Culture

Instead of preserving life, Germany’s embryo protection law has had the unintended consequence of increasing the number of foetuses killed after fertility treatment according to new figures presented at the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology today (Wednesday). A representative of the German IVF registry has called for the law to be changed urgently to ensure that this situation does not continue.

You buy more salad dressing from Paul Newman under his own label than you would if he were in commercials for someone else, research says.

Endorsements by the rich and famous have long been a staple of the advertising industry. They can give otherwise mundane products, like razors or carpet cleaners, new cachet. Market research has shown repeatedly that celebrities can "instantly" add personality and appeal to even unknown products and make or break recognized brands.

The ingenious system called adaptive optics, known for its computer control of subdivided, individually angled mirrors, is an efficient but expensive way to correct distortions in laser beams. The mirrors automatically adjust until an undistorted beam is obtained in a way formerly thought unachievable by a single large mirror.

Now a Sandia National Laboratories’ tool that efficiently but inexpensively uses a single mirror to achieve some of the same effects has received a U.S. patent, issued June 12.

Do pediatricians face a malpractice crisis? In the first systematic multi-year analysis of malpractice claims solely against pediatricians, researchers from the Indiana University School of Medicine report in the July issue of the journal Pediatrics that the answer is neither yes nor no.

Did another universe collapse give birth to the one we live in today?

"My paper introduces a new mathematical model that we can use to derive new details about the properties of a quantum state as it travels through the Big Bounce, which replaces the classical idea of a Big Bang as the beginning of our universe," said Martin Bojowald, assistant professor of physics at Penn State.

About 250 years before Daniel Massey built his farm house in Huntingdon County, Pennsylvania, his great-grandfather came to the New World as an indentured servant. 150 years later, Penn State's Archaeological Field School is excavating Daniel's house to see how far he came from those humble beginnings.

A new paper published in Journal of the American Ceramic Society proposes a new method of producing hydrogen for portable fuel cells.

This new method negates the need for the complicated and expensive equipment currently used. With their ability to work steadily for 10-20 times the length of equivalently sized Lithium-ion batteries, portable fuel cells are ideal energy suppliers for devices such as computers, cell phones and hybrid vehicles.

The High Resolution Stereo Camera (HRSC) on board Mars Express has provided snapshots of the Aeolis Mensae region. This area, well known for its wind-eroded features, lies on a tectonic transition zone, characterised by incised valleys and unexplained linear features.

Illuminated by the Sun from the west (right side in the image), the pictures are of a ground resolution of approximately 13 metres per pixel. The region, imaged on 26 and 29 March 2007, during Mars Express orbits 4136 and 4247, is located at approximately 6° South and 145° East.

Dr. Zahi HawassJune 2007

When the Discovery Channel approached me to search for the mummy of Queen Hatshepsut, I did not really think I would be able to make a definite identification. But I did think that this would give me the perfect opportunity to look at the unidentified female mummies from Dynasty 18, which no one had ever studied in as a group. There were already many theories about the identities of these mummies, but the latest scientific technology had not yet been used to study them.

Picking a mate isn’t easy—if you are a female iguana. In a study Maren Vitousek of Princeton University and colleagues found that female Galápagos marine iguanas spend a lot of energy picking a mate from a wide range of suitors – energy they could otherwise spend foraging, producing eggs, or avoiding predators.