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effects of smoking on new-borns
scanning recommended—ab

“Women who smoke just 6 to 7 cigarettes per day give birth to babies who more jittery, more excitable, stiffer and more difficult to console than newborns of nonsmokers, report Brown Medical School researchers in the June issue of the journal Pediatrics. The higher the dose of nicotine measured in a mother, the greater the signs of stress in her new baby.

“This is the first research paper to show that nicotine exposure in the womb produces behavioral changes in babies similar to those found in newborns of women who use crack cocaine or heroin while pregnant. The data suggest 'neonatal withdrawal' from nicotine, said the authors.”

Interesting to note that the hype, suggesting that ‘withdrawal’ is some dark terror, is treated casually when endured by a baybee.

“Previous research has linked as few as 10 cigarettes daily during pregnancy to low birth weight babies. The Brown study lowers the threshold for causing fetal impairment to 6 to 7 cigarettes a day. This new study opens the door to further research, said Law. "We don’t know if a woman quits smoking six months into pregnancy will that make a difference? Given that we have found a behavioral outcome in newborns at a lower dose of six cigarettes a day, would we find an effect at three cigarettes as well?" ”

related material
drugs, smoking and addiction (section on withdrawal)

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science8.htm#science030603

03.06.2003

related material
drugs, smoking and addiction (section on withdrawal)

the earth is a mote in the chimney

“The first detailed map of space within about 1,000 light years of Earth places the solar system in the middle of a large hole that pierces the plane of the galaxy, perhaps left by an exploding star one or two million years ago. The new map, produced by University of California, Berkeley, and French astronomers, alters the reigning view of the solar neighborhood. In that picture, the sun lies in the middle of a hot bubble -- a region of million-degree hydrogen gas with 100-1,000 times fewer hydrogen atoms than the average gas density in the Milky Way -- and is surrounded by a solid wall of colder, denser gas.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science8.htm#science310503

31.05.2003

new data on gamma ray bursts

“NASA's RHESSI satellite may have uncovered one of the most important clues yet obtained on the mechanism for producing gamma-ray bursts, the most powerful explosions in the universe. This was the result of a chance observation by a satellite designed to study the Sun.”

Go here for animation and follow up.

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science8.htm#science300503

30.05.2003

tsunamis and asteroids

“If an asteroid crashes into the Earth, it is likely to splash down somewhere in the oceans that cover 70 percent of the planet's surface. Huge tsunami waves, spreading out from the impact site like the ripples from a rock tossed into a pond, would inundate heavily populated coastal areas. A computer simulation of an asteroid impact tsunami developed by scientists at the University of California, Santa Cruz, shows waves as high as 400 feet sweeping onto the Atlantic Coast of the United States.”

“Planetary scientists, meanwhile, are getting a better handle on the risks of asteroid impacts. A NASA-led campaign to detect large asteroids in near-Earth orbits is about half way toward its goal of detecting 90 percent of those larger than 1 kilometer in diameter (the size of 1950 DA) by 2008.”

related material
once upon a time i used to wander on this neat solid ball of mud

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science8.htm#science290503

29.05.2003

related material
once upon a time i used to wander on this neat solid ball of mud

solar eclipse reminder WARNING

“An annular solar eclipse occurs on Saturday, 31 May, 2003, in the Arctic, north Atlantic, and Scotland. The path of the annular eclipse just grazes the Earth, resulting in a very small eclipse in the far north; however, the annular phase will be visible from Greenland, Iceland, the Faeroes, and north-west Scotland. The annular phase begins at 03:45 UT, and ends at 04:31 UT.”

“Since the eclipse occurs just as the Sun is rising, it will be right on the horizon, particularly if you are watching it from Scotland. So, you will miss it unless you have an absolutely clear view of the horizon in the direction of the Sun, which will be to the northeast. Make sure that there are no hills in the way, and hope that there are no low-lying clouds. Alternatively, go somewhere where the Sun will be higher dring the eclipse, such as the Faroes or Iceland.

“The partial eclipse will be visible over most of Europe, northern Asia and Russia, northern Canada, and Alaska.”

This map from NASA shows the extent and timings of the eclipse.

glossary:
[Links provided have diagram/s]

annular eclipse
A solar eclipse in which the solar disk is never completely covered but is seen as an annulus or ring at maximum eclipse.
An annular eclipse occurs when the apparent disk of the Moon is smaller than that of the Sun.
This can happen when the Sun is in a part of its orbit that is closer to the Earth, or when the Moon is in a part of its orbit that too far from Earth to block out the Sun completely. Then, a ring of sunlight appears around the Moon.
[This page has details for solar and lunar eclipses from 2003 to 2010.]
umbra and penumba
[adjectival/descriptive word-forms: umbral and penumbral]
A source of light does not cast a distinct shadow of an interfering, opaque object, but casts a shadow having two parts: 1. the umbra, or the central, totally dark part of the shadow; and 2. the penumbra, or the partially darkened, outer area. When the source is relativistically larger than the intervening object, the umbra does not exist.

BUT remember, NEVER look directly at the sun with the naked eye or, even more foolishly, through a simple telescope or binoculars. You must use appropriate and adequate safety equipment, such as solar filters, or viewing methods.
It is not possible to improvise and it is dangerous to try.
Obtain advice from your local optical suppliers or astronomy club.

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science8.htm#science270503_2

27.05.2003

rural broadband by balloon claimed

“If and when such a solution comes along, it could provide an answer to the problem of rural broadband as well as shooting BT's business model "out of the water" said Professor Norton.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science8.htm#science270503

27.05.2003

robotics: steady development
in various applications—light item

“Another robot, the COMET III, is a spider-like robot designed by Professor Kenzo Nonami of Chiba University as part of a state-funded project to develop de-mining technologies for use in Afghanistan. Four metres long and weighing one tonne, the COMET III walks on six sturdy metal legs. An additional limb in front is equipped with a metal detector and radar to find mines, while a second sprays paint on the ground to mark the spot.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science8.htm#science220503

22.05.2003

strengthening steel by surface diamond deposition

“A surface treatment of steel with boron was also found to result in a good intermediate layer, even on stainless steel. An advantage of this treatment is that the difference in expansion between diamond and steel is gradually dissipated.”

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science8.htm#science210503

21.05.2003

brother chimp, sister bonobo

Any advance on 99.4%?

“Traditionally chimps are classified with the other great apes, gorillas and orangutans, in the family Pongidae, separated from the human family Hominidae. Within Hominidae, most paleoanthropologists now class virtually all hominid fossils in three genera, Homo, Australopithecus, or Ardipithecus.

“On the basis of the new study, Goodman would not only put modern humans and all fossils back to the human-chimp divergence into Homo, but would also include the common chimp (Pan troglodytes) and the bonobo (Pan paniscus).”

related material
human classification systems—taxonomy
human-chimp genome percentage difference may require review

 

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science8.htm#science180503

18.05.2003

related
material

human classification systems—taxonomy

human-chimp genome percentage difference may require review

ice, fire and water :
impressive image from space as a volcano blows in far far siberia

Chikurachki volcano  erupting. Image credit: MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Image credit: MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

This volcano is Chikurachki, on Paramushir Island, in the Kuril Islands. The Sea of Okhotsk is to the west (left) and the Pacific Ocean to the east (right). Siberia is to the north of the string of Kuril Islands, which meet northern Japan further south-west.

There is a map and some description of the area here, with a ground-level photo of the volcano and some topographic details here. Chikurachki volcano last erupted in 1973.

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science8.htm#science160503

16.05.2003

jackpot—four lunar eclipses in seventeen months

“The most recent total lunar eclipse occurred on January 9, 2001.”

Then we have one on Thursday night, then ....

“The next chance to catch a total lunar eclipse will be November 9, followed by total lunar eclipses on May 4 and October 28 in 2004. After this run, the moon will not completely slip into Earth's umbra until March 3, 2007.”

related material
total eclipse of the moon, coming very soon

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science8.htm#science140503

14.05.2003

related material
total eclipse of the moon, coming very soon

 

Fibonnacci numbers and packing problems

There are various sites exploring Fibonnaci numbers and packing problems, relative to flora and other matters.

Here are links to three with plentiful illustrations:
Fibonacci Numbers in Nature
Fibonacci numbers and nature
Fibonacci Numbers

related material
human classification systems-taxonomy

the web address for this article is
http://www.abelard.org/news/science8.htm#science120503

12.05.2003

related material
human classification systems-taxonomy


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