Meteorite yields carbon crystals harder than diamond

first_imgNearly octahedral diamond crystal in matrix. Image: Wikimedia Commons More information: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.epsl.2009.12.015 The super-hard diamonds were created when graphite in the meteorite experienced the intense heat and pressure of entering the Earth’s atmosphere and crashing into the ground. The graphite layers would have been heated and shocked enough to create bonds between them, in much the same way as humans manufacture diamonds.The new carbon crystals were too small to test for precise hardness but they are known to be harder than normal diamonds because the researchers found them by using a diamond paste to polish a slice of the meteorite. The crystals were raised more than 10 µm above the polished surface, which meant they were harder than the diamonds in the polishing paste. The researchers had seen carbon crystals that resisted the diamond polishing in one direction before, but the new crystals were unaffected when polished in every direction.The scientists then used an array of mineralogical instruments, including microscopy, spectroscopy and energy-dispersive X-rays among others, to study the structure of the crystals. This allowed them to identify them as representing two new carbon polymorphs or diamond polytypes. One is an ultra-hard rhombohedral carbon polymorph similar to diamond, while the other is a 21R diamond polytype ultra-hard diamond. The existence of ultra-hard diamonds had been predicted decades ago, but they have never before been found in nature. The novel form consists of fused graphite sheets similar to artificial diamond.Professor Tristan Ferroir, leader of the research team from the Université de Lyon in France, said the discovery was accidental, but they had thought an examination of the meteorite would “lead to new findings on the carbon system.”Professor Ferroir said there is currently no way to compare the structure of the new crystals to boron nitride and lonsdaleite, the artificially manufactured ultra-hard diamonds, but the findings help scientists gain a better understanding of carbon polymorphs and give them new materials to investigate and perhaps synthesize. They also show the carbon system is more complex than previously thought.The findings on the new diamond were published in the Earth and Planetary Science Letters journal on February 15. Diamond is one tough cookie Explore further © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Two new types of ultra-hard carbon crystals have been found by researchers investigating the ureilite class Haverö meteorite that crashed to Earth in Finland in 1971. Ureilite meteorites are carbon-rich and known to contain graphite and diamonds. Citation: Meteorite yields carbon crystals harder than diamond (2010, February 3) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-02-meteorite-yields-carbon-crystals-harder.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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For the first time researchers observe graphene sheets becoming buckyballs w Video

first_img “This is the first time that anyone has directly observed the mechanism of fullerene formation,” Andrei Khlobystov of the University of Nottingham told PhysOrg.com. “Shortly after the discovery of fullerene (exactly 25 years ago), the ‘top down’ mechanism of fullerene assembly was proposed. However, it was soon rejected in favor of a multitude of different ‘bottom up’ mechanisms, mainly because people could not understand how a flake of graphene could form a fullerene and because they did not have means to observe the fullerene formation in situ.”As the scientists report in a recent study published in Nature Chemistry, there are four main steps involved in this top-down fullerene formation process, which can be explained by quantum chemical modeling. The critical first step is the loss of carbon atoms at the edge of the graphene sheet. Because the carbon atoms at the edge of graphene are connected by only two bonds to the rest of the structure, the researchers could use the microscope’s high-energy electron beam (or “e-beam”) to chip the atoms away, one by one. While exposed to the e-beam, the edges of the graphene sheet appear to be continuously changing shape.The loss of carbon atoms on the edge of the graphene is the most crucial step in the process, the scientists explain, since it destabilizes the structure and triggers the subsequent three steps. The increase in the number of dangling carbon bonds at the edge of the graphene causes the formation of pentagons on the graphene edge, which is followed by the curving of the graphene into a bowl-like shape. Both of these processes are thermodynamically favorable, since they bring carbon atoms on the edge closer to one another, allowing them to form bonds with each other. (PhysOrg.com) — Peering through a transmission electron microscope (TEM), researchers from Germany, Spain, and the UK have observed graphene sheets transforming into spherical fullerenes, better known as buckyballs, for the first time. The experiment could shed light on the process of how fullerenes are formed, which has so far remained mysterious on the atomic scale. Play This video shows the transformation of a graphene sheet into a fullerene (forming in the top center of the images). Video credit: Andrey Chuvilin, et al. In the fourth and final step, the carbon bonds cause the curved graphene to “zip up” its open edges and form a cage-like buckyball. Because the zipping process reduces the number of dangling bonds, the spherical fullerene represents the most stable configuration of carbon atoms under these conditions. Once the edges are completely sealed, no further carbon atoms can be lost, and the newly created fullerene remains intact under the e-beam. PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Citation: For the first time, researchers observe graphene sheets becoming buckyballs (w/ Video) (2010, June 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-06-graphene-sheets-buckyballs-video.html Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. More information: Andrey Chuvilin, et al. “Direct transformation of graphene to fullerene.” Nature Chemistry, Vol. 2, June 2010. DOI: 10.1038/NCHEM.644center_img Explore further Although spherical fullerenes can already be generated in high yields from graphite (which is made of many graphene sheets stacked together), up until now scientists have not fully understood the underlying mechanisms of their formation. By observing the process in real time in this study, the researchers have been able to identify the structural changes that the graphene undergoes in order to become increasingly round and form a perfect fullerene. The results help to unravel the mystery of fullerene formation by explaining, for instance, how laser ablation works as a fullerene production method: the microscope’s e-beam, similar to a laser beam, supplies the energy to break the carbon bonds and serve as the critical initial step in the formation process. “The key to the direct visualization of fullerene formation is (i) atomically thin graphene flakes mounted perpendicular to the electron beam; (ii) aberration corrected high resolution TEM allowing imaging with atomic resolution; and (iii) careful analysis of the evolution of graphene to fullerene, image simulation and correlation of the experimental data with theoretical calculations,” Khlobystov said. “This is why our study discovers so much more than previous TEM studies.”In addition, the results help explain the high abundance of C60 and C70 fullerenes (fullerenes composed of 60 or 70 carbon atoms) found in different methods of fullerene production. The researchers found that a large (more than 100 carbon atoms) initial graphene flake imposes a significant energy penalty during the curving step, so that its edges continue to be chipped away until it is small enough to curve. On the other hand, very small (less than 60 atoms) graphene flakes experience excessive strain on the carbon bonds during the curving step, preventing them from closing up. So to enable the thermodynamically driven formation process, fullerenes end up having a narrow range of diameters averaging about one nanometer, which corresponds to 60-100 carbon atoms.“Understanding the fullerene formation process teaches us about the fundamental connection between different forms of carbon,” Khlobystov said. “Also, it opens new avenues for fabrication of molecular nanostructures using the e-beam. This is a new way to do chemistry and to study molecules!” These images from a transmission electron microscope show the formation of fullerene from graphene. In (a), the edges of the graphene sheet continuously change shape when exposed to the e-beam. (b) shows the final product, while (c)-(h) show close-ups of the sequence of a graphene flake transforming into a fullerene. Image credit: Andrey Chuvilin, et al. Synthesis with a template: Carbon-free fullerene analogue 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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Scientists demonstrate more efficient way to connect nanoparticles for singleelectron devices

first_img The researchers, Anne Bernard-Mantel from CNRS and the Universite Paris-Sud in Palaiseau, France, and coauthors have published their study on the new high-yield method of connecting single nano-objects in a recent issue of Nanotechnology. In addition to the increased efficiency at small scales, the new method is also compatible with a more diverse range of materials, such as highly oxygen-sensitive ferromagnetic materials. In contrast, previous methods could not use these metals due to their susceptibility to oxidation problems.In their study, the scientists demonstrated two similar fabrication processes. Both processes start with a bottom electrode and thin layer of alumina. In the first process, an assembly of nanoparticles is deposited, followed by another thin layer of alumina, and then a resist layer. Using a nanoindentation technique, the scientists drilled a nanohole into the resist layer and then filled it with metal to form the top electrode. The bottom of the nanohole comes to an extremely sharp point that connects with only one nanoparticle. In the second process, the only difference is that the alumina assembly is deposited after the resist layer. The final result is a solid-state device consisting of an assembly of nanoparticles, while only one nanoparticle is connected to both the top and bottom electrodes. The scientists demonstrated the processes with nanoparticles as small as 2 nm in diameter. They also used different materials, including metallic and semiconducting nanoparticles, as well as non-magnetic and ferromagnetic electrodes. In contrast with complex and expensive techniques such as electron beam lithography, the new method offers a simpler, cheaper alternative that also provides a higher yield at very small scales. Because the new method is also compatible with ferromagnetic materials, it could be used for investigating nanospintronics. Other possibilities include fabricating chemically grown nanoparticles and molecular nanomagnets.“The next step is now to adapt this technology to connect isolated molecular magnets,” coauthor Karim Bouzehouane of CNRS and the Universite Paris-Sud told PhysOrg.com. NEC Realizes Control of Position & Diameter of Carbon Nanotube Explore further (PhysOrg.com) — By connecting single nano-objects together, scientists can fabricate tiny solid-state devices through which a precisely controlled single-electron current can flow. In the past several years, scientists have been developing different methods for connecting single nano-objects, such as metallic nanoparticles, semiconducting nanocrystals, and molecules. However, as the size of the nano-objects decreases, the efficiency of these methods also decreases, so that most methods result in a low yield at the scale of a few nanometers. In a new study, scientists have developed a new way to connect single nano-objects that could overcome these challenges and enable the creation of new nanodevices. 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: A. Bernand-Mantel, et al. “A versatile nanotechnology to connect individual nano-objects for the fabrication of hybrid single-electron devices.” Nanotechnology 21 (2010) 445201 (6pp). DOI:10.1088/0957-4484/21/44/445201 Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. In the two fabrication processes, a hole is created in the resist layer (blue) and filled with metal to create the top electrode. The tip of the top electrode can be sufficiently small to connect to a single nanoparticle of the nanoparticle assembly (yellow dots). Image credit: Bernand-Mantel, et al. Citation: Scientists demonstrate more efficient way to connect nanoparticles for single-electron devices (2010, October 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-10-scientists-efficient-nanoparticles-single-electron-devices.htmllast_img read more

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Research team develops method to strengthen elastomers

first_img More information: Toughening Elastomers with Sacrificial Bonds and Watching Them Break, Science 11 April 2014: Vol. 344 no. 6180 pp. 186-189. DOI: 10.1126/science.1248494ABSTRACTElastomers are widely used because of their large-strain reversible deformability. Most unfilled elastomers suffer from a poor mechanical strength, which limits their use. Using sacrificial bonds, we show how brittle, unfilled elastomers can be strongly reinforced in stiffness and toughness (up to 4 megapascals and 9 kilojoules per square meter) by introducing a variable proportion of isotropically prestretched chains that can break and dissipate energy before the material fails. Chemoluminescent cross-linking molecules, which emit light as they break, map in real time where and when many of these internal bonds break ahead of a propagating crack. The simple methodology that we use to introduce sacrificial bonds, combined with the mapping of where bonds break, has the potential to stimulate the development of new classes of unfilled tough elastomers and better molecular models of the fracture of soft materials. (Phys.org) —A team of researchers working in France has found a way to toughen elastomers—a class of rubbers. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes how they used a technique similar to that used to strengthen hydrogels to make elastomers stronger. Jian Ping Gong offers a Perspective piece on the work in the same issue of the journal. © 2014 Phys.org Elastomers are used in a wide variety of applications, primarily as shock absorbers—they can generally be easily stretched, but tend to break if a notch develops. Scientists would like to improve the strength of elastomers because it would allow for their use in more applications and for better results in applications in which they are already used. In this new effort, the researchers looked to a technique that has proven to be a good method of strengthening hydrogels—combining two different network materials.Hydrogels, as their name implies, are made mostly of water, they resemble organic tissue in many respects which is why research is ongoing to find a way to use them in biological applications. Prior research has shown that the addition of a second network material can cause an increase in their strength—in essence the added strength comes from the mesh that is created, offering increased resistance to cracking while still maintaining pliability. Until now, however, applying the same technique to elastomers has proven to be challenging because a secondary network material that would offer contrasting properties was not known. The second is the tendency of non-water based materials to separate because they don’t contain solvents. The team in France has found a solution to both these problems by employing a sequential polymerization technique. Explore further PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen Researchers develop new kind of polymers that can be created using solid-state polymerization of organic dye molecules Citation: Research team develops method to strengthen elastomers (2014, April 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-04-team-method-elastomers.html Journal information: Science 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. Play This video demonstrates the stretching and breaking of elastomers containing breakable sacrificial bonds that emit light as they break. The first experiment shown is a series of loading/unloading cycles, and the second experiment is the propagation of a crack. This video is real data on a live experiment and not an animation. Credit: Laboratory SIMM, ESPCI ParisTech & Institute for Complex Molecular Systems TU Eindhoven To create an elastomer with added strength, the team started with a traditional network material. Instead of simply introducing a second network material, the researchers used monomers of the first material, causing it to swell—the monomers were then polymerized causing the completion of a double-network structure. The end result is an elastomer that is stronger than those that have been made before, yet is still able to be stretched. Interestingly, the process can be repeated again to create a triple-network structure elastomer as well.To help test their new material, the researchers also added chemoluminescent molecules into the mix which caused the emittance of light when the material cracked. As Gong notes, the new technique is likely to stoke interest by other researchers, leading perhaps, to a new class of products.last_img read more

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Can capacitors in electrical circuits provide largescale energy storage

first_img(Phys.org)—Capacitors are widely used in electrical circuits to store small amounts of energy, but have never been used for large-scale energy storage. Now researchers from Japan have shown that the right combination of resistors and capacitors can allow electrical circuits to meet two key requirements of an energy storage device: quick charging and long-term discharging. Using capacitors as energy storage devices in circuits has potential applications for hybrid electric vehicles, backup power supplies, and alternative energy storage. Journal information: Applied Physics Letters 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. How to quickly store a large amount of electricity and control long-term discharging in an electrical circuit: (a) The capacitor (C) is quickly charged by closing switches S1, S2, S3, and S4. (b) To store the electricity in the capacitor, switches S1, S2, S3, and S4 are then opened. (c) Long-term discharging is carried out by closing S2 and S4, which closes the output circuit, and then using the variable resistor to control the discharging. ©2014 AIP Publishing LLC Explore further © 2014 Phys.org Citation: Can capacitors in electrical circuits provide large-scale energy storage? (2014, December 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-capacitors-electrical-circuits-large-scale-energy.html (a) and (b) The charging/discharging curves for various resistor-capacitor combinations. (c) Three-dimensional funnel-shaped surface contour displaying energy-rich discharging after complete charging. Credit: Fukuhara, et al. ©2014 AIP Publishing LLC More information: Mikio Fukuhara, et al. “Realizing a supercapacitor in an electrical circuit.” Applied Physics Letters. DOI: 10.1063/1.4902410 “The greatest significance of this work is the discovery of an RC region that offers quick charging and long-term discharging in an electrical circuit,” Fukuhara told Phys.org. “We think that this system will become an important method for storing much energy or only small amounts of energy in the near future. For this purpose, the storage capacitor must change from an electrochemical to a physical device.”The researchers attribute the quick charging and long-term discharging to the damming effect of the large resistor in the circuit. They explain that the relationship between the resistance and the capacitance of a supercapacitor is similar to that between the plug size and the amount of water in a water tank. The larger the plug (resistor), the more water (capacitance) the tank can hold. Until now, the damming effect of this RC combination on electrical energy storage in such circuits has been overlooked. The results also showed that a “dry” or “solid” supercapacitor made of an amorphous TiO2 surface with nanometer-sized cavities provides better performance than typical supercapacitors that use liquid solvents. The researchers’ earlier work on these dry TiO2 capacitors showed that they have several advantages for energy storage, such as a large capacitance of 4.8 F, wide operating temperature range from 193 to 453 K, and large voltage variation from 10 to 150 V. In contrast, traditional EDLCs suffer limitations in all of these areas.”Besides the early original researchers of electric circuits, people have believed that circuits are used only for quick charging and prompt discharging,” Fukuhara said. “Consequently, the damming effect of this RC combination on electrical energy storage in such circuits has been overlooked. When we began researching the dry physical capacitance using solid materials only, we began questioning the usual usage of capacitors based on the conventional concept.”In the future, the researchers plan to work on further improving the performance of these dry supercapacitors in order to make improvements to the energy-storage system overall.”Our plans are to develop dry, physical electric storage devices for use by electric vehicles, AC transmission lines, and charging of large amounts of lightning or large amounts of currents stored in air,” Fukuhara said. “However, it will take a long time.” Energy storage in miniaturized capacitors may boost green energy technology The researchers, Prof. Mikio Fukuhara, Tomoyuki Kuroda, and Prof. Fumihiko Hasegawa, at Tohoku University in Sendai, Japan, have published their paper in a recent issue of Applied Physics Letters.Developing efficient methods of electrical energy storage is a major topic of research, with a strong focus on batteries, fuel cells, and electric double-layer capacitors (EDLCs) when not incorporated in circuits. So far, no research has been performed on the use of capacitors or supercapacitors as energy storage devices in circuits.To explore the possibility of using capacitors to store energy in circuits, the researchers investigated the charging/discharging behavior of 126 resistor-capacitor (RC) combinations of 18 resistors, three ceramic capacitors, and four aluminum capacitors. They found that the RC combinations that are the best in terms of quick charging and long-term discharging consist of circuits with a small resistor, a large resistor, and a large capacitor. Some of these circuits could be charged in less than 20 seconds and hold the charge for up to 40 minutes, while having relatively large capacitances of up to 100 milliFarads (mF).last_img read more

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Use of surname for males more than females may be sign of

first_img More information: Stav Atir et al. How gender determines the way we speak about professionals, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1805284115AbstractGender inequality persists in many professions, particularly in high-status fields, such as science, technology, engineering, and math. We report evidence of a form of gender bias that may contribute to this state: gender influences the way that people speak about professionals. When discussing professionals or their work, it is common to refer to them by surname alone (e.g., “Darwin developed the theory of evolution”). We present evidence that people are more likely to refer to male than female professionals in this way. This gender bias emerges in archival data across domains; students reviewing professors online and pundits discussing politicians on the radio are more likely to use surname when speaking about a man (vs. a woman). Participants’ self-reported references also indicate a preference for using surname when speaking about male (vs. female) scientists, authors, and others. Finally, experimental evidence provides convergent evidence: participants writing about a fictional male scientist are more likely to refer to him by surname than participants writing about an otherwise identical female scientist. We find that, on average, people are over twice as likely to refer to male professionals by surname than female professionals. Critically, we identified consequences of this gender bias in speaking about professionals. Researchers referred to by surname are judged as more famous and eminent. They are consequently seen as higher status and more deserving of eminence-related benefits and awards. For instance, scientists referred to by surname were seen as 14% more deserving of a National Science Foundation career award. Citation: Use of surname for males more than females may be sign of unintentional bias (2018, June 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-surname-males-females-unintentional-bias.html Two researchers at Cornell University report that people are more likely to refer to men by surname only (last name) than women. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Stav Atir and Melissa Ferguson suggest that such labeling may lead to unintentional bias. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences During the last presidential race in the U.S., the candidates from both major parties were given one-name monikers—doing so made referencing them easier. But notably, Hillary Clinton was called Hillary, while Donald Trump was called Trump. Why the difference? The researchers with this new effort wondered why as well, prompting them to look into the prevalence of men being referenced by surname versus women.Their study consisted of analyzing online reviews students gave for their professors and transcripts of political radio shows. They also asked volunteers to rewrite information from a blurb describing a fictional chemist.In all, the researchers looked at 5,000 professor reviews and more than 300 radio show transcripts counting the number of times a person was referenced by either their full name, or just their last name. They found that students were 55.9 percent more likely to refer to male professors by just their last name, compared to female professors. They also found that speakers on NPR political radio shows were twice as likely to do so. Intrigued, the researchers conducted an experiment in which they wrote an essay about a fictional chemist named either Douglas or Dolores Berson. They then gave the essays to 184 volunteers and asked them to rewrite it in their own words. Those asked to paraphrase the essay about Douglas were four times more likely to refer to him by his last name than were those writing about Dolores.The researchers conducted several other experiments aimed at trying to figure out why such differences exist—they found that volunteers felt that people referred to by just their last name were considered to be better known or more eminent than those referred to by both first and last name. They were not able to find any real reason that people seem more inclined to refer to men by their last names than women, but suggest it might indicate that a subtle form of bias exists in people’s minds. Researchers find a brain link between affective understanding and interpersonal attractioncenter_img Explore further © 2018 Phys.org Credit: CC0 Public Domain 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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Singleatom nanozymes

first_imgBased on the in vitro experimental outcomes, the scientists next conducted in vivo antibacterial studies using the new nanozymes. For this, they used a wound infection model of mice to understand the antibacterial efficacy of FeN5 SA/CNF. After 4-days of infecting a wound site with E. coli followed by nanozyme therapy, Huang et al. observed the clear remission of ulceration and accelerated wound healing in the treatment group. The scientists verified the in vivo healing process using histopathology studies of the wounded tissue stained with hematoxylin and eosin. The results showed that keratinocytes migrated to the wound site from the normal tissue, to thicken the epidermis after treatment, confirming a highly biocompatible bacterial nanozyme. As before, Huang et al. credited the results to the architecture of atomically dispersed FeN5 sites, as actual active centers in these catalysts. To determine the precise origin of the enhanced oxidase-like activity of the FeN5 SA/CNF using theoretical calculations, Huang et al. performed density functional theory (DFT) calculations. For this, they used the oxygen molecular reduction process of single-atom metal sites, with TMB molecules as the reducing agent in acidic conditions. The scientists showed that compared with the starting square planar FeN4 SA/CNF, the axial-coordinated N atom used to form FeN5 SA/CNF provided a strong push effect in the nanozymes architecture; to activate the oxygen molecule and cleave the O-O bond. This process promoted the oxidative capacity of the single atom nanozymes, to acquire acidic hydrogens from substrates such as TMB, while oxidizing them. Thereby, based on the DFT calculations, Huang et al. unmistakably credited the origin of the superior oxidase-like activity to the central metal atom and the steric configurations of single-atom nanozymes. In this way. Huang and colleagues reported the discovery of a new class of single-atom nanozymes with atomically dispersed enzyme-like active sites in nanomaterials. The new nanozymes showed significantly superior catalytic performance compared with conventional nanozymes in the lab. The observations resulted in uncovering their underlying mechanism during the study, using oxidase catalysis as a model reaction. Using both experimental studies and theoretical calculations, the scientists revealed the electron-push effect mechanism crucial to endow FeN5 SA/CNF with the characteristically superior oxidase-like activity, compared to other nanozymes. This led to efficient bactericidal investigations and wound disinfection in vitro and in vivo. The scientists present a new perspective to the catalytic mechanisms and rational design of nanozymes to exhibit great potential and predict the origin of a next-generation nanozyme. Nanozymes are catalytic nanomaterials with enzyme-like characteristics that have attracted enormous recent research interest. The catalytic nanomaterials offer unique advantages of low cost, high stability, tunable catalytic activity and ease of mass production and storage. These properties are highly desirable for a wide range of applications in biosensing, tissue engineering therapeutics and environmental protection. However, conventional nanozyme technologies face critical challenges relative to their size, composition and facet-dependent catalysis, in addition to inherently low active site density. TOP LEFT: Morphology of the Zn-MOF precursor. (A) SEM image and (B) TEM image of ZnMOF. (C, D) TEM images and (E, F) HRTEM images of FePc@Zn-MOF. TOP RIGHT: Structure of the Zn-MOF precursor. (A) XRD pattern of MnPc@Zn-MOF (I), FePc@Zn-MOF (II), CoPc@Zn-MOF (III), NiPc@Zn-MOF (IV), CuPc@Zn-MOF (V) and ZnMOF. Inset is the optical image of the corresponding MPc@Zn-MOF in ethanol solution (10 mg mL-1). (Photo Credit: Liang Huang, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry) (B) Pore size distribution of FePc@Zn-MOF, and the inset of (B) is the corresponding N2 adsorption/desorption isotherms. BOTTOM: Morphology and structure of FeN5 SA/CNF. (A) SEM image, (B) TEM image, (C) STEM image, (D) HRTEM image, (E) XRD pattern and (F) TEM-EDS elemental mapping images of FeN5 SA/CNF. The porous structure in (D) is indicated by circles. The inset of (E) is corresponding SAED pattern. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav5490. They used oxidase catalysis as a model reaction and completed theoretical calculations as well as experimental studies. The scientists identified the highest oxidase-like activity of FeN5 SA/CNF to result via the synergistic effect and electron donor mechanism. Of note, FeN5 SA/CNF showed more than 17-to-70 times higher oxidase-like activity compared to square planar FeN4 catalyst and the commercial Pt/C (platinum on carbon catalyst) with normalized metal content. The results explained the unexpected oxidase-like push effect of axial coordination in FeN5 SA/CNF and its significantly enhanced catalytic activity, compared to the conventional nanozymes. To synthesize the FeN5 SA/CNF, Huang et al. first designed a host-guest structure of metal-organic framework (MOF)-encapsulated iron phthalocyanine (FePc: FePc@Zn-MOF). This structure could host diverse metals to replace iron phthalocyanine (FePc) in later experiments as MPc where M ranged from manganese (MnPc), nickel (NiPc), copper (CuPc) to cobalt (CoPc) and pyrolyzed the precursor at 9000C under nitrogen gas to obtain the single atom nanozymes. The scientists had previously demonstrated that square planar FeN4 sites would be retained during iron porphyrin and FePc (iron phthalocyanine) calcination reactions but in the absence of support, the monodispersed sites agglomerated into nanoparticles. In the present synthetic process therefore, the scientists isolated the FeN4 sites confined in the carbon nanoframes and coordinated them with the pyridinic nitrogen (N) substrate to generate the more thermodynamic and stable FeN5/C sites. Morphological changes in bacteria. Brightfield images, Fluorescence images, overlap images and SEM images of E. coli and S. aureus bacteria treated or untreated with FeN5 SA/CNF. The scale bars are 40 μm for fluorescence images and 2 μm for SEM images. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav5490 In the present work, Huang and co-workers aimed to resolve these issues by discovering a new class of single-atom nanozymes incorporating state-of-the-art single-atom technology to engineer inherent enzyme-like active sites. The scientists showed that the atomically dispersed metal centers maximized the efficiency and density of active sites in the new nanozymes architecture. They used the well-defined coordination structure to provide a clear experimental model during investigations of its working mechanism. Huang et al. reported an effective and general method to synthesize the highly active single-atom nanozymes by mimicking the spatial structures of active centers in natural enzymes. Synthetic scheme and morphology characterization of FeN5SA/CNF. (A) Schematic formation process of carbon nanoframe–confined atomically dispersed Fe sites with axial five-N coordination to mimic the active center of cytocrome P450. (B and C) TEM images and (D) high-angle annular dark-field STEM (HAADF-STEM) image of FeN5 SA/CNF. (E and F) Magnified HAADF-STEM images of FeN5 SA/CNF showing the dominant metal single atom. (G) EELS mapping images of FeN5 SA/CNF of the selected region in (D). Scale bars, 1 μm and 100, 100, 5, 2, and 50 nm (B to G, respectively). Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav5490. Theoretical investigation of oxidase-like activity over FeN5SA/CNF. (A) Proposed reaction pathways of O2 reduction to H2O with optimized adsorption configurations on FeN5 SA/CNF. The gray, blue, purple, red, and white balls represent the C, N, Fe, O, and H atoms, respectively. (B) Free energy diagram for oxygen reduction reaction on single-atom enzyme mimics with TMB as reductant in an acidic medium. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav5490 , Nature Protocols The results showed the intense catalytic activity of FeN5 SA/CNF during reduction of oxygen and the scientists credited the oxidation rate of TMB to the concentration of oxygen. Huang et al. then comparatively studied the oxidase-like activities of FeN5 SA/CNF vs. MN5 SA/CNF where they replaced M with different metals of Mn, Fe, Co, Ni and Cu. They showed the catalytic rate of FeN5 SA/CNF to be the highest (17 orders higher than FeN4 SA/CNF) via distinct color changes across time. When Huang et al. compared the enzymatic activity with conventional enzymes used previously, they observed that FeN5 SA/CNF maintained comparatively far superior oxidase-like activity. Of note, the catalytic rate of the new nanozymes were 70 times greater than the commercial Pt/C. Based on the experimental results, the scientists validated that mechanistically the central metal atom and axial five-N-coordinated structure were important for the superior oxidase-like activities of single-atom nanozymes. As a practical application of high-oxidation catalytic activity, the single-atom nanozymes of FeN5 SA/CNF could generate reactive oxygen species during the catalytic reduction of oxygen, which can impair the membrane of bacteria for effective antibacterial actions. To assess antibacterial activity, Huang et al. conducted in vitro experiments and detected the survival rates of Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus cells on exposure to the nanozymes. On comparison with a control group, the scientists observed markedly reduced bacterial survival rates; substantiating high oxidase-like activities of FeN5 SA/CNF for significant antibacterial activity. Citation: Single-atom nanozymes (2019, May 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-single-atom-nanozymes.html Now writing in Science Advances, Liang Huang and co-workers at the departments of Electroanalytical Chemistry and Physics in China detail the discovery of a new class of single-atom enzymes with atomically dispersed enzyme-like active sites in nanomaterials. The sites significantly enhanced the catalytic performance of the single atom nanozymes and the scientists uncovered their underlying mechanism using oxidase catalysis as a model experimental reaction alongside theoretical calculations. They revealed the catalytic activities and behavior of single-atom nanozymes containing a carbon nanoframe (single atom/carbon nanoframe: SA/CNF) and confined FeN5 active centers (FeN5 SA/CNF) to mimic the natural axial ligand-coordinated heme of cytochrome P450 for versatile antibacterial applications. The results suggest that the single-atom nanozymes have great potential to become the next-generation nanozymes for applications in nanobiotechnology. Since discovering the peroxidase-like activity of ferromagnetic nanoparticles in 2007, scientists have engineered various nanozymes using materials such as metal oxides, noble metals, carbon materials and metal-organic frameworks (MOFs). However, two contemporary challenges remain in nanozyme technologies, where (1) the low density active sites showed lower catalytic activity compared with natural enzymes, and (2) the inhomogeneous elemental composition could complicate catalytic mechanisms. Due to these bottlenecks, scientists have found it challenging to discover the precise sites and origin of enzymatic activity, restricting extensive applications of conventional nanozymes. Oxidase-like activity of FeN5SA/CNF. (A) Schematic illustration of oxidase-like characteristics of FeN5 SA/CNF–catalyzed TMB oxidation. (B) Ultraviolet-visible (UV-vis) absorption spectra of FeN5 SA/CNF in O2-saturated, air-saturated, and N2-saturated sodium acetate–acetic acid buffer. (C) The durability of FeN5 SA/CNF treated with acid (alkali) for 21 hours. (D) Time-dependent absorbance changes at 652 nm, (E) histogram of V0, and (F) typical Michaelis-Menten curves in the presence of FeN5 SA/CNF (i), MnN5 SA/CNF (ii), CoN5 SA/CNF (iii), FeN4 SA/CNF (iv), NiN5 SA/CNF (v), and CuN5 SA/CNF (vi) in air-saturated sodium acetate–acetic acid buffer. The inset of (E) is an optical image of the TMB solution catalyzed by corresponding catalysts. Photo credit: Liang Huang, Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry. Credit: Science Advances, doi: 10.1126/sciadv.aav5490 More information: Lizeng Gao et al. Intrinsic peroxidase-like activity of ferromagnetic nanoparticles, Nature Nanotechnology (2007). DOI: 10.1038/nnano.2007.260 Bing Jiang et al. Standardized assays for determining the catalytic activity and kinetics of peroxidase-like nanozymes, Nature Protocols (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41596-018-0001-1 © 2019 Science X Network Journal information: Science Advances , Nature Nanotechnology Scientists discover a new class of single-atom nanozymes The scientists then characterized the morphology and structure of FeN5 SA/CNF using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) to reveal the fusiform FePc@Zn-MOF as a dominant product with uniform morphology. They observed that the hollow cavities and porous shells endowed the substrate with high specific surface areas and abundant hierarchical nanopores. The X-ray diffraction patterns (XRD) indicated that the crystal structure of Zn-MOF did not undergo significant changes after encapsulating FePc in situ, while the Fourier transform infrared (FTIR) spectrum of FePc@Zn-MOF verified successful encapsulation of FePc. Then by using electron energy-loss spectroscopy mapping, the scientists showed that the Fe and N atoms were homogenously distributed throughout the whole-domain, indicating the generation of Fe-N sites in 3-D matrices. Huang et al. analyzed the atomic structure of FeN5 SA/CNF to show that the coordination number of the Fe atom was nearly five – to confirm the formation of five Fe-N5 moieties. To understand the structure underlying the catalytic mechanisms, the scientists also used Mössbauer spectroscopy (used to determine the oxidation state of iron) and investigated the electron structure and iron (Fe) coordination. They then determined the oxidase-like activities of FeN5 SA/CNF using colorimetric assays and used the oxidation of TMB (3,3,5,5-tetramethylbenzidine) as a model catalytic reaction to understand the interaction of oxygen molecules with FeN5 SA/CNF in various environments. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

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Beauty redefined

first_imgThe Capital is soon going to see an artshow titled Waves of Beauty where paintings by Varsha Vaish will be exhibited. Curated by Vikram Sethi, the show will be inaugurated on 18 July by Shripad Yesso Naik, Minister for Culture and Tourism. The works that will be displayed are all inspired by the holy book Saundarya Lahiri, written by Adi Shankara Sharya. The show is Vaish’s  devotion to Goddess Tripura Sundari. The artist was brought up close to the nature. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Oil paintings provided a medium to express the beauty and knowledge that inspired her. She believes that life is beautiful and one should enjoy it to its fullest. This belief led her to explore everything her heart desired. It even helped her to understand herself and the world in a better perspective. Also it enabled her to admire the creation of god and led to the quest for the invisible and the invincible. After experimenting with various mediums, styles and textures, Varsha’s use of colours are bold and captivating. Her themes are inspired by lessons of life from Indian philosophy and literature ,which gives us a lot of  subjects to ponder upon.When: 18 – 24 JulyWhere: Lalit Kala Academy, Tilak Marglast_img read more

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Rusty comes alive once again

first_imgSo many of us have either grown up reading Ruskin Bond, or have made our children read him. Just as famous was Laxman’s Swami, Bond’s Rusty  has also touched and inspired many hearts. But just as reading habits are diminishing, one must not stay away from the joy of being associated with the ever smiling author’s stories. Doordarshan just made it easier by launching Ek tha Rusty – III .The series would take the viewers to the wonderful meadows of Mussoorie being walked by the handsome 33 year old Uday (Rusty). The stories stem directly from the stories by Bond. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Mostly picked up from the book Maharani, Shubhadarshini Singh, the director and producer of the series, says she has adapted the story to fit the character of a 30 year old Rusty but has kept the plot similar to the original stories.  The country has already seen the younger version of Rusty. But this time, the show has a new punch to itself. ‘The serial is no longer for kids. It is for everyone. It has all the elements of love, betrayal, murder and mystery. Earlier it was age specific but now it is for everyone. It has been extremely difficult in managing the revenue for the production of the show,’ says the director. She spoke of how Ruskin Bond helped her by being a constant encouragement. Also, you should look out for Bond’s granddaughter! One can also see many animals starring in the series. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixAll thanks to the author’s and director’s love for them. So much so, you will get to see Singh’s dogs playing many roles in the show! What a delight it must be… We all miss Swami. Don’t we? Tripurari Sharan, director general, Doordarshan said that they do broadcast the older Malgudi Days, but can’t promise if a newer version would come out soon. However, he mentioned the launch of a new channel only for kids. We are looking forward to it. Who isn’t tired of Doraemon and Shin Chan?last_img read more

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Unusual rain winds may hurt wheat crop

first_imgWith unusual widespread rains and high velocity winds lashing the northern region, about 10-20 per cent of timely sown wheat crop, which has got flattened, could face yield loss, say experts.Punjab and Haryana, which are major foodgrain growing states, have about 35 lakh hectares and 25 lakh hectares of area, respectively, under wheat in the current rabi season. Heavy rains on Monday continued to lash most parts of Punjab and Haryana. Punjab has received an average rainfall of 34 mm with maximum rainfall witnessed in Ropar (73 mm), Patiala (57 mm) Mohali (65 mm), NawanShahar (66mm) and Tarn Taran (43 mm). Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashIn Haryana, a few blocks such as Nuh in Mewat, Ganaur in Sonepat, received rainfall of 71 and 80 mm respectively. “There has been lodging in timely sown wheat crop because of ongoing rains and strong winds. About 10-20 per cent of the crop which has got flattened may get damaged,” Karnal-based Indian Institute of Wheat & Barley Research, Director, Indu Sharma said.Lodging refers to the term used to describe crop falling flat on the ground due to heavy rain and winds which causes yield loss in crop. Wheat crop at several places, including Amritsar, Ferozepur, Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Patiala, Mohali, Ludhiana, Jalandhar, Nawanshahr in Punjab and a few districts Sirsa, Jhajjar, Sonepat, Kurukshetra in Haryana has got flattened because of rains and high velocity winds, officials of Punjab and Haryana agriculture departments said here on Monday.last_img read more

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first_imgIndia’s leading software services player HCL Technologies has tied up with European telecom firm Tele 2 to tap market opportunities for Machine-to-Machine and Internet of Things solutions in the continent. By focusing on the healthcare segment in Europe, the two companies will jointly address one of the fastest growing areas of the M2M and IoT market, HCL Technologies said in a statement. The companies, however, did not disclose the estimated size of the market opportunity. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashHCL and Tele2 will work together to reduce transactional and operational costs for their partners, whilst tapping into the lucrative revenue opportunities that exist within the European market, it added.Under the partnership, the companies are planning to develop remote patient monitoring systems that are enabled through smartphones.HCL will be responsible for implementation, integration, roll-out and ongoing support of M2M/IoT solutions, in addition to device connectivity.last_img read more

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Look cool pressure bad for kids

first_imgThe pressure to be cool, look good and own the ‘right stuff’ is detrimental to many children and teenagers, psychologists, including one of Indian-origin, have found.The study showed that, while many young people buy into consumer culture believing it will make them feel better about themselves and help them to make friends, often the reverse happens.“Our study shows how consumer-culture values are tied up with images of social success in childhood,” said Robin Banerjee, professor of developmental psychology at University of Sussex in England. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“Our results suggest that children who have low levels of well-being are particularly likely to become orientated towards consumer culture, and thus enter into a negative downward spiral,” Matthew Easterbrook, lecturer in psychology at University of Sussex said.“Consumer culture may be perceived as a coping mechanism by vulnerable children, but it is one that is detrimental to their well-being,” Easterbrook noted. In this three-year study of 1,000 children between ages eight and 14, the researchers found that being disruptive, having ‘cool stuff’ and looking good was often seen as the best way to become more popular among peers.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThe results, however, showed that valuing these behaviours actually has the opposite effect, with peer relations worsening over time for those kids turning to consumer-culture values.“Although friendly and helpful children were ultimately more popular over time, young people mistakenly predicted that the route to being liked was in having a reputation for disruptive behaviour, having ‘cool’ stuff and looking good,” Banerjee pointed out.The research was presented at the annual conference British Psychological Society’s Developmental and Social Psychology Section in Manchester.last_img read more

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Home Décor Themes inspired by nature

first_imgIt isn’t always possible to go out and enjoy nature – but what one can definitely do is bring a little nature into home.  Here are a few tricks and tips: * Decorate your house with floral prints and textures. You can try floral wallpapers or rustic leaf textures. Wall murals are another great way of translating the architectural elements of the given space on the walls or ceiling of the room. * In-house planters and creepers are the most dependable and easy option when it is about adding that touch of nature to your house. Living walls where the entire wall is covered with plants are a good idea. They are great for softening hard environments and can be planted with purely decorative plants or more practical herbs and vegetables.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’* Brick walls not only bring a natural and rustic look to the house, but it is also a very good way of keeping your house eco-friendly. Brick is chiefly made from clay and shale, which are both among the most natural materials available on earth. Its consistency in pattern and design makes for an attractive environment and also adds texture and colour to the room. * You can move over Swarovski and crystal as wood is creating a style statement in the uber houses these days. From poplar to teak, the wooden furniture gives your house a more earthen and nature friendly feel.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixThey are durable, beautiful and can be carved in a variety of ways to suit your taste. If you prefer a rustic look, you can go for antique furniture like rocking chairs and four-poster beds whereas If your interiors prefer a contemporary appeal, wood furniture with minimal lines would strike the deal for you.* Natural scented candles give your space an aromatic, comfortable feel. Dried flowers in a crystal bowls not only look pretty in the living room, they also add colour and are a great way to create a relaxing space. Other articles like pebbles and dried leaves also make for some components that add beauty and peace.* It is important to have some amount of sunlight in your living space. It not just adds to the brightness but also ensures a healthy life. * Whether moving into a new place or getting your own house designed, pay extra attention to the windows. Natural lighting allows you to play with the home decor and the colours of the room.last_img read more

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Reliving college days The University Bistro

first_imgThe very first thing you would notice on entering ‘The University Bistro’ is the cool and vibrant interior decorated with funky and ‘Hippy’ hangings on the wall covering every dimension of college life – music, travel, sports, studies and even politics – a sure attraction. A part of the wall is entirely covered with bright sticky notes which have some honest as well as funny reviews by the students that who been there. Located near GTB nagar metro station, the restaurant is crowded with the Delhi University students. If you reside or study in North Campus, this should be one of the ‘must visit’ places in the area. They say ‘there is hardly anything wrong about a place that serves you hukka right’. This place has an amazing sheesha and is commonly known as the ‘sheesha place’ among the students of the locality. Keeping the location, north campus, in view the restaurant usually caters to the university students. Restaurants around such areas should be economical and most importantly serve delicious food. While the delicious quotient is kept in mind, it might be more economical and pocket friendly for students when they tag along with a group of friends on a lazy Sunday.  Also Read – Add new books to your shelfPizza is that one item in their menu that clearly stands out. As it was mentioned on many of the reviews on the sticky notes, the pizza in reality is something to come back for, even if you’re not local resident. Their pizza is made entirely in the kitchen from scratch – from the crust to the topping – all are prepared in the resturant which makes it unique and fresh! The drinks are well made, but their quantity might be have a subjective review. The Oreo chocolate shake is on their ‘must try list’’ for it contains great amount of Oreo biscuits, which makes it very thick and creamy. Coming back to the food, the lemon fish is quite a feat of brilliance. Succulent and tender the  fish melts in your mouth coming on a bed of cabbage making sizzling sounds. The flavour of lime and butter makes a thorough presence. Served along with butter rice and veggies, theatricality well appreciated the Peri Peri Pasta is an authentic Italian dish. One can never go wrong with it, and ofcourse The University Bistro does not fail to impress foodies. The pasta is delectable and simply marvelous with loads of chicken and the spicy tomato based sauce it could win anybody’s heart. Though their waffles are a tad bit disappointing .The University bistro gives an otherwise wonderful experience in their spectacular hangout spot.last_img read more

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Occasional negativity can boost academic success

first_imgIs the very idea of exam giving you stress and negative moods? Take heart, a new study suggests that the occasional bout of bad feelings can actually improve a student’s academic performance.The findings showed that students who were mostly happy during their four years of university but who also experienced occasional negative moods had the highest grade per annum (GPA) at the time of graduation. In contrast, students who experienced high levels of negative moods and low levels of positive moods often ended up with the lowest GPAs – a pattern consistent with depressive disorders. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf“Students often report feeling overwhelmed and experiencing high levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms. The study shows that we need to teach them strategies to both manage negative emotions and stress in productive ways and to maintain positive emotional experiences,” said Erin Barker, Professor at Concordia University in Canada. The study also demonstrated that both negative and positive emotions play a role in our successes. “We often think that feeling bad is bad for us. But if you’re generally a happy person, negativity can be motivating.last_img read more

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Photography is all about right lighting

first_imgYears of hard work, experiments and trials helped has people in capturing moments to preserve for the rest of their lives. With various technical advancements in the field of photography, creative people have been able to gift the world with their outstanding work. One such creative photographer and an Indian Book of Record holder fought all odds and started a new genre of photography in India. Varun Tyagi, 24, is the country’s leading fitness photographer operating in the Capital. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfVarun does not shoot in a studio, rather in a real gym to capture the ambience with a basic DSLR camera. He believes that one does not need a very expensive camera to shoot good photographs. “You don’t need them until you are covering a large frame. It’s all about knowledge and lighting, if your concepts are clear, you can run with a basic DSLR.” He feels photography is not just about the camera, a very important factor is marketing, one must be able to sell his/her work. Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveVarun’s quest started after he failed to graduate 12th standard the first time. He finished his schooling from the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) and got admitted to Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies (VIPS) affiliated to IP University, to pursue an undergraduate course in Mass Communication where he came across Photography. As a student he started shooting in discos and clubs earning Rs 200-500 for four-five hours. “Even though people appreciated my clicks, I wanted to do something different with Photography. To pursue higher study I applied at Jamia Millia Islamia and got through, but after a couple of classes I, myself dropped the course as I could see no future in it. Their syllabus was theory oriented and seemed to be lagging behind. Several people questioned my decision on leaving Jamia and I felt aimless,” recalls Varun. After a gap of several months he initiated the trend of Fitness Photography in 2015, a genre that cannot be found in books. What motivated him to start up a new genre? Studying online and following western photographers, Varun discovered the form. Says Varun, “I am passionate about two things – photography and fitness. Being a fitness freak, I wanted to know if I could combine both my passions together to form a career. I googled ‘Who’s the best fitness photographer in India’ and I wasn’t able to find a single one, who shoot only fitness photographs. Though there were some fashion photographers who sometimes click similar photographs, I saw a career opportunity there, but again people declined the idea saying that I could not make a living out of it since there weren’t many fitness models in India, but I eventually went on to try it.” Talking about how he started his career, Varun who had tried almost every known genre before setting foot into the unexplored genre says, “In 2014 a body builder (Mr Delhi, 2014) had come to me for a shoot, he came back again for another shoot and I started off with him. His circle liked my work and some came to me seeking similar shoots. Through word of mouth and social media people came to know about Fitness Photography. Facebook and Instagram helped me a lot. I struggled till the beginning of 2016 since I could not charge much as a beginner and I was not getting enough shoots.” “I was picked by Fitline India, for whom I did a photoshoot of the five-times Mr India and Mr World and a social media celebrity, which got me a good hike. Then on, I earned recognition and started getting 4-5 shoots per month. It takes a lot of time, hard work and money for someone to build his/her body, and so they want to get clicked as soon as possible when they are in best form,” explains Varun.After Tarun Gill, fitness YouTuber interviewed him, Varun started getting shoot requests from all over India. He had also done the shoot for an entire magazine, which was recently launched by Tarun Gill. “We had planned to shoot those fitness models, who could not afford to get a photoshoot done, for free. With an expectation of 7-8 models turning up we proceeded with the idea but to our surprise 61 models turned up at the event!” said Varun.The young photographer did the unimaginable job of shooting 61 models in 2 hours and 34 minutes entering in the RHR Indian records! Varun also holds a record for making the shortest film without any human character or voice. Fighting off every naysayer and setting up a new trend, Varun has set a clear example of how determination and hard work pays off. His story also points out to the important role social media plays in our lives now and how the correct use of internet can get one to actually live his/her dream.last_img read more

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first_imgFor Deepika Padukone’s resplendent lehengas, Shahid Kapoor’s elegant achkans and jamas, and Ranveer Singh’s get-up which reflected Turkish origins in Padmaavat, designer-duo Rimple and Harpreet Narula undertook challenging and extensive research, which they say has left an indelible mark on their own signature aesthetics. Set in the 13th century, the period drama directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali is the story of the legendary Rajput queen Padmavati, her husband and Rajput king Maharawal Ratan Singh, and Delhi Sultan Alauddin Khilji. The detailing in the costumes has been much appreciated. Also Read – Add new books to your shelf “Working on a project of this stature can prove to be quite challenging since the garments play a significant role in bringing to life the personas of these historical figures, the cultural influences as well as maintaining the authenticity of the period,” said Rimple.Harpreet said: “Over a period of time, these characters became our muses and the entire process left an indelible mark on our own signature aesthetic.” The designers have vouched for the perfectionist that Bhansali is known to be. “He had a vision and it was fascinating to see how the characters he envisioned translated to real people with whom we interacted on the sets. Moreover, our perception of drama in clothes has also undergone a change while working on the project – how at times ‘less is more’ or ‘more is less’, given the moment in the story line; or how various elements need to be layered for a cohesive look that is in sync with the director’s vision,” said Rimple.Padmaavat marked the first time the designers have worked with Bhansali, known for lending rare grandeur to his movies. “Sanjay sir has a very beautiful way of orchestrating the extremely detailed and spectacular canvases he has envisioned on screen. Thankfully, we were always on the same page as him and never really had a clash. His in-depth knowledge and research on the period formed the guidelines which we followed while creating each look,” Harpreet said.For this, they had to isolate key elements that might have been prevalent in the era and eliminate all modern/Mughal/European influences from the garments and enter a “pure-zone”. They relied on old manuscripts and travellers’ accounts and the writings of court historians and Sufi saints such as the 16th century historian Abd-al-Qadir Bada’uni for reference when it came to the ornate styling and layering of the looks.”Remarkably, we discovered that the costumes of Awadh were very different from the ones that were popular in Delhi, and we tried to integrate these small distinctions in our design,” said Harpreet. To get the look right for Deepika as Rani Padmavati, the designers’ team got special prints developed from Sanganer and Bagru for the textiles that were used. For Shahid’s character, Harpreet said Bhansali had instructed them to avoid following “any vague generalisations of costumes that have been depicted in cinema till now”.He said Bhansali’s aim was to have such garments for Shahid that not only carried forward the narrative but also expressed the emotional turmoil and complexities the character undergoes. What about Khilji?”Given Khilji’s nomadic Turkish origins, we did a lot of research on the costumes and textiles of the belt, right from Afghanistan to Kazakhstan to the central Asia belt around Turkey. Our own travels also came in handy as we have, over the years, collected samples of various old textiles such as Suzanis and Tapestries from flea markets and auctions, which were great reference points for getting the styling and the look and feel just right,” said Rimple. The ensembles are now archived with the film’s production house, but Rimple and Harpreet hope they are some day able to showcase the bespoke creations.last_img read more

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Art installations give New Town a fresh look

first_imgKolkata: In a bid to give the approach road to Sector V from Chingrighata, Nabadiganta Industrial Township Authority (NDITA) has put up art installations to give the area an aesthetic look.Sector V is the electronic hub of Bengal with thousands of IT professionals visiting the area every day. The distance from Chingrighata to Sector V is a long stretch and the art installations have attracted all those who travel by their own vehicles and those who are pedestrians. More such installations will be put up in future. The art installation has been designed by a student of the Government Art College. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: MamataNDITA has chalked out elaborate schemes to beautify and develop Sector V. Pocket parks which are very popular in the Western countries have been set up where IT professionals can come during recess, spend some time and go back to their office to get rid of the stress and tiredness. Some of the roads in Sector V have been widened and a well-knit traffic management system is in the offing. There will be graded paths for cyclists and also for the pedestrians with proper singe. Also Read – Lightning kills 8, injures 16 in stateRecently, the NDITA officials met their counterparts in the IT companies over fire-fighting measures. The firms will not be allowed to construct mezzanine floors and fire audits will be conducted periodically. In addition to NDITA, the New Town Kolkata Development Authority (NKDA) and Housing Infrastructure Development Corporation (HIDCO) have implemented several schemes to beautify the vast areas between VIP Road and Eastern Metropolitan Bypass near Chingrighata. The open pillars of Airport-Garia Metro construction have been painted in some areas and columns with climber plants have been installed. New Town is coming up as a clean and green city and various measures have been taken in that direction. Plantation of trees on a large scale has been taken up. HIDCO has set up nurseries to raise plants. Over the years, New Town has come up as an educational, healthcare and cultural hub and shortly it will become a major IT hub in Bengal. Eco Park, the biggest urban park in the country, is a star attraction. The miniature seven wonders of the world is a crowd-puller. The introduction of air-conditioned e-buses for the first time in the state is also a major step towards making it a greener city.last_img read more

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Medical services disrupted in WB as junior docs stop work over colleagues

first_imgKolkata: Healthcare services were disrupted in West Bengal after junior doctors stopped working in all state-run medical institutions following the assault on an intern in a city hospital after the death of a patient. The agitating junior doctors at the NRS Medical College and Hospital said there will be no work at any medical college and hospital in the state until they are given full protection. West Bengal Medical Council (WBMC) president and Trinamool MLA Nirmal Maji told PTI that officials were trying to persuade the doctors to resume work. Also Read – Rs 13,000 crore investment to provide 2 lakh jobs: Mamata “The chief minister has sent MoS Health Chandrima Bhattacharya, Police Commissioner Anuj Sharma, myself and other senior officials to talk to them. We are looking into their demand and hopefully the matter will be solved quickly,” Maji said. The doctors began the protest after an intern at the Nil Ratan Sircar Medical College and Hospital was seriously injured following a clash between junior doctors and relatives of a patient who died late Monday night due to alleged negligence.last_img read more

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Scattered rain brings relief

first_imgKolkata: The city and its adjoining areas on Sunday received scattered rainfall providing the much-needed relief to the people who had been under the heat spell for quite some time.The Regional Meteorological Centre in Alipore on Sunday predicted more rainfall in South Bengal districts in the next 48 hours. There may be heavy showers in the coastal districts due to a low pressure trough formed over the Bay of Bengal. The districts of West Midnapore, East Midnapore, Jhargram, Purulia, South 24-Parganas may receive heavy rainfall in the next 48 hours. The city and adjoining districts like North 24-Parganas, Howrah and Hooghly will also receive light to moderate rainfall. The weather officials are apprehending that there may be considerable rainfall in the South Bengal districts at the beginning of the next month. It may be mentioned here that there has been a deficiency in rainfall in June and also in the current month so far. The city’s sky mostly remained cloudy on Sunday with some scattered rainfall in some parts. The weather office prediction says that there is no major rainfall alert in North Bengal for the next few days. The intensity of rainfall in North Bengal has reduced.last_img read more

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