News

iPhone
The iPhone has many apps, also for scientists.
The iPhone's app store boasts literally thousands of apps in every category. That dense maze of options would be difficult to navigate for even the most organized mind, so here are a few picks that should be useful across a broad range of scientific needs.

 

1.The  Elements for iPhone

This gorgeous, intricately detailed app offers a wealth of information on that most basic of scientific concepts: the periodic table of elements. As shown, each entry contains not only a clear photo of the element in question but also all of that element's relevant information, from its atomic weight to its half-life to interesting factoids about the element's usage in every day life. The app's interactivity is what makes it really useful for the modern scientist: touching the Wolfram|Alpha logo brings up current news and reports about the selected element, including its present market price. It's the priciest app on the list, but also one of the most important--and elegant.

 

Globedweller
Globedweller.com is a new website for expat professionals
More and more scientists and researcher work in universities and companies located outside their native country.

 

However, often it can be difficult and time-consuming to settle in to the new host country.  But even for busy scientists, it can be well worth to make that effort, since their stay will be so much better if they emerge themselves in the culture and daily life of their new home. Even when the stay is temporarily.

 

All countries have much more to offer than just work. That is why www.GlobeDweller.com has been launched.

The idea is to give everybody who works abroad a better experience. To connect them with the people and activities where they live.

 

The community, which is at the core of Globedweller.com, achieve this by making contact with other expats who live in the same area easy, and by providing the means to exchange knowledge and experiences on integration, accommodation, shopping, banking, day-care and schools.

 

On top of that, Globedweller.com is open to locals as well. So finding friends who are able to truly show you the ways of your new host country is possible and thus helping make the stay a lasting experience of more than just work. Join Globe Dweller today!

If you are a life science student or professional and have always dreamt of sharing your passion for science with others, then Life of Science now gives one or two budding science writers the chance to write for the site. We are looking for individuals willing to provide two or three short news pieces per month. This could be related to your own research and new papers in your field or it could be your chance to follow what happens in other fields.

 

 "In the year 6565, if man is still alive" was the text of a famous pop song of the seventies and in a Science-fiction-movie of the nineties ("Waterworld") Kevin Kostner portrayed a aquatic world in a fictive future in which the survivors of a global climate change mainly live on the water and former cities like New York, Hamburg or London are beneath the shore of the oceans. It seems as if mankind is on its best way to fullfill darkest visions: in a recent study German and British scientists from the University of Tuebingen, University of Southhampton and University of Bristol developed a model which predicts the rise of the sea level for the coming millenia. Their conclusion: in some thousand years Earth will have a sea level alike in the pliocene (3-5 million years ago).

 

A new study has shown that experienced tennis players have a superior ability to determine the speed, direction and time to impact of moving objects compared to non-athletes. This finding could result in computer-based training sessions that could give us even better tennis players in the future.

We all know that doing sports is good exercise, because we reduce our fat stores and instead increase our muscle mass. However, for top athletes this is not the only physiological improvements that occur during training. Extensive training over many years improves also the mental and cognitive abilities of the athlete so that he or she is better able to perform the tasks necessary to excel in the discipline. This is why that if you want to become a professional in almost any sport you need to start training at a young age. In a study published in PLoS One, Swiss researchers from the Federal Polytechnic School of Lausanne have investigated the visual perception skills of tennis players.

Few of us realise how much science is involved in the everyday things that surrounds us. Food has not traditionally been much associated with science in the minds of the consumers or producers. However, this is slowly changing, especially with the recent popularity of molecular gastronomy, which attempts to enhance the taste experience by understanding the physical and chemical transformation of the ingredients that occur during cooking. The taste experience of food, however, is not only due to the chemical flavour and the cooking of the food, but often also depends on the texture. This is especially true of potato crisps, where the crispness often determines the success of the product. Traditionally crispness has been evaluated qualitatively by asking people to taste the crisps and state their opinion. However, there is a significant interest among crisp producers in finding a more objective quantitative evaluation. Scientists have now found a way of associating crispness with the fracture properties of the crisps.
The progress in computer technology within the past decades has been absolutely astounding. The capabilities of our personal computers have been growing exponentially (see Moore’s law) and the computer can perform calculations much faster than the human brain. However, in many other areas the computer is no match for the human brain. Especially the function of the visual system in humans is impressive. Several computer programs have been made that can identify and recognise visual inputs and although they are useful, for instance, in recognising characters and numbers on invoices and documents, human verification is often needed, especially, when variations are introduced in for instance hand written documents. Scientists from MIT in the United States in America have looked at a related problem. That of visually recognising objects viewed from different angles with variations in background and lighting. Such a task has proved very difficult for the computer while the brain solves it effortless.

native americans
Native americans came from Sibiria with one migration wave. (Painting from the early 20th century, public domain from: Nordisk familjebok)
All along it has been approved knowledge that the first americans came during the last Ice Age via Bering street to the new world some 10.000-15.000 years ago. But conflicting archaeological findings and ideological discussions had been questioning this established scientific view recently: Several migrations waves, european origin from ice age hunters, contact between ancient middle eastern cultures and other doctrines try to explain the origin of native americans next to the Bering street hypothesis containing political conflicts against the background of ongoing disputs between indian tribes and governments in Canada and especially in the USA about land property and claims. Now  - 120 years after Geronimo and his Apache Guerilla ended their grim and longstanding armed struggle against white mans land conquest - numerous native americans try to get their rights in front of US-courts. Now an international group of genetical scientists seem to confirm the one migration-wave theory saying that all native americans stem from Sibiria.

 

Deep inside the earth crust high pressures and temperatures press oxygen into a very rare mineral stone called majorit (Mg3(Fe,Al,Si)2(SiO4)).Under these conditons this mineral functions as oxygen store. When near the surface of earth it decays and oxygen is released. Here it binds with hydrogen (H2) to water (H2O). Geologists from the university of Bonn, Germany, now published in "nature" their new findings. Without the mineral majorit probably earth would be as dry and without life like our neighbour planet mars, how Prof. Christian Ballhaus and his team found out by investigating the rare mineral under lab conditions.

Researchers from the universities in Switzerland (Joerg Schibler), England (Greger Larson) and Ireland (Keith Dobney) revealed new insights into the origin of modern house pigs and the spread of early agricultural populations in neolithic europe. Scientist from Basel/Switzerland, Oxford/England and Durham/Ireland analysed genetically more then 200 probes of ancient teeth and bones of pigs found at different archaelogical sites of early settlements (7000 years old).


Computer modelling reveals intensive interaction between two brain regions. The Thalamus is a part of the brainstem and a filter between incoming environmental stimuli and the cortex, the cognitive part of the human brain. Now researchers (physicists, medical doctors and biologists) from the universities in Kiel and Luebeck, Germany, developed a computer model which simulates the specific thalamic waves which occur during sleep and their direct connection to the cortex. Such brain activity is usually measured via EEGs (electro encephalographie).

 {mosaddphp:google.php}