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Researchers at the University of Birmingham say they have uncovered new information about the way that we perceive fast moving, incoming objects – such as tennis or cricket balls.

The new research, published today in PNAS, studies why the human brain has difficulty perceiving fast moving objects coming from straight ahead; something that should be a key survival skill. The research has implications for understanding how top-class sportspeople make decisions about playing a shot but could also be important for improving road safety and for the development of robotic vision systems.

High-dose injections of vitamin C, also known as ascorbate or ascorbic acid, reduced tumor weight and growth rate by about 50 percent in mouse models of brain, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers, researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) report in the August 5, 2008, issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers traced ascorbate's anti-cancer effect to the formation of hydrogen peroxide in the extracellular fluid surrounding the tumors. Normal cells were unaffected.

Natural physiologic controls precisely regulate the amount of ascorbate absorbed by the body when it is taken orally. "When you eat foods containing more than 200 milligrams of vitamin C a day--for example, 2 oranges and a serving of broccoli--your body prevents blood levels of ascorbate from exceeding a narrow range," says Mark Levine, M.D., the study's lead author and chief of the Molecular and Clinical Nutrition Section of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the NIH.

Dartmouth researchers writing in the journal Pediatrics have documented what they say are alarming numbers of young adolescents (age 10-14) who are exposed to graphic violence in movies rated R for violence. They found that these extremely violent movies were seen by an average of 12.5 percent of an estimated 22 million children age 10-14. One example, the R-rated "Scary Movie", was seen by an estimated 10 million children, or about 48 percent of 10-14 year olds.

Some scientific studies have established a connection between exposure to media violence and aggression and violence in children, including video games which some studies have said can lead to changes in attitudes and behavior as well as desensitization to actual violence.

Researchers from Boston University's Slone Epidemiology Center have found that approximately one in ten U.S. children uses one or more cough and cold medications during a given week. These findings appear in the August issue of the journal Pediatrics.

Pediatric cough and cold medications are widely marketed in the U.S. but surprisingly little is known about just how often they are used in children. This information is especially important in light of recent revelations that cough and cold medications are responsible for serious adverse events and even deaths among children.

Growing interest in publicly funded programs for young children has drawn attention to whether and how Head Start and other early childhood programs should be asked to prove their worth.

Congress asked the National Research Council for guidance on how to identify important outcomes for children from birth to age 5 and how best to assess them in preschools, child care, and other early childhood programs.

The Research Council's new report concludes that well-planned assessments can inform teaching and efforts to improve programs and can contribute to better outcomes for children, but poor assessments or misuse of the results can harm both children and programs. The report offers principles to guide the design, implementation, and use of assessments in early childhood settings.

Shark researchers from the University of New South Wales, Newcastle University, NSW Department of Primary Industries Fisheries (Australia) and University of California (USA) reveal unprecedented information about the feeding habits of the great white shark by analysing anatomical and biomechanical data from their skull and muscle tissues.

They generated 3-Dimensional models the skull of a 2.4-metre male great white shark on the basis of multiple x-ray images generated by a computerized tomography (CT) scanner.

Using novel imaging and finite element analysis (FEA), the team reconstructed the great white's skull, jaws and muscles, remodelling them as hundreds of thousands of tiny discrete, but connected parts.