Culture

How do the many carnivorous animals of the Americas avoid competing for the same lunch, or becoming each other's meal?

A possible answer comes from a new study by a pair of researchers at the University of California, Davis. Their large-scale analysis shows that it's not just chance that's at play, but avoidance strategies themselves that have been a driving force in the evolution of many carnivores, influencing such factors as whether species are active daytime or nighttime, whether they inhabit forests or grasslands, or live in trees or on the ground.

Growing older is a fact of life, but people's hopes, fears, pre-conceptions and experiences surrounding the ageing process are richly diverse. As part of the Festival of Social Science organised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) to highlight how social science impacts on our daily lives, researchers from Swansea University are organising a unique exhibition of thoughts and reflections of younger and older people on what it means to grow old.

SANTA CRUZ, CA--Dust blown off the continents and deposited in the open ocean is an important source of nutrients for marine phytoplankton, the tiny algae that are the foundation of the ocean food web. But new findings show that some sources of dust also carry toxic elements that can kill marine phytoplankton.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — Brown University physicists have played a key role in observing particle collisions that produce a single top quark, one of the fundamental constituents of matter. The discovery was announced Monday by scientists of the CDF and DZero collaborations at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory.

RIVERSIDE, Calif. – A group of 28 scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, co-led by UC Riverside's Ann Heinson, has made the first observation of the production of single top quarks – an observation that resulted from proton-antiproton collisions measured by the DZero detector in Fermilab's Tevatron, the world's highest-energy particle collider.

Batavia, Ill.—Scientists of the CDF and DZero collaborations at the Department of Energy's Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory have observed particle collisions that produce single top quarks. The discovery of the single top confirms important parameters of particle physics, including the total number of quarks, and has significance for the ongoing search for the Higgs particle at Fermilab's Tevatron, currently the world's most powerful operating particle accelerator.

Researchers have found what they say is some of the first unambiguous evidence that an animal other than humans can make spontaneous plans for future events. The report in the March 9th issue of Current Biology, a Cell Press publication, highlights a decade of observations in a zoo of a male chimpanzee calmly collecting stones and fashioning concrete discs that he would later use to hurl at zoo visitors.

The University of Cincinnati has long been known for its world-record-breaking carbon nanotubes. Now researchers at the University of Cincinnati have discovered new uses by spinning carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into longer fibers with additional useful properties.

Breakthroughs Without Broken Threads

WASHINGTON, DC — The thriving use of private military contractors in place of citizen-soldiers allows nations to externalize the costs of war and outsource accountability during wartime, according to sociologist Katherine McCoy, writing in the winter 2009 issue of Contexts magazine.

A trend that has increased steadily since the Gulf War, private military contracting is now a $100 billion global industry that is projected to be worth up to $200 billion by 2010. More private contractors work in the Iraq War than American soldiers.

Research led by the University of Warwick has found a way to use doughnuts shaped by-products of quantum dots to slow and even freeze light, opening up a wide range of possibilities from reliable and effective light based computing to the possibility of "slow glass".