What is Creative Destruction?


The eighties and nineties were the era of VHS tapes. Invented by the Japanese company JVC, Video Home System (VHS) - or the 'deck' as it was locally known - was an instant hit around the world. Even in small towns of India, video shops that rented VHS players and cassettes were a lucrative business.

The era, however, did not last long. Along came the Compact Discs. Music, movies, data files - the flashy CDs could store anything. They could be played on TVs (hooked with CD players) and computers. Today, whatever CDs are left behind are used as reflectors on bicycles or for art-from-waste projects.

Streaming and cloud storage have made the CD obsolete, just like its predecessor. Tomorrow, the streaming system could be replaced with something else. This process of evolution of technology - from VHS tapes to streaming platforms or landline phones to smartphones - is called Creative Destruction.

The technological advancements defined above are recent, but the concept of creative destruction has been defined and debated by economists, sociologists, and political thinkers since the 19th century. The industrial revolution and colonialism were the two defining historical events that shaped its definition.

Foundational theories

 Creative Destruction is a critical component of the capitalist system of economics and politics.Yet, a first clear definition for the  process was given by the father of communism –an opposing economic and political throught Karl Marsx. Though he did not use the term Creative Destruction, he defined the concept as a ‘’contant upheaval and change within the capitalist system.’’

In his exhaustive work tirled, ‘capital; Acriyique of Political Economy; published as three volumes in 1867, 1885, and 1894. Marx writes: "The bourgeoisie cannot exist without constantly revolutionizing the instruments of production, and thereby the relations of production, and with them the whole relations of society."

This encapsulates the process of technological innovations that we see today. Take for instance the case of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It is the new "instrument of production that is replacing older technologies and even humans in some cases. As a result, the "relations of production also changes, with new skills becoming essential for upward mobility in the job market. The "relations of society" has also changed as engineers with Al skills now draw higher pay packages compared to engineers in other sectors.

Much later, in the 20th Century, German economist Joseph Schumpeter popularized the term Creative Destruction, which was coined by another.

German economist Werner Sombart. In his book Capitalism, Socialism and Democraay, published in 1942. Schumpeter extrapolates the Marxist thought to describe the destructive process of a transformation caused by innovation for instance, the slow death of landline phones.

Schumpeter says Capitalism is a method of economic change which can never be stationary. The fundamental impulse that keeps the system running is new consumer goods, new methods of producing or transporting them, new markets to sell them, and new forms of organisations that the system creates. This is a fairly accurate description of how businesses work in our world today.

Modem examples

Schumpeters work is pretty accurate in defining the current startup era. He says innovative entry by entrepreneurs is the disruptive force that sustains economic growth, even as it destroys the value of established companies that enjoyed some degree of monopoly. A classic example for this is the case of social media eating into the market control of mainstream medin

However, Schumpeter was pessimistic about the sustainability of this process. Seeing it as leading eventually to the undermining of capitalism's own institutional frameworks. The capitalist process in much the same way in which it destroyed the institutional framework of feudal society abo undermines its own, he said.

Today, most technology majors are focussed on continuous innovations that push boundaries of human imagination. As we grapple to get a grasp over the everevolving trends in technology, its important to leam about the great minds that prophesied this era.

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What is a speech generating device?

An electronic device, it is of great use to those with difficulty in speaking. How does it work?

A speech generating device (SGD) is an electronic device that creates speech for those who have difficulty in speaking. Most SGDS are connected to a keyboard, eye sensor or other such keyboard input device that allows the user to select the words to be spoken. The user can enter words or phrases with or use a visual display with images to produce speech.

Digitally recorded human voices speaking actual words are stored in the device and played back upon selection. A variety of voices to match a users gender and age are available. Some SGDS also use computer generated speech similar to the ones used in automated telephone systems.

SGDS have certain advantages over sign boards or other communication methods. It enables a person with speech impairment to communicate through spoken words.

This means the user can easily draw the attention of someone at a distance or sitting in another room or even talk on the phone! SGDS are very effective for autistic children with limited speech ability. World renowned scientist Stephen Hawking used speech generating devices for years. He used to prepare his lectures at the Cambridge University in advance and deliver them using the SGD.

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Is IFSC More than just a code?

In case someone enters an incorrect IFSC while making an online transfer, the funds are credited back to the sender's bank account.

If you have a bank account, you must have seen an IFSC reference on the passbook. The unique code forms an essential part of the Indian banking infrastructure. Let us find out more about this unique code.

What is IFSC?

The Indian Financial System Code (IFSC) is an 11-character alphanumerical code that is used by banks to identify the branches where people have their bank accounts. Every bank branch has a unique IFSC and no two branches (even of the same bank) will ever have the same code. In an IFSC, the first four digits tell the name of the bank and the last six characters are numbers representing the branch. The fifth character is zero. The IFSC is assigned by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

Purpose of IFSC

The IFSC is used by electronic payment system applications such as Unified Payment Interfaces (UPI). It is used only to transfer or send funds within India. It is mandatory when transferring money from one bank account to another. Without the IFSC, you cannot make online transfers. The IFSC ensures that the money being transferred reaches the right destination bank without any mishap during the transaction process. It also helps the RBI keep track of all digital banking transactions.

Where to find the IFSC?

The IFSC of a bank's branch can be found in the cheque book. Besides, it can be found on the first page of the passbook. Another simple way to find out the IFSC is to refer to the official website of the RBI or the bank's website.

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What is the history behind QR code?

"Can you please scan the code," is one of the most common phrases used during transactions in today's digital world. QR codes are ubiquitous these days-in cafes, bazaars, roadside fruit carts, and even at pani puri stalls. A whole range of consumer and businesses have adjusted to the digital world that has brought QR codes back, especially in the last few years with the advent of the cashless economy. However, have you ever wondered who designed the QR Code and for what purpose?

The invention of the QR Code

Similar to the evolution of several technologies, QR Codes originated from necessity. In 1994, a Japanese company called Denso Wave invented the QR code, which was used to label car parts. The idea was to replace the numerous bar-code labels that had to be scanned on each box of auto parts with a single label that contained all of the data from each label, making it easier to keep track of the different kinds and quantities of car parts. Following that, there was an increased interest in more product traceability across the world, particularly in food and pharmaceuticals.

The International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) added the QR Codes to their list in the year 2000, giving it international certification. They rapidly understood the significance of the QR code and began using them in production, shipping and transactions. Later on, with the development of smartphones, there was no slowing in increasing the utilisation of the QR codes' popularity.

How QR Code is helping the world?

Undoubtedly, using QR Codes to access websites, networks, and payment details is the quickest method. To get started, all someone has to do is scan the code and do not need to enter any URL.

Among the numerous advantages of QR codes are their increased sustainability and the ability to update information without having to print brand-new materials. They are also utilized to communicate information on leaflets, packaging, and store displays in addition to serving as mobile menus and facilitating contactless payments. Without requiring prior knowledge or financial education to utilise them for payments, QR codes facilitate the digital shift and provide a positive user experience. The three steps of starting an app, scanning a QR code, and entering an e-PIN are easy and fast. A digital revolution is endlessly possible with QR codes' innovative and engaging way of bridging the real and virtual worlds.

Know how to create a QR Code

Interested in making your QR Code? Follow the steps given below:

1. Visit the QR Code generator on any browser

2. Insert your URL into the space provided

3. Customise your QR code if the generator provides the service

4. After customising and creating, download your QR Code

5. Use the QR Code for advertising, marketing and promotion

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what's phantom electricity?

 Do you always switch off appliances when not in use? Now, do you remove these from their sockets? Did you know that even when you have switched off the appliance, some of the appliances can consume power in standby mode? The phantom electricity or vampire electricity is just that. It is the electricity that some gadgets consume when they are in standby power mode or switched off.

Note that those devices that do not have clocks and dashboards do not consume vampire energy. An example of a device that consumes vampire electricity includes water coolers.

Nowadays the water cooler is always running and will require a large amount of energy. Other examples include vending machines, coffee makers, laptop chargers, microwaves, security cameras, televisions, surround sound systems, gaming consoles, washing machines, dishwashers, photocopiers, cordless landline phones, battery chargers, mobile phones, and so on. These devices consume energy 24/7 when they are plugged into outlets. While we may have to keep some devices left on or on standby such as the fridge, most appliances need not be.           

According to experts, vampire energy consumption can be around 40% of a building's energy use. Some studies have found that more than 100 billion kilowatt-hours get wasted due to phantom electricity every year. Further, it can also produce some 80 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. Residential waste and industrial vampire energy consumption are significant contributors to these emissions. The problem is with always-on devices. So the combined effect of the phantom electricity is much higher. Further, the percentage of phantom power use has burgeoned in recent years, more so because we have more appliances in our homes and industrial spaces. So all the devices combined, the loss of power through phantom load can be a significant amount. This means higher utility bills and more carbon pollution. Identify the devices that are invisibly draining the electricity in your home and cut down on phantom power usage.

Now what can you do if you aren't sure if the appliance consumes standby power? Well, you can prevent this wastage of energy by just unplugging the device!

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Naming planetary objects?

On August 23, India celebrated a technological triumph when Chandrayaan-3 landed near the Moon's South Pole at 6:04 p.m. Since then, there has been a discussion on the naming of the landing spot, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi has termed Shiv Shakti.

Do you know how are planetary objects are usually named?

International Astronomical Union             

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), founded in 1919, is responsible for assigning names to celestial bodies and surface features on them. In the IAU, there are numerous Working Groups that suggest the names of astronomical objects and features.

In 1982, the United Nations, at its 'Fourth Conference on the Standardisation of Geographical Names held in Geneva, recognised the role of the IAU by adopting its resolution on extraterrestrial feature names.

Key rules

The IAU has set some rules for naming planetary objects. Some of the most important rules are -the names should be simple, clear, and unambiguous; there should not be duplication of names; no names having political, military or religious significance may be used, except for names of political figures prior to the 19th Century; and if a name of a person is suggested, then he/she must have been deceased for at least three years, before a proposal may be submitted.

Process of naming

When the first images of the surface of a planet or satellite are obtained, themes for naming features are chosen and names of a few important features are proposed, usually by members of the appropriate IAU Working Group. However, there is no guarantee that the name will be accepted.

Names reviewed by an IAU Working Group are submitted by the group's chairperson to the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature (WGPSN). After this, the members of the WGPSN vote on the names.

The names approved by the WGPSN members are considered as official IAU nomenclature and can be used on maps and in publications. The approved names are then entered into the Gazetteer of Planetary Nomenclature, and posted on the website of IAU.


If there are any objections to the proposed names, an application has to be sent to the IAU general secretary within three months from the time the name was placed on the website. The general secretary will make a recommendation to the WGPSN Chair as to whether or not the approved name(s) should be reconsidered.

 In 1966, the Outer Space Treaty was formed by the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs to set rules for international space law. One of the key aspects of this treaty was that the outer space, including the moon and other celestial bodies, shall be free for exploration and use by all states without discrimination of any kind, on a basis of equality and in accordance with international law, and there shall be free access to all areas of celestial bodies.

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What is SWOT?

The satellite has been designed to conduct a landmark survey of the world's oceans, lakes, and rivers from space for the first time.

NASA, the U.S. space agency, recently launched a satellite called SWOT. What is its objective and how will it help us? Let's find out.

Its mission

SWOT, short for the Surface Water and Ocean Topography satellite, was recently launched from California to make a comprehensive survey of the world's oceans, rivers, and lakes from space for the very first time. Dubbed a "revolution in hydrology", SWOT, an SUV-sized satellite flying at a height of 890 km, will offer an unprecedented, clear view of the water bodies, while tracking the rise in sea levels, as well as rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. The satellite is expected to offer key insights into how these bodies of water influence climate change and factors such as how much more heat and carbon dioxide oceans can absorb. Oceans are estimated to have absorbed more than 90% of the excess heat trapped in Earth's atmosphere caused by human-induced greenhouse gas emissions. With climate change accelerating, some regions are experiencing extreme droughts. while others extreme floods, along with changing precipitation patterns. According to researchers, the observations of SWOT will improve our understanding of how water moves around Earth, its circular currents in oceans, etc. This will help predict floods in areas where there is too much water, and manage water in places that are prone to drought.

How will it work?

The global water survey satellite will measure the height of water in freshwater bodies and the ocean on more than 90% of Earth's surface - which it will track at least once every 21 days. Researchers will be able to get data on millions of lakes, rather than the few thousands currently visible from space. The technology employed by SWOT is called KaRin, a Ka-band radar interferometer. The radar sends down a signal which is reflected back by the water surface. This echo is received by two antennas, resulting in two sets of data providing high accuracy for water detection and resolution. The data, compiled from the radar sweeps of the planet, will be used to bolster weather and climate forecasts and aid in managing scarce freshwater supplies in drought-stricken areas.

Who developed it?

The satellite is a billion-dollar project developed jointly by NASA and France's space agency CNES, with contributions from the Canadian space agency and the U.K. space agency. It was carried onboard a spacex Falcon-9 rocket from the Vandenberg U.S. Space Force Base. SWOT will start collecting scientific data in about six months time after undergoing checks and calibrations. The satellite's components were built primarily by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory near Los Angeles and CNES.

According to SWOT'S project head at CNES, Thierry Lafon, the mission is meant to last for three-and-a-half years, but could be extended. The U.S. and French space agencies have worked together in the field for over three decades. An earlier satellite developed by the two agencies, TOPEX/Poseidon, improved understanding of ocean circulation and its effect on global climate. It also aided the forecast of the 1997-1998 El Nino weather phenomenon.

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Membrane mirrors for large space-based telescopes?

Researches create lightweight flexible mirrors that can be rolled up during launch and reshaped precisely after deployment.

Mirrors are a significant part of telescopes. When it comes to space telescopes, which have complicated procedures for launching and deploying, the primary mirrors add considerable heft, contributing to packaging difficulties.

Researchers have now come up with a novel way of producing and shaping large, high-quality mirrors. These mirrors are not only thinner than the primary mirrors usually employed in space-based telescopes, but are also flexible enough to be rolled up and stored inside a launch vehicle.

Parabolic membrane mirror

The successful fabrication of such parabolic membrane mirror prototypes up to 30 cm in diameter have been reported in the Optica Publishing Group journal Applied Optics in April. Researchers not only believe that these mirrors could be scaled up to the sizes required in future space telescopes, but have also developed a heat-based method to correct imperfections that will occur during the unfolding process.

Using a chemical vapour deposition process that is commonly used to apply coatings (like the ones that make electronics water-resistant), a parabolic membrane mirror was created for the first time. The mirror was built with the optical qualities required for use in telescopes. A rotating container with a small amount of liquid was added to the inside of a vacuum chamber in order to create the exact shape necessary for a telescope mirror. The liquid forms a perfect parabolic shape onto which a polymer can grow during chemical vapour deposition, forming the mirror base. A reflective metal layer is applied to the top when the polymer is thick enough, and the liquid is then washed away.

Thermal technique

The researchers tested their technique by building a 30-cm-diameter membrane mirror in a vacuum deposition chamber. While the thin and lightweight mirror thus constructed can be folded during the trip to space, it would be nearly impossible to get it into perfect parabolic shape after unpacking. The researchers were able to show that their thermal radiative adaptive shaping method worked well to reshape the membrane mirror.

Future research is aimed at applying more sophisticated adaptive control to find out not only how well the final surface can be shaped, but also how much distortion can be tolerated initially. Additionally, there are also plans to create a metre-sized deposition chamber that would enable studying the surface structure along with packaging unfolding processes for a large-scale primary mirror.

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What is sustainable transport?

As the UN observes World Sustainable Transport Day on November 26, we take a look at what it means for Indian cities

All of us hate traffic jams. A person living in Mumbai spends an average of 9 days every year just being stuck in traffic, according to the India Traffic Report. 2019. There is a lot that citizens, like you and me, can do to change this Sustainable transport, according to the United Nations, can ease the pain of commuting through cities for everyone, including those with special needs.

Public transport

There are over 34 crore motor vehicles on Indian roads now, compared to a mere 14 crore in 2011 While the number of vehicles keeps growing meterorically, there aren't enough roads and parking spaces to accommodate all of them. The result -long winding traffic craints, parking problem , and a spike in road accidents.

At least one road accident was reported within every three minutes in India in 2022. A total of 1.68 lakh lives were lost. Despite all the data, faster bikes and bigger SUVs continue to be the aspirational purchases for the indian public, encouraged by loans and regulatory easements provided by the government. Mobility experts say public transport is the one and only panacea to this problem. it will help reduce road accidents, reduce carbon emissions, and resolve the space crunch that we are facing on roads and parking lots. But in the current form, public transport in India is plagued by many challenges.

Challenges to public transport. While policymakers keep pushing us to use public transport regularly, the fact remains that most of our casting systems are already full and overburdened. The Mumbai local trains, for instance, carry a whopping 80 lakh passengers a day By comparison, the local trains in Chennai ferry about 25 lakh Cities invested heavily in metro mil to reduce the burden on existing systems, and provide connectivity to new areas. While the public uptake has been encouraging, last-mile connectivity remains a challenge Last-mile connectivity means ensuring passengers have a reliable mode of commute from metro stations to their final destination. Providing rental or free cycles, ensuring metro stations are located near bus stands, commercial junctions, providing shuttle bus services, are some options that are being explored for last-mile connectivity on a trial-and-error basis. While these efforts are yet to bear fruit, lessons are being learnt across cities for implementation on a wider scale.

Pedestrians ignored

 Indian cities are fast becoming a nightmare for pedestrians. The Indian Road Congress has clearly laid out guidelines on the size of footpaths to be laid based on the size and category of roads. However, these norms are constantly flouted. Houses cutting into footpaths to build driveways and shops and illegally parked vehicles encroaching walking spaces are a common sight across our cities today.

A long-term study by IIT Madras showed that between 2009 and 2017, 80% of road accidents in Chennai involved pedestrians on footpaths or at road crossings. Since then, Chennai has tried to popolarise the concept of pedestrian plazas, by promoting big, dedicated walkways in various parts of the city. The initiative has been reasonably successful.

Electric vehicles

After walking and public transport, electric vehicles are the next best bet. While they do not remote universal access, they do mitigate the impact of vehicular and public transport, electric vehicles are the next best bet. While they do not promote universal access, they do mitigate the impact of vehicular pollution on the environment. Still, concerns remain as most of the electricity generated today in the country comes from burning dirty coal. The disposal of EV batteries-which are toxic to the environment is also a concern.

Sustainable transport is about building systems that can be used by anybody and everybody. It has to be affordable for the poor, accessible for the disabled, and seamless for the busy office-goers. As citizens, it is our duty to push the envelope with policymakers to make sustainable transport a reality in our cities.

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What is a 3D printed robotic hands?


Researchers have succeeded in printing robotic hands with bones, ligaments and tendons for the first time. Using a new laser scanning technique, the new technology enables the use of different polymers.

Additive manufacturing or 3D printing is the construction of a 3D object from a 3D digital model. The technology behind this has been advancing at great pace and the number of materials that can be used have also expanded reasonably. Until now, 3D printing was limited to fast-curing plastics. The use of slow-curing plastics has now been made possible thanks to a technology developed by researchers at ETH Zurich and a MIT spin-off U.S. start-up, Inhabit. This has resulted in successfully 3D printing robotic hands with bones, ligaments and tendons. The researchers from Switzerland and the U.S. have jointly published the technology and their applications in the journal Nature.

Return to original state

 In addition to their elastic properties that enable the creation of delicate structures and parts with cavities as required, the slow-curing thiolene polymers also return to their original state much faster after bending, making them ideal for the likes of ligaments in robotic hands.

The stiffness of thiolenes can also be fine-tuned as per our requirements to create soft robots. These soft robots will not only be better-suited to work with humans, but will also be more adept at handling delicate and fragile goods.

Scanning, not scraping

In 3D printers, objects are typically produced layer by layer. This means that a nozzle deposits a given material in viscous form and a UV lamp then cures each layer immediately. This method requires a device that scrapes off surface irregularities after each curing step.

While this works for fast-curing plastics, it would fail with slow-curing polymers like thiolenes and epoxies as they would merely gum up the scraper. The researchers involved therefore developed a 3D printing technology that took into account the unevenness when printing the next layer, rather than smoothing out uneven layers. They achieved this using a 3D laser scanner that checked each printed layer for irregularities immediately.

This advancement in 3D printing technology would provide much-needed advantages as the resulting objects not only have better elastic properties, but are also more robust and durable. Combining soft, elastic, and rigid materials would also become much more simpler with this technology.

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What is no-till farming?

It is a method of farming by which crops are grown without disturbing the soil by tilling. If there is no tilling the crop residue on the soil prevents evaporation of rain water and more water infiltrates the soil. There is better retention of organic matter in the soil and nutrients are well recycled, thereby improving the fertility of the soil. It minimises soil erosion and no ploughing means there is no air-blown dust. It is more profitable as it does away with the labour, irrigation and machinery associated with tilling.

Tilling also damages ancient structures like burial mounds under the earth as archaeologists have found in the UK

It was Edward Faulkner's book "Plowman's Folly" which started the idea of no-till farming in the 1940s. No-till farming is widely practised in the U.S. Indian farmers started adopting the practice in the 1960s. In the Indo-Gangetic plains, rice-wheat cultivation is done using this method. In parts of Andhra Pradesh, rice-maize cultivation is done without tilling.

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What is Reverse Osmosis?

Osmosis is the movement of a thinner liquid into a thicker liquid through a semipermeable partition or membrane when physical external pressure is applied. The thinner liquid dilutes the thicker solution.

Osmosis is a process that occurs in our bodies all the time. For example, after the food we eat is broken down in the stomach, it passes through the intestines. The intestines contract to force the nutrients, which are thinner, to pass through the walls of the intestines into the blood, which is a thicker solution.

In reverse osmosis, exactly the opposite happens. Water that has a high concentration of impurities is put under pressure and forced through a semipermeable partition leaving all the larger particles behind. This process renders the impure water as well as salty water (here the process is called desalination) potable enough to drink.

This is why RO is used in water purifiers. In a purifier, water passes through several stages-a sediment filter, activated carbon filter and ultraviolet light. RO is the final stage. The larger molecules cannot pass through these various filters and RO removes the harmful particles, metal ions and bacteria in the water that remains. This cleans the water thoroughly and prevents diseases caused by contaminated water.

Reverse osmosis is also used in the food industry to make concentrated juices. The traditional heat treatment reduces the quality of heat-sensitive fruits such as oranges. RO reduces the quantity of water in the juice, so it doesn't need to be thickened by heating. For instance, in the production of maple syrup, RO is used to remove the water from the sap before it is boiled into a syrup. Dairy industries use RO to make concentrated milk and whey protein powders.

Since RO units are also manufactured in compact sizes, they can be installed easily which is why a number of home water filters come equipped with it.

RO removes almost all the minerals in the water, which leaves it tasteless. Some RO systems come with a remineralisation filter that adds minerals to the water and makes it more flavourful!

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Creating three-dimensional objects with sound

Additive manufacturing, more commonly identified as 3D printing, allows for the fabrication of complex parts from functional or biological materials. As objects are constructed one line or one layer at a time, conventional 3D printing can be a slow process.

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research and the Heidelberg University have demonstrated a new technology to form a 3D object from smaller building blocks in a single step. They utilise the concept of multiple acoustic holograms to generate pressure fields.

Sound exerts force

If you've ever been near a powerful loudspeaker, you would be aware that sound waves exert forces on matter. When high-frequency ultrasound that is inaudible to the human car is used, the wavelengths can be pushed into the microscopic realm. This would allow researchers to manipulate building blocks that are incredibly small, including biological cells.

This research group had previously shown how to form ultrasound using acoustic holograms, which are 30 printed plates made to encode a specific sound field. The scientists had devised a fabrication concept to use these sound fields to assemble materials in 2D patterns.

Holds promise

For this research, the team expanded the concept further by capturing particles and cells freely floating in water and assembling them into 3D shapes. Additionally, the new method works with materials such as glass, hydrogel beads, and biological cells.

Ultrasound affords the advantage that it is gentle for using biological cells and that it can travel deep into tissue. Hence, it can be used to remotely manipulate cells without harm. Scientists believe that their technology of creating 3D objects with sounds holds promise as it can provide a platform for the formation of tissues and cell cultures.

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How do cell phones work?

Also do you know why mobile phones are called cellular phones? Read on to find out...

A cellular phone is similar to a radio. However cell phones allow you to speak and listen at the same time because two separate frequencies are used to transmit and receive signals.

Cellular phones are also similar to cordless phones, which use a pair of frequencies for communication between the base unit and the handset. In the case of cellular phones, the base unit is located a much greater distance away from the mobile phone and is also capable of handling communications with several mobile units at a time.

Within a city, the phone company divides the area into small units called cells. It is for this reason that mobile phones are called cellular phones. In each cell, a tower is installed which has a radio transmitter and receiver, which is capable of communicating with several phones at a time. Each of these cells has a radius of about a couple of kilometres.

When one starts a telephone conversation, the mobile unit will communicate with the base unit in the cell that is nearest. This is similar to the operation of a cordless phone. If you are close to the base unit within a cell, the signal strength will be sufficient to carry on a conversation comfortably. However as one moves away from the base unit, the signal strength will reduce. The base unit senses this reduction in signal strength. Simultaneously, the adjoining cell detects that the signal strength from your phone is increasing and therefore you are moving closer to it. When the signal to the second cell becomes greater than that from the first cell, the conversation automatically switches to the second cell.

In addition every cell phone company will have one central office, which handles communication between the cell phones and ordinary landlines.

For good communication over an entire city, it is important to have a large number of cells, which overlap slightly. This will ensure that there is coverage at all points of the city and also that the communication is uniform. A larger number of cells allow the use of lower power transmitters, and results in less interference.

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Here's how to write emails

Emails have become a powerful tool since this is an era with need for instant communication. Emails can be used for both formal and informal communication. Here are a few tips on how to write them.

While writing an email, it is important to have an appropriate subject line, which states the topic and purpose. It conveys in just a couple of words or a phrase what the mail is about. Greeting - and closing- should be courteous. The content should contain short sentences and must be to the point. The font should be readable, and paragraphs should be small for easy reading. The email ends with the sender’s name. Formal mails additionally contain details such as designation, organisation address, contact number, etc.

Emails should be edited and proofread before being sent.

Sample of a formal email

Subject: Reservation of room at your hotel

Dear manager.

I am writing to make a reservation at your hotel for the next weekend. I require a double room for a family of three.

Kindly confirm my booking at the earliest

Yours faithfully


Sample of an informal email

Subject: Visiting Bengaluru


 I am really happy to tell you that I will be visiting Bengaluru next weekend. My parents and I are coming there to attend a close relatives wedding on Saturday. I will be visiting you on Sunday. We could meet our friends and have an outing together. I am sure we will have a great time.

Looking forward to meeting you.

Best wishes,


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