Culture

Odense, Denmark – October 15, 2008 – In many countries, school vouchers have come to be a controversial policy which allows parents to pay for the education of their children at a school of their choice, rather than the public school to which they are assigned. A new study in the journal Governance shows how the success of governments in introducing vouchers is highly correlated with these countries' different political institutions and traditions.

As the 2008 presidential election enters its final month, researchers at the Annenberg Research Network on International Communication (ARNIC) have found some sharp differences – and surprising similarities – in the two major candidates' positions on technology policy.

In areas such as media ownership and consolidation, open access to Internet content and intellectual property rights, ARNIC's report provides guidance for voters concerned about the future development of communication technology and the media.

As concerns about the effects of global warming continue to mount, a new study published in the December issue of Physiological and Biochemical Zoology finds that an increase in average temperature of only two degrees Celsius could have a devastating effect on populations of Australia's iconic kangaroos.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Another multi-billion-dollar taxpayer bailout could lie ahead, this time to rescue a cash-strapped government program that insures pensions of 44 million American workers and retirees, a University of Illinois finance professor warns.

Jeffrey R. Brown says the troubled Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which steps in when private-sector employers with under funded defined-benefit plans go bankrupt, was $14 billion short of the cash it will need to cover pensions based on the latest estimates released a year ago.

OSLO (15 October 2008)—Unless based on respect for the rights of indigenous peoples and forest communities, efforts by rich countries to combat climate change by funding reductions in deforestation in developing countries will fail, and could even unleash a devastating wave of forest loss, cultural destruction and civil conflict, warned a leading group of forestry and development experts meeting in Oslo this week.

We all negotiate compromises every day, but it often seems that certain people always get their way. Do these skilled negotiators simply go with their gut instinct every time or are they just extremely calculating, figuring out all possible outcomes before settling on the best option? Behavioral studies have shown that emotions play an important role in decision making. However, it was not known to what extent our negotiating skills depend on our emotions.

The extra layer of information that you add to a message when speaking is called prosody. The most important conclusion is that prosody lies not only in the voice but also in the facial expression. Further it appears that auditory and visual information together are more effective than the same information separately.

An NJIT professor, who has discovered new communication channels in underwater environments and invented a technique to communicate data through these channels, will be honored later this month by the New Jersey Inventors Hall of Fame. His work will eventually allow multiple users and underwater vehicles and instruments to communicate information and data faster and more reliably in complex underwater environments. The National Science Foundation has supported this research.

The widely held belief that the Nile valley was the most likely route out of sub-Saharan Africa for early modern humans 120,000 year ago is challenged in a paper published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A team led by the University of Bristol shows that wetter conditions reached a lot further north than previously thought, providing a wet 'corridor' through Libya for early human migrations. The results also help explain inconsistencies between archaeological finds.

STANFORD, Calif. — The nervous system and the immune system havesomething in common. Each has evolved to react quickly to environmentalcues. Because the nervous system is able to detect some of these cues -say, a characteristic odor signaling a pathogen's presence - at adistance, it sometimes can sense trouble earlier than the immune system,which has to wait until the pathogen invades the organism.

So it makes sense that the two systems might talk to one another.Stanford University School of Medicine geneticists have shown that,indeed, they do.