Should a ban on smoking exempt people who do it for 'cultural' reasons? What if the science regarding the detrimental effects of certain types of smoking is inconclusive?
This is an issue lawmakers in the UK will have to struggle with as advocates try to get hookah smoking exempted from England’s smoking ban.
A hookah is a glass waterpipe. It has primarily been used in Arabic communities for smoking herbal fruits after meals, but it has become popular among young people for smoking tobacco, massel (aromatic tobacco), cannabis and the cheaper bango, write Dr Rashid Gatrad and colleagues.
At the annual meeting of the American Society of Plant Biologists in Chicago, Dr. Jorge Zavala, Sr. of the Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, and colleagues showed that elevated CO2 may negatively impact the relationship between some plants and insects.
Elevated CO2 is considered to be a serious catalyst of global change. Its effects can be felt throughout the ecosystem, including the insect-plant food chain link. Safeguarding highly-usable crops is of great importance to many local and national economies.
NASA's Cassini spacecraft has revealed for the first time surface details of Saturn's moon Hyperion, including cup-like craters filled with hydrocarbons that may indicate more widespread presence in our solar system of basic chemicals necessary for life.
Hyperion yielded some of its secrets to the battery of instruments aboard Cassini as the spacecraft flew close by in September 2005. Water and carbon dioxide ices were found, as well as dark material that fits the spectral profile of hydrocarbons.
This map shows the composition of a portion of Hyperion's surface.
From Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" to heated Congressional debates about federal tax incentives for new alternative fuels, the issue of coal's place in supplying America's energy and fuel needs has taken on added importance in recent months.
A research institute at the University of Kentucky, though, has been exploring ways to increase the efficiency of converting coal to liquid fuel well in advance of national discussions of the process.
At the UK Center for Applied Energy Research (CAER), Burt Davis is refining the process to identify ways to reduce or capture carbon dioxide generated by the Fischer-Tropsch method of converting coal to diesel and other products, such as paraffin and chemicals for making plastics.
Scientists' hunt for the cause of depression has implicated so many suspects and found so many treatments with different mechanisms that the condition remains an enigma. Now researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified one unifying principle that could explain how a range of causes and treatments for depression converge.
They found that in rats the differing mechanisms of depression and its treatment in the end appear to funnel through a single brain circuit. Changes in how the electrical signals spread through the circuit appear to be the cause of depression-related behavior, according to their study.
New research led by University of New Hampshire physicists has proved the existence of a new type of electron wave on metal surfaces: the acoustic surface plasmon, which will have implications for developments in nano-optics, high-temperature superconductors, and the fundamental understanding of chemical reactions on surfaces. The research, led by Bogdan Diaconescu and Karsten Pohl of UNH, is published in the July 5 issue of the journal “Nature.”
“The existence of this wave means that the electrons on the surfaces of copper, iron, beryllium and other metals behave like water on a lake’s surface,” says Pohl, associate professor of physics at UNH. “When a stone is thrown into a lake, waves spread radially in all directions.