Guj FSL to tie-up with US-based firm for ballistic testing

News4u-News Desk- Gujarat Forensic Science Laboratory, which provides services to various companies for testing of armour panels and bullet-proof jackets, is likely to soon tie-up with a US-based firm to share best practices in the field of ballistic testing.

The Gandhinagar-based FSL has it own ballistic testing centre where it tests products for Indian Army and now it is also providing this service to private defence companies and is also in touch with other companies to test their products.

“We, here in Gujarat FSL, have conducted tests for US-headquartered company DuPont for their products like Kevlar and Tensylon which are being used as ballistic-proof jackets and ballistic-panels used in armoured vehicles,” FSL’s deputy director H P Sanghvi said.

Upbeat by the experience with the FSL, DuPont is eyeing better ties with the local lab in the form of an ‘agreement’.

“We are in discussion for a mutual collaborative effort with FSL which would include sharing of knowledge and best practices in the field of ballistics testing.

The nature of the agreement is not finalised yet,” a senior official of the company said in an e-mail reply.

Sanghvi also confirmed that an agreement with the private company is in the pipeline. To a query over US-based company selecting Gujarat FSL, the official said, “Testing at FSL Gandhinagar was done to validate the internal results and also offer third party independent reports to our customers.”

He said, “DuPont has its own ballistics range and R&D (research and development) team at DuPont Knowledge Centre in Hyderabad.

We design the armour solutions, make prototypes and test them internally before offering to customers.”

On their association with the forensic lab, the official said, “Our experience with FSL Gujarat was very good.

They have a good infrastructure in place backed by a competitive and responsive team.

We tested soft armour panels and hard armour panels made of DuPont Kevlar XP and TensylonT.”

‘Kevlar’ is a ballistic fibre for the military soft body armour and is also used in products like bullet-proof jackets for military and police persons, as per DuPont’s website.

‘Tensylone’ is an Ultra High Molecular Weight, High Performance Polyethylene Material (UHMWPE) that is being used in hard armour panels.

“Tensylon is being used in theatre as a spall liner in more than 2,4000 mine resistant ambush protected vehicles.

It is currently integrated in shield system solutions and body armour protection and has been successfully tested for use in maritime, aerospace and architectural armour applications,” the website said regarding Tensylon.

Elaborating further, the official said, “DuPont made Kevlar brand fibre is extensively used by military and police organisations across the world for making bullet resistant jackets and helmets.”

“DuPont has recently introduced Ultra High Modulus Polyethylene brand TensylonT for hard armour panels,” he added.


Guj FSL to tie-up with US-based firm for ballistic testing

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‘God particle’ could destroy the universe: Hawking

News4u-News Desk- The elusive ‘God particle’ discovered by scientists in 2012 has the potential to destroy the universe, famed British physicist Stephen Hawking has warned.

According to Hawking, 72, at very high energy levels the Higgs boson, which gives shape and size to everything that exists, could become unstable.

This, he said, could cause a “catastrophic vacuum decay” that would lead space and time to collapse, ‘Express.co.uk’ reported.

“The Higgs potential has the worrisome feature that it might become megastable at energies above 100bn giga-electron-volts (GeV),” Hawking wrote in the preface to a new book called Starmus.

“This could mean that the universe could undergo catastrophic vacuum decay, with a bubble of the true vacuum expanding at the speed of light.

“This could happen at any time and we wouldn’t see it coming,” said Hawking.

The Higgs boson, also known as the God particle, was discovered in 2012 by scientists at CERN – who operate the world’s largest particle physics laboratory.

Hawking said the likelihood of such a disaster is unlikely to happen in the near future, however, the danger of the Higgs becoming destabilised at high energy is too great to be ignored. PTI


British physicist Stephen Hawking

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India, Germany to cooperate in skill dev, river cleaning

News4u-News Desk- India and Germany on Monday agreed to prepare a roadmap for cooperation in skill development, solid waste management and cleaning of rivers as visiting Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier met PM Narendra Modi who described the two nations as “made for each other”.

During the meeting in New Delhi, Steinmeier conveyed Germanys strong desire to work with the new government in India to further expand and deepen bilateral relations.

Modi lauded Germany’s remarkable economic resurgence over the past decade, a PMO statement said on Monday.

He said India and Germany, which are bound by democratic values, are “made for each other” because of complementary skills and resources to power the next generation of industrial development through partnering in manufacturing and infrastructure development, it said.

Suggesting use of Germany’s strength and experience in the area of skill development, he said both sides should develop a concrete time-bound plan for training of Indian youth to meet Indian needs and the global requirement of skilled human resources.

Modi also pressed for taking forward the ongoing cooperation in the area of clean energy and forging new partnerships in the areas of solid waste management, waste water treatment and cleaning of rivers, the statement said.

It was agreed that both sides will undertake preparations with the aim of finalizing concrete roadmap for cooperation in each of these areas at the next Inter-Governmental Consultations meeting.

Towards this end, issue specific workshops will be organized ahead of the Hannover Messe 2015 festival.

The move to take Germany’s help in skill development, waste management and river cleaning assumes significance as Modi has enlisted cleanliness as his priority agenda.

Recalling his fruitful telephone conversation with Chancellor Angela Merkel on 17th July while transiting through Germany, Modi expressed appreciation for her personal interest and commitment to India-Germany relationship.

He said India looks forward to the visit of Merkel for the next round of Inter-Governmental Consultations in 2015.


Frank Walter Steinmeier met PM Narendra Modi

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Suicide bombers, gunmen kill 18 in Iraq’s Samarra

News4u-News Desk- Militants, including two suicide bombers, attacked a town north of Baghdad that has resisted jihadists, killing 18 people on Monday, police and a doctor said.

A first suicide bomber blew up a vehicle packed with explosives to breach a barrier in a southern neighbourhood of Dhuluiyah, which the second bomber then penetrated, the sources said.

Security forces and allied tribesmen then clashed with the militants in the Jubur neighbourhood. Dhuluiyah was previously overrun by militants but local tribes drove them out, and Jubur has put up fierce resistance to renewed attempts by the militants to take the town.

More than 50 people were wounded today’s violence, the sources said. There was no immediate claim for the attack, but suicide bombings are almost exclusively carried out by Sunni extremist groups, including the jihadist Islamic State.


Suicide bombers, gunmen kill 18 in Iraq’s Samarra

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2G Case: SC seeks reply from CBI chief

News4u-News Desk- The Supreme Court today said that in case allegations made against CBI Director Ranjit Sinha are found true, then it will quash all the decisions taken by him during the pendency of the 2G case.

The court was hearing a plea alleging that Sinha met several officials from the companies who are named in the case.

The Court asked Sinha to file within a week his response on the allegations levelled against him. Sinha agreed to file affidavit in a sealed envelope.

The court said that allegations made against Sinha are serious and he cannot say that he won’t file affidavit.

The court said whatever CBI Director wants to tell the court, he should tell it in black and white.

The apex court also took original register of entry list at CBI director’s residence after it was handed over by advocate Prashant Bhushan in a sealed envelope.

CBI director Ranjit Sinha asked Supreme Court to tell Prashant Bhushan to declare the source from which he got all the documents.

The Court took on record names of 23 ITBP and 4 CBI officials who were on duty at the gate of CBI Director’s residence.

The court will take up the case for further hearing on September 15


2G Case: SC seeks reply from CBI chief

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Obama to reveal strategy to tackle ISIS threat on Wednesday

News4u-News Desk- President Barack Obama on Wednesday to announce the US’ strategy to tackle the threat posed by ISIS, the terrorist outfit which has gained control over a large part of Iraq and Syria, and has brutally killed two American journalists in recent past.

“On Wednesday I’ll make a speech and describe what our game plan is going to be going forward. But this is not going to be an announcement about the US ground troops. This is not the equivalent of the Iraq War,” Obama told NBC’s “Meet the Press” in an interview.

“What this is… is similar to the kinds of counter terrorism campaigns that we’ve been engaging in consistently over the last six-seven years,” he said.

Obama said the entire international community understands that ISIS was something that has to be dealt with.

“So what I have done over the last several months is first and foremost make sure that we’ve got eyes on the problem, that we shifted resources, intelligence, reconnaissance, we did an assessment on the ground,” he added.

The US President said that in an important second step he ensured protection of American personnel, embassies and consulates.

“That included taking air strikes to ensure that towns like Erbil were not overrun, critical infrastructure like the Mosul Dam was protected,” said the US President.

Obama would meet the congressional leaders on Tuesday.

“I am going to be asking the Congress to make sure that they understand and support what our plan is. And it’s going to require some resources, I suspect, above what we are currently doing,” Obama said.


President Barack Obama

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Novel technique to help create new muscles

News4u-News Desk- Scientists have developed a novel technique to promote tissue repair in damaged muscles, an advance that may help treating millions of people suffering from muscle diseases.

The technique developed by researchers at Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) in US also creates a sustainable pool of muscle stem cells needed to support multiple rounds of muscle repair.

The study provides promise for a new therapeutic approach to treating the millions of people suffering from muscle diseases, including those with muscular dystrophies and muscle wasting associated with cancer and ageing, researchers said.

There are two important processes that need to happen to maintain skeletal-muscle health.

First, when muscle is damaged by injury or degenerative disease such as muscular dystrophy, muscle stem cells - or satellite cells - need to differentiate into mature muscle cells to repair injured muscles.

Second, the pool of satellite cells needs to be replenished so there is a supply to repair muscle in case of future injuries.

In the case of muscular dystrophy, the chronic cycles of muscle regeneration and degeneration that involve satellite-cell activation exhaust the muscle stem-cell pool to the point of no return.

“Our study found that by introducing an inhibitor of the STAT3 protein in repeated cycles, we could alternately replenish the pool of satellite cells and promote their differentiation into muscle fibres,” said Alessandra Sacco, assistant professor in the Development, Ageing, and Regeneration Programme at Sanford-Burnham.

“Our results are important because the process works in mice and in human muscle cells,” said Sacco.

“A treatment approach consisting of cyclic bursts of STAT3 inhibitors could potentially restore muscle mass and function in patients, and this would be a very significant breakthrough,” said Vittorio Sartorelli, chief of the Laboratory of Muscle Stem Cells and Gene Regulation and deputy scientific director at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).

STAT3 (signal transducer and activator of transcription 3) is a protein that activates the transcription of genes in response to IL-6, a signalling protein released by cells in response to injury and inflammation.

The research team first used normally aged mice and mice models of a form of muscular dystrophy that resembles the human disease to see what would happen if they were given a drug to inhibit STAT3.

They found that the inhibitor initially promoted satellite-cell replication, followed by differentiation of the satellite cells into muscle fibres. The study was published in the journal Nature Medicine.


Novel technique to help create new muscles

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Vaishnodevi Yatra resumes

News4u-News Desk- Pilgrimage to the cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi in Trikuta Hills of Reasi district resumed this morning after remaining suspended for four consecutive days in view of heavy rains in Jammu and Kashmir.

However, the pilgrimage has resumed only through the old route and the two new tracks are still closed in view of landslides.

“Yatra to the cave shrine resumed this morning after remaining suspended for four days in view of heavy rains and bad weather conditions,” Chief Executive officer (CEO), Shri Mata Vaishnodevi Shrine Board (SMVSB), Mandeep K Bhandari said.

The yatra has resumed only through the old route and the two new tracks are still closed in view of landslides, he said, adding it will take two more days to make it available for pilgrims.

Yatra slips at Katra have been given to pilgrims this morning to undertake pilgrimage through the old route.

The decision to resume the pilgrimage was taken this morning after the supply of water and power services were restored on this track, he said.

The pilgrimage via two new tracks would take two days as efforts to restore water and power supply is on, the CEO said adding helicopter services to the shrine are likely to restored by late this afternoon.

In view of landslides triggered by heavy rains, over 4000 pilgrims were stuck at various places en route the cave shrine for the past few days.

The Board had provided them all facilities. The pilgrimage to the shrine from Katra base camp was suspended on September 4 in the wake of continuing rains and the closure of the track due to landslides at various places.


Vaishnodevi Yatra resumes

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Bring literacy rate on par with world’s leading societies: Prez

News4u-News Desk- President Pranab Mukherjee has emphasised on stepping up efforts toward complete eradication of illiteracy from the country with enhanced focus on improving literacy rate among SC, ST, minorities and disadvantaged sections of the society.

“Our objective should be to bring the literacy rate not only on par with the world average but to the levels attained by the leading societies of the world,” he said while addressing the ‘International Literacy Day’ function in New Delhi on Monday.

Invoking Mahatma Gandhi, who had said that illiteracy is a sin and shame and must be eradicated, Mukherjee encouraged the corporate and private sectors, voluntary agencies and civil society organisations to make efforts to improve adult literacy.

The country’s march toward total literacy will depend on meaningful and effective advocacy and support of society at large to bring illiterates into the mainstream of literacy, he said.

“Today, more than 67 years after our Independence, where are we? The literacy rate has increased by four times from 18 per cent in 1951 to about 74 per cent in 2011. Despite this, our literacy level is below the world average of 84 per cent,” the President said.

While the country has set a target of 80 percent literacy by the end of the 12th Plan, Mukherjee said during this period the Government would also seek to reduce the gender gap from 16 to 10 percentage points.

“Uneven” progress in adult literacy should also be addressed as while on one hand states like Kerala, Himachal Pradesh and Mizoram have done reasonably well, many other States are lagging behind, he said.

Mukherjee said gender disparity also needs attention as male and female literacy rates stand at 80.89 and 64.64 percent respectively.

The President also lauded the efforts of National Literacy Mission in enhancing its focus on female literacy and also hailed the efforts of the learners and neo-literates under the Saakshar Bharat Programme who participated in an assessment and certification initiative.

“It is satisfying to see that since the introduction of this programme, about 2.86 crore learners have been certified as literate and awarded certificates by the National Institute of Open Schooling,” he said.

Mukherjee also expressed satisfaction over corporate and private sector joining Government’s efforts in the literacy initiative and sought involvement of all stakeholders in the literacy drive.

“I am happy to learn that this has had a good response. I would, therefore, take this opportunity to call upon State Governments, Panchayati Raj Institutions on one hand and on the other, appeal all the stakeholders in a resurgent India the corporate and private sectors, voluntary agencies and civil society organisations to work together, in unison and with greater vigour to realise this goal,” he added.


‘International Literacy Day’ function

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Egypt’s Morsi faces trial for spying for Qatar

News4u-News Desk- Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi and 10 others will go on trial on charges of spying and handing over documents related to national security to Qatar, the state prosecutor said on Saturday.

Investigations showed that Morsi used his position as president and appointed some Muslim Brotherhood leaders in key positions in the state and presidency and they helped him leak the sensitive documents to Qatari intelligence through the Doha-based Al-Jazeera news channel, state prosecutor Hisham Barakat said.

“Morsi will be trialled for handing the Qatari intelligence important documents linked to national security in exchange for one million dollars,” Barakat said in a statement, state-run MENA news agency reported.

Morsi’s former secretary Amin El-Serafi, ex-director of his office Ahmed Abdel Atti and Ibrahim Mohamed Helal, who the prosecutor said was chief editor of Al-Jazeera, are among the 10 defendants.

In the statement, the prosecutor said Morsi and Abdel Atti gave El-Serafi “extremely sensitive documents concerning the army, its deployment and weaponry” and he in turn gave them to Helal and to a Qatari intelligence operative.

No date has yet been set for Morsi’s latest trial.

The jailed Islamist ex-president, ousted by the army last year, already faces charges over the killing of peaceful protesters, espionage, escaping from prison during the Egyptian Revolution in 2011, and insulting the judiciary.

So far Morsi has not been sentenced in any case.

He could face the death penalty if convicted. Egypt has also jailed Al-Jazeera journalists for allegedly aiding Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.


Ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi

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