Culture

Researchers Antonio G. Pisabarro (Professor of Microbiology) as well as José Luis Lavín and José Antonio Oguiza, from the Genetic and Microbiology Group at the Public University of Navarre, have taken part in the international project for the sequencing of the genome of the Postia placenta fungus. The results, published recently in the American National Academy of Sciences' scientific journal (PNAS), has enabled the determination of the mechanisms with which this fungus attacks wood in order to use the cellulose contained within.

Nestled just off the east coast of Australia, picturesque North Stradbroke Island is a haven for local wildlife. Yet some of the inhabitants of the island's creeks and swamps are far from peaceful. Slender crayfish are aggressive territorial creatures, explains ecologist Robbie Wilson of the University of Queensland, Australia. When two crayfish catch sight of one another, they size each other up in a ritualistic display, which can quickly escalate from careful tapping of their opponent's chelae (enlarged front claws) to a full-blown fight.

COLUMBA, MO—Shiitake mushrooms are the third most popular mushroom species in the U.S. In addition to taste, shiitake have a multitude of health benefits. Low in calories, glucose and sodium, shiitake are high in potassium, phosphorus, copper, and zinc.

Beyond those positive nutritional factors, shiitake also contain elements that lower blood cholesterol and improve the immune system. It's no wonder that demand is increasing for these nutritional powerhouses.

New research expands our understanding of how a type of immune cell called a B lymphocyte enables the immune system to mount a successful defense against an intestinal parasite. The study, published by Cell Press online in the journal Immunity on 26 February, provides some intriguing insight into the variety of mechanisms implemented by B cells to protect the host from infection.

DURHAM, N.C. –- The next time a contractor tells you the kitchen remodeling will be done in six weeks, you might ask him to get real and reconsider his estimate.

People often fail to remember that the world is not ideal when they predict when they will complete a project, how frequently they will exercise, or how much money they will save. However, a subtle reminder of the difference between ideal and realistic predictions can yield a more accurate estimate, according to new research from Duke University's Fuqua School of Business and the Wisconsin School of Business.

AUSTIN, Texas—The socioeconomic characteristics of people who play state lotteries are similar to investors who pick stocks with a lottery quality—high risk with a small potential for high return, and just like the lottery, returns on average are lower for those who invest this way in the stock market, research from The University of Texas at Austin shows.

What has been impossible has now been shown to be possible – an alloy between two incompatible elements. The findings are being published in this week's edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA.

A research team led by Professor H.K. Mao from Carnegie Institution of Washington and Professor Rajeev Ahuja from UU have used high pressure experiments and theoretical calculations to study the behaviour of Ce3Al under high pressure.

The vast expanses of intergalactic space appear to be filled with ahaze of tiny, smoke-like "dust" particles that dim the light fromdistant objects and subtly change their colors, according to a team ofastronomers from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS-II).

"Galaxies contain lots of dust, most of it formed in the outer regionsof dying stars," said team leader Brice Menard of the CanadianInstitute for Theoretical Astrophysics. "The surprise is that we are seeingdust hundreds of thousands of light-years outside of the galaxies, inintergalactic space."

First responders could boost their radio communications quickly at a disaster site by setting out just four extra transmitters in a random arrangement to significantly increase the signal power at the receiver, according to theoretical analyses, simulations and proof-of-concept experiments performed at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

PITTSBURGH—Small robots the size of riding mowers could prepare a safe landing site for NASA's Moon outpost, according to a NASA-sponsored study prepared by Astrobotic Technology Inc. with technical assistance from Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute.

Astrobotic Technology and Carnegie Mellon researchers analyzed mission requirements and developed the design for an innovative new type of small lunar robot under contract from NASA's Lunar Surface Systems group.