Culture

Alternatives to fossil fuels and natural gas as carbon sources and fuel are in demand. Biomass could play a more significant part in the future. Researchers in the USA and China have now developed a new catalyst that directly converts cellulose, the most common form of biomass, into ethylene glycol, an important intermediate product for chemical industry. As reported in the journal Angewandte Chemie, the catalyst is made of tungsten carbide and nickel on a carbon support.

WASHINGTON, DC, 23 September 2008 – Whether young people get drunk as a purposeful behavior or as an unintended consequence depends on what country they live in, according to new research on young people in seven countries. The research finds that young people's views on alcohol and drunkenness were influenced more by culture than by factors such as age and sex.

The research, sponsored by the International Center for Alcohol Policies (ICAP), also finds striking similarities about drinking among young people in different parts of the world including:

If there's one thing that separates humankind from the animals, it's that human beings wait in lines. To make a deposit at the bank, to pay for groceries, even to vote -- we've all learned to queue, one behind the other. And we've learned, if not to like it, then at least to grin and bear it.

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Widespread reports had most people afraid to eat tomatoes this summer and when tomatoes were vindicated, eating peppers became a fear. A University of Missouri food safety expert says there is only so much that can be done to assure produce is safe to eat.

Troy, N.Y. – New miniature image-capturing technology powered by water, sound, and surface tension could lead to smarter and lighter cameras in everything from cell phones and automobiles to autonomous robots and miniature spy planes.

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have designed and tested an adaptive liquid lens that captures 250 pictures per second and requires considerably less energy to operate than competing technologies.

HOBOKEN, N.J. - The Society for Information Management (SIM) has released an important part of its annual survey results, reporting that IT executives continue to identify lack of IT and business alignment as the top concern for companies. Other top concerns include a deficiency in business skills training for IT professionals, and the need for greater emphasis on strategic planning in IT. HR considerations were among one-third of the top ten concerns.

A technology which provides high quality images of the crystallisation process marks the next step towards a 'right first time' approach to drug manufacture, according to engineers at the University of Leeds.

Developed in collaboration with industrial scientists at Perdix and Malvern Instruments, the new process analytical technology (PAT) tool characterises particle shapes using a probe which collects images of the crystallization process. The tool will enable pharmaceutical companies to monitor and optimise these processes.

Global corporations view climate change as a driver of risk and opportunity and have cited clear regulation as key to managing the impacts, in this year's findings from the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which includes exclusive data from 1550 of the world's major companies on greenhouse gas emissions and climate change related strategies.

Researchers led by Dr Robin Allaby of the University of Warwick's plant research arm Warwick HRI have found evidence that genetics supports the idea that the emergence of agriculture in prehistory took much longer than originally thought.

Listening for faint rustling noises made by tasty beetles on a quiet day is simple for bats hunting with their exquisitely sensitive hearing. So try imagining what it must be like trying to locate rustling treats just metres from a roaring highway. It would seem to be almost impossible to pick out a centipede's footsteps as a juggernaut hurtles past; or is it? How animals that locate their prey by sound alone cope in our increasingly noisy world puzzles Björn Siemers from the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany.