Culture

Why do we create and maintain social networks? Most people can immediately think of a few natural reasons -- we get something from the interaction, or the person is nearby and is close to us in proximity, age or gender.

But researching such theories on a large scale has never before been possible -- until digital social networks came along.

Research, funded by multiple agencies and conducted by the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, found that swimmers using public ocean beaches increase their risk for exposure to staph organisms, and may increase their risk for potential staph infections once they enter the water.

Berkeley — If you think you know what science is and how science works, think again.

A new University of California, Berkeley, Web site called "Understanding Science" (http://undsci.berkeley.edu/) paints an entirely new picture of what science is and how science is done, showing it to be a dynamic and creative process rather than the linear – and frequently boring – process depicted in most textbooks.

As part of a symposium on "Defining species for threatened and endangered protection" Barbara Taylor, Ph.D., NOAA Fisheries Service, will discuss the need to explicitly consider uncertainty in taxonomy in conservation decisions. Species concepts continue to be a contentious, but largely philosophical debate among academic biologists. How differences between groups of organisms are identified, however, can have real, on-the-ground policy implications for which species receive legal protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.

Ecology and conservation biologist at the University of Leicester, Dr David Harper, who has conducted research for over 25 years at Lake Naivasha in Kenya, today warned that cut-price Valentine roses exported for sale in the UK were 'bleeding that country dry'.

Dr Harper, of the University's Department of Biology where he is a senior lecturer, claimed that cheap roses grown by companies that had no concern for the environment were having a devastating effect on the ecology of Lake Naivasha- the centre of Kenya's horticultural industry.

Industry-sponsored studies on influenza vaccines are published in journals with higher rankings (impact factors) and are cited more than studies with other sponsors, but this is not because they are bigger or better, finds a study published on bmj.com today.

Tom Jefferson and colleagues at the Cochrane Vaccine Field in Italy identified and assessed 274 studies on influenza vaccines and analysed their methodological quality, prestige of the host journals (impact factor) and citation rates in the scientific literature.

CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--A team of MIT undergraduate students has invented a shock absorber that harnesses energy from small bumps in the road, generating electricity while it smoothes the ride more effectively than conventional shocks. The students hope to initially find customers among companies that operate large fleets of heavy vehicles. They have already drawn interest from the U.S. military and several truck manufacturers.

Dazzling new scientific techniques are allowing archaeologists to track the movements and menus of extinct hominids through the seasons and years as they ate their way across the African landscape, helping to illuminate the evolution of human diets.

Tringides' work succeeds in terms of uniformity and speed. The lead islands self-organize on silicon in only two to three minutes. Also, better understanding of how the lead islands grow will help researchers see if other systems show the same liquid-like behavior at low temperatures.

MINNEAPOLIS / ST. PAUL (Feb. 12, 2009) — Binge drinking is common among active-duty military personnel and is strongly associated with many health and social problems, including problems with job performance and alcohol-impaired driving, according to a new study released by the University of Minnesota and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).