the non-payment of house tax amounting to ₹4.35 crore has been slapped on Anand Bhavan — the ancestral house of India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru — by the Allahabad Municipal Corporation. Confirming it, Mayor Abhilasha Gupta ‘Nandi’ on Wednesday said that the notice was sent a week ago as officials at Anand Bhavan could not provide any document proving that it was a charitable building. The Mayor said the officials had also claimed that the building was handed over (to the government) as a heritage of the nation. “However, the papers supporting their claims are not with them, and are not given to us,” the Mayor said. She added that the Anand Bhavan officials were seeking discount, but on what basis it should be given, they were unable to justify. ‘Entry fee charged’“They are saying that their building is not commercial, but when the birth anniversary of former PM Indira Gandhi is celebrated, a ticket worth ₹50 is purchased by a visitor. You also charge tickets for the museum,” she said, adding that if the building was handed over to the government as a heritage structure, then it should have control over it. The Mayor further said, “They used to give a tax of ₹600 till 1990. After 1990, they have not given any tax.”last_img read more

Lukaku header gains World Cup spot for Belgium

first_imgTyphoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View comments Two goals from Edin Dzeko helped the Bosnians beat Gibraltar 4-0 to leapfrog Greece into second place. Belgium has 22 points, Bosnia-Herzegovina 14, Greece 13 and Cyprus 10.Cyprus’s hopes of qualifying took another blow in a 1-0 loss away to Estonia, thanks to Mattias Kait’s winning goal in the dying seconds.Estonia is fifth with eight points while last-place Gilbraltar has lost all eight matches.ADVERTISEMENT Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Greece responded three minutes later through Zeca, but only one more minute passed before Belgium retook the lead thanks to Lukaku’s header. It was the Manchester United forward’s 10th goal of the qualifying campaign.Victory leaves the Belgians top with an unassailable eight-point lead over second-place Bosnia-Herzegovina. That makes Belgium the first European team confirmed for the World Cup besides host nation Russia.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutBelgium is unbeaten in qualifying, with seven wins and a 1-1 draw at home to Greece in March.The Belgians have scored 35 goals and conceded just three in a group where they were considered the overwhelming favorites. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC LOOK: Venues for 2019 SEA Games Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. UPLB exempted from SEA Games class suspensioncenter_img Read Next WATCH: Streetboys show off slick dance moves in Vhong Navarro’s wedding LATEST STORIES Catriona Gray spends Thanksgiving by preparing meals for people with illnesses Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku celebrates at the end of the World Cup Group H qualifying soccer match between Greece and Belgium at Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus port, near Athens, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017. Belgium won 2-1. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)Romelu Lukaku was on target Sunday to give Belgium a 2-1 win over Greece and a place at next year’s World Cup.The Group H fixture was goalless until the 70th minute when Jan Vertonghen blasted the visitors into the lead with a fierce shot.ADVERTISEMENT MOST READ SEA Games in Calabarzon safe, secure – Solcom chief Switzerland wins 8th straight game, Portugal stays closelast_img read more