Vast Community of Bacteria and Clams Under Antarctic Ice

Posted on July 31, 2005  Comments (0)

Beneath Ice Shelf’s Remains, Life Blossoms from Washingtonpost.com

The area had been isolated under the ice for at least 10,000 years, and the discovery means that “the chance of life happening in other places that are even more restricted is increased,”

The bacteria under the Larsen B ice shelf evolved in far colder conditions than other known cold-seep communities, thriving in near- or below-freezing temperatures, and may have unique properties.

Planting Trees May Create Deserts

Posted on July 29, 2005  Comments (0)

Planting Trees May Create Deserts, New Scientist:

Forests planted with the intention of trapping moisture are instead depleting reservoirs and drying out soils.

Studying the actual results let us learn what actually happens. Making decisions using the best available information at the time is what we must do. But then we need to study what happens. See, previous post on: Medical Study Results Questioned.

Science and Engineering Fellowships Legislation

Posted on July 22, 2005  Comments (0)

Senators will propose legislation to spur innovation from InfoWorld:

John Ensign, a Nevada Republican, Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut Democrat with support announced by four other senators will propose legislation that establishes 5,000 science and engineering fellowships, redirects 3 percent of government agency R&D spending to specific areas of research and provides automatic green cards for graduate engineering students, the senators said Wednesday.

And on the same topic, Senators Promise ‘Brain Drain’ Bill:

According to Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), the U.S. is averaging 50,000 engineering graduates a year, with 40 percent of those from overseas. India is averaging 150,000 engineering graduates a year while China is graduating 250,000 engineers every year.

Medical Study Results Questioned

Posted on July 14, 2005  Comments (0)

Third of study results don’t hold up (cnn broke the link so I removed it);

in a review of major studies published in three influential medical journals between 1990 and 2003, including 45 highly publicized studies that initially claimed a drug or other treatment worked.

Subsequent research contradicted results of seven studies — 16 percent — and reported weaker results for seven others, an additional 16 percent.

The scientific community will gain once the barriers to the flow of knowledge created by subscription sites. We would link to the actual study but it is not available – it is behind a subscription wall. Support the adoption of the Public Library of Science and the Public Library of Medicine.

The Mysteries of Mass

Posted on July 6, 2005  Comments (0)

The Mysteries of Mass (bozos at Scientific American broke the page so I removed the link – poor usability):

Physicists are hunting for an elusive particle that would reveal the presence of a new kind of field that permeates all of reality. Finding that Higgs field will give us a more complete understanding about how the universe works.