Culture

When competitors are around, male Atlantic mollies try to hide their top mate choice, reveals a new study published online on July 31st in Current Biology, a Cell Press journal.

They feign disinterest in females after onlookers enter the scene. What's more, after encountering a rival, the tricky males direct their first sexual advances toward females that really aren't their first pick. Male mollies are known to copy other males' mate choices, the researchers noted.

A new policy report released by Rice University's Baker Institute for Public Policy suggests strategies to deal with the current turmoil in the global energy markets, including the role of petrodollars in the U.S. credit bubble.

"Sharp changes in energy prices are having dramatic effects on the stability of the global economy," the report states. "Threats to the global energy market could have dangerous corresponding impacts on the world financial system."

In November 2008, the ministers responsible for space activities in ESA's member states and Canada will gather in The Hague to set the course of Europe's space programme over the period ahead. They will be invited to endorse the next stages in a series of ongoing programmes and to commit to the start of new programmes.

A UC Davis graduate student has created short, colorful movies that show the development of open source software. With dancing points of light, rings of color and a soundtrack, the Code_swarm animations show how software such as the Python scripting language and the Apache Web server have developed from the contributions of different programmers.

PHILADELPHIA –- Due to its remarkable electronic properties, few layer graphene, or FLG, has emerged as a promising new material for use in post-silicon devices that incorporate the quantum effects that emerge at the nanoscale. Now, physicists at the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated a new method by which FLG can be etched along flawless, crystallographic axes by using thermally activated nanoparticles, a technique that results in atomically precise, macroscopic length ribbons of graphene.

Accurate measurement of thermal performance is crucial if new government legislation aimed at producing dramatic reductions in CO2 emissions is to be successful. The UK's National Physical Laboratory (NPL) is offering construction companies a way of meeting this mandate.

TEMPE, Ariz. – Butterfly wings, peacock feathers, opals and pearls are some of nature's jewels that use nanostructures to dazzle us with color. It's accomplished through the way light reaches our eyes after passing through the submicroscopic mazes within these materials.

The seemingly effortless way that nature creates this effect is now rivaled by a rapid and simple method developed through a collaboration of researchers from North Carolina State University (NCSU), Arizona State University (ASU) and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM).

In the largest field trial of its kind in the United States, researchers have determined that the giant perennial grass Miscanthus x giganteus outperforms current biofuels sources – by a lot. Using Miscanthus as a feedstock for ethanol production in the U.S. could significantly reduce the acreage dedicated to biofuels while meeting government biofuels production goals, the researchers report.

The new findings, from researchers at the University of Illinois, appear this month in the journal Global Change Biology.

Fruit flies fine-tune their olfactory systems by recalibrating the sensitivity of different odor channels in response to changing concentrations of environmental cues, a new study has shown. Disable this calibration system, and flies have trouble finding a mate, the researchers found.

Just like overly bright light can wash out a photographic image, strong smells can overwhelm the olfactory system and eliminate an animal's ability to detect subtle differences, such as changes in concentration that would allow it to track a scent.

While industrial action is largely perceived as a legitimate means of encouraging organisational change in Australia, research has shown industrial action can adversely affect those involved.

Dr Jane Fowler, an industrial-organisational psychologist at Griffith University, has examined the psychological impact on members of the United Steelworkers of America while on strike from 2004-2006.

She found strikers reported higher levels of depression, anxiety and irritation and lower levels of general mental health than non-strikers.