Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog

Channel Description:

The latest news on The Telegraph from Business Insider

older | 1 | .... | 13 | 14 | (Page 15) | 16 | 17 | .... | 63 | newer

    0 0

    Queen Full Portrai_2576513b

    A new portrait of the Queen, commissioned by Royal Mail to adorn a stamp marking the 60th anniversary of the Coronation, has been derided by critics who said it looked more like Margaret Thatcher.

    The painting, by artist Nicky Philipps, was branded “abominable” by experts who said it did not bear a strong likeness to the monarch.

    The stamp is one of a series of six released to celebrate royal portraiture and will be available to buy from Thursday.

    Although dozens of images of the Queen have featured on UK stamps over the last 60 years, it is the first time Royal Mail has ever commissioned its own portrait.

    Estelle Lovatt, an art critic and lecturer, said: “It’s Thatcher meets Rumpole of the Bailey meets Hogarth, in Hogarthian England all the worse or perhaps the better for a glug of gin.

    “It’s surely dreadful, embarrassing, monstrous. It looks more like my neighbour than the Queen.”

    David Lee, editor of satirical art magazine The Jackdaw, said the portrait resembled “a bloke wearing a wig and earrings” and had “a hint of Churchill about it”.

    He added: “Isolate the face so you see only the features and it is certainly unrecognisable as the Queen.

    “As usual the real problem lies with the likeness. The facial features aren’t right. She doesn’t actually look like this, and never has; a distant foreign relative of the Queen perhaps, but not the Queen herself."

    Philipps, 48, painted a double portrait of the Duke of Cambridge and Prince Harry for the National Portrait Gallery, which was unveiled in 2010 to critical acclaim.

    stamps queen_2576515c

    However, portraits of the Queen are often the subject of ridicule, as artist Dan Llywelyn Hall found to his cost earlier this month when his own attempt to mark the anniversary of the coronation was likened to a “drag impersonator”.

    Rupert Alexander, who painted the Queen in 2010, said he thought Philipps’s portrait one of the more “successful” of recent years with its strong sense of light and well-constructed composition.

    But he said the general standard of paintings was no longer as good as it was in the days of Rembrandt or Velasquez because there were no artists who boasted the same technical abilities.

    “When realist painting was superseded by modernism around the turn of the century, traditional practices were no longer taught in art schools, and the knowledge was, for the most part, lost,” he said.

    “Presently there seems to be a renewed interest in figurative painting, which may slowly lead to an increase in the quality of work being produced.”

    Lee agreed: “The sad truth is that the basics of portrait painting are no longer taught," he said.

    "We no longer train painters to have the drawing skills to catch a likeness effortlessly every time.”

    The Queen, who is depicted wearing the Order of the Garter robes, sat three times for Philipps in the Chinese Drawing Room at Buckingham Palace last autumn.

    The artist said: “It was a great honour to be selected for this prestigious commission and I have enjoyed the process immensely.

    “Her Majesty was wonderfully patient and friendly during the sittings and I hope she is pleased with the final result. I know she will be happy to see her corgis immortalised!"

    The stamp was approved for release by the Queen, although the Palace declined to comment on the painting.

    Philip Parker, head of stamp strategy at Royal Mail, said he thought it an “excellent portrait”.

    He added: “We have featured the Queen many times over the last 60 years but when we looked back we realised that Royal Mail had never commissioned an original painted portrait.

    “We thought the anniversary of the coronation was a marvellous time to correct that.”

    The five other portraits featuring in the special series were produced between 1953 and 2000 by artists Terence Cuneo, Andrew Festing, Pietro Annigoni, Sergei Pavlenko and Richard Stone.

    Royal Mail is gifting the latest work to the Royal Collection.

    SEE ALSO: The First Official Portrait Of Kate Middleton Is ... Interesting

    Please follow Business Insider on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0


    The mystery of how the turtle got its shell has finally been solved by scientists studying a 260-million-year-old fossil.

    All other animals with body armour, including lizards and armadillos, are known to form it from bony scales on the surface of their skin.

    Turtles are the only ones that fuse ribs and vertebrae to make a shell made up of around 50 bones on the outside of their bodies, it has been found.

    Until now palaeontologists have been scratching their heads as to how their shell is formed, and have struggled with an up to 55-million-year gap in the fossil record.

    A team from Yale University have discovered the secret by studying the fossils of a bizarre South African reptile known as Eunotosaurus, the earliest known turtle ancestor, which lived 260 million years ago.

    "It helps to bridge the morphological gap between turtles with their funky body plan and the more generalised lizard body plan," Dr Tyler Lyson, lead author of the study, told the Times .

    "Eunotosaurus has some things that are turtley, but then it also has other features that are more like a generalised amniote [a group of vertebrates that includes reptiles, mammals and birds]."

    Until recently, the oldest known fossil turtles, dating back about 215 million years, had fully developed shells, making it hard to see the sequence of evolutionary events that produced them.

    The study, published in the journal Current Biology, found that Eunotosaurus has nine broadened ribs as well as elongated vertebrae, similar to those seen in turtles.

    By examining marks left by fibres, the scientists have also deduced that it lacked intercostal muscles which are used to move the rib cage and aid breathing as turtles do.

    "The reason, I think, that more animals don’t form a shell via the broadening and eventually suturing together of the ribs is that the ribs of mammals and lizards are used to help ventilate the lungs,” Dr Lyson said.

    “If you incorporate your ribs into a protective shell, then you have to find a new way to breathe.”

    Turtles have done just that, with the help of a muscular sling, he said.

    The discovery of the fossil of a 220 million-year-old Odontochelys semitestacea, in China in 2008, provided the first firm clues about shell formation as is had only a partial shell on its back and broadened ribs. It quashed the theory that the shell formed from the fusion of many bony scales.

    Dr Lyson's team found that the Eunotosaurus, the "proto-turtle”, had begun to display broadened ribs and no longer had intercostal muscles, revealing a sequence of evolutionary events that have led to the modern turtle.

    The team said these events resemble the steps seen as turtle embryos develop their shells.

    SEE ALSO: Modern Birds Are Essentially Living Baby Dinosaurs

    Please follow Science on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    skin chipMotorola’s forthcoming phones could use electronic tattoos or pills to identify users, it has been announced.

    The technology, which aims to remove the need to enter passwords and replace them simply with a phone being close to a user’s body, was one of the suggestions Dennis Woodside, Motorola’s chief executive, California's D11 conference yesterday.

    The tattoos have been developed by Massachusetts-based engineering firm MC10, and contain flexible electronic circuits that are attached to the wearer's skin using a rubber stamp.

    Nokia has previously experimented with integrating tattoos into mobile phones, and Motorola's senior vice president of advance research, Regina Dugan, a former head of the US Pentagon's Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency, demonstrated the silicon-based technology that uses bendable electronic circuits. Initially designed for medical purposes, Motorola hopes the ‘Biostamps’ could now be used for consumer authentication purposes.

    Motorola is also investigating the Proteus Digital Health pill, which has already been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration and was given European regulatory approval in 2010. Its computer chip is powered by a battery using the acid in a user’s stomach.

    The pill creates a unique signal like an ECG trace that can be picked up by devices outside the body and which could be used to verify a user’s identity. It can be taken daily for up to a month, it has been claimed.

    Woodside admitted that such experimental ideas were not going to be on sale soon. But he claimed Motorola had “tested it authenticating a phone, and it works.'

    The former Google employee, however, who was parachuted in to Motorola after its $12.5billion acquisition in 2011, said “Having the boldness to think differently about problems that everybody has every day is really important for Motorola now.'”

    Dugan added “Authentication is irritating. In fact its so irritating only about half the people do it, despite the fact there is a lot of information about you on your smartphone, which makes you far more prone to identity theft.”

    She said authentication takes 2.3 seconds each time for existing users, some of whom log in to their phones a 100 times a day and added Motorola would not be put off by those who felt that the new technologies were “creepy”.

    Meanwhile, the Moto X phone, which will launch in October, will be struggling Motorola's first device to go on sale sinces its acquisition. It will know what you want to do before you do but cost significantly less than an iPhone, Motorola has claimed.

    The phone, which is to largely be manufactured in America, will also use advanced sensors to anticipate user behaviour, Woodside said.

    Without offering further details, he said the Moto X would change the way users “engage with how the devices are designed”, and that the “broadly distributed” phone would provide “experiences [that] are unlike other experiences out there.”

    The device will also be an attempt to drive down prices of smartphones, and Woodside said the flagship device would compete with both top Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S4 and the HTC One as well as the iPhone, which is expected to be updated later this year.

    Woodside said the Moto X “is more contextually aware of what’s going on around it. It allows you to interact with it more than other devices today. It anticipates my need”.

    The device, which is likely to build on the features in Google’s ‘Now’ search product, will aim to predict what a user wants to do so that they do not waste time choosing it manually. Examples include automatically sensing a device is travelling at speed along a road and suggesting entering ‘car mode’ or making it faster to open the camera application.

    Woodside added that Google wanted to sell the device at lower margins than companies such as Apple have become used to. Although he did not aim the iPhone specifically, he told the D11 conference, “Those products earn 50 per cent margins. We don’t necessarily have those constraints. Those [margins] will not persist.” He said that while computers and televisions had seen dramatic price drops in recent years, smartphones had yet to see such falls.

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    gwyneth paltrow hugo boss

    I was born in Los Angeles and my early childhood is imprinted in my brain: the memory of palm trees and the city’s specific light, harsh yet diffused at once – which I know doesn’t make sense. I remember my dad [the late director Bruce Paltrow ] driving me around to meetings when he was trying to get his career going.

    To me LA is all about being outside. I have great memories of being little in California. Our house in Santa Monica had a pool, a tree house and pomegranate trees in the garden. Whenever I’m in the city I feel my brain works less hard. I’m not noticing everything everywhere because it’s all so familiar, whereas in London I’m constantly aware of everything – such as the blue plaques – because it’s still so foreign to me, even though I’ve lived there for 10 years. Los Angeles has the quality of home. I find it deeply tranquil. It’s my roots. But I’ve had a love-hate affair with the city over the years. It was fantastic when I was a child, but it wasn’t good for me in my twenties when I was dating and trying to make it as an actress. I felt lonely there. It’s a difficult city to discover yourself, because it is so spread out that you never quite know where you are supposed to be. But now, having a job and a family, it is fantastic.

    Santa Monica PierMy idea for the goop city guides app, which covers not just LA but New York and London too, came about because I’ve always been the person my friends call to find out where they should go in a city – for anything, right down to a good bikini wax. Because I’m so curious, wherever I travel I’m always pounding the pavement, asking locals a million questions. In fact, I originally started goop, my website, as a database for my friends. It’s such a big part of who I am and the app came out of that. There’s so much information out there that it’s nice to have someone whose taste you trust.

    I always find that the hotel concierge in a particular city will recommend a restaurant that they say is great and in fact it’s terrible, so you waste your money. The recommendations on my app come directly from me, so they have to be good. You’ll find out about the best restaurants that really are tried and tested, and places you wouldn’t necessarily find on your own, but which a local would know. We designed the city guides app to be like a bookshelf, and I am effectively a curator sharing my experiences with you.

    Los Angeles isn’t considered one of the world’s great cities, but I think it’s like a best-kept secret. If you know where to go, a holiday in LA can be a very cool experience. Here are some of my personal picks from the app.


    As soon as I arrive in LA after a long flight, I head to the Be Hive of Healing ( ), a holistic healing centre in Santa Monica, to see Dr Habib Sadeghi , the founder. He gives me an IV [intravenous therapy] full of vitamins, which is incredible. The lymphatic massage treatment helps with jet lag, too: they wrap you in a blanket and you sweat out impurities. Dr Sadeghi has also changed my life in terms of allergy testing and food.


    I usually make breakfast for the family at the weekend, but when I do go out, one of my favourite places is Hal’s Bar & Grill ( ) on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. Its eggs Benedict is delicious, and it also has nightly jazz. The Hotel Bel-Air ( ) has a really good brunch; you sit outside, which is lovely. Huckleberry ( ) in Santa Monica is fantastic for breakfast, especially on Sundays.

    But for the best coffee and muffins, go to Caffe Luxxe ( ). I also love Peet’s coffee ( ), which is a West Coast thing.


    If you want to work out after breakfast, there’s a lot of yoga in LA. I like YogaWorks ( ) on Montana Avenue in Santa Monica . There are other branches throughout the city. People are obsessed with Maha Yoga ( ), in Brentwood, where they blast rock music as you exercise.

    In California, I like to take advantage of the outdoors. You can run up and down the Santa Monica Steps, on a steep hillside close to the beach. Or you can hike in the Santa Monica Mountains , which I love. I walk for miles, admiring the views – you don’t feel as though you are in LA.

    Closer to the ocean is the Will Rogers State Historic Park, off Sunset Boulevard, which is beautiful. Friends of mine who live inland, on the East Side of LA, hike in Runyon Canyon Park, which they love, because they can take their dogs.  Our dog hasn’t made it to LA yet.

    For an indoor workout, I go to the new studio of Tracy Anderson ( ), in Brentwood , of which I am a part-owner. Her method is miraculous. She has changed my body and my life. She has a variety of cardio and “band cardio” classes [working with resistance bands that hang from the ceiling]. There’s also a blow-dry bar in the studio if you want to get your hair done quickly. LA has a lot of blow-dry bars.


    There’s great shopping all over LA. For beautiful artis an pottery that makes a great gift, I love Heath Ceramics ( ). Just One Eye ( ) has one-of-a-kind clothing, art and jewellery. A great thing to do on Saturday morning is go to a farmers’ market. If you’re not from a warm climate, you will find the abundance of fruit and vegetables astonishing. It’s such fun just to walk along the stalls and see the colours and all the produce – the huge yellow sunflowers and the bright, sweet California strawberries. They are like sugar.


    MOCA Los Angeles LAThe idea that LA isn’t cultural is untrue; the culture just comes in a different package. If you’re looking for 400-year-old buildings, obviously it’s not the place to go. LA is not about stepping back in time; it’s about “Where are we now?” Its real strengths are contemporary art, architecture and food. You can’t go wrong with a weekend visit to MOCA ( ), the Museum of Contemporary Art , which is current and has a good vibe, great exhibitions and a cool kids’ area where they can do art and play. At Bergamot Station ( ), in an old railway station, you can explore a variety of contemporary art galleries.


    Some people like to go to The Ivy, order its famous chopped salad and watch the celebrities. I prefer a turkey burger at Ammo ( ) in Hollywood. I also love Bouchon ( ), in Beverly Hills , where I have oysters and French fries, or chicken.

    With the family I go to Brentwood Country Mart ( ), where you can also find great clothing and books. Frida Taquería has delicious Mexican food, but everyone in my family loves Reddi Chick , which has been there since I was born; I used to go as a child. You sit outside in the courtyard eating the best rotisserie chicken and chips – a classic LA thing to do. For dessert, Sweet Rose Creamery has superb ice cream.

    One other place I go whenever I am in Los Angeles is Sushi Park, at 8539 West Sunset Boulevard , for Japanese food. It’s not fancy, but it’s amazing. I just eat whatever they serve me.


    If you want to get a real sense of LA, stroll along Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. You can park and walk and feel like you are steeped in a neighbourhood and a culture. The food is wonderful, the clothes shops are amazing and unusual, it’s alive and it’s not touristy. There’s lots of really interesting stuff. I love the pizzas at Gjelina ( ), one of the best restaurants in LA – my mouth is watering just thinking about them – and there’s a great bar called The Other Room ( ). Heist ( ) is a cool clothing store with a chilled Venice vibe.

    The other neighbourhood I like is Silver Lake : it’s the Shoreditch of Los Angeles, where the cool kids hang out and there are plenty of hip shops and cafés. I love a little place there called Forage ( ), which is really nice and unusual. People bring in home-grown vegetables and trade them for meals, and they serve grass-fed burgers. I like meeting friends for lunch there and it’s not hugely expensive.


    If you want to go to the beach at the weekend, you have to get out of the city. I like the County Line Beach ( ), which is past Malibu, on the border of LA and Ventura counties. It’s a big surf spot, beautiful and off the beaten track.


    We love The Ivy At The Shore ( ), which has delicious pizzas and guacamole with hot home-made tortillas. It has really child-friendly food as well as good grown-up choices: I always have crab cakes and onion rings.


    I love Providence ( ), which is right by Paramount Studios and has incredible seafood. We eat in a quiet room and the food is delicious: American with a French influence. I took a friend there recently for her birthday.

    Nantucket scallops at Providence

    For a romantic dinner with Chris [Martin, her husband] we keep it casual, so the setting doesn’t have to be romantic. We love Giorgio’s, Il Ristorante di Giorgio Baldi ( ), which has been there since I was little and has simple dishes made with high-quality ingredients. Its corn ravioli with truffle sauce is beyond crazy; I could eat platefuls of it. Oh my God, it is so good. Yes, I eat pasta all the time – but I work out all the time too!


    I don’t do nightlife in LA. I don’t go out dancing much, but when I do, the Chateau Marmont ( ) at night is fun. There’s a great dinner and bar scene at the hotel.

    I love to hear music in LA and I always find out what’s on at the Hollywood Bowl ( ). You sit outside and listen to the music in the beautiful amphitheatre which is completely open to the sky. It’s such a special experience; they’ll have all kinds of concerts, from Radiohead to a classical symphony. You make your own picnic or pick up a picnic basket from somewhere like Joan’s on Third ( ) and bring a bottle of wine. To me, that epitomises Los Angeles culture.


    My favourite hotel in Los Angeles is Shutters on the Beach ( ) in Santa Monica. I have a house in LA but that’s where I love to stay – and where I send my friends. It’s beautiful, cosy and not too modern. The beds are really comfortable and you have a great view of the ocean. You know you’re in California when you stay there.

    Shutters on the Beach

    Anyone who loves music will like the Chateau Marmont ( ), left, in West Hollywood. That’s where music industry people stay. It is kind of ramshackle and falling apart, which is part of its charm. People who love it really love it.


    Karyn Grossman ( ) is my number one beauty recommendation. She did a Thermage laser treatment on me that took five years off my face.

    Los Angeles has some of the best hairdressers in the world. Chris McMillan in Beverly Hills has done Jennifer Aniston’s hair forever. I go to Tracey Cunningham , who does my colour, too. She is my girl. Her place is called Méche ( ).

    I also highly recommend Sonya Dakar ( ), my crazy Israeli facial lady. I always feel really good after seeing her. She’s just magic – and a full-on human being, a real ball-buster.

    As told to Elaine Lipworth

    To download the goop City Guides app for Los Angeles, London and New York (£2.49), see

    SEE ALSO: The 10 Best Bars In Los Angeles >

    Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Matthew Rhys Keri RussellMost actors are good at deception.

    But Matthew Rhys - a Welshman playing a Russian pretending to be American - takes things to extremes in ITV's new US spy thriller, The Americans. He talks to Craig McLean.

    It’s a busy day in London for Matthew Rhys.

    He’s fresh off the plane from New York where, just last night, he finished shooting the last episode of the first series of the show that’s made him the latest British hit on American TV .

    Right now, we’re having a Chinese lunch in Victoria. But this morning the easygoing actor presented himself at the visa section of the Mongolian embassy. Having grown up with horses in Wales, the 38-year-old periodically embarks on epic equine vacations. He’s “done” Patagonia, where he also filmed a documentary on the 150-year-old Welsh community there, and in 2011 rode with Bedouin in Jordan. Next stop: Ulan Bator. Just the currently single Rhys, some Mongolian herdsman and the romance of horseback.

    All of which explains the fresh batch of Moleskine journals in his satchel.

    “I have rose-tinted visions of myself as Hemingway,” says Rhys, a veteran of the Pamplona bull run and a cowboy camp in Arizona (at the latter, he was smashed in the nose while learning to rope steers).

    The last time we saw Rhys on television, he was playing two characters. In the feature-length drama The Scapegoat, the Welshman was both Johnny Spence, a cad of an upper-class factory-owner, and also his unfortunate doppelganger, John Standing, an unassuming schoolteacher. In this adaptation of the Daphne du Maurier’s 1957 novel, Rhys was riveting in the dual roles. “It was a real hark-back,” he says now. “And it was a real gift, that part.” Playing two men - identical, but at the same time, not - in one drama. How many actors have the opportunity to do that?

    Nine months on from The Scapegoat, Rhys might have cause to yearn for the simplicity of just the two performances. In The Americans, a slick, gripping new import from the US channel FX, Rhys plays Philip Jennings. On the surface, he’s an ordinary resident of suburban Washington: loving wife, two children, satisfyingly quotidian job as a travel agent.

    But this is 1981, the beginnings of the Ronald Regan presidency, and the Cold War is hotting up. Philip and Elizabeth are far from the happy matrimonial couple — theirs was an arranged marriage, brokered by the KGB. They are deep cover Russian spies, implanted in the United States over a decade ago.

    Talk about playing multiple roles. Even Rhys’s most high-profile film appearance, in John Maybury’s The Edge Of Love (2008), was more straightforward. And that featured him playing Dylan Thomas as one-quarter of a love quadrangle involving Keira Knightley, Sienna Miller and Cillian Murphy. The Americans is tricksier still. On the surface it’s a high-octane thriller, a series that reboots the enemy-within excitement of Homeland .

    But, again like Homeland, it’s the human story the counts.

    “That was the greater attraction for me, the relationship,” agrees Rhys in a Welsh accent undimmed by seven years’ full-time living in Los Angeles.“When I first read the script, I just thought, this is insane. I’ve never seen a relationship like this: an arranged marriage where, when we meet Philip and Elizabeth, the boundaries are blurring, in the fog of this ridiculous duplicity of lies — the extremity they have to live in, then balancing that with the domestic tension. It was that multi-layered aspect of it that grabbed me. Then on top of that, you stick a spy thriller, a bit of action. So,” he beams, “it’s got the lot.”

    In the pilot episode, the first flashpoint for the Jennings is on the home front. Confronted with orders from Moscow to “deal with” a KGB officer on the verge of defecting to the CIA, Philip admits to Elizabeth that he, too, would like to cross over to the other side. All this time in America, raising a family — even their children are oblivious to their parents’ true identities — has caused him to go native.

    On top of that, Philip has developed genuine feelings for his pretend wife. Both revelations are anathema to Elizabeth. She remains stoutly loyal to the Motherland, and to their mission protocols — even if this means sleeping with a government employee in a honey-trap sting, much to Philip’s dismay.

    “It’s great,” nods the Rada-trained actor, previously best-known in America for his five seasons on primetime drama Brothers & Sisters, in which he played a gay lawyer. “They set up so much conflict in the first episode.”

    The Americans is a period drama, and the early-Eighties setting is vivid and funny at the same time: big hair, terrible knitwear, no mobile phones, spycraft that looks quaint in this era of computerised espionage.

    Historical events play pivotal plot points. One early episode revolves around the March 1981 shooting of Reagan. In the show, the Jennings have to quickly find out whether Reagan is going to die, and how close a rattled White House are to blaming the Russians and pressing the button for a nuclear retaliation.

    “The truth around that is that [Secretary of State Alexander] Haig took over the nuclear football,” says Rhys of the briefcase containing the orders to launch a missile strike. “But there were also pass-codes that the President had to keep on him at all times. And when they got Reagan on the operating theatre, they cut off his clothes and his shoes. And hours later, they were clearing away his stuff, and they found this bit of card with numbers on it that had been stuffed inside his shoe. And it was the pass-codes to the nuclear football!” Rhys laughs. “And you just think, that’s all there was - this bit of card!”

    Some of this insider knowledge within The Americans is courtesy of Joe Weisberg. The series creator, he’s a former CIA agent. Did he come bristling with top-secret intel to aid his leading man? “Yes and no. You can quiz him on it, you can push him on it. And he is open, a bit But he is a very interesting man. Of course, the CIA is about people who blend in — they’re not special forces jocks.

    "But yeah, Joe was a big help. He was good about showing us counter-surveillance, which is mainly what our characters would have been doing — making sure you’re not being followed.” Rhys also watched the 24-part 1998 documentary series Cold War, narrated by Kennetth Branagh. “Research has just changed so much since YouTube came about,” he smiles.

    Weisberg likes to tell the story of being vetted for the CIA, a process that is, says Rhys, about two years long. “Joe got to the final polygraph test. And one of the last questions from the profiler is: are you interested in joining the CIA in order to gain information to write about it fictionally or otherwise afterwards?”

    Weisberg was already an amateur writer, but genuinely hadn’t thought of that. “And in that moment,” continues Rhys, “he went, ‘oh, brilliant idea!’

    Then he went, ‘argh!’ His heart started going and he started panicking and he thought he might fail the polygraph because he now had that thought. But he passed it, and he got in, then served his time.

    “But all the scripts for our show go to the CIA,” Rhys adds. “They have to, for approval.” This seems to be part of Weisberg’s deal with his former employers. He tells me that he avoided “writing a word about intelligence for about a decade after I left the Agency..” When he eventually wrote The Americans, that was only the beginning of the hard work. Finding an actor who could play Jennings was a tall order.

    “This is not an easy part,” says Weisberg. “This character has to be a dedicated KGB officer. He has to be a killer — just able to ruthlessly kill people when necessary. Then he has to be able to turn around and be a loving, warm father. We had to find somebody who could really make that believable — its not some actor doing it on TV, it’s a real person. And that was not an easy thing to find.”

    First the Welshman had to audition with Keri Russell. The actress, an American sweetheart courtesy of her role in feelgood JJ Abrams series Felicity, was already onboard in what Rhys describes as a “shrewd” piece of casting by programme-makers FX.

    “They didn’t go for archetypal leading actress, which is great. Keri’s loved in the States — and here she’s this cold bitch who kills people. Or, hurts people. Or f---- them then kills them ” Both Weisberg and Rhys recount a key moment in the audition process. During the read-through of a husband/wife argument scene, the pilot’s director quietly told Russell to properly slap Rhys.

    “And she whacked him!” laughs Weisberg. “Probably five times harder than you see in the pilot. She hit him so hard that after she did it she sort of leapt back in surprise.

    “But anyway, Matthew wasn’t expecting that - and he didn’t even flinch. And it was this kind of electric moment, and you saw that somewhere within him was this incredibly tough character. Just in that moment he looked like a KGB officer. Like a killer. Then in the next moment he was able to be this husband having a fight with his wife. He just had it all, and we knew it was him.”

    It’s all a long way from Cardiff, Welsh-language schooling and an abiding passion for rugby. Rhys is the son of chapel-going teachers who encouraged him in his performing arts ambitions. He followed schoolfriend Ioan Gruffudd to London and drama school. The future star of Hornblower, one year older than Rhys, secured a place at Rada a year ahead of him, and the pair later shared a flat in London. Gruffudd is now married to actress Alice Evans, yet Rhys remains a bachelor.

    There was a rumoured fling with his Edge Of Love co-star Miller, but of his current singlehood he says with a twinkle, “well, there’s perks to it. It’s not all bad...” he grins. “Much to my mother’s madness.” Eventually, at the urging of an American agent, Rhys decided to make a go of it in Hollywood. Almost immediately he was offered a role in Julie Taymor’s Shakespeare adaptation Titus (1999) with Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange.

    “I thought, f------ hell, LA’s great — you just rock up and get huge movies with big movie stars. Then that never happened again for years after “ Eventually he landed the role on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, and became famous enough for the details of his 2008 Los Angeles house purchase to become public knowledge. If you’re interested, the property covers 1321 square feet, and includes a gourmet kitchen with stainless steel appliances, dark hardwood floors, spa-like bathrooms and a wooden deck. And three bedrooms.

    “Amazing isn’t it?” he says with a shrug. But he admits it did feel odd and intrusive “and really creepy.” He sighs. “There was a whole brouhaha because your agent says, ‘things are going well’, so I bought a house. And they said, ‘make sure you buy it through your company name, get the realtor to sing something ’ And at the time I was like, ‘shut up! It’ll be fine ’ “Then I had a bit of a moment,” he says carefully, “when I was doing Brother & Sisters, someone found out [my address].” A fan sent things to his home, then he began turning up at events Rhys was attending.

    “And Disney, who own ABC, take their security very seriously — they have all these ex-military intelligence men who wear badges with a picture of Mickey Mouse that says, ‘Keeping The Magic Safe,’” he says with a sardonic eyebrow. “They took care of it. They probably killed him...”.

    With The Americans a critical and ratings hit, Rhys now has a new kind of fame in America. Rhys, who will soon step into Colin Firth’s breeches as Mr Darcy in a BBC “sequel” to Pride and Prejudice, is but the latest Briton taking a totemic role in a US drama.

    Old Etonian Damian Lewis is the traitorous US Marine Sergeant-turned-Congressman in Homeland, and Egg-from-This-Life — Andrew Lincoln — is the gun-slinging southern sheriff battling zombies in The Walking Dead. And now here’s Rhys: another foreigner disguised as an American actor, playing a foreigner disguised as an American. Perfect casting, no?

    “Quite possibly!” he laughs. “The last job I did was five years pretending to be a gay American lawyer. So I had that preparation for free.” No agency - not MI5, the KGB, not the CIA; not even the BBC - could have trained him better.

    The Americans is on at 10pm, ITV, Saturdays

    Follow Telegraph TV & Radio on Twitter

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    syriaThe tiny, honey-coloured Al-Shuwaibiya Mosque is the oldest in Aleppo and one of the few that remains undamaged. Unlike many, its low minaret is protected by surrounding buildings and still stands; its 12th century inscriptions intact.

    Here his young sons and neighbours said prayers for Khaled Qarabili, who lived in nearby Mutassem Alley. Rebels from a Free Syrian Army checkpoint fired a volley of shots over his body, but he was not a fighter, he was an electrician who died because he climbed on to his roof to fix the wires.

    It seemed hard to believe, but Mr Qarabili had stayed in his house with his wife and six children even though it had become enveloped in the fighting, sitting between the front-line checkpoints of the rival regime and Free Syrian armies.

    He had nowhere to go, his neighbours said, he was too poor to move his family. He was shot from the regime side, they added.

    It is that sort of war in Aleppo, but what is shocking is how this has not scared civilians away. Indeed, the city streets are bustling like never before: shops open, even on sniper alleys, stalls springing up in any available space, scruffy children playing football and scavenging in the absence of school and food.

    The population of Aleppo, three million before, has grown since the rebels seized half the city last July and made it a battlefield. Abdulraham Dedam, in charge of relief supplies for the interim council, estimated 3.5 million were crowded on both sides of the line.

    It was a bitter winter, and lack of heating in the countryside and reports of death by freezing in refugee camps drove people to the city. In the parks, trees have been cut to stumps, taken for fuel, and rubbish piles up in the streets. Heads poke out of rows of flats in which not a single window is unbroken.

    These occupants are fitted into a smaller space. There is no-man's land, and large areas have been destroyed by missiles, such as a sizable void in Ard al-Hamra suburb, on the edges of which six adults and 20 children of two extended families live in the remains of one house.

    One family came from next door, their house destroyed by a regime Scud missile, which, according to Human Rights Watch, killed at least 78 people, including 38 children. The neighbours only lost their top floor. "We lost all our possessions," said the guest family's mother, Fadwa Umm Shady. She also lost her one-year-old boy, the youngest of her 11 children.

    Her husband, Talib Rajo, was a construction labourer but now has no work, so they collect empty cans for scrap, making $10 a week.

    British, other European and US government agencies and aid groups have congregated on the Turkish border to distribute help, but demand Western standards of organisation and transparency, contracts and delivery schedules, amid the chaos of revolution. Aid has gone missing, or been held up by paperwork. Rebel groups argue about control. Scores of rubbish trucks are supposed to have been delivered, but none had been seen by any official asked.

    The trucks' main purpose is to cut the incidence of leishmaniasis – sand-fly disease – a disfiguring condition that has swept Aleppo, with an estimated 200,000 cases.

    Worse is coming. At one of the main hospitals – moved from its previous site, now just rubble after being repeatedly hit by regime jets – a doctor who gave his name as Rabia said there were hundreds of cases of tuberculosis, the classic symptom of overcrowding.

    Medical staff are bracing themselves for the diseases of summer and poor water, cholera and even typhoid.

    No one has any guess as to how long this will continue. While the regime is making advances further south, there seems little possibility of a major counter-offensive here.

    As for the rebels, they said they had for the time being given up on taking the rest of the city, because every advance was met by air raids on the civilian population.

    On either side of the lines or – like Mr Qarabili – between them, are civilians whose numbers are unclear but who do not care who wins as long as it all stops.

    "Every day you have people dead, children dead, homes destroyed. All we want is our peace back," Fadwa Umm Shady said. "Even if that means Assad stays, Assad who destroyed all this, my house, so be it."

    This is not a popular view in some rural areas, where President Assad has become not so much an object of fear as a remote, almost irrelevant bogeyman. But they need not worry: peace now seems like the other crazy demands of the revolution, an idea whose time has not come.

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    David Cameron

    David Cameron has pledged to “drain the swamp” in which radical Muslims are allowed to hide and develop their extreme views in the wake of the Woolwich terror attack.

    The Prime Minister told MPs he would do more to tackle the “conveyor belt to radicalisation” which is poisoning the minds of young Muslims.

    Mr Cameron also confirmed a Telegraph report that he is looking at finding ways to allow spies to monitor people over the internet without the need for Commons vote.

    In his first Commons statement since the brutal murder in Woolwich, south London last month of Drummer Lee Rigby, Mr Cameron said it was important to learn the lessons from the attack.

    He told MPs: “it is not simply enough to target and go after violent extremists after they've become violent. We have to drain the swamp in which they inhabit.”

    This meant stopping young Muslims becoming radicalised on university campuses and preventing extremists from taking over Islamic centres. He said: “It means going through all of these elements of the conveyor belt to radicalisation and making sure we deal with them.”

    Mr Cameron said the despicable crime had shocked and sickened the country.

    He said it was necessary to understand the root causes of radical extremism if the Government was to successfully tackle the problem.

    He said: "Those who carried out this callous and abhorrent crime sought to justify their actions by an extremist ideology that perverts and warps Islam to create a culture of victimhood and justify violence. We must confront this ideology in all its forms.”

    Mr Cameron said the Government’s Prevent Strategy had closed down websites and helped people vulnerable to radicalisation.

    Since 2011, more hate preachers had been excluded from the UK than ever, while 5,700 items of terrorism material had been taken down from the internet with almost 1,000 more blocked when they were hosted overseas, he said.

    Mr Cameron added: “But it is clear that we need to do more. When young men born and bred in this country are radicalised and turned into killers, we have to ask some tough questions about what is happening in our country.”

    A new Government taskforce on tackling radicalisation would see whether rules for charities were too lax and allowed extremists to prosper, and whether enough was done to disrupt groups that incite hatred or violence, he said.

    Mr Cameron also disclosed that he is looking at all “non-legislative options there are” to allow police and security services to spy on people’s activities over the internet.

    The Government had considered a new Communications Data Bill, but it was dropped from last month’s Queen’s Speech after it was vetoed by the Liberal Democrats.

    Mr Cameron said that “some 95 per cent of serious crimes involve the use of communications data.

    “As telephony moves from fixed and mobile telephony on to the internet, our intelligence and police services will have a problem.

    “We need to address this problem, we should address it in a sensitive and careful way, we should look at all the non-legislative options there are.”

    The Daily Telegraph disclosed last week that a team led by Cabinet secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood was examining whether they can bring in a large number of the proposed changes using existing legislation, without needing a divisive vote which Liberal Democrat MPs would oppose.

    Please follow Military & Defense on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    email computerEmail is supposed to make modern life easier, but it is making workers more stressed than ever as they struggle to stay on top of hundreds of messages per day, according to researchers.

    Reading and sending emails prompts telltale signs of stress including elevated blood pressure, heart rate and levels of the hormone cortisol, a study found.

    Researchers who followed a group of 30 government employees found that 83 percent became more stressed while using email, rising to 92 percent when speaking on the phone and using email at the same time.

    Although receiving a single message was no more stressful than answering one phone call or talking to someone face-to-face, emails had a stronger effect overall because people received so many each day.

    Stress levels, analysed by saliva samples as well as heart rate and blood pressure monitors over a 24-hour period, peaked at points in the day when people's inboxes were fullest, the study found.

    Emails which were irrelevant, which interrupted work or demanded an immediate response were particularly taxing, while those which arrived in response to completed work had a calming effect.

    Filing emails into folders also lowered levels of stress and prompted a sense of well-being because it helped people feel in control, researchers added.

    Prof Tom Jackson of Loughborough University, who led the study which has not yet been published, said: "The brain can only deal with eight to 12 tasks at any one time and if you can't shut those tasks down you start to become overloaded and fatigued.

    "Multifunctional devices like Blackberrys and iPhones allow workers to be accessible 24-hours a day unlike ever before [but] because of this it is likely that there will be an increase in stress levels."

    The study also found that people were unable to identify accurately when their body was showing signs of stress and often were unaware of their state, he added.

    "This would indicate that employees might find it difficult to self-regulate their use of communication media to ensure they do not become overwhelmed by stress."

    Please follow SAI on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    android appleGoogle’s Android will become the most popular app platform in the world within months, claim reports that will deal a blow to Apple.

    Although Apple recently celebrated 50 billion app downloads, users of Google’s Android platform are currently downloading 500 million more apps per month.

    Driven by new devices from Samsung, Google’s app store, called Play, has surged ahead, despite a continued lack of top-end applications and consumers who still spend lower amounts. There are now 900 million Android devices in the market compared to 600 million Apple products.

    Android, however, has recently won over growing number of app developers, with even the BBC moving to a new approach that attempts to deliver its popular apps simultaneously on both platforms. Although few apps launch first on Android, a growing number of the most popular are now available on both and the gap between launches is narrowing. Boradcaster Sky has developed applications specifically targetting the most popular mobile phone models.

    Apple says that more than 850,000 titles are available at its App Store, while Google recently said that 48 billion apps in total had been downloaded from Play. Approximately 2 billion iOS apps are downloaded each months, compared with 2.5billion from Play.

    Continuing at current rates, Google is expected to be in the lead by October.

    Horace Dediu, an analyst at Asymco, noted however that “the total downloads/install base are currently 83 apps per iOS device sold and 53 apps per Android device activation.”

    He added that “The sheer weight of Android units will generate more downloads but on a per device basis the iOS devices do seem to consume more apps and the gap is not narrowing. What would be valuable would be the revenue per app on Play (the figure for iOS is about $0.23). That, as far as I know, remains unknown.”

    Provider of app analytics tools Distimo, however, told the FT that Google Play’s “share of daily revenues from the main app stores has increased ‘significantly’ in the past six months”.

    Please follow Business Insider on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    gallianoIn his first interview since the outburst in a Paris restaurant, he told Vanity Fair that he does not hate Jews and that the comments reflected his own self-hatred and addiction to drink and drunk.

    "It's the worst thing I have said in my life, but I didn't mean it ... I have been trying to find out why that anger was directed at this race," he told the magazine. "I now realise I was so ------- angry and so discontented with myself that I just said the most spiteful thing I could."

    He said that he was so drunk that he had no memory of the 2011 night that he was filmed telling a group of French and Italians who he thought were Jewish that he loved Adolf Hitler and that their forefathers would have been "gassed".

    He said: "My assistant told me about the video. When I saw it, I threw up. The feeling was like I was about to take a step out onto the street and a bus or truck whooshed past me and the blood was drained from my legs. I was paralysed from the fear."

    The interview was the first he had ever conducted sober, he said. Of his previous drinking and drug use, he noted: "I was going to end up in a mental asylum or six feet under."

    Galliano told the magazine that he has been taking steps to atone for his behaviour, including meetings with Jewish leaders and reading books about the Holocaust. "It sounds a bit bizarre, but I am so grateful for what did happen. I have learned so much about myself," he said.

    The interview, in which he also talks about his troubled childhood, is seen as an important first step in the designer's campaign to rehabilitate himself. Powerful friends in the fashion world stayed loyal to him after he was sacked as head designer at Christian Dior and have been trying to prepare his return behind-the-scenes.

    But that will take some time. A workshop that he was asked to teach at New York's Parsons fashion school was dropped after student outrage and Jewish customers reportedly "protested privately" when Oscar de la Renta involved him in his autumn 2013 collection.

    In the excerpts released by Vanity Fair, Galliano said that he would go on drinking benders for several days, ending up with sores because he had not washed. He said he lived in such a bubble that he did not know how to use withdraw cash from an ATM.

    He said that a few weeks into recovery, Kate Moss asked him to design her wedding dress. That "saved me personally because it was my creative rehab," he said. "She dared me to be me again."

    Please follow Retail on Twitter and Facebook.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Obama sad frownThe Obama administration will be bracing itself for a torrent of hostile questions this morning following the apparent revelation that the National Security Agency has been data-mining the phone records of tens of millions of ordinary Americans.

    Not to be confused with eaves-dropping, or bugging the phones of those suspected of conspiring to commit a terrorist or criminal offence, the top secret court order published by The Guardian appears to show that the NSA has been trawling the anonymous 'metadata' of potentially billions of phone-calls.

    On the one hand, Americans might take comfort that the 'internals' of their phone conversations — ie the voices themselves — are not being routinely recorded, but on the other, it seems from this leak that potentially everyone with a phone is under some form of surveillance in the USA.

    Studies have shown that while anonymous, the 'metadata' — records of location data, call duration, unique identifiers — can provide a surprising amount of information, surprisingly quickly when zeroed in on by investigators.

    For Mr Obama– a president who prided himself on his liberal credentials — this leak is a potentially devastating revelation since it exposes him to attack on two fronts — from both the libertarian Right and the liberal Left.

    Already the administration has been hammered over its aggressive prosecution of leakers, including what appeared to be an attempt to criminalise a Fox News journalist, James Rosen, for working a source to obtain a leak from the State Department about North Korea.

    That story caused the New York Times — usually a reliable friend of the Obama administration — to write a seething editorial accusing the Department of Justice of over-reaching, and using its powers to send a "chilling" message to the media.

    It is not clear how wide the NSA data-mining project goes, it's effectiveness as a counter-terrorism tool in identifying potential terrorist or criminal cells or — indeed — whether it has been used for any other purposes.

    It appears from previous reports that the NSA's data-mining operation is not new, and has long been suspected — but this is the first clear-cut proof, in the shape of a highly unusual leak from the secretive Foreign Intelligence Service Court (Fisa), that the practice is occurring.

    A report in USA Today newspaper from 2006, quoting anonymous intelligence officials, alleged that the NSA been "secretly collecting the phone call records of tens of millions of Americans" and that the agency was using the data to "analyze calling patterns in an effort to detect terrorist activity".

    Since September 11 and the passing of the 2001 Patriot Act, the American public has accepted a great deal of inconvenience and intrusion in the name of national security. The publication of this court order will re-open the debate on how far the security services' writ should run.

    Politically, the difficulty for Mr Obama is that even if the NSA is actually doing nothing different than it did for George W Bush, the American public — particularly on the liberal left — had believed that Mr Obama's administration represented a fundamental departure from the excesses of the Bush years.

    Now, with the continued debate over the use of drones, the failure to close Guantanamo, the ultra-aggressive prosecution of leaks even to the point, perhaps, of muzzling a free press — the questions from the public and the media are starting to weigh down on the Obama White House.

    Already last night, within hours of publication, civil liberties groups who have long warned about the extent of secret surveillance, were jumping on the revelations.

    "This confirms what we had long suspected," says Cindy Cohn, an attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a civil liberties organization that has accused the government of operating a secret dragnet surveillance program told the Washington Post.

    "I don't think Congress thought it was authorizing dragnet surveillance" when it passed the Patriot Act, Ms Cohn said, "I don't think Americans think that's OK. I would be shocked if the majority of Congressmen thought it's okay." Over the next few days and weeks, expect a fierce and polarizing debate over just what Americans do feel is acceptable, in the name of their national security.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    grapheneThe race is on to harness the potential of graphene, a substance that is harder than diamond, yet incredibly flexible, and the world’s best conductor of electricity.

    Kostya Novoselov tends to wear an air of slight distraction. But when a problem or topic of conversation sparks his curiosity, his gentle, rather doughy features settle and his focus visibly intensifies.

    To watch this happen is to watch a great mind at work. Yet Novoselov is also engagingly modest. Too modest to boast about the fact that in 2010, along with Andre Geim, he won the Nobel Prize in Physics for isolating an atom-thick layer of carbon known as graphene – something that has been described as a ‘miracle material’ that will transform the lives of almost everyone.

    The phrase ‘miracle material’ does not spark Novoselov’s curiosity. Rather, his eyes glaze over. As a research physicist – born in Russia, but a British citizen – he is just not that interested in the hype. Indeed, it makes him slightly uncomfortable, as does the fact that he and Geim (a Russian-born Dutch-British national) were knighted in the New Year’s honours last year for services to science.

    Novoselov was working at the University of Manchester as Geim’s most brilliant doctoral student when, in 2004, they attempted to build a transistor out of graphite. Transistors control the flow of electrons in a circuit, like a tap, with an ‘on’ state and an ‘off’ state. When ‘on’ and ‘off’ represent one and zero, the flow of electrons becomes a flow of data. It is on the back of such transistors that much of the modern world is built – from radios to computers to smartphones, they are at the heart of our electronic society. And the material that underpins the transistor is silicon, which is very good at turning the electron flow on and off reliably and cheaply.

    The transistor was invented in 1947. But that did not stop Geim and Novoselov messing about with the concept in a rather plain, spare laboratory on the University of Manchester campus, which lies to the south of the city centre, just beyond the Mancunian Way ring road. ‘It’s never boring working with Andre,’ Novoselov says. ‘He asks strange questions about obvious systems. Sometimes, interesting things come up.’

    The first attempt at a graphite transistor failed, and the researchers were on the point of abandoning their quest when Novoselov had a brainwave. ‘I had seen how people clean graphite by cleaving it. Two and two came together and in a couple of hours we had a working device.’

    What had happened was that Novoselov and Geim had taken graphite – which is essentially formed of countless flat sheets of carbon atoms, stacked one on top of the other like a deck of cards – and started stripping away card after card, leaving them with an ever-thinner piece of graphite. When these super-thin pieces were introduced into their transistor, it flickered into life. ‘It was still a very, very bad transistor,’ Novoselov says. ‘But we could see the passage forward and, for the next year, we worked very hard to improve it.’

    The obvious way to do that was to try to produce ever-thinner sheets of graphite. And the way they managed it was breathtakingly simple. The two men simply stuck a flake of graphite, the same material used in pencils, on to a strip of sticky tape, folded the tape over on the flake, and then pulled it apart. Hey presto! Two improbably thin pieces of graphite. It was science, but hardly rocket science.

    According to Geim, writing in Scientific American in 2008, when they took a closer look at the resulting slivers of graphite, they ‘were astonished to find that some were only one atom thick’. Their astonishment was so acute because the atom-thick layer was stable independent of the graphite from which it had been ripped – something that previously had been considered impossible.

    Though graphene research dates from the early 1960s, Geim and Novoselov were the first to succeed in isolating it. When they put graphene under the electron microscope, they saw hexagons, each formed of six carbon atoms, in a perfect two-dimensional lattice resembling chicken wire. While beautifully simple to look at, it turned out that graphene had many extraordinary properties. For as Geim and Novoselov undertook a frantic research effort, each discovery seemed to trump the last. The transistor that had piqued their interest lay neglected.

    ‘Science usually works with the goal being overtaken by sidetracks which are much more interesting,’ Novoselov says. ‘So it was with us – we still had the transistor to aim for, but the properties of graphene completely overtook our minds. We started to explore its electronic properties. We didn’t know anything about it. The amount of things we learnt over that year was incredible.’

    What he and Geim found was that graphene was not simply the thinnest of all materials, it was also fantastically strong. The bonds between its carbon atoms also allowed it to bend and stretch, imbuing a material harder than diamond with enormous flexibility. More important still was the fact that graphene’s perfect lattice structure caused electrons, which carry current, to move freakishly fast – at speeds approaching the speed of light. The electrons even resembled light particles, behaving as though they had no mass, unlike electrons in any other system known to man. So graphene was not only supremely tough and flexible, it was also the world’s best conductor of electricity.

    It was for this period of investigation, for their ‘groundbreaking experiments regarding the two-dimensional material graphene’ that Geim and Novoselov were awarded the Nobel, whose committee clearly decided that ‘for their patience with pencils and sticky tape’ was a less impressive citation. Once Novoselov and Geim had opened the door, graphene quickly seized the imagination of researchers and companies across the world. Now, only nine years after it was first isolated, it is being touted as the key to myriad potential applications.

    Unbreakable touch screens for mobile phones as bendable as the watch strap on your wrist; a revolution in medical diagnostics, drug delivery and bionic devices; pin-sharp environmental monitoring; protective coatings for everything from food packaging to wind-turbines; a torrent of fresh water through desalination membranes; easy clean-up of radioactive waste; dramatically faster computer chips and broadband; solar panels that could be painted or sprayed on to any surface; revolutionary batteries of infinitely higher capacity than those we currently use – these are only a few of the graphene-led revolutions that researchers worldwide suggest are to come.

    Which is why the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) – which has a vast remit and a budget of about £800 million per year – has helped steer £70 million of state funding at graphene research in the past couple of years. Of that, £38 million has gone towards the £61 million total cost of building a National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester, in sight of the lab where Geim and Novoselov made their breakthrough in 2004. The centre is due to open in spring 2015. Meanwhile, Cambridge University is hurrying to erect its own graphene centre, at a cost of £8-10 million, which it will fund itself and hopes to open by the end of 2014. The university has also received £12 million of EPSRC money for graphene research.

    For the moment, however, real-world applications remain rather modest. ‘I told EPSRC I could produce a singing Christmas card,’ Prof Clare Grey at Cambridge University says. A specialist in energy storage, she prompted a few raised eyebrows at the top table at Pembroke College by demonstrating to me the power of a new supercapacitor midway through lunch.

    Though the flying sparks were eye-catching, it was her collection of transparent plastic strips, each no bigger than the drinking-straw wrappers on packed-lunch juice-boxes, that were most captivating. Flexible and see-through, they contained graphene-based batteries and supercapacitors. Currently, batteries use graphite electrodes. But graphite snaps, whereas graphene is flexible and can bend. And graphene can also be mixed with nanoparticles of silicon and metal oxides to make batteries of far greater capacity than those that exist today.

    Efficient, bendy, robust, capacious power sources utilising graphene could thus be stitched into almost anything – the heel of shoe, the handle of a handbag, or, as Prof Grey noted, a Christmas card, where it would doubtless power tinny playback of a popular carol.

    Such research may sound trivial. But it has the potential to transform the way we use power on the move, in everything from mobile phones to electric cars. It could also power a revolutionary new era of microscopic sensors – sensors that themselves are based on graphene. For graphene’s supreme conductivity makes it a supreme sensor, as even single atom changes in the atmosphere around it trigger changes in its electrical properties that can be measured. That could enable graphene sensors to detect changes in the body at the tiniest scale and control drug delivery mechanisms – say, insulin for diabetics.

    Inevitably, there are significant applications for the military, where developers are constantly striving to reduce what they call ‘the soldier’s burden’. On today’s battlefield batteries driving electronics add considerably to that burden. In the armed forces of the future it is hoped that infantry will be able to wear ever more sensors, powered by ever more tiny batteries, at a fraction of the weight they carry now.

    The combination of sensors, batteries and transistors, all dotted with graphene’s strength, capacity and flexibility, bodes well for the development of what Prof Andrea Ferrari, the head of Cambridge’s graphene centre, calls ‘an internet of things’, where electronics ‘can be implanted in devices and materials that do not have them, materials that can be worn, for example. Or on posters or plastic bottles. Currently electronics are too expensive, too inflexible for these applications,’ he says. ‘Yet already we can produce graphene inks that can be used in the same way as conventional inks, from inkjet printers to screen prints.’ The difference, of course, is that graphene inks conduct electricity, and so circuits can simply be sprayed on to almost anything.

    Just as Geim and Novoselov pursued atom-thin sheets of graphite armed only with sticky tape, so a spirit of playfulness seems to overtake many of those who work with graphene. ‘Working with graphene at this stage is like being a kid in a toy shop,’ Ferrari says. ‘When we demonstrated graphene inkjet printing, I didn’t have to pick up the phone. Companies immediately started calling me.’

    Unsurprisingly, big business has been quick to pick up on the potential of graphene, and there are currently few bigger businesses than consumer electronics. Samsung is widely considered the global leader in graphene research. According to Quentin Tannock, a tech sector analyst, Samsung has a unique advantage over all its competitors. Its sheer size means that it can bring every aspect of graphene, from production to commercialisation, under one roof. ‘They can manufacture graphene, purify it, put it into a bigger system, put that into a product, and sell the product.’

    What those products might be is now a billion-dollar question. Though Samsung is pouring hundreds of millions of pounds into graphene research and has already taken out hundreds of graphene-related patents, it has so far remained secretive about its precise plans. ‘For Samsung graphene is all about miniaturisation and flexible electronics, futuristic stuff that might in fact be coming soon,’ Tannock says. ‘A watch turning into a phone and then back into a wrist device, that kind of thing.’

    But not all of graphene’s potential uses are on a miniature scale. It has huge potential in the automotive and aerospace industries. ‘Aircraft wings need to be stiff so that the engines don’t drag along the runway,’ Ian Kinloch, a professor of materials science at Manchester, says. ‘Graphene is three to four times stiffer than the carbon fibre used in the latest Airbus.’

    It would be equally useful in cars. Carbon fibre, though also strong and light, is not used in cars for a simple reason – it can’t be used in cheap injection moulding production techniques typical of most car factory floors. Graphene can. ‘But we need tons of the stuff,’ Kinloch says. ‘And that comes down to price.’

    Mass production of a material that is famous for being a single atom thick has not proved easy. There are currently a host of different ways of producing graphene, but the best quality stuff is still produced in tiny quantities in what remains known as ‘the Scotch tape method’. Nothing yet comes close to being able to meet the demands of the production line. Which is why no one is making money from graphene just yet.

    The mass-production process with most hopes invested in it is currently chemical vapour deposition, in which carbon is vaporised and encouraged to form a film on another material, usually copper. The problem is that the copper substrate is expensive, and it is hard to get the resultant graphene film off without ruining the metal. The process also runs at very high temperatures, so requires a great deal of energy. To replace silicon in the electronics industry, someone is going to have to work out how to produce high-quality graphene in industrial quantities at an affordable price.

    ‘The entire industry is built on silicon,’ Dr Aravind Vijayaraghavan, who works with Geim and Novoselov at Manchester, says. ‘Not because other materials can’t do it better, but because silicon does it well enough for the price you are willing to pay. Companies like Intel have spent billions of pounds on facilities optimised for silicon. So if you want them to switch to graphene you are going to have to drag them kicking and screaming. They are not going to give silicon up easily.’

    Graphene also still has to demonstrate that it can be 100 per cent reliable. ‘With batteries, testing performance over 10,000 cycles is what counts, not just observing improved performance once,’ Prof Rob Dryfe, at Manchester, says. ‘You need to know why it’s performing better, and if that will last.’ It is for this reason that, at IBM, Supratik Guha, the head of physical sciences research, admits that though his team is working hard on graphene, the material ‘still has to prove itself’.

    The gulf between a production run of 10 at a university lab, and 10 million on a factory floor can prove tricky to bridge for emerging technologies. So much so, in fact, that it is known as a ‘death valley’ for potential products, where neither academia nor industry takes an interest and they wither and die.

    Such is the promise of graphene, however, that it is inconceivable that it will perish in such a manner. No one wants to be on the wrong side of the next commercial revolution. Not again. ‘In Britain there is a tradition of coming up with ideas, then losing them,’ Ferrari says. ‘Think of the cathode ray tube.’

    At EPSRC its chief executive Dave Delpy does not believe that British graphene funding, though dwarfed by outlays being made in America and Asia, will prove a stumbling block. ‘We’re not so good at turning ideas into billion-dollar products. But that’s not the fault of the universities or the funding councils,’ he says.

    The clear implication is that the fault lies with British businesses, slow to seize on graphene’s potential and run with it. ‘Obviously there is a need to grow new industries,’ Delpy says.

    That’s why EPSRC has insisted that both the Cambridge and Manchester graphene centres have businesses working alongside academics. The idea is that companies will pay the equivalent of yearly ‘green fees’ to sit in with researchers and design their products from there. In Cambridge Ferrari says that ‘we’re going to sign up 20-30 companies’.

    Commercial partners that the Cambridge centre lists on its website currently include Du Pont, Dyson, Johnson Matthey, Nokia, Plastic Logic and Philips, among others. Harnessing the potential of graphene will require collaboration, which is why the European Union recently announced a €1 billion funding package for graphene research across the continent over the next 10 years.

    For Quentin Tannock it is not the amount of money, though large, that is important, but the fact that it will force cooperation and coordination between research institutions and business across Europe – and that the funding will be spread over a decade. ‘A lot of graphene research areas are likely to prove more of a marathon than a sprint, so that is the time frame needed.’

    It is a note of caution that Delpy echoes. ‘If we don’t get involved now we will lose an opportunity for the UK. Historically it is a long time between lab and really good product. It will be a longer haul than people expect with graphene, too.’

    That is only natural. After all, it is not every five minutes that such revolutionary materials come along. ‘Roughly every 20-30 years a material comes about that has the ability to change everything,’ Supratik Guha at IBM says. ‘Silicon arrived in the 1940s, which paved the way for information technology. Then in the 1970s came gallium arsenide, making lasers ubiquitous in DVDs and CDs and telecommunications, without which our modern world would not exist. In the 1990s came gallium nitrite, which revolutionised solid state lighting. We are in the middle of that revolution.’ He has, he says, a ‘gut-feeling’ that graphene will be at the heart of the next revolution.

    And yet, even if it is, it is possible that graphene will not be the most exciting result of Geim and Novoselov’s afternoon effort with the Scotch tape. For it turns out that graphene is not just a potential wonder material; rather it is one of a host of potential wonder materials. Almost as soon as they realised that the reduction of graphite to layers of graphene produced a new material of extraordinary capabilities, Geim and Novoselov began looking to reduce other substances to single-atom layers, and in doing so unlocked a whole new library of materials, known as ‘two-dimensional crystals’.

    And it is this discovery that makes Kostya Novoselov’s eyes light up. These new materials come with exotic names – tungsten disulphide; boron nitrite; molybdenum disulphide; niobium selenide – and each has different properties. The excitement is that these super-thin layers can be stacked up, in combination with graphene, back into a deck of cards structure like graphite. Except that each layer can be manipulated by man.

    ‘We can artificially set one layer to be conductive, one to insulate, one layer to be photosensitive and so on,’ Novoselov says. ‘You could create structures only a few atomic layers thick which would have many functionalities embedded in them. And we can control those structures with atomic precision. That is very new and very exciting.’

    Novoselov is certain that this new library of two-dimensional materials could remake everything around us. ‘Our world is determined by only a handful of materials,’ he says. ‘Our buildings are determined by the strength of steel. Silicon determines how our computers work. Aluminium determines what our planes look like. Now composite materials are enhancing our lives significantly, things that, for example, have the strength of carbon fibre but the plasticity of plastic. What we are talking about with two-dimensional materials is the ultimate reincarnation of the composite material, where we can recombine them into a 3D material that doesn’t exist in nature, a material whose properties we can control on an atomic level.’

    This microscopic revolution, graphene’s enthusiasts insist, will affect everyone. All that is up for debate is whether it will reshape our whole lives, or just specific parts of them. But the change is already under way. ‘We are starting with transistors and solar cells,’ Novoselov says. ‘Two-dimensional crystals that you can paint on a wall and that function like a solar cell. It might sound like science-fiction. But we are doing this.’

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    BILL GROSS: The Future Of Making Money In MobileInformation on more than 17 million mobile phone customers will be used to sell advertising on the internet later this summer.

    A venture set up by Vodafone, O2 and EE will look to profit from the data they have collected from customers by placing advertisements on behalf of multi-national corporations such as carmakers and food and drink giants.

    The three operators have pooled together data on an anonymised basis - such as men over 40 with Samsung handsets with a high income.

    Their joint venture, Weve, will use this information to help corporate clients launch targeted ads on mobile internet sites and apps. Weve already uses the data to target customers with location-based texts - such as trying to lure them into a car showroom they are walking past.

    David Sear, Weve chief executive, said: "Mobile is your first screen, the one you look at most and longest - it is now the primary way to interact with the world digitally."

    Weve insists that the information being used is completely anonymous. While advertisers will know age groups, location and device information they will never know names or phone numbers.

    But it will stoke yet more controversy about privacy in this country. The Sunday Telegraph revealed that consumer champion Which? wants a crackdown on the way in which personal data is traded - such as a limit on the time companies or claims management firms with personal data can contact an individual.

    Weve also expects to team up with banks next year to help them target savers. A spokeswoman said: "We will become a kind of Switzerland, allowing banks access to our shareholders' customers."

    The service could trigger a huge windfall for the three operators Vodafone, EE and O2.

    Supermarket giant Tesco pioneered the sale of large chunks of anonymised data with its loyalty card Clubcard. Tesco's data subsidiary Dunn Humby reported profits of more than £60 million in 2011-2012.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    edward snowden

    The glamorous dancer girlfriend of NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden has revealed her devastation at his decision to go on the run without her.

    Lindsay Mills, 28, who described her boyfriend as "E" and her "man of mystery", said: "My world has opened and closed all at once. Leaving me lost at sea without a compass."

    Writing on her blog, she said: "As I type this on my tear-streaked keyboard I’m reflecting on all the faces that have graced my path. The ones I laughed with. The ones I’ve held. The one I’ve grown to love the most. And the ones I never got to bid adieu. But sometimes life doesn’t afford proper goodbyes."

    She added: "At the moment all I can feel is alone. And for the first time in my life I feel strong enough to be on my own. Though I never imagined my hand would be so forced."

    On her Facebook page Miss Mills posted a picture of the sun setting over the ocean but did not reveal her whereabouts. There was no sign of her at the rented three bedroom home in Waipahu, Hawaii that the couple had shared for several months, and moved out of on May 1.

    In the extensive blog called "L's Journey," Miss Mills, a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art, reveals that the couple once lived in Japan.

    They also holidayed in Hong Kong where Mr Snowden fled when he revealed the top secret government documents.

    Mr Snowden has said he told his girlfriend he was going away for a few weeks on a work trip.

    Over the past few years Miss Mills has also posted many scantily clad photographs of herself and videos of her performing. The blog is titled "Adventures of a world-traveling, pole-dancing super hero."

    She specialises in pole dancing, partner acrobatics, and aerial dance and worked regularly over the last year with the Waikiki Acrobatic Troupe, a collection of around 30 dancers.

    One of the events was weekly on Fridays at the Mercury bar in downtown Honolulu where signs advertise "Pamela and The Pole Kats."

    In January Miss Mills complained about unwanted attention, writing on her Twitter account: "I don't normally drink, but when I do I get stalkers! Stalkers are weird."

    On June 7 she described herself as "sick, exhausted, and carrying the weight of the world." Four days earlier, she wrote: "I feel alone, lost, overwhelmed, and desperate for a reprieve from the bipolar nature of my current situation. My coping response of the past was to flee to foreign lands. Trying to outrun my misfortune."

    Mr Snowden was believed to have planned to marry Miss Mills before turning their world upside down with his decision to leak the NSA documents, and to leave without telling her why.

    Pictures from earlier, happier times showed the couple kissing on a beach and swimming under a waterfall.

    But in July 2012 Miss Mills, who grew up in a semi-detached house in Laurel, Maryland, wrote: "For those that have forgotten I moved to Hawaii to continue my relationship with E. It has been an emotional roller coaster since I stepped off the plane."

    Three months later she added: "I was able to finally introduce E to my skeptical friends (they weren’t quite sure E existed.)"

    In another reference to her secretive boyfriend's clandestine career, before one of her dance performances Miss Mills wrote: "In case you didn’t know, I am an international woman of mystery. Or at least I will be in tonight’s performance. Going 007 with a twist for this First Friday’s show."

    Andrea Torres, director of the Samadhi aerial dance studio in Honolulu said Miss Mills had trained there all of last year.

    Miss Torres told the Telegraph: "She took a beginner's class in silks, and enjoyed pole dancing and inquired about burlesque. She came by herself and she was very fit."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Steve Ballmer Microsoft CEOTablet takeover to continue as Gartner forecasts 10 per cent decline in traditional PC sales.

    While combined tablet, PC and smartphone sales are forecast to rise 5.9 per cent in 2013, the respected analysts claim that traditional PC shipments will decline 10.6 per cent while tablets will gain 67.9 Per Cent

    This will take worldwide device sales to a projected 2.35 billion units in 2013, driven by sales in tablets, smartphones, and also according to Gartner, to a lesser extent ultramobiles, as PC shipments are on the decline.

    The desk-based and notebook computer is likely to sell just 305 million units in 2013, while tablet shipments reach 202 million units and the mobile phone market grows 4.3 per cent, with volume of more than 1.8 billion units.

    Gartner said that the decline in PC shipments was due both to changing consumer preferences but also manufacturers shifting their own focus.

    Some analysts have put the precipitous nature of the decline down largely to Microsoft’s Windows 8 software, which failed to produce the sales boost many manufacturers had hoped for. Microsoft will announce an upgrade to Windows 8 later this week that will reinstate features consumers missed, including the Start button.

    “Consumers want anytime-anywhere computing that allows them to consume and create content with ease, but also share and access that content from a different portfolio of products. Mobility is paramount in both mature and emerging markets,” said Carolina Milanesi, research vice president at Gartner.

    Gartner added, however, that new Intel processors would improve Windows 8 sales later in the year by allowing manufacturers to offer significantly improved designs and longer battery life. The analysts also warned that the burgeoning smartphone and tablet market itself faced long term challenges “”as these devices gain longer life cycles”. It claimed “There has also been a shift as many consumers go from premium tablets to basic tablets. The share of basic tablets is expected to increase faster than anticipated, as sales of the iPad Mini already represented 60 per cent of overall iOS sales in the first quarter of 2013.”

    A growing proportion of all devices, Gartner said, would be brought by consumers as businesses accepted workers bringing their own devices to work.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Yahoo! Billboard

    Calvert and Christian Brothers Investment Services, two major US pension funds which between them manage $16bn (£10.4bn) of assets, have voted for every Yahoo! director to be removed from the board ahead of its annual shareholder meeting on Tuesday.

    Both institutional investors are known for campaigning for improvements to companies' corporate governance standards, but the revolt against Yahoo! comes as a surprise given the revolving door to its boardroom over the last few years.

    Ten of the company's 11 directors joined in 2012 after a major board shake-up instigated by activist investor Dan Loeb, founder of Third Point Capital, who ended up joining their ranks in May last year. The longest-standing director is Sue James, a former partner at Ernst & Young, who was appointed at Yahoo! in January 2010.

    She is the only boardroom figure to have survived a tumultuous period for Yahoo!. The company has had four chief executives in four years, ending with Ms Meyer, who joined from Google in July last year and has been tasked with turning the ailing web business around.

    Last month, the 38-year-old, sealed her first major acquisition at Yahoo!, paying $1.1bn for the photo-sharing site Tumblr . She also instituted a controversial ban on staff working from home, and has discreetly cut around 1000 of Yahoo!'s 15,000 staff, according to reports.

    The company has made quiet moves to extricate itself from its deal for Microsoft to fuel Yahoo!'s search engine, although the two companies are still tied to a 10-year agreement.

    Despite the Tumblr acquisition and the operational efficiencies Ms Mayer has achieved, she still has some distance to go to set out a clear growth strategy for Yahoo!, which was once the darling of the technology industry but has now lost its place to the likes of Google and Facebook.

    Calvert and CBIS were unavailable for comment.

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Young CoupleNew research shows that while women are drawn to male faces that look familiar, men are more likely to rate someone they have never seen before as more attractive.

    It is thought the reason may be that men have evolved to maximise their reproductive success by mating with as many partners as possible.

    Researchers at the University of Stirling and the University of Glasgow came up with the findings after showing men and women pictures of dozens of different faces. The more women in the study saw pictures of the same man's face, the more attracted they were to him.

    But the study, published in Archives of Sexual Behaviour, found that the men who took part rated the women as less attractive when they saw them for a second time.

    Researchers say the results may be partly explained by the so-called Coolidge effect – where men are aroused by the novelty of a new sexual partner more than women.

    It's named after an anecdote attributed to 30th US President Calvin Coolidge.

    During a farm visit, when his wife was told there was only one cockerel and many hens because the cockerel would mate several times a day, she reportedly said: 'Tell that to Mr Coolidge'.

    When the president asked if it was with the same hen each time and told no he allegedly said: 'Tell that to Mrs Coolidge.'

    Anthony Little from Stirling University's School of Natural Sciences, said: "Men found female faces they had already seen as less attractive and less sexy, especially for short-term relationships.

    "There is a tendency for males to pursue a large number of partners as they can dramatically increase their reproductive success by mating with multiple females."

    Find Us On Facebook — Business Insider: Science

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    FriendsBritain will become the first country in the world to create babies with the DNA of three people under government plans which could see the procedure offered on the NHS by next year.

    Parents at high risk of having children with severe disabilities such as muscular dystrophy will be offered the controversial new IVF treatment after it was given the green light by ministers today.

    It means the world's first "three-parent baby" could be born in Britain by 2015, if detailed proposals for regulating the procedure pass a public consultation and are approved by Parliament next year.

    Up to 10 patients per year are expected to undergo the treatment, which involves replacing a fraction of the mother's damaged DNA with that of a healthy donor.

    The process avoids the risk of the mother passing inherited defects, which can lead to a host of rare and debilitating conditions affecting the heart, muscles and brain, on to her children.

    The technique is controversial because it involves "germ line" modification of the embryo's DNA, meaning the third party's genetic material would not only be passed on to the child, but also to future generations down the female line.

    But ministers will publish draft regulations later this year allowing the therapy to "high-risk" families after a previous public consultation conducted by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority last year revealed overall support.

    The technique is aimed at tackling a collection of rare hereditary conditions which are caused by mutated mitochondria – structures which supply power to our cells.

    About 99.8 per cent of our DNA, including all the genes which govern our appearance and identity, is found in the nucleus of cells and is inherited evenly from both parents, but a small fraction resides in the power-supplying mitochondria and is only passed on from mother to child.

    Defects in the mitochondria can cause a range of serious problems including muscular dystrophy and affect about one in every 6,500 children born in the UK – greater than the number affected by childhood cancer.

    So-called "mitochondrial replacement" therapy would avoid the risk of mothers transmitting such defects to their children, while still passing on the rest of their and their partner's characteristics.

    Doctors would remove the nucleus from a donor egg and replace it with the equivalent genetic material from the mother's egg, either before or after fertilisation by the father.

    The resulting egg could then be implanted and fertilised if necessary using standard IVF techniques. The child would inherit its identity from its mother and father but would gain their power-supplying mitochondria from the donor.

    Prof Dame Sally Davies, the Chief Medical Officer, compared the process to changing a faulty battery in a car. The new mitochondria from the third parent make the child healthy but would not change their outward appearance.

    "Mitochondrial disease can have a devastating impact on people who inherit it," she said. "It's only right that we look to introduce this life-saving treatment as soon as we can."

    Professor Doug Turnbull, who pioneered the technique at Newcastle University, added: "I am delighted that the Government is moving forward with publishing draft regulations this year and a final version for debate in Parliament next year.

    "This is excellent news for families with mitochondrial disease. This will give women how carry these diseased genes more reproductive choice and the opportunity to have children free of mitochondrial disease."

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    Psittacosaurus BonesAnalysis of bones 100 million years old showed baby Psittacosaurus had long arms and short legs, which were used to scuttle around shortly after hatching.

    The arms grew quickly between the ages of one and three, suggesting that the Psittacosaurus continued to move on all fours during their 'toddler' years.

    But aged four, Psittacosaurus - known as the 'parrot dinosaur' - experienced a massive growth spurt in their legs, while the development of their arms slowed.

    This meant legs grew to twice the size of arms - causing the dinosaurs to spend their adult life on two feet.

    Palaeontologists from Beijing, Bristol and Bonn discovered the differences in limb growth through a combination of biomechanical analysis and bone histology.

    Dr Qi Zhao, from the Institute for Vertebrate Palaeontology in Beijing, carried out the intricate study on bones of babies, juveniles and adults.

    Dr Zhao, who conducted the research as part of his PhD thesis at the University of Bristol, said: "Some of the bones from baby Psittacosaurus were only a few millimetres across, so I had to handle them extremely carefully to be able to make useful bone sections.

    "I also had to be sure to cause as little damage to these valuable specimens as possible."

    There are more than 1,000 specimens of Psittacosaurus from the Cretaceous period of China and other parts of east Asia, around 100 million years ago.

    Dr Zhao sought special permission from the Beijing Institute to section two arm and two leg bones from 16 individual dinosaurs, aged from less than one year to 10 years old, or fully grown.

    He carried out intricate sectioning work in a special palaeohistology laboratory in Bonn in Germany.

    The one-year-olds had long arms and short legs and scuttled about on all fours soon after hatching.

    Bone sections showed that the arm bones grew fastest when the dinosaurs were aged between one and three.

    From four to six years, arm growth slowed down and the leg bones showed a massive growth spurt, meaning they ended up twice as long as the arms.

    Professor Xing Xu of the Beijing Institute, who supervised Dr Zhao's thesis, said: "This remarkable study, the first of its kind, shows how much information is locked in the bones of dinosaurs.

    "We are delighted the study worked so well, and see many ways to use the new methods to understand even more about the astonishing lives of the dinosaurs."

    Professor Mike Benton, of the University of Bristol, who also supervised Dr Zhao's PhD, said: "These kinds of studies can also throw light on the evolution of a dinosaur like Psittacosaurus."

    "Having four-legged babies and juveniles suggests that at some time in their ancestry, both juveniles and adults were also four-legged, and Psittacosaurus and dinosaurs in general became secondarily bipedal."

    The paper, 'Histology and postural change during the growth of the ceratopsian dinosaur Psittacosaurus lujiatunensis', is published today in Nature Communications.

    Check Us Out On Facebook Facebook: Business Insider Science

    Join the conversation about this story »

    0 0

    AndrewAn American university student killed during a protest in Egypt was in the country teaching English to children and improving his Arabic because he "cared profoundly" about the region, his family has said.

    Andrew Pochter, 21, from Chevy Chase, Maryland, died after being stabbed in the chest in the coastal city of Alexandria, where anti-government protesters stormed an office of the ruling Muslim Brotherhood.

    It was not clear what Mr Pochter was doing at the protest, but Egyptian officials said he was carrying a small camera. His family said they believed he had been witnessing the protest as a bystander.

    In a statement, the family said Mr Pochter had travelled to Alexandria for the summer to teach English to 7- and 8-year-old Egyptian children and to improve his Arabic.

    "He went to Egypt because he cared profoundly about the Middle East, and he planned to live and work there in the pursuit of peace and understanding," it said.

    Mr Pochter was looking forward to beginning his junior year at Ohio's Kenyon College and had planned to study abroad in Jordan next spring.

    "Andrew was a wonderful young man looking for new experiences in the world and finding ways to share his talents while he learned," it said.

    Mr Pochter was in Morocco at the height of the Arab Spring in 2011 and wrote an article for the website of the Al-Arabiya News network in which he said: "The revolutionary events in Tunisia and Egypt introduced a swath of ideas and surfaced unprecedented political potential."

    At Kenyon College, where he was due to graduate in 2015, Mr Pochter was a student leader in Hillel House, a "campus centre for Jewish life".

    Before starting at Kenyon, Mr Pochter attended Blue Ridge School, a private boarding school for boys in Charlottesville, Virginia, where he was a keen lacrosse player and won an award for citizenship before graduating in 2010.

    Smiling and wearing his school blazer and striped bow-tie, he was featured on the front cover of the spring/summer 2010 issue of The Bridge, the school's magazine.

    He won a scholarship with the The National Security Language Initiative for Youth, a scheme sponsored by the US State Department for high school students to learn less commonly taught languages during summer trips abroad.

    A statement from Kenyon College said Mr Pochter was interning in Alexandria with AMIDEAST, an American non-profit organisation that runs education and development programs in the Middle East and North America.

    Kathleen O'Neil, an American teacher who worked with Mr Pochter in Egypt, said in an online posting that she could not believe "such a gifted, enthusiastic, informed, curious, adventurous and positive human being is gone".

    The Muslim Brotherhood said eight of its offices had been attacked on Friday, including the one in Alexandria. Officials said more than 70 people had been injured in the clashes in the city, adding to growing tension ahead of mass rallies on Sunday aimed at unseating President Mohammed Morsi.

    Join the conversation about this story »

older | 1 | .... | 13 | 14 | (Page 15) | 16 | 17 | .... | 63 | newer