Culture

"Knowledge of the sizes and shapes of asteroids is crucial to understanding how, in the early days of our Solar System, dust and pebbles collected together to form larger bodies and how collisions and re-accumulation have since modified them," says Marco Delbo from the Observatoire de la Côte d'Azur, France, who led the study.

GAINESVILLE, Fla. --- The largest snake the world has ever known -- as long as a school bus and as heavy as a small car -- ruled tropical ecosystems only 6 million years after the demise of the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex, according to a new discovery published in the journal Nature.

TORONTO, ON. – Skeletal remains from an enormous snake that would dwarf Hollywood's anacondas have been discovered near the equator, shedding new light on the climate and environment that housed the monstrous reptile 60 million years ago.

President Barack Obama has made his intention of eliminating all nuclear weapons a tenet of his administration's foreign policy. Professor Sidney Drell, a US theoretical physicist and arms-control expert, explains in February's Physics World what Obama needs to do to make that honourable intention a reality.

The economic cost of methamphetamine use in the United States reached $23.4 billion in 2005, including the burden of addiction, premature death, drug treatment and many other aspects of the drug, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

The RAND study is the first effort to construct a comprehensive national assessment of the costs of the methamphetamine problem in the United States.

The software code underlying violent computer games can be used to train people in fire safety, new academic research has found.

Commercial games such as Doom 3 and Half Life 2 can be used to build virtual worlds to train people in fire evacuation procedures by applying the games' underlying software code, according to the Durham University researchers.

One's happiness might seem like a personal subject, but a Kansas State University researcher says employers should be concerned about the well-being of their employees because it could be the underlying factor to success.

Thomas Wright, Jon Wefald Leadership Chair in Business Administration and professor of management at K-State, has found that when employees have high levels of psychological well-being and job satisfaction, they perform better and are less likely to leave their job -- making happiness a valuable tool for maximizing organizational outcomes.

BILOXI, MS – A report published in the October 2008 issue of HortTechnology measures the socioeconomic impact of automation and mechanization on sales, employment, workers' earnings, safety and worker retention in nurseries and greenhouses.

Researchers have found what appears to be a major culprit behind the loss of insulin-producing β cells from the pancreases of people with diabetes, a critical event in the progression of the disease.

The discovery could lead to new therapies for preventing the death of β cells or restoring those that have already been lost, Kathrin Maedler and colleagues report in the February 4th issue of Cell Metabolism, a Cell Press publication. The inflammatory factor they uncovered, which they call CXCL10, might also offer a warning sign of early or impending disease, they said.

Boulder, CO, USA – The February Geosphere, The Geological Society of America's e-journal, is now online. Topics include studies of the San Andrea fault in southern California; Africa as a collage of ancient crustal blocks; and three-dimensional visualization of the High Plains aquifer.

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — A deep and lingering credit crisis is throttling investment in moneymaking projects that could help jump-start a U.S. economy mired in its worst downturn in decades, a new survey of corporate executives shows.

University of Illinois and Duke University researchers found that nearly 60 percent of 569 U.S. firms surveyed are financially strapped by the credit crunch, netting layoffs and other cost-cutting moves that weaken an already hobbled economy.

National economies are driven by the automobile, even during an economic downturn. Every day, hundreds of millions of people take their cars to visit remote places, to commute, and to reach the supermarket.

Chevy Chase, MD—Vitamin D is significantly associated with muscle power and force in adolescent girls, according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism (JCEM).

Although vitamin D is naturally produced in the body through exposure to direct sunlight, vitamin D deficiency has become widely common in the United States. Vitamin D deficiency has been shown to have a significant negative impact on muscle and bone health, and can lead to conditions including osteoporosis and rickets.

Bogotá, Colombia, February 2, 2009 -- Scientists today announced the discovery of 10 amphibians believed to be new to science, including a spiky-skinned, orange-legged rain frog, three poison dart frogs and three glass frogs, so called because their transparent skin can reveal internal organs.

Despite abortion being severely legally restricted – and potentially unsafe – in Peru, the incidence of abortion is as high as or higher than the incidence in many countries where it is legal and safe, found researchers from Peru, the United Kingdom and the United States in an article published in CMAJ http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg298.pdf.