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September 5, 2006, 5:11 AM CT

Dinosaur Discovery More To Come

Dinosaur Discovery More To Come
The golden age of dinosaur discovery is yet upon us, as per Peter Dodson at the University of Pennsylvania. In a forthcoming issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Dodson revises his groundbreaking 1990 census on the diversity of discoverable dinosaurs upward by 50%, offering a brighter outlook about the number of dinosaurs waiting to be found. His findings also add evidence that dinosaur populations were stable, and not on the decline, in the time shortly before their extinction 65 million years ago.

Dodson proposes that 1,850 genera (the plural of genus, an organizational group comprised of one or more separate species) will eventually be discovered, in total. Since the dinosaur research began in earnest in the 19th century, only 527 genera have so far been found, eventhough that number is currently changing at the rate of 10 to 20 per year.

"It's a safe bet that a child born today could expect a very fruitful career in dinosaur paleontology," said Dodson, professor of anatomy in Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine and professor in Penn's Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. "Unfortunately, there is a finite limit to what can be discovered, so our estimates show that the child's grandchildren won't be so fortunate as new discoveries will likely decline sharply in the early 22nd century".........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

September 5, 2006, 4:53 AM CT

Injured children at U.S. military hospital

Injured children at U.S. military hospital
Military hospitals are likely to encounter injured children as wars move away from the battlefield and into civilian territories, according to background information in the article. Children sometimes serve as soldiers or are used as human shields. In addition, because war disrupts medical facilities in the affected area, children with other injuries or illnesses may seek medical care at U.S. military hospitals as well. When U.S. and coalition forces entered Iraq in 2003, Iraqi civilian hospitals were already understaffed and lacked the supplies and infrastructure needed to effectively care for citizens. From early in the conflict, medical care was offered to injured civilians in cases of severe injury, and hospital commanders could approve care for children with medical needs that could not be handled by the Iraqi system.

Lt. Col. Christopher P. Coppola, U.S.A.F., M.C., and colleagues at the Lackland Air Force Base, Texas, reported on the children treated at one level III (medical facility in a combat area) hospital in Balad, Iraq, from January 2004 to May 2005. The 332nd Air Force Theater Hospital is approximately 40 miles north of Baghdad and consists of a series of tents with concrete floors, linked by a corridor. The facility has a staff of 420 and can accommodate up to 24 intensive care unit beds and 80 additional beds; up to six surgeries can be performed at once.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

September 5, 2006, 4:48 AM CT

Global Changes Affect Plants

Global Changes Affect Plants
Any gardener knows--different plant species mature at different times. Scientists studying plant communities in natural habitats call this phenomenon "complementarity." It allows many species to co-exist because it reduces overlap in the time period when species compete for limited resources. Now, in a study posted online the week of Sept. 4 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, ecologists working at Stanford's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve report evidence that climate change may alter this delicate balance.

"In the natural world, species have evolved to be finely attuned to the seasons--timing is everything," said lead author Elsa Cleland, who performed this research as part of her doctoral dissertation at Stanford and is now a postdoctoral fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis in Santa Barbara, Calif. "If climate change alters the timing of plant activity, then it could have a domino effect, impacting the feeding, breeding or migration patterns of the animals that rely on particular plant species".

Cleland's co-authors include Nona R. Chiariello, research coordinator of the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve; Scott Loarie, who assisted with this research while a Stanford undergraduate; Christopher B. Field, director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology (located on the Stanford campus) and faculty director of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, and Harold A. Mooney, the Paul S. Achilles Professor of Environmental Biology at Stanford.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

September 4, 2006, 10:17 PM CT

Memories Of Disturbing Emotional Events

Memories Of Disturbing Emotional Events
Psychologists have long known that memories of disturbing emotional events - such as an act of violence or the unexpected death of a loved one - are more vivid and deeply imprinted in the brain than mundane recollections of everyday matters.

Probing deeper into how such memories form, researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison have found that the mere anticipation of a fearful situation can fire up two memory-forming regions of the brain - even before the event has occurred.

That means the simple act of anticipation may play a surprisingly important role in how fresh the memory of a tough experience remains.

The findings of the brain-imaging study, which appear in the current issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have important implications for the treatment of psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and social anxiety, which are often characterized by flashbacks and intrusive memories of upsetting events.

"The main motivation for this study was a clinical one, in terms of understanding and applying knowledge about memory so that we can better inform the treatment of disorders that have a large memory component, like PTSD," says lead author Kristen Mackiewicz, a graduate student at the University of Colorado who worked on the anticipation study while a student at UW-Madison.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

September 3, 2006, 8:22 AM CT

British Soldiers' Wives Are Tough

British Soldiers' Wives Are Tough
September sees the deployment of more British troops to Afghanistan, but what is the impact on the wives and families left behind? Research from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) discovers that the wives of British soldiers on active duty are more resilient then their husbands might imagine.

These women may have their dissatisfactions, but the work-life tensions of military life are outweighed by the financial security provided by the Army. So say scientists Professor Christopher Dandeker and Claire French from the King's Centre of Military Health Research, based jointly in the Institute of Psychiatry and the Department of War Studies at King's College, London.

Their study included analysis of face-to-face interviews with 50 Army wives around the start of their husbands' six-month deployment to Iraq in 2004, and again after it ended, along with data from parallel research into the health and well-being of the soldiers. They found the wives, who were based in Gera number of, much more tolerant than the servicemen of the pressures that the military places on them.

More than 80 per cent of wives were proud of their husband's career, but half did not like them being in the armed forces. When the deployment ended, however, 88 per cent wanted their husbands to stay in the Army because of salary and pension. Fifty-one per cent of wives thought their marriage was affected in a negative way by their husband's career, and 47 per cent saw this tension as emotional conflict, particularly family stress caused by long absences and husbands missing important family occasions.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

September 3, 2006, 6:39 AM CT

Genomic technologies might solve world hunger

Genomic technologies might solve world hunger
Genomic technologies may have the potential to alleviate food insecurity and food shortages around the world. Scientists think that biotechnology has the potential to improve the nutritional content of food crops and, crucially, resistance to insects and disease. This could lead to improved yields of food crops for both human and animal consumption. Scientists are also working on 'molecular farming' production of pharmaceutical products in plants, with the potential to revolutionise vaccination procedures. However, these technologies are only likely to impact on world hunger if there is effective and efficient exchange of knowledge and experience through partnerships.

A keynote speaker at the ESRC Innogen Centre's Annual Conference to be held on 5th-6th September at Regent's College, London warns of a caveat to this enthusiasm for the introduction of genomic technologies. Dr Simon Best, Chairman of the Board of the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid tropics (ICRISAT) highlights the need for greater and more efficient collaboration between the public and private sectors involved in this research. The Director of Development Partnerships for the International Potato Centre (CIP), Dr. Roger Cortbaoui, echoes these arguments saying there is a need to construct, "useful partnerships and networks including with the private sector" in an industry where basic research is dominated by public funded research centres.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

September 3, 2006, 5:45 AM CT

The Mysterious Nanocosmos

The Mysterious Nanocosmos Both figures above show the filaments in a human nerve cell; left with a common confocal microscope, right with a STED microscope
There is an amazing and mysterious nanocosmos out there largely unexplored. How viruses infect a cell, how nerve cells transport signals or how proteins work - the nanocosmos of nature remains hidden to the human eye. However, in order to still be able to perceive the seemingly invisible, we need to enlarge the object - for example, with a fluorescence microscope. Fluorescent markers are attached to proteins and other biomolecules so that scientists can observe the marker. For a long time, low resolution prevented a deeper look into the function of proteins - single proteins with their dimension of 2-20 nanometers diameter were, until now, just too small.

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Gottingen have now achieved a resolution of up to 15nm with their STED microscope (Stimulated Emission Depletion). Their fluorescence microscope is thereby twelve times sharper than a conventional one. Already in April, the team of scientists lead by Professor Stefan Hell achieved a detail sharpness of up to 60 nanometers in cells.

Only a few years ago, physicists believed that it was impossible to resolve details that lie closer together than 200 nanometers. This limit is imposed by Abbe's Law, whereby the resolution of a light microscope cannot be more accurate than half of the wavelength of light entering the microscope.........

Posted by: Nora      Permalink         Source

September 2, 2006, 9:34 PM CT

Remembering Katrina

Remembering Katrina New Orleans houses are swamped by floodwaters after Hurricane Katrina.
Credit: Liz Roll
In the year since Hurricane Katrina struck the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, researchers and engineers have examined the full breadth of the storm's aftermath--from levee failures and ecosystem damage to weather predictions and human responses in the midst of catastrophe.

As per a FEMA report, more than 1,300 people lost their lives in Louisiana and Mississippi alone; 450,000 were displaced. Total economic losses exceeded an estimated $125 billion, including homes, universities, bridges and other infrastructure--and some 350,000 vehicles and 2,400 ships.

Some scientists arrived on the scene immediately to collect critical clues before they were lost to rescue and clean-up operations--and time. Other research took place in distant laboratories, where researchers plugged numbers into computer models or built search robots. The researchers and engineers all sought to understand exactly how the destruction happened, if and when it could happen again, and especially, how to prevent such carnage in the future.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) supported a number of of the studies under its Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER) program. Eventhough the program was created to support small-scale, exploratory, high-risk research of all kinds, it has proved to be particularly well-suited for rapid-response situations because SGER requests can be processed and approved more quickly than other research proposals. Indeed, NSF has previously used the SGER program to field research teams in the aftermaths of both the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

September 1, 2006, 4:58 AM CT

Hispanic Buying Power

Hispanic Buying Power
Hispanic buying power in the United States will draw even with African-American buying power in 2006 -- at just under $800 billion -- and is projected to exceed it in 2007, as per a report on minority buying power released Friday by the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia's Terry College of Business.

Hispanics actually surpassed blacks as the nation's largest minority group five years ago, based on population counts. But, in terms of spending power, 2007 will mark the first year that Hispanics control more disposable personal income than any other U.S. minority group.

The Selig Center estimated Hispanic buying power will be $863.1 billion in 2007, an 8.1 percent increase over 2006, while black buying power will reach $847 billion in 2007, a 6 percent increase.

"The economic clout of Hispanics has risen from $212 billion in 1990, when I first started doing this study, to $798 billion this year and I expect it to be almost $1.2 trillion five years from now," said Jeff Humphreys, director of the Selig Center. "That's more than 450 percent growth from 1990 to 2011. Non-Hispanic buying power is growing closer to a rate of 176 percent over the same period.

"Still, even as Hispanic buying power overtakes African American buying power at the national level, it is important to recognize that in the majority of states the African American market will continue to be much larger than the Hispanic market," Humphreys said. "This insight reflects the fact that Hispanics and their buying power are much more geographically concentrated than non-Hispanics or African Americans. For example, California alone accounts for 27 percent of all Hispanic buying power in the U.S".........

Posted by: Edwin      Permalink         Source

August 31, 2006, 4:17 PM CT

Fashion Designers via Technology

Fashion Designers via Technology
That's right, Angelo Russica has decided to take fashion design to the web. Using a web-based design school that is dedicated to teaching all aspects of design including the basic skills needed, history of design and the aesthetics of Italian fashion, is born.

A number of students had apparently complained about the fact that they had spent thousands of dollars learning the trade yet never had a job that correlation to fashion, once they left these schools. Angelo Russica decided to make it a little cheaper and less intrusive by using technology.

Modeling the lessons so that each individual lesson is built upon the prior lesson, you slowly graduate into more expansive knowledge of the industry and Italian design. The lessons require the students to actively participate and encourage a number of different things such as learning to analyze the market and find sources for information sought.

With 7 sections, 27 chapters, 197 pages and more than 170 exercises, they hope to teach with a different mode of getting the knowledge out but still allow the students to acquire the same skill level that is reached in typical schools.

Sounds interesting to me but do they get to digitally display the degree too? I think this is going to become more commonplace as online degrees and colleges start pepping up their courses.........

Posted by: John      Permalink         Source

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