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Science and Technology

Scientists create Nano-diamonds which last only for seconds

Researchers at Rice University in the US accidentally created microscopic diamonds from coal which exist only for some seconds.  Scientists witnessed this intriguing effect while working on ways to chemically reduce carbon from anthracite coal and make it soluble. They used a powerful electron beam for the purpose knocking the hydrogen atoms off the coal. Surprisingly, the energy input brought clusters of hydrogenated carbon atoms together, some of which transformed into the lattice-like structure of nano-diamonds. Even without the kind of pressure needed to make macroscale diamonds, the energy knocked loose hydrogen atoms to kick off a chain reaction between layers of graphite in the coal that resulted in diamonds between 2 and 10 nanometres wide.

But the most of the nanodiamonds were seen to fade away under the power of the electron beam in a succession of images taken over 30 seconds. The small diamonds are not stable and they revert to the starting material, the anthracite.

All banks need to install ‘talking ATMs” from July 1, 2014: RBI

As per the directions of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), all banks will be required to make all new ATMs installed from July 1, 2014 as “talking ATMs” with Braille keypads.

As per RBI’s guidelines to all banks:

  • All new ATM’s installed from July 1, 2014 should be “talking ATMs” with Braille keypads.
  • Banks should lay down a roadmap for converting all existing ATMs as talking ATMs with Braille keypads. The same may be reviewed from periodically by the Customer Service Committee of the Board.
  • Banks should provide magnifying glasses in all bank branches for the use of persons with low vision, whenever they need for performing banking transactions with ease. A notice about the availability of magnifying glasses and other facilities available for persons with disabilities should be displayed at a prominent place.

Researchers unravel why olive oil reduces blood pressure

Scientists have discovered why olive oil reduces blood pressure. As per a new research, consuming unsaturated fats, like those in olive oil, along with leafy greens and other vegetables forms a certain kind of fatty acid that lowers blood pressure. These nitro fatty acids are created when consuming spinach, celery and carrots that contain nitrates and nitrites, along with avocado, nuts and olive oils that contain healthy fats.

Nitro fatty acids appear to inhibit an enzyme known as soluble epoxide hydrolase which regulates blood pressure​. Scientists can now explain why previous research found that a Mediterranean diet supplemented with extra-virgin olive oil or nuts can reduce the occurrence of cardiovascular problems like stroke, heart failure and heart attacks.

Thus far, it was only known that the Mediterranean diet which consists of lots of vegetables, fish, grains, red wine and fatty nuts and oils is salubrious, there has been little scientific consensus about how or why.​