Science and engineering are advancing rapidly in part due to ever more powerful computer simulations, yet the most advanced supercomputers require programming skills that all too few U.S. researchers possess. At the same time, affordable computers and committed national programs outside the U.S. are eroding American competitiveness in number of simulation-driven fields, according to findings in the International Assessment of Research and Development in Simulation-Based Engineering and Science, released on Apr. 22, 2009, by the World Technology Evaluation Center (WTEC).
Like other WTEC studies, this study was led by a team of leading researchers from a range of simulation science and engineering disciplines and involved site visits to research facilities around the world.
It sounds like it should be a New York Times headline - "Tobacco kills everyone! Women impacted most!" but, no, females may actually be more vulnerable than men to the cancer-causing effects of smoking tobacco, according to new results reported this week at the European Multidisciplinary Conference in Thoracic Oncology (EMCTO), Lugano, Switzerland. The good news (if there can be good news about lung cancer) is that women tend to do better than men after lung cancer surgery.
Swiss researchers studied 683 lung cancer patients who were referred to a cancer centre in St Gallen between 2000 and 2005 and found women tended to be younger when they developed the cancer, despite having smoked on average significantly less than men.
Women live longer than men but it may not be a great life. In a study that included 5,888 people over 65, women suffered up to two and a half times more disabilities than men of the same age and the higher rates of obesity and arthritis among these women explained up to 48 percent of the gender gap in disability – above all other common chronic health conditions.
Obesity and arthritis that take root during early and middle age significantly contribute to women's decreased quality of life during their senior years, according to researchers at Duke University Medical Center.
What happened in the first trillionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second after the Big Bang? Super-sensitive microwave detectors, built at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), may soon help scientists find out.
The new sensors, described today at the American Physical Society (APS) meeting in Denver, were made for a potentially ground-breaking experiment by a collaboration involving NIST, Princeton University, the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Chicago.
Narcolepsy affects about one in 2,000 people and is characterized by daytime drowsiness, irregular sleep at night and cataplexy — a sudden loss of muscle tone and strength. Stanford University School of Medicine scientist Emmanuel Mignot, MD, PhD, and others showed in the late 1990s that the disease stems from a lack of hypocretin, a hormone that promotes wakefulness; they later showed that narcoleptics are missing brain cells that produce this hormone.
Now Mignot and collaborators say that a specific immune cell is involved in the disorder — adding evidence that narcolepsy may be an autoimmune disease.
Most of the world's glaciers are retreating as the planet gets warmer but some, including glaciers south of the equator in South America and New Zealand, are growing.
At least for New Zealand glaciers, scientists have offered an explanation: for the last 7,000 years, they have often moved out of step with glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere, pointing to strong regional variations in climate, the authors write in Science.
Conventional wisdom holds that during the era of human civilization, climate has been relatively stable. The new study is the latest to challenge this view, by showing that New Zealand's glaciers have gone through rapid periods of growth and decline during the current interglacial period known as the Holocene.