Culture

The fact that female wasp spiders have numerous sexual contacts is something which their male partners cannot prevent. What they can do, however, is ensure that no offspring ensue from these tête à têtes with their rivals: the male spiders simply place a chastity belt on their partner while copulating. The tip of their genital breaks off during intercourse, blocking the sexual orifice of the lady spider. Biologists from the universities of Bonn and Hamburg report on this amazing mechanism in the journal ‘Behavioral Ecology’ (vol. 18, pages 174-181, 2007).

Which navy commissioned the boat that sunk off the coast of Acre 200 years ago, which battles was it involved in and how did it end up at the bottom of the sea? The recent findings of marine archaeologists at the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies of the University of Haifa may provide the answers to these questions.

Carnegie Mellon University researchers say government officials need to adopt new ways of measuring and regulating the fine particles of smoke and soot so endemic to serious health problems and the global warming crisis.

In a March 2 article published in the journal Science, professors Allen L. Robinson and Neil M. Donahue report a new conceptual model for how microscopic particles behave in the atmosphere that raises new questions about current regulations.

Wood is formed from secondary xylem tissue consisting of cells with a heavily thickened secondary cell wall that is enriched in lignin and cellulose. In contrast, primary cell walls are composed mainly of polysaccharides (including cellulose), but contain very little lignin. Wood formation occurs through a complex series of steps involving cell division and expansion and the biosynthesis of lignin and cellulose. In addition, heartwood (darker wood at the center of the trunk) forms in many tree species through a highly regulated process of programmed cell death.

Archeologists from Yale and the University of Leicester have identified an ancient solar observatory at Chankillo, Peru as the oldest in the Americas with alignments covering the entire solar year, according to an article in the March 2 issue of Science.

The criminal justice system, often the subject of political controversy, gains major insights from the unbiased analytical tools that operations researchers introduced beginning with the President's Crime Commission in the 1960s, according to a career retrospective by the winner of the Stockholm Prize in Criminology.

A 17-year University of Utah study of ground movements shows that the power of the huge volcanic hotspot beneath Yellowstone National Park is much greater than previously thought during times when the giant volcano is slumbering.Wyoming's Teton Range looms behind a Global Positioning System (GPS) antenna in Jackson Hole that was part of a 17-year University of Utah study in which GPS devices were used to measure gradual movements of Earth's crust in Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park and surrounding areas.

Scientists of the US CMS collaboration joined colleagues around the world in announcing today (February 28) that the heaviest piece of the Compact Muon Solenoid particle detector has begun the momentous journey into its experimental cavern 100 meters underground. A huge gantry crane is slowly lowering the CMS detector's preassembled central section into place in the Large Hadron Collider accelerator at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland.

Scientific analysis of limestone ossuaries (bone boxes) and physical evidence found in a 2,000-year-old tomb in Talpiot, Jerusalem, provide credible new information that the tomb once may have held the remains of Jesus of Nazareth and his family. A new Discovery Channel documentary THE LOST TOMB OF JESUS, from executive producer James Cameron and director Simcha Jacobovici, exclusively reveals what might be the greatest archaeological find in history.

Mathematicians have finally laid to rest the legendary mystery surrounding an elusive group of numerical expressions known as the "mock theta functions."