Science & Technology


Astronomers Peer Deep Inside Crab Pulsar

©NASA/JPL-Caltech/R. Gehrz (University of Minnesota)
Image Caption: New information about the heart of one of the most famous objects in the sky -- the Crab Pulsar in the Crab Nebula -- has been revealed by an international team of scientists searching for gravitational waves. The team's achievement also is the first direct look into the interior of a neutron star.

New information about the heart of one of the most famous objects in the sky -- the Crab Pulsar in the Crab Nebula -- has been revealed by an international team of scientists searching for gravitational waves. The team's achievement also is the first direct look into the interior of a neutron star.


Groundbreaking University of California, San Diego Research Study to Measure "How Much Information?" is in the World

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego, today announced a new study to quantify the amounts and kinds of information being produced worldwide by businesses and consumers alike. The "How Much Information?" study will be completed by a multi-disciplinary, multi-university faculty team supported by corporate and foundation sponsorship. The program will be undertaken at the Global Information Industry Center (GIIC) at the School of International Relations and Pacific Studies (IR/PS), with support from the Jacobs School of Engineering and the San Diego Supercomputer Center.

"Experts say that we live in an information economy, but how much information is there, and do countries count and value information comparably? The previous generation of studies have reported information as countable bits and bytes, and documented large growth numbers" said IR/PS Dean Peter F. Cowhey. "The next generation of studies will count more precisely the impacts and implications of information growth, and do this internationally," continued Cowhey.


'Cyborg Engineering' Enables Coronary Bypass Grafting Using Artificial Veins And Arteries

A team of London scientists have taken a major step in making the use of artificial veins and arteries in coronary bypass grafts a reality. Researchers have developed artificial graft tissue by combining man-made materials with human cells to make it elastic and durable and so it can attach to host tissue.

Compliant poly(carbonate-urea)urethane
©S. Tawqeer Rashid
Compliant poly(carbonate-urea)urethane serves as an elastic scaffold that gives the artificial graft its shape.


Finding out what the Big Bang and ink jets have in common

It often turns out there is more to commonplace everyday events than meets the eye. The folding of paper, or fall of water droplets from a tap, are two such events, both of which involve the creation of singularities requiring sophisticated mathematical techniques to describe, analyse and predict. On the positive side, there is much in common between many such singular events across the whole range of scales, from microscopic interactions to the very formation of the universe itself during the Big Bang. In the past these seemingly unconnected events involving singularities have tended to be studied in isolation by different scientists with relatively little interaction or exchange of ideas between them.

Singularities occur at a point of cut off, or sudden change, within a physical system, as in formation of cracks, lightning strikes, creation of ink drops in printers, and the breaking of a cup when it drops. Improved understanding of the underlying mathematics would have many benefits, for example in making materials of all kinds that are more resistant to cracking or breaking. A recent workshop organised by the European Science Foundation (ESF) represented one of the first attempts to unify the field of singularities by bringing together experts in the different fields of application from astronomy to nanoscience, to develop common mathematical approaches.


Brain's Gray Cells Appear To Be Changed By Trauma Of Major Events Like 9/11 Attack, Study Suggests

Healthy adults who were close to the World Trade Center during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, have less gray matter in key emotion centers of their brains compared with people who were more than 200 miles away, finds a new Cornell study.

Magnetic resonance imaging of the brains
©Cornell University
Magnetic resonance imaging of the brains of healthy adults more than three years after Sept. 11, 2001, shows areas that have less gray matter volume in those who were near ground zero on 9/11, compared with those who were much farther away. This is three views of the brain areas that have lower gray matter volume in the 9/11-exposed group. Notably, all of these areas (which show up brighter in this image) are associated with the processing of emotion.


Darwin still causing waves after 150 years

LONDON - Speeches and a scientific meeting next month will kick off 18 months of events to celebrate the impact and lasting legacy of Charles Darwin, whose theories on evolution are still causing waves 150 years later.

It was on July 1, 1858 that papers on the development of animals by Darwin and fellow scientist Alfred Wallace were presented to the Linnean Society in London representing the cream of scientific knowledge. They did not go down well.

Charles Darwin Specimens
©REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
Specimens are shown at an exhibit marking the work of renowned naturalist Charles Darwin at the American Museum of Natural History in New York November 15, 2005.


Novel Bacterial Species Is Found Trapped In 120,000-year-old Ice

A team of Penn State scientists has discovered a new ultra-small species of bacteria that has survived for more than 120,000 years within the ice of a Greenland glacier at a depth of nearly two miles. The microorganism's ability to persist in this low-temperature, high-pressure, reduced-oxygen, and nutrient-poor habitat makes it particularly useful for studying how life, in general, can survive in a variety of extreme environments on Earth and possibly elsewhere in the solar system.

Extruding an icecore
© Mark Twickler, University of New Hampshire/National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Paleoclimatology Program/Department of Commerce
Extruding a core: Scientists extrude the core from its barrel with the utmost care. Any butyl acetate on the core surface is carefully cleaned off before sawing the ice into 2 m sections. The cloudy layers clearly visible in this 6 m core section were formed when dust fell onto the ice sheet and was entrained in the ice. (Note: Access to ice-core samples was provided by the National Science Foundation)

Better Earth

New report identifies dangerous Web domains

When surfing the Internet for safe Web sites, not all domains are equal.


Ancient mtDNA sheds some light on gender roles in Ancient Greece

Historians have for a long time thought ancient women of Greece were treated as property. That's because most of the written Grecian record came from Athens and wrote of women as inferior creatures, scarcely more intelligent than children. The little bit we know about the other Greek states was more often than not written by an Athenian.

Mask of Agamemnon
Mask of Agamemnon


New Zealand's Colonization 1000 Years Later Than Previously Thought?

The dating project, in one of the largest studies of its kind, has shown that the country was not visited by humans over 2000 years ago, as some previous research suggests.

©Landcare Research
Janet Wilmshurst sieving sediments at Earthquakes #1 re--excavation.