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In A Global Warming Future, Autumn Foliage Will Come Later, Last Longer

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Longer Telomeres And Genetic Determinant For Melanoma Risk

An international research consortium has found that longer telomeres increase the risk of melanoma....

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Is baseball biased toward left-handed pitchers? Indeed it is, says David A. Peters, Ph.D., McDonnell Douglas Professor of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis (and uber baseball fan) and he says he has the data to prove it.

There's no question left-handed pitchers, even less than great ones, can last a long time in baseball. But 90 percent of the world is right-handed yet only 75 percent of baseball players are. Is that because left-handed pitchers do better against right-handed hitters so teams develop more left-handed hitters toi counter that or is it part of a vast, left-hand conspiracy?


If you weren't living under a scientific rock for the last 20 years, you know that everyone from environmental groups to Senator and then Vice-President Al Gore believed biofuels were the renewable way to cut dependence on foreign oil and have a cleaner environment.

If you weren't living under a scientific rock for the last 20 years and know anything about how biofuels are made you always knew that was complete hoopie, but it wasn't until a Republican president and Congress agreed they were good that everyone knew they must be terribly wrong.

But biofuels are not as bad today as some make them out to be, just like they were not as good as many of those same people used to make them out to be. Renewable energy continues to be the goal and biofuels can be a part of that, though most have switched to wildly optimistic projections about solar energy as the magic cure-all of the future now.

Unless you are Scrooge McDuck or have a life-size poster of Dr. Eric R. Pianka on your wall, you probably like to see babies smile. It isn't just you. In a mother, her baby's smile also lights up the reward centers of her brain, just like free money, wrote Baylor College of Medicine researchers in Pediatrics today.

Not only could findings like this help scientists learn more about the magic of the mother-infant bond, it could also tell us how it sometimes goes wrong, said Dr. Lane Strathearn, assistant professor of pediatrics at BCM and Texas Children's Hospital and a research associate in BCM's Human Neuroimaging Laboratory.

To study this relationship, Strathearn and his colleagues asked 28 first-time mothers with infants aged 5 to 10 months to watch photos of their own babies and other infants while they were in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner. The machine measures blood flow in the brain. In the scans, areas of increased blood flow "light up," giving researchers a clue as to where brain activity takes place.

Tabebuia impetiginosa, commonly known as Pink Ipê, is a deciduous tree, native to Central and South America, and is related to magnolias.

With obesity levels rising (and people apparently unwilling to eat moderately) scientists have been searching for ways to mitigate obesity and the related conditions it brings, such as diabetes and heart disease.

Scientists from Germany have recently discovered that extracts of Tabebuia impetiginosa, a traditional herbal remedy, can act to delay the absorption of dietary fat in animal models. They believe that the extract could be incorporated into a food supplement which may not only reduce obesity, but also lessen the risk of development of type 2 diabetes and coronary heart disease.

The numbers of cycles of preimplantation genetic diagnosis or screening are rising steadily in Europe with over 2,700 reported in 2004 (the most recent year for which data are available). Fertility centres are able to screen for a growing number of genetically related conditions, but what should doctors do if no embryos without the targeted condition are available for transfer and the parents request that affected embryos should be transferred instead?

Ethicist Dr Wybo Dondorp told the 24th annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology in Barcelona today (Monday): "Parental requests for transferring affected embryos should not be dismissed beforehand as a sign of irresponsible capriciousness. As the couple's primary wish may be for a child, they may reason that if a non-affected, healthy child is not what they can get, they will also be happy with, and good parents for, a child with a condition they at first intended to avoid. Respect for autonomy at least requires taking such requests seriously, even if, in view of all other considerations, doctors decide not agree to the requests."

In a recent paper, geophysicist Mioara Mandea from the GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences, Potsdam and her Danish colleague Nils OLSEN from the National Space Institute/DTU Copenhagen, have shown that motions in the fluid in the Earth’s core are changing surprisingly fast, and that this, in turn, effects the magnetic field of our planet.

The very precise measurements of the Earth’s magnetic field delivered by the geosatellite CHAMP combined with Ørsted satellite data and ground observations over the past nine years, have made it possible to reveal what is happening at 3,000 km under ground.

Nils Olsen and Mioara Mandea have computed a model for the flow at the top of the Earth’s core that fits with the recent rapid changes in the magnetic field, and is also in agreement with the changes in the Length-of-Day variation. This core flow is rather localized in space, and involves rapid variations, almost sudden, over only a few months – a remarkably short time interval compared with the respectable age of our Planet or even with the time of the last magnetic field reversal, some 780,000 years ago.