Welcome to my world, 'ente lokam'!

I, N Santhosh, invite all of you to my world, 'en lokam'. Hope you all find something worth watching, or reading here. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Chinese writer Mo Yan has been named the winner of the 2012 Nobel Prize in literature.
Know Mo Yan more
The Swedish Academy praised MO Yan as one "who with hallucinatory realism merges folk tales, history and the contemporary".
Mo is described as "one of the most famous, oft-banned and widely pirated of all Chinese writers". He is known in the West for two of his novels which were the basis of the film Red Sorghum. He has been referred to as the Chinese answer to Franz Kafka or Joseph Heller.
Mo Yan was born in the Northeast Gaomi Township in Shandong province to a family of farmers on born February 17, 1955. He left school during the Cultural Revolution to work in a factory that produced oil. He joined the People's Liberation Army at age twenty, and began writing while he was still a soldier, in 1981. Three years later, he was given a teaching position at the Department of Literature in the Army's Cultural Academy.

Mo Yan's Books

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2012 to two Americans

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2012 is awarded to two Americans, Robert J. Lefkowitz and Brian K. Kobilka, "for studies of G-protein–coupled receptors".
Robert J. Lefkowitz

Brian K. Kobilka

Our body is a fine-tuned system of interactions between billions of cells. Each cell has tiny receptors that enable it to sense its environment, so it can adapt to new situtations. Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka are awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize for groundbreaking discoveries that reveal the inner workings of an important family of such receptors: G-protein–coupled receptors.
The academy said it was long a mystery how cells interact with their environment and adapt to new situations, such as when adrenaline increases blood pressure and makes the heart beat faster.
Scientists suspected that cell surfaces had some type of receptor for hormones.
Lefkowitz managed to unveil receptors including the receptor for adrenaline, using radioactivity  and started to understand how it works.
Kobilka's work helped researchers realize that there is a whole family of receptors that look alike — a family that is now called G-protein-coupled receptors.
About half of all medications act on these receptors, so learning about them will help scientists to come up with better drugs.
Lefkowitz, 69, is an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and professor at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, North Carolina. Kobilka, 57, is a professor at Stanford University School of Medicine in California.

Dr. Lefkowitz was born on April 15, 1943 in New York City. He graduated from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1966 with an M.D. Degree.  he served as a Clinical and Research Associate at the National Institutes of Health from 1968 to 1970. From 1970 to 1973 he was at the Harvard University affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, where he completed his medical residency and research and clinical training in cardiovascular disease. Upon completing this training in 1973, he was appointed Associate Professor of Medicine and Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the Duke University Medical Center. In 1977 he was promoted to Professor of Medicine and in 1982 to James B. Duke Professor of Medicine at Duke University. He is also Professor of Biochemistry.

Brian Kent Kobilka Brian is from central Minnesota. He is a professor in the departments of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and Medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine in the United States. He is also the co-founder of ConfometRx, a biotechnology company focusing on G-protein coupled receptors. He was named a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 2011. Kobilka is best known for his research on the structure and activity of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs); in particular, work from Kobilka's laboratory determined the molecular structure of the beta-2 adrenergic receptor. His GPCR structure work was named "runner-up" for the 2007 "Breakthrough of the Year" award from Science.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Nissan Unveiled Driver less Car!

The Japanese car maker, Nissan, has unveiled an all electric concept car recently which is bale to drive and park by itself. The advanced functions on the car are controlled from a smartphone. When the driver gets to his destination, rather than look for a parking spot the driver can tap a “park in” button on his smartphone car app and leave the rest up to the car.

In automatic driving mode, the first thing the car needs is an accurate map of its surroundings. That’s fed over an LTE data link that the car relies upon for all its communications.  Then the car pulls in images from four high-definition cameras placed around its body and attempts to recognize its location. This is a more accurate method than using GPS.
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It may be commercially available in 2015. Google is perhaps best known for the technology. It has started testing a self-driving car system since last year.

SpaceX Dragon launches first commercial flight

The history of space travel has got a new glittering episode to its store! The first commercial cargo flight has launched successfully to the International Space Station (ISS). The reusable unmanned freighter, Dragon, was lifted into orbit from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

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The flight that carried 905 kg of cargo is the first of the twelve contracted flights that Dragon is scheduled to make to the station. The Space Exploration Technologies Corporation (SpaceX), which builds and operates the Dragon and the Falcon 9 booster, has contracted with NASA for such cargo transportation to the ISS. It is the first of at least 12 SpaceX missions to the ISS as part of the contract.

It was Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), who is on board the ISS, captured Dragon using one of the station's robotic arms and guided it to a docking port to unload cargo. The mission, officially known as CRS-1, is not the first visit made by Dragon to the ISS. Last May, a Dragon freighter made its first docking with the station, but that was part of a test to determine if the Dragon could be used as a cargo carrier.

Dragon is a free-flying, reusable spacecraft that stands 4.4 m (14.4 ft) tall and is 3.66 m (12 ft) in diameter. Weighing 6,000 (13,228 lbs) at launch, it consists of a pressurized capsule and an unpressurized trunk that houses the craft’s solar power array. Now Dragon returns by parachute for a water recovery before refurbishment and reuse. But SpaceX have plans to upgrade it in the near future to make powered landings and eventually carry a crew.

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2012 was awarded jointly to Frenchman Serge Haroche and American David J. Wineland "for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems". These two work in the field of quantum optics, which deals with the interaction between light and matter.
Serge Haroche
David J. Wineland

Haroche and Wineland, both 68, are awarded for inventing and developing methods for observing tiny quantum particles without destroying them. The discovery may pave way to building a new type of super fast computer based on quantum physics.

Serge Haroche was born on11 September 1944 in Casablanca, Morocco. Since 2001, Haroche has been a Professor at the College de France and holds the Chair of Quantum Physics. Haroche is member of the French Physical Society, the European Physical society and a fellow and member of the American Physical Society. He is the uncle of French singer–songwriter and actor Raphael Haroche.

David Jeffrey Wineland was born on February 24, 1944. He is a physicist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) physics laboratory in Boulder. Wineland is a fellow of the American Physical society, the American Optical society, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1992.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Britain's Sir John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan win Nobel Prize for medicine

Britain's Sir John Gurdon and Shinya Yamanaka of Japan have won the 2012 Nobel Prize for medicine.

The duo had been awarded for their research in nuclear reprogramming, a process that instructs adult cells to form early stem cells which can then be used to form any tissue type.
The prize committee at Stockholm's Karolinska Institute said Monday that the two researchers won the award "for the discovery that mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent."
The committee says the discovery have "revolutionised our understanding of how cells and organisms develop."

See Nobel History

See Nobel Official Website