Silicon Nanotechnology to Combat Biowarfare Agents

first_img Troubled waters: China-fuelled cruise boom sparks environment fears Image: Schematic of a fabricated 4X4 electrical biosensor array. (Courtesy of Infotonics Technology, Designed by Philippe Fauchet)Researchers at the University of Rochester are developing a smart-system that would detect – and combat – the biowarfare agents. Research finds early detection and diagnosis is critical to ensure public safety and minimize the impact of agents such as anthrax. The biosensors will be able to function remotely inside buildings. The prototype development is a combination of nanoscience, nanotechnology and optics and fills an imminent national security need, researchers say.Today, an upstate New York consortium of businesses; Eastman Kodak Co., Xerox Corp. and Corning Inc.; universities; and state and federal agencies such as the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security and NASA is getting close to unveiling a prototype that could change the face of biowarfare detection going forward.”Smart sensors are the key to detecting terrorist threats,” said David R. Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Infotonics Technology Center in Canandaigua, New York. Infotonics is one of five centers of excellence across the state charged with making cutting-edge advances in fields such as nanotechnology.Philippe Fauchet is the director of the University of Rochester’s Center for Future Health. He leads a research team that is finding a fast, cost-effective method to test for agents like anthrax and plague.According to Fauchet’s proposal to Infotonics, the group is developing smart responsive sensors that will form a flexible portable platform capable of detecting and identifying the presence of multiple biological or chemical agents. The sensors will wander through buildings conducting a search. They will not only detect the agents but respond by releasing counteracting drugs. If the sensors can be mass-produced reliably and inexpensively, they would have a wide range of applications – from protecting at-risk personnel to monitoring water quality, Fauchet explained.The key focus of the research is on transforming the sensors into microsystems that can be easily deployed and operated. The devices will be optimized for sensitivity, speed and specificity, Fauchet said. “Examples of these technologies include porous silicon electrical sensors containing pores ranging from a few nanometers to microns whose complex impedance responds in seconds to exposure to various targets each with a specific signature,” Fauchet explained. In fall 2001, several letters containing deadly spores were sent to targeted spots across the county. The documents threatened the lives of postal workers, government administrative workers, officials and others. Countless other letters were sent which contained harmless white powder. At that time, swabbing for anthrax and sending the samples to the few labs that could test them took an excruciating amount of time – particularly for the people who were awaiting the results. Explore further Image: Scanning electron micrographs of 1-D and 2-D photonic bandgap structures made of silicon and used in biosensing (Courtesy of Infotonics Technology, Designed by Philippe Fauchet)Infotonics’ chief Smith said the center – which has been up and running for 15 months – continues to work diligently to invest in Homeland Security research as one of its four initiatives. The others are: Biotechnology, Information and Communication and Defense and Aerospace.At its inception, Infotonics invested in 13 projects worth a combined $4.5 million in an effort to take them through the euphemistic “valley of death” from the conceptual stage to the marketplace. One year later, executives are optimistic about the biowarfare detection sensors and the implications for future advances in technology that could make the country more secure.”Philippe’s work has been one of our most successful research investments,” Smith marveled. “He’s delivering really great stuff.”by Allison M. Cooper, Copyright 2005 PhysOrg.com Citation: Silicon Nanotechnology to Combat Biowarfare Agents (2005, September 6) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2005-09-silicon-nanotechnology-combat-biowarfare-agents.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Astrophysicists apply new logic to downplay the probability of extraterrestrial life

first_imgDavid Spiegel and Edwin Turner of Princeton University have submitted a paper to arXiv that turns the Drake equation on its head. Instead of assuming that life would naturally evolve if conditions were similar to that found here on Earth, the two use Bayesian reasoning to show that just because we evolved in such conditions, doesn’t mean that the same occurrence would necessarily happen elsewhere; using evidence of our own existence doesn’t show anything they argue, other than that we are here. The Drake equation, developed in 1960 by Frank Drake uses probability and statistics to derive the possibility of life existing elsewhere in the universe. The data for it comes from observations of the known universe, i.e. the number of stars and solar systems that can be seen, the number that are thought likely to have conditions similar to our own, etc. It’s this equation and its results that drive much of the belief that there surely must be life out there; hopefully, intelligent life.The problem with all this though, is that so much of it is based on assumptions that have no real basis in reality. As Spiegel and Turner point out, basing our expectations of life existing on other planets, for no better reason that it exists here, is really only proof that were are more than capable of deceiving ourselves into thinking that things are much more likely than they really are.The two argue that just because intelligent life occurred rather quickly here on Earth, once conditions were ripe, giving rise to the people we are today, that doesn’t mean it naturally would on another planet just like ours in another place in the universe. There are other factors after all, that could have contributed to us being here that we don’t yet understand. So, it might be surmised, (though the authors themselves don’t actually mention the Drake equation) deriving numbers from an equation such as that put forth by Drake, only serves to bump up our belief in the existence of other alien life forms, not the actual chances of it being so.When taken at face value, some might conclude that such arguments hold no more logic than arguments for the existence of God, i.e. it’s more about faith, than science.At any rate, most would agree that the only concrete way to prove whether there is life out there or not is to prove it, by finding it. Explore further Citation: Astrophysicists apply new logic to downplay the probability of extraterrestrial life (2011, July 27) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-astrophysicists-logic-downplay-probability-extraterrestrial.html © 2010 PhysOrg.com This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Breaching a ‘carbon threshold’ could lead to mass extinctionlast_img read more

MIT lab working on wristband to allow for individual control of local

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — MIT Media Lab has announced that a team of researchers working in the Responsive Environments Group is hard at it trying to come up with just the right sort of wrist bracelet that could interface with a building fitted with sensors, to allow a user to easily alter the temperature, lighting or perhaps even the humidity levels of their immediate environment. Such a bracelet would also quite naturally also be used to alert other devices with motion detectors to become active. The current iteration of the new bracelet called the WristQue, is according to the media lab, both comfortable and customizable, making it ideal for use by a variety of people in a controlled environment. Also, the hardware inside the bracelet is 3D printable which means a new one can be whipped up whenever the need arises, similar in fact, to the way that most large companies now print up ID badges to allow admittance to work areas. The bracelets are configured to “talk” via radio waves to sensors located throughout a building and to take note of and broadcast current conditions that exist around the person who is wearing it.The whole point is to come up with a way to allow people, in most cases, office workers, to change conditions in their local environment with a simple press of a button. The WristQue has three buttons actually, one to tell the system to turn up the heat, another to turn it down, and a third to activate other motion-detector driven devices in the vicinity, such as sun shades or even the coffee maker.There is the small problem of how to negotiate differences in taste though. After all if you have two people (or more) sharing a cubicle or other workspace for example, and one prefers the temperature warmer than the other, a button pushing showdown could occur. To get around that, the engineers have programmed in an algorithm that takes the average of what it believes both people want and then sets the temperature accordingly. They’ve also programmed in the times that people are occupying a certain space to set the temperature for them before they arrive, which could mean cost savings on utility bills.Because the team wants to keep the controls on the bracelet to a minimum, they keep tinkering, adding sliders for lighting, for example, or adding and removing other buttons to allow for the control of other devices that the typical person might want. They key though, they insist is that the bracelet be geared toward your individual needs (it knows who you are because you’re wearing it) and thus allow for statistics to be gathered to help predict what you will want without you having to fiddle with the buttons every time you come into the office. More information: www.media.mit.edu/research/gro … ponsive-environmentsvia Newscientist © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore furthercenter_img Lohan’s ankle bracelet has breathalyzer technology Citation: MIT lab working on wristband to allow for individual control of local building environment (2012, January 17) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-01-mit-lab-wristband-individual-local.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Of Einstein and entanglement Quantum erasure deconstructs waveparticle duality

first_img Explore further Another challenge was employing hybrid path-polarization entangled photon pairs distributed over the optical fiber and free-space links. “In order to implement the quantum eraser,” Ma continues, “we maintained the entanglement between the path and the polarization of two photons and kept the phase and polarization stable over the measurement duration.” More information: Quantum erasure with causally disconnected choice, PNAS January 22, 2013 vol. 110 no. 4 1221-1226, doi:10.1073/pnas.1213201110 Related: 1The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics: A Translation of Schrodinger’s ”Cat Paradox” Paper, translated by John D. Trimmer, originally published in Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 124, 323-38 (1980) Citation: Of Einstein and entanglement: Quantum erasure deconstructs wave-particle duality (2013, January 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-01-einstein-entanglement-quantum-erasure-deconstructs.html Specifically, for the polarization states, they had to compensate the polarization rotation and depolarization caused by optical fibers via various tubing and frequently monitoring the polarization transmission fidelity. “For the path states,” Ma illustrates, “we had to isolate the system photon from phase noises, which reduce interference visibility.” In order to achieve that, they used home-made acoustic-isolation surroundings to protect the interferometer. In future experiments, notes Ma, the scientists are planning to develop a brighter photon-pair source, low-noise single-photon detectors, faster optical modulators with higher duty cycles, and more precise clock synchronization. “In our experiment, another practical challenge is limited signal-to-noise ratio” says Ma. “This is because most quantum phenomena are very fragile to noise and can be easily washed away.” To overcome this problem and demonstrate the counterintuitive features of quantum mechanics, the researchers have to increase the signal and/or reduce the noise. “To increase the signal,” Ma continues, “we have to generate more photons. Therefore, a brighter photon-pair source will be certainly helpful. Additionally, more precise clock synchronization will also improve our results: It will allow us to use a much smaller coincidence window and hence reject the false coincidence stemming from noise. This is possible because time-energy entanglement allows the intrinsic uncertainty of the generation time of photon pairs to be much smaller than the timing jitter of the present remote clock synchronization techniques – for example, the GPS system used in their current study. Finally, Ma points out that noise is mainly from the dark counts of single-photon detectors. Therefore, it is very crucial to reduce these dark counts, which is possible by using some advanced cooling techniques. “All these improvements can be evaluated by using photon counting and entanglement verification.”Ma also says that quantum communication and quantum information processing may benefit from their findings. “Our experiment is important for foundations of quantum mechanics as well as quantum information processing, especially quantum communication. The architecture of our experiment could be used for a satellite-to-ground station quantum communication prototype and hence provide the basis for a worldwide information network, in which quantum mechanical effects enable the exchange of messages with greater security and the ability to perform certain calculations more efficiently than is possible with conventional technologies.” Copyright 2013 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of Phys.org. A non-causal quantum eraser Concept of our quantum eraser under Einstein locality conditions. Hybrid entangled photon-pair source, labeled as S, emits path-polarization entangled photon pairs. System photons are propagating through an interferometer (Right) and the environment photons are subject to polarization measurements (Left). Choices to acquire welcher-weg (which-path) information or to obtain interference of the system photons are made under Einstein locality so that there are no causal influences between the system photons and the environment photons. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1213201110 Addressing these challenges meant doing things differently than all quantum eraser experiments performed to date, in particular by establishing strict Einstein locality between the relevant events. “We achieved this by implementing independent active choices that were space-like separated from the interference,” Ma explains. “These choices were made by a quantum random number generator and then implemented by an electro-optical modulator.”When two events are separated by a space-like interval, not enough time passes between their occurrences for there to exist a causal relationship crossing the spatial distance between the two events at or below the speed of light. While the two events can be observed to occur at the same time, there is no reference frame in which the two events can occur in the same spatial location or where they can occur in each other’s future or past.To maintain entanglement between the path and the polarization of photon pairs, Ma points out that the researchers first produced bright highly-entangled polarization pairs using a spontaneous parametric down-conversion process. “We converted the polarization states of the system photon into its path states in an interferometer via a polarizing beam splitter and polarization controllers, while maintaining the polarization state of the environment photon. By carefully adjusting these components, we eliminated the polarization distinguishablity of the path states of the system photon and generated hybrid entangled photon pairs. In order to maintain this hybrid entanglement, we paid exceptional attention in keeping these photons away from decoherence.” (Phys.org)—Quantum physics presents several counterintuitive features, including entanglement, tunneling and – as demonstrated in double-slit experiments – wave-particle duality. When studying wave-particle duality, however, so-called interferometric quantum eraser experiments – in which wave-like behavior can be restored by erasing path information – allow researchers to perform differential measurements on each of two entangled quantum systems. (Double-slit experiments not involving quantum erasure utilize superposition of single particles, while in quantum eraser experiments two particles are entangled.) Specifically, the particle feature’s welcher-weg (which-path) information is erased (or not) from one system, and interference-based measurements in the other system are used to observe (or not, as the case may be) its wave feature. While previous quantum eraser experiments made the erasure choice before or (in delayed-choice experiments) after the interference – thereby allowing communications between erasure and interference in the two systems, respectively – scientists in Prof. Anton Zeilinger’s group at the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Vienna recently reported a quantum eraser experiment in which they prevented this communications possibility by enforcing Einstein locality. They accomplished this using hybrid path-polarization entangled photon pairs distributed over an optical fiber link of 55 meters in one experiment and over a free-space link of 144 kilometers in another. Choosing the polarization measurement for one photon decided whether its entangled partner followed a definite path as a particle, or whether this path-information information was erased and wave-like interference appeared. They concluded that since the two entangled systems are causally disconnected in terms of the erasure choice, wave-particle duality is an irreducible feature of quantum systems with no naïve realistic explanation. The world view that a photon always behaves either definitely as a wave or definitely as a particle would require faster-than-light communication, and should therefore be abandoned as a description of quantum behavior. What does this mean for scientists describing a quantum state without relying purely on mathematics? One way, says Dr. Xiao-Song Ma, lead author of the paper, is that the quantum state can be viewed, as Erwin Schrödinger wrote1, as an expectation-catalogue or sum of knowledge – that is, a probability list for all possible measurement outcomes. Whether the outcome of each individual measurement is wave, particle or their superposition depends on the state and measurement context.Ma also discussed the challenges he, Prof. Anton Zeilinger and their colleagues faced in conducting their research with Phys.org. “The main challenge of our quantum eraser experiment is the arrangement of the individual events such that various space-time configurations, including Einstein’s locality condition, were fulfilled,” Ma says. Achieving that required separate labs, a quantum random number generator, a very fast electro-optical modulator, precise optical and electrical delays, and other sophisticated techniques. (A) Scheme of the Vienna experiment: In Lab 1, the source (S) emits polarization entangled photon pairs, each consisting of a system and an environment photon, via type-II spontaneous parametric down-conversion. Good spectral and spatial mode overlap is achieved by using interference filters with1-nm bandwidth and by collecting the photons into single-mode fibers. The polarization entangled state is subsequently converted into a hybrid entangled state with a polarizing beam splitter (PBS1) and two fiber polarization controllers (FPC). Interferometric measurement of the system photon is performed with a single-mode fiber beam splitter (BS) with a path length of 2 m, where the relative phase between path a and path b is adjusted by moving PBS1’s position with a piezo-nanopositioner. The polarization projection setup of the environment photon consists of an electro-optic modulator (EOM) and another PBS (PBS2). Both photons are detected by silicon avalanche photodiodes (DET 1–4). The choice is made with a QRNG (44). (B) Space–time diagram. The choice-related events Ce and the polarization projection of the environment photon Pe are space-like separated from all events of the interferometric measurement of the system photon Is. Additionally, the events Ce are also space-like separated from the emission of the entangled photon pair from the source Ese. Shaded areas are the past and the future light cones of events Is. This ensures that Einstein locality is fulfilled. BS, beam splitter; FPCs, fiber polarization controllers; PBS, polarized beam splitter. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1213201110 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Satellite image of the Canary Islands of Tenerife and La Palma and overview of the experimental setup (Google Earth). The two laboratories are spatially separated by about 144 km. In La Palma, the source (S) emits polarization entangled photon pairs, which subsequently are converted to a hybrid entangled state with a PBS (PBS1) and a half-wave plate oriented at 45°. The interferometric measurement of the system photon is done with a free-space BS, where the relative phase between path a and path b is adjusted by moving PBS1’s position with a piezo-nanopositioner. The total path length of this interferometer is about 0.5 m. The projection setup consists of a quarter-wave plate (QWP), an EOM, and a PBS (PBS2), which together project the environment photon into either the H/V or +/− basis. Both the system photon and the environment photon are detected by silicon avalanche photodiodes (DET 1–4). A QRNG defines the choice for the experimental configuration fast and randomly. A delay card is used to adjust the relative time between the choice event and the other events. Independent data registration is performed by individual time-tagging units on both the system and environment photon sides. The time bases on both sides are established by global positioning system (GPS) receivers. Copyright © PNAS, doi:10.1073/pnas.1213201110 Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienceslast_img read more

Sailfish found to use group hunting technique to capture more sardines

first_img Citation: Sailfish found to use group hunting technique to capture more sardines (2016, November 2) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-11-sailfish-group-technique-capture-sardines.html More information: James E. Herbert-Read et al. Proto-cooperation: group hunting sailfish improve hunting success by alternating attacks on grouping prey, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2016). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2016.1671AbstractWe present evidence of a novel form of group hunting. Individual sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) alternate attacks with other group members on their schooling prey (Sardinella aurita). While only 24% of attacks result in prey capture, multiple prey are injured in 95% of attacks, resulting in an increase of injured fish in the school with the number of attacks. How quickly prey are captured is positively correlated with the level of injury of the school, suggesting that hunters can benefit from other conspecifics’ attacks on the prey. To explore this, we built a mathematical model capturing the dynamics of the hunt. We show that group hunting provides major efficiency gains (prey caught per unit time) for individuals in groups of up to 70 members. We also demonstrate that a free riding strategy, where some individuals wait until the prey are sufficiently injured before attacking, is only beneficial if the cost of attacking is high, and only then when waiting times are short. Our findings provide evidence that cooperative benefits can be realized through the facilitative effects of individuals’ hunting actions without spatial coordination of attacks. Such ‘proto-cooperation’ may be the pre-cursor to more complex group-hunting strategies. Most people have likely seen sailfish on television—they have long, pointed bills and fan-like fins on their backs and are generally seen jumping out of the water after being hooked on a fisherman’s line. In this new effort, the researchers were interested in the hunting habits of the fish, so they sailed around off the coast of Mexico looking for frigate birds that tend to congregate over hunting areas. Once a hunt was found, the researchers watched and filmed the action.Studying what they recorded, the researchers found that the sailfish hunted in groups surrounding a school of sardines, but unlike other group hunters, their attacks were not coordinated—instead, individuals would simply swim into the school of sardines and then arrive at the other side. Such forays, the researchers found, resulted in a catch just 24 percent of the time, but, they also found that such attacks also resulted in injuring a sardine approximately 95 percent of the time, which made it easy for the sailfish hanging around in the crowd to grab them. The overall result, the team reports, was a higher per capita capture than would have occurred had the sailfish all hunted alone with less energy expended for all of the participants. The researchers also found that individual sailfish that opted to take the “free riding” strategy (never actually swimming into the sardine group) only worked if the cost of attacking was high and waiting times were short. They also found that both the size of the sardine group and the sailfish group varied in size—from many members to just a few. Interestingly, the team also noted that the sailfish did not appear to take turns dashing into the sardine mix; instead, attacks occurred at random. Explore further Field study shows how sailfish use their bill to catch fish Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society Bcenter_img An Indo-Pacific sailfish raising its sail. Credit: Wikipedia/GFDL 1.2 © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—An international team of researchers has found that sailfish use a unique form of group hunting to improve the catch for all involved. In their paper published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, the group describes their adventures studying the hunting behavior of the fish off the coast of Mexico and why they believe the behavior might be an example of social engagement that could lead to more complex cooperative strategies in other groups of animals. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Theatre for the blooming buds

first_imgWith dollops of fun, acting and lessons on life skills, summer vacations are about to get exciting. All you 8-15 year olds, First Act  is here in town. Get onto the bandwagon to learn essential life skills over 15 days this summer. Enthusing you with confidence through the medium of theatre and experimental methods practiced all over the world, this team has a plan to set you ahead of your times. Battle out your inhibitions and stage fright with a team of mentors who have a flair for acting. Rakesh Jasrotia and Vaishali Chakravarty, the two renowned artistes spearheading First Act, have devised a module to encourage teamwork and enhance self image to culminate all your sweat to a short performance at the end of the program. Give wings to your imagination and skills and mark in these dates.last_img read more

27yearold TMC worker stabbed to death at night

first_imgKolkata: A Trinamool Congress activist was stabbed to death by some miscreants at Swarupnagar in North 24-Parganas on Sunday night.The victim has been identified as Amirul Mullick (27). The local Trinamool Congress leaders alleged that CPI-M backed miscreants were involved in the attack. The victim was an active member of the party.According to locals, the victim was found lying in a pool of blood a few meters away from his house. He was a resident of Nityanandakathi village under Swarupnagar police station. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThere were multiple injuries on his body. After being informed, police reached the spot and recovered the body. According to police, the victim was stabbed several times by the accused. The body was later sent to a hospital for an autopsy. The family members of the victim said Mullick had been involved in various activities related to Panchayat elections. They said he was busy in putting up posters and banners on Sunday evening. As he did not return home, the family members started searching for him. Some of his party colleagues were also informed. They also took part in the search operation. They later found the victim on a road. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe family members alleged that it was a deliberate attempt by the miscreants to weaken the party organisation. A senior Trinamool Congress leader of the district, however, blamed the BJP for the incident. He said the victim was brutally killed as he was found with his throat slit. There were several stab injuries on his body.Both the CPI-M and BJP leaders denied the allegation and termed the incident a result of a clash between two factions within the ruling Trinamool Congress. Police have started detailed probe into the incident. Raids are being conducted to nab the culprits.last_img read more

Celebrating Ghalib a man of many moods

first_imgEminent poet Ghalib’s Death Anniversary  will be celebrated on May 17  at India International Centre, Max Muller Marg, in the Capital. The programme will comprise brief narration on Ghalib by Pavan K Varma (author and MP, Rajya Sabha), Kathak Dance based on Ghalib’s Ghazals by Uma Sharma and Vocal recital based on Ghalib’s Ghazal by Anita Singhvi. Sharma visited Ghalib’s haveli which was in a dilapidated condition and was falling apart. In order to restore the Ghalib’s Haveli to its rightful place she formed a committee ‘Ghalib Memorial Movement’. She then approached Sheila Dikshit to help in getting the Haveli Vacated and make it into a Heritage site. With the former Chief Minister’s interest and her relentless efforts the Haveli was finally restore and is now a befitting Memorial to the great poet. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’To commemorate this event she have been organizing Ghalib’s birth and death Anniversary every year which includes a candle light procession to Ghalib’s Haveli from Town Hall, Mushaira in traditional andaz and a cultural programme based on Ghalib’s writing. This evening programme is a culmination of this year’s Ghalib’s death anniversary celebration. On this occasion Sharma, who is a Padma Shri holder, has decided to almost relive Ghalib through her interpretation of his poetry, as a man of many moods.Uma Sharma seems to have vowed to bring Asad-Ullah Khan Ghalib back to life, right there in the eye of the new millennium by recreating for us the inner world of the poet and the man.last_img read more

Original folk music struggles for significance

first_imgOriginal folk music struggles for significance in an era dominated by multiple genres, according to Sindhi Sarangi legend Lakha Khan who strives to keep alive the traditional music of his Manganiyar community.Khan is the seventh generation in a family of musicians who have been carrying forward the tradition of Rajasthani folk and sufi music whose legacy is said to date back ‘almost 400 years.’ The maestro says the current generation is less enthusiastic about taking up the art. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“The zeal to learn folk music isn’t what it used to be earlier. Folk music is something which requires a lot of dedication and hard work and sometimes it gets difficult to learn. That’s why our younger generation is not serious about it,” says Khan.The 68-year-old musician and vocalist reminisces of an era when he began his journey into folk music at a mere age of six by learning Rajasthani folk music from his father and mentor, Tharu Khan.“Artists from our community (Manganiyar) used to play at functions for kings and emperors. My father was also one of them, I used to accompany him to these performances and that’s when I developed interest and it all started for me,” says the musician. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixInspiration, says the musician one of the last living exponents of the Sindhi Sarangi, is derived from following his father’s teachings and demeanour during performances and songs.“I remember all his mannerisms and the bhajans he used to sing, I have imbibed all that, on the whole it gives a unique tinge and that altogether comes out in the performance,” he adds.In the initial stages Khan was introduced to ‘Surili’ (a folk instrument) by his father before he began training in vocals and perfecting the art of playing the ‘Sarangi’. In his late sixties, the maestro now opines that youngsters should take up folk music as it helps in building up music knowledge.“The current generation of audience and artists is very confused and distracted as there’s a lot of variety now. They often tend to take up easier forms of music.“The authentic music of our country is traditional folk, it has it’s own unique flavor and glimpse of our rich culture and that shouldn’t?t be ignored. Each music genre has its own place and originality,” he says.A recipient of the Sangeet Natak Akademi award, Lakha Khan is amongst the last remaining in the Manganiyars lineage to have mastered the Sindhi sarangi. .Khan released Lakha Khan: Live in Nashville this year in collaboration with Amarras Records. The music album features sets from his Nashville concert from his debut US tour in 2013 where he played 10 concerts in 98 cities.Renditions of popular folk classics such as Kesariya Balam and Mast Qalandar along with Sufi kalaams by Ghulam Farid and Bulleh Shah apart from Kabir bhajans and classical ragas comprise the album. Khan performed in the city recently as part of an ongoing countrywide multi city tour where he teamed up with African folk artist and ‘Kora’ player Madou Sidiki Diabate. Both the artists share the same love for folk music and both have a legacy spanning back generations.last_img read more

Monsoon heat wave throws Kolkatans into tizzy no respite in sight for

first_imgKolkata: The unusual heat wave in monsoon, with maximum temperature going above five degree Celsius from normal in Kolkata, will continue for the next 48 hours as per the prediction of the Regional Meteorological department.The hot and dry weather on Friday that left people in a restless condition even after spending just a few minutes under the sun, was a result of the inflow of “hot and dry wind” from northern India. The situation has turned worse as the moisture laden wind from Bay of Bengal has stopped flowing in. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsAccording to the Regional Meteorological department, the maximum temperature on Friday was 40 degree Celsius, which is seven degrees above normal.Interestingly, the maximum temperature in this year’s summer was recorded at 37.8 degree Celsius and it was considered as the coolest summer ever in Kolkata. But in monsoon, the temperature has gone up to 40 degree Celsius. The weather was hot and humid till Thursday. It turned dry on Friday with the inflow of the wind from North India. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedUnfortunately, there is no possibility of people getting respite from the hot and dry weather in the next 48 hours. The maximum temperature in Burdwan was 41 degree Celsius and it was 40.4 degree Celsius at Bankura, Sriniketan and Asansol.The doctors have advised people to consume excess amounts of water and said that pedestrians should splash water on their faces if they don’t feel well after walking under the sun. They have also advised people to use sunglasses, caps and umbrellas, while moving out of their houses. Since it has happened just in the beginning of monsoon, the state government is also taking preparations to ensure that people do not get affected in case there is any flood-like situation when there will be heavy rainfall.Meanwhile, state Irrigation minister Soumen Mahapatra will be holding a meeting with officials of Nadia, Birbhum, East and West Midnapore and East and West Burdwan on Monday. In the end of the month, he will also be holding meeting with representatives from North Bengal districts.last_img read more