Archive for May, 2008

Scientific press releases

May 27, 2008

From eurkalert.org:

Public Release: 27-May-2008
Geology
June 2008 Geology and GSA Today media highlights
GEOLOGY topics include Samoa on the hotspot trail, South Carolina’s offshore iceberg scours; Yellowstone’s climate-induced geyser periodicity; coralline red algae as a high-resolution climate recorder; the effects of extreme storm events on landscape and carbon dioxide; the iron isotope record and the first emergence of atmospheric and oceanic oxygen; and eastern California’s shear zone earthquakes. GSA Today’s science article discusses the Canadian Shield, Earth’s oldest continental crust, where rocks may have originated under primordial seas.
http://www.geosociety.org/news/pr/08-23.htm

Public Release: 27-May-2008
Scripta Materialia
NC State breakthrough results in super-hard nanocrystalline iron that can take the heat
Researchers at North Carolina State University have created a substance far stronger and harder than conventional iron, and which retains these properties under extremely high temperatures — opening the door to a wide variety of potential applications, such as engine components that are exposed to high stress and high temperatures.
National Science Foundation
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/ncsu-nsb052708.php

Public Release: 27-May-2008
Molecular Systems Biology
Weizmann Institute scientists build a better DNA molecule
Scientists at the Weizmann Institute of Science demonstrate that a mathematical concept called recursion can be applied to constructing flawless synthetic DNA molecules. The ideal molecules are created in successive rounds in which faultless segments are lifted from longer, error-containing DNA strands and assembled anew.
http://wis-wander.weizmann.ac.il/site/en/weizman.asp?pi=371&doc_id=5130

Public Release: 27-May-2008
JAMA
Prevalence of obesity among US children and teens does not increase
There was no significant increase in the prevalence of obese children and teens in the US between 1999 and 2006, in contrast to the increase that had been reported in prior years, according to a study in the May 28 issue of JAMA.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/jaaj-poo052208.php

Public Release: 25-May-2008
Research suggests parts of UK could be too hot for wine making by 2080
Increasing summer temperatures could mean some parts of southern England are too hot to grow vines for making wine by 2080, according to a new book launched today.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/icl-rsp052308.php
“The author, Emeritus Professor Richard Selley from Imperial College London, claims that if average summer temperatures in the UK continue to rise as predicted, the Thames Valley, parts of Hampshire and the Severn valley, which currently contain many vineyards, will be too hot to support wine production within the next 75 years.

“Instead, Professor Selley says, this land could be suitable for growing raisins, currents and sultanas, currently only cultivated in hot climates such as North Africa and the Middle East.”

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May 22, 2008

From http://eurekalert.org:

Public Release: 21-May-2008
Earth may hide a lethal carbon cache
Carbon locked away deep within the Earth’s crust could have profound implications on our climate, according to a meeting in the US last week. It has long been assumed that this “deep carbon,” buried in old carbonate rocks, fossil fuels and ice lattices, could be safely ignored when it came to analyzing the effect of greenhouse gases on climate. But now it is emerging there is much more deep carbon ready to spew out than previously thought.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/ns-emh052108.php
http://www.newscientist.com

Public Release: 21-May-2008
Why do astronauts suffer from space sickness?
Centrifuging astronauts for a lengthy period provided Dutch researcher Suzanne Nooij with better insight into how space sickness develops, the nausea and disorientation experienced by many astronauts. Nooij defended her PhD theses on this subject at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft, The Netherlands) on Tuesday May, 20.
http://www.tudelft.nl/live/pagina.jsp?id=4b5a9d8e-7e2c-4659-a3a4-4d27124b4ca4&lang=en

Public Release: 21-May-2008
Nature
A missing link settles debate over the origin of frogs and salamanders
The description of an ancient amphibian that millions of years ago swam in quiet pools and caught mayflies on the surrounding land in Texas has set to rest one of the greatest current controversies in vertebrate evolution. The discovery was made by a research team led by scientists at the University of Calgary.
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/uoc-aml052008.php

Public Release: 21-May-2008
New England Journal of Medicine
Smokers flock together, quit together
When smokers kick the habit, odds are they are not alone in making the move. Instead, the decision to quit smoking often cascades through social networks, with entire clusters of spouses, friends, siblings and co-workers giving up the habit roughly in tandem, according to a new study supported in part by the National Institutes of Health.
NIH/National Institute on Aging, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/nioa-sft051908.php

Public Release: 21-May-2008
Brain’s ‘trust machinery’ identified
The brain centers triggered by a betrayal of trust have been identified by researchers, who found they could suppress such triggering and maintain trust by administering the brain chemical oxytocin. The researchers said their findings not only offer basic insights into the neural machinery underlying trust; the results may also help in understanding the neural basis of social disorders such as phobias and autism.
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/cp-bm051508.php

Public Release: 20-May-2008
Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
Study reveals link among childhood allergies, asthma symptoms, and early life exposure to cats
A study released by researchers at the Columbia Center for Children’s Environmental Health at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, shows that cat ownership may have a protective effect against the development of asthma symptoms in young children at age five. The study found that children with cats in the home were more likely to have made allergy-related antibodies to cats.
National Institutes of Health
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2008-05/cums-srl052008.php

May 21, 2008

Thanks to Erik Mark Francis, on rec.arts.sf.science:

A Universe Without Weak Interactions
Authors: Roni Harnik, Graham D. Kribs, Gilad Perez
(Submitted on 4 Apr 2006)

Abstract: A universe without weak interactions is constructed that undergoes big-bang nucleosynthesis, matter domination, structure formation, and star formation. The stars in this universe are able to burn for billions of years, synthesize elements up to iron, and undergo supernova explosions, dispersing heavy elements into the interstellar medium. These definitive claims are supported by a detailed analysis where this hypothetical “Weakless Universe” is matched to our Universe by simultaneously adjusting Standard Model and cosmological parameters. For instance, chemistry and nuclear physics are essentially unchanged. The apparent habitability of the Weakless Universe suggests that the anthropic principle does not determine the scale of electroweak breaking, or even require that it be smaller than the Planck scale, so long as technically natural parameters may be suitably adjusted. Whether the multi-parameter adjustment is realized or probable is dependent on the ultraviolet completion, such as the string landscape. Considering a similar analysis for the cosmological constant, however, we argue that no adjustments of other parameters are able to allow the cosmological constant to raise up even remotely close to the Planck scale while obtaining macroscopic structure. The fine-tuning problems associated with the electroweak breaking scale and the cosmological constant therefore appear to be qualitatively different from the perspective of obtaining a habitable universe.

Comments: 27 pages; 4 figures
Subjects: High Energy Physics – Phenomenology (hep-ph); Astrophysics (astro-ph); High Energy Physics – Theory (hep-th)
Journal reference: Phys.Rev. D74 (2006) 035006
Cite as: arXiv:hep-ph/0604027v1
Submission history
From: Graham D. Kribs [view email]
[v1] Tue, 4 Apr 2006 06:47:37 GMT (54kb)