All Science One Spot


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Saturday, March 26, 2016

Google says 1 million Gmail accounts might have been targeted by government hackers

Intelligence agencies all over the world look to collect information pertinent to their various operations, and that involves hacking emails accounts. Google for a while now has been able to identify such government-backed
hackers , and notify potentially affected customers so they can take immediate action.
In an update on the ways Gmail is getting even more secure (which is good news in the wake of the Apple vs.
FBI scandal), Google revealed that as many as 1 million Gmail accounts may have been targeted by government-backed attackers so far.
Google did not divulge the exact number and did not explain how it knows when these hacks take place. But the company did say that it knows who the targets are – the list “often” includes “activists, journalists, and policy-makers taking bold stands around the world.”
When a hack is detected, a pink Warning tab appears on top of Gmail urging affected users to better protect themselves.
In addition to that bar, users will now get a full-page warning with instructions about how to stay safe, the company said in an announcement on Thursday. This is what you’ll see if a government is trying to hack into your Gmail account:
Google did say that these warnings are rare, with “fewer than 0.1% of users ever” receiving one. However, Gmail is not a nimble startup looking to take off. It’s a service that has more than 1 billion users as of February 2016. That means that “fewer than 0.1% of users” translates to as many as about 1 million users who may have received warnings about their email being hacked by a government.
In its security update, Google also said that it’s improving its Safe Browsing warnings that appear in Gmail every time a user clicks on what’s deemed to be a shady link that could lead to malware or phishing attacks. This is what it looks like, so don’t be surprised if you see it in Gmail in the future:
Google said that since introducing a visual element to mark unencrypted emails in Gmail 44 days ago, the amount of inbound mail sent over an encrypted connection increased by 25%.
Google wants to further improve email encryption, and the company partnered up with Comcast, Microsoft and Yahoo to submit a draft IETF specification for “SMTP Strict Transport Security.” Essentially, Google and its partners want to make sure that encrypted email stays encrypted along its entire path from sender to recipient.
News source :


Now clean your dirty clothes with sunlight

We all are know about the different uses of sunlight and how it can be beneficial for our health. We are all aware of solar technology but after going through the below article, we will all say and believe that none of us knows a thing about it.
If researchers are to be trusted, all of us will soon be able to use sunlight of wash our dirty clothes. Scientists have revealed that a spot of sunshine will be required to clean our clothes and that too within minutes. They have become successful in devising a a low-cost, efficient way to grow nanostructures on textiles that can degrade organic matter when exposed to light.
The research from RMIT University in Australia paves the way towards nano-enhanced textiles that can spontaneously clean themselves of stains and grime simply by being put under a light bulb or worn out in the Sun.
The process developed by the team has a variety of applications for catalysis-based industries such as agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and natural products, and could be easily scaled up to industrial levels.
“The advantage of textiles is they already have a 3D structure so they are great at absorbing light, which in turn speeds up the process of degrading organic matter,” Rajesh Ramanathan from RMIT University said.
“There’s more work to do to before we can start throwing out our washing machines, but this advance lays a strong foundation for the future development of fully self-cleaning textiles,” he said.
The researchers including Dipesh Kumar and Vipul Bansal, also from RMIT University, worked with copper and silver-based nanostructures, which are known for their ability to absorb visible light.
When the nanostructures are exposed to light, they receive an energy boost that creates “hot electrons.” These “hot electrons” release a burst of energy that enables the nanostructures to degrade organic matter.
The challenge for researchers has been to bring the concept out of the lab by working out how to build these nanostructures on an industrial scale and permanently attach them to textiles.
The team’s approach was to grow the nanostructures directly onto the textiles by dipping them into a few solutions, resulting in the development of stable nanostructures within 30 minutes. When exposed to light, it took less than six minutes for some of the nano-enhanced textiles to spontaneously clean themselves.
“Our next step will be to test our nano-enhanced textiles with organic compounds that could be more relevant to consumers, to see how quickly they can handle common stains like tomato sauce or wine,” Ramanathan said. The research was published in the journal Advanced Materials Interfaces.
news source: zee news


Friday, March 25, 2016

What are ferrodoxins and its biological role ?

Ferrodoxins are the group of non-hame iron sulphur protein which are responsible for electron transfer in plants and animals (bacteria). They serve the same function that cytochromes perform in animals. Ferrodoxins are involved in the realese of energy by oxidising glucose with molecular O2 in mitochondria inside the living cell. they have the moleculr weight 6000-12000amu which may contain 1 to 4 or 8 Fe-atoms. The Fe atoms are surround by 4 sulphur atoms and they may be represented as Fe(S-system)4

Biological role of Ferrodoxins
1. ferrodoxins have vital role for electrons transfer in plants and animals and serve the same function that cytochormes perform In animals.
2. Some bacterial ferrodoxins forms clustor compounds such as Fe2S4(S-Cysteine)4. There are protein bound Fe3S4 Clusters in some enzymes and bacteria.
3. The [2Fe;2s] proteins also contain Cytrine groups bound to Fe and these proteins are important in photosynthasis and gain one electron per Fe upon reduction.


Tiny Artificial Life: Lab-Made Bacterium Sports Smallest Genome Yet

An artificial bacterial genome with the smallest number of genes needed for life has been created in a lab, opening the way for creating synthetic organisms with customized sets of genes aimed at specific tasks such as eating oil.
The newly created bacterium, which can metabolize nutrients and self-replicate (divide and reproduce) brings the team one step closer to building custom artificial life with particular functionalities, they said.
The artificial bacterium has only 473 genes, compared with the thousands that exist in wild bacteria. The team doesn't yet know the function of 149 of these essential-to-life genes. [Unraveling the Human Genome: 6 Molecular Milestones]
"We're showing how complex life is even in the simplest of organisms," said
Craig Venter , founder and CEO of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), where the study was completed. "These findings are very humbling in that regard."
The story starts with a genus of bacteria called Mycoplasma, germs that have the smallest genomes of any organism found in nature and tend to live in humans and other mammals.
Venter said he and another of the study's authors, Clyde Hutchison of JCVI, had discussed in the 1990s what it would take to answer basic questions about the way life functions. Their conclusion was that they'd need to build an organism with the smallest genome possible.
In 1995, Venter said, other researchers estimated such an artificial organism would need, at minimum, 256 genes to be viable. That turned out to be wrong – but it wasn't until now that they knew just how wrong.
The team used the genome of the M. mycoides to create their bacteria. That bacterium's genome was synthesized in 2010, creating the first self-replicating cell from an artificial genome . The Venter Institute called that bacterium syn1.0. That bacterium, though, had 1.1 million base pairs in its DNA, or 901 genes.
Their new bacterium has 531,000 base pairs, for 473 genes. To cut down the number of genes the team used the syn1.0 genome as a template. From there they designed a set of possible genomes for the bacterium and broke them into shorter strings. To see which genes were absolutely necessary for life, the scientists inserted genetic sequences called transposons that disrupted the functioning of a given gene. If after that the cell stayed alive, then it was considered nonessential, and snipped out. Conversely, if the cell died, then it was clear that whatever was taken out was essential.
However, the process wasn't as simple as that, Venter said. Sometimes a single gene could be removed by itself, but coupled with another it became essential. Venter likened it to an aircraft: "If you know nothing about airplanes and you're looking at a 777… and you remove the right wing, the airplane can still fly and land, so you'd say it's not essential, and you don't really discover the essentiality until you remove the second one."
Eventually they built a synthetic genome that could be inserted into another
Mycoplasma bacteria (the old genome is removed), which on its own was able to grow and live like a normal cell. They called the result syn3.0. [Infographic: How Scientists Created a Semi-Artificial Life Form ]
Venter and his team added that the minimum number of genes required for life would differ depending on what organism they started with — they would get a very different result had they begun with an algae species, for example. Which genes are essential can also depend on the environment a cell or bacterium is in.
For example, in early work on
Mycoplasma genitalium , the growth media was both fructose and glucose. Knocking out a gene that transports fructose may not affect a cell that is in a glucose-rich environment, and knocking out a glucose transporter wouldn't affect it, either. But if both are knocked out, then the cell will die. So which gene is essential is not an all-or-nothing proposition.
Hutchison, lead author of the study and a distinguished investigator at JCVI, noted that the minimal genome would also depend on what one wants the cell to do — a bacterium that glows in the dark will have a different minimal genome than something else.
"There will be lots of minimal genomes," Venter said.
Maria Lluch Senar, a staff scientist and biotechnologist at the Center for Genomic Regulation in Barcelona, Spain, said the achievement is exciting, because it has revealed a method for designing genomes that is much faster than the trial-and-error methods currently used. "The thing is here you can identify which is the minimal genome you want," she said, for a given function. "With this technique you can define which is the best combination of fragments of DNA … You can assemble them later on and generate different molecules that can be tested."
"In theory, we could add gene sets and essentially recreate any organism," Venter said. "It would be an important experimental tool."
That said, the technique promises better avenues for making germs that do everything from eating oil to making biofuels.
"Our long-term vision has been to design and build synthetic organisms on demand where you can add in specific functions and predict what the outcome is going to be," said study co-author Dan Gibson, an associate professor at the Venter Institute.
A minimal cell would devote the maximum amount of energy into whatever you designed the cell to do, and have less potential to mutate, and be easier to engineer, Gibson said.
That ability to add gene sets could also aid in the understanding of why some bacteria evolved the way they did — and even life in general, though that's more of a stretch, Hutchison said. "We may be seeing some processes that occurred early in evolution," he said. "But [ Mycoplasma's genomes] are not small because they are primitive, they are small because they evolved from a cell that had a few thousand genes and they've lost genes that they don't need in their environment."
Venter said the plan is to keep working on adding genes to the synthetic genome, to tease out the functions of the unknown genes. "We want to get to where we understand 100 percent of the genes in the organism, not just 66 percent."
news source livescience


Thursday, March 24, 2016

New foldable smartphone patents from Samsung surface

We have been hearing about Samsung’s plans to make foldable smartphones for sometime now and the company has also been talking regarding this technology for years. A recently filed patent application by Samsung has surfaced which shows the foldable smartphone tech in advanced development stage.
As per the images, the phone has a large display and the design shows a hinge that will be used to fold and unfold the phone. Also seen are various buttons on the sides of the phone but the trademark Samsung home button is missing. A camera sensor is seen in one of these images along with two magnetic studs that will ensure that the phone remains secure while folding and unfolding.
Reports from last year had stated that Samsung is working on dual screen foldable smartphone under
Project Valley . The company had already patented a the foldable smartphone technology that described how dual display handset will be able to open and close in different configuration with the use of hinges. The above patent builds further on this tech and shows how the device will function.
Samsung has been rumored to release a foldable smartphone in 2016 and may be the recent patent could be a move towards it.


Huawei P9 Lite lunch on April 6th

Chines smartphone company Huawei recently scheduled an event on April 6th in London, where it is expected to introduce its flagship P9 smartphone with dual rear cameras. Now VentureBeat (@evleaks ) has posted images for the smartphone along with some of its specifications. The image reveals a phone with a metal-like finish and a fingerprint sensor on the back, but it will apparently not have a full metal body, according to the leak (source).
According to the leak, the phone will have a 1080p screen and will not be smaller than the 5.2-inch P9. It is said to pack 3GB of RAM, similar to the P9, but its processor will not be as powerful as P9’s Kirin 950 SoC. We still don’t have the complete specifications of the smartphone.
Huawei is expected to announced the P9 in several variants – P9, P9 Premium and P9 Max, in addition to the P9 Lite. We will have to wait for two more weeks to find out what Huawei has to offer.


Tuesday, March 22, 2016

A smart umbrella that predicts rain too

A company in France has developed a new smart umbrella that when paired with a smartphone app, can not only predict the weather but also send you a notification if you leave it behind. 'Oombrella', the smart umbrella is fitted with a capsule having sensors for air pressure, humidity, temperature and light.
This setup allows the umbrella to tell whether or not it may rain in the next 15 minutes, notifying the user via a Bluetooth-connected smartphone with the corresponding app. It can also record weather data and can hold camera at the top. The capsule also has an integrated buzzer and light so that users can be alerted when they get a call.
The ribs of the umbrella are made of Kevlar, a synthetic fibre of high tensile strength, TechTimes reported. According to the company Wezzoo, that developed Oombrella, the device is "really wind-resistant" with the capability of withstanding storms, hailstorms and snowstorms. The handle has a waterproof, ergonomic design that makes it easy to hold while ensuring that the components inside are not damaged by rainwater.
The canopy is made from the "finest shiny material", and is UV-resistant.


Monday, March 21, 2016

New ultra-sensitive test for cancer, HIV developed

A new ultra-sensitive test designed to detect diseases including HIV and cancer may prove 10,000 times more effective than current times diagnostic tools, Stanford scientists say.
When a disease whether it is a cancer or a virus like HIV – begins growing in the human body, the immune system responds by producing antibodies. Fishing these antibodies or related biomarkers out of the blood is one way that scientists infer the presence of a disease. This involves designing a molecule that the biomarker will bind to, and which is adorned with an identifying “flag”. Through a series of specialised chemical reactions, known as an immunoassay, researchers can isolate that flag, and the biomarker bound to it, to provide a proxy measurement of the disease.
The new technique, developed in the lab of Carolyn Bertozzi, a professor of chemistry at Stanford University in US, augments this standard procedure with powerful DNA screening technology. The chemists have replaced the standard flag with a short strand of DNA, which can then be teased out of the sample using DNA isolation technologies that are far more sensitive than those possible for traditional antibody detections. “This is spiritually related to a basic science tool we were developing to detect protein modifications, but we realised that the core principles were pretty straightforward and that the approach might be better served as a diagnostic tool,” said Peter Robinson, a graduate student in Bertozzi’s group.
The researchers tested their technique, with its signature DNA flag, against four commercially available, US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved tests for a biomarker for thyroid cancer. It outperformed the sensitivity of all of them, by at least 800 times, and up to 10,000 times, researchers said. By detecting the biomarkers of disease at lower concentrations, physicians could theoretically catch diseases far earlier in their progression.
“The thyroid cancer test has historically been a fairly challenging immunoassay, because it produces a lot of false positives and false negatives, so it was not clear if our test would have an advantage,” Robinson said. A clinical trial underway in collaboration with the Alameda County Public Health Laboratory will help evaluate the technique as a screening tool for HIV, researchers said. Early detection and treatment of the virus can help ensure that its effects on the patient are minimised and reduce the chance that it is transmitted to others.
“In contrast to many new diagnostic techniques, this test is performed on pre-existing machines that most clinical labs are already familiar with,” said Cheng-ting Tsai, a graduate student in Bertozzi’s group. The research was published in the journal ACS Central Science.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

NASA scientists reveal Pluto and its moons

NASA scientists associated with interplanetary space probe New Horizons have revealed the former "astronomer's planet" and its "intriguing system of small moons" in a comprehensive set of papers describing results from last summer's Pluto system flyby.
"These five detailed papers completely transform our view of Pluto -- revealing the former 'astronomer's planet' to be a real world with diverse and active geology, exotic surface chemistry, a complex atmosphere, puzzling interaction with the Sun and an intriguing system of small moons," said New Horizons principal investigator Alan Stern.
After a 9.5-year, three-billion-mile journey -- launching faster and traveling farther than any spacecraft to reach its primary target -- New Horizons zipped by Pluto on July 14, 2015.
New Horizons' seven science instruments collected about 50 gigabits of data on the spacecraft's digital recorders, most of it coming over nine busy days surrounding the encounter, NASA said in a statement.
The first close-up pictures revealed a large heart-shaped feature carved into Pluto's surface, telling scientists that this "new" type of planetary world -- the largest, brightest and first-explored in the mysterious, distant "third zone" of our solar system known as the Kuiper Belt -- would be even more interesting and puzzling than models predicted.
"Observing Pluto and Charon up close has caused us to completely reassess thinking on what sort of geological activity can be sustained on isolated planetary bodies in this distant region of the solar system, worlds that formerly had been thought to be relics little changed since the Kuiper Belt's formation," said Jeff Moore, lead author of the geology paper.
Scientists studying Pluto's composition say the diversity of its landscape stems from eons of interaction between highly volatile and mobile methane, nitrogen and carbon monoxide ices with inert and sturdy water ice.
"We see variations in the distribution of Pluto's volatile ices that point to fascinating cycles of evaporation and condensation," said Will Grundy of the Lowell Observatory, Flagstaff, Arizona, lead author of the composition paper.
"These cycles are a lot richer than those on Earth, where there's really only one material that condenses and evaporates -- water. On Pluto, there are at least three materials, and while they interact in ways we don't yet fully understand, we definitely see their effects all across Pluto's surface."
Above the surface, scientists discovered Pluto's atmosphere contains layered hazes, and is both cooler and more compact than expected. This affects how Pluto's upper atmosphere is lost to space, and how it interacts with the stream of charged particles from the Sun known as the solar wind.
Scientists also are analysing the first close-up images of Pluto's small moons - Styx, Nix, Kerberos and Hydra.
They have found evidence that some of the moons resulted from mergers of even smaller bodies, and that their surface ages date back at least four billion years.
About half of New Horizons' flyby data has now been transmitted home -- from distances where radio signals at light speed need nearly five hours to reach Earth - with all of it expected back by the end of 2016.
Source : zeenews


Now, Let´s play basketball game in Facebook Messenger!

The Most popular social networking site Facebook has been adding new features to keep facebook users happy.
Recently, a report stated that facebook has introduced a secret basketball mini-game into its Messenger service. The game can be unlocked by sending a basketball emoji to a friend or group in the latest version of the Messenger app and then simply clicking on it. To shoot, you need to slide your finger or thumb on the screen. A point is scored for every consecutive basket that you net and the scores are shared in your chat with a friend or group.
The target begins to move after a score of 10. It moves faster after 20 and keeps you hooked on the game for a considerable time.
This is not the first time the social networking site has dropped games into its Messenger service. But this time around it seems more compelling than the chess game that arrived last month.
#facebook_basketball #how_to_play_basketball_in_facebook #facebook_Games


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