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Killexams : ICDL ICDL techniques - BingNews Search results Killexams : ICDL ICDL techniques - BingNews Killexams : Three techniques, three species, three different ways to fight drought

Rising temperatures and increasing droughts have scientists looking for ways to better predict how plants will react to stress. Every study offers a little more information. Now, scientists have discovered a way to yield a wealth of insights in a single study. Combining three advanced research techniques that are rarely used together, they found they could pinpoint how different types of plants protect themselves from harsh conditions. Even more surprising? Plants try various strategies to assure their survival.

When used together, the three techniques reveal a surprising amount of information about the chemical processes inside . Scientists can also look for patterns across . The results can help identify when plants require more water or more nutrients to keep growing during times of stress, even in diverse environments.

How plants respond to drought can also have profound impacts on the movement of carbon through the environment, which ultimately influences climate.

Working under the Facilities Integrating Collaborations for User Science (FICUS) program, scientists examined the effects of drought on inside the roots of three tropical rainforest species. The team included researchers from the University of Arizona, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the University of Freiburg.

To understand the plant's chemical functioning, including how it utilized carbon, the team combined cutting-edge metabolomic and imaging technologies at the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL), a Department of Energy (DOE) user facility.

They used powerful nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy to identify the type and structure of molecules in the plant roots. They then created detailed images of tissues using (matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization mass spectrometry) and took nanoscale measurements of elements and isotopes (nanoscale secondary ion mass spectrometry).

This combination of techniques yielded insights into different defense mechanisms plants use to survive drought. One species added woody lignin to thicken its roots. The second secreted antioxidants and fatty acids as a biochemical defense. The third appeared less affected by drought conditions, but the soil around it had a higher level of carbon.

This indicates that the plant and the microbes in the soil were working together to protect the plant. Overall, this study demonstrates how multiple techniques can be combined to identify different drought-tolerance strategies and ways to keep plants thriving.

The research is published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

More information: Linnea K. Honeker et al, Elucidating Drought-Tolerance Mechanisms in Plant Roots through 1H NMR Metabolomics in Parallel with MALDI-MS, and NanoSIMS Imaging Techniques, Environmental Science & Technology (2022). DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.1c06772

Citation: Three techniques, three species, three different ways to fight drought (2022, December 9) retrieved 14 December 2022 from

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.

Fri, 09 Dec 2022 05:52:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : What Is Hypermiling? 4 Driving Techniques That Save You Money on Gas

One of the best ways to go green is to travel in an electric vehicle. But while EVs are more popular than ever, most people still can't afford the hefty price tag.

For those who still drive combustion-engine cars, there are still ways to maximize your mileage for less money.

This technique is called hypermiling, a strategy to get every last mile out of a gallon of fuel. It is a prime example of eco-friendly driving in action.

Here are four hypermiling strategies you can use right now.

Related: The 5 Most Luxurious Electric Cars on the Market That Will Make You Want To Skip On Gas

1. Keep your engine tuned

The first step to hypermiling is getting your car set up for maximum efficiency. Using driving techniques will certainly help save fuel, but you're only halfway there if your vehicle is not maintained well.

First, have the car tuned up. This involves changing the sparkplugs, so this is an excellent opportunity to go with iridium-tipped "performance" ones that will be very efficient as creating the combustion. The result is more power while using less fuel for it and contributing fewer emissions.

You should also have an oil change done and switch to using synthetic motor oil if you aren't already. Synthetic oil is long-lasting so it will cost less over time, but, more importantly, it will increase the motor's efficiency and use less fuel as a result. Also, look for lightweight motor oil as it is easier for the engine to pump it, making for greater efficiency.

2. Maintain the tires

One of the most critical aspects of hypermiling is the condition of your tires. The key is how much of the rubber is in contact with the road.

They should be aligned properly so they wear evenly and have the proper contact with the road. Next, they should be properly inflated. You can Excellerate your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

When they are underinflated, too much contact with the road and friction will reduce fuel efficiency. On the other hand, overinflated tires cause a lot of drag and are dangerous when driving, in addition to reduced efficiency.

3. Drive steady

Constantly slowing down and speeding up is one of the worst ways to drive from fuel efficiency. Instead, try to use a steady speed without much variation. If you have cruise control, then using it when it makes sense will help.

You should also try to use your brakes less and just coast when you need to slow down. When you accelerate from a slow speed rather than a full stop, then you increase your efficiency. Keep your distance between other cars so you can roll at a slow pace rather than stop altogether.

4. Pack lightly

Keep unnecessary items out of your vehicle, especially the heavy stuff that can weigh you down. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent, says the U.S. Department of Energy.

Fri, 02 Dec 2022 00:48:00 -0600 Ryan Kh en text/html
Killexams : 7 Popular Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses

When you don’t have a big budget, marketing can be challenging, but there’s plenty a small business owner can do to attract and maintain a customer base. The rise in digital marketing has made it easier for small business owners to find a way to create a presence and attract informed buyers.

Before your business starts marketing a product, it helps to create a buyer persona whom you want to reach with your promotional materials. Once you have your ideal customer, you’ll have a wide choice of marketing methods. Most of these are low-cost or no-cost tactics (sometimes called guerrilla marketing). You may use different ones at different stages of your business cycle—or you may utilize them all at once from your business’ inception.

When you build a business, the first thing you want to secure is a customer base. Then, with a decent printer, a phone, and an internet-connected device, you can create a reasonably extensive advertising campaign without paying for digital space. Here are seven small business marketing techniques you can use to boost your business.

Key Takeaways

  • Small businesses don’t have the advertising budget of larger rivals, but there are inexpensive ways to build a customer base.
  • Hitting the pavement with flyers distributed door to door (where allowed) and placing posters strategically can help get the word out.
  • Follow up with customers after the first round of ads to reinforce the initial message, and don’t fear cold calls—they can be effective.
  • Value additions, such as discounts or freebies for repeat customers, are a big boon once the business is up and running.
  • Referrals—both from customer to customer and business to business—are also important.
  • Prioritize digital marketing, including traditional websites and social media.

5 Biggest Challenges Facing Your Small Business

1. Flyers

This is the carpet-bombing method of cheap advertising. You find an area where you would like to do business and distribute flyers to all the mailboxes within reach. Your flyer should be brief and to the point, highlighting the services you offer or products you sell and providing contact information. Offering a free appraisal, coupon, or discount can help attract your first customers.

Flyers shouldn't be mistaken for posters. Flyers are more informative, listing services or products provided, contact information, addresses, and specialties.

2. Posters

Most supermarkets, public spaces, and malls offer free bulletin board space for announcements and advertisements. This method is hit-or-miss, but you should try to make your poster visible and have removable tabs that the customers can present for a discount.

Make each location a different color to get an idea from the tabs where the most leads are generated. If one area is producing most of your leads, you can better target your campaign (flyers, ads in local media catering to those areas, cold calling, etc.)

Posters should feature appealing images and catchy, memorable phrasing so viewers will recall it when they're wondering where to go for whatever it is they need.

Traditional marketing methods like radio, print advertising, and billboards shouldn't be overlooked. The more channels you use, the more exposure you have.

3. Value Additions

Value additions (or value-ads) are powerful selling points for any product or service. On the surface, value additions are very similar to coupons and free appraisals, but they aim to increase customer satisfaction and widen the gap between you and the competition.

Common value additions typically include:

  • Guarantees
  • Discounts for repeat customers
  • Point cards
  • Referral rewards

The deciding factor for a customer choosing between two similar shops might be the one that offers a point card or preferred customer card. You don’t have to promise the moon to add value—instead, point out something that the customer may not realize about your product or service. It's important to highlight the value additions when creating your advertising materials.

4. Referral Networks

Referral networks are invaluable to a business which often include customer referrals. These can be encouraged through discounts or other rewards per referral. However, referral networks also include business-to-business referrals. If you have ever found yourself saying, “We don’t do/sell that here, but X down the street does,” you might want to introduce yourself to Xs owner and talk to them about referral quid-pro-quo.

When dealing with white-collar professions, this network is even stronger. For example, a lawyer might refer you to an accountant; in turn, the accountant might refer you to a financial planner, who could refer you to a broker. In each situation, the person stakes their professional reputation on the referral. Regardless of your business, make sure you create a referral network that has the same outlook and commitment to quality that you do.

Remember that your competition is not always your enemy. If you are too busy to take a job, throw it their way. You will often find the favor returned—besides, it can be bad for your reputation if a customer waits too long.

5. Follow-Ups

Advertising can help attract customers, but what you do after they come in can often be a much stronger marketing tool. Follow-up questionnaires are one of the best sources of feedback on how your ad campaign is going. Some questions you could ask are:

  • Why did the customer choose your business?
  • Where did they hear about it?
  • Which other companies had they considered?
  • What produced the most customer satisfaction?
  • What was the least satisfying

Also, if your job involves going to the customer, make sure to slip a flyer into nearby mailboxes, as people of similar needs and interests tend to live in the same area.

6. Cold Calls

Unpleasant? Important? Yes, and yes.

Cold calling—whether over the phone or door to door—is a baptism of fire for many small businesses. Cold calling forces you to sell yourself as well as your business. If people can’t buy you (the person talking to them), they won’t buy anything from you.

Over the phone, you don’t have the benefit of a smile or face-to-face conversation—a phone is a license for some people to be as caustic and abrupt as possible (we are all guilty of this at one time or another). However, cold calling does make you think on your feet and encourages creativity and adaptability when facing potential customers.

A combination of old-fashioned pounding the pavement and modern-day pounding the keyboard will provide the best results for a small business looking to market itself.

Warm calls are an alternative to cold calls. You make calls to people you have already met or introduced yourself to through social events, email campaigns, or other activities.

7. The Internet

The importance of the internet in building a successful business cannot be overstated. Marketing methods have stayed pretty much the same across the last 50 years, except for the birth and rapid evolution of the internet. No company (even a local café) should be without, at the very least, a website with vital details such as location and hours. You need a point of access for everyone who searches the internet first when they want to make a buying decision.

You may also need:

  • A social media presence: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter
  • A content management system (CMS): Word Press, Hubspot, Joomla, or Drupal
  • Search engine optimization (SEO) skills: Optimizing your content for searches, internal and external linking, title tags, alt tags, and headings

All this digital dexterity may feel intimidating at first. However, publishing technology has evolved to the point where an open-source content management system can meet all these needs.

How to Identify Your Value Proposition, Audience, and Goals

Before you begin printing and distributing your materials, it's best to figure out who your audience is and how to make your product or services valuable to them. Then, set realistic and attainable goals for your business and marketing endeavors.

Value Proposition

A value proposition is a reason a customer should buy your product or service instead of the competition. Look for what your target audience needs from you rather than what your product has. These needs are usually called benefits, where a product's physical properties or what it does are called features.

Critical to selling your product or services is identifying what you do for people that others do not (or don't do very well). To establish your value proposition, compare what you're offering to the competition. Identify their features and benefits to yours, and create ways to describe yours that outweigh the competition.

Your top value proposition should be unique to your offering and make it appealing to your audience. For example, imagine you have a coffee shop and bistro. It's a trendy convenience found in many towns and cities, so you'll have to analyze your competitors and use your imagination to discover the one thing that makes you stand out.

You can still highlight features, but they should be backed up with a benefit that aligns with your audience's needs.

Say you've perfected bread recipes from around the world, like Pao de Qeuijo (a gluten-free Brazilian bread made from gue flour and cheese) or Aesh Baladi (an Egyptian bread), and import coffee from the countries you make bread from. You may have a competitive advantage and an excellent value proposition—you offer an experience no other café in town does.


You'll need to identify who your audience is. To do this, you'll need to research to find out who your audience is if you didn't design your product specifically for one.

You'll need to identify who you want to sell to the most and ensure your product or service caters to them. For example, if you like the idea of a global café with bread and coffee from around the world, you'll need a customer base to sell it to.

You could start talking to people and listening to their coffee concerns. Find out their ages and average incomes, see what they'd like, and ask what current issues they have getting the coffee and the experience they want. Learn as much about them as possible—spending habits, needs, income levels, hobbies, or anything else that might provide insights into what might attract them.

Once you define your audience and what they need, you can figure out the message you're going to send.

Audience is key to marketing. If you're targeting one demographic that doesn't have a large presence in your area, you may not be too successful unless you're an online retailer.


One of the best ways to accomplish something is to set a goal. However, you don't want to set one goal—you should set an end goal and several small attainable goals that contribute to the final goal. Along with the smaller goals, set up a timeline and dates you'd like to complete the small goals. This way, you have small steps to guide you and a way to measure your progress and success.

Marketing Channels

The internet, and the various technologies and platforms created using it, gives businesses enormous marketing opportunities for those who understand how to leverage it. Here are the top marketing channels used—it's likely you've heard of or been exposed to them.

Search Engine Optimization

Search engine optimization (SEO) is top dog when it comes to marketing. It involves structuring your website and content so that it ranks as high as possible on Google search engine results pages. Google uses a technique called web crawling that finds web pages to add to its index. When creating or adjusting your webpage or site for SEO, there are several factors to consider, such as following Google's best practices and spam policies.

Content Marketing

Content marketing is a technique used to promote interest in your brand without explicitly promoting a product or service. You'll find examples of this on many companies' websites where a blog or article discusses a Topic and how the company relates to it or works to help people do something. Generally, there is a call to action towards the end of the article, like "if you need help with XYZ, contact us today" or something similar.

Content marketing establishes expertise and gives potential customers a brand to remember.

Email Marketing

It's been predicted that more than 4.5 billion people will have an email address by 2025. To gain access to this ocean of people, you'll need an email marketing application. You can find hundreds of email marketing applications that will allow you to create email marketing campaigns.

Social Media Marketing

We've all seen advertisements on our social media pages that seem to target us by what we've been shopping for. It's no secret that using social media increases brand exposure and generates interest, so it is in a small business's best interest to, at a minimum, create a social media profile for itself and begin posting content.

Influencer Marketing

Influencers are people with a large viewer and follower base on their platform of choice. For instance, someone who regularly posts content on Instagram could have millions of followers. This person then becomes an influence in the lives of their followers—giving businesses another exposure outlet. Chances are you've seen someone talking about a product or service on their social media platform—they've been sponsored by a company to talk about that business's services. Influencers can help you generate tons of interest.

What Is Small Business Marketing?

Small business marketing is creating a campaign for your small business to generate interest and a consumer base. It involves using traditional and modern marketing techniques to develop a marketing campaign.

Which Marketing is Best for Small Business?

The most effective marketing combines social media, networking, and traditional methods like flyers, posters, and cold-calling. However, social media advertising reaches the most people the quickest.

How Can I Promote My Small Business?

Social media is the quickest method for promoting your business. For the promotion itself, you can offer discounts for referrals, promotional pricing, participate in events in your community, or anything else you can think of. Technology has created many more channels you can use, but it's up to you to figure out ways to exploit them.

The Bottom Line

More than likely, you will find that the conversion rate on marketing is very low. Even the most successful campaigns measure leads (and converted sales from those leads) in the 10% to 20% range. This helps to shatter any illusions about instant success, but it is also an opportunity for improvement. However, it helps to consider that if you convert 0.5% of 1 million leads to sales, you've got 5,000 sales.

The more exposure you have, the more leads you can generate and convert. Ultimately, this turns into sales, profits, and growth.

Mon, 05 Dec 2022 03:25:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : New Techniques for Predicting Antibody Stability During Storage

Scientists from the University of Ghent say they have developed new techniques for assessing antibody stability during drug development to select formulations that minimize degradation during long-term storage. The methods aim to quickly predict which antibody formulations are likely to degrade over time due to aggregation.

“During formulation development, it’s helpful to predict which formulations are stable, without having to wait one or two years for real-time stability studies to find out,” explains Hristo Svilenov, PhD, an associate professor from the University of Ghent. “Our approach evaluates how the formulation conditions affect the aggregation of partially unfolded antibodies at temperatures relevant for long-term storage.”

The colloidal stability and aggregation tendency of antibody drug candidates can be estimated from their refolding efficiency using chemical denaturants such as urea. [Hristo Svilenov, PhD]

When native antibodies unfold, the aggregation-prone parts of the protein are exposed and can form aggregates. These aggregates can increase the risk of immune reactions in patients or, if they become large enough to form visible particles, they can lead to the drug batch being discarded, Svilenov explains, adding that the team has developed new methods for predicting the aggregation of antibodies during storage in a faster manner.

These methods can be used during drug development to find, for example, the optimum formulations for storage, including the optimal buffer or other excipients. According to Svilenov, the techniques use common chemical denaturants, such as urea and guanidinium salts. These can be added to the antibodies to induce the formation of partially unfolded proteins and accelerate the aggregation to allow comparisons to be made on short timescales.

“We aim to develop predictive techniques that are simple so you don’t need special equipment—you can perform them with devices in every lab and our goal is that they can be used by anyone,” he says.

The techniques can also be used during biomanufacturing to compare production batches and ensure that the drug product has the same degradation profile. Svilenov says the team is now following up on this research by developing quantitative prediction tools to rank formulations and drug candidates by aggregation risk. They also aim to automate these methods and apply them to other biotherapeutics beyond antibodies.

Wed, 16 Nov 2022 00:05:00 -0600 en-US text/html
Killexams : Ants' farming practices and efficient navigation techniques could inspire solutions for human problems

King Solomon may have gained some of his famed wisdom from an unlikely source—ants.

According to a Jewish legend, Solomon conversed with a clever ant queen that confronted his pride, making quite an impression on the Israelite king. In the biblical book of Proverbs (6:6-8), Solomon shares this advice with his son: "Look to the ant, thou sluggard, consider her ways and be wise. Which having no guide, overseer, or ruler, provideth her meat in the summer, and gathereth her food in the harvest."

While I can't claim any familial connection to King Solomon, despite sharing his name, I've long admired the wisdom of and have spent over 20 years studying their ecology, evolution and behaviors. While the notion that ants may offer lessons for humans has certainly been around for a while, there may be new wisdom to gain from what scientists have learned about their biology.

Lessons from ant agriculture

As a researcher, I'm especially intrigued by fungus-growing ants, a group of 248 species that cultivate fungi as their main source of food. They include 79 species of leafcutter ants, which grow their fungal gardens with freshly cut leaves they carry into their enormous underground nests. I've excavated hundreds of leafcutter ant nests from Texas to Argentina as part of the scientific effort to understand how these ants coevolved with their fungal crops.

Much like human farmers, each species of fungus-growing ant is very particular about the type of crops they cultivate. Most varieties descend from a type of fungus that the ancestors of fungus-growing ants began growing some 55 million to 65 million years ago. Some of these fungi became domesticated and are now unable to survive on their own without their insect farmers, much like some human crops such as maize.

Ant farmers face many of the same challenges human farmers do, including the threat of pests. A parasite called Escovopsis can devastate ant gardens, causing the ants to starve. Likewise in human agriculture, pest outbreaks have contributed to disasters like the Irish Potato Famine, the 1970 corn blight and the current threat to bananas.

Since the 1950s, human agriculture has become industrialized and relies on monoculture, or growing large amounts of the same variety of crop in a single place. Yet monoculture makes crops more vulnerable to pests because it is easier to destroy an entire field of genetically identical plants than a more diverse one.

Ants have evolved highly complex social organizations.

Industrial agriculture has looked to as a partial solution, turning agricultural pest management into a billion-dollar industry. The trouble with this approach is that pests can evolve new ways to get around pesticides faster than researchers can develop more effective chemicals. It's an arms race—and the pests have the upper hand.

Ants also grow their crops in monoculture and at a similar scale—after all, a leafcutter ant nest can be home to 5 million ants, all of which feed on the fungi in their underground gardens. They, too, use a pesticide to control Escovopsis and other pests.

Yet, their approach to differs from humans' in one important way. Ant pesticides are produced by bacteria they allow to grow in their nests, and in some cases even on their bodies. Keeping bacteria as a living culture allows the microbes to adapt in real time to evolutionary changes in the pests. In the between pests and farmers, farming ants have discovered that live bacteria can serve as pharmaceutical factories that can keep up with ever-changing pests.

Whereas exact developments in agricultural management have focused on genetically engineering crop plants to produce their own pesticides, the lesson from 55 million years of ant agriculture is to leverage living microorganisms to make useful products. Researchers are currently experimenting with applying live bacteria to crop plants to determine if they are effective at producing pesticides that can evolve in real time along with pests.

Improving transportation

Ants can also offer practical lessons in the realm of transportation.

Ants are notoriously good at quickly locating food, whether it's a dead insect on a forest floor or some crumbs in your kitchen. They do this by leaving a trail of pheromones—chemicals with a distinctive smell ants use to guide their nest mates to food. The shortest route to a destination will accumulate the most pheromone because more ants will have traveled back and forth along it in a given amount of time.

In the 1990s, computer scientists developed a class of algorithms modeled after ant behavior that are very effective at finding the shortest path between two or more locations. Like with real ants, the shortest route to a destination will accumulate the most virtual pheromone because more virtual ants will have traveled along it in a given amount of time. Engineers have used this simple but effective approach to design telecommunication networks and map delivery routes.

Ants started farming tens of millions of years before humans.

Not only are ants good at finding the shortest route from their nests to a source of food, thousands of ants are capable of traveling along these routes without causing traffic jams. I recently began collaborating with physicist Oscar Andrey Herrera-Sancho to study how leafcutter ants maintain such a steady flow along their foraging paths without the slowdowns typical of crowded human sidewalks and highways.

We are using cameras to track how each individual ant responds to artificial obstacles placed on their foraging trails. Our hope is that by getting a better understanding of the rules ants use to respond to both obstacles and the movement of other ants, we can develop algorithms that can eventually help program self-driving cars that never get stuck in traffic.

Look to the ant

To be fair, there are plenty of ways ants are far from perfect role models. After all, some ant species are known for indiscriminate killing, and others for enslaving babies.

But the fact is that ants remind us of ourselves—or the way we might like to imagine ourselves—in many ways. They live in complex societies with division of labor. They cooperate to raise their young. And they accomplish remarkable engineering feats—like building structures with air funnels that can house millions—all without blueprints or a leader. Did I mention their societies are run entirely by females?

There is still a lot to learn about ants. For example, researchers still don't fully understand how an ant larva develops into either a queen—a female with wings that can live for 20 years and lay millions of eggs—or a worker—a wingless, often sterile female that lives for less than a year and performs all the other jobs in the colony. What's more, scientists are constantly discovering new species—167 new ant species were described in 2021 alone, bringing the total to more than 15,980.

By considering ants and their many fascinating ways, there's plenty of wisdom to be gained.

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.The Conversation

Citation: Ants' farming practices and efficient navigation techniques could inspire solutions for human problems (2022, November 15) retrieved 14 December 2022 from

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.

Tue, 15 Nov 2022 04:57:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : 5 effective meditation techniques to practice at work

Increasing work demands and workplace stress levels can take a toll on your mental health. Employees may be unable to perform to their full potential and realise their life goals if they are experiencing such negative effects on their bodies and brains. Practising meditation at the workplace has many proven benefits like reduced stress and improved focus. Increased creativity, productivity and improved relationships with colleagues are some of the great results of meditation one can attain at work. According to the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence, mindfulness and meditation are the most effective ways in reducing work stress and poor mental health symptoms while creating a positive impact on employees’ mental well-being. (Also read: Tips to handle stress at workplace)

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Raman Mittal, Co-founder and meditation expert, Idanim, shared five effective meditation techniques that you can practice at work.

1. Mantra Meditation: Creating a positive aura around you in a difficult situation may work wonders. Think of a mantra or a motivating phrase and keep repeating it in your mind. It will act as a tool to help release tension in your mind and boost awareness. It can make a lot of difference, especially if you are having trouble concentrating or getting in the right frame of mind. Mantra chanting (or any conscious affirmations) also unblocks our energy flow and rejuvenates our mind and body.

2. Breathing Meditation: Do you feel anxious before a presentation or before meetings? Try deep breathing for five minutes. Deep breathing is one of the most effective methods to keep calm. Taking a deep breath enables more airflow in your body, which calms down your nerves, reducing stress and anxiety. So, next time you are in a stressful situation, start taking deep and conscious breaths and you will notice an immediate sense of relaxation.

3. Walking Meditation: There are times when you are in a stressful situation at work and you feel like running away from it. It is obvious that you cannot run away from work or leave it. However, taking a refreshing walk with awareness enables the human mind to observe things better. This help the mind and body to relax. I’m sure, this technique will definitely help you take a break from stressful working hours.

4. Body Scan: Have you been feeling unproductive lately or your mind keeps on wandering? Body scan meditation will help manage your physical and emotional feelings when you are overwhelmed, sad, or anxious. Pay attention to your whole body and how it feels, scanning from your feet to the top of your head in a slow and deliberate progression. This will help you relieve tension and return back to work mindfully. This the technique is a great health meditation way to relax your body and mind both at the same time.

5. Visualization Meditation: If you feel you need a little escape, a visualization exercise might be ideal. Think about where you’d go if you could be anywhere right now. It could be a bench in a peaceful garden or a sandy shore on a summer day. You might prefer a rock overlooking a waterfall in a forest. Now, set a timer for 5-10 minutes and enjoy the tranquillity of your place. Picture every detail - the sights, sounds, and smells. Enjoy the scenery. Let your mind wander to your happy place whenever you need to relax your mind during work.

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Mon, 14 Nov 2022 23:14:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : Photonic Advances Enhance Imaging Techniques

WASHINGTON--()--The Optica Foundation today issued details on the healthcare work being funded by its 20th Anniversary Challenge. This newly funded research will address the potential of Differential Interference Contrast (DIC) microscopy, accessibility and portability of Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), and applicability of Synthetic Wavelength Holography (SWH), a method to image through light-scattering materials like human skin.

“The field of imaging has benefited greatly from advances in photonics,” said Majid Ebrahim-Zadeh, ICFO - Institut de Ciencies Fotoniques, Spain, and member of the 20th Anniversary Challenge Selection Committee. “The research being conducted by the challenge recipients strives to solve for today’s pain points in imaging, including efficiency and accessibility. We expect these efforts to lead to continued investigation and advancement in this critical field.”

Healthcare initiatives from the 20th Anniversary Challenge include the following:

Transparent Microparticle and Cancer Cell Imaging

  • Guangwei Hu, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
    Single-shot, Isotropic and Miniaturized Differential Interference Contrast (SIM-DIC) Microscopy based on computational flat-optics
    Research Executive Summary Optical microscopy offers a method of imaging tiny samples, even transparent ones, to track their movements in real-time in 3-D. To achieve that goal today, researchers deploy a bulky system, such as differential interference contrast microscopy, measuring elements in one dimension at a time due to orientation sensitivity. However, Guangwei Hu, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, is working to change the approach.

    To address shortcomings in current optical microscopy approaches, Hu’s research proposes using flat optical elements or metasurfaces to create smaller, more efficient, and more powerful systems. By leveraging silicon nanostructures as a foundation, the planned system will be set to perform multiple functionalities at one time, including the focusing phase, polarization multiplexing, and isotropic edge detection—all in 3-D— via a portable device that can potentially link up with standard consumer electronics.

    “I’m trying to revolutionize existing microscopic techniques with new and advanced optical elements based on metasurfaces,” explains Hu. “It’s a new crossover, really merging microscopic imaging systems with metasurfaces.”

    Hu has already conducted initial work on the fundamental limits and principals behind his approach and has developed designs to fabricate for testing. He plans to begin with a demonstration of the microscopy system, and within six months, Hu expects to operate the system on biological samples of cancer cells.

    “The ultimate goal is that healthcare researchers and practitioners could have a module that they can even place on their mobile phone to image,” said Hu. “At the end of the day, the proposed single-shot, isotropic and miniaturized DIC system is portable and simple to operate, because it’s essentially just a very detailed lens.”

Portable OCT Platforms for Disease Detection

  • Xingchen Ji, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
    Developing low-cost, portable, integrated OCT systems using low-loss silicon nitride platform
    Research Executive Summary
    Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive imaging modality that provides high-resolution images of tissue for more than 30 million scans each year. However, due to the complexity of system elements, prohibitive costs for purchase and maintenance, and its generous size, the product’s accessibility is limited. But new efforts from Xingchen Ji, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, promise to develop an alternative OCT system that is both portable and low cost.

    “My proposal is about developing a portable, low-loss OCT system prototype, based on silicon photonics, and more specifically, silicon nitride,” shared Ji. “This way, all of the elements of a traditional OCT system could be covered by a single platform, a whole system rather than single parts. If this idea succeeds, we will be able to reduce both the size and cost of OCT systems by orders of magnitude.”

    Ji explained that his first step is to optimize the fabrication process, and then design the light source, interferometer and spectrometer components of the system. In three months, he hopes that they will demonstrate the low-loss platform that supports the system’s design, and by six months, they will be able to acquire OCT images. At the end of a year, Ji aspires to have a working prototype.

    “What we are trying to do here is make OCT widely accessible. Once we have a miniaturized system, we can reduce costs to $1,000 or below per device. I can even imagine a day when you would have one at home, and you could transfer the images to the cloud so the doctor could review them, without having to go to the hospital, office, or clinic,” Ji said.

Precise Imaging through Living Tissue with Standard Camera Technology

  • Florian Willomitzer, University of Arizona, USA
    Noninvasive high-resolution imaging through living tissue with single-shot synthetic wavelength holography
    Research Executive Summary
    Over the last decades, the field of medical imaging has spawned several seminal inventions, including Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT), Computed Tomography (CT), ultrasound, and Magnet Resonance Imaging (MRI). exact years have seen a growing interest in medical imaging techniques which enable a look inside the human body with high precision but are non-invasive and can be facilitated in a small form factor, i.e., possibly even operated in a hand-guided fashion. Now, work from Florian Willomitzer at the University of Arizona, USA, seeks to demonstrate an important step towards this new breed of medical imaging devices: single-shot Synthetic Wavelength Holography (SWH).

    “Our previously demonstrated method of Synthetic Wavelength Holography shows great potential for a multitude of medical imaging applications, but currently still requires a temporal sequence of images to ‘see’ through scattering media like tissue. If something moves during the acquisition of this temporal image sequence, the measurement fails. This makes the current method unfeasible for real-world medical applications, as living tissue is in constant movement,” said Willomitzer. “This new work addresses this problem by introducing an approach that enables precise SWH measurements with only one single camera image. The vision is to create an efficient and cost-effective imaging system which uses standard, off-the-shelf camera technology – theoretically even mobile phone cameras.”

    Willomitzer will start by building on exact research that demonstrated the success of multi-shot SWH, refining the approach to function in a single-shot environment. In six months, he intends to have developed baseline criteria for his hypothesized one-shot approach, and then will evaluate its potential for real-world medical imaging applications, i.e., the imaging of small structures, such as capillaries, lesions, tumors, etc., through scattering media, such as tissue and bone.

    “The proposed technique could have profound effects on future industries that go far beyond potential applications in medical imaging. Possible examples include applications in autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, industrial inspection, and many more,” Willomitzer concluded.

All three imaging research efforts are the result of grants awarded through the Optica Foundation’s 20th Anniversary Challenge. This challenge was designed to engage early-career professionals in out-of-the-box thinking and provide seed money to investigate hypotheses in the areas of environment, health and information. Each of the recipients received $100,000 USD to explore their ideas and take steps toward addressing critical global issues. Recipients have begun work on these projects and expect to report initial results by the second quarter of 2023. For more information and to follow their journeys, visit

About Optica

Optica (formerly OSA), Advancing Optics and Photonics Worldwide, is the society dedicated to promoting the generation, application, archiving and dissemination of knowledge in the field. Founded in 1916, it is the leading organization for scientists, engineers, business professionals, students and others interested in the science of light. Optica’s renowned publications, meetings, online resources and in-person activities fuel discoveries, shape real-life applications and accelerate scientific, technical and educational achievement. Discover more at:

About Optica Foundation

Established in 2002, the Optica Foundation carries out charitable activities in support of the society’s student and early career communities. We cultivate the next generation of leaders and innovators as they navigate advanced degree programs and become active members of research, engineering and business worldwide. The foundation also works to secure the endowments for Optica’s awards and honors programs. The foundation is registered as a 501(c)(3) non-profit. For more information, visit

Fri, 02 Dec 2022 02:42:00 -0600 en text/html
Killexams : Brits’ most common showering techniques revealed – here’s what yours says about you

BRITAIN'S most common showering techniques have been revealed.

What shower style do you have?

Do you love to lather or are you more of a scrubber?

Britain's most common showering technique has been revealed


Britain's most common showering technique has been revealedCredit: Alamy

Do you like the temperature hot or is a cold shower more your thing?

Take this quiz to find out what your bathing habits say about you.

It comes after research of 2,000 adults found 41 per cent described themselves as ‘latherers’ when it comes to their washing routine.

But amidst the current economic climate, 53 per cent have made changes to the way they shower in a bid to save money and reduce household bills.

More than three in 10 (31 per cent) are showering less regularly, while 29 per cent are now even sharing the cubicle with their other half.

In addition, 20 per cent of those who have children are washing them all together as opposed to individually.

Ashley Cooper at Triton Showers, which commissioned the survey, said: “It’s been interesting to find out about the nation’s showering habits, although it’s not been a surprise to see that there has been a marked changed due to the current cost-of-living crisis.

“We are all doing things differently to help keep costs down and our home habits have become a big part of that – particularly when it comes to our water and energy usage.

"For example, showering for just one minute less can save up to £88 per year.”

With the average adult spending a swift six minutes getting clean, more than half (56 per cent) switch the water flow off completely while they wash their hair or body.

A third are even using their phone timers to make sure they don't keep the water running too long.

Despite 53 per cent admitting they have changed the way they shower in a bid to reduce household bills, 69 per cent were already conscious about the impact of their bathing habits before the cost-of-living crisis arose.

A third would consider switching to a more efficient shower type, but 69 per cent say they don’t know enough about them to commit.

Although the average time people spend in the shower has reduced, 48 per cent still prefer longer showers as opposed to shorter ones – with one in 10 getting nagged every time they take one.

When it comes to who does this the most, two thirds are regularly reminded by their partners but, surprisingly, 39 per cent get called out by their children.

The average household will argue three times a week about how long each member spends in the cubicle, as 35 per cent often lose track of time and forget when they first got in.

‘Relaxing’ and ‘refreshing’ are among the top reasons why people enjoy having a shower, with nearly a fifth (18 per cent) preferring a colder water temperature.

More than three in 10 (32 per cent) typically have a shower to warm up, while 27 per cent use the opportunity to reflect on their day.

The study, conducted via OnePoll, found that 29 per cent will step into the shower to simply enjoy some peace and quiet away from the kids.

Ashley Cooper added: “The bathroom acts as a sanctuary for many; a place to relax, gather your thoughts and take time out of the day for yourself.

"It doesn’t come as a surprise that 48 per cent of people still prefer a longer shower, despite the current climate.

Most read in The Irish Sun

“Those who don’t want to alter their showering habits, but want to save money, should consider swapping to a more energy and water efficient option, like an electric shower.

"An electric unit can save up to 48,000 litres of water and knock £133 off your household bills when compared to alternatives.”

Mon, 21 Nov 2022 19:35:00 -0600 en-ie text/html
Killexams : SocGholish finds success through novel email techniques

Researchers at Proofpoint revealed more technical details about SocGholish, the malware variant they identified earlier this month, highlighting its noteworthy tactics that differ from traditional phishing campaigns.

According to a Proofpoint blog post Tuesday, SocGholish deviates from the norm by forgoing all the classic staples of modern phishing, such as instilling a sense of urgency, promises of rewards, and misdirection. Instead, researchers found that SocGholish is leveraged in email campaigns with injections on sites, mainly targeting organizations with extensive marketing campaigns or strong Search Engine Optimization.

“[SocGholish] really is sophisticated. I do not like to use the word ‘sophisticated’ when it comes to threats in general, but this actor [along with] its development lifecycle and various techniques really are head and shoulders above other actors,” Andrew Northern, senior threat researcher at Proofpoint, said during a virtual event on Tuesday.

Drew Schmitt, managing security consultant and lead analyst at GuidePoint Security, expanded on that point, telling SC Media in an email that SocGholish hasn’t been observed using this attack vector before, and their email-based attacks combined with download style infections “is unique in the sense that it explicitly avoids having characteristics that the average user would be able to detect and identify.”

Proofpoint first tweeted about SocGholish attacks on November 2, disclosing that the malware has infected over 250 U.S. news sites. The company said it observed intermittent injections in a media company that serves content through Javascript to its partners. The threat actor, tracked by Proofpoint as TA569, modified the codebase of the benign Javascript and used the media company to deploy SocGholish, which could result in a dangerous supply chain attack.

Proofpoint researchers told SC Media that the threat actor is not directly targeting the media industry but using these companies as their delivery mechanisms. The intended victims are consumers who visit those sites.

“The actors are opportunistic and will inject the scripts wherever they can: into landing pages, into third-party styling resources, trackers, and scripts,” said Sherrod DeGrippo, VP of threat research at detection at Proofpoint. “They rely on the compromised entity being a legitimate organization and natural email traffic, such as newsletters, marketing efforts, and bulletins, to drive traffic to those sites. In the case of online news outlets, articles are often optimized for search engines, so ad hoc searching would also lead potential victims to the compromised sites.”

Matthew Fulmer, manager of cyber intelligence engineering at Deep Instinct, added that the SocGholish is notable because it is not just an attack to gain credentials but to gain persistence and lateral movement in order to drop additional malware payloads, which could include ransomware or other threats.

Tuesday’s virtual session also highlighted how the group has applied injection strobing, a technique that adds, removes, and re-adds injections to evade detection and prevent analysis.

Northern said that one potential motivation for TA569 to manipulate injected hosts is to confuse incident responders and prevent them from analyzing the malware. He said that it could also be a result of attackers meeting their quota for delivering other payloads.

“There are a lot of reasons why they may be serving these injections, but the key takeaway here is that you don’t be quick to say that this is a false positive,” Northern said. “If you are a responder and you say this is a false positive because you cannot find it, you are going to discount the follow-on steps of checking that host to see if there are any lateral movements.”

To defend against the threat actors,  Northern suggested organizations have their WMI, subscription, consumer, and triggers logging turned on and centralize those logs to monitor post-exploitation activity.

Schmitt warned that the detection of SocGholish malware is a great reminder of the threat under supply chain attacks.

“Although not observed as often as other attack mechanisms, the controlled use of a supply chain compromise, as observed by SocGholish recently, may be an indication of an even more concentrated focus on leveraging supply chain attacks overall,” Schmitt said.

Tue, 22 Nov 2022 19:39:00 -0600 en text/html
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