Science & Society
The emotional well-being of families where children lack a genetic or gestational link to one or both of their parents (where the children have been conceived through surrogacy, egg donation or donor insemination) has long been a subject of debate.
In the first worldwide study of this issue, British scientists have shown that relationships within such families appear to be functioning well, and that there are few differences between them and families in whom children were conceived naturally.
Miss Polly Casey, from the Centre for Family Research, Cambridge University, UK, will tell the 24th annual conference of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology this week that the study found that the egg donation, surrogacy, and donor insemination families showed more similarities than differences in the psychological well-being of the parents, the quality of parent-child relationships, and the psychological adjustment of the child.
Since 1969 a U.S. patent has been registered on the process of turning alcohol into powder. This year, products, such as gelatin shots and margaritas, based from alcohol powder are set to be released by Pulver Spirits and BPNC Distillery.
Though alcohol powder is regulated the same as other alcoholic beverages in the U.S., it is only sold as a food flavoring. However, in other countries such as the Netherlands, lack of regulations make obtaining powdered alcohol within reach to minors.
Let's be honest; Nature and AAAS, non-profit or not, have employees and those employees would like to remain so. That requires money and a lot of it. Non-profit has never meant 'free', it just means they can't give money to shareholders - it certainly does not mean charity.
In a familiar world of solids, liquids and gases, we find the fourth state of matter, the plasmas of lightning to the aurora borealis and fluorescent tubes at the office. Further out, minor phenomena becomes the big event in space, our shining stars are plasma being fused producing light. Not until 1924 was a fifth state of matter considered possible. Intrigued by quantum statistics, invented by the Bengali physicist, Satyendra Nath Bose from observations of light, Einstein applied Bose’s work to matter. The Bose-Einstein Condensate(BEC) was born. Was there any truth to the theory, Einstein himself wondered, that matter that could condense at ultracold temperatures into something new?
Einstein’s theory was left hanging, as a mathematical artifact, until 1938. Fritz London, a German theoretical chemist and physicist, working on helium at the same time as the Russian Pyotr Kapitsa who discovered its superfluid state at just under 2.2 K, found it behaved like Einstein’s theoretical BEC. Subsequent research confirmed London’s insight. Both stable isotopes, ordinary helium-4, and the rare helium-3 at much lower temperatures, are quantum superfluids, behaving like matter-waves or superatoms, undifferentiated matter with vastly different properties from their gas state or their ordinary bottled fluid state.
I'm back from the UCSD workshop on New Communication Channels for Biology
held June 27-28, 2008. The talks were recorded and are now available here
The first day mainly consisted of talks while the second was very heavy on breakout sessions (see agenda
). Probably the most beneficial part for me was seeing old friends or meeting in person several people I had only interacted with online previously. For example was nice to finally meet Dan Gezelter
from the OpenScience project
and Hilary Spencer
from Nature Precedings
. I also had a blast over enchiladas on Friday night with Mike Nieslen
and Jen Dodd
. Mike gave a very engaging talk on the Future of Science
on Thursday night.
The presentations were recorded and should be available within a week on the wiki link above - I'll post an update here when I am made aware of it.
Dr. Berend Stoel from the Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), in collaboration with renowned luthier Terry Borman, has put classical violins in a CT scanner and discovered that the homogeneity in the densities of the wood from which the classical violins were made may explain their superior sound production.
Experts are fascinated by the fact that classical Cremonese violins from the famous masters such as Stradivari (1644 – 1737) and Guarneri del Gesu (1698 – 1744) are still unparalleled in their abilities of tonal expressiveness and projection. 300 years of technological advancement has not provided substantial improvements towards paralleling the achievements of the classical Cremonese violin makers.
Recipe to recover more quickly from exercise: Finish workout, eat pasta, and wash down with five or six cups of strong coffee.
Glycogen, the muscle's primary fuel source during exercise, is replenished more rapidly when athletes ingest both carbohydrate and caffeine following exhaustive exercise, new research from the online edition of the Journal of Applied Physiology shows. Athletes who ingested caffeine with carbohydrate had 66% more glycogen in their muscles four hours after finishing intense, glycogen-depleting exercise, compared to when they consumed carbohydrate alone, according to the study, published by The American Physiological Society.
Homosexual behavior is largely shaped by genetics and random environmental factors, according to findings from the world's largest study of twins.
Researchers from Queen Mary's School of Biological and Chemical Sciences and Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm report in the Archives of Sexual Behavior that genetics and environmental factors (which are specific to an individual, and may include biological processes such as different hormone exposure in the womb), are important determinants of homosexual behavior.
The team led by Dr Niklas Långström at Karolinska Institutet conducted the first truly population-based survey of all adult (20-47 years old) twins in Sweden. Studies of identical twins and non-identical, or fraternal, twins are often used to untangle the genetic and environmental factors responsible for a trait. While identical twins share all of their genes and their entire environment, fraternal twins share only half of their genes and their entire environment. Therefore, greater similarity in a trait between identical twins compared to fraternal twins shows that genetic factors are partly responsible for the trait.
OK, I am getting worried.
As I wrote a few weeks ago
, there is a new movie coming out supposedly next year called "The Tree of Life" starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and others. Well, the movie sounds like it could be good. But though this may sound like a cool thing to those of you out there who study the Tree of Life in some way, we are at risk here.
There will soon be 100s of blogs, web pages, news stories, etc. writing about the Tree of Life movie. And uses of the Tree of Life by evolutionary biologists will lose their google rankings. The term "The Tree of Life" is at risk of a form of extinction.
There are more men involved in high-profile international business deals than women, and that may be hurting companies, according to the results of a new Tel Aviv University study on the role of gender in management, which found that women may be more skilled at business negotiations than their masculine counterparts.
Dr. Yael Itzhaki, an adjunct lecturer at Tel Aviv University's Faculty of Management, carried out simulations of business negotiations among 554 Israeli and American management students at Ohio State University, in New York City, and in Israel. She is also the founder of Netta, a non-profit organization that promotes the advancement of women in the workplace through its programs and research.
The results of her Ph.D. thesis project indicated that in certain groupings, women offered better terms than men to reach an agreement. And women were good at facilitating interaction between the parties, she says.