Mathematics

Scientists say they have developed a mathematical model of the mating game to help explain why courtship is often protracted.   That's right, there may one day be a numerical model to tell you why women under 30 like the Bad Boys but over age 30 they like men that are employed.
 
The study by researchers at University College London (UCL), University of Warwick and LSE (London School of Economics and Political Science), says that extended courtship enables a male to signal his suitability to a female and enables the female to screen out the male if he is unsuitable as a mate.
Last year a  study by Mathews, Johnson and Neil (2008) in their article "You are What your Mother Eats" that was published in the April 22, 2008 Proceedings of the Royal Society B implied that children of women who eat breakfast cereal are more likely to be boys than girls.
There's nothing quite like the frustration of an unexpected traffic jam. Many of us have been the victim of a sudden slowdown on the freeway, which lasts for a few miles before clearing up for no particular reason. Frustration isn't the only byproduct of bad traffic - by some estimates, traffic flow accounts for as much as one-third of global energy consumption and the resulting CO2 emissions. Improving the traffic situation, therefore, has the potential to greatly reduce our emissions of carbon dioxide as well as our emissions of swear words.

 
Today's underwater acoustic communication relies on scalar sensors to measure the pressure of the acoustic field. However, "a vector sensor is capable of measuring important non-scalar components of the acoustic field such as the particle velocity, which cannot be obtained by a single scalar pressure sensor" according to Ali Abdi, PhD, associate professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering at NJIT.[1]














Everyday, all over the world, people assemble peacefully into crowds at places such as shopping malls, sporting events, concerts and tourist sites--but crowds can shift from peaceful to unruly, even riotous, in just a few minutes given the right conditions.

The factors that cause a "charged" crowd to reach a "tipping point" and erupt into violence are not well understood by scientists because crowd behavior is so difficult to study. No one wants to incite a riot for the sake of science and surveys of individuals about their behavior as part of a crowd have not been that reliable.
"You really are a vacuum fluctuation / You're as cuddly as a fractal, you're as fuzzy as multi-instanton knots, Mr. El Naschie."

Perhaps those would really be the words had Dr. Seuss known about M.S. El Nashchie. A Christmas Eve shout-out to Slashdot (news for nerds) for this story. Nothing like a good mathematical publishing scandal to get you in that warm fuzzy Christmas spirit.
Determining the mechanisms that shape biological membranes has long been a tricky business. Like a factory assembly line, eukaryotic cells are organized into membrane-bound, functional compartments called organelles. For instance, the nucleus is the repository of genetic information and houses the machinery that creates the messenger RNA transcripts, which direct the synthesis of new protein. Secreted proteins are synthesized in a second organelle, the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), which are exported to the cell surface by a third organelle, the Golgi complex. All membrane bound organelles are characterized by dynamic changes in membrane structure that are closely coupled to the function of these compartments.
Not 10 years ago, most doctors agreed that estrogen supplements for post-menopausal women reduced the risk of heart attacks. Millions were paying extravagantly for “hormone replacement therapy”, and drug companies were making a killing. However, a comprehensive study conducted by the Women’s Health Initiative was stopped early, in 2002, because the dangers to healthy women taking estrogen were deemed excessive. Estrogen therapy, it turned out, actually increased the risk of heart attack, strokes, and breast cancer. The medical community was shocked. The Annals of Internal Medicine ran an editorial “How Could We Have Been So Wrong?” The National Institutes of Health hosted a special seminar on “methodology” and “medical evidence”.
We've all had it happen; you're sitting in class, hopelessly unprepared because you've been writing a D&D campaign or plotting ways to take over the world when, out of nowhere, the teacher calls upon you to come to the front the room and solve a math problem. In front of everyone.

How you respond to that says a lot about you, and 'math anxiety' may be a real phenomenon, according to a new report in Current Directions in Psychological Science.  University of Chicago psychologist Sian L. Beilock examines some recent research looking at why being stressed about math can result in poor performance in solving problems.
Cells are filled with membrane-bound organelles like the nucleus, mitochondria and endoplasmic reticula. Over the years, scientists have made much progress in understanding the biomolecular details of how these organelles function within cells, but understanding the actual physical forces that maintain the structures of these organelles' membranes continues to be a challenge. 

Now, UCLA Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science researcher William Klug and colleagues from the California Institute of Technology and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research in Massachusetts have devised a mathematical procedure for accurately predicting the three-dimensional forces involved in creating and maintaining certain organelle membranes.