Culture

Waltham, Mass--As the economy continues to reel, a new report finds that 4 million American households lost economic security between 2000 and 2006, and that a majority of America's middle class households are either borderline or at high risk of falling out of the middle class altogether. The new report, "From Middle to Shaky Ground: The Economic Decline of America's Middle Class, 2000-2006" was published by the policy center Demos and the Institute for Assets and Social Policy (IASP) at Brandeis University.

Racial prejudice in Britain has been declining sharply in Britain since the 1980s thanks to the greater tolerance of younger generations - according to a new study.

Dr Rob Ford from The University of Manchester says that social contact with black or Asian Britons is becoming increasingly unremarkable to white people in their 20s and 30s.

Research chemists at the University of Warwick have devised an elegant process which simply and cheaply covers small particles of polymer with a layer of silica-based nanoparticles. The final result provides a highly versatile material that can be used to create a range of high performance materials such as: self healing paints, and clever packaging that can be tailored to let precise levels of water, air or both pass in a particular direction.

Holiday shopping season has arrived, and tough financial times mean that more people will probably be shopping around for the best price. But a new study co-authored by North Carolina State University's Dr. Jonathan D. Bohlmann shows that shoppers who compare prices at multiple online retailers will not only find the best value, but will also likely contribute to driving down prices for that product at other retailers.

ANN ARBOR, Mich.---Slow-moving ocean and river currents could be a new, reliable and affordable alternative energy source. A University of Michigan engineer has made a machine that works like a fish to turn potentially destructive vibrations in fluid flows into clean, renewable power.

The machine is called VIVACE. A paper on it is published in the current issue of the quarterly Journal of Offshore Mechanics and Arctic Engineering.

Flash floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, and because of their unpredictability they're the leading weather-related cause of death for Americans. They usually arrive with little or no warning, but a Tel Aviv University researcher is trying to predict where and when they will occur –– using lightning.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today released its final report on the Sept. 11, 2001, collapse of the 47-story World Trade Center building 7 (WTC 7) in New York City. The final report is strengthened by clarifications and supplemental text suggested by organizations and individuals worldwide in response to the draft WTC 7 report, released for public comment on Aug. 21, but the revisions did not alter the investigation team's major findings and recommendations, which include identification of fire as the primary cause for the building's failure.

AUSTIN, Texas—Vast Martian glaciers of water ice under protective blankets of rocky debris persist today at much lower latitudes than any ice previously identified on Mars, says new research using ground-penetrating radar on NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.

Because water is one of the primary requirements for life as we know it, finding large new reservoirs of frozen water on Mars is an encouraging sign for scientists searching for life beyond Earth.

Race is a powerful determinant of how whites regard a neighborhood, according to a recent study at the University of Illinois at Chicago and the University of Michigan.

The investigation, appearing in the latest issue of the journal Du Bois Review: Social Science Research on Race, indicates that neighborhood evaluations are socially constructed and contribute to ongoing racial segregation.

In decisions about where to eat, baboons don't all have an equal say, according to a report in the November 20th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication. Rather, most baboons in a group will follow their leader to a dining spot of his choosing, even if it means a considerably more meager meal for themselves than they could have had otherwise.