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Are male Jamaican anole lizards masking some deep insecurity? Overcompensating for small body parts?

Nothing quite that dramatic, though the reason they begin and end the day with displays of reptilian strength, like push-ups, head bobs and extensions of a colorful neck flap, or dewlap, was unknown until recently.

The answer? Nothing more than wanting to defend their territory, according to a new study.

"Anoles are highly visual species, so in that sense it is not surprising that they would use visual displays to mark territory," said Terry J. Ord, a postdoctoral researcher at UC Davis and at Harvard University's Museum of Comparative Zoology. The lizards are the first animals known to mark dawn and dusk through visual displays, rather than the much better known chirping, tweeting, and other sounding off by birds, frogs, geckos and primates.


The geysers of Yellowstone National Park owe their existence to the "Yellowstone hotspot", a region of molten rock buried deep beneath Yellowstone, geologists have found, but how hot is this "hotspot," and what's causing it?

In an effort to find out, Derek Schutt of Colorado State University and Ken Dueker of the University of Wyoming took the hotspot's temperature. They published results in the August, 2008, issue of the journal Geology.

"Yellowstone is located atop of one of the few large volcanic hotspots on Earth," said Schutt. "But though the hot material is a volcanic plume, it's cooler than others of its kind, such as one in Hawaii."


A 75-million-year-old fossil of a pregnant turtle and a nest of fossilized eggs that were discovered in the badlands of southeastern Alberta by scientists and staff from the University of Calgary and the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology are yielding new ideas on the evolution of egg-laying and reproduction in turtles and tortoises.

It is the first time the fossil of a pregnant turtle has been found and the description of this discovery was published today in the British journal Biology Letters.

The mother carrying the eggs was found in 1999 by Tyrrell staff while the nest of eggs was discovered in 2005 by U of C scientist Darla Zelenitsky, the lead author of the article and an expert on fossil nest sites, and her field assistant. Both were found about 85 km south of Medicine Hat in the Manyberries area.


New research suggests that preventative agents, such as those found in concentrated black raspberries, may more effectively inhibit cancer development than single agents aimed at shutting down a particular gene.

Researchers at the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center examined the effect of freeze-dried black raspberries on genes altered by a chemical carcinogen in an animal model of esophageal cancer.

The carcinogen affected the activity of some 2,200 genes in the animals' esophagus in only one week, but 460 of those genes were restored to normal activity in animals that consumed freeze-dried black raspberry powder as part of their diet during the exposure.

A powerful collision of galaxy clusters has been captured with NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Hubble Space Telescope. Like its famous cousin, the so-called Bullet Cluster, this clash of clusters provides striking evidence for dark matter and insight into its properties.

Like the Bullet Cluster, this newly studied cluster, officially known as MACSJ0025.4-1222, shows a clear separation between dark and ordinary matter. This helps answer a crucial question about whether dark matter interacts with itself in ways other than via gravitational forces.


There is a great deal of concern about the effects of global warming on the Greenland ice sheet but scientists at the University of Bristol and the University of Leeds have taken the discussion to a deeper level - namely in stating that only changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide are able to explain the transition from the mostly ice-free Greenland of three million years ago to the ice-covered Greenland of today.

CO2 drops caused Greenland to become ice-covered so CO2 gains could undo that, they say.

There are several competing theories, ranging from changes in ocean circulation, the increasing height of the Rocky Mountains, changes in the Earth's orbit, and natural changes in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Using state-of-the-art computer climate and ice-sheet models, Dr. Dan Lunt from the University of Bristol and colleagues decided to test which, if any, of these theories was the most credible.