Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mark Twain To Reveal All After 100 Year Wait

Hugh Pickens writes "The Independent reports that one of Mark Twain's dying wishes is at last coming true: an extensive, outspoken and revelatory autobiography which he devoted the last decade of his life to writing is finally going to be published one hundred years after his death. Twain, the pen name of Samuel Clemens, left behind 5,000 unedited pages of memoirs when he died in 1910, together with handwritten notes saying that he did not want them to hit bookshops for at least a century, but in November, the University of California, Berkeley, where the manuscript is in a vault, will release the first volume of Mark Twain's three-volume autobiography. Scholars are divided as to why Twain wanted his autobiography kept under wraps for so long, with some believing it was because he wanted to talk freely about issues such as religion and politics. Michael Shelden, who this year published Man in White, an account of Twain's final years, says that some of his privately held views could have hurt his public image. 'He had doubts about God, and in the autobiography, he questions the imperial mission of the US in Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Philippines,' says Shelden. 'He's also critical of [Theodore] Roosevelt, and takes the view that patriotism was the last refuge of the scoundrel. Twain also disliked sending Christian missionaries to Africa. He said they had enough business to be getting on with at home: with lynching going on in the South, he thought they should try to convert the heathens down there.' Interestingly enough, Twain had a cunning plan to beat the early 20th century copyright law with its short copyright terms. Twain planned to republish every one of his works the moment it went out of copyright with one-third more content, hoping that availability of such 'premium' version will make prints based on the out-of-copyright version less desirable on the market."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Smoking before or after pregnancy may harm

Biohazard: Smoking before or after pregnancy may harm daughters' fertility
Smoking before pregnancy or during breastfeeding might impair the female offspring's fertility, a study in mice shows.

With the discovery of a fifth planet circling the nearby star 55 Cancri, astronomers have found the most abundant--and heaviest--planetary system beyond the sun's.

Superbug: What makes one bacterium so deadly
A molecule that pierces immune cells gives some aggressive antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria their fearsome virulence.

Shadow World: How many dimensions space has could all be a matter of perspective
Physicists have found new evidence for a 10-year-old conjecture that bridges the gap between the many-dimensional space of string theory and more familiar theorizing.

Crime Growth: Early mental ills fuel young-adult offending
Mental disorders in children can lead to criminal behavior in adulthood.

Bone Builder: Drug may offer steroid users new protection against fractures
A bone-growth medication called teriparatide outperforms the standard bone-preserving drug alendronate in people with steroid-induced osteoporosis.

Insects laughing at Bt toxin? Try this
A new countermeasure restores the toxicity of Bt pesticides to insects that have evolved resistance.

Too little sleep may fatten kids
Lack of sleep may promote childhood obesity.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Drinks lower glucose to protect heart

Moderate consumption of beer, wine, or gin lowers blood glucose, perhaps helping to stave off type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

The illicit drug methamphetamine alters immune proteins unleashed in the body, possibly explaining why some longtime methamphetamine abusers suffer heart problems.

A computer in every cell
Artificial genes inserted into cells make RNA molecules that can perform logical computations.

Nerves are key to longevity effect
The life-extending effect that some animals get from calorie-restricted diets may depend on signals from the brain.

A sweet way to replace petroleum?
Thanks to a new chemical process, many products now manufactured from petroleum could one day be made from sugar molecules.

Music to alien ears
Saturn's moon Titan may be the best rock concert venue in the solar system, according to computer simulations of sound propagation on other worlds.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Nanospheres leave cancer no place to hide

Gold-coated glass "nanoshells" can reveal the location of tumours and then destroy them minutes later in a burst of heat, according to new research. When injected into the bloodstream, the particles accumulate at the site of a tumour. The tumour sites can then be identified using low-power infrared light, and destroyed by applying a high-power infrared laser

If the universe has extra-spatial dimensions in parallel to the 3D we are used to, they might be seen in areas of extreme gravity around dense stars

A device that can hold hundreds of atoms in a 3D array, and image each one individually, has been developed by scientists in the US. The machine is an important stepping stone towards the development of a quantum computer

Beyond Ethanol: Synthetic fuel offers promising alternative
A faster, simpler manufacturing technique could make a synthetic biofuel into an even stronger competitor to ethanol.

Winged dragon
A quarry on the Virginia-North Carolina border has yielded fossils of an unusual gliding reptile that lived in the region about 220 million years ago.

Diabetes drug might hike heart risk
People who take rosiglitazone, a popular diabetes drug marketed as Avandia, may face an increased risk of heart attack.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Viagra may lessen effects of jet lag

Viagra helps laboratory rodents recovery from circadian disruptions similar to jet lag.

Fish Free Fall: Hormone leads to population decline
Trace amounts of the synthetic estrogen used in birth control pills can cause a fish population to collapse.

Babies see their way to language insights
Babies 4 to 6 months old can distinguish between two languages solely by watching a speaker's face, without hearing sound.

Migraines in men linked to heart attack risk
Men who experience migraine headaches are somewhat more likely to have heart attacks than are other men.

Unintended consequences of cancer therapies
Radiation and chemotherapy can destroy a tumor, but they may also indirectly promote metastasis, the spread of cancerous cells to other organs.

The new drugs are pH sensitive and only affect damaged tissue, resulting in fewer side effects.

Ice Age Ends Smashingly: Did a comet blow up over eastern Canada?
An extraterrestrial object apparently exploded above Canada about 12,900 years ago, sparking devastating wildfires and triggering a millennium-long cold spell.

Packaging Peril: Chemicals in food wrapping turn toxic
Chemicals that prevent grease from seeping through food packaging can transform into a suspected carcinogen.

Tea--Milking It
Adding milk doesn't diminish tea's antioxidant bounty, research finds.

Carbon's mysterious magnetism
An X-ray experiment has yielded the most conclusive evidence to date that carbon can be magnetic.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Magnets may make the brain grow stronger

Stimulating the brain with a magnetic coil appears to promote growth of new neurons - possibly leading to treatments for brain diseases

Bugs struck down by 'super-oxidised' water
A form of water packed with oxychlorine ions can kill bacteria and viruses, but is kinder on the human skin than bleach, say its developers

'Probiotics' could save frogs from extinction
Micro-organisms that inhabit the skin of amphibians have fungus-resistant properties that could help fight a devastating disease that is wiping out many species

A hammerhead shark born to a mother that had not come into contact with a male, is now proved to be the result of asexual reproduction

High-temperature superconducting power lines are set to boost the Big Apple's power supply - if an initial test line proves successful

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Strange alien world made of 'hot ice'

The smallest planet known to pass in front of its host star has been found - it may be made of exotic hot ice and shrouded in steam
hot ice - hot (but solid) water

New gene therapy targets cholesterol
A form of RNA interference - called microRNA - has been used successfully to regulate gene expression in mice for the first time

Cellphones could warn of imminent lightning strike
Multiple receivers in cellphones can be tuned to detect pending lightning bolts using radio frequencies

Grinding ice generates Saturn moon's icy plumes
Saturn's gravity causes ice on its moon Enceladus to grind together, generating the icy plumes observed by Cassini, new calculations suggest

Childhood Vitamin D--A New Benefit?
Vitamin D may prevent symptoms of asthma in toddlers.

X-Ray Kin: Radiation risk is hereditary
Susceptibility to radiation-induced tumors runs in families.

Spinning into Control: High-tech reincarnations of an ancient way of storing energy
High-speed flywheels could replace batteries in hybrid vehicles and help make the electrical grid more reliable.

Slimming on oolong
Rats absorb less dietary fat and gain less weight when their diets contain lots of oolong tea