Culture

In the world of nanomaterials, scientists and engineers can create new structures with tiny building blocks as small as one billionth of a meter.

But in order to construct new materials and devices, researchers first need to understand how these tiny units interact with each other.

A recent study by researchers at the University of Bath and London's Natural History Museum has found that scientists' knowledge of the evolution of dinosaurs is remarkably complete.

Evolutionary biologists use two ways to study the evolution of prehistoric plants and animals: firstly they use radioactive dating techniques to put fossils in chronological order according to the age of the rocks in which they are found (stratigraphy); secondly they observe and classify the characteristics of fossilised remains according to their relatedness (morphology).

Current government programmes aimed at reducing drug and alcohol use among young people may be ineffective and may even be doing more harm than good, according to a paper published today in Public Policy Research, the quarterly journal published today by the Institute for Public Policy Research.

Street-based programmes, by contrast, which aim to engage with young people on their own 'territory', have the potential to be more effective in reaching the most at-risk young people and are also likely to be cheaper to operate.

During its career, the potentially fatal hepatitis C virus has banked its success on a rather unusual strategy: its limitations. Its inability to infect animals other than humans and chimpanzees has severely hampered scientists in developing a useful small animal model for the disease.

Scientists seek to create reliable early warning systems that accurately estimate the magnitude of an earthquake within the first seconds of rupture. In this paper published by the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America, authors S. Murphy of University College Dublin, Ireland and S. Nielsen of the Instituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia, Roma, Italy look at the idea that an earthquake's final size can be determined during its initiation, rather than something that only becomes apparent at the end of the rupture.

"This is a wakeup call for America: Congress must act now to ensure economic stability for today's seniors and future generations."

Waltham, MA—Older Americans have experienced huge, negative financial shifts that now make it more difficult to enter retirement with sustainable economic security, a new study finds. Seventy-eight percent of all senior households are financially vulnerable when it comes to their ability to meet essential expenses and cover projected costs over their lifetimes.

Another chapter in a murder case over 5000 years old. New investigations by an LMU research team working together with a Bolzano colleague reconstructed the chronology of the injuries that Oetzi, the glacier man preserved as a frozen mummy, received in his last days. It turns out, for example, that he did in fact only survive the arrow wound in his back for a very short time – a few minutes to a number of hours, but no more – and also definitely received a blow to the back with a blunt object only shortly before his death. In contrast, the cut wound on his hand is some days older.

PHILADELPHIA –- A team of computer scientists at the University of Pennsylvania investigating the political, social and economic struggle between individual self-interest and the need to build a consensus have learned that, depending only on the structure of the network of participants, they can engineer surprising experimental results.

Shippensburg, PA – January 28, 2009 – A new study in the journal Social Science Quarterly examined the relationship between first name popularity in adolescents and tendency to commit crime. Results show that, regardless of race, juveniles with unpopular names are more likely to engage in criminal activity.

David E. Kalist and Daniel Y. Lee of Shippensburg University analyzed state data by comparing the first names of male juvenile delinquents to the first names of male juveniles in the population.

MADISON, WI, JANUARY 26, 2009 – The Delmarva Peninsula, flanking the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, is home to some 600 million chickens. The resulting poultry manure and some of the chicken house bedding material is usually composted and then spread onto croplands as a fertilizer.