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So you want to be a scientist

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 12:35

LINDAU, Germany--Play hard. Learn to explain what you do to people who know nothing about science. Put your collaborators’ needs first. A Thursday panel here at the 60th annual Nobel Laureate Lectures at Lindau gave young scientists tips--sometimes counterintuitive--about what it takes to succeed.

Play Hard . “I really don’t think you have to work hard,” said Oliver Smithies, winner of a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2007, whose charming lecture earlier in the week showed many pages of handwritten notes jotted over five decades, often dated on Saturday mornings. “You should choose a field of work that is not work, that is so fun” that you won’t mind the time it takes. Added John C. Mather (2006 Nobel in Physics), “Since childhood I dreamed of building telescopes and I’ve continued to pursue that.”

Categories: Science News

U.N. nuclear agency's top inspector resigns

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 09:57
VIENNA (Reuters) - The U.N. nuclear agency said on Thursday its top inspector Olli Heinonen, head of investigations into Iran and Syria, has resigned for personal reasons after nearly 30 years at the Vienna-based organization.

Categories: Science News

China general says open to U.S. defense boss visit

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 09:24
BEIJING (Reuters) - A Chinese general said on Thursday that U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates was welcome to visit China at an "appropriate" time, possibly signaling a desire to soften military tensions between the two powers.

Categories: Science News

Oil spill's toll on birds set to drastically soar

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 08:01

By Steve Gorman and Ernest Scheyder

LOS ANGELES/FORT JACKSON, Louisiana (Reuters) - Despite the images of oil-soaked pelicans flooding the media in recent weeks, wildlife experts say the toll on sea birds from BP's Gulf Coast oil spill is smaller than was anticipated, so far.

Categories: Science News

Clinton may seek to ease worry about U.S.-Russia ties

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 05:32
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton visits five countries once firmly in the Soviet Union's grip this weekend in part to try to allay fears that better U.S.-Russian relations may come at their expense.

Categories: Science News

Elian Gonzalez says he's happy at home in Cuba

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 05:10
HAVANA (Reuters) - Elian Gonzalez, the Cuban castaway boy who became the object of an international custody battle a decade ago in Miami, said on Wednesday he was happy he ended up back in Cuba.

Categories: Science News

Intelligence Averages Linked to Regional Infectious Disease Burden

Scientific American Online - Thu, 2010-07-01 05:05

Over the years, people have put forth a lot of theories to explain why intelligence differs, from person to person and even around the world. Health, wealth, schooling, nutrition, and even climate have all come up. Now, researchers at the University of New Mexico suggest that parasites might play a role. They find that the prevalence of infectious diseases can be a powerful predictor of regional smarts. Their work appears in the Proceedings of the Royal Society . [Christopher Eppig, Corey Fincher and Randy Thornhill, ] [More]

Categories: Science News

Russia and U.S. downplay spy case

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 02:14
NICOSIA (Reuters) - Police in Cyprus issued an arrest warrant on Thursday for a suspected Russian spy wanted by the United States who vanished shortly after being freed on bail on the Mediterranean island.

Categories: Science News

Goldman says claims against AIG were legitimate

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 01:13
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs officials insisted demands for billions of dollars from insurer AIG ahead of a $182-billion government rescue package were based on legitimate market prices and denied gaming values for a massive payout.

Categories: Science News

Weather hinders oil cleanup

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 00:49
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Tropical storm Alex slowed oil spill clean-up and containment work in the Gulf of Mexico and drove more petroleum into fragile Gulf wetlands and beaches on Thursday, with any permanent fix to BP Plc's ruptured deep-sea well still several weeks away.

Categories: Science News

Storm Alex weakens over Mexico, oil restarts

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 00:39
MONTERREY, Mexico (Reuters) - Hurricane Alex weakened to a tropical storm on Thursday as it moved across northeastern Mexico, dumping heavy rain that flooded a major city as U.S. companies began to restart halted oil production.

Categories: Science News

House passes landmark financial reform bill

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 00:08
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a landmark overhaul of financial regulations but the Senate put off action until mid-July, delaying a final victory for President Barack Obama.

Categories: Science News

Fed officials see soft recovery and more uncertainty

Reuters - Thu, 2010-07-01 00:00
BATON ROUGE, Louisiana (Reuters) - Jitters that financial strains may derail the U.S. economic recovery mean the Federal Reserve will be in no rush to end its ultra-low interest rates, comments by officials of the U.S. central bank suggested on Wednesday.

Categories: Science News

Trial opens for accused NY airport bomb plotters

Reuters - Wed, 2010-06-30 23:39
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Two accused Islamist extremists were all bluster and no substance, their defense attorneys said in opening statements on Wednesday at a trial on charges they planned to bomb a New York airport.

Categories: Science News

What can a three-legged dog teach robots about resilience?

Scientific American Online - Wed, 2010-06-30 22:04

Anyone who's ever seen a dog move around on three limbs knows that canines are remarkably resilient creatures. Scientists are now wondering whether such adaptability could likewise be programmed into robots, in the event they experience damage or malfunction far from a repair shop (look no further than NASA's Mars Spirit rover to see why this is important). [More]

Categories: Science News

Organic farms win at potato pest control

Scientific American Online - Wed, 2010-06-30 22:03

By Daniel Cressey

A study suggesting that organic agriculture gives better pest control and larger plants than conventional farming is sure to reignite longstanding debates about the merits of organic versus conventional agriculture. [More]

Categories: Science News

Obama: Pressing China on currency to make trade fair

Reuters - Wed, 2010-06-30 21:41
RACINE, Wisconsin (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday maintained pressure on China to ensure its currency policy did not give it an unfair export advantage.

Categories: Science News

Invasive Asian carp on verge of entering Great Lakes

Scientific American Online - Wed, 2010-06-30 21:00

Well that didn't take long: Just six months after the U.S. Supreme Court turned down requests to close the locks between Chicago area waterways and Lake Michigan to stop the spread of invasive Asian carp the giant, voracious fish has almost made its way to the Great Lakes.

Last week, a one-meter-long, nine-kilogram bighead carp (pictured) was found in Lake Calumet, along the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS), just six miles from Lake Michigan. According to the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee , this is the first carp that has been found in the CAWS above the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer's Electric Barrier System, a system put in place to try to control the spread of the fish.

Categories: Science News

Student ROV operators show they are ready for deepwater missions

Scientific American Online - Wed, 2010-06-30 19:39

Students from across the globe converged on the University of Hawaii at Hilo last week to test their abilities to build and pilot remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) at the ninth annual Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Center's 2010 International ROV Competition. A team from Russia's Institute of Marine Technology Problems in Vladivostok took first place in the advanced "Explorer" division, while North Carolina's First Flight High School in Kill Devil Hills topped the intermediate "Ranger" division. [More]

Categories: Science News

Could cops track where robbers have been with their hair?

Scientific American Online - Wed, 2010-06-30 19:31

Your hair contains a record of everywhere you've been. That's because your body uses the hydrogen and oxygen from water (and other beverages and foods) to make proteins--like the keratin in your hair. Because the ratio of the exact isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen varies depending on location--for instance, Denver's isotopic signature in liquids is quite different from Dallas's--forensic scientists may have a new way to piece together your past travels. [More]

Categories: Science News
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