Archive for May, 2007

Donate Your Unused Computer Power to Science

Publication: MSN Tech & Gadgets   Date: May 24, 2007   View Article

Chances are you’re reading this article on a computer. And unless you’re constantly designing spaceships and listening to one of a million songs squirreled away on your hard drive, you’ve got some data-crunching and storage capacity to spare. Why not donate it to scientific research by participating in a volunteer computing project?

“Smart Plane” Technology Could Help Damaged Craft Fly Right

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 23, 2007   View Article

Airplane technology under development at NASA could bring a whole new meaning to the term “autopilot.”

Called the Intelligent Flight Control System, the futuristic software is meant to help keep damaged planes flying right even in the face of catastrophic failure.

Comet Wiped Out Early North American Culture, Animals, Study Says

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 23, 2007   View Article

A comet exploded over North America about 13,000 years ago, causing a long bout of climate cooling, according to a controversial new theory presented today.

The extraterrestrial impact may help explain massive mammal die-offs and the demise of one of the earliest American cultures.

Ancient Climate Change Rocked Tibetan Cultures, Research Suggests

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 22, 2007   View Article

An abrupt change in weather 700 years ago may have forced people on the Tibetan plateau to abandon their farms and reorganize their society, an anthropologist says.

Mark Aldenderfer of the University of Arizona is leading a research project in far western Tibet to piece together how the Asian monsoon—a system of summer winds that brings heavy rain—shifted and how the culture adapted.

Cicadas as Food: Summer’s Low-Fat Snack?

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 22, 2007   View Article

High-protein, low-carb dieters take note: The billions of cicadas emerging from the ground this month in the midwestern U.S. are a healthy alternative to that bacon double-cheeseburger without the bun.

“They’re high in protein, low in fat, no carbs,” said Gene Kritsky, a biologist and cicada expert at the College of Mount St. Joseph in Cincinnati, Ohio, speaking to National Geographic News during the last major cicada outbreak, in 2004.

Sex-Changing Chemicals Can Wipe Out Fish, Study Shows

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 21, 2007   View Article

Tiny amounts of the estrogen used in birth control pills can cause wild fish populations to collapse, according to a new study.

The finding raises concern about even low levels of estrogen in municipal wastewater, said study leader Karen Kidd, a biologist with the Canadian Rivers Institute at the University of New Brunswick.

Nemo’s Secret: Clownfish Use “Snappy” Trick to Make Weird Sounds

Publication: National Geographic News   Date: May 17, 2007   View Article

Movie magic gave a human voice to the hero of Finding Nemo. Now scientists have figured out how real-life clownfish make “chirp” and “pop” noises to woo mates and ward off enemies.

The mechanism hinges on a pair of tendons apparently unique to the family of fish that includes clownfish, explained Michael Fine, a biologist at Virginia Commonwealth University.

© 2008-2010 Collected Writings By John Roach