Culture

A team of physicists and engineers has demonstrated an optical device that filters two particles of light (or photons) based on the correlations between their polarisation that are only allowed in the seemingly bizarre quantum world. This so called "entanglement filter" passes the pair of photons only if they inhabit the same quantum state, without the user (or anything else) ever knowing what that state is.

This device will have many important applications to quantum technologies, including computers, communication and advanced measurement.

A University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee faculty member is co-author of a recently released national study that could become a resource for President Barack Obama in considering improvements to school facilities.

The increasing trend for employers, particularly in the US, to bar smokers from applying for jobs or staying in post should be stopped, until the appropriateness of such policies has been properly evaluated, argue experts in an essay published in Tobacco Control.

As of August 2008, 21 US states, 400 US cities, nine Canadian provinces, six Australian states/territories, and 14 other countries, including the UK, had banned smoking in workplaces, bars, and restaurants.

Munster and Saarbruecken, Germany – January 21, 2009 – A new study in The Financial Review provides empirical evidence on the Democratic premium and the presidential cycle effect by examining the implications of both factors on the predictability of U.S. excess stock returns.

Results show that even though political variables are often included in forecasting models, they will not help investors to systematically improve, in real-time, the performance of trading rules.

Cosmic-rays detected half a mile underground in a disused U.S. iron-mine can be used to detect major weather events occurring 20 miles up in the Earth's upper atmosphere, a new study has revealed.

Most of the rabies virus circulating in dogs in western and central Africa comes from a common ancestor introduced to the continent around 200 years ago, probably by European colonialists. In the current issue of Journal of General Virology a team of scientists from Africa, USA and France report that within this common ancestry there are distinct subspecies at country level and that there is only limited movement of virus between localities.

When three undergraduates set off on an expedition in 1965 to trap moths on Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, little did they realise that they were establishing the groundwork for a study of the impacts of climate change.

New research led by the University of York has repeated the survey 42 years later, and found that, on average, species had moved uphill by about 67 metres over the intervening years to cope with changes in climate.

IT has 20 per cent of the world's population with 1.4bn people – but China's rapid economic and social change has caused its pensioners to feel lonely and alienated, a new study suggests.

Although capitalism has brought prosperity and increased political power to China, it has also caused the weakening of a traditional society that had collectivism and strong family ties at its heart.

Televisions have changed dramatically: While bulky TV sets dominated our living rooms until just a few years ago, the screens are now so flat that they can easily be hung on the wall. A close look at the inside of these devices will reveal fine conductor paths and transistors that supply the electricity needed to switch the pixels on the screen on and off. These circuits are manufactured layer by layer, usually by photolithography. The materials are deposited onto the entire surface of a substrate and covered with photoresist, which is exposed to light at specific points using a mask.

Until now, it has been difficult to prove that fast-swimming sperms have an advantage when it comes to fertilizing an egg. But now a research team at Uppsala University can demonstrate that unfaithful females of the cichlid fish species influence the males’ sperms. Increased competition leads to both faster and larger sperms, and the research findings now being published in the scientific journal PNAS, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, thus show that the much mythologized size factor does indeed count.

An unexpected discovery made by a Sydney scientist has potential to alter the body's response to anything it perceives as not 'self', such as a tissue or organ transplant.

Stacey Walters, an immunology researcher at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, has found that by greatly boosting the levels of the hormone BAFF in mice, it is possible to alter their immune systems so that they will accept tissue transplants without the need for any immunosuppression.

The findings have just been published in the Journal of Immunology.

Melbourne, Australia, — 19 January 2009 — Australia's leading scientific journal in the substance use area, the Drug and Alcohol Review – published by Wiley-Blackwell, has released a special issue on the use of new technologies in the treatment of drug problems. The issue highlights the use of mobile phones, Internet and computers to treat drug use problems.

Street lighting provides a simple, low cost means of stemming the global epidemic of road traffic death and injury. Low income countries should consider installing more lights, and high income countries should think carefully before turning any off to reduce carbon emissions, is the advice from a new Cochrane Review.

Political prediction markets -- in which participants buy and sell "contracts" based on who they think will win an election -- accurately predicted Barack Obama's 2008 victory. Now Northwestern University researchers have determined that these markets behave similar to financial markets, except when traders' partisan feelings get in the way.

That was the case in the 2000 presidential election, where the researchers found that partisan feeling was so strong that it influenced trading.

The abolition of nuclear devices is the ultimate medical issue and U.S. President Barack Obama needs the help of physicians around the world to do this, writes renowned author Dr. Helen Caldicott in a January 20 editorial in CMAJ http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg151.pdf.