Thursday, June 7, 2007

29 March 2007 Science News

Exclusive environment blog: Fred's Footprint
Fred Pearce is travelling the world investigating his own environmental footprint. This stop: How fair is fair-trade coffee?

Like Goldilocks, mice know a bed that's 'just right' Video available
A set of cells in a mouse's brain start firing when they see a perfectly-sized nesting container - hinting that mice may understand abstract concepts

Asthma soothed by airway radio-blasts Video available
A probe that heats the muscle lining of airways using radiofrequency energy seems to provide some protection against asthma attacks

Shoulder-worn camera acts as a third eye Video available
The system automatically tracks head movements and recognises hand gestures - it could eventually be used to record crime scenes

See yourself as others see you online
What your online profile says about you may not be what you expect

'Inspector Gadget' to star in space tether test
A thermos-flask-sized satellite called Gadget will ride up and down a 1-kilometre-long tether in space, to check its resistance to micrometeoroids

Bizarre hexagon circles Saturn's north pole Video available
A six-sided structure as wide as two Earths lies above the Ringed Planet's north pole and has remained curiously stable for more than 20 years

Equinox challenge to Newton's law
An exquisitely sensitive experiment that can only be performed during equinoxes could test some of the theories that offer an alternative to dark matter

Scientists steal turns of phrase from other papers
Eloquent language has never be the strong point of academic papers, but minor plagiarism is a dubious solution

WHO hails circumcision as vital in HIV fight
Circumcised men are 60% less likely to contract HIV - evidence that the World Health Organization calls "compelling"

Arms are dead giveaway for risky drivers
Monitoring a driver's gaze - as some luxury cars are now designed to do - may not be the best way to ensure a driver is paying attention

Lack of sea ice devastates seal populations
Conservationists warn that an exceptional die-off of seal pups in Canada, combined with the country's annual seal hunts, could spell disaster

Coastal living - a growing global threat
One person in 10 worldwide, including one in eight city-dwellers, lives in an "at-risk zone" for flooding and storms, exacerbated by climate change

Mothers' beefy diet linked to sons' low sperm count
Men born to women who eat more than a serving of beef each day while pregnant might have reduced fertility, a new study warns

Chernobyl-based birds avoid radioactive nests
Some species around the exploded nuclear reactor choose nest sites with lower levels of background radiation, but how they discern is a mystery

Soft splint instantly heat-welds to hold broken limbs
Injured skiers and mountaineers could protect injuries using a flexible plastic bandage that rapidly hardens to form a solid cast

Invention: Brain decoder
This week's patent applications include a way of decoding brain signals, light-controlled skin grafts, and a drug paste that solidifies inside the body

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