Page 1

 Technology  Economy  Tourism  Medicine  Gastronomy

A World Without Traffic Lights The researchers built a computer model that simulated traffic conditions at an intersection under the control of both a normal stoplight and a computer algorithm that adjusted approaching vehicles’ speeds. The algorithm, theoretically, communicates with cars to deduce their trajectories and directions to determine the exact moment they will pass through the intersection. The computer-vehicle interface adjusts the speed of individual automobiles so that numerous drivers can simultaneously zip through an intersection unscathed.

In a second iteration of the test, the researchers grouped cars into “platoons” that went through the lights together, making the system even more efficient. Ultimately, the algorithm eliminates the need for any pauses in traffic by removing unpredictability and reading any sudden increases in traffic in advance. So-called “slot-based” systems are already in use at airports, where air traffic controllers assign each incoming plane a “slot,” or window, during which it can land, and aircraft slow down or speed up to hit the time frame. The results of their tests were clear — traffic signals are far from the most efficient way to control intersections in an Internet-of-everything world. Under the command of a computer, the number of cars passing through the intersection doubled in the same amount of time. They recently published their findings in the journal PLOS ONE.

Complete Control The algorithm worked so well because it knew exactly where each car was going and when it would arrive, something that is impossible to do in a system involving countless individuals who don’t always act rationally. We’ve all experienced drivers who brake for no good reason, or who decide to suddenly switch lanes. By taking the element of human unpredictability out of the system, the computer reduced the problem to a mathematical equation.

Not Likely in Near Future This is proof-of-concept that computer-controlled traffic could cut commute times and accommodate more drivers, but don’t expect red lights to disappear anytime soon. Google and other tech companies, to be sure, are making strides toward developing driverless cars, but refining these technologies into consumer-ready products still requires work. Convincing consumers to make the switch to a driverless car could take even longer. A recent AAA study found that three-fourths of drivers would be afraid of riding in an autonomous car, and only slightly more than half of respondents would consider buying cars with semi-autonomous features.

US international trade gap at $47.1B in Feb vs $46.2B expected The U.S. trade deficit widened more than expected in February as a rebound in exports was offset by an increase in imports, the latest indication that economic growth remained weak in the first quarter. The Commerce Department said on Tuesday the trade gap increased 2.6 percent to $47.1 billion. January's trade deficit was revised slightly up to $45.9 billion from the previously reported $45.7 billion. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the trade deficit rising to $46.2 billion in February. When adjusted for inflation, the deficit rose to $63.3 billion, the largest since March last year, from $61.8 billion in January. The report joined data on consumer and business spending in suggesting that economic growth moderated further in the first quarter after slowing to a 1.4 percent annualized rate in the final three months of 2015. Growth estimates for the first quarter are currently below a 1 percent pace. Trade, which has been constrained by a strong dollar and weak global demand, subtracted just over one tenth of a percentage point from gross domestic product growth in the fourth quarter. In February, exports of goods rose 1.6 percent to $118.6 billion, increasing for the first time since September. Overall exports of goods and services advanced 1.0 percent to $178.1 billion. Exports have been undercut by the buoyant dollar, which has made U.S.-manufactured goods expensive relative to those of its main trading partners. Slowing growth in Europe and China has also eroded demand for U.S. goods. But with the dollar rally fading, February's nascent increase in exports is likely to be sustained. A survey last week showed a gauge of new export orders received by manufacturers rose in March to its highest level since December 2014. The dollar is down 1.3 percent on a trade-weighted basis so far this year after gaining about 20 percent against the currencies of the United States' main trading partners between June 2014 and December 2015. In February, there were increases in exports of food, automobiles and parts, as well as consumer goods.

But exports of industrial supplies and materials were the lowest since March 2010. Capital goods exports hit their lowest level since November 2011. Petroleum exports fell to their lowest level since September 2010. Exports to the European Union surged 10.2 percent, while goods shipped to Canada and Mexico rose 6.0 percent and 0.9 percent respectively. Exports to China fell 2 percent. Imports of goods and services rose 1.3 percent to $225.1 billion. Imports are being kept in check by ongoing efforts by businesses to reduce an inventory overhang. Lower oil prices and increased domestic energy production are also helping to curb the import bill. In February, imports were driven by a surge in food imports, which hit a record high. But imports of industrial supplies and materials were the lowest since May 2009 in February. Petroleum imports touched their lowest level since September 2002. Oil prices averaged $27.48 per barrel in February, the cheapest since December 2003. Imports from China fell 2.7 percent. The drop in imports outpaced the fall in exports, pushing the politically sensitive U.S.-China trade deficit down 2.8 percent to $28.1 billion in February.

Tourism unlimited It is the world's biggest employer and rakes in foreign exchange by the millions. Yet the Tourism industry in our country manages to attract only a miniscule percentage of the world tourist traffic. The reasons are obvious, and Andhra Pradesh has not been able to buck this trend. As one of the countries that has been targeted for repeated conquests, India has continued to represent a place,much sought after, for its diversity. Andhra Pradesh, has over the years been a home to an amalgamation of cultures, from the Bahmanis to the Asaf Jahis. The state has been on the tourist map, due to its strategic location dotted by numerous tourist spots. The state capital Hyderabad, has naturally been the pivot from which the tourist traffic is generated. It's from here that the tourists move to other parts of the state. Rail, road and air connectivity with the city is pretty decent, and will see a remarkable improvement with the setting up of a new international airport and the completion of the golden quadrilateral. Infrastructure, especially roads connecting interiors are quite poor and this for long, has been impeding tourists from extending their itinerary to other locations. The tourism department on its part is setting up quality accommodation through the 'Punnami' chain of hotels, and this has helped people, especially those visiting temple towns, to stay over for an extra day. A large part of the domestic tourism to the state, travels to religious destinations like Tirupati, Simhachalam,Bhadrachalam, Annavaram and Basra among others.

On the other hand, the growth of international tourists to the state is still a blip in the horizon. Goa and Kerala continue to be the major destinations for international tourists and Andhra Pradesh will have to use a unique selling proposition to hook these tourists. Buddhism is one of the aspects which can be developed, in an effort to rope in substantial number of tourists who travel from Japan and other far eastern countries.

For this, the state needs to invest in its marketing efforts and build a brand image which enables top of the mind recall. It will need to translate concept and plans into reality, so that tourists can seamlessly travel to various destinations. The Southern Splendour, the circular tourist train being planned to traverse the southern states, will ensure that tourists appreciate the tourist hot spots of Andhra Pradesh.

The Tourism department also needs to get the night bazaar concept in and around the Charminar area moving, and this would provide the fillip to big time, unhurried shopping. Convention tourism is big business in the far eastern countries and Hyderabad with its upcoming international convention center, can be positioned appropriately. All in all, Andhra Pradesh has the potential to emerge as one of the country's tourist hot spots. To make that happen, a lot of effort needs to go into creating quality infrastructure, ensuring connectivity, building up awareness and brand building.

Medical Grade 2 gliomas occur most commonly in young adults and cause progressive neurologic deterioration and premature death. Early results of this trial showed that treatment with procarbazine, lomustine (also called CCNU), and vincristine after radiation therapy at the time of initial diagnosis resulted in longer progression-free survival, but not overall survival, than radiation therapy alone. We now report the long-term results. We included patients with grade 2 astrocytoma, oligoastrocytoma, or oligodendroglioma who were younger than 40 years of age and had undergone subtotal resection or biopsy or who were 40 years of age or older and had undergone biopsy or resection of any of the tumor. Patients were stratified according to age, histologic findings, Karnofsky performance-status score, and presence or absence of contrast enhancement on preoperative images. Patients were randomly assigned to radiation therapy alone or to radiation therapy followed by six cycles of combination chemotherapy.

A total of 251 eligible patients were enrolled from 1998 through 2002. The median followup was 11.9 years; 55% of the patients died. Patients who received radiation therapy plus chemotherapy had longer median overall survival than did those who received radiation therapy alone (13.3 vs. 7.8 years; hazard ratio for death, 0.59; P=0.003). The rate of progression-free survival at 10 years was 51% in the group that received radiation therapy plus chemotherapy versus 21% in the group that received radiation therapy alone; the corresponding rates of overall survival at 10 years were 60% and 40%. A Cox model identified receipt of radiation therapy plus chemotherapy and histologic findings of oligodendroglioma as favorable prognostic variables for both progression-free and overall survival. In a cohort of patients with grade 2 glioma who were younger than 40 years of age and had undergone subtotal tumor resection or who were 40 years of age or older, progression-free survival and overall survival were longer among those who received combination chemotherapy in addition to radiation therapy than among those who received radiation therapy alone. (Funded by the National Cancer Institute and others; number, NCT00003375.)

Gastronomy The use of fungal cultures in modern cuisine can provide a broad number of new textures, flavors and tastes from unexpected substrates; such as fruits, vegetables and nuts. The presented research describes how Rhyzopus oryzae, a fungi used in Asian culture to produce traditional recipes, results in fruits, vegetables and grains with unique sensorial properties. Throughout the paper, different examples of these novelty uses are presented showing different examples of prototypes those have been successfully incorporated into our menus, their production procedures and their sensorial evaluations. Tempeh is a popular fermented product in Indonesia and Malaysia that includes, traditionally, fresh or cooked soybean and a mixture of fungus, yeast and bacteria that ferments the wet seed and produces a solid paste that can be fried, boiled or consumed raw (Shurtleff and Aoyagi, 2001). During fermentation, microorganisms use the seed as a substrate to feed themselves and subsequently obtain energy and organic material. It is a complex process where fungal metabolism plays a key role and results in significative changes in the texture, flavor and taste of the vegetal material. Although tempeh is not usually commercialized in Western countries, it is widely used in Asia and it has become an emergent food industry. Transformation from artisanal to modern food production requires pure, standardized and well-defined starter strains. They make it possible to expand the uses of these microorganisms in different food products and can yield more consistent results in controlled conditions and at production facilities. In most cases, traditional products are fermented with a mixture of yeast, bacteria and fungi. Among others genus, Rhizopus is part of the fungal ecosystem responsible of these fermented products. Scientific classification of this fungus is Class, Phycomycetes; Order, Mucorales; Family, Mucoraceae; Genus, Rhizopus. This genus is composed of 10 species, including plant spoilage species (like Rhizopus arrhizus or Rhizopus artocarti) or food related species, like Rhizopus oligosporus and Rhizopus oryzae, those involved in tempeh production (Wiesel et al., 1997). Different characteristics make this genus interesting for massive application in food production. Rhizopus requires a simple ecosystem to survive and can grow vigorously between 25 and 45 °C. All these characteristics make them almost omnipresent in nature, and allow almost all vegetables material colonization. The main constraint to fungal growth is humidity, which should remain at an elevated percentage. During fermentation, Rhizopus‫ ׳‬amylase, lipase and protease activity (Baumann and Bisping, 1995), increases the biodisponibility of the nutrients and their ability to use many compounds as energy and carbon source. Also, this fungus has a very rich secondary metabolism, it produces a high number of compounds with sensorial and nutritional interest (Denter et al., 1998). Finally, Rhyzopuscan produce anti-fungal and anti-bacterial compounds, which have been reported by Dinesh Babu et al. (2009).

As with other microorganisms, safety concern is critical when human food application is considered. R. oryzae is considered GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) by the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and thus, can be used for human consumption within the U.S. However, filamentous fungi is not considered QPS (Qualified Presumption of Safety) by the EFSA (European Food Safety Agency), which raise safety concerns, in which mycotoxins presence therefore should be analyzed in individual products marketed in Europe. To our best of knowledge, no toxin production by R. oryzaehas been reported in scientific literature. Actually, the Rhizopus species has been used on the one hand, as a detoxifying agents against food toxins, like Ochratoxin A (Varga et al., 2005), and on the other hand, to increase the digestibility of certain legumes (Azeke et al., 2007). One of the main advantages of working with this microorganism in the kitchen is that molds open a window in sensorial world in terms of new textures and flavors. In the case of R. oryzae, there is a special interest to obtain innovative results in matrix apart of traditional soy beans. Among of this, molds change nutritional characteristics during fermentation, those may improve nutritional profile in menus. Examples of this modifications are described in Baumann and Bisping (1995), in Denter et al. (1998) and in Dinesh Babu et al. (2009). In Western gastronomy, mold-fermentations are not usual, except significant exceptions (i.e. Roquefort-like cheeses). In this paper we present examples of different products that can be obtained using R. oryzae as a fermentation agent, in an effort to communicate the amazing textures and flavor modifications that can be induced by fungal fermentation from an exclusively gastronomic point of view. This paper does not try to be an exhaustive relation of fermentable substrates and we encourage each cook to test with their own “magical recipe�.

Magazine Web  
Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you