Light instead of electrodes could control deformable mirrors

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — The field of adaptive optics is advancing in interest as technology makes it possible to use deformable mirrors for a number of applications in optoelectronics. Deformable mirrors usually make use of rigid sections that can be actuated independently, or reflective membranes that make use of segmented electrodes. These methods, though reasonably effective, have limitations. They require complex circuitry in order to manipulate individual sections of the mirror, making deformable mirrors impractical for every day use. Explore further Novel zoom objective with deformable mirrors More information: U. Bortolozzo, S. Bonora, J.P. Huignard, and S. Residori, “Continuous photocontrolled deformable membrane mirror,” Applied Physics Letters (2010). Available online: link.aip.org/link/APPLAB/v96/i25/p251108/s1 Copyright 2010 PhysOrg.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com.center_img Citation: Light, instead of electrodes, could control deformable mirrors (2010, July 15) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2010-07-electrodes-deformable-mirrors.html In order to advance adaptive optics so that deformable mirrors can be used in more every day applications, a group of scientists has demonstrated a new kind of deformable membrane mirror. “In our device, we do deformation with light, so we don’t need the electrodes to control the mirror,” Stefania Residori tells PhysOrg.com. Residori is a scientist at the University of Nice-Sophia Antipolis in Valbonne, France. Along with Umberto Bortolozzo at the same University, Stefano Bonora from the Luxor Laboratory in Padova, Italy, and Jean-Pierre Huignard of Jphopto in Paris, France, Residori has presented the results of a demonstration of this new deformable mirror in Applied Physics Letters: “Continuous photocontrolled deformable membrane mirror.”“A deformable mirror includes a reflecting membrane and a photo-sensitive substrate,” Residori explains. “In traditional deformable mirrors, electrodes are applied to get a desired effect. However, this can be complex for electronics when we want to obtain high resolution. Our design allows us to accomplish deformation with light, rather than electrodes.”Instead of using electrodes to apply voltage, Residori and her colleagues activate the membrane by shining light in different photosensitive areas. “This simplifies matter greatly in adaptive optics,” she insists. “We need only one voltage line, rather than all of the circuitry required when using electrodes. All you have to do is change the illumination condition. With the current technology of video projectors this can now be realized easily by sending any image, so that we can very well control the deformation of the photosensitive mirror. ”Residori sees applications for this type of deformable membrane mirror in astronomy and astrophysics. “You can use this for corrections of wavefront. When you collect radiation you can use this mirror, since it uses distortion to correct an incoming wave,” she points out. Residori also says that this deformable membrane mirror is scalable, so that it is possible to make large mirrors for use in penetrating some of the mysteries of space.Medical imaging and diagnostics is another area where Residori sees potential. “In medical diagnostics, there is an issue with light propagation – especially if you want to look inside the eye. Our mirror can be scaled down small to be used in different medical applications as well.”Because the design is fairly simple, consisting of a photosensitive membrane that is flexible, and does not require electrodes to deform the mirror, Residori says that it is fairly inexpensive technology. “Relatively speaking, this is not very expensive. The photosensitive substrate can be a little expensive due to the requirement for cutting crystals, but overall this is fairly simple and inexpensive.”“Our deformable mirror can be made reasonably cheap if there is an interest,” Residori continues. “It can be used for standard commercial optics, and as more are produced, the price could fall.”The next step, though, is to make the device with other types of photoconductive substrates. “We want to develop something more sensitive in other wavelengths. This would make this deformable mirror more useful in medical and biological imaging. We also want to experiment other types of membranes, allowing even larger deformations.”For now, though, this demonstration represents an advance in adaptive optics, and a promising step forward in optoelectronics. “This has the potential to be very useful in a wide variety of applications,” Residori says. 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

Researchers find a countrys wealth correlates with its collective knowledge

first_img(PhysOrg.com) — What causes the large gap between rich and poor countries has been a long-debated question. Previous research has found some correlation between a nation’s economic prosperity and factors such as how the country is governed, the average amount of formal education each individual receives, and the country’s overall competiveness. But now a team of researchers from Harvard and MIT has discovered that a new measure based on a country’s collective knowledge can account for the enormous income differences between the nations of the world better than any other factor. This figure shows the relationship between economic complexity and income per capita for 128 countries after controlling for each country’s natural resource exports. Economic complexity and natural resources explain 73% of the variance in per capita income across countries. Image credit: The Atlas of Economic Complexity But getting poorer countries to begin producing more complex products is not as simple as offering individuals a formal education in which they learn facts and figures – what the authors refer to as “explicit” knowledge. Instead, the most productive knowledge is the “tacit” kind (for example, how to run a business), which is much harder to teach. For this reason, countries tend to expand their production capabilities by moving from the products they already produce to others that require a similar set of embedded knowledge capabilities.After measuring the Economic Complexity Index (ECI) of 128 countries by analyzing their products, the researchers found a strong relationship between ECI and income per capita, at least for countries that have limited natural resource exports. (Countries with, for example, large oil reserves tend to be wealthier than expected, since mining oil reserves depends more on geology than large amounts of knowledge.) For the 75 countries for which natural resources account for less than 10% of exports, the researchers found that economic complexity accounts for 75% of the variance in income per capita. After controlling for natural resource exports, economic complexity and natural resources explain 73% of the variance in per capita income across all countries.Using this data, the researchers generated a ranking of the 128 countries in which Japan had the highest ECI, followed by Germany and Switzerland. The US was 13th.The authors then predicted each country’s future economic growth by comparing each country’s ECI with its level of income (GDP per capita). If a country had a lower level of income than was expected for its level of complexity, the researchers predicted that the country would experience more growth in order to “catch up.” In other countries, the level of income was higher than expected based on their level of complexity, suggesting that these countries would not experience strong future growth. Based on this analysis, the top three countries with the highest expected growth were China, India, and Thailand. The US was 91st. As the researchers explained, complex economies tend to have few remaining opportunities because they already produce many complex products. Meanwhile, countries with an intermediate level of complexity differ largely in their potential for expanding to make more complex products.The researchers hope that this ability to measure a country’s prosperity and predict its future economic growth reveals some key areas that might be addressed and used to accelerate the process of economic development. © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further Citation: Researchers find a country’s wealth correlates with its collective knowledge (2011, October 26) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-10-country-wealth-knowledge.html “The amount of knowledge that is required to make a product can vary enormously from one good to the next,” the authors write. “Most modern products require more knowledge than what a single person can hold. Nobody in this world, not even the savviest geek nor the most knowledgeable entrepreneur, knows how to make a computer. He has to rely on others who know about battery technology, liquid crystals, microprocessor design, software development, metallurgy, milling, lean manufacturing and human resource management, among many other skills. That is why the average worker in a rich country works in a firm that is much larger and more connected than firms in poor countries.” This network shows the product space of the US. Image credit: The Atlas of Economic Complexity The researchers, led by Ricardo Hausmann, director of Harvard’s Center for International Development and former Minister of Planning for Venezuela, and Cesar A. Hidalgo, assistant professor at MIT’s Media Laboratory and faculty associate at Harvard’s Center for International Development, have published a book called The Atlas of Economic Complexity. Starting today, the book is free to download at http://atlas.media.mit.edu. The authors plan to launch the book during an exclusive event at Harvard’s Center for International Development on October 27th. Attendees will include chief economists of the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, among other guests.In the book, the authors show how the total amount of knowledge embedded in a country’s economy can be measured by a factor they call “economic complexity.” From this perspective, the more diverse and specialized jobs a country’s citizens have, the greater the country’s ability to produce complex products that few other countries can produce, making the country more prosperous.“The total amount of knowledge embedded in a hunter-gatherer society is not very different from that which is embedded in each one of its members,” the researchers write in their book. “The secret of modern societies is not that each person holds much more productive knowledge than those in a more traditional society. The secret to modernity is that we collectively use large volumes of knowledge, while each one of us holds only a few bits of it. Society functions because its members form webs that allow them to specialize and share their knowledge with others.”The researchers measured a nation’s collective knowledge in terms of the types of products it produces. Countries that produce lots of products that few other countries produce (such as medical imaging devices and jet engines) have more collective knowledge than countries that produce mainly ubiquitous products (such as cotton and soy). Researchers Map Building Blocks of Economic Complexity 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

Boots Industries unveils BI V20 for 3D printing

first_imgBoots Industries turned to Kickstarter to advance the new machine’s design and production. “Although our BI V2.0 is definitely ready for production, we still plan to make several last minute ‘cosmetic’ improvements. For example we will be tweaking the lengths of electrical wires and sleeving around the delta head. These modifications will not impact the delivery schedule of the BI V2.0, but we felt it was important to mention that we will tweak a few details to make your printers look even better!”For pledges of $79 and higher, users receive all the BI V2.0 printed parts, For pledges of $653 SD or more, users get a BI V2.0 3D printer with heat bed, LCD controller and auto-level probe. About $1,120 gets a fully assembled printer with heat bed , LCD controller, auto-level probe, and two hours of training on designing 3D parts and operating the BI V2.0 optimally. Estimated delivery dates in 2014 vary depending on the type of pledge and appear on the Kickstarter page. 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. © 2013 Phys.org More information: www.kickstarter.com/projects/1 … -precision-3d-printe Boots Industries has been selling both fully assembled printers and DIY printer kits but now the company is taking pre-orders for their BI V2.0 on Kickstarter, after which they will offer the new printer on their online store. A key feature of the new printer is that the Boots Industries designers offer a larger build volume, which in turn expands options for what people can make.The makers have already surpassed their $30,000 goal; at the time of this writing they raised $36,450.41 with still 23 days left to go. The BI V2 team said it was derived from the insights they gained from their previous line.Providing details on the new BI V2.0, they said: “Our design can support up to triple extrusion and can print virtually any 1.75 mm filament extruding at up to 240 degrees Celsius,” They called attention to the printer’s “self-replicating” design, which can empower the user to share the technology with others. “Once you receive the BI V2.0, you can print, improve upon and share components so that anyone can build their own printer at a very low cost.” The BI V2.0 3D printer does not need a computer for operation; one can use an integrated LCD controller. Explore further Kickstarter project Deltaprintr offers cheap easy to use 3D printer Citation: Boots Industries unveils BI V2.0 for 3D printing (2013, December 30) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-boots-industries-unveils-bi-v20.html (Phys.org) —Boots Industries is a Quebec City, Canada, company that was founded in 2012 with a mission to spread the excitement of a printing technology that may allow everyday users to create three-dimensional objects from various plastics. Their latest adventure is the unveiling of a 3D printer whose parts they say can be assembled quickly, the BI V2.0. “Our assembled components remove the longest and trickiest steps from the equation (i.e. stringing the pulleys, wiring the towers etc.). With our simple to follow instructions the partial assembly will take between 30 minutes and an hour of work.”last_img read more

New circuit design allows for elimination of laptop charger brick

first_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. The new adaptor has come about due to the development of a new circuit design by MIT professor David Perreault—it’s able to run at higher frequencies (between 30MHz and 300MHz-a thousand times faster than conventional adapters) due to a power reclaiming scheme he developed. The result is a 65 watt power adapter that can be used to charge a variety of laptops or other devices such as smartphone or tablets (because it comes with a 2.1A USB connector)—it can even charge more than one device at a time.FINSix says the tiny adapter is just the first of what will be a whole new line of power electronics devices based on the new circuit design—from AC/DC converters to power controllers in devices ranging from air conditioners to more efficient electric motors—all courtesy of the increased frequency range. The new design allows for recycling power that in traditional designs is lost, preventing the loss of efficiency that typically occurs with other circuits when upping the frequency range. Representatives for FINSix say the new design (which uses what they call Very High Frequency power conversion technology) leaps over conventional barriers and will pave the way for more efficient electronic devices that are also smaller and lighter. The new adapter which doesn’t appear to have a name or price yet, is likely to be extremely popular among laptop users (when it becomes available for sale sometime mid-2014) as it will allow those who tote laptops around to downsize their carrying case and to leave chargers for other devices at home. The company plans to unveil the new adapter to the public at next month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where it will be featured as an Engineering Award winner in the Portable Power category. Explore further (Phys.org) —Power electronics maker FINsix Corporation has announced the development of what is being called the world’s smallest laptop adaptor—one that is just a quarter the size of traditional models and just a sixth the weight—it comes as a standard wall plug, eliminating the “box on the ground” format so familiar to laptop users. More information: www.finsix.com/center_img © 2013 Phys.org Citation: New circuit design allows for elimination of laptop charger brick (2013, December 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-12-circuit-laptop-charger-brick.html UN aims to pull plug on plethora of power supplieslast_img read more

Researchers take new approach to determine historical population fluctuations

first_img Citation: Researchers take new approach to determine historical population fluctuations (2015, April 7) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-approach-historical-population-fluctuations.html SNP is a DNA sequence variation that occurs commonly among a given population. Scientists have been using information read from it to trace lineage and to follow population fluctuations over time. In this new effort, the researchers used a different math technique on DNA data obtained from nine populations included in the 1000 Genome Project. Rather than using techniques that rely on predefined population models, the pair of researchers instead came up with a model-flexible method that allows for using SNP spectra data to estimate population size during different periods in history.Using their technique, the researchers were able to show population bottlenecks (sudden sharp reductions in population size) going back 200,000 years. They found, for example, that there was a population bottleneck in Europe approximately 20 to 30,000 years ago (though it did not include people living in Finland). They also found a bottleneck in Africa occurred 100 to 200,000 years ago in Africa.The two researchers describe their method as a multi-epoch model that is similar to a skyline plot in that it can be used to calculate the likelihood of a given frequency spectrum—and it allows for treating each DNA sequence as an independent locus, which they noted reduces computational load and makes it possible to study hundreds of individuals, which of course makes historical population estimating much more accurate.For each of the nine populations studied, the duo created 200 frequency spectra which led to a stairway plot based on median population size for a given period in history. They report that their technique revealed that all of the populations that were not Africa based experienced severe drops in population between 50 and 70,000 years ago. The population in Finland stood as a different however, in that they had a separate drop between 10 and 20,000 years ago, as opposed to the rest of Europe which saw its major drop approximately ten thousand years later. The researchers suggest this was due to early Finnish people separating themselves from the rest of Europe. They note also a sharp African population drop approximately 50 to 70,000 years ago, and then again 20 to 30,000 years ago. (Phys.org)—A pair of researches with the University of Texas has used a new method to infer historical human population size fluctuations based on Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) data. In their paper published in the journal Nature Genetics, the team describes how they applied a technique they call a stairway plot to SNP data to uncover human population fluctuations going back hundreds of thousands of years. Explore further New genetic evidence resolves origins of modern Japanese 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.center_img Journal information: Nature Genetics Illustration of the multi-epoch model. Left, a coalescent tree with corresponding coalescent times. Right, an illustration of how the population size (width of each rectangle) changes over multiple epochs, with each epoch coinciding with a coalescent event. Credit: Nature Genetics (2015) doi:10.1038/ng.3254 © 2015 Phys.org More information: Exploring population size changes using SNP frequency spectra, Nature Genetics (2015) DOI: 10.1038/ng.3254AbstractInferring demographic history is an important task in population genetics. Many existing inference methods are based on predefined simplified population models, which are more suitable for hypothesis testing than exploratory analysis. We developed a novel model-flexible method called stairway plot, which infers changes in population size over time using SNP frequency spectra. This method is applicable for whole-genome sequences of hundreds of individuals. Using extensive simulation, we demonstrate the usefulness of the method for inferring demographic history, especially recent changes in population size. We apply the method to the whole-genome sequence data of 9 populations from the 1000 Genomes Project and show a pattern of fluctuations in human populations from 10,000 to 200,000 years ago.last_img read more

Wide area study shows environmental impact of oil and natural gas drilling

first_img(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with affiliations to several academic institutions in the U.S. has conducted an analysis of the overall impact of oil and natural gas drilling in the U.S. and Canada over a period of twelve years. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team notes that such drilling involves the destruction of vegetation which is not being replaced which in turn is causing a major impact on the environment. © 2015 Phys.org Oil and natural gas drilling in the U.S. and Canada has generated a lot of press in the past few years, most of it positive, as it has helped increase domestic supplies, thus reducing dependence on foreign oil. But, it has also experienced some criticism, some from people worried about small earthquakes that sometimes result due to fracking. More recently, some Earth scientists have begun to voice their concerns about the environmental impact of all the drilling and excavation that is occurring—as the authors note in this new effort, on average 50,000 new wells have been dug per year since the turn of the century. Their study covers the years 2000 to 2012 and looked at the impact of drilling on an ecosystems’ net primary production (NPP)—a measure of the amount of carbon stored by all the plants in a given ecosystem.To find the change in NPP due to drilling, the researchers looked at satellite images—that allowed them to see where there was vegetation, and then where it had been removed due to drilling over the study period. To find the NPP all they had to do was note the type of vegetation that was impacted and then count up the losses—approximately 10 Tg of biomass which translated to approximately 4.5 Tg of carbon. What they found most concerning was that the vegetation that was being removed, was not replaced after the mining operations concluded (approximately 90 percent of the land was privately owned, thus not subject to federal regulations). Many of the areas where the mining was taking place, the researchers note, was in areas where vegetation struggles to return on its own, which could mean the loss in biomass could have an impact for many years.The researchers point out that at this point, no one really knows what the overall impact of the surge in mining and vegetation reduction will have on a continent-wide basis, but thus far it is easy to see the local impact, less vegetation means less diversity and less wildlife—an impact that does not appear to be taken into consideration by policymakers. Citation: Wide area study shows environmental impact of oil and natural gas drilling in North America (2015, April 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-04-wide-area-environmental-impact-oil.html Landscape impacts of oil and gas development. Credit: Chris Boyer/kestrelaerial.com Journal information: Sciencecenter_img Oklahoma geology group links earthquakes to oil waste wells Explore further More information: Ecosystem services lost to oil and gas in North America, Science 24 April 2015: Vol. 348 no. 6233 pp. 401-402 DOI: 10.1126/science.aaa4785 AbstractAdvanced technologies in oil and gas extraction coupled with energy demand have encouraged an average of 50,000 new wells per year throughout central North America since 2000. Although similar to past trends (see the graph, this page), the space and infrastructure required for horizontal drilling and high-volume hydraulic fracturing are transforming millions of hectares of the Great Plains into industrialized landscapes, with drilling projected to continue (1, 2). Although this development brings economic benefits (3) and expectations of energy security, policy and regulation give little attention to trade-offs in the form of lost or degraded ecosystem services (4). It is the scale of this transformation that is important, as accumulating land degradation can result in continental impacts that are undetectable when focusing on any single region (5). With the impact of this transformation on natural systems and ecosystem services yet to be quantified at broad extents, decisions are being made with few data at hand (see the graph, this page). 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

Closer look reveals tubule structure of endoplasmic reticulum

first_imgDense tubular matrices in the peripheral ER. Credit: (c) Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf3928 More information: J. Nixon-Abell et al. Increased spatiotemporal resolution reveals highly dynamic dense tubular matrices in the peripheral ER, Science (2016). DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf3928AbstractThe endoplasmic reticulum (ER) is an expansive, membrane-enclosed organelle that plays crucial roles in numerous cellular functions. We used emerging superresolution imaging technologies to clarify the morphology and dynamics of the peripheral ER, which contacts and modulates most other intracellular organelles. Peripheral components of the ER have classically been described as comprising both tubules and flat sheets. We show that this system consists almost exclusively of tubules at varying densities, including structures that we term ER matrices. Conventional optical imaging technologies had led to misidentification of these structures as sheets because of the dense clustering of tubular junctions and a previously uncharacterized rapid form of ER motion. The existence of ER matrices explains previous confounding evidence that had indicated the occurrence of ER “sheet” proliferation after overexpression of tubular junction–forming proteins. Explore further Journal information: Science How plant cell compartments change with cell growth Organelles are the structures that reside inside living cells—the ET lies within the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells and is part of many cellular processes such as protein synthesis, calcium storage, mitochondrial division and lipid synthesis and transfer—because of its tiny size and dynamic nature, it has been difficult to obtain imagery to accurately reveal its structure. In this new effort, the researchers have used a variety of techniques, some cutting edge, to capture the most detailed look at ET to date, thereby overturning some ideas regarding its structure and how it functions.To capture the images, the team used single-molecule super-resolution techniques along with new ways to illuminate their subject. One, grazing incidence structured illumination microscopy (where light is applied at a perpendicular angle to the target), captured imagery on live cells and provided a major increase in resolution via better lighting and a faster means for capturing images than other techniques, improving resolution in moving objects. Such techniques allowed for capturing sharp images of tubules with diameters as small as 50 nm—each a part of a matrix comprising a network that allows for dynamically responding to the needs of the cell. In the images, the tubules look rather like a large complex of interconnected water pipes.The researchers suggest the tubule structure allows the ET to adjust very quickly to needs by changing its structure to adapt to cell processes.center_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. Citation: Closer look reveals tubule structure of endoplasmic reticulum (2016, October 28) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2016-10-closer-reveals-tubule-endoplasmic-reticulum.html © 2016 Phys.org (Phys.org)—A team of researchers from the U.S. and the U.K. has used high-resolution imaging techniques to get a closer look at the endoplasmic reticulum (ET), a cellular organelle, and in so doing, has found that its structure is not made of tiny sheets of materials, as was thought, but is instead composed of tubule structures. In their paper published in the journal Science, the team describes their research and their theories on why the organelles have such a dynamic structure. Mark Terasaki with the University of Connecticut Health Center offers a Perspective piece providing a short history of such research and outlining the work done by the team in the same journal issue.last_img read more

The Scientific Debate Over Teens Screens And

first_imgThe Scientific Debate Over Teens, Screens And Mental Health by NPR News Anya Kamenetz 8.27.19 5:00am More teens and young adults — particularly girls and young women — are reporting being depressed and anxious, compared with comparable numbers from the mid-2000s. Suicides are up too in that time period, most noticeably among girls ages 10 to 14. These trends are the basis of a scientific controversy. One hypothesis that has gotten a lot of traction is that with nearly every teen using a smartphone these days, digital media must take some of the blame for worsening mental health.But some researchers argue that this theory isn’t well supported by existing evidence and that it repeats a “moral panic” argument made many times in the past about video games, rap lyrics, television and even radio, back in its early days.To understand both sides of the debate, I talked in detail to three researchers: one who argues that teens’ use of tech is a big problem, one who thinks the danger is exaggerated and an expert in research methodology who suggests the connection may not be so simple. Very concerned about smartphonesJean Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University, may be the researcher most associated with the idea that smartphones are dangerous to teens. She’s the author of the book iGen, whose 27-word subtitle states her thesis: Why Today’s Super-Connected Kids Are Growing Up Less Rebellious, More Tolerant, Less Happy — and Completely Unprepared for Adulthood — and What That Means for the Rest of Us. “At first, when I saw these trends in loneliness and unhappiness and depression starting to spike around 2011 or 2012, I really had no idea what could possibly be causing that. It was a real mystery,” she tells NPR. Then, she says, she took note of Pew research that showed 2012 was the first year that most cell phone owners had switched to smartphones. Not only do these two trend lines seem to coincide in time, but Twenge also notes that young people who report spending the most time on smartphones — five to seven hours a day — are twice as likely to report being depressed as those who use their phones for one to two hours a day.Twenge isn’t claiming to have proved that smartphones cause depression. The data sets she works with — essentially large surveys — don’t allow for that. “It is impossible to do a random controlled trial on generations because you can’t randomly assign people to be born at different times. So we cannot prove causation given that limitation,” she explains. “So we have to go on the data that we have — which is obviously not going to be a true experiment — but it adds up to a lot of evidence pointing toward technology possibly playing a role in this increase in mental health issues.” Evidence — with caveatsGiven that all teens use media, I asked Twenge, why would the worsening trend in mental health be more pronounced in girls than in boys? She responded with one possible explanation: Social media, which girls tend to spend more time on, may be the culprit. “Social media invites comparison,” Twenge says. “It’s not in real time. It invites anxiety over the likes and responses that you’re going to get.” Given that adults use media even more than teenagers, why does this trend crop up in teens? Twenge says it’s because their brains are still vulnerable and developing. Plus, they haven’t had as much time to make social connections in real life as older people have, so they are even more dependent on their phones for social validation. Twenge even thinks that the availability of smartphones could help explain the rise in suicide rates among the youngest girls. “They have more access to information online — potentially harmful information about how to harm yourself.” My final question for Twenge: She, personally, made a very similar argument about young people before smartphones existed. She previously published a book, Generation Me, that looked at similar data sets and labeled the millennial generation as “miserable,” “narcissistic” and “anxious.” That book came out in 2006; the iPhone was introduced in 2007. Is she putting old wine in new bottles? Twenge says that comparing then with now, mental health trends are even more negative for what she calls iGen and, in retrospect, “more of a mixed bag” for millennials.Not worth the timeParents are concerned. Detox programs have sprung up to treat teen tech addiction. But some researchers are skeptical of the hypothesis that smartphones cause problems. One team has published three papers that analyzed the same data Twenge is looking at — over 350,000 participants in three nationwide surveys in the U.S. and the United Kingdom. Amy Orben, the lead author of each paper and a psychologist at Oxford University, says the team found that the actual negative relationship between teens’ mental health and technology use is tiny.”A teenagers’ technology use can only explain less than 1% of variation in well-being,” Orben says. “It’s so small that it’s surpassed by whether a teenager wears glasses to school,” or rides a bicycle, or eats potatoes — all comparisons made by Orben and her Oxford co-author Andrew K. Przybylski. How can this be? Well, smartphone use is almost ubiquitous among teenagers today, while only a small minority report mental health problems. So, knowing that a teenager uses a smartphone, even for many hours a day, won’t reliably predict that the teenager will become depressed. It tells you far, far less than factors like genetics or the presence of childhood trauma, for example. Orben has been researching the history of people making dire claims about young people and new forms of media. For example, she says, “In the 1940s, people were already talking about ‘radio addiction.’ One study found that fully 57% of children ages 6 to 16 were severely ‘addicted to radio programs and needed them like an alcoholic does their drink.’ ” She thinks the negative trends in mental health could be explained by a wide range of factors: economic anxiety or political upheaval, to name two. And, she adds, there’s a chance that young people today may simply be more open in surveys when asked about mental health challenges. “A lot of teenagers are a lot more OK to say they’re not OK.” Ironically, this openness may in fact be partly due to social media. Twenge responds that a forthcoming paper she has written, currently under review, will challenge the conclusions of Orben’s team. She says that just because the impact of smartphone use appears small, that doesn’t mean it’s insignificant, especially since, unlike genetics, it may be controllable. Statistically problematicAs a sort of referee on this debate, I called up Katherine Keyes, an epidemiologist at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. Her focus is on explaining population-wide trends, particularly in adolescent mental health. She too is a critic of Twenge’s work, saying it has a tendency to “skew the data” by zooming in on screen use to the exclusion of other factors in the lives of adolescents. And, she says, there are lots of numbers that don’t necessarily fit Twenge’s theory. The uptick in suicides started in 1999. The downturn in teen mental health started in 2005. The iPhone was introduced in 2007 and wasn’t accessible to most teenagers for several years.Not all the news is bad when it comes to teens. High school graduation rates are up, for example. Drug and alcohol use is down, as are car crashes and teen pregnancy.Adolescent mental health isn’t in “free-fall,” says Keyes, but seems to have leveled off since a dip in 2012.We’re not seeing the same negative trends in every country, even in those where teens are just as glued to their screens as they are in the United States.There isn’t a linear relationship between screen use and mental health. On most surveys, teens who use their phones up to two hours a day appear healthier than those who don’t use them at all. This doesn’t count other reasons for technology use, such as homework or listening to music. In the case of heavy users, Keyes says, smartphone use may be more a symptom than a cause of mental health problems. Or there may be a third variable that is driving both — like a lack of parental support or health issues. The explanation that Keyes finds most compelling is that there is a “bidirectional” relationship among teens, screens and mental health. In other words, as argued in this paper by Candice Odgers in the journal Nature, teens who are already struggling may be more drawn to screens and more likely to form unhealthy relationships with media, for example by seeking out information on self-harm or encountering cyberbullies. The time they spend online might in turn make them feel worse. Twenge agrees with the general idea that “social media invites comparisons and anxiety.” What’s a parent to do? Although their conclusions are different, no researcher I’ve spoken with thinks it’s a great idea to let teens scroll through TikTok or play Fortnite all day and night.Twenge, Orben and Keyes are supportive of similar commonsense rules, like making sure teens don’t have their phones in their bedrooms late at night and trying to ensure that their lives are balanced with outdoor exercise, school and face-to-face time with friends and family. So why should the average parent worry about this scientific controversy? Because, Keyes says, when parents simply demonize phones, “there’s less of a communications channel” about what teens are encountering online. A parent’s opportunity to mentor or support positive uses of media is replaced by “confrontation on a day-to-day basis.” Well-meaning parents, wrongly believing the phone to be as risky as a cigarette or a beer, may actually be making their children’s lives harder by fighting with them about it.Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit NPR. https://ondemand.npr.org/anon.npr-mp3/npr/atc/2019/08/20190819_atc_teens_all_tec…last_img read more

Some tradition some modernity at WLFW

As the curtain rises for the Wills Lifestyle Fashion Week, designers are gearing up to put out their best. Jyoti Sharma, a participating designer,  will showcase her new collection. Her spring summer 2013 collection called ‘Nrpusta–Regalia of a Modern Princess’ will be unveiled at the event.Nrpusta refers to The King’s Daughter and is a collection which is meant to bring out a modern princess  in every girl!‘My collection titled Nrpusta refers to the King’s daughter. It personifies the modern Indian princess who has thrived through the most revolutionary journey till today. She is someone who is traditional at heart but modern in approach. The collection is a mix of Indian and western line with focus on short dresses, skirts and lehangas embroidered with Mughal motifs,’ said Jyoti. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The collection also embraces clean-cut silhouettes, standing collars and strong shoulders with the  Mughal motifs in the designer’s style of handcrafts and intricate ornamentation. The ensembles  are rich with the colours of royalty, like red, blue, beige, rust, orange and black, with golden highlights. ‘I have designed this collection thinking of Royal princesses. I love making Indian and Western garments and this time I am designing festive wear for the first time,’ Jyoti added.So what is the colour and fabric the coming season?‘The coming spring and summer you will find yourself wrapped in heavenly fabrics, adorned with fabulous vivid colors, and royal colours like rusty orange with fabric like chanderi,’ said Jyoti.She predicted that the draped pants, surface ornamentation and 3D cut ‘work could make a comeback in the upcoming fashion week.’ read more

Turning hausfrau into entrepreneurs

first_imgRashmi Bansal, has a string of bestselling books to her credit. At a young age of 24, she chose the road of entrepreneurship and created a niche for herself in the media industry. As she releases her new book Follow Every Rainbow which is on the lives of women entrepreneurs, she opens up here what a woman has to face to establish herself in the field of entrepreneurship and what her first love is.Your new book Follow Every Rainbow is based on women entrepreneurs. Tell me something more about it. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Follow every rainbow’ is the inspiring story of 25 women entrepreneurs who started their own business as well as raised a family. These women are from all parts of India and span the age group from 26 to 70. Their businesses range from the very large (national brands such as Biba, Baggit and Cremica) to small but unusual (pharmaceutical plant, loan recovery agency and waste management). These stories can inspire any ordinary woman to convert her latent passion into a business, to dream and to achieve her hidden potential. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixYou are quick in releasing books.Your last book Poor Little Rich Slum came in 2012 and now we are just three months into this year and you are here with a new book. So how do you manage everything as you co-own JAM?The work of researching and writing this book – Follow Every Rainbow – was going on for the past two years. Once I completed all the preliminary work, it took me only three months of concentrated efforts to complete the book. As for JAM, I am not a hands-on editor now, as I have a young dedicated team that handles the day to day work. My main focus is writing books. Till now, you have written only on entrepreneurship. Do you have any plans to write on a different subject?I find entrepreneurship to be vast and endless ocean of stories. At present I have no plans to write on a different subject.Do you think women have to face ‘extra challenge’ of gender-bias in the industry in their budding years?More than gender bias I feel women face the stress of how to manage their career and family responsibilities. Often, they will compromise for the ‘greater good’ i.e focus on raising children because they do not get required emotional and social support to make it possible to have both.If I am not wrong, you are the first generation entrepreneur in your family. How difficult was it for you to establish yourself?I opted to start my own company at the age of 24. No doubt it was unusual at the time and my parents were apprehensive. However, they did not stop me from doing what I wanted to do. And today they say I definitely made the right decision.last_img read more