Culture

The University of Cincinnati has long been known for its world-record-breaking carbon nanotubes. Now researchers at the University of Cincinnati have discovered new uses by spinning carbon nanotubes (CNTs) into longer fibers with additional useful properties.

Breakthroughs Without Broken Threads

WASHINGTON, DC — The thriving use of private military contractors in place of citizen-soldiers allows nations to externalize the costs of war and outsource accountability during wartime, according to sociologist Katherine McCoy, writing in the winter 2009 issue of Contexts magazine.

A trend that has increased steadily since the Gulf War, private military contracting is now a $100 billion global industry that is projected to be worth up to $200 billion by 2010. More private contractors work in the Iraq War than American soldiers.

Research led by the University of Warwick has found a way to use doughnuts shaped by-products of quantum dots to slow and even freeze light, opening up a wide range of possibilities from reliable and effective light based computing to the possibility of "slow glass".

Using ion-selective micro-electrodes electrical signals in plants moving from leaf to leaf could be measured. The speed of the signals spreading as voltage changes over cell membranes ranged from 5 to 10 cm per minute. The scientists discovered this new kind of electrical signal transmission system by applying a novel method: Filamentary electrodes were inserted through open stomata directly into the inner leaf tissue and then placed onto the cell walls (see picture).

To a growing axon, the protein RGMa is a "Wrong Way" sign, alerting it to head in another direction. As Hata et al. demonstrate in the March 9, 2009 issue of the Journal of Cell Biology (www.jcb.org), translating that signal into cellular action requires teamwork from two receptors.

Natural burial is often thought of as a green option that takes place in the countryside for non-religious people, but according to researchers at the University of Sheffield, that is only part of the story. 'Lots of different approaches to natural burial have evolved since 1993 when the first site was opened,' explains Mr Andy Clayden, who is leading the research team, which includes Professor Jenny Hockey and Dr Trish Green, 'they cater for people who want a more informal setting in keeping with the person they want to remember.

The earliest known domesticated horses were both ridden and milked according to a new report published in the March 6, 2009 edition of the journal Science. The findings by an international team of archaeologists could point to the very beginnings of horse domestication and help explain its early impacts on society.

Developing countries with extremely large debts have found it easier to obtain debt relief from the IMF (International Monetary Fund) and the World Bank than countries with smaller debts. This is due, in part, to an established theoretical economic model which advises against debt relief in the case of smaller debts. A new economics thesis from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, shows that, contrary to long-held assumptions, debt relief also leads to higher levels of own investment in the case of smaller debts.

Amphiphilic molecules, which have one water-friendly (hydrophilic) end and one water-repellant (hydrophobic) end, spontaneously aggregate in aqueous solutions to make superstructures like capsules or bilayers. This phenomenon is responsible for the effects of detergents and soaps. Dirt is enclosed in little capsules of surfactant, which makes it water-soluble.

Ecologists at the University of California, San Diego, offer a new explanation for an apparently abrupt switch in the kinds in of mammals found along the Malay Peninsula in southeast Asia – from mainland species to island species – in the absence of any geographical barrier.