(PhysOrg.com) — DLR, an aerospace agency based in German, has modified its flagship robot, known as the Rollin’ Justin, in order to make it into a lean, mean, catching machine. The Rollin’ Justin’s modifications allow the machine to catch balls that are thrown in its direction with an accuracy rate of about 80%. The Rollin’ Justin’s robots accuracy rating is better than the average uncoordinated human. It is certainly better than this reporters accuracy rate. It is not as good as say, a Major League Baseball player, but then again most of us cannot say that we are as good as the pros either. Considering they also have near unlimited stamina, at least until the battery runs out, it may be a great partner for the standard game of catch, or for the position behind the batter. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Key to Robonaut 2’s dexterity is human-like hands The machine can actually catch up to two balls at once, and while this may not sound like a lot on paper, but just try doing it in the back yard. It is not exactly an easy task. The robot will, when the balls are released, calculate the flight path of those two balls, and then position its hands into a catching position that is within 2 centimeters of the point where the ball is expected to be, in about just 5 milliseconds. The system does work with the help of external computers. They are needed in order to handle the processing and make the calculations possible in real time.The Rollin’ Justin weighs about 45kg , and it is equipped with a 3D camera system that allows it to pinpoint the objects distance, which needed in order make the calculation. The robot is built with 43 joints, with 5 in his torso, 7 in each of the arms, and 12 in each hand. It is also equipped with a total of 84 sensors. Explore further Citation: Ball catching robot, 80% accuracy in 5 milliseconds (w/ video) (2011, April 29) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-04-ball-robot-accuracy-milliseconds-video.html © 2010 PhysOrg.com More information: elib.dlr.de/67146/Via IEEE
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Journal information: Nature Peer review could reject breakthrough manuscripts, study shows Well known and respected journal, Nature, will begin next month offering researchers who submit their work for peer review, the option of having it done via the double-blind method—whereby both submitters and reviewers names are kept anonymous. In an Announcement piece, the journal explains why it has chosen to take this step and what it hopes to achieve by doing so. Citation: Nature journal to begin offering double-blind peer review (2015, February 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2015-02-nature-journal-double-blind-peer.html Up till now, the peer review process at Nature has been conducted in single-blind fashion—reviewers could see the names of the authors of the work, but the authors (and everyone else) were not able to see the names of the reviewers. As Nature points out, there have been many calls in the science community for changing the system over the course of the past few years because of a perceived bias by reviewers—due to gender for example, or reputation.Single-blind reviews have become the norm for two main reasons; the first is because of the perception that reviewers would be hesitant to be completely honest in their reviews if they know ahead of time that their names will be attached to their work. The second is because of hesitancy on the part of respected journals to offer a service that they do not believe they can fully ensure—sometimes, it is not that difficult to figure out who an author is because of the small numbers of people working in a particular field, because they cite themselves or because their work is already so well known. As part of its announcement, Nature has said that ensuring the anonymity of researchers going forward will fall to the writers of the papers.Others have called for open reviews, where the names of both writers and reviewers are printed, but few in the research community seem to be interested in such a scheme. Nature claims that double-blind reviews are wanted by researchers—they cite an international study done back in 2009 where 76 percent of researcher respondents indicated that they felt that double-blind reviews were an effective reviewing system. Nature will allow researchers who prefer to stick with the single-blind system to do so if they prefer, but the default will change over starting at the beginning of March. At this time it is not clear if other major journals will make the switch as well. © 2015 Phys.org Explore further
© 2019 Science X Network How much does growing up in a healthy and cohesive community, or lack thereof, contribute to later long-term economic and social success in adulthood? Quite a lot, it would seem. Two Harvard sociologists, Robert Manduca and Robert J. Sampson, sought to better understand the relationships at play among environment, community, poverty, race, violence and social mobility in their paper, “Punishing and toxic neighborhood environments independently predict the intergenerational social mobility of black and white children,” recently published in PNAS. Their work specifically references and builds on several recent landmark studies by fellow Harvard researcher Raj Chetty and colleagues. Citation: Toxic neighborhoods and social mobility (2019, April 8) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-04-toxic-neighborhoods-social-mobility.html More information: 1. Robert Manduca and Robert J. Sampson. Punishing and toxic neighborhood environments independently predict the intergenerational social mobility of black and white children. PNAS. published ahead of print April 1, 2019 doi.org/10.1073/pnas.18204641162. Chetty R, Hendren N (2018) The impacts of neighborhoods on intergenerational mobility I: Childhood exposure effects. Q J Econ 133:1107–1162.3. Chetty R, Hendren N, Katz LF (2016) The effects of exposure to better neighborhoods on children: New evidence from the moving to opportunity experiment. Am Econ Rev 106:855–902.4. Chetty R, Hendren N, Kline P, Saez E (2014) Where is the land of opportunity? The geography of intergenerational mobility in the United States. Q J Econ 129:1553–1623.5. Chetty R, Hendren N, Jones MR, Porter SR (2018) Race and economic opportunity in the United States: An intergenerational perspective. (National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA). Available at www.nber.org/papers/w24441.6. Chetty R, Friedman JN, Hendren N, Jones MR, Porter SR (2018) The opportunity atlas: Mapping the childhood roots of social mobility. (National Bureau of Economic Research, Cambridge, MA). Available at www.nber.org/papers/w25147. Explore further Journal information: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Aerial view of Chicago. Credit: Dicklyon – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0 Manduca and Sampson then applied statistical methods to these data to yield a number of independent and inter-related explanatory variables. In particular, they were interested in developing predictive models that would work in combination with traditional socio-demographic Census data, such as single parent status, to provide higher explanatory power to their research and future endeavors. Ultimately, they presented and compared data using two separate models—a Census model; and an expanded model which utilizes PHDCN measures, either separately or as a single factor. Here’s what they found.Because the neighborhoods of Chicago are so heavily segregated, it was nearly impossible to attempt a direct comparison of black and white boys from the same neighborhood. Furthermore, they found that the various neighborhoods which were divided along racial lines were distinct and “qualitatively different environments” where men raised in the 90th percentile of majority black tracts earned less than the 10th percentile in majority white tracts. With reference to the explanatory power of the two categories of environmental and social predictors for intergenerational social mobility, the results were generally in keeping with the study investigators expectations. That is, they found that intergenerational mobility was lower and incarceration and teenage pregnancy rates were higher in childhood neighborhoods where social positives like social control and community organizations were absent or lacking, and where rates of violence, incarceration and lead exposure were pronounced.With regard to black children specifically, the investigators offer some discussion of the predictive power and statistical significance of their expanded social and environmental criteria when used in conjunction with Census variables. The investigators found that the poverty rate had little explanatory power when environmental controls were added to Census data. But importantly they note that lead exposure, incarceration, and violence are tightly co-associated and can be used as a single “neighborhood harshness/toxicity” factor. Here it is associated with lower income mobility and higher teenage birth rates and adult incarceration. Less significantly, the strength of local social networks was found to predict lower teenage birth rates in black women.Results were similar for white children, though incarceration rates could not be estimated for poor white boys. As with the results for black children, Manduca and Sampson found that the poverty rate had little explanatory power when environmental controls were added to Census data. Some subtle differences were revealed in the correlations between lead exposure, violence and incarceration, where these were found to be less highly correlated. On the other hand, violence was more predictive of future income; and lead exposure and incarceration were better predictors of teenage motherhood in white girls, as was the presence of social control. Neighborhood organizations were slightly associated with lower income rank. The most alarming finding of this study however may be the racialized nature of exposure to neighborhood harshness/toxicity, as the investigators have defined this variable comprising lead exposure, violence and incarceration. While both black and white children were found to suffer in neighborhoods with these conditions, black children in Chicago were exposed to them at an overwhelmingly disproportionate rate compared with white children. As the investigators note with regard to the magnitude of this disparity, “the most-exposed white tracts in our sample had levels comparable to the least-exposed black tracts.”In the Discussion section of their paper, Manduca and Sampson reiterate the utility of working with measures that account for punishing environments and supportive social organizations in addition to standard Census measures, as these offer increased explanatory power for predicting social and economic mobility. With regard to ameliorating the conditions driving these inequalities in income mobility, the authors conclude: “Past interventions that have cleaned up the physical environment and reduced toxic hazards indicate that environmental policy is in part crime policy. Our results suggest a broader conclusion: Reducing violence, reforming criminal justice through deincarceration, and maintaining environmental health together make for social mobility policy.” Racial inequality in the deployment of rooftop solar energy in the US The authors of this study , Manduca and Sampson, undertook their research against the background of data suggesting that growing up in areas of concentrated poverty, i.e., disadvantaged neighborhoods, is a major determinant of individual success later in life. They were especially interested in the earlier findings of Chetty et al. [2- 6] that black children from low-income communities were at a particular and distinct disadvantage when compared with whites from a similar background. Moreover when black children moved to better neighborhoods with the presence of a same-race father and low levels of poverty and white racism, these children did better for every year they spent in the better neighborhood. Yet as the Chetty studies found, there were “massive disparities” between blacks and whites in access to better quality neighborhoods likely to foster upward social and economic intergenerational mobility. Manduca and Sampson looked at data from the Opportunity Atlas compiled by Chetty’s group and based on that, developed a two-part mode of inquiry for their own study. For the first part, they looked at the negative roles that violence, incarceration and toxic lead exposure play in interfering with healthy child development and disrupting social mobility. For the second part, they examined the positive influence factors on children of cohesive communities, informal social control, trust among neighbors, and organizational participation. In contrast with the first set of negative factors, these previously unstudied characteristics of neighborhoods may be positively linked to an individual’s success later in life.The investigators used demographic data from Chicago, a typical large American city with a variety of intensely racially segregated neighborhoods. Specifically, they looked at “Census tract-level estimates of child mobility in the city of Chicago, created from linked income tax and Census records with measures of the social and physical environment constructed from the Project on Human Development in Chicago Neighborhoods (PHDCN) and follow-ups.” This dataset covers roughly 96% of the cohort of children born in Chicago between 1978 and 1983 and tracks their social progress into their 30s while measuring outcomes such as adult income, incarceration, teenage pregnancy, etc. The analysis specifically targets expected outcomes for children whose parents fall within the national 25th percentile. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
More information: Rong-Hui Deng. Mei-Zhen Zou, Diwei Zheng, Si-Yuan Peng, Wenlong Liu, Xue-Feng Bai, Han-Shi Chen, Yunxia Sun, Pang-Hu Zhou, and Xian-Zheng Zhang. “Nanoparticles from Cuttlefish Ink Inhibit Tumor Growth by Synergizing Immunotherapy and Photothermal Therapy.” ACS Nano. DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.9b02993 Researchers have found that cuttlefish ink—a black suspension sprayed by cuttlefish to deter predators—contains nanoparticles that strongly inhibit the growth of cancerous tumors in mice. The nanoparticles consist mostly of melanin by weight, along with amino acids, monosaccharides (simple sugars), metals, and other compounds. The researchers showed that the nanoparticles modify the immune function in tumors, and when combined with irradiation, can almost completely inhibit tumor growth. Due to these costs, some researchers have turned to nature for alternatives. Previous research has shown that certain natural compounds, including those found in brown algae and some bacteria, contain polysaccharides that have the ability to reprogram macrophages from the M2 type to the M1 type. In the new paper, the researchers found that cuttlefish ink nanoparticles, which are spherical and approximately 100 nm in diameter, also have this ability. After confirming the biocompatibility of these nanoparticles, the researchers performed several experiments both in vitro with tumor cells and in vivo with tumor-afflicted mice. In the in vitro experiments, the researchers found that irradiating the nanoparticles with near-infrared irradiation killed approximately 90% of tumor cells, although the nanoparticles displayed almost no cytotoxicity without irradiation. The researchers explained that the high melanin content of the nanoparticles plays a key role in the irradiation process, as melanin has an intrinsically good photothermal conversion ability.In mice, nanoparticle treatment proved to be effective both alone and in combination with irradiation, although irradiation further improved the outcome. Bioluminescent imaging revealed that treated mice exhibited significantly lower tumor bioluminescence compared to controls, indicating greatly reduced metastases on internal organs. Mice treated with both nanoparticles and irradiation exhibited a nearly complete inhibition of tumor growth.By performing a gene analysis, the researchers identified 194 differentially expressed genes involved in immune functions that were associated with the regulation of the inflammatory response and cell killing, and which were either up- or down-regulated by the treatment. The analysis indicated that a certain signaling pathway is responsible for the conversion of M2 macrophages to M1 macrophages. This mechanism not only leads to phagocytosis of tumor cells, but also stimulates the immune system to produce various antitumor factors, all of which play a role in inhibiting tumor growth.In the future, the researchers plan to explore other natural materials that have anti-cancer properties.”Our research team is currently studying the biomedical potential of natural materials such as hair, cuttlefish ink, bacteria, fungi, and even the cells of the human body as a therapeutic drug carrier,” Zhang said. “By drawing inspiration from nature and taking advantage of its own characteristics, we expect to find some valuable research that will provide new and effective solutions for the treatment of clinical diseases.” Journal information: ACS Nano Explore further Citation: Cuttlefish ink found promising for cancer treatment (2019, July 22) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-07-cuttlefish-ink-cancer-treatment.html © 2019 Science X Network This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Elegant antibody nanoparticles override immunological tolerance of tumors (Left) A cuttlefish. Credit: North Atlantic Stepping Stones Science Party, IFE, URI-IAO; NOAA/OAR/OER. (Right) Comparison of tumor size after 16 days of different treatments, including cuttlefish ink nanoparticles (CINPs) and CINPs with irradiation. Credit: Deng et al. ©2019 American Chemical Society The researchers, led by Pang-Hu Zhou at the Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University and Xian-Zheng Zhang at the Chemistry Department at Wuhan University, have published a paper on the ability of nanoparticles from cuttlefish ink to inhibit tumor growth in a recent issue of ACS Nano.”We found natural nanoparticles from cuttlefish ink with good biocompatibility that can effectively achieve tumor immunotherapy and photothermal therapy simultaneously,” Zhang told Phys.org. “This finding might inspire more exploration of natural materials for medical applications.”Tumor immunotherapy involves fighting cancer by stimulating the body’s own immune system. One strategy is to target leukocytes, or white blood cells. Macrophages are the predominant leukocyte found in some tumors, and they can take one of two forms: M1 or M2. The M1 phenotype engulfs and destroys tumor cells through the process of phagocytosis and with the activation of T cells (other white blood cells). In the M2 phenotype, on the other hand, this immune function is suppressed, allowing tumor growth to continue unchecked. In tumor environments, the M2 phenotype almost always outnumbers the M1 phenotype.Recently, researchers have been working on the development of small molecules and antibodies that can convert protumor M2 macrophages to antitumor M1 macrophages. At the same time, they are designing nanoparticles such as photothermal agents that, when exposed to irradiation, locally destroy cancer cells by thermal ablation. These agents can be integrated into synthesized nanoparticles, and then potentially administered to patients. One of the drawbacks, however, is that these synthetic nanoparticles are expensive and require complicated preparation methods.
Kolkata: Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee began her day by offering Puja at Kalighat temple in the wee hours of Sunday on the occasion of Poila Baisakh amidst tight security. She also wished the people a very happy and prosperous Bengali New Year on Twitter.The Chief Minister extended her greeting to the people of Bengal and sent across a message of peace and prosperity. Many enthusiastic people were happy after seeing the Chief Minister outside the temple. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPeople across the state on Sunday celebrated ‘Poila Baisakh’, the Bengali New Year, with great gusto and fervour, with many thronging temples and offering their puja. Amidst immense joy and festive fervour, the Bengali community celebrated the auspicious first day of the Bengali calendar. People wore new dresses and started thronging various temples from early Sunday morning.The grand festival coincides with the other regional festivals like Bohag Bihu in Assam, Vishu in Kerala and Puthandu in Tamil Nadu. Many prayed to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi for blessings to ensure prosperity and success. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedMany Bengali traders purchased new accounting books and offered puja at the temples. The accounting in the halkhata begins only after offering puja. Devotees seek blessings of the almighty on the first day of the Bengali New Year. Mantras are chanted while puja is offered before the deities. “Hindu swastika” is drawn on the accounting books by the priests. Long queues of devotees were found in front of the Kalighat and Dakshineshwar, Tarapith and Tarakeswar temple from late night. Thousands of devotees thronged Kalighat temple and Dakshineswar Kali temple, seeking blessings for prosperity. Trinamool Congress MP Kalyan Banerjee also offered his prayer at Dakshineswar temple. He said that he is a great worshipper of Goddess Kali. On the first day of the Bengali New year, the MP became emotional while offering prayer to the deity.In various places of the city and state, people took out Prabhat Pheris, while children took part in various cultural programmes, clad in new attire. State Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay also took part in a Prabhat Pheri, in his own constituency area in Rashbehari. Rallies were taken out in various places in Jadavpur and Ultadanga.Apart from Bengal, the Bengali New year is also celebrated by the people in Bangladesh and among Bengali communities in other states.People, particularly the traders, had hectic activities in Chaitro, being the last month of the Bengali calendar. They remain busy with huge pressure of purchase, with many organising Chaitro sales to attract customers with discounts.Long queues were seen in front of restaurants serving Bengali delicacies on this special day. Several Bengali restaurants have rolled out various special dishes to cater to the demands of people.
Kolkata: A Trinamool Congress leader from Gopiballavpur block I in Jhargram sustained bullet injuries and IS fighting for his life in a hospital. Police said the victim, Bikash Nayek was taking a stroll outside his house after finishing his dinner on Sunday night when some unidentified miscreants came and shot at him from point blank. A bullet pierced through his left shoulder. The family members of the victim who were having their dinner rushed to the spot after hearing the gun shot. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThey found Nayek in a pool of blood. The miscreants had already fled the spot after committing the crime. He was immediately rushed to the Jhargram Superspecialty hospital. According to the hospital sources, the condition of the patient is serious. According to preliminary investigation, police suspect that the miscreants had come on a motorcycle and disappeared in the darkness after the incident.The incident triggered tension among locals. The family members alleged that some BJP backed miscreants might have been involved in the incident. It was a deliberate attempt to kill Nayek who had been instrumental in strengthening the party organisation in the area. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedSenior party leaders from the district also blamed the BJP for the incident as they were trying to weaken the organisation of the Trinamool Congress. The family members of the victim handed over the names of some suspected miscreants to the police who might be been involved in the incident. The district BJP leaders, however, denied the allegation and termed it to be a result of the intra party clash within Trinamool Congress. A police picket was set up at the hospital as the family members of the victim are apprehending fresh attacks on Nayek. Police have started a detailed probe in this regard. Raids are being conducted to nab the culprits.
Kolkata: Suvendu Adhikari, the state Transport minister, flagged off five air-conditioned Volvo buses at L20 bus terminus in Esplanade which will operate from Kolkata to various parts of North Bengal.Senior officials including Mihir Goswami, Chairman, North Bengal State Transport Corporation (NBSTC), Narayan Swaroop Nigam, Managing Director, West Bengal Transport Corporation (WBTC) were present in the meeting. Adhikari said the introduction of the buses will be helpful to people immensely. He also appreciated the role played by the NBSTC in ensuring bus services between Kolkata and North Bengal even when other modes of transport are not available. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe buses will be plying from Kolkata to Siliguri, Kolkata to Alipurduar via Cooch Behar and Kolkata to Kandi. It will be an added advantage for the people of North Bengal to reach Kolkata. Everyday hundreds of people travel between Kolkata and different parts of North Bengal. Goswami said that it would be 75 years of the NBSTC in 2019 and more steps would be taken for the convenience of the masses. Reacting on the increase in the price of diesel, Goswami said it is leaving an adverse effect as the price of fuel has witnessed a steep rise just in the past few days and the expense of operating buses is also going up. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedThe introduction of the air-conditioned Volvo buses come when the state Transport department has also planned to introduce “Rajdhani” Volvo bus services to further improve connectivity between the district headquarters and Kolkata. Recently, a high-level meeting in a bid to ensure initiation of “Rajdhani” Volvo bus services between all district headquarters and Kolkata held at Paribahan Bhavan where top brass of the state Transport Department and all the corporations were present. The state Transport minister had earlier announced the project of introducing bus services to connect the district headquarters with the city.
Kolkata: The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education (WBBSE) on Thursday suspended the headmaster of Maynaguri Subhasnagar High School Haridayal Roy, on charges of opening the seal of question papers much before the scheduled time. He had allegedly made question papers of more than one subject available to the topper of the school, during the Madhyamik examination a few months ago.”We have suspended Roy and disciplinary proceedings have been initiated against him,” said Kalyanmoy Ganguly, president of WBBSE, who had led the enquiry that was conducted in this regard. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe WBBSE also announced strong action against some others who, according to the probe, were involved in the entire matter. The Board has started disciplinary proceedings against Biswajit Roy, the English teacher of the school who had videographed the strongroom of the school, where the question papers were kept. It may be mentioned that during the enquiry, Roy had admitted his wrongful act.”Samrat Biswas, the history teacher of the school, who had given contradictory statements regarding the matter during the probe, is being handed over ‘stricture.’ He has been warned that if he is found to be involved in similar acts in future, strong action will be taken against him,” a senior WBBSE official said. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAt the same time, the School Education department has showcaused sub-inspector of school of the region Biswanath Bhowmick. He has been directed to respond to the showcause within three days.”Bhowmick has been found guilty of making statements without verification of facts and has even spoken to a number of media persons, which has given a wrong message regarding the entire matter,” the official added.The WBBSE has also not spared Mantu Roy, the additional venue supervisor, for dereliction of duty. “We have started disciplinary proceedings against him,” Gangulysaid.However, Board officials remained tight lipped on the allegations of question paper leak that had been triggered as the seal of the papers were opened before the scheduled time.A number of teachers of Maynaguri School in Jalpaiguri district had been vocal against Roy and had told the Board that he had provided undue benefit to the topper of the school through his act and demanded exemplary punishment for him.It may be recalled that state Education minister Partha Chatterjee had condemned the incident and had said that if the accused teacher is found guilty, then the Shiksha Ratna award conferred upon him will be taken back.
Being a little experimental with one’s eating habits could prove to be a surefire recipe to losing weight rather than sticking to healthy food on a daily basis, suggests a new research.Counterintuitive as it may sound, researchers have found that adventurous eaters, known as “foodies”, weigh less and may be healthier than their less-adventurous counterparts.The study, involving over 500 women across the US, showed that those who had eaten the widest variety of uncommon foods—including seitan, beef tongue, Kimchi, rabbit, and polenta—also rated themselves as healthier eaters, more physically active and more concerned with the healthiness of their food when compared with less-adventurous eaters. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’“These findings are important to dieters because they show that promoting adventurous eating may provide a way for people—especially women—to lose or maintain weight without feeling restricted by a strict diet,” said study co-author Brian Wansink, author of the book “Slim by Design: Mindless Eating Solutions for Everyday Life”.“They also reported being much more likely to have friends over for dinner,” said lead author Lara Latimer from the University of Texas.The article was published in the journal Obesity.
Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said on Monday that reducing the VAT on fuel will not benefit the people in the long run as the daily increase in petrol and diesel prices along with the unprecedented devaluation of the rupee were a result of an absolute financial mismanagement.”It is the biggest economic disaster. Demonetisation followed by the GST and the prices of petroleum products are soaring. The value of rupee is going down and the prices of petrol and diesel are going up and finally, the value of the life of common people is going down with each passing day. We are unable to understand where it will reach,” she said at Nabanna on Monday afternoon. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeCommenting on the bandh, she said: “We cannot afford to lose man-days. 80 days man-days had been lost in the past regime. In the past seven years, we had to toil hard to revive the financial health of the state. We have to pay Rs 48,000 crore to repay loans,” she said.The TMC supremo, who has been among the strongest critics of the BJP, said that she supported the issue on which the Bharat Bandh was called but not the bandh.Banerjee said that Ahmed Patel had called her up on Friday and wanted to know her stand. “I told him we support the issue but oppose the bandh.” She added that bandhs should be the last weapon. “Movements should be conducted regularly and bandhs should be the last weapon,” she remarked. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killed”Bengal is trying to make a turnaround and we have a number of achievements in some areas… So, we do not support bandh on principal — whoever calls it. But because we support the cause, we held protest rallies in the city,” she added.The Trinamool Congress organised protest rallies against the rise of petroleum products. Trinamool workers and leaders took part in the rally that started at Moulali and ended at Dorina Crossing via S N Banerjee Road. Later, a meeting was held at Dorina Crossing where TMC MP and president of the party’s youth wing Abhishek Banerjee addressed the gathering. He said rallies will be held in Delhi to oust the anti-people BJP government at the Centre. Hundreds of Trinamool workers took part in the protest procession.Life was normal across the state during the bandh with traffic, rail services operating normally and business establishments, schools, colleges and other educational institutions functioning as usual. Scheduled examinations in educational institutions were also held.In the state government offices, the attendance was more than the usual days as the state Finance department had given a notice which stated that a day’s salary of the absentee would be deducted. In districts too, the state-run offices functioned normally.The state government ran more buses and had deployed around 1,300 policemen in Kolkata to maintain peace. No untoward incidents were reported in the city.There was no disruption of flights at Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport and at Haldia port, cargo handling was normal.