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Organic semiconductor or “plastic” LEDs are much cheaper and easier to fabricate than existing inorganic LEDs now used in traffic signals, some building lighting and as indicator lights on computers, TVs, cell phones, DVD players, modems, game consoles and other electronics.

A new study by University of Utah physicists suggests it will be more difficult than thought to make highly efficient light-emitting diodes (LEDs) using organic materials. Their findings hint such LEDs would convert no more than 25 percent of electricity into light rather than heat, contrary to earlier estimates of up to 63 percent.

Sometimes you can improve on nature. Researchers have used a spice-based compound to develop synthetic molecules that are able to kill cancer cells and stop the cells from spreading - in the lab, anyway.

The miracle spice? Turmeric; specifically curcumin, a naturally occurring compound it contains.

Centuries of anecdotal evidence and recent scientific research suggest curcumin has multiple disease-fighting features, including anti-tumor properties. However, when eaten, curcumin is not absorbed well by the body. Instead, most ingested curcumin in food or supplement form remains in the gastrointestinal system and is eliminated before it is able to enter the bloodstream or tissues.

To track atmospheric change caused by human activity, researchers have long studied a variety of materials, from tree rings to air trapped in glacial ice. A problem has been "noise" - natural variability caused by sampling and random events that affect atmospheric chemistry. Noise can make it hard to tease out trends from the data.

Joseph Bump, a PhD candidate in forest science at Michigan Tech, and his colleagues speculated that those trends would be picked up by top predators as well as by trees. And they further suspected that measurements from predators would show much less noise.

It's not enough to be responsible for a carbon footprint, according to a Carnegie Mellon study, there's a whole carbon trail that needs to be taken into account and doing so will spur more companies and people into action.

In other words, we need to turn that carbon calculator knob up to 11.

Part of the problem with the global skepticism backlash is that there is no universally accepted way of calculating someone's carbon footprint - depending on which group created the calculator your carbon footprint could be either mild or so bad Al Gore is camped outside your house.

Biological clocks are the body's complex network of internal oscillators that regulate daily activity/rest cycles and other important aspects of physiology, including body temperature, heart rate and food intake. Besides sleep disorders, research in this field may eventually help treat the negative effects of shift work, aging and jet lag.

Biologists at the University of Virginia have discovered a switching mechanism in the eye that plays a key role in regulating the sleep/wake cycles in mammals.

The new finding demonstrates that light receptor cells in the eye are central to setting the rhythms of the brain's primary timekeeper, the suprachiasmatic nuclei, which regulates activity and rest cycles.

People taking prescription antidepressants appear to drive worse than people who aren't taking such drugs, and depressed people on antidepressants have even more trouble concentrating and reacting behind the wheel, according to the conclusions of a study released Sunday at the Annual Convention of the American Psychological Association.

University of North Dakota psychologists Holly Dannewitz. PhD, and Tom Petros, PhD, recruited 60 people to participate in a driving simulation in which participants had to make a series of common driving decisions, such as reacting to brake lights, stop signs or traffic signals while being distracted by speed limit signs, pylons, animals, other cars, helicopters or bicyclists.

The simulation tested steering, concentration and scanning. Thirty-one of the participants were taking at least one type of antidepressant while 29 control group members were taking no medications with the exception of oral contraceptives in some cases.