Culture

Male Jamaican anole lizards begin and end the day with displays of reptilian strength -- push-ups, head bobs and extensions of a colorful neck flap, or dewlap -- to defend their territory, according to a new study.

Whether driving on the highway or walking down the street, we pick up on both deliberate signals and unconscious cues to predict what other people are going to do and act accordingly. But robots have trouble following each other around, for example, when a leader turns a corner and disappears from sight. Researchers at UC Davis have come up with a control system that allows a robot to pick up on cues that the leader is about to turn, predict where it is going and follow it.

The geysers of Yellowstone National Park owe their eistence to the "Yellowstone hotspot"--a region of molten rock buried deep beneath Yellowstone, geologists have found.

But how hot is this "hotspot," and what's causing it?

In an effort to find out, Derek Schutt of Colorado State University and Ken Dueker of the University of Wyoming took the hotspot's temperature.

The scientists published results of their research, funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF)'s division of earth sciences, in the August, 2008, issue of the journal Geology.

There have been many reports in the media about the effects of global warming on the Greenland ice-sheet, but there is still great uncertainty as to why there is an ice-sheet there at all.

Reporting today (28 August) in the journal Nature, scientists at the University of Bristol and the University of Leeds show that only changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide are able to explain the transition from the mostly ice-free Greenland of three million years ago, to the ice-covered Greenland of today.

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) – Two UC Santa Barbara astronomers are part of a team that has made a stunning discovery using the Hubble Space Telescope and Chandra X-ray Observatory, it was announced today by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

The capture of a collision of galaxy clusters was made by a team led by Marusa Bradac, a postdoctoral researcher and Hubble fellow in UCSB's Department of Physics. The international team also included Tommaso Treu, assistant professor of physics at UCSB.

Athens, Ga. – Most college students understand how they can prevent the transmission of HIV but are less knowledgeable about HIV testing, according to a new University of Georgia study.

Su-I Hou, associate professor in the UGA College of Public Health, surveyed more than 500 students and found that they scored higher on general questions related to HIV and AIDS (82 percent correct) than items specifically related to HIV testing (72 percent correct).

Despite investments, community goodwill and some good ideas, a vexing question remains in the age of school reform: Why has so much hope and effort led to disappointment?

Beginning in the late 1980s, the Chicago Public Schools, like many urban schools systems, launched a series of initiatives to reorganize schools, improve teaching and encourage parental participation. The changes in Chicago not always have met the expectations of proponents, wrote Charles Payne in his new book, "So Much Reform, So Little Change: The Persistence of Failure in Urban Schools".

University Park, PA – August 27, 2008 – A study recently published in the Journal of Social Issues illustrates how certain disadvantages experienced in adolescence, such as early pregnancy, dropping out of high school, being arrested, or going to an underprivileged school, contribute to lower voter turnout in young adulthood. In addition, the types of disadvantage vary across racial groups.

Lawrence, KS – August 27, 2008 – In Spring 2006, when three White Duke University lacrosse players were charged with raping a Black female student from nearby North Carolina Central University, Duke University officials framed the crisis in terms of institutional reputation rather than the rape issue at hand.

In a new study published in the journal Communication, Culture & Critique, Barbara Barnett of Kansas University reports on her qualitative textual analysis of public relations materials published by Duke from March 24, 2006 through June 18, 2007.

OAK BROOK, Ill. – August 27, 2008 – Researchers from St. Louis University School of Medicine in Missouri report that EUS and EUS-FNA is 99.1 percent accurate in diagnosing pancreatic neoplasms (abnormal growths or tumors) in patients who were referred for endoscopic ultrasound (EUS) because of CT and/or MRI reports of two common, though somewhat ambiguous findings - enlargement of head of pancreas (HOP) or dilation of the pancreatic duct (PD).