Science & Technology
NASA called off the launch of the space shuttle Endeavour for a third time July 11 after lightning strikes in the Cape Canaveral area prompted the space agency to move the liftoff to July 12. The mission to deliver equipment to the International Space Station was scratched twice in June due to a mysterious launch pad hydrogen gas leak that appears to be resolved.
Published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research -- announced last November -- details the identification of the remains, while also suggesting that Copernicus most likely had blue eyes, fair skin and light hair color.
"This is the end of a search that has lasted for at least two centuries," Swedish and Polish researchers who carried the genetic tests wrote.
When you toss a coin, you either get heads or tails. By contrast, things are not so definite at the microcosmic level. An atomic 'coin' can display a superposition of heads and tails when it has been thrown. However, this only happens if you do not look at the coin. If you do, it decides in favour of one of the two states. If you leave the decision where a quantum particle should go to a coin like this, you get unusual effects. For the first time, physicists at the University of Bonn have demonstrated these effects in an experiment with caesium. Their research will be published in the next issue of the scientific journal Science.
National Accelerator Laboratory
Fri, 10 Jul 2009 01:04 UTC
To make matters worse for the terminally uncoordinated, it now looks as if women are right to go for men who can strut their stuff like John Travolta or Patrick Swayze - as they are more likely to be strong and to produce healthy offspring.
A team at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, coated gold nanoparticles with a layer of hair-like molecules called 4-(11-mercaptoundecanoxy) azobenzene or MUA. When zapped with ultraviolet light, these filaments change their shape and charge distribution, causing the nanoparticles to congregate together and change colour.
"The colour of the nanoparticles depends on how close they are to one another," says lead researcher Bartosz Grzybowski. "For instance, gold nanoparticles are red when separated, but become violet, then blue, then colourless as they cluster together."
Thu, 09 Jul 2009 19:27 UTC
A new Pew Research Center poll indicates that 27 percent of Americans say the nation's greatest achievements are in science, medicine and technology, more than any category other than don't know.
But that's down from 47 percent in a similar study a decade ago, the center reported Thursday.
The decline comes even as technology reaches out to connect people worldwide via the Internet.
However a recent study published in Geomorphology shows that snow and ice are not enough in themselves to stop dune movement. While trapped ice and snow impedes movement of sand dunes in polar climates, compared to their counterparts in warmer areas, this does not entirely stop dune movement, the study shows.
This indicates that other factors are limiting dune movement, said Mary Bourke, a senior research scientist at the Tucson-based Planetary Science Institute. Bourke led the study, which covers the longest time period of any cold-climate dune migration and dune dynamics study to date.