Culture

Boston, MA – July 24, 2008 – The historical reference to "Indian Country" presents a complex metaphor. For many Native Americans it signifies home, family, and territory; however, for others the term can refer to colonialism and Native American land under siege. Through the years the term has evolved to apply to contemporary events and has taken on additional and often contradictory meanings. In the latest issue of American Anthropologist, Stephen W. Silliman explores the reinterpretation of "Indian Country" in the 21st-century U.S.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Restoring confidence in the sputtering U.S. economy is at the heart of recent moves to shore up the nation's lagging financial and housing markets, a University of Illinois economist says.

Anne Villamil says propping up faith in an economy teetering on the brink of recession is as important as more tangible initiatives such as financial lifelines for cash-strapped mortgage lending giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

PHILADELPHIA –- Scientists at the University of Pennsylvania have created a one-step, repeatable method for the production of functional nanoscale patterns or motifs with adjustable features, size and shape using a single master "plate."

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Proposals to reign in wallet-draining gasoline prices by curbing speculation in oil markets would likely increase costs at the pump instead of trimming them, a University of Illinois economist says.

Scott Irwin argues congressional efforts to curb trading by speculators is a "misguided witch hunt" that ignores the root of America's energy problem – a finite global oil supply that has been stretched thin by surging demand in China, India and other developing countries.

Seattle, WA – July 24, 2008 – Rural strategies designed to induce economic growth often emphasize the need to improve access to capital for poor households. However, this approach implicitly assumes that family members pool all their resources and allocate them to their most efficient use. Men and women may differ in their access to credit and may choose not to alleviate their partners' constraints.

Stillwater, OK – July 24, 2008 – It has been a long-held assumption that poor nations will not support efforts to protect the environment since their citizens are too preoccupied with meeting basic needs, such as food and housing. However, a new study in The Sociological Quarterly reveals that citizens of poorer nations are just as concerned about environmental quality as their counterparts in rich nations.

Quasars are the brilliant cores of remote galaxies, at the hearts of which lie supermassive black holes that can generate enough power to outshine the Sun a trillion times. These mighty power sources are fuelled by interstellar gas, thought to be sucked into the hole from a surrounding 'accretion disc'. A paper in this week's issue of the journal Nature, partly based on observations collected with ESO's Very Large Telescope, verifies a long-standing prediction about the intensely luminous radiation emitted by these accretion discs.

The comfortably off, white, and middle aged are the most likely to participate in sporting activities, reveals a 10 year study published ahead of print in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.

Furthermore, the gap between rich and poor, and black and white, appears to have widened, rather than narrowed in a decade, as overall participation in sports has actually increased, the research suggests.

The findings are based on data from several of the annual Health Surveys for England between 1997 and 2006. These draw on a nationally representative sample of households.

Adding just the right dash of nanoparticles to standard mixes of lubricants and refrigerants could yield the equivalent of an energy-saving chill pill for factories, hospitals, ships, and others with large cooling systems, suggest the latest results from National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) research that is pursuing promising formulations.

A report by scientists from The Netherlands published online in The FASEB Journal (http://www.fasebj.org) identifies a compound in human saliva that greatly speeds wound healing. This research may offer hope to people suffering from chronic wounds related to diabetes and other disorders, as well as traumatic injuries and burns. In addition, because the compounds can be mass produced, they have the potential to become as common as antibiotic creams and rubbing alcohol.