Fiber-Optic Sponge Makes Deep-Sea Lamps

first_imgLast year, it was announced that a deep-sea sponge named the Venus Flower Basket possessed glass strands similar to fiber optic cables (see 08/20/2003 headline).  Now, a five-member team from Bell Labs has performed the first detailed optical analysis of the fibers.  They indeed found these structures to be “remarkably similar to commercial silica optical fibers and are capable of forming an effective fiberoptical network.”  Their findings are published in PNAS.1    The sponge’s fiber optics, though, are superior to man-made ones in four respects:Focus:  “Other interesting design elements include terminal lens-like extensions located proximally and barb-like spines located along the spicule shaft.  The presence of these lens structures at the end of the biofibers improves the light-collecting efficiency [that] offers an effective fiber-optical network with selected illumination points along the length of the crown-like fibrous network surrounding the cylindrical skeletal lattice.”Cool:  “Second, the formation of the biosilica fibers occurs at ambient temperatures and pressures.”  Man-made glass fibers are made at high temperatures.  “Their complex structure and composition are encoded in the organism and are controlled by specialized organic molecules and cells.  The low-temperature formation of silica in organisms, as an alternative to the high-temperature technological process, is a subject of extensive studies.”Dope:  “The low-temperature synthesis brings about an extremely important feature: the ability to effectively dope the structure with impurities that increase the refractive index of silica.  Our elemental analysis showed, for example, the presence of sodium ions in the entire fiber, particularly in the core.  Sodium ions (and many other additives) are not commercially viable optical fiber dopants because of manufacturing challenges, including devitrification at high processing temperatures.  In the case of these spicules, however, the presence of sodium ions results in the increase of the refractive index to values approaching and even exceeding that of vitreous silica.No Stress:  “Another advantage of the low-temperature synthesis is evidenced in the lack of the polarization dependence on the refractive index.  Birefringence in commercially prepared fibers often occurs as a result of the residual thermal stresses in the fibers upon their cooling.  Ambient condition formation of the spicules in biological environments prevents the development of any residual thermal stress.The authors are not sure how the sponge uses its technology.  Typically, this species inhabits deep waters near hydrothermal vents, where the only light is from bioluminescent organisms or chemoluminescence.  They offer a suggestion that it might act as an underwater lamp for symbiotic organisms: “Our results suggest that if such sources exist within or in close association to the basalia of E. aspergillum, their light might be efficiently used and distributed by the sponge.  Such a fiberoptical lamp might potentially act as an attractant for larval or juvenile stages of these organisms and symbiotic shrimp to the host sponge.”    Their final paragraph sums up the wonder of this creature’s amazing manufacturing ability:In conclusion, we have demonstrated an example of nature’s ability to evolve highly effective and sophisticated optical systems, comparable and in some aspects superior to man-made analogs.  High fracture toughness arising from their composite structure, the presence of index-raising dopants, the degree of silica condensation, and the absence of residual stress in these fibers suggest an advantage of the protein-controlled, ambient temperature synthesis favored in nature.  Whether these optical properties are biologically relevant or not, the mechanisms of the formation of silica spicules in E. aspergillum are inspiring to materials scientists and engineers.  We believe, therefore, that this system represents a new route to improved, silica-based optical fibers, constructed by using a bottom-up approach.1Aizenberg et al., “Biological glass fibers: Correlation between optical and structural properties,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.0307843101 (published online before print on 03/01/2004).Mother Nature, being blind, would not make a lamp.  Let’s object when scientists use the word “evolve” as a synonym for “engineer”.  Nature cannot “evolve” a “highly effective and sophisticated optical system.”  Highly effective and sophisticated systems are products of engineering.  Engineering requires intelligence and purpose.    This sponge, first named by creationist Richard Owen in 1841, is a natural wonder.  Another wonder is how Darwinists think Nature Inc. can get any manufacturing done, with their pointy-haired boss (chance) managing a crew of blind, deaf and dumb Dilberts (natural selection).  The competition, Intelligent Design Unlimited, puts out a catalog that is a work of art.(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

The Hustler’s Playbook: The Hustler’s Work Ethic

first_imgOne of the internet’s sublime capabilities is to simplify wisdom in a simple, snarky image – the meme. There is one floating around social media with a picture of John Hamm in his role as Don Draper, the main character from the television show Mad Men. The meme has the overlay of text saying, “You work a 40-hour work week? I remember my first part-time job.”It is true that hustlers tend to work more hours than most. But that isn’t what separates a hustler from a non-hustler, or even a would-be hustler. What really separates the hustler is their focus on outcomes.A Focus on OutcomesIf you watch people who are working hard to succeed, you will notice that they tend to be more focused. They have certain, well-defined outcomes they want to achieve, and they invest their time and energy in those outcomes. They aren’t easily distracted by novelties, fads, or by current affairs.While non-hustlers are tied to their small screen of infinite distractions, the hustler is in a face-to-face meeting or on the telephone. The hustler’s work ethic is about producing results, not time spent at the office.Hustlers ShipHustlers tend to be overcommitted. There is an old saying, “If you want something done, give it to a busy person.” Busy people are busy because they get things done. The sense of commitment drives the hustler to move from one task to the next, making progress on each, and producing real work. Hustlers create. They ship.Non-hustlers and would-be hustlers don’t produce outcomes at the same pace. Instead, they work in reactive mode, waiting for other people to prompt them into action. When they have finished one reaction, they wait passively for the next nudge, almost always in the form of an email.Hustlers don’t count their hours. They measure their outcomes. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

Curfew imposed in Rajasthan’s Malpura

first_imgCurfew was imposed in Rajasthan’s Malpura town of Tonk district on Wednesday after some miscreants pelted stones at a Dussehra procession last night, triggering communal tension in the area. SP Tonk Adarsh Siddhu said the curfew was imposed in view of the tension and Internet mobile services were also stopped to prevent rumour mongering. “We have arrested one person and detained a few others. Efforts to identify the other accused are being made,” he said. BJP dharnaUpset over the incident, BJP MLA Kanhaiya Lal and other leaders staged a dharna in front of the Malpura police station demanding arrest of the accused and removal of the Malpura SDM. “The dharna was called off when officials assured us of proper action. Ravana’s effigy could not be burnt last night and personnel of the municipality burnt the effigy amid tight security at 4 a.m. on Wednesday and the curfew was imposed,” the BJP MLA said. Mr. Lal alleged that there was no adequate security arrangement when the Dussehra procession was being taken out. “Such incidents have occurred in the area in the past also but this time, the district administration and police were not alert,” he claimed. SHO Malpura police station Dalpat Singh said some of the accused are minors.last_img read more

Road crashes in two dists claim 4 lives

first_imgRoad accident logoFour people were killed in separate road accidents in Naogaon and Sirajganj districts on Friday morning.In Naogaon, two mango traders were killed after a truck hit a battery-run auto-rickshaw from behind in Sapahar upazila.The deceased are Abdul Salam, 27, son of a certain Majed Hossain, from Bakrail Bishnathpur village in Sapahar upazila and Hiron, 30, son of one Siddik Bepari from Borochar Samaiya village in Bhola sadar upazila.Police said Salam and Hiron were going by an auto-rickshaw to a zero-point area of the upazila to buy mangoes from wholesalers.A Chapainawabganj-bound rice-laden truck knocked the auto-rickshaw from behind as soon as they got into the vehicle in Godownpara area around 8:00am, leaving the two traders dead on the spot, the law enforcement said.Police have seized the truck but its driver managed to flee the scene, said Sapahar police station officer-in-charge Shamsul Alam Shah.“We are processing to file a suit in this connection,” he added.In Sirajganj, two people were killed and 23 others injured as a bus plunged into a roadside ditch by Dhaka-Bogra highway in Bhuiyanganti Bazar area of Raiganj upazila.The deceased are Jahir Uddin, 35, son of a certain Nazim Uddin, and Abu Bakar Siddiq, 34, son of Abbas Ali, resident of Saidpur village in Thakurgaon district.The Dhaka-bound ‘Mirpur Paribahan’ bus from Thakurgaon fell into a ditch around 10:30am after its driver lost control over the steering, leaving 25 people injured, said Hatikumrul highway police station officer-in-charge Abdul Quader Zilani.The injured were rushed to Raiganj Upazila Health Complex where doctors declared the two dead, he added.last_img read more

Britain is playing with fire Russia

first_imgThe United Nations Security Council meets on the situation between Britain and Russia on 5 April at United Nations headquarters. Photo: APThe international furore over the poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter intensified, with Russia warning Britain that it was “playing with fire.”At a UN Security Council meeting on Thursday, Russia’s UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia claimed that Russia was the victim of a hasty, sloppy and ill-intentioned defamation campaign by London and its allies.Britain has blamed Russia for the 4 March poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter. In response, more than two dozen Western allies including Britain, the US and NATO have ordered out over 150 Russian diplomats in a show of solidarity. Moscow has fiercely denied its involvement in the nerve agent attack and expelled an equal number of envoys. The diplomatic turmoil has hit lows unseen even at the height of the Cold War.Moscow assumes “with a high degree of probability” that the intelligence services of other countries are likely responsible for the incident, Nebenzia said at the UN.“Everything confirms this is a coordinated, very well-planned campaign” intended “to discredit and even delegitimize Russia,” he added.Britain’s UN ambassador, Karen Pierce, shot back that Russia has come up with 24 theories on who bears responsibility for the poisoning, but the United Kingdom has only one – that it’s highly likely Russia was responsible.Nebenzia refused to name the intelligence services that Russia suspects, but said their goal is to accuse Moscow of using “a horrible, inhumane weapon, of concealing the arsenal of this substance,” of violating the Chemical Weapons Convention, and putting in question Russia’s role “not only in finding a solution in Syria, but anywhere else.”He warned: “We have told our British colleagues that you are playing with fire and you will be sorry.”Britain’s Pierce said Russia’s 24 theories for the attack include blaming it on terrorists and saying Britain wanted to distract from Brexit, its departure from the European Union.Earlier Thursday, Skripal’s 33-year-old daughter, Yulia, said in a statement released by British police that her “strength is growing daily” and she expressed gratitude to those who came to her aid when she and her father, Sergei, were found unconscious on a bench a month ago.“I am sure you appreciate that the entire episode is somewhat disorientating, and I hope that you’ll respect my privacy and that of my family during the period of my convalescence,” she said in her first public comment.The hospital in the English city of Salisbury confirmed that Yulia’s health has improved, while her 66-year-old father remains in critical condition.Adding to the intrigue was a recording aired Thursday by Russian state Rossiya TV of a purported phone call between Yulia Skripal and her cousin in Russia. In the call, Yulia Skripal allegedly said she and her father were both recovering and in normal health, and that her father’s health was not irreparably damaged.Skripal’s niece, Viktoria, confirmed the veracity of the recording in an interview with the BBC on Friday.It was Yulia. I have no doubt it was Yulia,” she told the BBC. “100 per cent.”Asked what her reaction was, she said, “You heard it in the recording. I couldn’t believe my ears.”Moscow has steadfastly hammered away at Britain’s account of what befell the Skripals on March 4, especially the claim that their exposure to a Novichok nerve agent developed by the Soviet Union meant the attack was carried out by Russia.During the Security Council meeting, Nebenzia questioned the British government’s claims of Russian responsibility by posing a series of questions.He asked why the British policeman was affected by the nerve agent immediately when it took four hours for Skripal and his daughter to be affected. He asked what antidotes for exposure to Novichok the Skripals were given, where the Skripals were for four hours without cellphones on the day of the attack, and what happened to two cats and two guinea pigs in the Skripals’ house.Russia has said it never produced Novichok and completed the destruction of its chemical arsenals under international control last year. Nebenzia insisted that Britain is required to allow Russia to cooperate in the investigation.“Great Britain refuses to cooperate with us on the pretext that the victim does not cooperate with the criminal,” he said. “A crime was committed on British territory, possibly a terrorist act, and it is our citizens who are the victims.”He said both Skripal and Yulia are Russian citizens, and Moscow must be granted access to them.Pierce said the U.K. has left it to Yulia to decide whether to give Russia consular access to her.The British government says it relied on a combination of scientific analysis and other intelligence to conclude that the nerve agent came from Russia. But the Foreign Office on Wednesday deleted a tweet from last month that said scientists at Britain’s defense research facility, the Porton Down laboratory, had identified the substance as “made in Russia.”last_img read more