(PhysOrg.com) — Two research groups working independently have come up with two different ways to use whole-genome sequencing to follow the path bacteria take in developing resistance to anti-bacterial drugs. Such research could prove useful in figuring out ways to stop the evolutionary process, thereby safeguarding current anti-bacterial agents for future patients. Both groups have published papers describing their work in Nature Genetics. The first group has found a way to actually monitor the evolution of the E. coli bacteria over several generations as it’s exposed to three types of anti-bacterial agents. The second group has figured out a way to follow mutations in bacteria that occur after anti-bacterial agents have been discontinued. More information:  Whole-genome sequencing of rifampicin-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis strains identifies compensatory mutations in RNA polymerase genes, Nature Genetics (2011) doi:10.1038/ng.1038AbstractEpidemics of drug-resistant bacteria emerge worldwide, even as resistant strains frequently have reduced fitness compared to their drug-susceptible counterparts. Data from model systems suggest that the fitness cost of antimicrobial resistance can be reduced by compensatory mutations; however, there is limited evidence that compensatory evolution has any significant role in the success of drug-resistant bacteria in human populations. Here we describe a set of compensatory mutations in the RNA polymerase genes of rifampicin-resistant M. tuberculosis, the etiologic agent of human tuberculosis (TB). M. tuberculosis strains harboring these compensatory mutations showed a high competitive fitness in vitro. Moreover, these mutations were associated with high fitness in vivo, as determined by examining their relative clinical frequency across patient populations. Of note, in countries with the world’s highest incidence of multidrug-resistant (MDR) TB, more than 30% of MDR clinical isolates had this form of mutation. Our findings support a role for compensatory evolution in the global epidemics of MDR TB.Evolutionary paths to antibiotic resistance under dynamically sustained drug selection, Nature Genetics (2011) doi:10.1038/ng.1034AbstractAntibiotic resistance can evolve through the sequential accumulation of multiple mutations. To study such gradual evolution, we developed a selection device, the ‘morbidostat’, that continuously monitors bacterial growth and dynamically regulates drug concentrations, such that the evolving population is constantly challenged. We analyzed the evolution of resistance in Escherichia coli under selection with single drugs, including chloramphenicol, doxycycline and trimethoprim. Over a period of ~20 days, resistance levels increased dramatically, with parallel populations showing similar phenotypic trajectories. Whole-genome sequencing of the evolved strains identified mutations both specific to resistance to a particular drug and shared in resistance to multiple drugs. Chloramphenicol and doxycycline resistance evolved smoothly through diverse combinations of mutations in genes involved in translation, transcription and transport. In contrast, trimethoprim resistance evolved in a stepwise manner, through mutations restricted to the gene encoding the enzyme dihydrofolate reductase (DHFR). Sequencing of DHFR over the time course of the experiment showed that parallel populations evolved similar mutations and acquired them in a similar order. Citation: Researchers use whole-genome sequencing to monitor evolution of drug resistance in bacteria (2011, December 19) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-12-whole-genome-sequencing-evolution-drug-resistance.html © 2011 PhysOrg.com Explore further The first group, all working out of Harvard University, created what they call a “morbidostat”; a computer controlled environment that reads signs from a bacteria culture to asses its degree of happiness with its surroundings, then tweaks it just a little bit to make it unhappy. Bacteria that are happy don’t need to adapt, thus, to cause them to evolve, three types of antibacterial agents were introduced into the morbidostat along with the bacteria: chloramphenicol, doxycyclin, and trimethoprim. To see what evolutionary changes were occurring, the team took regular samples and studied them using whole-genome sequencing. Using this technique the team found they could actually watch the bacteria evolve into resistant strains. But of particular note, they found that at least when exposed to trimethoprim, Escherichia coli evolves in very predictable ways, a bit of knowledge that could help doctors stay one step ahead of such changes when treating patients by predicting them before they are able to occur.Just as interesting is the study undertaken by the second group; a team made up of an international group of researchers. Here the team wanted to know what goes on with bacteria that are subjected to anti-bacterial agents, after the treatment is stopped. Do they stop evolving, or do they keep on doing so as a means of responding to the effects of the drugs?Prior research has already shown that most often drug-resistant bacteria for some reason don’t grow as quickly as those that aren’t resistant when in an environment free of antibiotics, which should mean resistant strains should have transmission rates that are lower. Unfortunately, this is not always the case as some resistant strains of some types of bacteria have shown an ability to transmit just as quickly as their non-resistant brethren. To find out why this is, the team analyzed both types of strains using whole-genome sequencing to find out exactly what was going with different strains of M. tuberculosis.The team found that those strains that were both resistant and able to transmit at the same rates as the non-resistant group had developed two types of mutations. The first was, obviously, the changes that had come about that had made them resistant. The second change was the surprise; the bacteria samples had actually evolved in a way that allowed them to regain a high transmission rate, which showed they had continued to evolve after the anti-bacterial drug had been stopped, this time, to get back something it had lost due to the drug.Taken together, the studies show that by using whole-genome sequencing, researchers are moving ever closer to fully understanding how bacteria mutate and evolve to make themselves resistant to anti-bacterial agents. The hope is that once the entire process is fully understood, new ways to prevent it from happening can be developed. Drug-resistant bacteria can be controlled 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: Near-Field Electromagnetic Theory for Thin Solar Cells, Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 138701 (2012) DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.138701AbstractCurrent methods for evaluating solar cell efficiencies cannot be applied to low-dimensional structures where phenomena from the realm of near-field optics prevail. We present a theoretical approach to analyze solar cell performance by allowing rigorous electromagnetic calculations of the emission rate using the fluctuation-dissipation theorem. Our approach shows the direct quantification of the voltage, current, and efficiency of low-dimensional solar cells. This approach is demonstrated by calculating the voltage and the efficiency of a GaAs slab solar cell for thicknesses from several microns down to a few nanometers. This example highlights the ability of the proposed approach to capture the role of optical near-field effects in solar cell performance.Physics Synopsis Explore further Citation: New theoretical technique applied to properties of ultrathin solar cells (2012, October 5) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-theoretical-technique-properties-ultrathin-solar.html © 2012 Phys.org Journal information: Physical Review Letters 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. Cheap and efficient solar cell made possible by linked nanoparticles To start, the team describes the connection in solar cell technology between two states: thermal equilibrium and one where a disturbance has occurred. When in equilibrium, they say, many processes are occurring, most specifically those involving absorbing and emitting photons. To calculate a cell’s efficiency, its photocurrent (the rate of creation of electron-hole pairings) and recombination current (the rate of recombining of electron-hole pairs in making photons) must be known. In looking at the recombination events, the team found they were able to use the fluctuation-dissipation theorem (to connect the equilibrium state to the one where a small disturbance has occurred) to calculate the power involved as it applies to thermodynamic properties, e.g. chemical potential and temperature. Such calculations allowed them to then generate parameters for voltage, current, and efficiency for ultrathin solar cells based on an idealized cell made of gallium arsenide on a gold substrate. Using these parameters, the team then measured four emission channels of the idealized cell—two polarizations each of light that is emitted back into the air or the gold substrate. In so doing, the researchers were able to calculate the overall efficiency of the solar cell in advance of its actual construction. Such a discovery leads to the possibility of creating a simulator capable of providing such statistics to build new, more efficient solar cells based on ultrathin materials. In testing their calculations, the team found that while nanometer-sized structures do allow for taking advantage of near-field optical effects, their properties can also affect the rate at which electrons and holes combine, impacting overall efficiency. Consequently, this impact must be taken into consideration when developing real-world applications to prevent building in a negative efficiency factor. (Phys.org)—As solar cell technology matures, researchers continue to look for ways to develop ever-thinner technology to reduce material costs. Such technology also reduces the distance electrons and holes, loosened by light, have to travel—resulting in less loss when they recombine. However, using traditional materials means that less light is absorbed. As such, recent efforts have focused on using cells with nanometer-sized structures as they allow for the number of light interactions to be increased. However, researchers have been limited in their ability to predict the properties of solar cells when using such materials. Now researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, have developed a theoretical technique for calculating such properties. As they write in their paper published in Physical Review Letters, the technique lends itself to possible use in simulation tools.
Dye-sensitized solar cells with carbon nanotube transparent electrodes offer significant cost savings Copyright 2012 Phys.org All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or part without the express written permission of PhysOrg.com. More information: Michael M. Lee, et al. “Efficient Hybrid Solar Cells Based on Meso-Superstructured Organometal Halide Perovskites.” Science Express. DOI: 10.1126/science.1228604 , Science Express (Phys.org)—It may sound counterintuitive that replacing one of the most photosensitive solar cell materials with a material with less desirable photosensitive properties can improve the solar cell’s efficiency, but that’s what scientists have shown in a new study. By replacing the highly photosensitive titanium dioxide (TiO2) with alumina (Al2O3) in a solution-processable solar cell, the researchers have achieved a record power conversion efficiency of 10.9%. They attribute this high efficiency to the Al2O3 acting as an inert scaffold, forcing the electrons to remain within and be transported through an extremely thin absorber (ETA) layer. The researchers, led by Henry J. Snaith at the University of Oxford in the UK, with coauthors from the University of Oxford, Toin University of Yokohama in Japan, and the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology in Ibaraki, Japan, have published their study on the highly efficient solar cells in a recent issue of Science.”This is a new technology, so in essence a new record,” Snaith told Phys.org. “All solar cell technologies have different efficiencies, with GaAs being the highest at over 28%. This is not an absolute world record, but probably the highest for a solution-processable solid-state solar cell. And the real excitement is where it may reach over the next few years; it should have a steep improvement curve.”The choice of electrode material in a solar cell is one of the most important factors contributing to solar cell efficiency, and TiO2 is often used as an electrode material in solution-processable solar cells due to its good ability for photoexcitation, or converting photons into electrons, as well as its strong electron-accepting properties when photosensitized with a dye or absorber. But in order to improve solar cell efficiency, the scientists here addressed the fundamental energy losses that arise throughout the photovoltaic process of absorbing photons and generating electrons. As they explain, energy is lost during the photogeneration of electron-hole pairs (excitons), the separation of tightly bound excitons, and the extraction of free electrons from highly disordered networks. In attempts to overcome these losses, previous research has investigated the use of coating an ETA layer, 2 to 10 nm in thickness, on the internal surface of the TiO2 electrode in order to increase the current density and voltage. So far, solar cells with ETA layers have achieved power conversion efficiencies of up to 6.3%.Here, the researchers have investigated the possibility that TiO2 may be hindering the effectiveness of the ETA layer due to its electronic disorder and low mobility. Because Al2O3 is a wide band gap insulator, the researchers found that, when it’s used as the electrode, the photoexcited electrons remain in the ETA layer and do not drop to lower energy levels in the oxide as they do in the TiO2 electrode. This difference offers several advantages. For instance, the researchers found that using Al2O3 significantly speeds up the electron transport process, forcing electrons to quickly travel through a perovskite ETA layer, and also increases the voltage. These improvements increased the power conversion efficiency from 8% with the TiO2 electrode to 10.9% with the Al2O3 electrode. Because the Al2O3 is mainly acting as a meso-scale scaffold, and does not play a role in photoexcitation, the researchers call this device a “meso-superstructured solar cell” (MSSC). “The alumina is acting as a scaffold for the perovskite layer, and subsequently the hole-conductor which is coated on top of the perovskite layer,” Snaith said. “It is not electronically active, but purely acting as a physical support.”It is very surprising and would not have been predicted,” he added. “However, in hindsight we can see where the efficiency gains come from. The real surprise is that the perovskite layer is so effective at transporting charge and generating high photovoltage in the solar cell.”The scientists expect that the efficiency can be further improved in the future by various means, such as experimenting with new perovskites, using other semiconductors, and extending the absorption range.”This work moves low-cost solution-processable solar cells significantly closer to the performance of perfectly crystalline semiconductors, while at the same time opening extensive possibilities for future research and development,” Snaith said. Explore further Journal information: Science A comparison of the charge transfer and transport in (left) a solar cell with a titanium dioxide electrode (where excitons travel through the titanium dioxide) and (right) a solar cell with an alumina electrode (where excitons travel more quickly through the thin perovskite layer). Credit: Michael M. Lee, et al. ©2012 AAAS Citation: ‘Superstructured’ solar cells achieve record efficiency of 10.9% (2012, October 11) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2012-10-superstructured-solar-cells-efficiency.html 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.
Explore further Journal information: Nature (Phys.org)—Two teams of researchers have been looking into the ways that toxins can fool cell membranes into gaining access, thereby allowing for human ailments such as cholera. One team describes a pathway that is independent of the clathrin protein while the second team shows that such a pathway can be hijacked by toxins such as the bacteria responsible for cholera. Both teams have published their findings in the journal Nature. More information: Endophilin-A2 functions in membrane scission in clathrin-independent endocytosis, Nature (2014) DOI: 10.1038/nature14064AbstractDuring endocytosis, energy is invested to narrow the necks of cargo-containing plasma membrane invaginations to radii at which the opposing segments spontaneously coalesce, thereby leading to the detachment by scission of endocytic uptake carriers. In the clathrin pathway, dynamin uses mechanical energy from GTP hydrolysis to this effect, assisted by the BIN/amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domain-containing protein endophilin. Clathrin-independent endocytic events are often less reliant on dynamin, and whether in these cases BAR domain proteins such as endophilin contribute to scission has remained unexplored. Here we show, in human and other mammalian cell lines, that endophilin-A2 (endoA2) specifically and functionally associates with very early uptake structures that are induced by the bacterial Shiga and cholera toxins, which are both clathrin-independent endocytic cargoes. In controlled in vitro systems, endoA2 reshapes membranes before scission. Furthermore, we demonstrate that endoA2, dynamin and actin contribute in parallel to the scission of Shiga-toxin-induced tubules. Our results establish a novel function of endoA2 in clathrin-independent endocytosis. They document that distinct scission factors operate in an additive manner, and predict that specificity within a given uptake process arises from defined combinations of universal modules. Our findings highlight a previously unnoticed link between membrane scaffolding by endoA2 and pulling-force-driven dynamic scission. Mitosis mystery solved as role of key protein is confirmed EndoA2 localization to endocytic pathways. Credit: Nature (2014) doi:10.1038/nature14064 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. One of the ways our bodies try to keep us healthy is by maintaining a plasma membrane around every one of our cells—the membrane’s job is to keep out harmful substances while allowing those that are beneficial to pass through—no easy feat. One of the ways the membrane does this job is through a protein called clathrin—the process by which it does so, under normal conditions, is called clathrin-mediated endocytosis (CME). In this new effort, one team has found that there is a clathrin independent process whereby proteins are allowed to enter cells—they’ve named it fast endophilin-mediated endocytosis (FEME), while the other team has found that some bacteria are able to take advantage of this process to create channels to get inside cells and cause problems.FEME, the first team found, appears to be triggered by membrane-bound receptor proteins or by bacterial toxins. The molecules in the protein appear to be converted to a form that is able to attract the endophilin protein which causes the membrane to invaginate into tubules which eventually form into visicles containing proteins or worse toxins. The second team found that the process involves endophylin, dynamin and actin proteins, in ways that allow the channel to come into existence, suggesting that some bacteria may even drive the process.These findings by the two teams suggest there are pathways into our cells that scientists still don’t understand and also provide avenues for additional studies in a variety of ways—such as looking into how bacteria are able to recruit endophilin in either FEME or CME and whether there are substances that might prevent it from happening in the first, place, bolstering the cell membrane defenses that are trying to keep us healthy. Citation: Studies show a pathway for imported proteins through cell membrane that can be hijacked by toxins (2014, December 18) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2014-12-pathway-imported-proteins-cell-membrane.html © 2014 Phys.org
This is perhaps the most befitting tribute an artiste could pay to the spirit of nationalism and swadharma synonymous with Mahatma Gandhi. After stunning the audience with her last show – held in Delhi in September 2013 – of artworks that married khadi with ajrakh traditions of printing and dyeing, Delhi-based artiste Shelly Jyoti is now presenting a new body of works in tandem with the Gandhian theory of satyagraha. The show titled Salt: The Great March II (Re-Contextualising Ajrakh Textile Traditions on khadi in Contemporary Art and Craft), will be held at The Art Gallery, India International Centre. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’The show will be inaugurated by Tara Gandhi Bhattacharya (grand daughter of Mahatma Gandhi and Chairperson, Kasturba Gandhi Memorial Trust). The show includes site-specific textile (khadi fabric) installations, garments with ajrakh printing, paintings that document 21st century textile traditions of India using clothing samplers, twenty four artworks utilizing Ajrakh textile traditions and a spoken poetry video film.Talking about why she has been attracted to the Ajrakh tradition, Jyoti says, ‘Ajrakh is one of the oldest types of block printing on textiles still practiced in parts of Gujarat and Rajasthan. This is a centuries-old craft practiced by Khatris, characterized by its complex geometrical patterns, its use of natural dyes and its skilled, extensive production process. The patterns share similarities with ancient Indus Valley Civilization patterns, and the patterns of medieval cloths traded along the Indian Ocean route. The partition of India and Pakistan hugely affected the practice and trading of block-printed textiles. Many families were split up over the two countries, and displaced into new surroundings. I personally feel responsible towards the craft as I feel heritage should be preserved and documented through visual art works.’ Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixSalt: The Great March II is a sequel project to Salt: The Great March I which was exhibited at Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts in Sept-Oct 2013. The Salt March series II, like its first edition, explores salt as a symbol of non-violence. The project is inspired by the Gandhian theory of satyagraha – a challenge to one’s own truth with stress on self-purification, self-examination and self-assessment. It stimulates our conscience and soul searching for the uplift of all (sarvodaya). These works further explore the practice of nonviolence, tolerance, peace and harmony through the narratives of swadeshi politics. The ‘Salt’ series draws upon the history of India’s colonial past and Mahatma Gandhi’s 1930 Dandi March, which began the Salt Satyagraha and became an important part of the Indian independence movement.
Calling as “sting-fest” emergence of certain audio clips purportedly featuring Kejriwal’s voice, Yadav said “innocuous conversations” were being presented as stings to “discredit” AAP.”One incident is being used to discredit the entire movement. Now innocuous conversations are also being presented as stings. Big accusations are flying sans any evidence. The media is happy to dish it all with a glee,” a post on his Facebook page said.”Whatever our internal differences, no one from this movement can possibly enjoy let alone join this mudslinging. All of us must join hands to preserve the organisationl unity and ethical integrity of this movement,” it added. Also Read – Need to understand why law graduate’s natural choice is not legal profession: CJIThis assumes significant as Yadav and Prashant Bhushan, who were ousted from AAP’s Political Affairs Committee, have been at odds with the party leadership over various issues including efforts to form a government with the help of Congress last year.Former party Member of Legislative Assembly Rajesh Garg on Wednesday had accused Kejriwal of trying to poach six Congress MLAs to form government last year following which the party’s prominent Mumbai face Anjali Damania quit the party. Also Read – Health remains key challenge in India’s development: KovindOn Friday former Congress legislator Asif Mohammed Khan alleged that a senior AAP leader had offered him a ministerial berth in return for support.”The manthan in the last few days has produced good deal of visha; it’s time now for amrita. Or so I hope,” he said.Yadav, who had also issued a joint letter with Bhushan rejecting the allegations of anti-party activities against them, wondered whether “powerful forces” were behind the tumult in the party. “… Is this situation playing into the hands of those powerful forces who would rather that the idea of AAP is nipped in the bud?,” he asked adding the need to “resist” such designs.”The spate of attacks on the party in the last two days can only evoke deep anguish. Have received messages from thousands of volunteers. Everyone is hurt and pained,” he said.Meanhwile, Shahid Azad –who was a part of the AAP’s minority wing –, and who leaked the Kejriwal audio, said he just wanted to bring to the notice the issues discussed by the top leadership.”The real intention is not to disrespect or harm the party. I just want to point out the party leadership talking about various issues between them.”They talk about eradication of communal politics, which is one of our ideals to achieve. I want this issue to be discussed. This audio tape is only confined to that extent and nothing else,” Azad said
Kolkata: The state government has set up West Bengal Film Academy (WBFA) to ensure an overall development and promotion of the film sector in the state.It may be mentioned that a notification has been issued, announcing the setting up of WBFA. There are a total of 23 members in it, with Aroop Biswas, the state Youth Services and Sports minister, as its chairman.The members of WBFA include personalities from the film industry, representatives of different associations, senior officials of the state Information and Cultural Affairs department, etc. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsDirector Goutam Ghosh, actor Prosenjit Chatterjee, MP and actor Dipak Adhikari, MP Satabdi Roy, director Shoojit Sircar, Srikanta Mohta and many others from the film industry are in WBFA. Moreover, the presidents of the bodies, including Federation of Cine Technician and Workers of Eastern India and Eastern India Motion Pictures Association, are also its members. Among state government officials, Principal Secretary of the Information and Cultural Affairs department, Finance Secretary, Director of Films, Director and CEO of Roopkala Kendra and managing director of West Bengal Film Development Corporation Limited, are also members of WBFA. The CEO of Nandan and Director of Kolkata International Film Festival is the member-secretary and its convener. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedIt has been stated that the step to set up WBFA has been taken to encourage and promote development of films and to act as an “umbrella body” for all issues related to the film industry. With setting up of the same, stress will be given on the development of infrastructure needed for the industry.Moreover, it will also ensure creation of employment opportunities in the sector and at the same time, the body can also give advice on various ongoing issues, to sort out the problems faced by producers, distributors and exhibitors. The body can also extend necessary help in connection with the ongoing schemes such as group mediclaim policies, accident insurance schemes for the cine and television artistes and workers in the studios.Members of WBFA will also seek to ensure further development of Roopkala Kendra, West Bengal Film Development Corporation Limited, Cinema Centenary Building and other related institutions.
Kolkata: Thousands of people from neighbouring states are getting benefits of various health schemes initiated by the Bengal government.Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s dream projects of providing free-of-cost health services in all state-run hospitals and medical colleges, have already become a great success with a large number of people availing free treatment at the hospitals. Now, it has been found that many patients from neighbouring states and countries are also benefitting from the health schemes.The success of the project has gone to the extent where a large number of people are coming to the city to undergo critical surgeries at various hospitals, thereby availing the benefits of the health schemes started by the Mamata Banerjee government. According to a senior Health department official, people from outside the state are reaping the benefits of the projects and many of these patients are undergoing critical surgeries at various state-run medical colleges in the city, free-of-cost.A sizeable number of patients are from Bangladesh. In most of the cases, the state Health department is clueless about the whereabouts of these patients coming from outside, as they show themselves to be local residents. After the disease is cured, the patients go back to their respective native places. This in turn is creating a pressure on the state government.”We cannot stop a patient from outside from being treated at a government hospital free-of-cost, only because he/she is not a resident of the state. Thus, many outside patients are found to be getting the benefits of various health schemes of the state,” a senior official of the Health department said.It has been found that in many cases, the patients mention the address of their local relatives, where they stay during their visit to the state. Most of these outside patients are from Jharkhand and Bihar, among other states. A large number of people from Bangladesh and Nepal also visit the hospitals.
A powerful 7.5 earthquake that jolted Afghanistan, Pakistan and India on Monday was also strongly felt in parts of northwest China’s Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region.Residents of Kashgar, Hotan, Aksu and Kizilsu in southern Xinjiang felt the quake and many ran out of their homes. “First, we felt a minor quake and then a strong one. People rushed out of their buildings to open ground,” Kashgar resident Feng Zhuoyi said, adding that she felt dizzy when the tremor struck. Also Read – Nine hurt in accident at fireworks show in French resortHowever, there have been no reports of casualties or collapsed houses in Xinjiang, fire service officials told state-run Xinhua new agency. At least 105 people were killed and over 1,000 others injured on Monday as a strong 7.5 earthquake rocked northern Pakistan. The quake’s epicentre was located near Jurm in northeast Afghanistan, 250 kilometres from Kabul and at a depth of 213.5 kms, according to the US Geological Survey.