Tech

Researchers have conducted the first global analysis of the health and productivity of ocean plants, as revealed by a unique signal detected by a NASA satellite. Ocean scientists can now remotely measure the amount of fluorescent red light emitted by ocean phytoplankton and assess how efficiently the microscopic plants are turning sunlight and nutrients into food through photosynthesis. They can also study how changes in the global environment alter these processes, which are at the center of the ocean food web.

President Barack Obama and Energy Secretary Steve Chu are consistent in their message that when it comes to transportation fuels, carbon-neutral biofuels as an alternative to gasoline are coming. While the focus of a shift from gasoline to biofuels has been on global warming, such a shift could also impact human health. A grant from the Energy Biosciences Institute (EBI) has produced a novel and comprehensive "Life Cycle Impact Assessment" to measure the benefits on human health that might result from a switch to biofuels.

Seattle – Non-invasive imaging can measure how well patients with the most common form of breast cancer - estrogen receptor positive type - respond to standard aromatase inhibitor therapy after only two weeks and shows similar findings that more invasive needle sampling identifies, according to a poster presentation to be presented at the ASCO annual meeting next week.

A group of researchers from the LGC Chemical Metrology Laboratory in the United Kingdom and the University of Oviedo, Spain, have come up with a method to detect how the proportions of isotopes in a chemical element (atoms with an equal number of protons and electrons but different numbers of neutrons) vary throughout the length of a single hair. The mid-term objective is to be able to use these methods to track the geographical movements of people, including international crime suspects and victims.

UC San Diego computer scientists are one step closer to building low cost networks of underwater sensors for real time underwater environmental monitoring. At the IEEE Reconfigurable Architectures Workshop in Rome, Italy, on May 25, computer scientists from the Jacobs School of Engineering presented a paper highlighting the energy conservation benefits of using reconfigurable hardware rather than competing hardware platforms for their experimental underwater sensor nets.

Immigration officials held a cancer patient for four hours before they allowed him to enter the USA because one of his cancer drugs caused his fingerprints to disappear. His oncologist is now advising all cancer patients who are being treated with the commonly used drug, capecitabine, to carry a doctor's letter with them if they want to travel to the USA.

Soil moisture is essential for seeds to germinate and for crops to grow. But record droughts and scorching temperatures in certain parts of the globe in recent years have caused soil to dry up, crippling crop production. The falling food supply in some regions has forced prices upward, pushing staple foods out of reach for millions of poor people.

WASHINGTON, May 26--Researchers from around the world will present the latest breakthroughs in electro-optics, lasers and the application of light waves at the 2009 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics/International Quantum Electronics Conference (CLEO/IQEC) May 31 to June 5 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore.

RESEARCH HIGHLIGHTS OF THE MEETING:

Seattle – Non-invasive imaging can measure how well patients with the most common form of breast cancer - estrogen receptor positive type - respond to standard aromatase inhibitor therapy after only two weeks and shows similar findings that more invasive needle sampling identifies, according to a poster presentation to be presented at the ASCO annual meeting next week.

Berkeley -- Trying to quit cigarettes but don't know how? A new analysis led by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health, suggests that Web- and computer-based smoking cessation programs are worth a try, and fortunately during these tough economic times, many of them are free.