Researchers make the case that modern life sprang from early megaorganism

first_img To that end, Michael Marshall, in a piece in New Scientist has synthesized the current thinking regarding a so-called mega-organism that is thought by many scientists to have existed some 2.9 billion years ago (more than a billion years after life is first thought to have appeared on Earth) and which split into three main parts, each of which led to one of the three main types of life now in existence on the planet.Marshall spoke with Gustavo Caetano-Anollés of the University of Illinois, one of the leading authorities on the mega-organism known as LUCA, who suggests the multi-celled organism virtually filled the oceans and lived as sort of a single entity where individual cells traded useful traits back and forth rather than competing with one another. At some point, he says, LUCA split into three separate groups of celled organisms: bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes, the last of which is suspected of giving rise to all the plants and animals alive in the world today.To figure out the composition of LUCA, Caetano-Anollés studied modern proteins – going on the assumption that if one or more could be found that are common to virtually all forms of modern life, the odds would be good that it existed in LUCA as well, seeing as how research has shown that the basic structures of most proteins change little over time even as their genetic structure does. Caetano-Anollés found that five to eleven percent of those he studied appeared to be universal, which he then theorized meant that they were likely present in LUCA as well.Then, because the types of proteins that were found to be universal were the kinds that are able to break down and extract energy from nutrients, Caetano-Anollés suggests that LUCA was able to do so as well, which seems only logical as its doubtful the mega-organism would have been able to exist without such a capability.Marshall then contends that the cells that made up LUCA likely also had cell walls, and backs up his assertion with results found by previous research which has also found that the cells were likely compartmentalized, but lacked DNA; instead noting that it was likely RNA that such cells used to store information that could be passed on to offspring.What’s most notable, however, is the combined work of many researchers that suggests that the cells that made up LUCA shared information rather than competed to thwart one another, in sharp contrast to how so much of the biological world operates today. Explore further Last universal common ancestor more complex than previously thought © 2011 Citation: Researchers make the case that modern life sprang from early mega-organism (2011, November 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — A lot of work has been done over the years to nail down the origins of life, with much speculation given to whatever first bit of “life” appeared from what was before, nothing but non-living material. Unfortunately, evidence of such life has long vanished leaving researchers to try to piece together what might have happened afterwards by rewinding the genetic tape so to speak. 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.last_img read more

Humans may have helped the decline of African rainforests 3000 years ago

first_imgDaintree Rainforest. Photo taken June 2005. Image: Wikipedia. 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. Geochemist Germain Bayon and colleagues from the French Research Institute for Exploration of the Sea in Plouzané, France, analyzed marine sediment cores representing the last 40,000 years, taken from the mouth of the Congo River. The team looked for geochemical markers such as hydrogen, which correspond to rainfall levels that affect natural levels of erosion, and they also looked at potassium, which erodes quickly, and aluminum, which is more immobile.The core samples revealed evidence of severe chemical weathering starting around 1,500 BCE, a time that coincided with a period in which Bantu-speaking tribes arrived in the area, having migrated from regions near what is now the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. Chemical weathering in samples dating before this era was consistent with the changes in rainfall patterns, but by 1,000 BCE the weathering seen was decoupled from the rainfall evidence.Chemical weathering can be caused naturally by rainfall and normal erosion, but it can be accelerated by deforestation and intensive agriculture. Since the climate was changing at the time and becoming drier, a reduction in chemical weathering would ordinarily be expected rather than the peak actually found.The Bantu people were farmers and had developed iron-smelting techniques. Iron-Age Bantu archaeological sites have yielded ceramics, furnaces, tools, the remains of agricultural products, and a variety of iron artifacts. Bayon and colleagues suggest, in their paper published in the journal Science, that the farmers’ clearing of land for agriculture and their iron smelters, in addition to the changing climate, would explain the collapse of the rainforest and its replacement by grasslands and savannas in the region. The researchers were unable to estimate to what extent human activities were responsible, but they suggest the evidence from the sediment core shows human influence was “already significant.”The paper’s authors say their results were unexpected, but reveal that humans can have an enormous effect on the environment. While their findings do not necessarily contradict the prevailing theories, because the changing climate enabled the farmers to practice agriculture in the region, the Buntu farming practices themselves then changed the patterns of soil erosion.The study could have implications for the current situation in the world’s largest rainforests in the Amazon, where large areas are being deforested, largely for cattle or soy bean farms, and for industrial purposes and road construction. This, together with the current changes in climate, could also result in a rapid disappearance of remaining rainforests and their replacement by grasslands, with a massive resultant loss in biodiversity, and feedback changes to the local climate. Rainfall in the Amazon is already reducing, and there have been major droughts, notably in 2005 and 2010. Journal information: Science Citation: Humans may have helped the decline of African rainforests 3000 years ago (2012, February 10) retrieved 18 August 2019 from ( — Large areas of rainforests in Central Africa mysteriously disappeared over three thousand years ago, to be replaced by savannas. The prevailing theory has been that the cause was a change in climate, and the deforestation then enabled humans to increase their agricultural activities. A new study suggests that climate change alone cannot fully explain the transition and that human activities might be implicated. Deforestation reduces rainfall in Africa © 2011 More information: Intensifying Weathering and Land Use in Iron Age Central Africa, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1215400ABSTRACTAbout 3000 years ago, a major vegetation change occurred in Central Africa, when rainforest trees were abruptly replaced by savannas. The consensus is that the forest disturbance was caused by climate change. We show here that chemical weathering in Central Africa, reconstructed from geochemical analyses of a marine sediment core, intensified abruptly at the same period, departing significantly from the long-term weathering fluctuations related to the Late Quaternary climate. Evidence that this weathering event was also contemporaneous with the migration of Bantu-speaking farmers across Central Africa suggests that human land-use intensification at that time already had a significant impact on the rainforest.last_img read more

Researchers use earthworms to create quantum dots

first_img Citation: Researchers use earthworms to create quantum dots (2012, December 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Schematics of the earthworm used and optical characterization of the quantum dots. Credit: (c) Nature Nanotechnology 8, 57–60 (2013) doi:10.1038/nnano.2012.232 Explore further Journal information: Nature Nanotechnology New genre of sugar-coated ‘quantum dots’ for drug delivery © 2012 Phys.orgcenter_img Quantum dots are nano-sized semiconducting materials with characteristics defined by their crystal shape. They are useful because of the unique way they emit or absorb light, similar in many respects to the florescence seen in some molecules. Thus far, their creation has proved to be useful in making LEDs, photovoltaic materials and very small lasers.In this new research, the team set out to determine if common earthworms could be used to create cadmium telluride quantum dots. The thinking was that because earthworms are known for their detoxifying abilities – they do so by shuttling toxins into a special layer of their gut – they might be able to cause certain metals to combine as they are processed, creating nano-sized materials that qualified as quantum dots. In this case, they fed several earthworms soil with sodium tellurite and cadmium chloride mixed into it, for 11 days. Afterwards, they examined the material excreted by the worms in their tissue and found in detoxifying the metals, the worms had indeed created cadmium telluride quantum dots.The creation of such quantum dots as part of a biological process leads to particles that are water soluble – that means that they might be put to use in biological settings. As one example, the researchers placed the worm-created quantum dots in a Petri dish along with cultured cancer cells obtained from mice. The cancer cells immediately absorbed the dots as was evidenced by shining UV light on them and witnessing their familiar green glow. In doing the same with other types of cells, the researchers found that it took some added manipulation to get them to soak up the dots, but in the end discovered it was possible.The team notes that that their research provides two new pieces of useful information: one – it’s possible to make quantum dots using worms, and possibly other organisms, and two – it’s possible to make quantum dots that might prove useful in living tissue as part of a system of diagnostic tools. (—British researchers at King’s College in London have succeeded in creating quantum dots by feeding earthworms soil laced with certain metals and then collecting the material excreted. They describe their research in their paper published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology. More information: Biosynthesis of luminescent quantum dots in an earthworm, Nature Nanotechnology 8, 57–60 (2013) doi:10.1038/nnano.2012.232AbstractThe synthesis of designer solid-state materials by living organisms is an emerging field in bio-nanotechnology. Key examples include the use of engineered viruses as templates for cobalt oxide (Co3O4) particles1, superparamagnetic cobalt–platinum alloy nanowires2 and gold–cobalt oxide nanowires3 for photovoltaic and battery-related applications. Here, we show that the earthworm’s metal detoxification pathway can be exploited to produce luminescent, water-soluble semiconductor cadmium telluride (CdTe) quantum dots that emit in the green region of the visible spectrum when excited in the ultraviolet region. Standard wild-type Lumbricus rubellus earthworms were exposed to soil spiked with CdCl2 and Na2TeO3 salts for 11 days. Luminescent quantum dots were isolated from chloragogenous tissues surrounding the gut of the worm, and were successfully used in live-cell imaging. The addition of polyethylene glycol on the surface of the quantum dots allowed for non-targeted, fluid-phase uptake by macrophage cells. 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.last_img read more

Physicists show selfcorrecting quantum computers are theoretically possible

first_img Journal information: New Journal of Physics ( —Using exotic components such as color codes, new phases of quantum matter, and extra dimensions, a team of physicists has shown that it’s theoretically possible to construct a quantum computer that has the ability to correct itself whenever an error occurs. © 2013 All rights reserved. Explore further The third type is internally protected (or self-correcting) quantum computers, which is the most demanding type because they can correct themselves whenever an error occurs. The standard classical computers that we use today are self-correcting, which is one of the properties that makes them so successful. But developing a self-correcting quantum computer is much more difficult. Illustrating just how difficult it is, the physicists say that the task will amount to finding a new quantum state of matter. In their paper, the physicists theoretically showed how to construct a self-correcting quantum computer using a candidate for a new quantum state of matter called color codes. Color codes are a class of topological codes, which themselves have gained attention as a new phase of quantum matter due to their topologically ordered states. The physicists explain that color codes have very special transversality properties and a mathematical structure that is “colored.” In their model, the physicists constructed a color code in six and seven dimensions and explained how the code can be used to implement universal quantum computation that provides self-correction. To demonstrate the self-protection capabilities of the quantum computer, the physicists showed that it has a stable memory which, if exposed to a local noise for a short time, can preserve its quantum information.If a self-correcting quantum computer could be built, it would have advantages over externally protected quantum computers, Bombin explained.”External correction requires complex architectures involving enormous numbers of physical qubits to operate effectively on just a few logical qubits,” he said. “If we had at hand suitable quantum phases of matter to use as quantum registers, architectures would dramatically simplify. In fact, the usual problem with conventional experimental approaches to quantum computing is scalability. In the case of self-correcting quantum computers, the problem is to find a suitable phase, but scalability should be much more straightforward.”Very recently, several other papers have been published that also address the possibility of self-correcting quantum computers. While some of these proposals are similar to the one here, the physicists note that these proposals do not work at a fixed temperature, while the one presented here does. Although each proposal has its own advantages, operating at a fixed temperature makes their model the most demanding and realistic scenario, although much more work is needed to build such a computer.Among the challenges that the researchers face is lowering the dimensionality of their model.”A major goal is to explore theoretically quantum phases of matter in two and three spatial dimensions with the goal of finding candidates for self-correcting quantum memories,” Bombin said. “The self-correcting property is related to the confinement of excitations, and this may serve as a guide for research.” Playing quantum tricks with measurements Citation: Physicists show self-correcting quantum computers are theoretically possible (2013, June 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Illustration of a cell that is part of a 3D color code lattice (or, as the physicists call them, “colexes”). In the paper, the physicists used analogous 6D color codes to design a self-correcting quantum computer. Credit: H. Bombin “The greatest significance of our work is showing that self-correcting quantum computing at a finite temperature is not impossible as a matter of principle,” physicist Héctor Bombin told Bombin was at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts, while performing the study and is currently at the Perimeter Institute in Waterloo, Ontario. “In fact, the original motivation came from claims to the contrary by other authors. We provide explicit constructions that can be checked directly, without numerical simulations.”Bombin and his coauthors have published a paper on their proposed self-correcting quantum computer in a recent issue of the New Journal of Physics. Error correction in quantum computers cannot be performed the same way as in classical computers, where information is stored multiple times for redundancy. Since copying quantum information is impossible due to the no-cloning theorem, physicists must find other ways to protect quantum information against errors.As Bombin and his coauthors explain in their paper, quantum computers can be classified into three categories based on their protection against errors. The first type is bare quantum computers, which do not have any type of error correction. These quantum computers have already been realized with ion traps and optical lattices. The second type is externally protected quantum computers, which can be acted upon externally in order to repair errors. Although this type has not been successfully implemented yet, theoretical studies indicate that there are no fundamental obstacles to reach them when quantum technologies are fully developed. More information: H. Bombin, et al. “Self-correcting quantum computers.” New Journal of Physics. 15 (2013) 055023. DOI: 10.1088/1367-2630/15/5/055023 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.last_img read more

Sea slug found to track seaweed by sniffing its defensive chemicals

first_img The researchers conducted a series of lab and field experiments to monitor slug and seaweed interactions, and to gather information about the chemicals that came into play. In so doing, they discovered that the slugs were able to track down the seaweed they were looking for by detecting the chemicals that the seaweed normally uses to deflect predators, halimedatetraacetate and 4-hydroxybenzoic acid. They then learned that the slug stabs the seaweed with an appendage called the radula, which it also uses to suck out cytoplasm. Doing so allowed the slugs to obtain energy from the sun, as is normally done with plants—it also provided 60 percent of its carbon intake. As if all that were not enough, the slugs also grabbed some of the halimedatetraacetate and used it as a means for warding off prey. Tracking and preying on the seaweed, the team reports caused an increase in slug population by 12 to 18 fold even though the slugs used the plants to help with their own reproduction efforts only on average for 36 hours.The researchers report that this is the first instance of the identification of a marine organism mining chemical compounds from an herbivore. They noted that the seaweed did not submit to the invasion without putting up a fight, however, the plants dropped branches where the slugs had attached, severing the relationship between them. The move also likely helped the plant avoid fungal infection, the researchers note. Such branch dropping, they added, led to a reduction in overall growth of the seaweed plant by approximately 50 percent on average.The team also note that such behavior has been seen in terrestrial ecosystems, which they suggest is interesting because prior studies have shown that terrestrial and marine herbivores split from a common ancestor approximately 400 million years ago, implying that such abilities evolved separately. More information: Marine and terrestrial herbivores display convergent chemical ecology despite 400 million years of independent evolution, Douglas B. Rasher, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1508133112AbstractChemical cues regulate key ecological interactions in marine and terrestrial ecosystems. They are particularly important in terrestrial plant–herbivore interactions, where they mediate both herbivore foraging and plant defense. Although well described for terrestrial interactions, the identity and ecological importance of herbivore foraging cues in marine ecosystems remain unknown. Here we show that the specialist gastropod Elysia tuca hunts its seaweed prey, Halimeda incrassata, by tracking 4-hydroxybenzoic acid to find vegetative prey and the defensive metabolite halimedatetraacetate to find reproductive prey. Foraging cues were predicted to be polar compounds but instead were nonpolar secondary metabolites similar to those used by specialist terrestrial insects. Tracking halimedatetraacetate enables Elysia to increase in abundance by 12- to 18-fold on reproductive Halimeda, despite reproduction in Halimeda being rare and lasting for only ∼36 h. Elysia swarm to reproductive Halimeda where they consume the alga’s gametes, which are resource rich but are chemically defended from most consumers. Elysia sequester functional chloroplasts and halimedatetraacetate from Halimeda to become photosynthetic and chemically defended. Feeding by Elysia suppresses the growth of vegetative Halimeda by ∼50%. Halimeda responds by dropping branches occupied by Elysia, apparently to prevent fungal infection associated with Elysia feeding. Elysia is remarkably similar to some terrestrial insects, not only in its hunting strategy, but also its feeding method, defense tactics, and effects on prey behavior and performance. Such striking parallels indicate that specialist herbivores in marine and terrestrial systems can evolve convergent ecological strategies despite 400 million years of independent evolution in vastly different habitats. Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 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. Citation: Sea slug found to track seaweed by sniffing its defensive chemicals (2015, September 1) retrieved 18 August 2019 from © 2015 Foes can become friends on the coral reef Credit: Australian Museum (—A team of researchers with the Georgia Institute of Technology has found that one species of sea slug (Elysia tuca) uses chemicals produced defensively by one type of seaweed (Halimeda incrassata) to track down the seaweed. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study and other behaviors of both the slugs and seaweed they observed.last_img read more

Ancient natural fission reactor offers clues on how to store modern nuclear

first_imgA scanning electron microscope image of uranium ore from the Oklo natural nuclear reactor. Insets show fissionogenic Cs and Ba hotspots. Credit: PNAS © 2018 Trace amounts of isotope from Fukushima disaster found in California wine More information: Evan E. Groopman et al. Discovery of fissionogenic Cs and Ba capture five years after Oklo reactor shutdown, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2018). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1807267115AbstractUnderstanding the release and sequestration of specific radioactive signatures into the environment is of extreme importance for long-term nuclear waste storage and reactor accident mitigation. Recent accidents at the Fukushima and Chernobyl nuclear reactors released radioactive 137Cs and 134Cs into the environment, the former of which is still live today. We have studied the migration of fission products in the Oklo natural nuclear reactor using an isotope imaging capability, the NAval Ultra-Trace Isotope Laboratory’s Universal Spectrometer (NAUTILUS) at the US Naval Research Laboratory. In Oklo reactor zone (RZ) 13, we have identified the most depleted natural U of any known material with a 235U/238U ratio of 0.3655 ± 0.0007% (2σ). This sample contains the most extreme natural burnup in 149Sm, 151Eu, 155Gd, and 157Gd, which demonstrates that it was sourced from the most active Oklo reactor region. We have discovered that fissionogenic Cs and Ba were captured by Ru metal/sulfide aggregates shortly following reactor shutdown. Isochrons from the Ru aggregates place their closure time at 4.98 ± 0.56 y after the end of criticality. Most fissionogenic 135Ba and 137Ba in the Ru migrated and was incorporated as Cs over this period. Excesses in 134Ba in the Ru point to the burnup of 133Cs. Cesium and Ba were retained in the Ru despite local volcanic activity since the reactor shutdown and the high level of activity during reactor operation. A team of researchers from the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and Washington University has learned more about possible ways to store modern nuclear waste by studying an ancient natural fission reactor. In their paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the group describes their study of cores taken from the natural Oklo nuclear reactor and what they found. Explore furthercenter_img 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. As scientists continue to search for new more environmentally friendly ways to produce power, the old ways continue to generate waste. One such source is waste from nuclear power plants. Various options regarding how to store it long term have been discussed, but few have panned out, leaving waste to be temporarily stored onsite. In this new effort, the researchers sought to learn more about what actually happens as nuclear waste decays over its active lifetime. To learn more, they traveled to Gabon, located in West Africa. At a location known as Oklo, there exists the remains of a natural nuclear reactor. Due to a variety of events, the site was the scene of naturally occurring fission approximately 2 billion years ago. The uranium-235 that drove the reactions has long since decayed, but the history of how that occurred remains.To learn more about what happened as the fissionable material decayed, the researchers took core samples and brought them back to their lab, which houses the Naval Ultra Trace Isotope Laboratory’s Universal Spectrometer. There, they were able to piece together the history of the radioactive material as it moved through its elemental states, some of which included isotopes. Of utmost concern was what became of the cesium that was produced as a byproduct of uranium fission. Cesium has been found to be particularly hazardous due to its high degree of radioactivity—it was released into the environment after both the Fukushima and Chernobyl accidents. The researchers found that it was absorbed by an element called ruthenium, approximately five years after the reactor ceased. It was held there in place for almost 2 billion years.The researchers suggest that discovering that cesium had been contained by ruthenium offers some ideas on possible ways to deal with waste produced in modern reactors. They further note that ruthenium is too rare to use, but something like it might do the trick. They plan to investigate further. Citation: Ancient natural fission reactor offers clues on how to store modern nuclear waste (2018, August 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Scienceslast_img read more

Going arty in the city

first_imgAU NATURAL!Naturescapes is a solo exhibition of water color paintings by artist Bikash Poddar. The works are about expressions and evocations. They evoke memories in the viewer and these memories take the viewer directly to experiential references as well as artistic references. Bikash’s works, though predominantly naturescapes, feature human figures engaged in conversation. The nature represented is pregnant with tensions that are enshrouded in a tricky calmness. It is almost like the calm before a storm and the dialogue between these two figures, then could be nothing but the precariousness of life; caught in and between situations. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’DETAILDate: 20 March – 15 April Time: 11 am to 7 pmVenue: Pearl Art Gallery 185/k/3 basement Karan PalaceON TRANQUIL GROUNDSTranquility a group show by Shree Yash Art Gallery. This exhibition encompasses various eminent artists and brings them together by captivating a vast range of moods and moments in their respective walks of life.  Tranquility defines keeping oneself free from stress, in this show an array of art would provide you a chance to revive your instincts . The show is putting on display the picturesque landscapes of Dr. Shrotiya, the true to life depictions of Dr. R.C.Bhawsar,the well known Prithvi Soni’s vibrant coloured rajasthani folk classics, Nand Thakur’s myriad abstract forms and Harish Kumar. In the exhibition promotes the freedom from the clutches of the society and expressing art with such dexterity and proficiency that the outcome has to be nothing but tranquil. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixDETAILVenue:  Epicentre Art Gallery, Sector 44, GurgaonDate: 12 – 14 April Time: 11 am – 8 pmDE JA VIEWVisual Polyphony 2 a group exhibition showcasing works of over 32 artists from the Capital cities. Polyphony is music with two or more independent melodic parts sounded together. This exhibition showcases works of artists, independent from each other, juxtaposed to create harmony, thereby calling it a Visual Polyphony. Amongst the participating artists, are Ashok Bhowmick, Charan Sharma, M F Husain, Milburn Cherian, Ramesh Gorjala, Rini Dhumal, Samir Mondal, Satish Gujral, Surya Prakash, Thota Vaikuntam, Vijender Sharma, Vrindavan Solanki and Yusuf Arakkal.DETAILDate: 19 March – 28 March Time: 11 am to 7 pmVenue: Shridharani Art Gallery, Triveni Kala Sangamlast_img read more

All performing institutes should come together to create impact

first_imgNational School of Drama (NSD) has an eventful history. How do you think it has evolved over the years?Its almost 55 years since its establishment. It is quite an eventful and glorious organisation, which has started from the scratch and has become one of the reputed institution. As far as the world is considered, in India it is a prime institute, Asia it is a leading institute and far across it is recognised as one of its kind institution.Do you feel NSD is producing the same kind of talent which it used to now? Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’You can’t compare time to time because it changes, life is changing so training is also changing. Nature of entertainment industry is changing and the requirement outside world is changing, so accordingly we modify the training module. Though we have produced great legendary actors, directors, playwrights etc. And we are still committed to the same up till now.With more commercialisation, TV and cinema taking a hold do you think people are still interested in theatre. What’s the trend? Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSee, it is still there. If you go to states like Maharashtra and West Bengal you would see that theatre personalities are more regarded and respected as compared to TV or cinema. Its still there because the tradition of watching theatre is still alive including going and doing. Though one cant deny that TV and cinema has more reach than theatre because it can easily and freely enter your homes without costing you much. Films can be shown at a time across the world. But theatre still has its magic pertaining to performing themes and its a one to one kind of a medium. How about the Delhi theatre circuit?Delhi theatre is always a developing theatre for me. As I am an alumni of NSD so I am seeing a evolvement since 1979 in the field. It is more of a big junction because plays are coming from different languages are transcripted, adapted, transcreated in English etc. Then most of the experiments happen in Delhi theatre.How have you revitalised the curriculum of NSD including launching of new courses?Its been three months that I have taken this seat. So we are still under the process of doing that. Some of the ideas are launching courses apt with the demand of the entertainment industry. NSD started because there was dearth of training in India as far as theatre is concerned. Now the nature, demand, requirements of theatre is changing including specialisations. So we have to find that approach in future training by branching out. Also introduce courses which are not existing, for example – play writing, children theatre specialisation, art administration, theatre criticism, theatre music and choreography and we are planning to design a course in one and a half year according to primary demands with discussion with faculties and experts.Any plans to collaborate with foreign theatre groups?We want to open the doors for every collaborator who are genuinely concerned with development of theatre. Recently there was a drama troupe from France which wanted to do theatre in the country. Like wise we want to join hands with parallel institutes like Sangeet Natak Academy, Sahitya Academy, so we have to come together to bring about a change in Indian performing culture and devise a programme to bring an impact.Has society given due recognition to theatre artists who have moved to films and TV?In states like Maharashtra and West Bengal there is a sensitivity towards the medium and people have understood the real magic of theatre. There are and will be theatre stars coming into the picture, but since the focus has shifted to TV and films, it is lacking behind. But if you look at Manohar Singh, Uttara Baokar, Utpal Dutt, Shambhu Mitra, Dr Sriram Lagoo. So the basic prime concern of NSD is to promote and project artists who are doing theatre.last_img read more

Shakti Bhatt Foundation invites entries

first_imgIn the year 2012, Naresh Fernandes won the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize for Taj Mahal Foxtrot: The Story of Bombay’s Jazz Age, an account of the city’s thriving music scene between the 30s and 60s.While last year editor, critic and author Nilanjana Roy won the prize for her debut novel The Wildings, a startling narrative in which the characters are street cats in Delhi’s Nizamuddin East.The prize covers a wide range of genres, ranging from poetry, fiction (including graphic novels), creative non-fiction (travel writing, autobiography, biography, and narrative journalism) to drama. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Books published between June 2013 and June 2014 are eligible to participate and publishers and individual writers should send in their books by 15 July. The winners will be announced in November and will get a cash award of one lakh and a trophy at a ceremony in Delhi in December.Authors from the subcontinent are also eligible for the award, but their books must be published in India. The publication must be in English or translated into English from an Indian language.last_img read more

Laugh and roll the Australian way

first_imgBringing the giggles and chortle all the way from Australia, Melbourne International Comedy Festival (MICF) presents MICF Roadshow India and Raw Comedy 2014, an All-Star Roadshow line-up that promised to brings big laughs to India.  The event is being held from 7 to 22  November in Mumbai, Bangalore and Kolkata and for its final phase it has come to the capital. The shows will be held on 18 and 19 November at the Fat Lulu in Vasant Vihar and on 21 and 22 November at the Delhi’s Summer House Café. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’MICF is the third largest comedy festival in the world. It has been brought to India by Teamwork Arts. In the recent years, Teamwork Arts and MICF have successfully created a renowned platform for budding Indian comics to showcase their talent in the MIFC Raw comedy. The winner of MICF Raw comedy gets a chance to perform at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in Australia on an all-expense paid trip in April 2015.  This November sees RAW Comedy India Season 3 roll out with heats in Mumbai, Bangalore, Kolkata and is now in  Delhi. Raw Comedy Heats will be hosted by Raghav Mandava. When : 18-22 nov. Where: Fat Lulu and Summer House Cafelast_img read more