Elephant Footsteps Reveal Ancient Herd Behavior
When a herd of elephant ancestors walked through mud in the Arabian Desert about 7 million years ago, they unwittingly left their footprints—and clues about their behavior behind. Those prints now expose how the herd behaved: Just like modern elephants, they followed a female leader.
The remarkable 260-meter-long track-way, made by at least 13 proboscideans of different sizes, is at the site of Mleisa 1 in the Al Gharbia region of Abu Dhabi Emirate. Using a kite-mounted camera to take aerial photographs of the footprints,
Journals Warned Not to Publish Diesel Exhaust Studies
At least four journals have been warned by an attorney this month to hold off distributing health data they may have under review. The admonition which concerns a large U.S. study of the effect of diesel exhaust on miners’ lungs—eame from Henry Chajet, an attorney at the Patton Boggs firm in Washington, D.C., and lobbyist for the Mining Awareness Resource Group, an industry coalition. Editors at two U.K.-based publications—Occupational and Environmental Medicine and The Annals of Occupational Hygiene—say they and others received a letter from Chajet advising against “publication or other distribution” of the Diesel Exhaust in Miners Study (DEMS) until it is vetted by Chajet’s industry clients and a U.S. House committee.
Chajet and others involved in the DEMS fracas, including researchers, declined to comment, as a court decision is pending. DEMS has been entangled in litigation almost from its start in 1992. The mining coalition has argued that DEMS is flawed, and it won a court order enforcing their right to preview data for 90 days before publication. DEMS leaders have argued against the restrictions in the U.S. Court of Appeals in New Orleans, Louisiana.
A ruling is expected soon.
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Gates Foundation Funds African Agricultural Impact Monitoring (Ethiopia, Ghana, and Tanzania)
By boosting farm yields, Asia’s green revolution of the 1960s and 1970s prevented millions of people from starving. But it also created social and environmental problems, such as contamination of ground water, in some places. To help Africans avoid making the same mistakes, the Gates Foundation today announced a S10 million grant over 3 years to monitor the effects of agriculture on people and the environment.
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Swiss Satellite Would Clean Up Space Debris
In this illustration, the CleanSpace One satellite, firmly attached to the debris, powers on its engines in order to reach Earth atmosphere where both satellites would be be burnt during their descent. (HO/EPFL/Swiss Space Center/Associated Press)
Switzerland Janitor Satellites
Space researchers in Switzerland are seek¬ing funding to build a spacecraft, dubbed CieanSpaceOne, that would help reduce space debris in orbit around Earth. The spacecraft would home in on a redundant satellite, grab it, and drag it down to burn up when reentering the atmosphere.
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Space is bad for your eyesight. Changes found in astronauts’ eye tissue may cause vision problems, and possibly even blindness.
Larry Kramer of Texas Medical School in Houston and colleagues carried out MRI scans on 27 NASA astronauts after they had spent an average of 108 days in space. Four had bulging of the optic nerve, three had kinks in the nerve sheath, and six had flattening of the eyeball (Neuroradiology, DOI: io.H48/radiol.i2iii986).
“If astronauts are showing these changes after only 100 days in space, what will happen on a three-year flight to Mars?” asks Jason Kring at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.
Work groups with the most members with industry ties were considering illnesses treated by drugs
The new psychiatry “bible” has as many authors with ties to the drug industry as the previous version had. A study now raises concerns over the independence of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM), published by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and set for publication in May 2013. For DSM-5, the APA required authors to declare their financial ties to industry and limited the amount they could receive from drug companies to $10,000 a year and stock holdings to $50,000. Lisa Cosgrove of Harvard University and Sheldon Krimsky of Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, analysed the financial disclosures of 141 members of the “work groups” drafting the manual. Just as many – 57 per cent – had links to industry as was found in a previous study of DSM-IV (PLoS Medicine, DOI: 10.1371/ journal. pmed.1001190).
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Fungus caught on the hop
There is no point sending healthy animals out into the world if they’re just going to catch a deadly disease. Pacific tree frogs that can survive a normally lethal fungus infection are spreading it to species that cannot. Such “reservoir” species could threaten frogs released from captive breeding programmes.
Between 2003 and 2010, the deadly chytrid fungus slashed the populations of two frog species in the Sierra Nevada, while populations of a third species – the Pacific tree frog (Pseudacris regilla) – held steady.
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The climactic campaign duels can be ranked alongside some of the series’ adrenaline- pumping highs
Developer In-house (Studio Liverpool) Format Vita
Release: Feb 15, 2012 (US) »
As Sony embraces the future with its new Vita handheld, Studio Liverpool rewinds the timeline of its poster-child sci-fi racer. Now grounded in a more relatable near-future setting, Wipeout 2048 trades the futurism of, say, Wipeout HD or Fury for an earthier tone than fans may expect. As such, many tracks have wide lanes and are surrounded by contemporary-style architecture, drawing on the modern more than the imaginary.
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Final Fantasy XIII-2
Platforms: X360 & PS3
Final Fantasy XIII’s Active Time Battle (ATB) system was one expertly crafted change to the formula that came alongside some less welcome others. Key among these was that the usual sidequest-packed open-world structure had been replaced with a linear journey that offered the bare minimum of distractions. The reaction to FFXIII from fans and the press was mixed, which brings us to FFXIII-2, the sequel that Square Enix claims will give players what they wanted from the previous game. But while FFXIII-2 is a polished production that certainly diverges, unfortunately it’s also a baffling, boring and swampy thing to play.
It opens with a stunning cutscene in which Lightning – FFXIII’s hero, who’s now playing the role of warrior goddess — does battle with a cackling evildoer. The sequence in its entirety takes about 20 minutes to play out, during which you’re given limited control for brief stretches. This is a sign of things to come: a battle that is impossible to lose, a helping of QTEs, and some terrifically dull monologues. But FFXIII-2’s opening is so visually astonishing, featuring a gigantic city formed from crystal, monstrous armies clashing, and Lightning’s dazzlingly choreographed advance through it all. that it’s impossible to look away.
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A Collector’s Life For Me: The final frame Kodak Instamatic 500
When Tony Kemplen resolved to use a different film camera each week, he discovered a treasure trove of lost gems
Say the word ‘Instamatic’ and the first thing to come to mind (for those of a certain age) is likely to be the mass-produced, ultra-basic, chunky little cameras that were the staple of family and holiday snaps in the 1960s and ’ 70s. Made by the million, the Instamatics used the foolproof 126-cartridge system, taking 28x28mm square images on 35mm film and had just one perforation per frame. Even though the cartridges are no longer made, I bet many a household has one of these cameras tucked away somewhere. They are still a very common find in charity shops and at car-boot sales, but sadly the chances of using them are very slim. Short of reloading an old cartridge, a process which is elaborate and far from perfect, the only hope is to find an unused film, which will of course be considerably out of date and possibly wildly expensive. I’ve seen a 30-year-old cartridge fetch more than £20 on eBay, but luckily I managed to pick up a couple for less than a fiver each.
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