Science News
  April 21, 2004

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The Dimming of the Universe - Space.com  Star formation across the cosmos peaked more recently than astronomers had thought, according to a new study, but the universe continues to gradually grow dimmer. According to previous estimates, the activity topped out about 8 billion years ago. The new study shows the peak in star birth was roughly 5 billion years ago, or just prior to the formation of our own Sun, which is now middle-aged at 4.6 billion years. The overall stellar birth rate has declined drastically since. 
BBC graphic - difference between US and Europe Americans lose their height advantage over Europeans  - BBC  Europeans are getting increasingly taller, Americans have "stopped growing." In the 1800s, the Dutch were, on average, three inches shorter than Americans - now they are around three inches taller. The British are around half an inch taller than the Americans, who have now reached an average height of 5ft 10. Dutch men have an even bigger height advantage over the Americans - they reach an average of 6ft 1. Immigrants, and people of either Hispanic or Asian ancestry were not included in the study. He said the Dutch advantage was probably due to providing the "world's best" pre and post-natal care. In contrast, around 40 million Americans have no health insurance.

Turning Robots Into A Well-Oiled Machine - SpaceDaily  Humans are social creatures, but robots, for the most part, are not. To help emergency response personnel in the trenches, a team of researchers is writing the playbook to turn a group of robots into a single well-oiled machine. Researchers are devising software that will allow small robots to coordinate their actions and carry out complex commands from a human operator. The latest Scouts incorporate a video camera, three infrared range finders, two light sensors and a pyroelectric sensor (for sensing body heat)—plus a two-way remote-control system that supports frequency hopping and signal encryption.

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Alzheimer's Disease:
4/21/2004: Anti-stroke drug eases Alzheimer's symptoms  - Nature

4/21/2004: Migrating birds reset "compasses" at sunset - Nat'l. Geo. News
4/21/2004: When 'Switched On' Muscle Stem Cells Morph To Resemble Nerve Cells
 - Science Daily
4/21/2004: Researchers Close In On How Gene Changes Lead To New Traits - Science Daily
4/21/2004: Biologist's Find Alters The Bacteria Family Tree - Science Daily
4/21/2004: In Bowerbirds, Young Females Go More For Blue, Less For Strutting - Science Daily
4/21/2004: St. Jude Researchers Create Image Of Enzyme That Orchestrates Natural Genetic Engineering - Science Daily

Climate, Environment:
4/21/2004: Rare whales seen for 1st time in decades - MSNBC
4/21/2004: Model may give two-year warning of El Niño  - Nature
4/21/2004: Scientists stirred to ridicule ice age claims - New Scientist
4/21/2004: Report Shows Smokies 'Beginning to Die'  - NY Times
4/21/2004: Scientists Review Idaho Mining Clean Up  - NY Times
4/21/2004: By Looking Back, Scientists See A Bright Future For Climate Change - Science Daily
4/21/2004: Researchers Reveal Iron As Key To Climate Change - Science Daily
4/21/2004: First 3-D Look At Diesel Particles Gives Clues To Cleaner Engines - Science Daily
4/21/2004: Alaska is Melting. Can Kyoto Save It? - Technology Review

4/21/2004: 'Alias' takes on the gaming world  - CNN  

4/21/2004: Pushing VoIP through the door  - C/Net
4/21/2004: Mobile's dissatisfied customers  - C/Net

4/21/2004: Xerox's word on semiconductor design: plastic  - C/Net
4/21/2004: Xerox unveils polymer electronic process  - El. Engr. Times
4/21/2004: AMD's Ruiz expects increased 64-bit momentum  - El. Engr. Times
4/21/2004: Conductive plastic could speed electronics manufacturing - Silicon Strategies

4/21/2004: IBM to reveal new designs on software  - C/Net
4/21/2004: Sony pushes paper Blu-ray disc  - C/Net
4/21/2004: Sony, Toppan develop 'paper' disk for Blu-ray  - El. Engr. Times
4/21/2004: Fire-fighting fluid leaves computers intact - New Scientist
4/21/2004: New Blu-Ray video disk is made of paper - New Scientist

4/21/2004: Google unveils targeted local ads  - CNN  
4/21/2004: EarthLink fights data-stealing Web sites  - CNN  
4/21/2004: FTC to shine light on spyware
4/21/2004: Amazon's search engine impresses experts - New Scientist

4/21/2004: Musical chairs  - C/Net  
4/21/2004: Microsoft:  No easy mark  - C/Net
4/21/2004: Microsoft:  Alternatives change everything
4/21/2004: Small Uterine Fibroids May Be Linked With Increased Risk Of Miscarriage - Science Daily
4/21/2004: Newborn Lambs' Central Heating System Could Aid Fat Busting In Humans - Science Daily
4/21/2004: 'Use It Or Lose It' Warning Rings True When It Comes To Exercise - Science Daily

4/21/2004: Energy an Issue on U.S. - Mexico Border  - NY Times

4/21/2004: Promising Inorganic Blood Substitute: Compound Produces Circulating 'Microbubbles' That Pick Up And Deliver Oxygen - Science Daily

4/21/2004: UCLA Yoga Study Seeks Breast Cancer Survivors - Science Daily

4/21/2004: Actor's HIV infection strikes Californian porn industry - New Scientist
4/21/2004: Engineered Virus Provides Impetus In Search For HIV Vaccine - Science Daily
4/21/2004: Researchers Go Fishing, Pull Out Antigens - Science Daily

4/21/2004: Long-term Family Study Finds Links Between Early Childhood Sleep Problems And Adolescent Substance Use - Science Daily

4/21/2004: Gyms 'not making the nation fit'  - BBC
4/21/2004: Spinal electrodes could cure incontinence - New Scientist
4/21/2004: Happy grown-ups wanted, too: McDonald's new meal has pedometer - Seattle Times

History, Anthropology:
4/21/2004: Scientists find new face on back of Turin shroud - MSNBC
4/21/2004: Oldest known ornaments found - MSNBC
4/21/2004: Ancient jewellery found in African cave  - Nature
4/21/2004: Ancient shell jewellery hints at language - New Scientist
4/21/2004: Explorer Ballard To Return To Titanic To Assess State Of The Wreck - Science Daily

4/21/2004: Americans lose their height advantage over Europeans   - BBC
4/21/2004: Bright future  - CNN  
4/21/2004: Dell regains PC lead  - CNN  
4/21/2004: Digital dog tags to aid against friendly fire  - C/Net
4/21/2004: The revolution in radio  - C/Net
4/21/2004: A new order of business  - C/Net
4/21/2004: Morse code @ the forefront of change - New Scientist
4/21/2004: The Newsletter: Groceries, gas and housing prices on the rise - Seattle Times
4/21/2004: New jobless claims surge by 30,000; experts unfazed - Seattle Times
4/21/2004: AMD sets up IC-packaging plant in China for processors - Silicon Strategies
4/21/2004: Born Chemist - Technology Review

4/21/2004: Girl chimps learn faster than boys  - Nature
4/21/2004: Storage Limits On Our Visual Hard Drive - Science Daily
4/21/2004: Brain Areas Identified That 'Decode' Emotions Of Others

Physics and Astronomy:
4/21/2004: The Dimming of the Universe - Space.com
4/21/2004: Riddle of planetoid's missing moon revealed
 - New Scientist
4/21/2004: Big Bang glow hints at funnel-shaped Universe - New Scientist
4/21/2004: Distant planet revealed by microlensing - New Scientist
4/21/2004: Fermi gases approach superfluid regime - PhysicsWeb
4/21/2004: Cosmic Magnifying Glass: Distant Star Reveals Planet - Science Daily


4/21/2004: Turning Robots Into A Well-Oiled Machine - SpaceDaily

4/21/2004: Space station mission targets science - New Scientist
4/21/2004: Sedna Mystery Deepens With Hubble Images Of Farthest Planetoid
 - Science Daily
4/21/2004: University Of Michigan Student Research May Help Astronauts Burn Fuel On Mars - Science Daily
4/21/2004: A 'Dragon' On The Surface Of Titan - Science Daily
4/21/2004: On the Edge: Creating a Crater in Space - Space.com
4/21/2004: The Bricks of Life: Exploring the Idea of Alien Chemistry - Space.com
4/21/2004: Shuttle-Derived Vehicle: Shuttle-Derived Disaster - SpaceDaily
4/21/2004: DoubleStar Adds Warm Glow To Sino-European Meet - SpaceDaily
4/21/2004: Research Commissioner To Discuss Space Activities In China - SpaceDaily
4/21/2004: Missoula Crater In Sight - SpaceDaily
4/21/2004: Opportunity Dashes 140 Meters
 - SpaceDaily
4/21/2004: NASA's Mars Rovers Pull Up to Craters...
 - FirstScience
4/21/2004: NASA rejects Russian proposal to extend ISS missions to one year...
 - FirstScience
4/21/2004: Comets to put on morning sky show...
  - BBC
4/21/2004: NASA launches Einstein experiment from California...
  - BBC

4/21/2004: Will nanotech save the world?  - CNN  
4/21/2004: NASA Enables Scientists To Work Together While Miles Apart - Science Daily
4/21/2004: Glowing Microspheres Improve Fluorescence Measurements - SpaceDaily
4/21/2004: Plastic under Pressure - Technology Review


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