Culture

DNA testing carried out by University of Leicester geneticists and funded by The Wellcome Trust has thrown new light on the ancestry of one of the USA’s most revered figures, the third President, Thomas Jefferson.

Almost 10 years ago, the University of Leicester team, led by Professor Mark Jobling, together with international collaborators, showed that Thomas Jefferson had fathered at least one of the sons of Sally Hemings, a slave of Jefferson’s.

For the very first time, astronomers have witnessed the speeding up of an asteroid's rotation, and have shown that it is due to a theoretical effect predicted but never seen before. The international team of scientists used an armada of telescopes to discover that the asteroid's rotation period currently decreases by 1 millisecond every year, as a consequence of the heating of the asteroid's surface by the Sun. Eventually it may spin faster than any known asteroid in the solar system and even break apart.

Nanomechanical oscillators -- tiny strips of vibrating silicon only a few hundred atoms thick -- are the subject of extensive study by nanotechnology researchers. They could someday replace bulky quartz crystals in electronic circuits or be used to detect and identify bacteria and viruses.

Despite the attractive electrical properties and physical features of single-walled carbon nanotubes, incorporating them into scalable integrated circuits has proven to be a challenge because of difficulties in manipulating and positioning these molecular scale objects and in achieving sufficient current outputs.

Now, researchers at the University of Illinois, Lehigh University and Purdue University have developed an approach that uses dense arrays of aligned and linear nanotubes as a thin-film semiconductor material suitable for integration into electronic devices.

Marine and freshwater organisms could be facing damage due to increasing levels of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, according to a United Nations (UN) commissioned review.

The news is reported in the latest edition of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Photochemical & Photobiological Sciences.

Aquatic ecosystems produce over half the biomass of the Earth and are an integral part of the planet’s biosphere.

Ultrasonic irradiation can break down ionic liquids into more environmentally benign compounds, say scientists.

Ionic liquids are widely regarded as a greener alternative to many commonly used solvents. But, concerns about their toxicity have raised questions about their use in large scale industrial applications, especially those that involve the creation of large amounts of waste.High frequency sound waves break ionic liquids into non-toxic components. Image: Chemical Science

Factoring in crustal strength changes along the San Andreas Fault would improve the predictive models that researchers use to understand the likelihood and intensity of earthquakes there. That's the conclusion from a study published in the April issue of Geology titled, "Diffuse interseismic deformation across the Pacific-North America plate boundary."

Prostitutes, perversions and public scandals – the stuff of the 21st century tabloids was familiar to readers three centuries earlier, according to new research from the University of Leeds.

The reading of erotic literature was already a social activity 300 years ago.18th c. corset. Credit: www.museumofcostume.co.uk

The 2004 Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and resulting tsunami are now infamous for the damage they caused, but at the time many scientists believed this area was unlikely to create a quake of such magnitude. In the March 23 issue of the journal Science, a geophysicist from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute urges the public and policy makers to consider all subduction-type tectonic boundaries to be "locked, loaded, and dangerous."

A team from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and the University of Almería has completed its second part of the "Proyecto La Puntilla", an archaeological expedition to the Peruvian province of Nazca, where last year it discovered a new type of construction. The latest findings show that a new political power based on the exercise of violence emerged on the south coast of Peru two thousand years ago. There was a State in which an aristocracy, based in Cahuachi, exercised its dominion on other, poorer communities in the Nazca Valley.

UCF's Conservatory Theatre and its partners are pushing the envelope of traditional theater by not only bringing it into the 21st Century, but launching it into the 22nd.

Using new techniques that merge the Internet 2 with traditional stage theatre, the University of Central Florida, Bradley University in Illinois and the University of Waterloo in Canada performed a play that put actors from Florida and Canada on the stage in Illinois without them ever leaving their respective campuses.

After years of results that repeatedly dogged him, University of Oregon geologist Douglas R. Toomey decided to follow the trail of data surfacing from the Pacific Ocean. In doing so, he and his collaborators may have altered long-held assumptions involving plate tectonics on the ocean floor.

Research funded by Metallica?

Gifted students who feel the pressure of their ability could be using Heavy Metal music to get rid of negative emotions.

This is the conclusion of Stuart Cadwallader and Professor Jim Campbell of The National Academy for Gifted and Talented Youth at the University of Warwick. They will discuss their findings at the British Psychological Society’s Annual Conference at the University of York on Wednesday 21 March 2007.

Using lasers and tuning forks, researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have developed a chemical weapon agent sensing technique that promises to meet or exceed current and emerging defense and homeland security chemical detection requirements. The technique, called Quartz Laser Photo-Acoustic Sensing, or "QPAS," is now ready for prototyping and field testing.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), adolescents and young adults currently account for fifty percent of new HIV infections on an annual basis. As a result, ongoing research and information on HIV prevention has become a high priority for this age group. Now a new study reveals that helping adolescents manage their emotions may be just as important as providing them with information on the practical side of safe sex in order to prevent HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.