Earth

A growing number of American children are enrolled in child care and questions remain about how these settings may affect them in both positive and negative ways. A new study published in the May/June 2009 issue of the journal Child Development finds that early interpersonal experiences—center-based child care and parenting—may have independent and lasting developmental effects.

Children's behavior is determined, in part, by their genes and by the settings in which they develop. A new longitudinal study describes how a family-based prevention program helped rural African American teens avoid engaging in risky behaviors, even if some of them may have had a genetic risk to do so.

Children entering first grade with signs of depression and anxiety or excessive aggression are at risk of being chronically victimized by their classmates by third grade. That's the finding of a new longitudinal study that appears in the May/June 2009 issue of the journal Child Development.

Young children learn how to speak and understand language from the words parents speak at home and teachers speak in preschool. A new longitudinal study has found that their preschool classmates also play a part.

The study, by researchers at the University of Virginia and Ohio State University, is published in the May/June 2009 issue of the journal Child Development.

Two-thirds of American teenagers have sex by the time they're 18. A new longitudinal study finds that when adolescents engage in risky sexual activity, fathers respond by increasing their efforts to supervise and monitor their children.

Researchers at Boston College, the University of Pittsburgh, and Harvard University conducted the study, which appears in the May/June 2009 issue of the journal Child Development.

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The analysis of a termite entombed for 100 million years in an ancient piece of amber has revealed the oldest example of "mutualism" ever discovered between an animal and microorganism, and also shows the unusual biology that helped make this one of the most successful, although frequently despised insect groups in the world.

The findings were made by George Poinar, an Oregon State University researcher and international expert on life forms found in amber. It was just published in Parasites and Vectors, a professional journal.

When bees collect nectar, how do they hold onto the flower? Cambridge University scientists have shown that it is down to small cone-shaped cells on the petals that act like 'velcro' on the bees' feet.

New research, published online in today's Current Biology, shows that bumblebees can recognise the texture of petal surfaces by touch alone. More importantly, they choose to land on petals with conical cells that make it easier to grip, rather than on flat, smooth surfaces. With this extra grip, they can extract nectar from the flower more efficiently.

The geologic faults responsible for the rise of the eastern Andes mountains in Colombia became active 25 million years ago—18 million years before the previously accepted start date for the Andes' rise, according to researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, the University of Potsdam in Germany and Ecopetrol in Colombia.

Researchers from the Kavli Institute of NanoScience in Delft are the first to have successfully captured a single electron in a highly tunable carbon nanotube double quantum dot. This was made possible by a new approach for producing ultraclean nanotubes. Moreover, the team of researchers, under the leadership of Spinoza winner Leo Kouwenhoven, discovered a new sort of tunneling as a result of which electrons can fly straight through obstacles. The results of the research were published by Nature Nanotechnology on April 5, 2009.

PHILADELPHIA -- Researchers in condensed matter physics at the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago have created an experimental and computer model to study how jamming, the physical process in which collections of particles are crammed together to behave as solids, might affect the behavior of systems in which thermal motion is important, such as molecules in a glass.

DURHAM, N.C. -- The familiar model of Atlantic ocean currents that shows a discrete "conveyor belt" of deep, cold water flowing southward from the Labrador Sea is probably all wet.

New research led by Duke University and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution relied on an armada of sophisticated floats to show that much of this water, originating in the sea between Newfoundland and Greenland, is diverted generally eastward by the time it flows as far south as Massachusetts. From there it disburses to the depths in complex ways that are difficult to follow.

  • Problem drinking in Western societies leads to disease and death, as well as social and economic problems.
  • Few problem drinkers seek treatment help.
  • New findings show that a 24/7 free-access, anonymous, interactive, and Web-based self-help intervention can aid problem drinkers in the privacy of their own homes.
  • Major depression (MD) and alcohol dependence (AD) are strongly connected to one another.
  • New research looks at how mood-related drinking may explain the overlapping familial risk for MD and AD.
  • Drinking related to mood that is based on negative feelings accounted for the majority of the overlapping risk for both MD and AD that is due to genetic and familial environmental factors.

(ST. LOUIS): Scientists at the Missouri Botanical Garden are calling for the inclusion of indigenous peoples around the world in helping monitor the effects of global climate change and develop policy. In a special issue on traditional peoples and climate change in the May volume of "Global Environmental Change" published by Elsevier, guest editors Dr. Jan Salick, Senior Curator at the Missouri Botanical Garden, and Dr. Nanci Ross, research specialist at the Missouri Botanical Garden, highlight the role of indigenous people in adapting to and mitigating climate change.

Madison, WI, May 11, 2009 -- With the costs of genome sequencing rapidly decreasing, and with the infrastructure now developed for almost anyone with access to a computer to cheaply store, access, and analyze sequence information, emphasis is increasingly being placed on ways to apply genome data to real world problems, including reducing dependency on fossil fuel. For the efficient production of bioenergy, this may be accomplished through development of improved feedstocks.