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  March 2, 2006

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Is it small or just far away?  - Nature  Left: Andrew Glennerster takes a spin in his own virtual room.  Virtual-reality room shows how we can be blind to the size of our environment. We've all heard that seeing is believing, but scientists know that it may be the other way around. Researchers have constructed strange environments in order to pick apart how our eyes and brain work together to present us with an understanding of what's going on around us. Classic experiments, which often turn up at science museums, show that we can be easily fooled into believing objects are smaller, bigger, lighter or darker than they really are, just by putting them against a different backdrop. Now Andrew Glennerster and his colleagues at Oxford University, UK, have constructed a virtual reality in which people don't notice that the room they are in has expanded. This fools them into thinking that two objects, one seen before and the other after the expansion, are the same size, when in fact one is several times larger. This clever tweaking of the environment means that static photographs taken of both sides of the room would look much the same.
Testing times for Einstein's theory  - Nature   Research on 'relativity violations' is reaching fever pitch, with the number of manuscripts on the subject up ten-fold from a decade ago, physicists heard at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting, held in St Louis, Missouri, on 20 February. Equipment used to measure certain properties of particles is now near or at the sensitivities needed to find the tiny effects that would hint at a physics beyond Einstein's relativity, they say. "There is a dramatic increase in interest in this topic," says Neil Russell, a physicist from Northern Michigan University who led a session on the topic on Monday. Russell trawled through the popular preprint server ArXiv to confirm the recent boom in work in this area. Physicists are struggling to reconcile our understanding of the basic forces of the Universe. They have one set of laws for gravity, which come courtesy of Einstein's general theory of relativity. But another set of laws, as dictated by quantum theory, are needed to describe the other three fundamental forces: electromagnetism and the strong and weak nuclear forces. Many are working on 'quantum gravity' theories that will unify these laws and theories. In pursuit of this, many physicists are looking for clues that one of the pieces of Einstein's theory of relativity isn't always true. If they can observe certain properties of particles, such as their speed, spin or mass, changing depending on their direction, they will have shown that the Universe isn't directionless but rather cares which way things are going. Such relativity violations would provide hints for which rules are at work.

Physicists Step Closer To Understanding Origin Of The Universe - Science Daily  Left:  Work on the SCT Barrel of Atlas -- part of the inner detector at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), based at CERN, the European Centre for Particle Physics Research, in Switzerland. (Image courtesy of CERN)  The world's largest particle detector is nearing completion following the construction of its 'endcap' at the University of Liverpool. The endcap is part of a semiconductor tracker (SCT) based at the heart of ATLAS -- a giant particle detector the size of a five-storey building. The SCT will become part of the world's largest particle accelerator -- the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), based at CERN.  
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Alzheimer's Disease:
3/2/2005: A Better Tool To Study Role Of Iron In Alzheimer's, Parkinson's - Science Daily

3/2/2005: Huge protein-interaction database could save lives - New Scientist
3/2/2005: New twist in the structure of DNA
 - New Scientist
3/2/2005: Changes In Reef Latitude: Is Pollution Causing Regional Coral Extinctions? - Science Daily
3/2/2005: Detection Of DNA On Nanotubes Offers New Sensing, Sequencing Technologies - Science Daily
3/2/2005: Living Taste Cells Produced Outside The Body - Science Daily
3/2/2005: One In Four Men With Same British Surname Are Linked Genetically - Science Daily
3/2/2005: Three New Species Of Lemurs Identified - Science Daily
3/2/2005: Marine Mammals Suffer Human Diseases - Space.com
3/2/2005: The Bubbling Beluga  - Scientific American
3/2/2005: Down in Flames  - Scientific American

Climate, Environment:
3/2/2005: NEWS: Mexican Industry Takes Voluntary Action Against Climate Change ... - FirstScience
3/2/2005: How to Bury Global Warming ... - FirstScience
3/2/2005: Greenhouse gas emissions drop in Finland last year ... - FirstScience
3/2/2005: Powell Says Wetlands, Levees Vital to Louisiana ... - FirstScience
3/2/2005: Japanese Ministry Shuts off Heating in Race to Meet Kyoto Target ... - FirstScience
3/2/2005: California's largest environmental group gives Oropeza 95 percent approval rating ... - FirstScience
3/2/2005: The Dangers of Ocean Acidification  - Scientific American

3/2/2005: No BlackBerry shutdown, for now  - CNN
3/2/2005: 'Black' brings Hollywood-style action to gaming  - CNN
3/2/2005: Commentary: Expect PS3 this year  - CNN
3/2/2005: Half Tank of Fun With Full Auto  - Wired News
3/2/2005: Pretty As a Picture  - Wired News
3/2/2005: Digital moves to top-tier cameras  - C/Net
3/2/2005: iPod Takes Japan by Storm
 - Business Week
3/2/2005: Digital moves to top-tier cameras
  - C/Net
3/2/2005: Samsung, Pentax debut new digital SLR cameras
  - C/Net
3/2/2005: BlackBerry getting squeezed?
  - C/Net
3/2/2005: Pricing the guts of PlayStation 3
  - C/Net

3/2/2005: Cellphones search for more sex than ever
 - New Scientist
3/2/2005: Judge ends BlackBerry hearing with no decision
 - Seattle Times
3/2/2005: TV catches Net video bug
  - C/Net
3/2/2005: Hot-spot boxes offer Wi-Fi to go
  - C/Net
3/2/2005: Imagine life without BlackBerrys
  - C/Net
3/2/2005: A view from the BlackBerry courtroom
  - C/Net
3/2/2005: No cold turkey for BlackBerry junkies
  - CNN
3/2/2005: Cognitive Radio
  - Scientific American


3/2/2005: Toshiba Satellite notebook for $800  - C/Net

3/2/2005: Cosmic Log: A search engine for shapes - MSNBC
3/2/2005: Ruling may undercut Google in book scan fight  - C/Net
3/2/2005: US paratroopers charged in gay porn site case  - C/Net
3/2/2005: Future of the Internet highway debated  - C/Net
3/2/2005: Google puts National Archives video online  - C/Net
3/2/2005: It's a small (online) world after all    - C/Net
3/2/2005: Are Usenet fans vulnerable to copyright lawsuits?
  - C/Net
3/2/2005: 25 comments
  - C/Net

3/2/2005: Microsoft vows to fight S. Korean decision - Seattle Times
3/2/2005: Microsoft Origami device rumors unfold  - C/Net

3/2/2005: Growing hydrogen for the cars of tomorrow - New Scientist
3/2/2005: Mixed Conductor Ceria Proven As Excellent Catalyst For Fuel Cell Anodes - Science Daily
3/2/2005: The Corn Belt is key to ethanol - Seattle Times
3/2/2005: Green Is the New Brown  - Wired News
3/2/2005: Watchdog Wary Of Fuel-Efficiency, Emissions-Reduction Claims ... - FirstScience
3/2/2005: Pinching Out Sulfur  - Scientific American

3/2/2005: Study Shows Relationship Between Oral And Cardiovascular Health - Science Daily

3/2/2005: Ginkgo Biloba Extract: More Than Just For Memory? - Science Daily
3/2/2005: Three Strikes against Prostate Cancer  - Scientific American

3/2/2005: Newly Identified Mechanism Helps Explain Why People Of African Descent Are More Vulnerable To TB - Science Daily

3/2/2005: Weak immune response may cause Crohn's disease - New Scientist
3/2/2005: Growing into ecstasy - New Scientist
3/2/2005: Efficacy Of Glucosamine, Chondroitin Sulfate May Depend On Level Of Osteoarthritis Pain - Science Daily
3/2/2005: Genetic And Environmental Influences On Alcohol Consumption Among Rhesus Monkeys - Science Daily
3/2/2005: Loud Music Worsens Effects Of Taking Ecstasy - Science Daily

3/2/2005: Drug from GM animal gets thumbs down  - Nature
3/2/2005: Benefits Of Eating Seafood Outweigh Risks - Science Daily
3/2/2005: Wal-Mart to offer improved health care - Seattle Times

History, Anthropology:
3/2/2005: Bones tell Kennewick Man’s tale - MSNBC
3/2/2005: ‘Jurassic beaver’ unearthed in China - MSNBC
3/2/2005: Is this the Bard I see before me? - New Scientist
3/2/2005: Dinosaurs: The rise and fall - New Scientist
3/2/2005: Water gave life on Earth a guiding hand - New Scientist
3/2/2005: New Evidence That Natural Selection Is A General Driving Force Behind The Origin Of Species - Science Daily
3/2/2005: Science comes to the masses
  - C/Net
3/2/2005: New Analysis of Chinese Fossil Provides Clearer Picture of Pleistocene Humans
  - Scientific American

3/2/2005: Readers debate engineering and its rewards  - El. Engr. Times
3/2/2005: U.S., Britain conduct nuclear experiment - MSNBC
3/2/2005: Bad blood  - Nature
3/2/2005: The swimming spy plane - New Scientist
3/2/2005: Dedicated journalists didn't bow to Katrina - Seattle Times
3/2/2005: Animation Conquers Tinseltown  - Wired News
3/2/2005: Rants 'n' Raves: Mac Attack  - Wired News
3/2/2005: Taking spying to higher level, agencies seek ways to mine data  - C/Net
3/2/2005: Science comes to the masses  - C/Net
3/2/2005: U.S. subpoenas two Dow writers, then backs off  - C/Net
3/2/2005: Digital product placement alters TV landscape  - C/Net
3/2/2005: Population reaching 6.5 billion - Live Science
3/2/2005: U.S. issues visa and apology to scientist - MSNBC
3/2/2005: The Sky & Telescope Is Falling
3/2/2005: The Rise of Crimeware  - Scientific American
3/2/2005: Wrong Answer  - Scientific American
3/2/2005: The Soul Reason  - Scientific American
3/2/2005: The Journalistic Triumph of Michael Crichton  - Scientific American

3/2/2005: Is it small or just far away?  - Nature
3/2/2005: Approach To School Affects How Girls Compare With Boys In Math - Science Daily
3/2/2005: Memory aided by meaning  - Nature
3/2/2005: Advertising and the Brain  - Scientific American

Physics and Astronomy:
3/2/2005: Testing times for Einstein's theory  - Nature
Physicists Step Closer To Understanding Origin Of The Universe  - Science Daily
3/2/2005: Supernova comes with 'peculiar' gamma-ray burst
 - New Scientist
3/2/2005: Found: universe's missing metal
 - New Scientist
3/2/2005: Physicists learn how to "teleclone"
 - PhysicsWeb
3/2/2005: Nanoscience Study Shows That Quantum Dots 'Talk'
 - Science Daily
3/2/2005: NASA Detects 'Totally New' Mystery Explosion Nearby
 - Space.com
3/2/2005: Planet-forming dust seen around huge stars ...
 - FirstScience
3/2/2005: The Limits of Reason
  - Scientific American
3/2/2005: What is Gödel's proof?
  - Scientific American
3/2/2005: Why is Turing's halting problem unsolvable?
  - Scientific American

3/2/2005: Unlocking the Secrets of Longevity Genes  - Scientific American


3/2/2005: Messenger probe nudged towards Venus flyby - New Scientist
3/2/2005: See it Now: New Comet Brightens Rapidly
 - Space.com
3/2/2005: Fresh Features On Enceladus
 - SpaceDaily
3/2/2005: Martian Gardens
 - SpaceDaily
3/2/2005: Scientists Discover Mars' Atmosphere Altered By Solar Flares
 - SpaceDaily
3/2/2005: Rhea's Wisps In Color
 - SpaceDaily
3/2/2005: Spacewalk mission set for 2008 - official ...
 - FirstScience
3/2/2005: NASA orbiter to arrive at Red Planet March 10
  - C/Net
3/2/2005: Getting Nuked on the Way to Mars
  - Scientific American

3/2/2005: Enormous laser beam produces artificial star - New Scientist
3/2/2005: Fighting Sound With Sound, New Modeling Technique Could Quiet Aircraft - Science Daily
3/2/2005: What's the secret of that KFC commercial?  - C/Net
3/2/2005: Microbes Convert Styrofoam Into Biodegradable Plastic - Science Daily
3/2/2005: How to Kill RFID Tags with a Cell Phone  - Scientific American


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