Science Nation - Black Holes

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Astronomers use infrared "eyes" to shed light on these enigmatic cosmic structures A new infrared image has captured the center of our galaxy in never-before-seen detail--showing stars and gas swirling into the super massive black hole that lurks at the heart of our own Milky Way. For this and more Science Nation, go to http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp

Science Nation - Good Vibrations

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Treating brain disease with some good vibes Columbia University bioengineer Elisa Konofagou is making waves when it comes to researching treatments for degenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. These aren't just any waves; they're ultrasound waves. "Ultrasound denotes acoustic wave propagation. If you increase the intensity and pressure of these waves, you can cause biological effects on tissues," says Konofagou. For this and more Science Nation, go to...

Science Nation - Lice and Human Migration

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Paleo-anthropologists believe Homo sapiens evolved in Africa 100 -- 200,000 years ago, and eventually moved out of Africa to populate the globe. But, how can researchers trace the specifics of that human migration? With support from the National Science Foundation, Florida Museum of Natural History Mammologist David Reed has undertaken a novel approach. He studies the genetic diversity and evolution of the human parasite that hitched a ride the whole way: lice. He gathers samples from around...

Science Nation - Green Roofs

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Ingenuity sprouting from the rooftops The rooftops of Manhattan are as varied as the city itself. A glance at the city skyline reveals a myriad of shapes and colors. Look a little closer and the shapes reveal themselves to be the things we often see rooted on Manhattan buildings, such as water towers, ventilation systems and communications equipment. But, on a few rooftops, something else is taking root--literally. For this and more Science Nation, go to...

Science Nation - Dying Lobsters

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Researcher narrows down spread of first lobster virus From the Florida Keys to Cuba to the Bahamas and Belize, tourists and locals enjoy the taste of the Caribbean spiny lobster. Family operations and commercial fisheries alike depend on its popularity, so the lobster is important to many local economies. But this crustacean is threatened by a virus called Panulirus argus virus 1 (PaV1). For more Science Nation, go to -...

Science Nation - Creeping Crawling Caterpillars

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Roly-Poly role models for future robots Sometimes it pays to be spineless. Take the caterpillar--it can squirm and crawl in ways that would make a contortionist green with envy. One such animal, a green tobacco hornworm, dangles off Barry Trimmer's finger, half of its body squirming and bending in mid-air. What fascinates Trimmer, a Tufts University biology professor, is how caterpillars can move in ways animals with spines and skeletons can't. For this and more Science Nation, go to...

Science Nation - Cyber Sickness - A Virtual Bummer

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Is a trip to the 3-D movies making you sick? With the recent release of blockbusters such as Avatar and How to Train your Dragon and with expectations that 3-D TVs will be a big seller during the holidays, 2010 is fast shaping up to become "The Year of 3-D," at least in the world of entertainment. If Hollywood ticket sales are any indication, folks are embracing the new technology in droves. But, while many of us watch 3-D entertainment in awe, others are compelled to look away. There just...

Science Nation - Indian Hand Talk

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Historical films, field work reveal more about endangered Native American language James Woodenlegs first learned to communicate using Plains Indians Sign Language from his family, when he was growing up on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana. Known as "hand talk" or "sign talk," the language has been used by both deaf and hearing Indians from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico for at least 200 years, possibly much longer. For this and more Science Nation, go to...

Science Nation - Trading Textbooks for Twitter

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These college students are supposed to use their phones in class! "So (class), let's turn to Twitter." Think of it as Twitter 101, a class in, of all things, social media. Not just tweeting, but Facebook, blogging, wikis and the like. Gerald Kane, assistant professor of information systems at the Carroll School of Management, created and teaches the course at Boston College. For this and more Science Nation, please go to:http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/science_nation/index.jsp

Science Nation - Spider Silk

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Researchers are spinning spider silk from goats' milk - Spider silk and goat milk--what could possibly be the connection? Let's start with the spiders. Humans love spider webs, but aren't so crazy about their builders. While spiders make some people flinch, there's no escaping the appreciation for their masterful web construction. "There's a lot of interest in spider silk fibers because they're stronger than almost any other manmade fiber and they're also elastic," says Randy Lewis,...