CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 19, 2013 |
The president of Caltech, Jean-Lou Chameau, announced Tuesday that he would step down from the leadership of the prestigious science- and math-oriented campus in Pasadena at the end of the current school year and become head of a new and well-endowed university in Saudi Arabia. Chameau, a French-born civil engineer, has been president of Caltech since 2006 and helped the school maintain its high international academic rankings and achieve greater financial stability during a recessionary period of retrenchment at many other colleges, education experts said.
February 16, 2013 |
We compete for prizes ... for promotions ... for parking spaces. We compete to see who's fastest ... who's strongest ... who can eat the most hot dogs in 10 minutes. "Competition makes the world go 'round," write Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman in their book, "Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing," to be published Tuesday. Still, many of us are ambivalent about it. We may praise the competitiveness of some (say, certain popular athletes), disparage the competitiveness of others (say, certain obnoxious colleagues)
February 15, 2013 |
It's not every day that a nearly 11-ton meteor explodes in spectacular fashion over the Earth less than 24 hours before a 130-ton asteroid passes closer than communications satellites. The men and women of the Science Channel live for days like this, so it's no surprise that the cable outfit jumped on the events. What is surprising is how fast they were able to scramble. "Russian Meteor Explosion" premieres on the channel Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET. They may not have had time to come up with a more clever title (“Watch What Hit Us Live!
February 13, 2013 |
A consumer group is taking aim at high-fructose corn syrup in soft drinks, arguing that it and other sweeteners are responsible for high obesity rates and health problems because Americans drink too much soda. The Center for Science in the Public Interest filed a petition Wednesday with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration urging the agency to require beverage makers to reduce the amount of high-fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners. "In the past 10 years or so, researchers have done a variety of experiments and studies that connect soft drinks to obesity" and other health problems, said Michael F. Jacobson, executive director of the consumer group.
February 6, 2013 |
Former head of the Drug Enforcement Administration Robert Bonner wrote in his Feb. 1 Blowback article , "There is still no such scientific study establishing that marijuana is effective as a medicine. " Nonsense. Over the last several years, the state of California, via the Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research , has conducted several placebo-controlled, FDA-approved clinical trials affirming the safety and therapeutic efficacy of cannabis. Other institutions have as well.
January 31, 2013 |
When fourth-grader Emma Bartelt wanted to wow the judges at her elementary school's science fair, she knew she had to do something unexpected. All she needed was a box, a jar, three dogs … and an ounce of cocaine. These days, vinegar and baking soda is so passé. In what Miami-Dade school district officials are calling a first, Emma tapped her connections with Miami-Dade police to show how a dog's sense of smell helps it find narcotics. "The student's science project involved a very unusual set of circumstances, including having a parent who is a well-respected police detective with experience in training dogs that sniff for illegal substances," school district spokesman John Schuster said in statement.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 28, 2013 |
After he retires as chancellor of UC Berkeley in June, Robert J. Birgeneau will head up a national effort to study and help public universities in an era of reduced tax support, new technology and changing student demographics. Birgeneau, a physicist, is to lead the American Academy of Arts and Sciences' new initiative that will propose ways for the federal government, private industry and foundations to better aid state institutions, along with developing reforms the schools could undertake.
January 8, 2013 |
In rejecting a challenge to President Obama's policy to continue embryonic stem cell research, the Supreme Court wisely chose Monday to further vital research over the interests of competing scientists and religious groups. The court did not issue a decision. Instead, it rejected a petition to hear arguments in an appeal of a 2011 ruling by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, which decided the National Institutes of Health could continue embryonic stem cell research from lines derived from already destroyed embryos.
January 6, 2013 |
Something like a glammed-up re-imagining of the United Nations, year-in, year-out the foreign-language film category at the Oscars is a home to diplomacy, drama, intrigue and heartbreak. And that's just the process to secure a nomination and then the award, to say nothing of the actual storytelling portrayed on-screen. The recently announced shortlist of nine films vying for the nomination in the category did nevertheless contain the two presumed front-runners, the Austrian awards-magnet "Amour" and France's international box office sensation "The Intouchables.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 22, 2012 |
WATERTON CANYON, Colo. - The concrete-floored room looks, at first glance, like little more than a garage. There is a red tool chest, its drawers labeled: "Hacksaws. " "Allen wrenches. " There are stepladders and vise grips. There is also, at one end of the room, a half-built spaceship, and everyone is wearing toe-to-fingertip protective suits. "Don't. Touch. Anything. " Bruce Jakosky says the words politely but tautly, like a protective father - which, effectively, he is. Jakosky is the principal investigator behind NASA's next mission to Mars, putting him in the vanguard of an arcane niche of science: planetary protection - the science of exploring space without messing it up. PHOTOS: Stunning images of Earth at night As NASA pursues the search for life in the solar system, the cleanliness of robotic explorers is crucial to avoid contaminating other worlds.