Greetings everyone, Snow in April and cold outside. Happy reading. best, <Karen> 1) Sterilized by Sound http://discovermagazine.com/2003/may/breaksound High-frequency sound can kill microscopic pathogens, but the sound waves normally need to travel through a contact medium such as water or gel, limiting the use of ultrasound as a germicide. Mahesh Bhardwaj of Ultran Laboratories in Pennsylvania has found a way around this limitation. In collaboration with researchers at Pennsylvania State University, he built a device that transmits ultrasound through air, a feat long thought impossible because the waves dissipate rapidly in a gas. His solution was startlingly simple: After years of experimentation, Bhardwaj found that a thin layer of compressed fibers, such as paper or cloth, allows a near-total transmission of ultrasound waves. By adding such a layer to the sound source of an ultrasound machine, he was able to destroy 99.9 percent of the spores in a colony of Bacillus thuringiensis, a relative of anthrax, without the use of any contact medium. Bhardwaj is developing a commercial version of his ultrasound system, which could be used to sterilize food, duct systems in buildings, and even packages suspected of carrying biological contaminants. 2) NASA Education http://www.nasa.gov/education The Educational Materials section of NASA's Web site offers classroom activities, educator guides, posters and other types of resources that are available for use in the classroom. Materials are listed by type, grade level and subject. A new brochure is now available in the Brochures section of the Educational Materials area. NASA Student Opportunities Podcast Brochure http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/ NASA_Student_Opportunities_Podcast_Brochure.html The NASA Student Opportunities podcast features students who tell about their experiences with America's space agency. Each episode also informs high school and college students about current NASA internships, fellowships, contests and other student opportunities. This brochure describes the free podcast and how to subscribe. For Educators Flier http://www.nasa.gov/audience/foreducators/topnav/materials/listbytype/ For_Educators_Flier.html The For Educators flier describes the five sections of the For Educators area of the NASA.gov Web site. These five sections present information about NASA?s educational projects and educator resources. This flier includes brief descriptions about the following content on the site: Educational Materials, Classroom Resources by Subject, Educational Features, Online Resources, Educational News, Act Now, NASA Education TV Schedule and Monthly Topics, EXPRESS Mailing List, A-Z Index, and Contacts. NASA Science News A miniature biological laboratory important to the future of space exploration has just passed an important test onboard the International Space Station. http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2007/06apr_locad2.htm?list111411 Young Scientists Design Open-Source Program at NASA http://www.wired.com/science/space/news/2007/04/cosmoscode_0409 Jessy Cowan-Sharp and Robert Schingler set up CosmosCode to help NASA develop open-source software for space exploration. NASA scientists plan to announce a new open-source project this month called CosmosCode -- it's aimed at recruiting volunteers to write code for live space missions, Wired News has learned. The program was launched quietly last year under NASA's CoLab entrepreneur outreach program, created by Robert Schingler, 28, and Jessy Cowan-Sharp, 25, of NASA's Ames Research Center in Mountain View, California. Members of the CosmosCode group have been meetingin Second Life and will open the program to the public in the coming weeks, organizers said.
High School Teachers and Ttudents Applications Being Accepted for the Phoenix Student Interns ProjectApplications are due Apr. 25, 2007. <http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/edu_psip.php>http://phoenix.lpl.arizona.edu/edu_psip.php
The Phoenix Student Interns Program is a unique opportunity for high school teachers and students to become part of the Phoenix Science Team for the 2007-2008 Phoenix Mars Lander Mission. From around the country, selected teachers and their chosen students will work with scientists to prepare for surface operations on Mars, analyze data during the mission, and reach out to other students, teachers, and the public through presentations, articles and Web sites. Following preparation and special training, teachers and students will spend one week at the Science Operations Center in Tucson, Ariz., during landed operations to help investigate the surface of Mars. 3) Space Weather news for April 8, 2007 http://spaceweather.comVENUS & THE PLEIADES: Venus and the Pleiades are converging for a close encounter on Wednesday, April 11th. At closest approach, the planet and the star cluster will be about 2 degrees apart, tight enough to fit behind your upturned thumb held at arm's length. They're an odd couple. Venus is extravagantly bright while the Pleiades are faint and delicate, yet together they make a pretty ensemble suitable for photography, binoculars or simple naked-eye viewing. Watch the western sky after sunset in the nights ahead to see them drawing together.
BAFFLING BANDS: Also featured on today's edition of spaceweather.com are photos of dark bands in Venus' atmosphere. These features were first observed in detail by the Mariner 10 spacecraft in the 1970s and they have baffled astronomers ever since. Amateur astronomers with properly-filtered backyard telescopes can monitor the mysterious bands for themselves, and indeed this is a good week to do it.
4) Autism: It?s Not Just in the Head http://discovermagazine.com/2007/apr/autism-it2019s-not-just-in-the-head The devastating derangements of autism also show up in the gut and in the immune system. That unexpected discovery is sparking new treatments that target the body in addition to the brain. 5) Why Science must adapt to Women http://discovermagazine.com/2002/nov/featadapt <snip> To create true equalityto ensure that the best minds continueshe feels that science will have to adapt to women. It is no secret why women scientists flow out of the academic pipeline. Numerous studies have shown that subtle, often unintentional bias combined with a tenure process that overlaps childbearing years has a corrosive effect. A study of 2,000 science and engineering doctoral students sponsored by the National Science Foundation in 1996 found that men were more likely than women to report that they were taken seriously by faculty. They were also more likely to have received help designing research, writing grant proposals, coauthoring publications, and learning management skills. Get Girls into Technology Activities for Middle and High School http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Teachers/womengrrlstech.html The History of the Internet - How did it get started? http://www.edu-cyberpg.com/Internet/history_internet.html Interview with Susan Estrada An original developer of the Internet, founder of CERFnet, an Internet service provider, in 1988. 6) New bill lets colleges use federal funds to fight P2P <http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070402-new-bill-lets-colleges- use-federal-funds-to-fight-p2p.html> Representative Ric Keller (R-FL) feels that colleges in America are teaching students more than literature, history, and computer science. They are also dens of thievery, places where students learn to steal "billions of dollars in intellectual property from hardworking people whose jobs hang in the balance." Rep. Keller is talking about illegal file-swapping, of course, and his new bill (HR 1689) could give schools more money to combat the P2P scourge. 7) Subcommittee Investigates Honey Bee Colony Collapse Disorder http://www.house.gov/apps/list/press/agriculture_dem/pr_032907_HOAbees.html Get Involved http://agriculture.house.gov/inside/subcomms.html 1 . Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2007 (Introduced in Senate)[S.714.IS] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c110:1:./temp/~c110ZM9yHk:: 2 . Pet Safety and Protection Act of 2007 (Introduced in House)[H.R.1280.IH] http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/D?c110:2:./temp/~c110ZM9yHk:: 8) Science, take teachers to task for spending too much time on basic reading and math skills and not enough on problem solving, reasoning, science and social studies. http://www.usatoday.com/news/education/2007-03-29-teacher-study_N.htm The typical child in the U.S. stands only a 1-in-14 chance of having a consistently rich, supportive elementary school experience, say researchers who looked at what happens daily in thousands of classrooms. They also suggest that U.S. education focuses too much on teacher qualifications and not enough on teachers being engaging and supportive. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, educational researchers spent thousands of hours in more than 2,500 first-, third- and fifth-grade classrooms, tracking kids through elementary school. It is among the largest studies done of U.S. classrooms, producing a detailed look at the typical kid's day. The researchers found a few bright spots, reports Greg Toppo in USA Today. Kids use time well, for one. But they found just as many signs that classrooms can be dull, bleak places where kids don't get a lot of teacher feedback or face time. For example, fifth-graders spent 91.2 percent of class time in their seats listening to a teacher or working alone, and only 7 percent working in small groups, which foster social skills and critical thinking. Findings were similar in first and third grades. 9) Arsenic in chicken feed may pose health risks to humans http://www.physorg.com/news95337365.htmlPets may not be the only organisms endangered by some food additives. An arsenic-based additive used in chicken feed may pose health risks to humans who eat meat from chickens that are raised on the feed, according to an article in the April 9 issue of Chemical & Engineering News. Roxarsone, the most common arsenic-based additive used in chicken feed, is used to promote growth, kill parasites and improve pigmentation of chicken meat. In its original form, roxarsone is relatively benign. But under certain anaerobic conditions, within live chickens and on farm land, the compound is converted into more toxic forms of inorganic arsenic. Arsenic has been linked to bladder, lung, skin, kidney and colon cancer, while low-level exposures can lead to partial paralysis and diabetes, the article notes.
10) Antibiotics found to increasingly fail http://www.physorg.com/news95315966.htmlPediatricians in the United States are increasingly finding that antibiotics are not always ideal for treating ear infections, a report says. The Denver Post reported on the findings, which are significant to pediatricians -- children are highly susceptible to ear infections. Antibiotics are typically prescribed right away to patients with ear infections, but doctors have reported on an increase in patients and parents who report that these medications have failed to relieve the infection. Patricia Yoon, a pediatric ear, nose and throat specialist at The Children's Hospital in Denver told the Post that this is cause for real concern because ear infections account for about one-fourth of all antibiotics prescribed in the United States. Yoon said she thinks an increasing number of strains of resistant bacteria are emerging.
11) MIT open Coursware http://ocw.mit.edu/index.html