Science & Society

Dream journals being kept by students in a college psychology class have provided researchers with a unique look at how people experienced the events of 9/11, including the influence that television coverage of the World Trade Center attacks had on people’s levels of stress.

Reported in the April 2007 issue of the journal Psychological Science, the study data finds that for every hour of television viewed on Sept. 11 – with some students reporting in excess of 13 hours watched – levels of stress, as indicated by dream content, increased significantly. In addition, the study found that time spent talking with family and friends helped individuals to better process the day’s horrific events.

Dutch researcher Laura Brandán Briones, that's who.

She improved both the tests and the method to determine the reliability of the tests. This means, for example, that washing machines and coffee machines can be tested far better before they are launched on the market.

The Scientist printed an article on the blogging of scientific data, with a focus on Reed Cartwright's inclusion as a co-author on a paper because of ideas that he shared on his blog. This is an impressive example of how social software can serve as a primary information source in science (whether intentionally or not). The part I enjoyed the most (referring to Bora):
Zivkovic concedes that he has had less luck in convincing people that he should post his dissertation on his blog before he publishes it.

Texas wheat offers high quality when it comes to baking and milling characteristics, said Texas Agricultural Experiment Station's state wheat breeder.

Dr. Jackie Rudd, Experiment Station wheat breeder at Amarillo, received the annual Millers' Award from Tim Aschbrenner of Cereal Food Processors at the recent Wheat Quality Council annual meeting in Kansas City.


Show Notes for Episode 9

Most people know that their nails always go soft and bendy when they immerse them in hot water for any length of time. Conversely when you cut your nails they dry up and become hard and brittle. But why is this? Biologists working with material scientists at the University of Manchester have worked out the best conditions for our nails which may ultimately help the cosmetic industry to mimic the real thing and refine their false nail and varnish products.

Dr Roland Ennos and his colleagues have found that our nails are at their best at a humidity of around 60%, which is the natural humidity of the fingernail bed in which the nail sits at the ends of our fingers.

Using a brace of the most modern tools of materials research, a team from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and Northwestern University has shed new light on one of mankind’s older construction materials—cement. Their refinements to our understanding of how cement and concrete actually work, reported this week in Nature Materials,* ultimately may make possible improvements in the formulation and use of cement that could save hundreds of millions of dollars in annual maintenance and repair costs for concrete structures and the country’s infrastructure.

The New York Mets should expect to win about 90 games in 2007 and the Yankees a whopping 110 games to lead their divisions, said Bruce Bukiet, PhD, an associate professor of mathematical sciences at New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT). Bukiet, who is also an associate dean of NJIT’s College of Science and Liberal Arts offers the expectations for the number of games each major league baseball team should win based on his mathematical model, developed in 2000.

You may have read about the strange double asteroids dancing in space but putting together the pictures is a perfect example of science collaboration.

Prior to 2000, Antiope was just another asteroid. Then the 10-meter Keck II telescope in Hawaii discovered it was a doublet but not much else was known.

Two years ago, improved images from the European Southern Observatory's 8-meter Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile and Keck II determined an approximate orbit of the asteroids - but information was still sparse.

Enter crowdsourcing.

The good news: improved health care is reducing occurrences of intestinal parasites worldwide. The bad news: at the same time, rates of asthma are increasing worldwide. The link between these trends? Evolution – human evolution. The human immune system has evolved in the constant presence of intestinal parasites. The immune system is designed to react to these parasites – in their absence, the immune system overreacts to simple allergens, resulting in asthma. Its evolved state is mismatched to modernity. Similar mismatches produce increased risk of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular disease in modern adult populations. Globalization is making understanding these types of complex evolutionary relationships more relevant in medicine as human environments change.