Culture

For the growing number of people with diminished immune systems - cancer patients, transplant recipients, those with HIV/AIDS - infection by a ubiquitous mold known as Aspergillus fumigatus can be a death sentence.

The fungus, which is found in the soil, on plant debris and indoor air, is easily managed by the healthy immune system. But as medical advances contribute to a growing population of people whose immune systems are weakened by disease or treatment, the opportunistic fungus poses a serious risk.

American college students today are civically and politically more engaged than they are commonly given credit for, and more likely to know the name of their elected representatives than the winners of "American Idol", according to the "National Survey of Civic and Political Engagement of Young People" conducted by Tufts University.

Cluster is providing new insights into the working of a ‘space tsunami’ that plays a role in disrupting the calm and beautiful aurora, or northern lights, creating patterns of auroral dances in the sky.The image to the left is the typical appearance of the aurora before a magnetic substorm. During a substorm, the single auroral ribbon may split into several ribbons (centre) or even break into clusters that race north and south (right). Credits: Jan Curtis

Earth's polar regions. These clouds have grown brighter and more prevalent in recent years and some scientists suggest that changes in these clouds may be the result of climate change.

The first opportunity for launch is on Wednesday, April 25 from Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif., aboard a Pegasus launch vehicle.

The rich don't get richer -- at least not in laboratory games. According to a new study of behavioral economics, published in the April 12, 2007 issue of Nature, people will spend their own money to make the rich less rich and the poor less poor. They do so without any hope of personal gain, acting, it seems, out of a taste for equality and sense of fair play.

Some believe it is just a figment of overactive imaginations. But evidence is growing that the so-called "axis of evil" – a pattern apparently imprinted on the radiation left behind by the big bang – may be real, posing a threat to standard cosmology.

A Carnegie Mellon University computer scientist says transferring large data files, such as movies and music, over the Internet could be sped up significantly if peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing services were configured to share not only identical files, but also similar files.

People watching the Super Bowl who saw how much they had already eaten -- in this case, leftover chicken-wing bones -- ate 27 percent less than people who had no such environmental cues, finds a new Cornell study.

The difference between the two groups -- those eating at a table where leftover bones accumulated compared with those whose leftovers were removed -- was greater for men than for women.

The 11,000 members of three scientific societies with its roots in agriculture have been closely watching the reports coming out of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Most people want to be normal. So, when we are given information that underscores our deviancy, the natural impulse is to get ourselves as quickly as we can back toward the center.

Marketers know about this impulse, and a lot of marketing makes use of social norms. This is especially true of campaigns targeting some kind of public good: reducing smoking or binge drinking, for example, or encouraging recycling. The problem with these campaigns is that they often do not work. Indeed, they sometimes appear to have the opposite of their intended effect.