Normal and Abnormal Aging and the Brain

Published on Feb 2, 2016

(Visit: Decline in cognition with age is not inevitable; there is considerable variability in how much and how fast. UCSF doctors explore age-related declines, their causes and how to tell if cognitive changes are because of aging or something else. Recorded on 10/21/2015. Series: “UCSF Osher Center for Integrative Medicine presents Mini Medical School for the Public” [2/2016] [Health and Medicine] [Show ID: 30138]

Top 5 Most Interesting Smartwatches to buy in 2015-2016

Published on Jan 8, 2016

Smartwatch – very useful thing in our busy life. Choose your one!
In this video, We will show you Top 5 most interesing Smartwatches made in 2015, This video is for who want to buy the best smartwatches with high quality, smooth and beautiful.

Pebble Time Round –
Samsung Gear S2 –
Omate –

00:00 – Pebble Time
01:57 – BLOCKS Smartwatch
02:38 – Samsung Gear S2
03:45 – AGENT
07:00 – Omate

Diet key driver of microbiome composition in humans

IANS  |  New York February 27, 2016 Last Updated at 15:48 IST

Gravitational waves: Einstein’s legacy and the new findings

Vinod Kumar

Gravitational Waves (GW) were the last prediction of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity. The first direct detection of gravitational waves was announced on 11 February by the Advanced Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO). Using LIGO’s twin giant detectors — one in Livingston, Louisiana, and the other in Hanford, Washington — researchers measured ripples in space-time produced by a collision between two black holes. This is the first major detection by LIGO experiments after more than a decade in operation. The new discovery is truly incredible science and marks three milestones for physics:

1. Direct detection of gravitational waves.

2. The first detection of a binary black hole system.

3. The most convincing evidence to date that nature’s black holes are the objects as predicted by Einstein’s theory.

According to Newtonian physics, gravity is a force which makes two bodies with mass attracts each other. Einstein in the year 1915, with his radical General theory of relativity, gave a complete new perspective of gravity. The concept is mathematical and quite sophisticated, but can be defined simply as “Matter curves space and objects responds to that curvature.” i.e. Gravity is not a force as such, but a curvature caused in the spacetime fabric due to the presence of an object with mass. To visualize it, imagine a ball in a stretched rubber sheet, the presence of the ball causes a dip to form and the sheet curves depending on the weight of the ball, now another smaller ball, if rolled to the bigger ball follows the curved space. Roughly this is how earth revolves around the sun .Even though this analogy is not true cent percent, for visualization this will suffice.

General theory of relativity makes prediction far beyond the familiar gravity. A few of them are: Time Dilation, in distinct but similar manner mass distorts the time too. Flow of time changes w.r.t. the proximity of mass. The time that one experience near to sun is vastly different from that one do on earth. Deflection of light that we see – Gravitational Lensing. Dragging of spacetime by spinning objects- Frame Dragging. The beauty of Einstein’s work lies in the fact that each one of his predictions are physically tested and verified. There was one last incredible prediction which was never directly observed, i.e. Gravitational waves. Now this is history!

The denser the mass is, the greater the curvature of spacetime. As objects with mass move around in spacetime, the curvature also changes to the trail of the moving masses. At times, accelerating objects generate changes in this curvature, which propagate outwards in a wave-like manner. These propagating phenomena are known as gravitational waves. These are outflowing fluctuations of expanding and contracting space time. Not all movements create Gravitational waves; you need to change the Quadrupole moment of a mass distribution. Simply put, it means motion should not be perfectly spherically symmetric or cylindrically symmetric.

o A spinning disk will not radiate. This can be regarded as a consequence of the principle of conservation of angular momentum.

o An isolated non-spinning solid object moving at a constant velocity will not radiate. This can be regarded as a consequence of the principle of conservation of linear momentum.

But, Two objects orbiting each other in a planar orbit such as a planet orbiting the Sun or a binary star system or the merging of two black holes will radiate Gravitational waves!

LIGO have detected signals of gravitational waves from two merging black holes 1.3 billion years ago! These G-waves propagate at the speed of light, unlike the Newtonian gravity which propagates at infinite speed. This speed limit comes from the fact that speed of light is built into Einstein’s field equations. Therefore, for all massless things this is the ultimate speed limit. Since G-waves are distortions in spacetime, if it passes through a free standing body, the body may experience rhythmic stretching or shortening, without an unbalanced external force! But you may not even notice this stretching, one reason being that these stretchings are negligibly miniscule, other reason, everything gets stretched equally, nullifying the effect. But there is one entity that is absolute, an universal constant – the speed of light ‘c’, LIGO uses this property of Light (using LASERs) to measure minute changes in the spacetime continuum. The precision that LIGO requires for this kind of detection can be compared to measuring the distance between Milky Way and Andromeda galaxy (2.5 million Light years away) to the scale of the width of a hair.

Gravity, being a very very weak force, when compared to nuclear force or electrostatic force, one needs really really massive object or something accelerating at a high rate to have G-waves capable of being detected. Gravitational waves carry energy away from their sources and, in the case of orbiting bodies, this is associated with an inspiral or decrease in orbit. Higher acceleration generates powerful gravitational waves, since these huge systems generating G-waves are millions of light years away; the power that reaches on earth is minuscule. Orbital lifetimes of binary systems which have high acceleration are one of the most important properties of gravitational radiation sources. It determines the average number of binary stars in the universe that are close enough to be detected. Short lifetime binaries, i.e. systems which have imminent merger/collapse are strong sources of gravitational radiation but are few in number. Long lifetime binaries are more plentiful but they are weak sources of gravitational waves. LIGO is most sensitive in the frequency band where binary systems are about to inspiral, i.e. about to merge. Inspirals are very important sources of gravitational waves. Any time two objects such as white dwarfs, neutron stars, or black holes are in close orbits, they send out intense gravitational waves. As they spiral closer to each other, these waves become intense. At some point they should become so intense that direct detection by their effect on objects on Earth is possible. This time frame is only a few seconds. LIGO achieved sensitivities to detect such a microscopic blip in the cosmic noise after a multiyear shut down and an upgrade.

G- Waves can pass through any intervening matter without being scattered significantly. While light from distant stars may be blocked out by interstellar dust, gravitational waves will pass through essentially unimpeded. This feature allows G-Waves to carry information about astronomical phenomena never before observed by humans. With this detection we will be able to turn the Universe into our own laboratory! There are many things that we cannot replicate here on Earth, like the dense cores of neutron stars, strangeness of a black hole singularity or an event horizon. Under extreme conditions like this, nuclear physics and thermodynamics can theoretically do some interesting things. However, we can’t investigate those directly because we cannot create these environments ourselves. The rules of quantum mechanics say that there ought to be a particle counterpart to g-waves, they are hypothetical particles called gravitons. Now we stand a higher probability in finding those exotic particles.

Gravitational wave astronomy’s finest moment is also India’s. The Indian scientific community has made seminal contributions to gravitational-wave physics over the last couple of decades. The group at RRI, Bangalore led by Bala R. Iyer (currently at ICTS-TIFR) in collaboration with a group of French scientists pioneered the theoretical calculations used to model gravitational-wave signals from orbiting black holes. In parallel, the group of at IUCAA, Pune did foundational work on developing the data-analysis techniques used to detect these weak signals buried in the detector noise. Over the last decade, the Indian gravitational-wave community had expanded to a number of institutions. The Indian participation in the LIGO Scientific Collaboration, under the umbrella of the Indian Initiative in Gravitational-Wave Observations (IndIGO), includes scientists from Chennai Mathematical Institute, ICTS-TIFR Bangalore, IISER Kolkata, IISER Trivandrum, IIT Gandhinagar, Institute for Plasma Research Gandhinagar, IUCAA Pune, Raja Ramanna Centre for Advanced Technology Indore and TIFR Mumbai.

The ICTS-TIFR group made significant, direct contributions in obtaining estimates of the mass and spin of the final black hole, and the energy and peak power radiated in gravitational waves. The group has also contributed to the astrophysical interpretation of the binary black hole merger.

The ICTS-TIFR group designed and implemented one of the tests of general relativity that have shown that the current observation is completely consistent with a binary black hole collision in Einstein’s theory. Researchers from CMI Chennai, IISER Trivandrum and IISER Kolkata were actively involved in the implementation of this test.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised the role of Indian scientists who were part of the team that discovered gravitational waves. In a series of tweets, Prime minister added, “The historic detection of gravitational waves will open up new frontier for understanding of universe. Hope to move forward to make even bigger contribution with an advanced gravitational wave detector in the country.”

This discovery is sure to usher a new era in Gravitational wave astronomy and will enable us in finding answers to fundamental questions on the origin of the universe, on how a primordial singularity Big Banged into the vast vistas of the cosmos.

Build your own smartphone? It’s a snap


NEW YORK – If you could build your dream smartphone, what would it look like? Now suppose you could put it together yourself.

That’s the promise of modular design, a new concept in smartphones that would basically let you snap together different components like Lego blocks. Say you want a great camera. Snap! A vivid screen and good sound because you watch a lot of video? Snap! But maybe you could live with a smaller battery because you spend most of your day at home or work. Snap!

Sure, phones now offer choices in color and storage. Motorola goes a bit further in letting you choose custom backs made of wood or leather. But the rest of the phone is pretty standard. You’re stuck with the processor, battery and other hardware chosen by Motorola, Apple, Samsung and other tech companies.

With modular design, you could just pay for the components you need instead of settling for whatever manufacturers put in their designs. And instead of buying a new phone every year or two, you could just upgrade individual parts as they wear out or become obsolete.

LG is dipping its toes in the modular-design concept with its upcoming G5 smartphone, announced this week at a wireless conference. The bottom of the phone pops out to let you swap in new hardware. For starters, you’ll be able to attach a camera grip with physical shutter buttons or insert a high-fidelity audio system if regular MP3-quality sound isn’t good enough for you.

Google’s Project Ara, which isn’t making products yet, is also outlining a modular-design approach that starts with a structural frame and lets you add cameras, sensors and batteries. Google figures a phone could cost as little as $50 using the most basic parts.

A Dutch startup called Fairphone is selling the $580 Fairphone 2 online. Though it comes assembled, you can replace the screen for less than $100, or the camera for $40. An expansion port will let people add components — perhaps for wireless charging or mobile payments — that Fairphone or outside parties make in the future.

Chinese phone maker ZTE has circulated concept designs. Other startups exploring modular phones include Finland’s PuzzlePhone (as in the components fit together like a puzzle).

Modular phone design is similar to how hobbyists build their own personal computers or soup up their cars. But there’s no guarantee the idea will take off.

For one thing, modular design is itself a trade-off. Many consumers want phones to be thin, light and power efficient, and that means all the parts have to be tightly integrated. You give that up when you go modular.

Samsung, for instance, rejects modular design, preferring to offer “the best combination of features and functionality” in a compact and elegant design, says Justin Denison, Samsung’s senior vice president for U.S. product strategy and marketing.

Modular design also isn’t easy. Project Ara missed its 2015 target for a pilot project in Puerto Rico and suggested in cryptic tweets that designing modules has proven more complicated than expected. Google had no further comment.

Ronan de Renesse, lead analyst for consumer technology with the research firm Ovum, says many parts in current smartphones are designed specifically to work together. Swap in a new camera or screen, and the older processors might not know what to do with it. The camera might stutter, the screen might blink, and both might drain the battery faster than expected.

Lego-like parts also could allow dust or water to intrude into the phone’s innards. Their connections might also give way over time.

“I don’t think those phones are going to be reliable enough for the mass market,” de Renesse says.

There’s already some buzz around the phones. Fairphone has sold about 35,000 units and is targeting 150,000 this year. The company says many of its customers are environmentally conscious about e-waste and don’t need up-to-the-minute advances in phone technology.

Many big phone makers introduce features just to have something to brag about in ads, says Miquel Ballester, Fairphone’s co-founder. “I don’t really think it’s always what the customer is looking for.”

Even if the appeal is limited, the concept could have broader influence.

LG’s G5 isn’t fully modular, as users couldn’t replace processors, cameras and screens themselves. LG’s Frank Lee says the modular design for now is mostly about enhancing the phone’s capabilities with optional features. But perhaps one day, he says, people will be able to swap in a slower, but more power-efficient processor on days they’ll be away from chargers.

In the future, he says, “we won’t be referring to them as phones anymore.”

Google Inbox To Add New Snooze Options Next Week

Google will release new settings for its Inbox “snooze” feature, allowing users to save time and snooze their emails to the weekend

Feb 28, 2016 at 9:25 am EST
Google Inbox To Add New Snooze Options Next Week
By Mohid Ahmed on Feb 28, 2016 at 9:25 am EST

Google Inc.’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) Inbox by Gmail has added some new “Snooze” options. After the feature’s initial roll out in July 2015, users can now customize options to snooze certain emails to prompt them again either “later this week” or “this weekend.”

After the tech giant unveiled its Inbox service, the snooze feature initially worked as a digital reminder for users’ emails.The update indicates that the company is still working on tweaking its platform to better appeal to users in terms of its layout and functionality. Even though Inbox doesn’t have the same user-base as Gmail’s active users, we believe that Google’s efforts might still work in favor of the service.

Users can even choose to set any day midweek as a convenient time to receive their emails according to their “weekend” timings. Since the company has paid careful attention to ensuring that it provides users with the simplest “time-saving” experience, the revamped snooze options enables users to manage and prioritize their important messages conveniently.
According to the official Gmail blog-spot, “These new options should hopefully save you some time, and decrease the need to use custom snooze.”
It is quite possible that the snooze update is in response to users’ feedback acknowledged by the company. By letting users select a specific day for their email reminders, Inbox aims to save users from the bother of having to opt for a customized snooze setting each time. However, users will still have the option to pick a specific day and time to regularly receive their email and reminder notifications.

Google’s update will surely help Inbox compete with other similar services as well.The snooze update will be made available to users sometime next week, and the tech giant is expected to introduce more tweaks to this feature, later.

Report: 4-inch ‘iPhone SE’ and small iPad Pro will be revealed on March 21

According to multiple sources, Apple will announce a new 4-inch iPhone and new 9.7-inch iPad on March 21 and not on March 15 as previously reported.

The Korean website UnderKG was the first to report Apple’s decision to push back the event by a week.

And now BuzzFeed‘s well-connected John Paczkowski has confirmed the date change to March 21. Apple blogger Jim Dalrymple from The Loop, who’s been privy to top-secret Apple information, also corroborates Paczkowski’s report.

Mashable has reached out to Apple for comment, but the company declined to comment on rumor or speculation.

As per previous rumors and reports, Apple will reportedly unveil a new 4-inch iPhone SE. The new small-sized iPhone will be the first time Apple’s added a new 4-inch iPhone to the lineup since the iPhone 5C was released in 2013.

It’s believed the iPhone SE will retain a similar look to the iPhone 5S and possibly come in ahot pink color. The display’s glass will be ever-so-slightly curved on the edges, like on the iPhone 6 and 6S, though. It will reportedly come with the iPhone 6S’s A9 processor and M9 motion co-processor and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor for security and Apple Pay.

An earlier report said Apple would go with an 8-megapixel camera, but that appears to have changed as well. KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo’s latest report claims the iPhone SE will have a 12-megapixel camera just like the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Kuo has a history of accurately leaking specs for new Apple products before their official announcement.

Though the iPhone SE won’t support 3D Touch, the pressure-sensitive technology embedded into the iPhone 6S and 6S’s display, it will support Live Photos.

Alongside the new iPhone 4-inch iPhone SE,

Apple is also expected to unveil a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro.

Apple is also expected to unveil a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro. Previously thought to be the iPad Air 3, the new tablet will be be part of the new iPad Pro family.

Like the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, the smaller iPad Pro will have a new design with four stereo speakers, the new Smart Connector for connecting accessories like a Smart Keyboard, and support for the Apple Pencil.

It’s unclear if Apple will discontinue the iPad mini and iPad Air. It’s likely that Apple will simplify its iPad lineup; 9to5Mac’s Mark Gurman says Apple is slowing down production for the iPad mini and “the iPad mini 2 and first-generation iPad Air are likely to be discontinued” when the new 9.7-inch iPad Pro launches.

Apple is expected to send out invitations for its upcoming event in the coming days. In the meantime, would you buy an iPhone SE or a smaller iPad Pro?

Entire science community was surprised last month whentwo Caltech astronomers claimed that they have foundninth planet of our solar system, approximately 20 timesfurther than Neptune. Now, NASA’s Cassini probe is goingto help astronomers locate the elusive planet far beyondthe orbit of Pluto.

Presence of Planet Nine hypothesized by Caltechastronomers Mike Brown and Konstantin Batygin is based on modeling, not directobservations. But the duo predicted that the search of the elusive planet can benarrowed with the help of some good quality telescopes.

Another team of astronomers stated that the possible ninth planet with a mass 10times that of earth could affect other planets’ motions. They said observations theyhave made are based on data from Cassini probe. It guides researchers where exactlyto search for the elusive ninth planet, the astronomers added.

The Cassini probe of the NASA has been studying the gas giant Saturn and its naturalsatellites since its arrival in 2005. The spacecraft has already captured manybreathtaking images of the planet and collected important data about it and its moons.The information sent by the probe to a team of scientists here on earth has been usedto create a model of the solar system that can track the movement of its largest bodieshovering in the observable universe.

Caltech astronomers predicted the presence of Planet Nine by observing orbits of sixrelatively large space bodies from Kuiper Belt. Many scientists are hopeful that theremay be a hidden planet. But, there are some space experts too who think theobservations by astronomers could be wrong. Now, only observational evidence cansettle the debate and prove whether our solar system has nine planets or not.

How an MIT team created a warning system for rogue waves

A new way of predicting the onset of rogue waves, also known as killer waves, has been developed by researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Until now, efforts at predicting them were limited to costly, inefficient, and time-consuming computer models that aimed to map out every individual wave in a body of water.

This new method, published Feb. 11, 2016, in the Journal of Fluid Mechanics, is simpler, easier, and faster. It aims to give sailors and sea-platform workers a window of two to three minutes to prepare, including shutting down vital systems.

“It’s precise in the sense that it’s telling us very accurately the location and the time that this rare event will happen,” said coauthor Themis Sapsis, the American Bureau of Shipping Career Development Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT. “We have a range of possibilities, and we can say that this will be a dangerous wave, and you’d better do something. That’s really all you need.”

The new tool, which takes the form of an algorithm, hunts through data collected about surrounding waves, sifting for signs of clusters that could coalesce and crest into one of these behemoths.

By considering the length and height of a wave group, the new tool can calculate the probability of it mutating into a rogue wave.

“Using data and equations, we’ve determined for any given sea state the wave groups that can evolve into rogue waves,” Dr. Sapsis said in an MIT news release. “Of those, we only observe the ones with the highest probability of turning into a rare event. That’s extremely efficient to do.”

He contrasts this to previous efforts, which have adopted a “leave-no-wave-behind” approach, whereby they have aimed to provide a high-resolution simulation of the entire surrounding ocean surface, thereby keeping a beady eye out for suspicious activity of a rogue-like nature.

But the computer power required to run the necessary equations, not only for every wave, but also for the interactions between them, is considerable, demanding clusters of computers working in tandem.

“It’s accurate, but it’s extremely slow — you cannot run these computations on your laptop,” Sapsis said. “There’s no way to predict rogue waves practically. That’s the gap we’re trying to address.”

The new capabilities developed by Sapsis and his team built on previous efforts, whereby they had noticed that while most waves plough through the ocean single-mindedly, heedless of those around it, some roam in packs, toiling through the water in unison.

Further research led them to understand that some of these groups focus, or exchange, energy, in a way that ushers in the formation of a rogue wave.

“These waves really talk to each other,” said Sapsis. “They interact and exchange energy. It’s not just bad luck. It’s the dynamics that create this phenomenon.”

By analyzing the length and height of wave groupings, the researchers were able to produce an algorithm capable of predicting which were most likely to create the monster waves.

In order to take advantage of this new technology, ships and ocean-going platforms will need high-resolution scanning technologies such as LIDAR and radar to allow constant monitoring of the surrounding waves.

“If we know the wave field, we can identify immediately what would be the critical length scale that one has to observe, and then identify spatial regions with high probability for a rare event,” Sapsis said. “If you are performing operations on an aircraft carrier or offshore platform, this is extremely important.”