Nitish takes a dig at Modi over neglect of Ganga

first_imgTaking a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s statement made before the 2014 Lok Sabha poll in Varanasi that he had come there on the invitation of (river) Ganga mata, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Saturday said “Ganga maiya” now has been asking where was her son.Mr Kumar also said the condition of the river had become so deplorable that “he gets emotional over it.”“When I visited Varanasi recently people there were saying river Ganga has been asking for her son who earlier had declared that he had come there only on the invitation of Ganga mata…why he (PM Modi) has stopped saying so…the condition of river Ganga has become so deplorable that I get emotional seeing it,” the Chief Minister said while addressing an international conference on “Incessant Ganga” here.“Close Farraka”Mr Kumar said he had demanded the closure of the Farakka barrage in West Bengal “as it has been the root cause of siltation causing floods every year in Bihar.”“Several river experts have expressed a similar opinion but nothing has been done yet,” he said.“It is because of the Farakka barrage that Bihar gets flooded every year…there is a danger to Bihar due to the barrage,” Magsaysay award winner and water conservationist Rajendra Singh said.He said the Central government project of Namami Gange has been benefiting only contractors.Another river expert and economist, Bharat Jhunjhunwala, said the Central government raises the issue of cows but not of Ganga.Problem of silt depositBihar Water Resources Minister Rajiv Ranjan Singh said the conference would discuss in detail the problem of siltation in the river bed.The experts and delegates would look into all aspects of human intervention, including the proposed construction of barrage for inland waterways, which have resulted in the deterioration of the Ganga, an official of the state Water Resource Department said.last_img read more

‘No relief for Goa liquor outlets’

first_imgPANAJI: The top bureaucracy in Goa, led by the Chief Secretary, was grappling on Friday evening with the finalisation of notices to outlets serving liquor within 500 metres of highways.On December 15, the Supreme Court had banned sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways across the country. On Friday, the apex court said the ban is not limited to retail liquor outlets, and includes bars, pubs and restaurants.The State Finance Secretary, Daulat Hawaldar, told The Hindu that though the government was yet to receive a copy of the SC’s review order, which had given some State-specific relief based on pleas filed by some States, it was clear that no relief has been provided to Goa.The State government was gearing to issue notices to 3, 200 outlets, including retail outlets, shops, restaurants and even wholesale liquor shops, identified by a special committee headed by State Excise Commissioner Menino D’Souza.Earlier in the week, the government had decided to issue notices to only around 789 retailers.last_img read more

‘Nitish will attend RJD rally, if invited’

first_imgAmid speculation that the rift between the two ruling alliance partners, the Rashtriya Janata Dal and the Janata Dal (United), is widening, JD(U) leaders on Sunday said Chief Minister and party president Nitish Kumar could attend the RJD’s proposed rally here on August 27. “Our leader Nitish Kumar will be attending the RJD’s anti-BJP rally in his personal capacity, if he is invited”, JD(U) spokesperson Sanjay Singh told journalists after the party’s state executive committee meeting. Mr. Kumar, earlier, had addressed the meeting and appealed to leaders to strengthen the party organisation. Party sources told The Hindu that Mr. Kumar also asked party spokespersons to refrain from making contentious comments.He made it clear that he had no political plans outside the State. “I will remain in Bihar,” he told the executive. Mr. Kumar was emphatic that his party had been following the coalition dharma and would always follow it. “I will continue following my own ideology unmindful of its consequences”, he told the meeting.Earlier, some senior JD(U) leaders had said that the party would not be attending the RJD’s proposed mega rally BJP hatao, Desh bachao. “The rally is being called by the RJD and not by the JD(U)”, said JD(U) leader RCP Singh. Facing dubious land deal charges against his family members and reopening of fodder scam cases in which he is an accused, RJD chief Lalu Prasad Yadav had called the anti-BJP rally saying all non-BJP party leaders like Congress president Sonia Gandhi and vice-president Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, former Prime Minister H.D. Deve Gowda, former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, BSP chief Mayawati and Left party leaders would participate in it. Party sources said Ms. Banerjee, Ms. Mayawati and SP president Akhilesh Yadav have already sent their consent to attend the rally.At the JD(U) meeting, while making oblique reference to the Congress party’s apparent displeasure over his support to NDA’s presidential candidate Ram Nath Kovind, Mr. Kumar reportedly said “the Congress party has been changing its political principles but he would not change his principles whatever be the consequences.” “Hamare neta pichhlaggu nahin, dusare log pichhlaggu honge (Our leader would not be pillion of anybody, others could be)”, Mr. Sanjay Singh later told the media.last_img read more

A peaceful Sunday in the Valley

first_imgLife in Kashmir Valley returned to normal on Sunday after two days of restrictions and strike as the first death anniversary of Hizbul Mujahideen “commander” Burhan Wani on Saturday remained by and large peaceful.Shops and other business establishments were open and public transport plied smoothly. Movement and assembly of people were unrestricted, officials said. Restrictions were lifted after two days as the situation remained peaceful on Saturday.Authorities restored mobile and broadband Internet services in Kashmir. While mobile Internet was restored on Saturday night, the BSNL’s broadband service resumed on Sunday morning. Only 2G connectivity An official, however, said only 2G connectivity was available on mobile networks. “The high-speed network is still suspended,” he said. He said the decision to restore it would be taken after assessing the situation.Internet services across the Valley were snapped on Thursday night as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in view of Wani’s death anniversary. Situation under controlThere were a few incidents of stone throwing on Saturday, but the situation remained under control and peaceful, the officials said.A woman was injured when she sustained multiple pellet injuries in one such clash in Shopian town. The separatists, including the Hurriyat Conference factions led by Syed Ali Shah Geelani and Mirwaiz Umar Farooq and the Yasin Malik-led JKLF, had called for a strike on Saturday. Restrictions had been imposed in five police station areas of Srinagar on July 7.last_img read more

Modi announces ₹500 crore as immediate relief for flood-hit Bihar

first_imgPrime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday conducted an aerial survey of flood-affected districts of Bihar and announced a package of ₹500 crore as immediate relief to the state. He also declared that ₹2 lakh each would be given to the kin of those who have died in the floods, and that a Central team would soon visit the affected areas to assess the damage. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar accompanied Mr. Modi during the survey.Maximum damageAfter the survey — he flew over the districts of Purnea, Kishanganj, Katihar and Araria — Mr. Modi held a meeting with Mr. Kumar, Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and top state officials at the Chunapur aerodrome. He was told that the flood had caused maximum damage to the Seemanchal (border) areas and the state water resource department has suffered the maximum loss due to breach of embankments and waterways for irrigation.Mr. Modi said that the Union Road Transport and Highways Ministry would take appropriate action for the repair of the damaged roads and other infrastructure. The marooned areas of Bihar as seen from the Prime Minister’s aircraft during his aerial survey on August 26, 2017. Photo: @PMOIndia   Detailed reportThe PMO statement also referred to Prime Minister’s recent talks with his Nepal counterpart Sher Bahadur Deuba during which it was decided that a detailed project report would be prepared at the earliest on the Saptkoshi Dam and Sunkoshi storage-cum-diversion scheme. Both nations would also work on flood control in the border areas which will benefit the region, the statement added further.As many as 21 districts of Bihar have been inundated by the flood waters, which affected 1.67 crore people, with the death toll mounting to 418. The state government has opened hundreds of relief camps and community kitchens for the flood-hit people. Several teams of the National Disaster Response Force, SDRF and the Army have been pressed into service for relief and rescue operations.last_img read more

Former judge to probe BHU violence

first_imgThe Banaras Hindu University on Tuesday formed a high-power inquiry committee headed by a retired judge to probe the incident of lathicharge on protesting students and arson in the campus, which left several students, journalists and policemen injured.Meanwhile, Varanasi Divisional Commissioner Nitin Gokarn in his probe report submitted to the government is said to have blamed the BHU administration for not handling the incident, particularly the complaint of the molestation victim, in a sensitive manner and indicted the varsity for not taking timely action. The report submitted to Chief Secretary Rajiv Kumar, however, has not been made public.Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath had ordered the Divisional Commissioner and Varanasi ADG Vishwajit Mahapatra to probe the incident that took place on Saturday night.Promises actionBHU Vice-Chancellor Girish Chandra Tripathi said an inquiry committee headed by retired Allahabad High Court judge Justice V.K. Dikshit had been formed to probe the incident. Mr. Tripathi said the committee would shed light on ‘all aspects’ of the incident. “Whatever the recommendations of the committee, the University will take action on it,” he said.He said he would comment on the commissioner’s report after reading it.Amid speculation that the government had ordered a judicial probe, Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Shrikant Sharma said only two existing probes stood in the BHU case — one by the ADG-Divisional Commissioner and the other by the District Magistrate of Varanasi. Mr. Sharma, however, told The Hindu that the CM had taken a serious view of the BHU incident and “to prevent such incidents in future, he appealed to the vice-chancellors of universities in U.P. to establish communication with students and identify those involved in cases of eve-teasing and take action against them.”A fine arts student of the BHU was molested by bike riders while she was returning to her hostel on Thursday evening. The victim alleged that instead of helping her the security guards on campus blamed her for not walking carefully in the dark while the warden questioned her character.Angered by this, scores of students, girls and boys, gathered at the main gate of the BHU for a protest which turned violent on Saturday after police lathi-charged the protesters, who the administration claimed included ‘anti-social elements.’last_img read more

Bombay High Court to hear PIL plea for judge Loya death probe

first_imgThe Bombay High Court will hear on January 23 a plea filed by lawyers seeking a probe by a retired Supreme Court judge into the death of judge B.H. Loya.A Division Bench of Justices S.C. Dharmadhikari and B.H. Dangre was hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) petition filed by the Bombay Lawyers Association seeking an enquiry into the events and circumstances surrounding the death of Loya in the light of a news report.The PIL mentions the chronology of the events: death of Sohrabuddin, his wife Kausar Bi, his aide Tulsiram Prajapati, the transfer of judge J.T. Utpat and coming in of judge Loya. The PIL then quotes the article in The Caravan magazine on November 21, 2017, about Loya’s sister Anuradha Biyani questioning her brother’s death.The plea also points out how judge Loya confided to his sister that the then Chief Justice of the High Court, Mohit Shah, had offered him a bribe of ₹ 100 crore in return for a favourable judgment, as per the news article. The petition quotes the article in which Anuradha says that she recounts the day when BJP Minister Amit Shah was discharged in the case and it was soon after the new judge came on board.Counsel for the association told the court that the matter must be heard urgently as there are many rumours and versions behind the death of Loya. The Bench will now hear the matter on January 23.last_img read more

Summer of discontent: water crisis looms in Gujarat

first_imgSummer has just set in but Gujarat is already facing a water shortage. And it will only worsen in the next two months as the State’s main water sources like the Narmada dam, and dozens of other dams and reservoirs, are going dry. Ironically, Gujarat is faced with the crisis despite copious rains last monsoon.The government has assured that there will be no shortage of drinking water in any corner of the State. Narmada water was stopped for irrigation from March 15. Water Resources and Irrigation Minister Parbat Patel recently told the Assembly that the State has made adequate arrangements to ensure drinking water is available in every part of the State. But the picture is far from that. A crisis is already evident in villages, where water is now supplied once or twice a week.Despite the State’s claimed preparations, approximately 4,238 out of 18,000 villages in Gujarat are facing a severe crisis as their sources have either gone dry or are about to go dry. “More than 50% of the hand pumps in tribal pockets are not functional. Small tribal villages from north to central Gujarat are the worst hit,” said Congress spokesman Manish Doshi.Currently, the water level in the State’s main water body, the Sardar Sarovar dam on the Narmada, is at about 105 metres, roughly less than 50% of the dam’s normal average level. Moreover, the spread of water in the reservoir, which was across 214 km during the monsoon, has now shrunk to less than 90 km, and will shrink further in the summer. Now, the State is forced to use the dead stock of water from the dam.The Narmada is the main source of water for over 10,000 villages and 165 towns and cities in over a dozen districts in the State, notably in the water-starved and drought-prone Saurashtra, Kutch and north Gujarat regions. Moreover, in all other 203 dams and reservoirs across the State, the water level is less than 40%, and will dry up rapidly as summer peaks. A look at the region-wise figures of water storage available in the State’s dams: 15 dams in north Gujarat have 714.95 mcm (million cubic metres) storage, which is 37.15%. In 138 dams and water bodies in Saurashtra, only 656.97 mcm water is stored, which is just 25.93 %.On January 22, the State government announced that water in the Narmada dam had reached its lowest level in the last 13 years. So, from mid-March, Narmada water will not be supplied for irrigation. The State has now deployed State Reserved Police (SRP) personnel along the canals to stop farmers from taking water illegally from the Narmada canals.After stopping water for irrigation, the outflow of water has come down from around 9,000 cusecs early this week to around 4,900 cusecs now, with 4,300 cusecs for drinking purposes.Worse ahead“More than 50% villages in my area are facing water shortage and it will become more acute in April and May,” said Congress legislator Naushad Solanki from the Dasada constituency in Saurashtra. “Earlier, the government said no shortage in drinking water because the Narmada dam water has been reserved for drinking purposes and irrigation supply was curtailed. However, now, even drinking water supply is inadequate in villages,” said Sagar Rabari of the Gujarat Farmers’ Union, a civil society group fighting for farmers’ rights.Authorities have started rationalised supply to cities like Ahmedabad, Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara in order to supply more water to smaller towns and villages. “In Ahmedabad, which receives 1,420 million litres per day (MLD) from the Narmada and Kadana dams, among other resources, water supply is expected to be cut by 200 MLD,” a senior official in the State government said. South Gujarat has 27% less water compared to last year so there is an urgent need to rationalise use of water in Surat, which gets the highest water supply per capita, he added.The crisis seems to have its genesis upstream. According to State government officials, due to a weak monsoon in the Narmada catchment areas in Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat could only get 4.71 million acre feet (maft) of water, which is just 45% of the sanctioned supply of 9 maft is awarded by the Narmada Tribunal to the State.last_img read more

Assam PHC destroyed records: advocates

first_imgA primary health centre (PHC) in western Assam’s South Salmara-Mankachar district has come under the scanner for allegedly destroying birth-related records after a complaint that its officials took money to issue fake birth certificates.The complainants – advocates Anisur Rahman and Azaharul Islam – said the PHC issued many birth certificates against the same serial numbers. Such duplication has made it difficult for people to prove their citizenship as July 30, the date for publishing the complete draft of the updated National Register of Citizens (NRC), draws near.Many people had enclosed birth certificates as proof of citizenship. The NRC, wary of fake documents, had on May 1 issued a notification that birth certificates issued by any entity other than the health department and more than a year after the birth of child would not be legally admissible.In their FIR on Tuesday, the advocates said a section of officials of the South Salmara PHC had destroyed the birth-related documents of 25 years to “erase their misconduct”.last_img read more

Amarinder failed to punish firing case accused: Kejriwal

first_imgAs several people gathered in Faridkot’s Bargari on Sunday to demand action on the third anniversary of the Kotkapura and Behbal Kalan police firing incidents, which followed the Bargari sacrilege case, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal accused his Punjab counterpart Amarinder Singh of ‘failing’ to punish the accused.Krishan Bhagwan Singh and Gurjit Singh died in police firing in Faridkot district in October 2015, during protests against the sacrilege of Guru Granth Sahib, when the Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP combine government was in power.Twitter war Mr. Kejriwal took to Twitter to hit out at Capt. Amarinder, saying “On 3rd death anniversary of Behbal Kalan victims Krishan Bhagwan Singh and Gurjit Singh, I offer condolences to their families. Highly unfortunate that Capt. Amaridner govt has badly failed to punish the culprits of sacrilege of Shri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and the murderers of two innocents.”Criticising Mr. Kejriwal for politicising the issue, Capt. Amarinder replied by tweeting, “Stop politicking Arvind Kejriwal. It’s shocking a man in your position talks of subverting law instead of waiting for SIT’s findings. We don’t live in anarchy. In any case who better than you’d know what happens when one doesn’t go by law. Remember your apology to the Badal clan?”The Justice (Retd.) Ranjit Singh Commission, probing the police firing incident of 2015, in its report tabled in the State Assembly, had said former Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal was ‘quite aware’ of the situation developing and about the proposed action by the police. ‘Report baseless’The Shiromani Akali Dal and Mr. Badal have, though, denied any wrongdoing and termed the report baseless and hollow.Mr. Kejriwal, who was in Punjab last week, had accused the Congress government of failing to act against all those at fault based on the Justice Ranjit Singh Commission’s inquiry report on incidents of religious sacrilege in the State.Leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly Harpal Singh Cheema has asked five Congress Ministers, including Tript Rajinder Singh Bajwa, Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa, Navjot Singh Sidhu, Manpreet Singh Badal and Charanjit Singh Channi, to resign from their posts.“They (five Ministers) were at the fore front to seek registration of FIRs against former CM Mr. Badal and senior police officers, including former DGP Sumedh Sainin, in connection with the firing incident. But the government has failed to take action and hence they all should now resign,” said Mr. Cheema.He added that AAP MLA H.S. Phoolka has listened to the voice of his conscience and resigned from Vidhan Sabha on this very issue.last_img read more

NGO shelter homes raided

first_imgRaids are being conducted on Good News India-run Dream Centre shelter homes across Odisha by the police and Child Welfare Committee.Meanwhile, GNI founder and chairman Faiz Rahman was taken into custody on Tuesday for questioning.According to reports, 134 inmates, including 80 girls, were shifted from the shelter home. After counselling by the Ganjam CWC, 62 inmates were handed over to their guardians. The rest would be sent to their respective places on Wednesday.In a related development, a video clip purportedly showing Mr. Rahman converting children to Christianity has surfaced. State Women and Child Development Minister Prafulla Samal said, “Upon registration of FIR, the government would probe conversion activities, if any.”last_img read more

Leh avalanche: Two more bodies recovered, toll rises to seven

first_imgTwo more bodies were recovered, while three people remained missing on the second day of rescue operation in Leh’s avalanche-hit Khardung La Pass, located at an altitude of 18,380 ft.“After two days of rescue operations, seven bodies have been recovered. Three remain missing, for whom the rescue will resume at the first light on Sunday. The seven bodies are being airlifted to Zanskar on Sunday morning so that they can be handed over to their families,” deputy commissioner of Leh, Avny Lavasa, told The Hindu. The rescue was called off on Friday evening due to inclement weather and was resumed on Saturday morning. High-tech gadgets, including human detectors, and sniffer dogs were used to trace the civilians buried under snow, said an official.Five locals killed in the avalanche were working as porters with the Army. Two vehicles carrying 10 civilians were swept away and buried under the avalanche of approximately 20 ft depth and 800 m length which hit the Khardung La Top-South Pullu stretch on the world’s highest motorable road on Friday morning. The rescue is being jointly carried out by the State police, the Army and the State Disaster Response Force. It is likely to enter a difficult phase on Sunday as the meteorological department forecast more snow in Kashmir and Ladakh in the next three days and possibility of more avalanches in the upper reaches.Fresh avalanche warnings Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan on Saturday issued avalanche warning for nine avalanche-prone districts of Kashmir division.“The warning has been issued for the avalanche-prone areas of district Anantnag, Kulgam, Budgam, Baramulla, Kupwara, Bandipora, Ganderbal, Kargil and Leh,” said Mr. Khan.People living in areas were advised “not to venture out to avoid the loss of lives”.“Deputy Commissioner are asked to take all the precautionary measures and to keep the SDRF, police and para-medical staff with ambulances in readiness to avert any untoward incident,” said Mr. Khan.last_img read more

Protest against proposed bird sanctuary in Manipur

first_imgThe Manipur government’s plan to set up a bird sanctuary at the Loktak lake in Bishnupur district has met with stiff opposition from the villagers in nearby areas.A large number of residents of Thingnunggei village took out a massive procession against the government’s proposal on Sunday.“The villagers of Thingnunggei are poor and they have no other means of earning a livelihood except for catching fish and plucking vegetables from the lake. If fishing is banned in the lake, the villagers would starve. We are all for protection of birds, most of whom are migratory, but the new scheme should not be implemented at the cost of the poor villagers,” said one of the protesters.Declining number Thousands of migratory birds flock to the Loktak lake, the largest freshwater lake in north-eastern India, every year. However, in the past few years there has been a sharp decline in the number of migratory birds coming to the lake.Reports indicate that bird poachers are active in the area, targeting the winged guests. Officials of the forest department’s wildlife wing say in view of the widespread bird poaching at the lake, setting up of the sanctuary is a must. Birdwatchers on the other hand blame human intrusion, bird poaching and hydroelectric power project near the lake for the decline in the number of migratory birds and brow-antlered deer in the Keibul Lamjao national park in the vicinity.Brow-antlered deerSome decades ago, the villagers of the lake islets had agitated against setting up of the Keibul Lamjao National Park, the natural habitat of the endangered brow-antlered deer. They wanted the land demarcated for the park to be made available to them for cultivating paddy.Now, several years later, the latest census suggests that there are only 260 brow-antlered deer in the Keibul Lamjao national park.last_img read more

Defence Ministry dismisses reports of Army jawan’s abduction by militants in Kashmir

first_imgThe Defence Ministry on Saturday denied reports of an Army jawan being abducted by militants from his home in central Kashmir’s Budgam district, saying he is “safe”.The family of Mohammad Yaseen, who is posted with the Jammu and Kashmir Light Infantry (JAKLI) Regiment, had on Friday informed the police that some people came to their house at Qazipora Chadoora in Budgam and took him away.Mr. Yaseen was on leave. However, a Defence spokesperson on Saturday said the reports of the abduction of the jawan were incorrect.“Clarification. Media reports of the abduction of a serving Army soldier on leave from Qazipora, Chadoora, Budgam are incorrect. Individual is safe. Speculations may please be avoided,” the spokesperson said in a tweet.An Army official said they are trying to ascertain where the jawan had been on Friday night which prompted his family to approach the police.last_img read more

4 militants killed in Shopian and Handwara

first_imgFour militants were killed in two separate encounters in Kashmir valley on Thursday.Three militants, identified as Sajad Khanday, Aqib Ahmad Dar and Basharat Ahmad Mir, all residents of Pulwama, were killed in an early morning operation at Yawran village of Keller in Shopian district.“We had credible inputs about their presence in the area. All the three bodies were retrieved from the site of encounter. It was a combined group of Hizbul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT),” said the police. Three rifles were recovered from the site.Dar, according to the police, had a long history and was involved in conspiring and executing many “terror attacks” in the area. Three AK rifles were recovered and were taken in the case records for further investigation,” the police said.In a separate gunfight that erupted in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district, one Jaish-e-Muhammad militant was killed. “Yaroo area of Langate in Handwara was cordoned off following a tip. The search party was fired upon. One militant was killed,” said the police.The slain militant was identified as Danish Ahmad Dar, a resident of Sopore.“Dar was affiliated to JeM. One rifle and grenades were recovered from the site of encounter,” the police said.last_img read more

BJP protests in Valley seeking protection to its workers

first_imgSeveral leaders and supporters of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Tuesday held street protest in Srinagar to demand security to all its workers in the Valley, four days after its leader was shot dead by suspected militants in south Kashmir.“I have decided to surrender my security too till all BJP workers are provided a security cover in Kashmir,” said BJP state general secretary Ashok Koul. He board a three-wheeler rather than the vehicle provided by the state security “as a mark of protest.” Earlier, Mr. Kaul led the street protest at Srinagar’s Press Enclave to press for his demands.Suspected militants shot dead BJP leader Gul Mohammad Mir (60) alias Attal on Saturday evening in Anantnag’s Nowgam area around 10 p.m. He succumbed to his injuries, inflicted by five bullets in the upper body. The BJP leader’s security was withdrawn a few weeks ago without citing any reason. The State Home department comes under Governor Satya Pal Malik in Jammu and Kashmir, since the State is under the President’s rule.Mir, who was BJP’s vice district president of Anantnag district, had unsuccessfully contested Assembly elections for Dooru assembly segment in 2008 and 2014.last_img read more

ScienceShot: Hawaiian Paradise for Dolphins and Whales

first_imgEighteen species of odontocetes—the toothed whales and dolphins, which include sperm whales and bottlenose dolphins—call the Hawaiian Islands home. But until now, little was known about where most of these 18 species dwell in these waters, what depths they prefer, and their population numbers. A team of scientists has helped fill in the blanks via a unique, 13-year survey made in small boats, ranging in size from 5.5 to 18 meters. Over the years, they covered 84,758 kilometers of survey lines, spotted 2018 odotocetes, and photographed as many of them as possible to ensure that each species was correctly identified. The slideshow above shows some of the rarer species. The team reports its findings online today in Aquatic Mammals. Knowing which cetaceans live where in the ocean and at what depths is important, the scientists say, in order to mitigate any problems that may occur from human activities, such as aquaculture, energy development, and Naval training exercises. Most troubling, the survey revealed that many of the cetaceans have strong preferences for living at specific depths. For instance, bottlenose dolphins and spinner dolphins were most often found in very shallow water (less than 500 meters), while striped and Risso’s dolphins and sperm whales preferred deeper waters (over 4000 meters). It’s unlikely, the scientists note, that aquaculture ventures will find a place free of fish-stealing dolphins, because they occupy such a range of depths. Similarly, the U.S. Navy will have trouble finding areas in Hawaii that don’t overlap with cetaceans, such as beaked and melon-headed whales, and pygmy killer whales, that are adversely affected by the type of active sonar used in training exercises. They live at the full range of depths that the Navy’s sonar uses, too.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

Archaeologists Uncover First Use of Spices in European Cuisine

first_imgBits of silica stuck in charred residues scraped from pots reveal that chefs in northern Europe were cooking with spices at least 6 millennia ago. Although researchers have previously noted the use of strong-flavored ingredients such as onions by cooks in this region during the same era, the new find is the first to report the use of an ingredient that didn’t also have nutritional value—which means that the spice, ground seeds from a plant called garlic mustard, was almost certainly used solely for its flavor.The clues researchers used in the new study are microscopic bits of silica called phytoliths (from Greek, meaning “plant stones”). Plants produce these rugged structures from dissolved minerals in ground water that is pulled into their roots and then distributed throughout the organism, says Hayley Saul, a bioarchaeologist at the University of York in the United Kingdom. While some phytoliths are deposited inside a plant’s cells, others are created in spaces between cells or in special tissues. In many cases, phytoliths are characteristic of certain species, and can, due to their minerallike nature, persist long after a plant’s soft tissues have decomposed.In their latest research, Saul and her colleagues looked at small samples of charred material scraped from the inner surfaces of pottery fragments from two sites in Denmark and one site nearby in northern Germany. Of 74 samples, 26 included phytoliths with a globular shape and a distinctively wrinkled surface, Saul says. Their average size was about 7 micrometers across, less than half the diameter of the finest human hair. When the researchers compared the phytoliths from the residue with those produced in the stems, leaves, and seeds of more than 120 European and Asian plants, the only ones that matched were those made in the seeds of garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), a biennial herb that grows in a swath from Europe through Central Asia to northern India and western China. Garlic mustard was introduced to the United States in the 19th century and has since become a noxious, invasive species in many regions, especially in forest floors and on floodplains. Carbon-dating of the charred material, soot on the outside of the pot, or of charcoal or bones found with the pot fragments suggests that the phytolith-riddled meals were cooked between 5750 and 6100 years ago, the researchers report today in PLOS ONE. While archaeologists have unearthed flavorful ingredients such as capers and coriander at older sites in the Near East, the new finds are the oldest to chronicle spice use in Europe.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(*)Because garlic mustard seeds contain little if any starch, it’s not likely that the seeds were a source of nutrition, Saul says. Indeed, in all but one of the samples that contained phytoliths, the team also found chemical fragments of specific types of fatty substances called lipids that are either produced by ruminants such as red deer or marine creatures such as mussels, scallops, or fish. Those creatures were probably the largest part of the meal, Saul says, but ground garlic mustard—which has a strong, peppery flavor—likely spiced up the dish.The new study “is an innovative use of microfossil analysis,” says Deborah Pearsall, a paleoethnobotanist at the University of Missouri, Columbia. Because the tiny bits of silica came from charred residues on the inside of a pot, she notes, “there’s no ambiguity that humans were involved. … These phytoliths were there because some ancient cook added spice to the stew.”Not all plants produce a distinct type of phytolith, says Arlene Rosen, an environmental archaeologist at the University of Texas, Austin. “But these [phytoliths] are not like any I’ve seen in any other plant, and they compare favorably” with those produced in the seeds of garlic mustard, she notes. “I think it’s a high probability that they came from that plant.”Recently, using cod and pork—meats that inhabitants of Denmark and northern Germany certainly ate, based on remains found at the archeological sites—and garlic mustard, Saul cooked up flavorful replicas of ancient stews. “They went down very well,” she says.Because garlic mustard is found across a broad region, Saul notes, it’s not clear whether its use as a spice originated in northern Europe or was imported from other areas, such as the Near East. Regardless of where the culinary practice began, however, the new finding suggests that Stone Age cooks “didn’t necessarily ‘shop’ based on nutrient value,” Rosen says. “They ate things for their taste.”last_img read more

Even online, you can’t have more than 150 friends

first_imgYour starbase is almost complete. All you need is a few more tons of ore. You could take the afternoon to mine it from an asteroid field, but you’ve heard of a Ska’ari who trades ore for cheap. So you message your alliance, use your connections to set up a meeting, and hop in your spacecraft. It’s good to have friends, even if they are virtual.An online science fiction game may not seem like the ideal place to study human behavior, but physicist Stefan Thurner has shown that the way people act in the virtual world isn’t so different from how they act in the real one. Thurner studies all sorts of complex systems at the Medical University of Vienna, so when one of his doctoral students just happened to create one of the most popular free browser-based games in Europe, Thurner suggested using the game, called Pardus, to study the spontaneous organization of people in a closed society. For almost three-and-a-half years, they monitored the interactions of roughly 7000 active players at one time within the game’s virtual world.Unlike in real life, Pardus players’ moves are tracked and their interactions are recorded automatically by the game. “We have information about everything,” Thurner says. “We know who is where at what point in time, … who exchanges things or money with whom, who is friends with whom, … who hates someone else, who collaborates with whom in entrepreneurial activities, who is in a criminal gang with whom, etc. Even though the society is artificial, it’s a human society.”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(*)Thurner was especially interested in testing the theory in anthropology that there is a limit to the number of face-to-face relationships a person can maintain at once. “One hundred and fifty is the number of people you can have meaningful relationships with,” at least when you’re talking about real-world interactions, says Robin Dunbar, an anthropologist at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom who discovered the limit and was not involved in the new work. “This turns out to be correlated with core areas of the brain,” particularly “the frontal lobes and the temporal lobes.” In other words, our brains aren’t large enough or interconnected enough to maintain an infinite number of personal relationships.Some scientists theorize that the so-called Dunbar’s number could be larger for online relationships, because the time it takes to have a social interaction is reduced when all you have to do is send a quick message, as opposed to meeting up for coffee, a meal, or a full day of activities. Pardus offered an interesting way to study this, Thurner says, because players can form different kinds of relationships with each other. In the game, players choose an official faction to join, which determines which side a player is on. Within these factions, players are able to communicate and create formal groups known as alliances. Players can also declare other players as friends. Thurner and his colleagues then used their data on interpersonal interactions to divide these friendships into two groups: close friends, or players who had declared friendship and communicated through private messaging, and acquaintances, or players who had designated each other as friends but did not message.Remarkably, though the game sets no constraints on the size of alliances, players organized themselves into social structures that matched those found in the real world. The largest alliance in Pardus was only 136 members, suggesting that the limit of 150 personal connections is an inherent part of our social psychology, Thurner and colleagues report this month in Scientific Reports.That’s not the only way relationships in Pardus mirrored offline friendships. In real life, we’re more emotionally invested in those we consider our close friends, creating smaller groups of relationships within our 150-person circle that we spend the most time and energy tending. Correspondingly, Pardus players invested more time interacting with friends they messaged, concentrating their social attention on close friends rather than distributing it among a larger web of acquaintances. Thurner suggests that we may characterize people into different groups in order to keep connections straight in our heads, but that “no one knows how this mental map is organized.” In this study, “we may have seen the first insight into how this is managed in humans.”“This is a good example of a paper that suggests a clear correspondence between how people behave in real life and virtual environments,” says social scientist James Ivory, who studies social and psychological aspects of people online at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg. “People tend to behave like people, whether they’re in a prehistoric world, a business, a knitting group, or a video game. Instead of looking at behavior in video games as alien, what you basically have is a place where you can study people.”last_img read more

New light source shines at Brookhaven National Laboratory

first_imgProspects were looking bright today at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz dedicated the lab’s new $912 million National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II), which will be the brightest synchrotron light source in the United States and—within a certain energy range—the world.“The research performed at NSLS-II will probe the fundamental structure of novel materials and help drive the development of low-cost, low-carbon energy technologies, spark advances in environmental science, and spur medical breakthroughs,” Moniz said.The NSLS-II will produce extremely intense beams of x-ray, ultraviolet, and infrared light, allowing researchers—including biologists, chemists, and environmental scientists—to peer into the nanoscale, probing the properties of materials at resolutions approaching 10 nanometers. Scientists will use the facility to study high-temperature superconductors, next-generation silicon chips, and biological proteins on the smallest scales. The NSLS-II will be 10,000 times as bright as its predecessor, the National Synchrotron Light Source, which ran for more than 30 years.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(*)The NSLS-II began commissioning in October and is slowly ramping up to full speed. Researchers will conduct their first studies using the facility’s seven available beamlines, but engineers plan to add 25 additional beamlines over the next 5 years. Although the construction of NSLS-II and its initial beamlines were supported by DOE’s Basic Energy Sciences program, funding for additional beamlines will come from other agencies, including DOE’s Biological and Environmental Research program, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. When fully complete the facility will support more than 4000 users each year with up to 70 beamlines.Initial data from the machine are looking very promising, said NSLS-II Director John Hill. “It’s a gorgeous machine,” he said. “People are just so excited to see all their hard work pay off.”last_img read more