Scientist Google   Wilkepedia  


Science in Christian Perspective
Since 1941



Faith-Science News 
scientific reports and views related to ASA concerns 

                                 Richard von  Sternberg Case   Science in the Public School



18 Nov--Faith-Science News has moved. Faith Science News continues in a blog format.
You can also subscribe via RSS. See the ASA Home Page for details.





In Niger, a boy leads cattle to water, Getty31 Aug--Environment key to helping poor A new report concludes that the Millennium Development Goals cannot be met without environmental progress. BBCNews


31 Aug--XMM-Newton probes formation of galaxy clusters ESA's X-ray observatory, XMM-Newton, has for the first time allowed scientists to study in detail the formation history of galaxy clusters, not only with single arbitrarily selected objects, but with a complete representative sample of clusters. EurekAlert

31 Aug--Asteroid Dust May Influence Weather, Study Finds In a study to be published this week in the journal Nature, scientists from the Australian Antarctic Division, the University of Western Ontario, the Aerospace Corporation, and Sandia and Los Alamos national laboratories found evidence that dust from an asteroid burning up as it descended through Earth's atmosphere formed a cloud of micron-sized particles significant enough to influence local weather in Antarctica. ScienceDaily

31 Aug--Finding A Way To Test For Dark Energy Physics models of dark energy can be separated into distinct scenarios, which could be used to rule out Einstein's cosmological constant and distinguish among two major classes of dynamic quintessence, a thawing model and a freezing model. Which scenario makes the best fit can be tested with the Joint Dark Energy Mission (JDEM) proposed by NASA and the U.S. Department of Energy. ScienceDaily

31 Aug--Spongy nanocoating makes for fog-free glass  Easy technology could soon be on car windscreens. Nature

31 Aug--Vermont Blends 'Green' Flush Toilets and a GreenhouseVermont Blends 'Green' Flush Toilets and a Greenhouse The state has installed a system that uses plants and organisms to clean wastewater at a rebuilt rest stop on Interstate 89. KATIE ZEZIMA, NYTimes

31 Aug--Teaching of Creationism Is Endorsed in New Survey A poll found that nearly two-thirds of Americans say that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in public schools. LAURIE GOODSTEIN, NYTimes

30 Aug--Glow' dye to spot early dementia  US scientists are developing a "glowing" dye to help spot signs in the brain of early dementia. The dye works by binding to the brain areas damaged in Alzheimer's disease and giving off a fluorescent glow that can be seen with a brain scan.The Massachusetts Institute ofImage of how the dye shows brain lesions Technology team have made a prototype that they hope will soon be ready to use clinically. Their findings appear in the journal Angewandte ChemieBBCNews

The dye attaches to and shows up brain lesions

30 Aug--Snowball Antarctica early Drake passage opening led to global change New results shed light on how Antarctica became the icy, barren continent that we know today. British Antarctic Survey (BAS) scientists have discovered that 30-50 million years ago, South America and Antarctica split apart very rapidly. This formed the Drake Passage and resulted in a major global cooling. The findings are published in the latest issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters. EurekAlert

30 Aug--Saturn moon delights and baffles  Space scientists say their discoveries about Saturn's moon Enceladus are stunning, if just a little False colour image of Enceladus (Nasa/JPL/SSI)baffling. BBCNews


30 Aug--Mirror, Mirror Astronomers racing to build the biggest telescope ever are engaged in a feat of optical derring-do (not to mentionMirror, Mirror fund-raising). DENNIS OVERBYE, NYTimes

30 Aug--Gold bowties may shed light on molecules and other nano-sized objects One of the great challenges in nanotechnology is designing a microscope that produces high-resolution images of nano-sized objects. Now Stanford researchers have greatly improved the optical mismatch between nano-objects and light by creating the "bowtie nanoantenna," a tiny device that compresses ordinary light waves into an intense spotlight only 20 nanometers wide.  EurekAlert

30 Aug--New Look At DNA Hints At Origin Of Ultraviolet Damage Chemists at Ohio State University have gained new insight into how sunlight affects DNA. And what they found overturns ideas about genetic mutation that originated decades ago. In the current issue of the journal Nature, Bern Kohler and his colleagues report that DNA dissipates the energy from ultraviolet (UV) radiation in a kind of energy wave that travels up the edge of the DNA molecule, as if the energy were climbing one side of the helical DNA "ladder." Science Daily

30 Aug--Scientific Savvy? In U.S., Not Much The findings of Jon D. Miller, a political scientist, about how much Americans know. CORNELIA DEAN,  NYTimes

30  Aug--New Method For Trapping Light May Improve Communications Technologies A discovery by Princeton researchers may lead to an efficient method for controlling the transmission of light and improve new generations of communications technologies powered by light rather than electricity. The discovery could be used to develop new structures that would work in the same fashion as an elbow joint in plumbing by enabling light to make sharp turns as it travels through photonic circuits. Fiber-optic cables currently used in computers, televisions and other devices can transport light rapidly and efficiently, but cannot bend at sharp angles. ScienceDaily

29 Aug--Boost to CO2 mass extinction idea A computer simulation of the Earth's climate 250 million years ago suggests that climate warming triggered Trilobites     Image: Science Photo Librarythe so-called "great dying". BBC News

29 Aug--Gender Hormones May Lend To Social Disorder Therapies Researchers at UW-Madison have made the surprising finding that estrogen-and even dopamine, a neurotransmitter-also play critical roles in the development of aggressive social play behaviors. ScienceDaily

29 Aug--Researchers shed more light on conversion of water to hydrogen gas Chemists are several steps closer to teasing hydrogen fuel from water using man-made molecular devices that collect electrons and use them to split hydrogen from oxygen. EurekAlert

29 Aug--Robot-assisted prostate surgery has possible benefits, high cost Although minimally invasive prostate removal aided by a robot can lead to less blood loss, shorter hospital stays and fewer complications, there is no evidence that the procedure improves cure rates, according to a new technology assessment. EurekAlert

29 Aug--Homeopathy's benefit questioned A leading medical journal has made a damning attack on homeopathy, saying it is no better than dummy drugs. The Image of dilutionLancet says the time for more studies is over and doctors should be bold and honest with patients about homeopathy's "lack of benefit". A Swiss-UK review of 110 trials found no convincing evidence the treatment worked any better than a placebo. Advocates of homeopathy maintained the therapy, which works on the principle of treating like with like, does work.

Heavily diluted solutions are used in homeopathic remedies

29 Aug--Robot-assisted prostate surgery has possible benefits, high cost Although minimally invasive prostate removal aided by a robot can lead to less blood loss, shorter hospital stays and fewer complications, there is no evidence that the procedure improves cure rates, according to a new technology assessment. EurekAlert

29 Sep--Early Look at Research Project to Re-engineer the Internet The National Science Foundation is planning an effort to create a network more suited to the computerized world of the next decade.  JOHN MARKOFF NYTimes

Image of a laboratory mouse26 Aug--Scientists probe anti-ageing gene US scientists find a gene in mice which plays a key role in the ageing process. BBCNews

  26 Aug--Species evolve to the brink of evolution A biologist at The University of Texas at Austin has presented a new theory that sheds light on how organisms, including viruses like HIV, rapidly evolve in the face of vaccines and antibiotics. Dr. Lauren Ancel Meyers' model predicts that populations can evolve "genetic potential" genes that can create new traits quickly and simply in changing environments. EurekAlert

26 Aug--Physicists Describe A New Mechanism For Metallic Magnetism Predicting the magnetic behavior of metallic compounds is a surprisingly difficult problem for theoretical physicists. While the properties of a common refrigerator magnet are not a great mystery, ScienceDaily

26 Aug--New Dye Could Offer Early Test For Alzheimer's; MIT Technique Is Noninvasive MIT scientists have developed a new dye that could offer noninvasive early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease, a discovery that could aid in monitoring the progression of the disease and in studying the efficacy of new treatments to stop it. The new dye, called NIAD-4, was developed through a targeted design process based on a set of specific requirements, including the ability to enter the brain rapidly upon injection, bind to amyloid plaques, absorb and fluoresce radiation in the right spectral range, and provide sharp contrast between the plaques and the surrounding tissue. ScienceDaily

26 Aug--Lasers trigger cleaner fusion Neutron-free reaction makes less radioactive waste. Nature

26 Aug--Scientists Say Earth's Center Rotates Faster Than Surface  A team of geophysicists is presenting data on Friday showing that the earth's inner core spins faster than the rest of the planet. KENNETH CHANG, NYTimes

25 Aug--Europe aims lone rover for Mars Europe has fixed on a single robot rover concept for its next mission to land on the Red ExoMars roverPlanet. BBCNews

25 Aug--Stem cells with heart bypass surgery trial to begin at University of Pittsburgh The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has been granted approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct a clinical trial to determine the safety and feasibility of injecting a patient's own bone marrow-derived stem cells directly into the heart during conventional heart bypass surgery. The trial will involve patients with ischemic heart disease who are scheduled for off-pump (beating heart) coronary artery bypass grafting surgery. EurekAlert

25 Aug--Brain Plays Key Role In Regulating Bone Density The brain plays an important role in the maintenance of proper bone density, researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem have revealed. ScienceDaily

25 Aug--Chickens Orient Using A Magnetic Compass Many species of birds use the Earth's magnetic field to select a direction of movement. However, until now it has not been possible to train birds to move in a certain direction in the laboratory, even if they are motivated by a food reward. Researchers now report that they have been able to successfully accomplish this training task, providing new insight into the evolution of magnetic sensing and opening new opportunities for further study of magnetoreception. ScienceDaily

25 Aug--Scientists Make First Step Towards Growing Human Lungs For Transplant Scientists have successfully converted human embryonic stem cells into lung cells, taking a first step towards building human lungs for transplantation. According to research to be published in the journal Tissue Engineering, the team from Imperial College London, took human embryonic stem cells and 'directed' them to convert into the type of cells needed for gas exchange in the lung, known as mature small airway epithelium. NewScientist

25 Aug--Pakistan Now Says Scientist Did Send Koreans Nuclear Gear Pakistan's president confirmed that Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan provided machines that could be used to make fuel for an atomic bomb. SALMAN MASOOD and DAVID ROHDE, NYTimes

24 Aug--Water returns to Iraqi marshlands The marshlands of Iraq, which were drained during the early 1990s, are returning to their original state. UnderSmall boat on dyke - image courtesy Jassim Al-Asadi, Centre for the Restoration of Iraqi Marshlands, & Unep Saddam Hussein, the area of marsh was reduced to a tenth of its former size, as the government punished people living there for acts of rebellion. The latest United Nations data shows that nearly 40% of the area has been restored to its original condition. Drinking water and sanitation projects are under way, but the UN says that a full recovery will take many years.  BBCNews

The marshland area has many channels which serve as byways

24 Aug--Now You See It, Now You Don't: 'Change Blindness' Isn't Magic A team of scientists at UCL (University College London) has discovered why we often miss major changes in our surroundings - such as a traffic light turning green when we're listening to the radio. Our inability to notice large changes in a visual scene is a phenomenon often exploited by magicians - but only now can scientists put their finger on the exact part of the brain that is so often deceived. ScienceDaily

24 Aug--Physicists Entangle Photon And Atom In Atomic Cloud    Physicists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have just reached an important milestone in the development of quantum communications networks by entangling a photon and a single atom located in an atomic cloud. Researchers believe this is the first time an entanglement between a photon and a collective excitation of atoms has passed the rigorous test of quantum behavior known as a Bell inequality violation. ScienceDaily

24 Aug--NASA's Swift Satellite Finds Newborn Black Holes Scientists using NASA's Swift satellite say they have found newborn black holes, just seconds old, in a confused state of existence. The holes are consuming material falling into them while somehow propelling other material away at great speeds. ScienceDaily

24 Aug--Climate model links higher temperatures to prehistoric extinction Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research have created a detailed computer simulation showing Earth's climate at the time of the greatest mass extinction in history. The work supports a theory that increased atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide triggered the Permian extinction 251 million years ago. EurekAlert

24 Aug--Brain cells tune in to music Neurons respond selectively to distinct pitches. Nature

23 Aug-- Scientific struggle Harold Evans on Bush's hostility to science In his weekly opinion column, Harold Evans considers rising concern in the US over the Bush administration's hostility to science. BBCNews

23 Aug--Scientists make first step towards growing human lungs for transplant Scientists have successfully converted human embryonic stem cells into lung cells, taking a first step towards building human lungs for transplantation. EurekAlert

23 Aug--Early Humans Wore 'Shoes' 30,000 Years Ago Our modern day Nikes and Reeboks are direct descendents of the first supportive footwear that new research suggests came into use in western Eurasia between 26,000 and 30,000 years ago. Erik Trinkaus, professor of anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis, derived those dates by analyzing anatomical evidence of early modern humans, which suggests a reduction in the strength of the smaller toes in Upper Paleolithic humans while there was little change in leg strength. ScienceDaily

23 Aug--Beetle-inspired switch uses water for bonding A new switch designed by Cornell University engineers uses water droplets to create very strong adhesive bonds that can flicked on and off in an instant. The switch was inspired by a mechanism found in palm beetles and is described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. EurekAlert

23 Aug--Saturn's Rings Have Own Atmosphere Data from the Cassini spacecraft indicate that Saturn's majestic ring system has its own atmosphere - separate from that of the planet itself. During its close fly-bys of the ring system, instruments on Cassini have been able to determine that the environment around the rings is like an atmosphere, composed principally of molecular oxygen. This atmosphere is very similar to that of Jupiter's moons Europa and Ganymede. ScienceDaily

23 Aug--Under the Old Neighborhood: In Iraq, an Archaeologist's ParadiseUnder the Old Neighborhood: In Iraq, an Archaeologist's Paradise In Erbil, Iraq, the Citadel is a layer cake of civilizations that may go back 100 centuries. Now, to begin digging without displacing those on top. JAMES GLANZ, NYTimes

Image of stem cells 22 Aug--Stem cell research hybrid hope US scientists believe they have found a less controversial way of creating embryonic stem cells. BBCNews

22 Aug--Carnegie Mellon University research reveals how cells process large genes Important messages require accurate transmission. Big genes are especially challenging. During processing, introns (non-coding elements) are snipped out and exons (coding segments) pasted together to form a template for proteins. How a cell's molecular machinery eliminates introns without making errors has puzzled scientists for years. Now, investigators at Carnegie Mellon have discovered that a novel mechanism removes long introns by steadily paring them down in a predictable fashion and joining the remaining exons. EurekAlert

22 Aug--First kittens for cloned wildcats Wildcat kittens at Audubon CenterUS scientists produce wildcat kittens by cross-breeding clones, a move which could help with future preservation of endangered species. BBCNews

22 Aug--Light That Travels ... Faster Than Light! A team of researchers from the Ecole Polytechnique Fdrale de Lausanne (EPFL) has successfully demonstrated, for the first time, that it is possible to control the speed of light -- both slowing it ... full story ScienceDaily

22 Aug--Chimps show sign of culture  Chimpanzees stick to the majority behaviour of their peers.

22 Aug--A DEBATE OVER DARWIN Politicized Scholars Put Evolution on the Defensive The Discovery Institute is the ideological and strategic backbone behind the eruption of skirmishes over science in school districts and state capitals across the country. JODI WILGOREN, NYTimes
Graphic: A Think Tank Rethinking Darwin

22 Aug--A DEBATE OVER DARWIN In Explaining Life's Complexity, Darwinists and Doubters Clash Proponents of intelligent design say biological marvels point to the hand of a higher being, but mainstream scientists say such an explanation is unscientific. KENNETHTelevisual representation of early Homo sapiens, BBC CHANG, NYTimes

19 Aug-- Early humans 'may have spread TB' The tuberculosis bacterium emerged three million years ago in Africa and may have been spread by hominids. BBCNews

19 Aug--Monkey Wrench In Solar System Evolution A University of Toronto scientist has found unexpectedly 'young' material in meteorites -- a discovery that breaks open current theory on the earliest events of the solar system. A paper published today in the August issue of Nature reports that the youngest known chondrules the small grains of mineral that make up certain meteorites have been identified in the meteorites known as Gujba and Hammadah al Hamra. Researchers who have studied chondrules generally agree that most were formed as a sudden, repetitive heat, likely from a shock wave, condensed the nebula of dust floating around the early Sun. Thinking that an analysis of the chondrules in Gujba and Hammadah al Hamra would be appropriate for accurately dating this process, U of T geologist Yuri Amelin, together with lead author Alexander Krot of the University of Hawaii, studied the chondrules mineralogical structure and determined their isotopic age. It soon became clear that these particular chondrules were not of a nebular origin, says Amelin. And the ages were quite different from what was expected. It was exciting.ScienceDaily

19 Aug--Nitrogen In The Air Feeds The Oceans A new study provides the first direct evidence that atmospheric nitrogen is an important nutrient for marine life. The finding suggests a theoretical mechanism for removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Previous estimates suggested that nitrogen fixation from the atmosphere played only a very minor role in the oceans. ScienceDaily

19 Aug--Nanotube sheets come of age  Clear, conductive sheets produced at high speed. Nature

19 Aug--Report by E.P.A. Offers Heartening News on Summertime Air A new report by the Environmental Protection Agency says ozone levels are falling in 19 Eastern states where bad air is common in the summer. MICHAEL JANOFSKY, NYTimes

18 Aug-- Big game 'could roam US plains' If a US research group has their way, lions, cheetahs and camels could soon roam parts ofLion on a North American plain, Nature/Cornell North America.

18 Aug--How Butterflies Fly Thousands Of Miles Without Getting Lost Revealed By Researchers While "navigation" systems in automobiles are a fairly new (and still costly) innovation, monarch butterflies have managed for millennia to navigate their way for a distance of some 3000 miles (4800 kilometers) each fall from Canada to Mexico (and vice-versa in the spring) without losing their way. The phenomenon of long-range bird migration is a well-known one, but not in the insect world. Also, among birds their migration route is a round-trip one, which they make more than once in their lifetimes, while for the monarch it is strictly a one-way trip for each butterfly. How do these creatures do it? ScienceDaily

18 Aug--Study shows some types of military interventions can slow or stop genocide A new study shows that interventions that directly challenge perpetrators of genocides and politicides save lives. EurekAlert

18 Aug--Species hotspots hard to pin down Study finds little overlap between hotspots based on different types of biodiversity. Nature

18 Aug--Fetal Skin Cells Found to Be a Promising Treatment for Burns Swiss scientists discovered that panels of artificial fetal skin seemed to confer restorative power to damaged tissue. ELISABETH ROSENTHAL, NYTimes

17 Aug--Strange fossil defies grouping A bizarre fossil from the early Cambrian Period is baffling scientists because it does not seem to fit into any Vetustodermis planus, USCexisting animal groups. BBCNews

17 Aug-Saturn's rings have own atmosphere Data from the NASA/ESA/ASI Cassini spacecraft indicate that Saturn's majestic ring system has its own atmosphere - separate from that of the planet itself. EurekAlert

17 Aug--'Smart' Nanoprobes Light Up Disease: Quantum Dots Programmed To Glow In Presence Of Enzyme Activity
Researchers from Rice University's Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN) have developed a "smart" beacon hundreds of times smaller than a human cell that is programmed to light up only when activated by specific diseases. Altered expression of particular proteases is a common hallmark of cancer, atherosclerosis and other diseases. The research appears in the September issue of the journal Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications. ScienceDaily

17 Aug--Purdue simulation to help merge molecules with silicon electronics Engineers at Purdue University have created a nanotech simulation tool that shows how current flows between silicon atoms and individual molecules to help researchers design "molecular electronic" devices for future computers and advanced sensors. Details are appearing in the current issue of Physical Review Letters. EurekAlert

17 Aug--Via Internet, Australian-based Researchers Perform Real-time Cell Surgery In California n an effort to combine sophisticated laser and Internet technologies, scientists in Australia have successfully performed laser surgery and "optical trapping" in a Southern California laboratory via the Internet. The scientists used a new Internet-based laser scissor-and-tweezers technology called RoboLase, demonstrating the potential of using the technology for real-time research activities between laboratories and for physicians to perform medical procedures from distant locations. ScienceDaily

16 Aug-- Scientists make nerve stem cells The world's first pure batch of nerve stem cells made from human stem cells is created inImage of stem cells Edinburgh, scientists report. BBCNews

16 Aug--Non-protestant second-generation Asian-Americans more likely to make personal choice about religion The religion preference of second-generation Asian-Americans is more likely to be influenced by their family tradition if they are Protestant but more by a personal faith choice if they belong to other religions. A sociologist at Rice University noted that by studying a new population, both in terms of religion and race, this research is a useful expansion to studies of family and religious transmission that have focused primarily on white Christians. EurekAlert

16 Aug--Scientists Crack 40-year-old DNA Puzzle And Point To 'Hot Soup' At The Origin Of Life A new theory that explains why the language of our genes is more complex than it needs to be also suggests that the primordial soup where life began on earth was hot and not cold, as many scientists believe. In a paper published in the Journal of Molecular Evolution this week, researchers from the University of Bath describe a new theory which they believe could solve a puzzle that has baffled scientists since they first deciphered the language of DNA almost 40 years ago. 

16 Aug--Nanotech transistor powers up  Carbon nanotubes could make for smaller circuits. Nature

16 Aug--Einstein Guides My Steering Wheel In a time when many areas of fundamental research are facing drastic budget threats, it is worth remembering that even the most esoteric scientific ideas can ultimately affect one's daily life. LAWRENCE M. KRAUSS,  NYTimes

16 Aug--Building a Virtual Microbe, Gene by Gene by Gene A group of scientists are trying to reconstruct a living organism, Building a Virtual Microbe, Gene by Gene by GeneEscherichia coli, inside a computer, down to every last molecule. CARL ZIMMER, NYTimes

15 Aug-- Tsunami clue to 'Atlantis' found A submerged island that could be the source of the Atlantis myth was hit by a tsunami 12,000 years ago. BBCNews

15 Aug--Disasters do not necessarily affect minorities disproportionately While it has long been assumed in the disaster research community that individuals with fewer resources are more likely to suffer in a disaster -- and it is true that non-whites, the poor, and females often suffer more than their counterparts -- the race-class-and-gender trinity of variables does not capture the entire spectrum in which disaster affects society. EurekAlert

15 Aug--Mars Express Radar Collects First Surface Data MARSIS, the sounding radar on board ESA's Mars Express spacecraft, is collecting the first data about the surface and the ionosphere of Mars. The first ionospheric measurements performed by MARSIS have also revealed some interesting preliminary findings. The radar responds directly to the number of charged particles composing the ionosphere (plasma). This has shown to be higher than expected at times. ScienceDaily

15 Aug--Bacteria designed to make new antibiotics  Approach may produce tools to fight drug-resistant infections. Nature