Royalty Free Music Roundup: Action Packed!

first_imgGet over those winter blues and put a spring in your audience’s step with this curated playlist of high-energy royalty free music tracks.Spring is on the way if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. The cold weather is no longer a viable excuse to avoid hitting the gym or going for a run. Sometimes we all need a little push out the door.If your video project also needs a push, these high-energy, royalty free music tracks will do the trick. I’ve curated this collection of my favorite upbeat tracks from the PremiumBeat music library. The PremiumBeat Standard License covers most usage, including ALL web video (Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, etc). Find the perfect royalty free track below and inspire, motivate and energize your audience!last_img

Royalty Free Music Playlist: Hypnotic Electro-Pop

first_imgTake a midnight drive to this collection of the best moody electro-pop royalty free music tracks in our music library.These darkly addictive royalty free music tracks are perfect for instilling a thoughtful, pensive feeling throughout your projects. Featuring hypnotic beats and smoldering textures, these electro-pop tracks offer an introspective escape from the rush and pressures of daily life. Royalty free electro-pop can give your project a cool, modern vibe while creating a dreamy atmosphere that’s sure to make you think.If your video project is lacking in vibe, these chilled-out royalty free music tracks curated from the PremiumBeat music library will do the trick. The PremiumBeat Standard License covers most usage, including ALL web video (Facebook, Vimeo, YouTube, etc). Find the perfect royalty free music track below to bring your audience just the right amount of dark atmosphere.last_img read more

How to Use a Third Camera on Interview Shoots

first_imgWhen shooting professional interviews, a one or two camera setup is usually the norm. However, if you have the resources, a third camera can bring an extra dynamic to your productions. Here’s how.Cover image via Brian LevinMost filmmakers are familiar with standard A-cam and B-cam setups for interviews. If you’ve shot an interview with only one camera, you know how tricky it can be to work with the footage without having a different shot or angle to cut between. While it requires additional resources and management, a second camera opens lots of additional coverage opportunities.Here’s an example of a two-camera set-up.However, if you have the resources to use a third camera (and have an additional shooter to utilize), a third camera can be a huge help. Assuming you tripod the A-cam and B-cam, you can have the C-cam on a shoulder mount or move between setups (tripods, sliders, etc…) with an eye for creative filler shots. Here’s a diagram of the setup.From your third angle, you can get a handful of other creative shots to use in your edit that you normally wouldn’t be able to try or risk. Feel free to get creative or use some of your own go-tos, but here are a few suggestions.Rack In and Out of FocusIf you’re operating solo, you may need to conduct the interview with your whole focus. However, if you have a producer or interviewer to help, but need to manage the cameras yourself, you can set the A-cam and B-cams on tripods for steady shots. (Be sure to allow for enough depth of field in case the subject moves forward and backward while talking.)This should free you up to operate a third free-motion camera where you can take liberties like working with some in and out of focus tricks. When done at the right times, a nice focus rack can add emphasis to your edit.Extreme Wide ShotsImage via Allied VideoI’m a fan of including production elements (lights, other cameras, crew, green screen edges, etc…), but a wide shot that is significantly different from your A-cam or B-cam shots is a great way to add depth and impress magnitude. Unless you have the room to physically move much further away, you should be able to make do with a wide-angle or fisheye lens to get all the space you’d like into the shot.Extreme Close-UpsImage via SWSLConversely from an extreme wide-angle shot, a third camera can also be used to get those extreme close-ups you would never risk shooting with an A-cam or B-cam position. Again, if your space is limited because you don’t want to encroach on your other shots, using a telephoto lens is a good way to get a nice close-up to help emphasize points in the interview. From the close-up, you have lots of options to shoot depending on what the story of the video dictates. A few suggestions:FacesEyesMouth talkingHandsLegsClothingJewelryProfile ShotImage via ShutterstockWhile not a practical shot for a two-camera setup, a profile shot of the subject against a flat background can be a great insert in your edit that you don’t usually get to capture. Set at a 90-degree angle against your A-cam, a profile angle can vary from a full-body wide shot to a close-up on your subject. The flat angle can help build a theme by framing the subject squarely against a background — which will bring us to our next point.Use the BackgroundLike the points above state, using a third camera gives you a chance to be a little more thematic and objective in how you shoot your interview. You even have the option of setting up a shot where the subject is no longer the sole focus. If the background of the interview plays thematically into your story, you can frame up your subject to be overshadowed by what is behind him or her. This can be done in several ways to pull the viewer’s attention away through focus, light levels, exposure, or creating a silhouette.What’s your take on using a third camera for interviews? Let us know in the comments.last_img read more

6 Ways to “Citizen Kane” Your Film

first_imgThe filmmaking techniques on display in Citizen Kane continue to influence generations of artists. Here are six takeaways for your next film or video project.Citizen Kane images and clips via WarnerCitizen Kane is still considered one of the greatest films ever made. Despite the fact that the film was released 75 years ago, it continues to be a source of inspiration for modern filmmakers like Star Wars Episode VIII director Rian Johnson. Let’s consider Kane’s legacy and discover some practical filmmaking techniques that you can put to use in your own projects.1. Deep FocusOne of the key collaborations during the production of Citizen Kane was between the director/producer Orson Welles and his cinematographer, Gregg Toland. The beautifully-lit film is masterfully composed and makes use of deep focus. The deep focus is defined by a wide depth of field and was not a common technique at the time of production.Deep focus allows subjects close and far away from the camera to remain in focus and is achieved by using a wide-angle lens and a smaller aperture. Deep focus means deep staging of characters along the z-axis. An early scene in Citizen Kane (below) is a great example of the deep focus found in the film.Roger Ebert pointed out the importance of mise-en-scène, or placing on stage, when using deep focus. When everything in the composition is in focus, the filmmaker must be conscious of guiding the attention of the viewers. Ebert pinpointed how the movement of the subjects within the frame and camera movement can become ways to draw the eye and the attention of the viewer.2. Long TakesExtended takes, or “oners,” were around long before Birdman. Even before the production of Citizen Kane, directors such as F.W. Murnau used the technique to beautiful effect and likely influenced Welles and Toland. Murnau’s film, Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans makes use of long takes and a variety of other cinematic innovations.The previously mentioned Citizen Kane clip (seen above) is known for both its deep focus and the long tracking shot from the window to the table. Keep in mind that the film was made before the days of the Steadicam and other portable stabilizers. Because of this, furniture and props had to be moved around the camera as it tracked forward or backward. Roger Ebert pointed out an interesting clue to the moving table in the clip above. Watch the hat on the table (around :44) for a noticeable shake after being slid into position.3. Expressionistic LightingThe lighting style in Citizen Kane is decidedly chiaroscuro and owes a debt to German expressionism while also prefiguring the visual style of American film noir. Noir in the United States was just getting started in 1941 with the release of The Maltese Falcon.The lighting reflects the plot, which seeks to understand the man behind the legendary public figure, Charles Foster Kane. The expressionistic lighting is fitting for a film that ends on a note of continued mystery. The true Charles Foster Kane remains in the shadows, making the lighting style a direct comment on the nature of identity in the film.4. Low Angles and CeilingsStagecoach via Twentieth Century FoxThe many low-angle shots in Citizen Kane meant that the sets needed ceilings. Director John Ford used ceilings in some of his films (for example, Stagecoach, as seen above) but the technique was not commonplace in 1941 because of lighting and audio needs.Fun fact: According to Ebert, the ceilings in Citizen Kane were constructed of cloth to allow microphones to be placed above the heads of the actors.Ceilings are quite commonplace in film productions these days. In fact, the use of ceilings can work to one’s advantage in low-budget genre films produced without the luxury of an expansive set. For example, consider the use of low-angle ceiling shots in Beyond the Black Rainbow.Beyond the Black Rainbow via MagnetWhen it comes to cinematography techniques, there are too many to list. Gregg Toland was absolutely essential to the film.Toland was so essential, in fact, that Welles showed his appreciation to his cinematographer by sharing an end title card, as you can see above.5. Editing & StructureVagabond via CriterionThe non-linear plot structure of Citizen Kane has a lot in common with a detective film. After the death of the main character, we as viewers follow a faceless investigator as he interviews the important figures in the life of Charles Foster Kane. The stated objective is to understand Kane’s dying word, “Rosebud.” However, it’s hard to pin down a precise genre or classification for Citizen Kane because it’s such a broad mix of different genre elements.The biopic, interview-style reconstruction of a Kane’s life contributes to the narrative complexity in Citizen Kane. This non-linear structural technique crops up consistently in modern cinema. One notable must-see example is Agnes Varda’s Vagabond.Welles was certainly fond of long takes but he also made great use of rapid-fire montage to dispense with time in an efficient and artful way. Consider the twenty-year ellipsis cut (seen below) between Thatcher’s well wishes on Christmas and New Year’s. This cut is also an example of what Welles called a “lightning mix,” which is considered in the section on sound below.Perhaps more well-known is the breakfast-scene montage (below) between Kane and his wife. In it, we get to watch a rapid-fire transition from happy newlyweds to a disenchanted married couple. Also worth noting in this sequence is the theatrical lighting cue at the beginning. You can see the background light dim during the dissolve to help transition from Jedediah Leland’s interview to the breakfast scene.It’s important to remember that Robert Wise edited Citizen Kane. Wise would later make a name for himself directing a number of major movie classics, like The Day the Earth Stood Still, West Side Story, The Sound of Music, and Star Trek: The Motion Picture.6. Complex SoundOrson Welles made a name for himself in radio with the infamous War of the Worlds radio broadcast, so he certainly had an ear for audio innovation.Welles made use of overlapping dialogue, which means that characters talk over one another’s lines. Overlapping dialogue is a technique Robert Altman used famously throughout his films. Welles used the technique throughout Citizen Kane, but one of the more obvious moments is during the screening room sequence (pictured above).In addition to the overlapping dialogue, Welles used what he called a “lightning mix.” This is a way of rapidly transitioning between scenes by using a continuation of a sound effect or a line of dialogue. The previously mentioned scene with Thatcher on Christmas and New Year’s is an example. Another example is the following sequence.Kane’s clapping transitions to the applause of a small group supporters listening to Jedediah Leland give a speech about Kane. Leland’s speech is then used to transition to Kane’s famous speech in front of what appears to be a huge crowd.In ConclusionCitizen Kane remains a rich textbook of seemingly endless production techniques for every filmmaker. From deep focus to overlapping dialogue, there are too many takeaways to list. Citizen Kane should be on every filmmaker’s must-see list. The impressive filmmaking techniques and themes continue to remain relevant today.What is your favorite, or least favorite, aspect of Citizen Kane? Please share below.last_img read more

Setting Custom Composition Displays in After Effects

first_imgCreate a more pleasant After Effects experience with custom composition displays.Cover image via Shutterstock.When I first started working in Adobe After Effects, the wide array of tools in the program intimidated me. Just take a look at the composition panel, and you’ll see a number of buttons, boxes, and drop-down menus. This is normal when you’re working in such a powerful motions graphics and visual effects program. However, often when working in After Effects, you only need access to a few tools.Let’s say, for instance, I’m working on a project that involves simply applying keyframes to one layer. Let’s also say I’m working on a small laptop that doesn’t offer me much screen space. Both of these reasons incentivize me to customize the display options of my composition.In this video tutorial, I’m going to show you how I can quickly configure the composition panel in Adobe After Effects to only display tools related to my needs. Specifically, I’m going to customize my comp panel for a keyframing workflow. This will help me cut through the clutter of tools and give me extra screen real estate for a smooth keyframing experience. Let’s get started.ColumnsAs I stated before, if you’re new to After Effects, all the buttons and options in the composition panel can be quite confusing. The panel itself consists of a number of columns, all providing some nifty tool to assist you in your motion graphics workflow. Just the switches column alone has a lot going on, including controls for motion blur, adjustment layers, effects, and 3D controls. To customize these columns, I’ll open up the panel settings drop-down menu. Under the columns section, I can select or deselect thirteen different options, including the following:A/V FeaturesLabel#Layer/Source NameCommentSwitchesModesParentKeysInDurationOutStretchIn addition to using the panel menu, I can also quickly deactivate columns by control-clicking directly over the column and selecting Hide This. For this particular workflow, I’m going to hide all of the columns except for Keys and Layer Name. Once you do this, you’ll notice I have plenty of space in the composition panel to keyframe.Special ModificationsThe panel settings menu has numerous other display options, which will help me customize a keyframing workflow. I want to select Show Cache Indicators since I will be previewing my animation. Also, I can switch from Keyframe Icons to Keyframe Indices, which will allow me to view my keyframes as numbers in order in the composition. Finally, if I command-click over the timecode indicator, I can change the display style of my timecode to frames.last_img read more

Efficiently Lighting and Shooting Product Shots for YouTube

first_imgLighting and shooting products is a common challenge videographers face. Here are some tips to make your life a little easier.Products are among the most common things YouTubers shoot. Yet, there is very little information online about how to do it efficiently. Most product video tutorials are based on commercials, where a dozen crew members have a whole day to get that perfect shot.When I started shooting products, I lit them just like a human face, but I quickly came to realize products come with their own set of challenges.In filmmaking, you’re always struggling against the two-dimensionality of the screen when shooting a product shot. The screen is flat — the product is not. So, it’s surprising how much of cinematography is trying to create the illusion of depth.People see a static shot of a product from one perspective, and they don’t understand its scale, weight, size, or how it fits in with other things. The best way to create dimension is to orbit around an object, dollying as you pan from one side to the other. This creates a powerful feeling of dimension and what the object looks like. It’s also a nice way to have light play off the corners and angles. You almost always see this in TV commercials, where they do an orbit move around the object they’re advertising.Orbit shots are not that simple to do because you need a dolly or a slider. You also need to pan consistently from one side of the object to the other, at the same rate that you’re moving with the slider.Two Ways to Get Around Orbit ShootingSlidersA motion-controlled slider is a great option; however, it’s relatively expensive, and it takes quite a long time to set-up — especially when all you want is one shot of the product. A curved track slider is the cheaper option. ProMediaGear make these — they come in different lengths and different curvatures, which allow for different shooting distances. The interview-specific unit has a radius of five feet. There is also a model for smaller objects, which is great for product shots, where the radius is only two feet away. This allows you to get in close with a macro lens. The move, combined with shallow depth of field and some nice lighting, yields a professional look. This is an elegant solution to the orbit shot, and it eliminates human error in the pan.There are a few different ways to mount a curved slider, but you need to make sure the camera won’t sag or move at either end. You can put it on two tripods — a single tripod with a removable bracket, or even on two lighting stands, which is what I use. You don’t even need to use a tripod head with it — you can simply put the camera on the slider itself, then adjust the height of the stands, or the height of the object.Lighting the ProductThere are a couple of ways to get good reflections when lighting product shots. First, start with a hard backlight that edges the object from its background. Second, add points of light in the background to create a sense of dimension as the camera pans back and forth. Lastly, use a long light source like a Quasar Science or Astera Tube placed 45 degrees above and 45 degrees in front of the object you’re photographing. This creates a nice long line, and it accentuates the object’s build. If you need a fill light, you can either put a second source below and in front of the product (at the same 45-degree angle), or use a light as the stand itself. This shoots light up through the object and works best with transparent or translucent materials.With orbit moves and some good lighting, you can make any product seem like it’s grabbed straight from a commercial, without the time and expenses.Looking for more video production tips and tricks? Check out these tutorials.Quality vs. Quantity: What Should You Record While Traveling?Editing Tips: Sorting Footage and Creating Quality TimelinesFrom The Wizard of Oz to Transformers: 100 Years of Color GradingCreative Uses for Bokeh Overlays + Free Prism Bokeh PackTips for Making High-Quality Small-Budget Video Tutorialslast_img read more

10 Sales Nevers. No Way. You Just Cannot.

first_imgThere are a lot of sales and social selling gurus, or as I like to call them – charlatans – out there selling you the magic elixir to sales success. The honest truth is: there is no magic pill, no easy path, no snap-your-finger route to success. Truly successful salespeople are professionals who have honed their craft; that doesn’t mean that they have learned the tricks that others don’t know. It means that they have skills and standards, and those standards include clear lines in the sand. Here are the 10 Nevers – the 10 things you can never do if you are serious about being a successful sales professional. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Never begin a sales conversation with a lie. The foundation of your relationship and the currency you trade in is trust. Don’t tell me you’re following up on an email that you never sent. Don’t tell me that you are following up on a LinkedIn conversation I had with your boss that I know never happened.Never make a promise that you do not intend to keep. Your word is your bond, and even though we live in a litigious time, no one should ever need to use a contract to enforce a promise you made.Never avoid dealing with a challenge or problem now. Problems don’t age well. They only grow in complexity and require greater time and attention in the future. Besides, professionals do the work that amateurs, pretenders, and poseurs avoid.Never avoid having a conversation about the investment necessary for your prospect or dream client to achieve their goals. By avoiding the discussion, you make it appear as if you’re afraid to talk about the price. That fear can make your prospective client believe you don’t believe in your product and your pricing.Never get comfortable. Never be so comfortable that you avoid doing things that stretch you. Growth only occurs when you adopt a new belief, even one that scares you, and when you take a new action, especially one that scares you.Never give up the pursuit. Even if you lose an opportunity, you must keep trying. Listen, if the prospective account you were pursuing was worth your time and energy when you lost, then it’s still worth your time and energy now. Regroup. Recover. Reload.Never spend time with people who make you less. Never spend time with those who are negative, cynical, burnout, has-beens, or never were’s. There is truth to the idea that you become like the people with whom you spend the most time. The greatest risk to your mindset is allowing yourself to become infected with poor beliefs. Never spend time with energy vampires.Never lie to win business. Don’t say that you can do something that you can’t do. And don’t commit your company to doing something your business can’t do. If what you sell will not benefit the person or people you are selling it to, then don’t sell it. Work harder at prospecting and maintain your integrity at all costs.Never leave a meeting without establishing the next necessary action in gaining the commitment to take it. If I can offer you only one piece of advice to improve your sales now, this would be it.Never believe that there is something that you cannot do. If you can imagine it, and if you can see yourself doing it, it is possible. This is especially true if other people are already doing what you dream of doing.last_img read more

Will You Be Disintermediated

first_img Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Now Despite what you have heard, all salespeople are not going to disappear due to artificial intelligence. That concept is being thrown around a lot right now – often by people afraid of selling or totally ignorant of what sales really is. It doesn’t matter how much they throw it around, it is still an untruth.Disintermediation means the reduction in the use of intermediaries between producers and consumers. There is no doubt that this has happened at a rapid pace over the last two decades in many economic sectors. There is such a thing as the coming onslaught of AI, but before you cower or revel in the notion of a world where there is no need for salespeople, you must understand our economy.We have an hourglass economy. It has a big top, a narrow middle, and a wide bottom. The internet is disintermediating anything it can. If you’re a book seller or retailer,  Amazon’s ease of use has already impacted or erased you. Amazon Prime or Prime Now means that you can get things you want quickly with less hassle. If you’re a salesperson and the internet creates the same value as you do, by talking about features and benefits and lower pricing, you are going to be disintermediated. If, on the other hand, you move into the higher part of sales where there is more money, you will be where people want high trust, high value, and high caring. You will be disintermediation-proof, because people making high dollar purchases want a trusted advisor, they want council, and they want insights; the internet cannot provide all of these.In the higher realm of sales, relationships are important and you are more than a salesperson, you are a business partner. In this realm what you do is so intertwined with your client that they have to know, like, and trust you. You must provide the right advice and the next initiative. That is a different arena, and there is already a dearth of salespeople with the business acumen to do the job well.If you have the ability to act as council and the ability to manage change and be strategic, you are untouchable. The grey matrix of AI will not obliterate all sales people. The question is, are you creating enough value for you to avoid being disintermediated?last_img read more

Saibaba’s lawyers hasten appeal against his sentence

first_imgNagpur: Attorneys of former Delhi University professor G.N. Saibaba are appealing to higher courts for his release from jail as they fear the wheelchair-bound professor won’t be able to survive a long jail term.The professor was sentenced to life imprisonment last month, for having Maoist links, by a court in Maharashtra’s Gadchiroli district. Four others, including a former student of Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Hem Mishra, and human rights activist Prashant Rahi, were also given the same sentence.Advocate Barun Kumar, who is assisting Surendra Gadling, the senior counsel in the case, said, “[Prof. Saibaba] is 90% physically disabled and we don’t think he will live for long if he continues in jail for more than a year. We have already appealed against the lower court’s judgement in the Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court and our appeals have been admitted. The court has now asked for records from the lower court.”The lawyers also plan to challenge his conviction on some special grounds and seek an early release on bail. Mr. Kumar, however, declined to disclose more details about the petition.Meanwhile, after visiting Prof. Saibaba in the Nagpur Central Jail on Wednesday, his wife, Vasanti Kumari, said, “His health is in danger. He is not getting the required medical support, and his blood pressure abnormal as well. He has also started suffering from pancreatic pain and is unable to consume the jail food.” The Nagpur Jail in-charge could not be reached for a comment.last_img read more

Eight militants killed in two separate encounters

first_imgThe Indian Army on Saturday foiled two infiltration bids along the Line of Control (LoC) killing eight militants.In the first encounter, the Army foiled a major infiltration bid in Rampur sector, killing six militants.Troops noticed suspicious movement along the LoC in Rampur sector in the early hours, an Army official said.He said a firefight broke out between the infiltrators and the Army, resulting in elimination of six ultras so far.A search operation was going on in the area, the official said.In an another encounter two militants were killed in Tral area of Pulwama district.Security forces launched a cordon and search operation in Soimoh village of Tral, 36 kms from here, following information about presence of some top Hizbul Mujhaideen militants in the area, a police official said.He said as the security forces were closing on the house where the militants were hiding, the ultras opened fire.The security forces retaliated, killing two militants.The operation was in progress when last reports came in.last_img read more

West Pakistan refugees in J&K challenge Article 35A

first_imgSome refugees of West Pakistan, who had migrated to India during the 1947 partition, have moved the Supreme Court challenging Article 35A relating to special rights and privileges of permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.The petition said there were around 3 lakh refugees from West Pakistan but those settled in Jammu and Kashmir had been denied the rights guaranteed under Article 35A which were given to the original residents of the State. A bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justices A M Khanwilkar and D Y Chandrachud tagged the plea of the refugees, who are settled in the Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir, with the similar matters pending before it.The apex court had, on the request of the Jammu and Kashmir government, posted the matters challenging the Article for hearing after the Diwali holidays.Earlier, a Kashmiri Pandit woman, Dr Charu Wali Khanna, had approached the apex court challenging the provision. Petitioners Kali Das, his son Sanjay Kumar and one other in their plea said they were raising issues seeking conferment of basic natural and human rights which at present were denied to them.“The petitioners are persons who migrated from Pakistan to India in 1947. They were assured by the government that they should stay in the State of Jammu and Kashmir on the assurance that they would be granted Permanent Resident Certificates (PRC), which would permit them to purchase properties and own a house, opportunity to get a government job and reservation benefits, since most of them belong to SC/ST/OBC category and a right to vote in State and municipal elections,” the plea said.The petition claimed that since 1947, the refugees had been given repeated assurances by successive governments but never given PRC, thereby keeping them as refugees for over 65 years.The plea claimed that the refugees and their children were not allowed to hold any position higher than sweeper and the children were not entitled to gain education in government universities or avail themselves of any scholarship to gain education.last_img read more

Dera violence: framing of charges deferred to Feb. 21

first_imgA Panchkula court on Thursday deferred till February 21 framing of charges against Honeypreet Insan — who is facing allegations of inciting violence in Panchkula in August, after Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda chief Gurmeet Ram Rahim was convicted in two counts of rape of female followers. Besides Ms. Honeypreet, 14 other are facing charges in connection with the violence leaving 41 people dead and more than 250 injured in Haryana. Ms. Honeypreet is in judicial remand at the Ambala Central Jail. In November, the Haryana police had filed a chargesheet against Ms. Honeypreet under Sections 151 (knowingly joining or continuing in assembly of five or more persons after it has been commanded to disperse), 152 (assaulting or obstructing public servant when suppressing riot, etc), 153 (wantonly giving provocation with intent to cause riot), 120B (criminal conspiracy) and 121B (waging or attempting wage war against state).last_img read more

Politics over Trudeau visit hots up in Punjab

first_imgThe politics surrounding the issue of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau allegedly not being given “due respect” seems far from over. Punjab’s main Opposition party, the Aam Aadmi Party, on Wednesday hit out at both the BJP-led Centre and the Congress government in the State for showing “immaturity” while dealing with Canada. Leader of Opposition and Aam Aadmi Party leader Sukhpal Khaira said it was “unfortunate” to see the lack of respect shown to Mr. Trudeau by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and that Punjab Chief Minister Capt. Amarinder Singh should have himself received Mr. Trudeau at the airport.Personal differences“Capt. Amarinder Singh’s personal differences have brought bad taste (to the relations) between India and Canada. He made unnecessary remarks about Canadian Defence Minister Harjit Singh earlier. Ultimately the loser is Punjab. Had Capt. Singh shown maturity, Punjab would have benefited,” he told The Hindu. Mr. Khaira said that Capt. Singh should have received Mr. Trudeau at the airport. “After all he (Mr. Trudeau) is the head of a nation and, in fact, the Punjab CM should have accompanied him to the Golden Temple,” he said.Hitting out at the Centre, Mr. Khaira tweeted, “Unfortunate to see lack of respect to Canadian PM Trudeau by Narendra Modi, we Punjabis and Sikhs feel deeply hurt as Canada has done us proud by giving wings to our social, political and religious aspirations besides freedom as human beings.”last_img read more

3 dead after boat sinks in the Brahmaputra off north Guwahati

first_imgThree people, including two college girls, died, and about 20 others were reported missing after a mechanised country boat sank in the Brahmaputra off north Guwahati on Wednesday afternoon.Ferries and mechanised boats, called bhootbhooti, are a popular mode of transport between Guwahati and habitations in north Guwahati, which face each other.Hits concrete Survivors of the mishap said the boat that had set sail from Guwahati at about 1 p.m. It struck a concrete structure of an ongoing Japan-funded water supply project off Aswakranta in north Guwahati. Among the passengers on board were school and college students.Officials of the Inland Water Transport Department said the boat had 24 people on board, including two operators. A spokesperson said 20 people were either rescued or had managed to swim to safety, while three died and one was missing.But Kamal Kumar Baishya, Deputy Commissioner of the Kamrup district, said the boat officially had 22 people on board, “but we learned it was carrying more than 30 people.”Split in two “The boat split into two after the impact and sank rapidly. We somehow managed to survive,” said a survivor who swam to safety. Four passengers in a serious condition were sent to the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital for treatment.Teams of Army divers, the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) reached the spot for rescue operations less than 30 minutes after the boat started sinking. The rescue operation, called off before dusk, would be resumed on Thursday, Mr. Baishya said.The dead were identified as Gopal Das, Ankita Barua and Dimpee Das. The last two were students of Guwahati’s Cotton University and residents of north Guwahati.Boats halted Assam Transport Minister Chandra Mohan Patowary ordered an immediately halt to the plying of mechanised country boats on the Brahmaputra river. “This order will remain effective during the entire rainy season,” he said, adding that the Transport Department has readied a draft bill for the constitution of a regulatory body for passenger ferry services.Car in DikhowA joint team of divers from the Indian Navy, Army’s Para commandos, NDRF, and SDRF on Wednesday morning retrieved a car with five people aboard, which fell fallen into the Dikhow river in eastern Assam’s Sivasagar district five days ago.The operation in the river, a tributary of the Brahmaputra, lasted some 90 hours.The car, driven by Guwahati-based businessman Haren Bora, 52, went missing at about 9 p.m. on Saturday. His mother Punou (85), wife Phunu (45) and daughters Simpi (21) and Munmi (18), were travelling with him.A team of Navy divers from Visakhapatnam was flown in on Monday after Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal requested the Prime Minister’s Office and the Defence Ministry for help.The vehicle was detected with the help of a heavy-duty magnet at a depth of 20 ft.last_img read more

Narendra Modi turns resident Indian only during elections: Prakash Raj

first_imgNoted actor Prakash Raj here on Thursday termed Prime Minister Narendra Modi as ‘Non-Resident Indian’ by referring to latter’s reported frequent foreign tours and said the PM turned ‘Resident Indian’ during elections.While delivering his talk on ‘Save India-Save Constitution’, an all party-meet organized by Odisha Janachetana Manch on occasion of death anniversary Dr. B. R. Ambedkar and anniversary of Babri Mosque Demolition, Mr. Raj said, “Our PM is (an) NRI when elections are not taking place. He turns resident Indian during elections. When elections are over, he goes back to foreign locations.”“Our PM tells lies after lie. As it seems he has taken a vow to speak 100 lies a day. We have assigned him the job of a driver to take the country forward. But it seems he is an expert in taking ‘U’ turns. He is best at selling promises,” said the versatile actor.Taking a jibe at Amit Shah, BJP national president, Mr. Raj said, “what is the credential of Mr. Shah as a leader? He has the specialty to terrorise people. He is known as Chanakya of politics, which basically means striking a deal to get leaders from other parties. He does not have a single development agenda.” “Those who are now in power know how to use religion in politics. The best example is Kerala. A flood or a natural disaster brought the whole Kerala together. It made them one. Then Sabrimala came. The State BJP president says Sabrimala brings golden opportunity for them. They broke the unity. When Kerala was immersed in tragedy, these people (BJP) were busy building statue,” he said. Mr. Raj also deliberated on ‘saffron terror’. “Intelligence inputs indicate involvement of Sanatan Dharma Sanstha in murder of Govind Pansare, Narendra Dabholkar and M.M. Kalburgi. Reports are also emerging that they are out to kill in their bid to make India Hindu Rashtra.”“We have made a mistake few years ago. It is going to be five years very soon, only three to four months are left. Thereafter, we need not have to talk about them. Political party which thinks about children’s education, agrarian crisis and development should be voted to power. Religion or food habit is our personal matter and no political party has the right to educate us on it,” said the actor.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Meet the Giant Platypus

first_imgAn indigenous Australian legend has it that the first platypus was the odd offspring of a duck named Tharalkoo and a rat. In a nod to the tale, researchers have named a newly identified ancient giant platypus species Obdurodon tharalkooschild. All that was found of the creature was a single tooth at a site in Queensland, estimated to be between 5 million and 15 million years old. The molar (above, right) shows wear that indicates that the platypus probably crushed hard-shelled prey, like turtles (above, left), also found fossilized at the site. Modern adult platypuses do not have teeth, but their ancestors did. Based on a comparison of the size of the molar to the teeth of other extinct platypuses, the team reports today in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology that O. tharalkooschild was probably about a meter long—bigger than any other platypus and twice the size of the species alive today. Finding a new species of platypus was a surprise: Previously, researchers thought that the creatures had a single branch on their family tree, with no more than one distinct species alive at any time. Despite its origin-story namesake, the new platypus is a cousin of the lineage of relatively small platypuses that led to the duck-mammal mash-up of today—probably one of several in a now-extinct side branch of giant platypuses.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more

China Chips Away at One-Child Policy

first_imgBEIJING—China’s relaxation of its one-child policy, announced last week, is unlikely to spark a baby boom. But it may be a steppingstone to a bigger change that influences when the nation’s population peaks—a milestone with major ramifications for food security.The government announced on 15 November that it will allow Chinese couples to have two children if one spouse is an only child. Exceptions to the one-child rule already exist for ethnic minorities, rural families without boys, and couples in which both parents are only children. But Chinese demographers have long called for wider changes, arguing that the decades-old policy has contributed to a series of social problems, such as the country’s aging population, gender imbalance, and labor shortages. Official statistics show that China’s fertility rate has dropped from 2.86 in 1982 to about 1.5 to 1.6 births per woman now.The new policy could affect millions of lives, but demographers and policymakers believe it won’t have a significant impact on China’s current demographic reality. The policy will allow up to 12 million women of reproductive age in China to have a second child, according to estimates by Wang Guangzhou, a demographer at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. In a study published in the Chinese journal Sociological Studies in September 2012, Wang and his colleagues estimate that the new policy, if carried out nationwide in 2015, could lead to 1 million to 2 million additional births a year, on top of the 15 million births a year at present. The team also forecast that under the change, China’s total population would peak at 1.4 billion by 2029 and decline to 1.3 billion by 2050.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Many demographers consider the relaxation a prelude to eventually allowing all families to have two children. But many government planners are not sold on abolishing the one-child policy. Wang Pei’an, a deputy director at the National Health and Family Planning Commission, told reporters on 16 November that a baby boom from a universal two-child policy may hamper the country’s economic and social development by “bringing tremendous pressure on public services.” Some demographers suggest that fear is overblown. Wang estimates that if all couples were allowed to have two children in 2015, an additional 6 million babies a year would be born in the following 2 years. In that scenario, the population would peak by 2031 at 1.44 billion and decline to 1.39 billion in 2050. With China’s food security planning aiming to feed as many as 1.5 billion people by 2033, says Wang Feng, a demographer at the University of California, Irvine, a two-child policy would not overstress the system.Yadan Ouyang writes for The Economist from Beijing.last_img read more

How Farming Reshaped Our Genomes

first_imgBefore farming began to spread across Europe some 8500 years ago, the continent’s occupants were hunter-gatherers. They were unable to digest starch and milk, according to a new ancient DNA study of a nearly 8000-year-old human skeleton from Spain. But these original occupants did already possess immune defenses against some of the diseases that would later become the scourge of civilization, and they apparently had dark skin. The findings are helping researchers understand what genetic and biological changes humans went through as they made the transition from hunting and gathering to farming.The rise of farming about 10,000 years ago was one of the most dramatic events in human history. Europe’s farmers came originally from the Middle East and migrated west via Greece and Bulgaria. For decades, the only way scientists could study these events was by extrapolating back from the genetics of modern-day Europeans, a rough guide at best to what had happened in the past. But over the past several years, ever more sophisticated techniques for extracting and sequencing DNA from ancient skeletons have opened the window on to the genetics of ancient hunter-gatherers and farmers alike, allowing researchers to not only trace their movements and interactions but also how the rise of farming changed their biology.In June 2012, for example, a team led by geneticist Carles Lalueza-Fox of the University of Barcelona in Spain reported a complete DNA sequence from the mitochondria—the energy plant of living cells—of a hunter-gatherer skeleton discovered in 2006 at the La Braña-Arintero cave site in northwest Spain. The skeleton was one of two found in the cave, accompanied by ornaments made of the teeth of red deer, which this population apparently hunted along with other animals. This southern European genome showed striking similarities with that of a number of other hunter-gatherers in northern and Eastern Europe and suggested that early nomadic hunter-gatherers were a far more cohesive group—both genetically and culturally—than researchers had realized. The findings, some researchers pointed out, could help explain why prehistoric hunter-gatherers were able to coexist with early farmers for several thousand years before fading from the scene.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)For the new research, published online today in Nature, Lalueza-Fox teamed up with ancient DNA ace Eske Willerslev of the University of Copenhagen and other scientists to completely sequence the nuclear DNA of the same La Braña skeleton. Although the new genome is a preliminary rough draft, a comparison of key genes involved in skin and eye color, diet, and the immune system with those of both early farmers and modern Europeans provides a tantalizing new picture of the changes that took place in European populations as farming took over.One surprise is that the La Braña man had dark skin and blue eyes, a combination rarely seen in modern Europeans. Although today’s southern Europeans tend to be somewhat darker than their northern counterparts, they are still relatively light-skinned compared with Africans, an adaptation often linked to the need to absorb more sunlight and so produce adequate amounts of vitamin D. That this feature of the La Braña skeleton might have been widely shared and not just a one-off is also suggested by recent findings, as yet unpublished but posted online in preliminary form, that other European hunter-gatherers also had dark skin and blue eyes.Lalueza-Fox suggests that prehistoric hunter-gatherers got most of their vitamin D from eating lots of meat and that natural selection did not lead to the evolution of light skin until the advent of farming and diets based more on carbohydrates. Thus meat, fish, and eggs, which make up a much higher proportion of diets today than they did for early farmers, are a major source of vitamin D in modern populations, but early farmers would have been much more reliant on sunlight to help produce vitamin D in their skin. “It seems possible that latitude is not the key factor in skin depigmentation, but diet,” he says.Another feature of the La Braña genome is more consistent with current thinking about how farming changed human biology, however. The genes involved in breaking down lactose (the key sugar in milk products) and starch (the key nutrient in domesticated plants) were in an “ancestral” form, the team reports, meaning that hunter-gatherers were not good at digesting these foods, which later became essential to farming societies.But the La Braña man did have some talents thought to have originated only with farming societies: His immune system was apparently capable of fighting off a number of diseases, such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, and malaria (which was endemic in southern Europe until modern times), which researchers had assumed were passed to humans from animals once cattle, sheep, and other species were domesticated. Out of 40 genes involved in immunity that the team looked at, 24 (60%) were similar to those of modern Europeans. “It appears that the first line of defense against pathogens was already there,” says Wolfgang Haak, an ancient DNA researcher at the University of Adelaide in Australia. One possible explanation, Lalueza-Fox adds, is that “epidemics affecting early farmers in the [Middle East] spread to continental Europe before they went themselves.”Finally, the La Braña genome provides new evidence, Lalueza-Fox and Willerslev say, for the initial hypothesis that European hunter-gatherers were a widespread, genetically and culturally cohesive population long before farmers arrived, rather than a collection of isolated nomadic bands. Thus the new genome bears significant affinities with that of a 24,000-year-old child found at the Siberian site of Mal’ta, the sequence of which was reported by Willerslev late last year. This suggests, Willerslev says, that there might have been “substantial gene flow between east and west” leading to more homogenous populations than previously suspected.Pontus Skoglund, a geneticist at Uppsala University in Sweden, says that this conclusion is supported by his own work on the ancient DNA of Scandinavian hunter-gatherers, who, although from the far north, show genetic affinities not only with the southern La Braña individual but also with the eastern Mal’ta child. “It is quite clear that we are looking at a big genetic watershed” during the transition from hunting and gathering to farming, Skoglund says, in which both genes and biology changed markedly. The farmers from across Europe “look the same” and the hunter-gatherers also “look the same, the opposite of what we would expect from geography alone.”last_img read more

ScienceShot: Making Virtual Humans Dance

first_imgCHICAGO, ILLINOIS—The motion capture technology that sent Na’vi prancing through Pandora with lifelike accuracy in the film Avatar has another use in the lab: creating fine-scale, highly personalized models of how a body moves. Computer scientist Nadia Magnenat Thalmann of the University of Geneva in Switzerland and colleagues have been working to design virtual replicas of athletes’ bodies—not just their general shape and movement, but also dynamics hidden within the joints that bear the strain. Their first test subjects: a group of professional ballerinas from the Grand Theater of Geneva. Due to the unusual stress on their joints as they dance, many ballerinas need hip replacement surgery in their early teens, says Thalmann, who described the ongoing modeling project here today at the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science. The case study used MRI to generate a model of each dancer’s muscles, cartilage, and bone, slice by slice. Then, by adding data from a motion sensor suit (like the one in the photo above), the researchers watched how stress was distributed within the tissues (colored joint models, left) as she performed. The results have helped each dancer understand which movements put her at risk of long-term damage, Thalmann says, and predict the need for future surgery. This technology is still young, Thalmann points out, and the process of analyzing personalized data takes about a month. But she predicts that doctors will someday use the method to quickly model strain and injury in the clinic … even for those who don’t regularly subject their bodies to high kicks and splits.See more of our coverage from AAAS 2014.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)last_img read more