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Predicting climate change depends on many factors not properly included in current forecasting models, such as how the major polar ice caps will move in the event of melting around their edges. This in turn requires greater understanding of the processes at work when ice is under stress, influencing how it flows and moves.

The immediate objective is to model the flow of ice sheets and glaciers more accurately, leading in turn to better future predictions of global ice cover for use in climate modeling and forecasting.

Researchers at Goldsmiths, University of London, say they are on the way to making true on-demand video games a reality.

The research is part of an EU funded project, Games@Large, which aims to develop the delivery of video games anytime, anywhere, and on any device, finding ways to enable consumer electronics devices such as set-top boxes and mobile phones to serve as easy-to-use gaming platforms.

It is hoped that this will facilitate more convenient game play options, encouraging uptake by new users who would not usually sit in front of a computer or buy a console. So Grandma could be playing scrabble with Aunt Doris online via her set top box and remote control.

In general, domesticated food plants have larger fruits, heads of grain, tubers, etc, because this is one of the characteristics that early hunter-gatherers chose when foraging for food and later planting it.

Domesticated tomatoes can be up to 1000 times larger than their wild relatives but how did they get so big? While tomatoes have long been bred for shape, texture, flavor and nutrient composition, but it has been difficult to study these traits in tomatoes, because many of them are the result of many genes acting together.

These genes are often located in close proximity on chromosomal regions called loci, and regions with groups of genes that influence a particular trait are called quantitative trait loci (QTLs). When a trait is influenced by one gene, it is much simpler to study, but quantitative traits, like skin and eye color in humans or fruit size in tomatoes, cannot be easily defined just by crossing different individuals.

Almonds, as well as being high in vitamin E and other minerals, are also thought to have other health benefits, such as reducing cholesterol. Recently published work by the Institute of Food Research has identified potential prebiotic properties of almonds that could help improve our digestive health by increasing levels of beneficial gut bacteria.

Our digestive system maintains large population of bacteria that live in the colon. Prebiotics are non-digestible parts of foods that these bacteria can use to fuel their growth and activity. These 'good' bacteria form part of our body's defence against harmful bacteria and play a role in the development of body's immune system. The prebiotics work by stimulating the growth of these bacteria. However, in order to get to where they are needed prebiotics must be able to get through the upper part of the intestine without being digested or absorbed by the body.

Ground-breaking technology that will enable biologists to identify and monitor large numbers of endangered animals, from butterflies to whales, without being captured, will be shown to the public for the first time at this year's Royal Society Summer Science exhibition [30 June to 3 July].

Scientists at the University of Bristol, working on Robben Island in South Africa, have devised an intelligent, visual surveillance system that can be integrated into wildlife habitats as a non-intrusive means of capturing detailed and reliable data on the population dynamics and social behaviour of endangered species.

The research advances techniques that originated in computer vision and human biometrics in order to help field biology and to better understand and conserve endangered species, in particular, the African penguin (Spheniscus demersus).

The odd behavior of a molecule in an experimental silicon computer chip has led to a discovery that opens the door to quantum computing in semiconductors.

In a Nature Physics journal paper currently online, the researchers describe how they have created a new, hybrid molecule in which its quantum state can be intentionally manipulated - a required step in the building of quantum computers.

"Up to now large-scale quantum computing has been a dream," says Gerhard Klimeck, professor of electrical and computer engineering at Purdue University and associate director for technology for the national Network for Computational Nanotechnology.