Science Education & Policy
EU legislation to promote the uptake of biodiesel will not make any difference to global warming, and could potentially result in greater emissions of greenhouse gases than from conventional petroleum derived diesel. This is the conclusion of a new study reported today in Chemistry & Industry.
Analysts at SRI Consulting compared the emissions of greenhouse gases by the two fuels across their overall life cycles from production to combustion in cars.
Medical professionals conducting clinical trials should provide more information about financial conflicts of interest before they talk to patients about participating in the trials.
That is one of the main conclusions of a new survey by researchers from Duke University Medical Center and Johns Hopkins University. Their study found that 41 percent of the clinical trial coordinators surveyed had experience disclosing financial aspects of the trial to potential participants, and 28 percent of the coordinators had been asked by participants about potential financial conflicts.
I often find that books on the history of science and technology are fun to read because they give me an opportunity to try to forget what I know about how things turned out and piece together an older worldview.
For example, I am currently reading the new book by Tom McNichol "AC/DC - The Savage Tale of the First Standards War
". On p. 38 is reprinted part of Edison's article in North American Review, written in 1878, shortly after his invention of the phonograph:
Among the many uses to which the phonograph will be applied are the following:
2. Phonographic books, which will speak to blind people without effort on their part.
No kidding? Active kids don't get fat?
Anyway, here it is:
The study is titled "Weekend Schoolyard Accessibility, Physical Activity, and Obesity: The Trial of Activity in Adolescent Girls (TAAG) Study." The full version is currently available online at the Science Direct Web site,
under the Articles in Press section.
The study says school playgrounds can help fight against childhood obesity but many are locked and inaccessible to children on weekends – especially in poor and minority neighborhoods.
The first phase of a caloric restriction study in human subjects found evidence that calorie-restricted diets differing substantially in glycemic load can result in comparable long-term weight loss. In other words, calories matter more than carbohydrates.
The study, at the Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (USDA HNRCA) at Tufts University and part of the multi-center Comprehensive Assessment of Long-term Effects of Restricting Intake of Energy (CALERIE) trial, accounted for dietary factors that affect hunger and satiety, used laboratory techniques to measure adherence, and was the first of its kind to provide a complete set of meals and snacks to its participants.
The ability to eliminate waste and toxins from production processes early on, to create more efficient and flexible solar panels, and to remove contaminants from water, is becoming an exciting reality with nanotechnology. This "green nanotechnology" involves designing nanoproducts for the environment and with the environment in mind. Green nano is not just a niche among a few scientists or environmentalists. The investment community has recognized these green nano advances as big business and rewarded corporate innovators. A recent article, "Green is Gold," advises investors: "Nowhere is the vision of technology in the service of sustainability more promising than in the field of nanotechnology," (Forex Market, 3/15/07).
Education was becoming a no-brainer, some people at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE) complained.
Kurt Fischer and his colleagues looked at the revolution in brain scanning, genetics, and other biological technologies and decided that most teachers and students weren’t getting much benefit from them. Brain scans are now available to watch what’s going on when someone is learning — or not learning. Finding genes that are involved in leaning disabilities is a hot area. Why, they asked, aren’t the powers of such technologies helping teachers in classrooms?
Surgery is about to change with the introduction of a new surgical robotic system at the University of Calgary/Calgary Health Region. NeuroArm aims to revolutionize neurosurgery and other branches of operative medicine by liberating them from the constraints of the human hand.
The world's first MRI-compatible surgical robot, unveiled today, is the creation of neurosurgeon Dr. Garnette Sutherland and his team. Dr. Sutherland has spent the last six years leading a team of Canadian scientists, in cooperation with MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates Ltd. (MDA), to design a machine "that represents a milestone in medical technology."
Women who have unprotected sexual intercourse or experience contraceptive failure can seek emergency contraception to reduce their chance of unintended pregnancy. Emergency contraception is a safe medication, and to be effective, must be taken within five days of unprotected intercourse. Several barriers can discourage use of emergency contraception, including an inability to obtain the medication fast enough. One proposed solution is to let women have a set of the tablets that they can keep for immediate use should it be needed.
Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) are venturing this month to the North Pole to deploy instruments that will make year-round observations of the water beneath the Arctic ice cap. Scientists will investigate how the waters in the upper layers of the Arctic Ocean—which insulate surface ice from warmer, deeper waters—are changing from season to season and year to year as global climate fluctuates.
The Arctic expedition is part of a multi-year, multi-institutional program to establish a real-time, autonomous Arctic Observing Network.