(PhysOrg.com) — While size may not matter when it comes to humans, a new study published in Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology found that the width of the male bank vole’s penis plays a role in social dominance. Bank Vole sitting on the forest floor. Image: Evan James hymo/ Wikipedia. Male bank voles have a bone in their penis known as baculum. While these bones are not present in humans, they can be found in a variety of different mammal species. The function of this bone has not yet been determined, but this new study does show that when it comes to the bank vole, it plays an important role.The new study, led by Dr. Jean-Francois Lemaitre from the University of Liverpool, looked at the male bank vole to determine what contributed to social dominance. They collected wild bank voles and studied their offspring.They paired the young males up and exposed them to female nesting material. Scent mark patterns were then recorded and the males that left more scent marks were determined to be the dominant of the pair.The next step was to then scan the baculum of all the males and evaluate the images. While many previous studies have focused on the penis length, the researchers discovered the real difference was in the width and that the dominant males have a much wider baculum than their subordinate male counterparts.Lemaitre believes the possible explanation may be that female bank voles need physical stimulation in order to release eggs and that this wider baculum may provide this stimulation and result in a greater reproduction success rate.He believes that this study may be the first step toward understanding the connection between genital structure and reproductive success. Explore further 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. High levels of pollutants may decrease sexual organ size in polar bears © 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: Penis size does matter if you are a bank vole (2011, October 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-penis-size-bank-vole.html More information: Genital morphology linked to social status in the bank vole (Myodes glareolus), Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology, DOI:10.1007/s00265-011-1257-4AbstractSince genital morphology can influence the outcome of post-copulatory sexual selection, differences in the genitalia of dominant and subordinate males could be a factor contributing to the fertilisation advantage of dominant males under sperm competition. Here we investigate for the first time if penile morphology differs according to male social status in a promiscuous mammal, the bank vole (Myodes glareolus). In this species, dominant males typically achieve higher reproductive success than subordinates in post-copulatory sexual selection, and male genital morphology is complex, including both a baculum (os penis) and penile spines. Our results show that despite no difference in body size associated with male social status, baculum width is significantly larger in dominant male bank voles than in subordinates. We also found evidence of positive allometry and a relatively high coefficient of phenotypic variation in the baculum width of male bank voles, consistent with an influence of sexual selection. By contrast, baculum length and three measures of penile spinosity did not differ according to male social status or show evidence of positive allometry. We conclude that dominant male bank voles may benefit from an enlarged baculum under sperm competition and/or cryptic female choice and that differences in penile morphology according to male social status might be important but as yet largely unexplored source of variation in male reproductive success.via BBC
© 2011 PhysOrg.com Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus) Image: Wikipedia. It all started back in 1976 with Headland, when he and his new wife picked up and moved to the Philippines to live amongst a native people called the Agta Negritos; a hunter-gatherer culture that lived in the mountainous region of the island of Luzon (largest in the Philippines and scene of an epic battle in World War II). It was while living there that Headland became fascinated by the intertwining relationship between the Agta and pythons that lived in the same area. He found that not only did the occasional python attack and sometimes kill and eat the occasional Agta, but sometimes the tables were turned and the Agta killed and ate the occasional python. Thus the people and the snakes were both predator and prey; and as if that weren’t enough, they were also competitors for many of the same food sources, i.e. animals that lived in the area, such as pigs, deer and monkey’s.So intrigued was Headland by this relationship that he began to interview the Agta with the aim of separating fact from folk lore. He discovered that during the period between the late 1940’s to the 1970’s, twenty six percent of the men had been attacked at least once by a python (but only one woman) and that there had been six fatal attacks including one where a python slipped into a hut and killed and ate two children. Per Headland’s calculations, that came to an attack every two or three years, which would seem like just enough to instill a very healthy fear in the people that lived there.But it wasn’t all one-sided, during the same time period, Headland either wasn’t able, or chose to not calculate the number of pythons killed by the Agta, but makes it very clear that the numbers of the snakes killed by people were far higher than the number of people killed by snakes. And by most accounts, each time, the snakes were eaten.Because of what he’d found in the Philippines, Headland contacted Harry Greene at Cornell University to see if he had any evidence of other such relationships in the historical record. After searching, Greene found many accounts describing much the same thing in other cultures living in the same habitat as other large constrictors.The two then assembled what they’d found and wrote up their paper, and in it suggest that humans and snakes have a very long and antagonistic history with most of it existing as mortal enemies. They suggest that prior to the invention of iron weapons, which gave humans the upper hand, the relationship between people and snakes could have led to the fear that humans now feel at the very sight of virtually any snake, and possibly vice versa. (PhysOrg.com) — Because we humans are able to write down our greatest fears, we’ve managed to amass quite a library of frightful things over the past several hundred years. One particular fear that seems to crop up with some regularity is ophidiophobia, the fear of snakes. Most people don’t even need to see a snake to feel that bit of fear, just the mere mention of the word “snake” can cause the hair on the back of the neck to stand up and that bit of panic to gnarl in the gut. Now, anthropologists Thomas Headland and Harry Greene offer some clues as to why that may be. In their paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, they suggest that primates, and humans in particular, may have a longer, more intricate relationship with snakes than has been previously thought. 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. Researcher uses card trick to reveal unconscious knowledge Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Explore further Citation: Anthropologist offers view of snakes as predatory, prey, and competitor (2011, December 13) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-anthropologist-view-snakes-predatory-prey.html More information: Hunter–gatherers and other primates as prey, predators, and competitors of snakes, PNAS, Published online before print December 12, 2011, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1115116108AbstractRelationships between primates and snakes are of widespread interest from anthropological, psychological, and evolutionary perspectives, but surprisingly, little is known about the dangers that serpents have posed to people with prehistoric lifestyles and nonhuman primates. Here, we report ethnographic observations of 120 Philippine Agta Negritos when they were still preliterate hunter–gatherers, among whom 26% of adult males had survived predation attempts by reticulated pythons. Six fatal attacks occurred between 1934 and 1973. Agta ate pythons as well as deer, wild pigs, and monkeys, which are also eaten by pythons, and therefore, the two species were reciprocally prey, predators, and potential competitors. Natural history data document snake predation on tree shrews and 26 species of nonhuman primates as well as many species of primates approaching, mobbing, killing, and sometimes eating snakes. These findings, interpreted within the context of snake and primate phylogenies, corroborate the hypothesis that complex ecological interactions have long characterized our shared evolutionary history.
Image: Wikipedia Explore further Celtic Renewables and independent malt whisky producer Tullibardine have signed a memorandum of understanding. Together they will apply their process to thousands of tons of the distillery’s leftovers.Biobutanol is a 4-carbon alcohol (butyl alcohol) that enthusiasts say is the world’s next biofuel because of its environmental characteristics. It is said to have a superior energy content to ethanol, delivering better fuel economy and miles per gallon; it can be blended with gasoline to potentially reduce greenhouse gas emissions; and it can be produced using existing ethanol production facilities with few modifications. It is said to be less susceptible to separation in water than standard ethanol-gasoline blends and less corrosive than ethanol. Those asking if biobutanol can be a sustainable vehicle fuel are told there has been progress in methods of fermentation. That is where the whiskey comes in. A team at Celtic Renewables in Scotland has invested considerable research in seeing how the malt whiskey industry can serve as a viable resource for developing next-generation butanol. Celtic Renewables as a start-up company is out to commercialize its process for making a superior biofuel. They believe the enormous numbers of liters of pot ale and tons of draff can be converted into biofuel as a direct substitute for fossil-derived fuel. As a result, there would be a reduction in oil consumption and CO2 emissions, while providing a boost for rural areas where the whisky industry is prevalent. To propel their project, Celtic Renewables has made a deal with whisky maker Tullibardine to convert byproducts to biobutanol.Mark Simmers, CEO of Celtic Renewables, said biobutanol that it makes from whisky waste is better suited as vehicle fuel than the bioethanol commonly pumped now. Celtic Renewables is in a trial phase of production, but it hopes to be producing biobutanol for the commercial market by the end of next year.Professor Martin Tangney, founder, said the partnership with Tullibardine “is an important step in the development of a business which combines two iconic Scottish industries – whisky and renewables.” The project is supported by a grant from the Scottish government’s Zero Waste Scotland initiative. (Phys.org)—A distillery agreement between two companies in Scotland is to turn whiskey byproducts into fuel. Those who look forward to a bright future of biofuels that are easier on the environment will be interested in their story. The two companies will strive to combine two byproducts of whisky production, “pot ale” and “draff,” to produce renewable products, including next-generation butanol, or biobutanol. The pot-ale refers to residue from the stills. The draff refers to what is left of the grains. Bacteria feeding on the byproducts can produce butanol. The production of butanol by biological means was first performed by Louis Pasteur in 1861, but has recently taken on revived interest. 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. Citation: Celtic Renewables aims to process next-gen biofuel (2012, September 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-09-celtic-renewables-aims-next-gen-biofuel.html Scots scientists create car biofuel from whisky by-products © 2012 Phys.org
Dear SG,I’ve ruined a lot of school property throughout my adolescence. Rickety, withered desks were mercilessly attacked by rusting nibs of fountain pens even as I lovingly carved your initials onto them. Thus, it seemed only natural for me to address you as SG since right now, as I write this letter, I feel like I’ve gone back to being 14!I remember watching the highlights of your knock of 131 at Lords on our old Onida television set in the living room of our modest house in a leafy neighborhood of sleepy Dehradun. I remember the crackling boundary that pierced through the offside to bring up your half-century. I remember the bouncer from Alan Mullally that came off your left shoulder when everybody went up thinking you’d been caught. I remember you chiding yourself for getting bowled by him. I remember your teammates giving you a standing ovation as you walked back to the pavilion after making history. Never before in all my 10 years had I seen anything as ballsy and majestic. You’d caught my imagination. And, my mother had caught me blowing a kiss at you on the TV screen! So much for catching and getting caught! Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’You know, writing this letter to you isn’t easy. There are too many things I want to tell you. Those were the days of Cola wars and cricket crushes. From Ajay Jadeja to Shahid Afridi, from Nasser Hussain to Rahul Dravid, cricketers were discussed hotly in claustrophobic classrooms filled with chalk-dust and chatty children. While my girlfriends dug up their personal details, scrutinized their hairstyles, analyzed their smiles, and rated their physiques, I sat in one corner poring over issues of Sportstar and Sportsworld, looking for any mention of you. In hindsight, it seems a little creepy, but love can be a little creepy, right? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixWhen I was a little older I remember slapping a friend who had, in the middle of a discussion about the VB series in 2004, dared to raise a finger at you. I was about 18 then. Had he hit me back I’d have probably required reconstructive surgery but, of course, that occurred to me much, MUCH, later! Drama ensued but, what good is a love story without some drama and violence?SG, I loved you when I was 10. I loved you when I was 18. I love you when I’m almost 28. I’ll love you even at 80. I loved you when you blinked rapidly between shots. I loved you when you would squat awkwardly to adjust your crotch guard. I loved you when you ran sluggishly between wickets. I loved you when the umpteenth short ball hit you in the chest and the whole world sniggered. I loved you when you edged yet another delivery pitched outside the off-stump to the slip. Of course, I loved you when you struck those majestic cover drives. I loved you when you danced down the track and lofted the ball & sent it into the stands. I loved you during your Taunton knock of 183. I loved you when you decimated Pakistan in Toronto in 1997. I loved you when you kicked Greg Chappell’s butt. I loved you when you took your shirt off at Lords. Loving you, though, has not been easy. From fighting with Sachin/Dravid fans to boycotting SRK’s films, it’s been a helluva ride- a ride I wouldn’t trade for anything else! Good, bad, ugly, you’re the only man I’ve loved with all my heart, and will continue to for as long as I live. My life is incomplete without you. You’ve taught me to be aggressive, to stand up for myself, to never give up, to better myself every day, to never lose my smile and the twinkle in my eye. Maharaj, you’ve taught me to be the Maharani that I am! You, sir, are the greatest love of my life! Thank you, for letting me love you. Forever yours, MMalini Banerjee is a snotty single child, mountain junkie, playback singer, Austen addict, hopes to soon finish writing her debut novel, and dreams of singing alongside Buddy Guy.
Spanish pro Miguel Ángel Jiménez, one of the most charismatic players in world golf, will headline a strong field comprising players from Europe and Asia as the Hero Indian Open gets underway here next month.The 51st edition of India’s national open will be held from February 19 to 22 at the historic Delhi Golf Club in the national capital. The Hero India Open, which carries an enhanced prize purse of US $ 1.5 million, will also be making its debut on the European Tour from this year. The announcement was made at a press conference held in the Capital on 21 January. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Continuing its association with Golf in general and the Hero Indian Open in particular, for the tenth year in succession, Pawan Munjal, Vice Chairman, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer, Hero MotoCorp Ltd said, “Golf is fast emerging as a popular sport among the youth in India, and we are glad to have played a catalyst role in this movement. Hero MotoCorp has been associated with golf for close to two decades now, thereby nurturing the game since its nascent stage. The Hero Indian Open being co-sanctioned by the European Tour from this year is an acknowledgement of the rising stature of Indian golf in the world arena. We look forward to seeing some top-class golf at the Hero Indian Open 2015.” Even as entries continue to come in, some of the top stars, including Sidikkur who won the event in 2013, are expected to feature in the coming edition. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSSP Chowrasia and Anirban Lahiri, who were both tied second and Rashid Khan and Chiragh Kumar, who were tied fourth, on that occasion, are also expected to tee up at the event. The field is also expected to include the likes of Jeev Milkha Singh, Arjun Atwal and Jyoti Randhawa, the only three-time Indian winner of the Hero Indian Open. Over the next few weeks, as the entries come in, more top names from European and Asian Tours will be confirmed. Nimbus Sport, which has promoted the Hero Indian Open since 2011, has acquired the rights to manage the tournament for the next three editions from 2015 to 2017. The Hero Indian Open has been synonymous with the rise of golf in India, and has been at the forefront of unearthing some of the best golfing talents that the country has seen, including the likes of Arjun Atwal, Jeev Milkha Singh, Jyoti Randhawa, Shiv Kapur and Gaganjeet Bhullar.
The most colourful and fun festival of India, Holi is right around the corner. Aptly described as a carnival of colours, the festival involves getting drenched with colours and playing in the sun. Once upon a time colours used to be made with natural products like tree barks, flowers and leaves but now these harmless, natural products have gotten replaced with chemicals that can cause immense damage to skin and hair which can take weeks to repair. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’But since we Indians love this festival and there is absolutely no way any of us wants to sit inside our houses and miss out on all the fun just to protect our hair and skin, we have put together a list of tips you can follow to make sure that the damage is minimised. Before You Step Out to Play HoliApply moisturizer generously all over your bodyApply coconut or olive oil through your hair to prevent damage from the harsh colors.Apply a thick coat of nail paint and extend the nail paint to the adjacent skin to prevent the colours from settling in. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixApply a rather thick coat of sunscreen as the sun is usually harsh with a high UV index this time of the year.Wear full sleeved tops and pants to cover up as much skin as possible and reduce skin exposure.While Playing with ColoursNowadays, organic colours are a welcome trend, so try and stick to them.Keep drinking plenty of water or clear fluids to keep yourself and your skin hydrated.Alcohol has a dehydrating effect on the body, so try and moderate your alcohol intake to the minimum. Wash off the colours at the slightest hint of an itch to minimize the severity and extent of a rash.After Enjoying the Festival of Joy and ColoursBrush off all the excess colours from your body and hair immediately after you stop playing.Remove the nail paint before taking a shower.Immediately take a bath with lukewarm water using a mild shampoo as well as a gentle face and body cleanser.If the colours do not come away easily, apply generous amount of cleansing milk all over the body, wait for 3-5 minutes and then wash it off with lukewarm water.Make sure to use a good conditioner on the lower half of the hair length immediately after shampooing.After the bath, apply a generous amount of skin healing cream or a soft moisturizer all over your body to help the skin heal.Also, use a copious amount of hand cream formula or oil to avoid any roughness on your hands.Always rinse hair with cold water instead of hot or warm water.After washing the hair with shampoo, instead of hair conditioner one can apply the extract of green tea for conditioning. A great stimulant for hair follicles, green tea promotes hair growth and adds nourishment to hair.These valuable tips come to you from Sirisha Singh, the Founding Member and Medical Director of The Skin Center and Thilina, Creative Director of Naturals Salon and Spa.
Kolkata: Drives against vector-borne diseases by the health department of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) has led to the discovery of a narrow lane at ward 11 in North Kolkata.The narrow lane, an extension of Ganendra Mitra Lane which remained closed for more than 35 years, has been thrown open for pedestrians by Member Mayor-in-Council (Health) Atin Ghosh, who also happens to be the councillor of ward 11. The road was closed as anti-social activities had reached its peak in the 80s in that area. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsGhosh and his team was conducting a door to door awareness campaign against vector-borne disease in March when they found a heap of garbage piled up on Ganendra Mitra Lane, just opposite to a factory.The lane was closed with an iron gate at one side and a low brick wall on the other.The narrow lane leads to Acharya Prafulla Chandra Road.When Ghosh enquired into the reason for its closure, seniors residing in the place informed him that it remained closed since 1983 with rampant anti-social activities being the reason. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe narrow lane was a favourite escape route for criminals after snatching or similar criminal activities. “I decided on clearing up the heap of garbage that had turned into a breeding ground for mosquitoes and then opened the lane for pedestrians.It took me more than two months to restore it but residents are happy that it has now been made fit for pedestrian movement,” Ghosh said.Ghosh had taken up the matter with his fellow MMiC (Solid Waste Management) Debabrata Majumder and urged him to do the needful with priority. The garbage and bushes that have grown in the entire 70 metre length and 5 feet wide lane was cleared.The entire cost for cleaning involved around Rs 50 lakh. The lane has been restored in a befitting manner and illuminated with lights.The KMC has been conducting regular drives across the city to control vector-borne diseases like dengue and malaria, which have been affecting city residents since long time.
Kolkata: The message of communal harmony and the importance of being united irrespective of caste, creed and religion is being represented by Chakraberia Sarbojanin in Bhowanipore through its Durga Puja this year. The mastermind, Siddharth Chaudhuri, along with his team is working overnight, giving final touches to the pandal.”A political party is trying to disrupt the communal harmony in a number of states and Bengal too is not an exception. They are jealous of the peace in the Hills and the development in Junglemahal in Bengal. In this context, we need to remain united and stop them from creating rift among people in the name of religion. We have to remain united and not fall prey to any such provocation,” said Ashim Basu, general secretary of Chakraberia Sarbojonin, Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life”Vayam Sarva (We All)- India offers unity in diversity is the theme of Chakraberia that has stepped into its 73rd year. The pandal is being adorned with a number of art installations to deliver the message of communal harmony,” Chaudhuri said.Elaborating on the theme, he added that we are creating a sense of water-world through our theme as man cannot live without water. “Water is our creator and when we die our mortal remains are floated in the water. There will be more than 20,000 garland like things made of paper to give a coral kind effect with an unique blend of colours. The use of colours will have a refreshing effect on the mind,” he maintained. Fibre glass, synthetic cloth, parachute cloth, small bottles used for homeopathy medicines, waste pipe of water, are being used to decorate the pandal. The structure of the pandal will be like a drain pipe and the entry will be in the form of a conch. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedLess than a kilometre away, Chaudhuri is also behind the theme for the puja of Bhowanipore Kishore Sangha. Things like vanity bags and dupatta of women, nets used by fishermen, articles used by the mason and various other things associated with the daily lives of people will be used to create the theme ‘Elements of Artistry’. “We have tried to create a sense of adda over a cup of tea which is an integral part of our life. The entrance will be like a tree and tea cups are being installed to create an adda sense,” Chaudhuri said.The organisers are hopeful that both these pujas will be a major crowd puller.
Kolkata: In a one-of-its-kind initiative, a private firm, in association with the state government, is set to build a world-class autism township near Kolkata, where children and adults suffering from the developmental disorder can receive training, treatment and boarding facilities. The India Autism Center (IAC) – a non-profit organization under Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013 – is expected to come up over a 52-acre plot at Sirakol in South 24 Parganas in the next five years. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life A joint effort by Ratnabali Group and the state – the estimated cost for building the township has been pegged at Rs 500 crore, a company official said. The soft launch of the project has been scheduled for January, next year, the official said. Suresh Somani, the joint managing director of Ratnabali Investment Pvt Ltd, said the project, announced during the Bengal Global Business Summit (BGBS) earlier this year, will also have provisions for training teachers, who would be dealing with those suffering from the disorder. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed West Bengal Finance Minister Amit Mitra, during the BGBS meet in January, had highly appreciated the initiative and promised all support to it, he said. “It will be the first centre of its kind, not just in India, but globally, with housing facilities for 350 residents and daycare centre for over 200 children, adolescents and adults. The construction work for the township will begin next year,” Somani said. IAC will also have an administrative wing and a guest house, where parents of those receiving training at the institute can put up for a few days, he said. “There will be international tie-ups and the institute will be absolutely different from any of the centres that we have now. The township, which is expected to come up by 2023, will ensure holistic development of those suffering from autism,” he added.
Kolkata: The government is considering exercising greenshoe option worth Rs 4,000-6,000 crore in the Central Public Sector Enterprises – Exchange Traded Fund (CPSE ETF FF03) over the base issue size of Rs 8,000 crore. CPSE ETF, which works like a mutual fund scheme, is an instrument with which the government divests its stake in the CPSEs without hitting the secondary market directly with individual PSUs. “The base issue size in the fourth round of CPSE ETF issue is Rs 8,000 crore and this time a greenshoe option has been kept which may be between Rs 4,000 crore and Rs 6,000 crore. However, the government is yet to decide on this,” Reliance Nippon Life AMC Co-Chief Business Officer Saugata Chatterjee said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life Reliance Nippon Life AMC is the manager of the fourth tranche of the CPSE ETF. The target amount is the highest compared to the three previous issues of the ETF. In the new fund offer (NFO) in 2014, the issue size was Rs 3,000 crore, the first Further Fund Offer (FFO1) size was Rs 6,000 crore in January 2017 which was followed by another FFO2 issue in March 2017 that raised just Rs 2,500 crore. However, there were no over-allotment option due to which the asset management company (AMC) had to refund the excess application. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed Discount offer of 4.5 per cent has been decided in this issue against 2.5 per cent in the previous issue of March 2017. Out Rs 80,000 crore target from divestment in 2018-19, the Centre has been able to achieve only Rs 15,247 crore, latest data showed. Chatterjee says he is hopeful of large scale participation in the issue that opens for anchor investors on November 27 and for retail investors on November 28 despite liquidity crunch triggered by the IL&FS default. He said in current issue, the composition has changed where NTPC, SJVN and NBCC made entry while, Concor, EIL Ltd and GAIL made exit. The total number of stocks now stands at 11 compared to 10 in the earlier three issues.