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August 12, 2006, 1:34 PM CT

Schwarzenegger Sends Guard Troops To Major Airports,

Schwarzenegger Sends Guard Troops To Major Airports,
Three hundred National Guard troops were ordered Thursday to airports in San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego as state and local officials ramped up security measures around California in response to the arrests of suspected terrorists accused of plotting to blow up airplanes headed from Britain to the United States.

Schwarzenegger Sends Guard Troops To Major Airports,.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

August 12, 2006, 1:24 PM CT

Strategy behind using liquids to threaten planes

Strategy behind using liquids to threaten planes

Today from

Strategy behind using liquids to threaten planes.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

August 12, 2006, 9:41 AM CT

Color 3D Prints

Color 3D Prints
See this 3D print.

With the help of some friends at CADD Edge we were able to get a color 3D print of our favorite World of Warcraft gnome. All we had to do was export our cleaned up and textured models as VRML files, which they fed right into their ZCorp printer.

If you are interested in doing the same with your video game avatars, I suggest contacting Anvil Prototypes. They are interested in helping people who want to pay to have their characters printed (see their sweet flyer), and took this funny photo of a color-printed gnome in the woods:

(is it just me, or are the monochrome prints from Eyebeam's Dimension so much less fulfilling now?).........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

August 12, 2006, 9:03 AM CT

Editorial board of Elsevier journal resigns

Another journal declaration of independence is in progress. Yesterday the entire editorial board of Topology resigned to protest Elsevier's refusal to lower the subscription price. The editors' letter was posted to PAMnet this morning. (Thanks to George Porter.) Excerpt from the letter:

Dear Mr [Robert] Ross [of Elsevier Science],.

We regret to have to tell you that we, the Editorial Board of Topology, are resigning with effect from 31 December 2006.

As you are well aware, the Editors have been concerned about the price of Topology since Elsevier gained control of the journal in 1994. We believe that the price, in combination with Elsevier's policies for pricing mathematics journals more generally, has had a significant and damaging effect on Topology's reputation in the mathematical research community, and that this is likely to become increasingly serious and difficult, indeed impossible, to reverse in the future.

As you know, we have made efforts over the last five to ten years to negate this effect.

The journal Topology has an illustrious history with which we, on becoming editors, were extremely proud to be associated. It owd its foundation to the inspiration and vision of the great Oxford topologist JHC Whitehead in the late 1950s, and the Honorary Advisory Editorial Board and also our predecessors on the Editorial Board have included some of the greatest names in 20th century mathematics. We believe that the journal's ethos and structure, based around a group of editors making editorial decisions jointly in Oxford with the expert assistance and advice of highly eminent editors elsewhere around the world, has many strengths and has provided a great service to the mathematical community in the past. However we feel that Elsevier's policies toward the publication of mathematics research have undermined that legacy.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

August 12, 2006, 6:35 AM CT

Success Of MRI-guided Breast Biopsy

Success Of MRI-guided Breast Biopsy
Radiologists can help confirm that an MRI-guided breast biopsy has successfully removed the lesion by taking an x-ray of the lesion and slices of the lesion, a new study shows.

"Contrast-enhanced MRI of the breast is becoming increasingly useful in patients with lesions that cannot be detected with other techniques," said Basak Erguvan-Dogan, MD, radiologist in Breast Imaging at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. "However, it is hard to confirm removal of the targeted lesion because the abnormality does not enhance after being removed from the breast," she said.

Currently, patients who have MRI-guided needle localization and excision of abnormalities may be asked to have follow-up breast MRI; if the lesion has not been successfully removed, another biopsy procedure will need to be done. "By taking x-rays of the lesion specimen, then slicing it up and taking additional x-rays, we can determine if the lesion has been removed or if additional tissue needs to be excised while the patient is still in the operating room," Dr. Erguvan-Dogan said.

Whole specimen and sliced specimen radiography waccording toformed in 10 patients, and X-raying the lesion as a whole and in slices proved to be valuable, said Dr. Erguvan-Dogan. "In all five cancerous cases, sliced specimen radiographs showed the lesion in question, helped the pathologist correctly identify the lesion while the patient was still in the operating room and helped the surgeon obtain negative surgical margins," said Dr. Erguvan-Dogan. In addition, "whole specimen radiography is able to correctly locate fractured biopsy needle localization wires, which may be removed before the patient left the operating room," she said.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

August 11, 2006, 9:37 PM CT

What Keeps Lizards' Blue Genes from Fading?

What Keeps Lizards' Blue Genes from Fading? In side-blotched lizards, three throat colors correlate with strikingly different behavior in the males.
Credit: Suzanne Millls and Barry Sinervo
Researchers have reported the first direct evidence that cooperative behavior in side-blotched male lizards arises from their genes. The findings, reported in the May 9 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by University of California--Santa Cruz's Barry Sinervo and his colleagues, represent some 20 years of research into the altruistic or "self-sacrificing" behavior.

Side-blotched lizards, it turns out, come in three different throat colors--blue, orange or yellow. Sinervo had previously demonstrated the three throat colors in the males correlate with strikingly different behaviors.

The blues form partnerships, while the oranges are aggressors and the yellows are sneaky.

Say a pair of blue-throated males, for example, is protecting its territory from roaming orange-throated bullies. In a true act of selflessness, one blue throat steps forward to battle an intruding orange aggressor--thereby sacrificing his own chances to successfully mate.

Meanwhile, as blue throats and orange throats battle it out, yellow throats quietly sneak into unprotected territories to find females.

In nature, altruism seems contradictory to an animal's goals of survival and passing on its genes, so scientists have been trying to understand why one of the blue males in a partnership will put himself in harm's way to allow the other to reproduce. Even though it may forfeit their own reproductive chances, the fighting blue throats secure the persistence of their genes in future generations by enabling their blue buddies to avoid the aggressors and go on to mate.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

August 11, 2006, 9:31 PM CT

Fossils Links from Ape-men

Fossils Links from Ape-men The fossils found at Middle Awash, Ethiopia, date between 4.1 million-4.2 million years old and come from Australopithecus anamensis.
Credit: Photo © 2005 Tim D. White\Brill Atlanta
A team of researchers working in an eastern Ethiopian desert has discovered fossil bones and teeth from individuals they believe link the genus Australopithecus--precursors of humans--to a decidedly more ape-like animal of the genus Ardipithicus. Because the fossils were found in areas known to contain evidence of both older and younger specimens, the researchers say evidence of when the three hominid types existed will provide valuable information about human evolution.

Still, 'it is fair to say that some species of Ardipithicus gave rise to Australopithecus," said Tim White, a professor of integrative biology at the University of California-Berkeley and one of the team leaders.

White and coworkers from 17 countries have published their findings in the April 13 issue of the journal Nature.

The fossils are from the most-primitive Australopithecus species, known as Au. anamensis, dating from about 4.1 million years ago, said White, and push the species closer in time to its last known ancestor. "This new discovery closes the gap between the fully blown Australopithecines and earlier forms we call Ardipithecus," White said. "We now know where Australopithecus came from before 4 million years ago".

Even though the two are separated by only 300,000 years, Au. anamensis could have rapidly evolved from Ardipithecus. Or, fossils placing the two hominid types on Earth at the same time may yet be found. Nevertheless, White said, the new fossils show clear descent from the genus Ardipithecus, two species of which have been identified over the genus's 2 million years of existence.........

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August 11, 2006, 9:13 PM CT

Drilling Into Fossil Magma Chamber Deep Under the Ocean

Drilling Into Fossil Magma Chamber Deep Under the Ocean
Researchers aboard the research drilling ship JOIDES Resolution have, for the first time, drilled into a fossil magma chamber under intact ocean crust. There, 1.4 kilometers beneath the sea floor, they have recovered samples of gabbro: a hard, black rock that forms when molten magma is trapped beneath Earth's surface and cools slowly.

The scientists, affiliated with the Integrated Ocean Drilling Program (IODP), published their findings on April 20 in Science Express, the online edition of the journal Science.

Eventhough gabbro has been sampled elsewhere in the oceans where faulting and tectonic movements have brought it closer to the seafloor, this is the first time gabbro has been recovered from intact ocean crust.

The borehole into the magma chamber took nearly five months to drill, and mandatory the use of twenty-five hardened steel and tungsten carbide drill bits. Getting there "is a rare opportunity to calibrate geophysical measurements with direct observations of real rocks," said geophysicist Doug Wilson of the University of California at Santa Barbara, lead author on the Science Express paper. "Finding the right place to drill was probably the key to this success".

Wilson and his IODP colleagues observed that place by identifying a region of the Pacific Ocean that formed some 15 million years ago when the East Pacific Rise was spreading at a "superfast" rate of more than 200 millimeters per year, faster than any mid-ocean ridge on Earth today.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

August 11, 2006, 9:10 PM CT

Hyena Mothers Give Dose of Hormones

Hyena Mothers Give Dose of Hormones
Researchers have discovered that a dominant hyena puts her cubs on the road to success before they are born by passing on high levels of certain hormones that make her budding young leaders more aggressive and sexually advanced.

The report, reported in the April 27 issue of Nature, is the first study in mammals to demonstrate a relationship between a female's social rank and her ability to influence her offspring's behavior through prenatal hormone transfer. Previously, this phenomenon had only been documented in birds.

Michigan State University's Kay Holekamp, together with her colleagues, spent almost 10 years sampling androgen levels from free-ranging hyenas in Kenya. Androgens are hormones, such as testosterone, that control development of typically masculine characteristics like aggression, muscle development and sexual behavior.

The team observed that alpha females had higher androgen levels late in pregnancy when in comparison to the subordinate, pregnant females in the pack. Consequently, the cubs of the alpha females were more aggressive and exhibited more sexual play, characteristics that elevate the chances for life-success in both sexes.

In hyena packs, male-female social roles are reversed from what is normally found in nature--that is, female hyenas are larger, more aggressive and dominate the group. They even have deceptively male-like genitalia, leading to the misconception that they are hermaphrodites.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

August 11, 2006, 7:11 AM CT

Fat Regulating Hormone Found in Amphibian

Fat Regulating Hormone Found in Amphibian
For the first time, researchers have identified an amphibian version of the human hormone leptin. While the hormone's impact on human development is unclear, the new study suggests leptin plays an important role in tadpole growth and development.

"Leptin likely sets the stage for growth and development, both signaling to the brain that there are sufficient energy stores and directly promoting tissue growth and development," said University of Michigan biologist Robert Denver. "Given its central role in energy balance, leptin may play a role in timing tadpole metamorphosis, a critical amphibian life history trait".

Leptin is secreted by fat cells and helps regulate food intake in humans and other mammals. However, the recent findings are the first linking leptin to limb and digit growth, and the first to reveal the hormone in a cold-blooded animal, the South African clawed frog (Xenopus laevis).

Denver and his postdoctoral fellow Erica Crespi, now at Vassar College, published their findings in the June 27, 2006, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation.

Crespi and Denver gave doses of leptin to frogs at different developmental stages, from tadpole to adult. As in mammals, leptin acted on the amphibian's brain to suppress appetite - older tadpoles stopped eating and even lost weight. But the hormone had a different effect on the younger tadpoles. After a dose of leptin, they did not lose their appetites, and instead, began to grow limbs prematurely.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

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