As Seen On Tv

Houck implies that if the CSI effect exists in jury rooms, it is entirely harmful. Yet as we see ever more death penalty convictions overturned and as studies show the terrible fallibility of eyewitness testimony, it becomes clear that more scientifically valid forms of evidence are long overdue. The allegedly ignorant public may be onto something. HOUCK REPLIES s long as juries are influenced by the media and inappropriately apply the results of scientifically valid...

By Mikko Hypponen

Computer viruses are now airborne, infecting mobile phones in every part of the globe. Security companies, cellular operators and phone makers are moving to quash these threats before they spiral out of control The day the computer security community had anticipated for years finally arrived in June 2004. I and other researchers who study malicious forms of software knew that it was only a matter of time until such malware appeared on mobile phones as well. As cell phones have evolved into...

Polymer Splits Light For True Color In Displays By Steven Ashley

Artificial muscles plastics that expand and relax when exposed to electric fields could help produce truly lifelike colors in future television and computer screens. Tiny tunable prisms based on these materials could form the pixels of improved video displays within a decade. Existing screens, such as those based on TV tubes, flat-screen LCDs or plasma displays, cannot faithfully reproduce the full range of colors that humans can see. Each pixel in those technologies consists of three...

The First Us Project For Carbon Dioxide Burial Gives Mixed Results By Rebecca Renner

Deep in the heart of Texas just east of Houston, actually a research project designed to answer some of the technical questions about storing carbon dioxide underground is producing its first results. Scientists hope that carbon capture and sequestration could help ameliorate global warming without harming the local environment. The preliminary data at this geologic site, called the Frio Formation, are thus far providing mixed lessons. Interring carbon dioxide may become an important option for...

More To Explore

Measuring the Small-Scale Power Spectrum of Cosmic Density Fluctuations through 21 cm Tomography Prior to the Epoch of Structure Formation. Abraham Loeb and Matias Zaldarriaga in Physical Review Letters, Vol. 92, No. 21, Paper No. 211301 May 25, 2004. Preprint available at arxiv.org abs astro-ph 0312134 The State of the Universe. Peter Coles in Nature, Vol. 433, pages 248-256 January 25, 2005. First Light. Abraham Loeb. Lecture notes for the SAAS-Fee Winter School, April 2006. arxiv.org abs...

Emotional Mirrors

Thus, when people use the expression I feel your pain to indicate both comprehension and empathy, they may not realize just how literally true their statement could be. A paradigmatic example is the emotion of disgust, a basic reaction whose expression has important survival value for fellow members of a species. In its most primitive form, disgust indicates that something the individual tastes or smells is bad and, most likely, dangerous. Once again using fMRI studies, we...

Comes From Inscribed Stones And Clay Writing Tablets Dug Up In Mesopotamia

The Greeks, Basques, Hebrews and many tribes in Siberia had this basic star myth combination. Surprisingly, the same bear stars and stories surfaced throughout North America. With some variations, many tribes of the New World including the Cherokee, Algonquin, Zuni, Tlingit and Iroquois share the interpretation of the bear followed by three hunters. How can we explain the close matching of widespread traditions between the Old World and the New The Bear is unlikely to be an independent...

California Here We Come

At the end of An Inconvenient Truth, the well-received documentary about global warming that appeared in theaters this past summer, the filmmakers provided a list of practical steps that anyone can take to tackle this looming environmental problem. Perhaps the most memorable suggestion was this one Vote for leaders who pledge to solve this crisis. Write to Congress. If they don't listen, run for Congress. Unfortunately, the federal government is lagging behind other nations in the effort to...

Anatomy Of An Attack

Even an astute person can fall victim to a well-designed mobile worm, such as CommWarrior. Some 15 variants of this worm have been seen since the malware was first spotted in March 2005. CommWarrior exploits the Bluetooth user interface to persuade victims to install the malware on their phones. Once active, it can spread rapidly via Bluetooth connections, multimedia (MMS) messages and memory cards. IAs Bob boards a bus, his smartphone beeps. Another phone in the vehicle is carrying...

The Salience Landscape Theory

Stimulus Salience

To account for some of the secondary symptoms of autism hypersensitivity, avoidance of eye contact, aversion to certain sounds, and so on researchers have developed the salience landscape theory. In a typical child, sensory information is relayed to the amygdala, the gateway to the emotion-regulating limbic system. Using input from stored knowledge, the amygdala determines how the child should respond emotionally to each stimulus, creating a salience landscape of the child's environment. In...

Key Stages In The Formation Of A Dead Zone

The events underlying the creation of the Black Sea dead zone were fairly typical of how similar oxygen-depleted (hypoxic) areas form, although the details vary from case to case. At the root was eutrophication, an excessive inflow of plant nutrients that resulted in an overgrowth of algae and other small floating photosynthetic plants, which led indirectly to hypoxia and to the death of plants and animals in the lower depths. The decline of the ecosystem followed three stages described...

The Farnese Atlas

The oldest surviving depiction of the set of Greek constellations appears on a second-century A.D. Roman statue called the Farnese Atlas. Art historians conclude that the statue is a copy of a Greek original. Now in Naples, the marble carving depicts the god Atlas holding a sky globe on his shoulder. My detailed analysis of the positions of the constellations on the globe reveals that the figures are placed with an accuracy of better than two degrees for a date of 125 B.C., with an uncertainty...